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Field Trip Report: Part 1 of 7 – New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York

Click on each image for a closer look! .

A recent vacation in July of 2010 to visit a friend in the Philadelphia area provided an opportunity to see much of railroad interest. Unfortunately an Amtrak trip to Philly from Toronto was not in the cards since it's impossible to get there in one day, hence Porter Airlines to Newark. The sightseeing began a few miles from the airport with a visit to Ellis Island in New York Harbor, the famed immigration depot near the Statue of Liberty for millions of people arriving in the U.S. I was more interested in the fact that the ferry departed from the old Central Railroad of New Jersey station in Jersey City, used by generations of commuters who crossed the Hudson River by ferry, then boarded CRNJ trains for home. The station and grounds are now part of Liberty State Park.

#1- The Victorian headhouse was built in 1889 and closed in 1967. It was incorporated into Liberty State Park in 1976. Between 1913 and 1918, this was the New York terminal for the Lehigh Valley Railroad, which maintained a downtown Toronto ticket office and operated several sleepers a day between this terminal and Toronto Union Station via the Grand Trunk Railway.

#2- The Bush style train shed was added in 1914 and is similar in design and construction to the shed at Toronto Union Station, now being rebuilt. Park authorities have allowed vegetation to fill the abandoned shed and tracks, which creates a surprisingly agreeable ambience.
#3- The Jersey City Bush shed was the largest ever built, at 308,000 square feet, slightly larger than the Toronto Union Station shed. Unlike Toronto, skylights were built over the platforms, part of the original Bush design, but eliminated in Toronto to reduce expenses. (photo by bridgepix)

More information on this structure can be found here.

Click here to read Part 2.

Posting by Derek Boles, TRHA Historian

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