• Safe Places to Railfan NJT?

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: lensovet, Kaback9, nick11a

  by Thunderbolt78YT
Hi everyone! On Wednesday I'm going to be railfanning NJT, and I originally wanted to go to Secaucus Junction, but my Mom is going to be with me, and she's worried about whether it's safe. Can someone give me a list of SAFE NJ Transit stations to railfan where there is "somewhere to run"? Thanks! :-D

  by R36 Combine Coach
SEC is decent, but a ticket is required to access the NEC (upper) level. Restrooms and concessions are in good condition. Montclair State University can be a decent choice on weekdays, with electric NYP trains and diesels to points west. Hoboken is also action packed on weekdays.
  by necrails
I used to like to park the car on the east side of the linden train station. Even on weekends there is action between the north east corridor and NJCL trains. There are great sight lines in both directions there.
  by kilroy
I've photographed NJT at many locations along the NEC. The parking deck at Elizabeth is a great spot in the afternoons and no one ever parks on the top level.

The east end of the westbound platform at Metro Park is good in the afternoon as well. The eastbound platform at Metuchen is good in the mornings. I've also shot at Linden and Rahway.

As mentioned Secaucus requires tickets to move between the levels and tracks. I use to have a monthly ticket to NYC when I shot there so I was able move about without issues. Not sure how I would do it now.
  by wborys
Sorry I'm late, hope you can revisit.

I'm biased toward Hamilton and/or Princeton Jct. Both have 'free' 30 minute
parking (for drop off). If you get there around quarter to twelve, you'll probably
see 4 or five very high speed blowby by Amtrak expresses within that 30 minute
interval, as an added feature to the 2-3 commuter trains. Both very safe areas.

Venture north to Bound Brook, and you'll not only see Raritan Valley NJT
trains, but loads of freights running behind the station. Area is also
fairly safe during the day, but some have commented not to stay past suppertime.
..and watch out for foamers.. ;-)
  by ryanov
What do you mean by safe exactly? What would be unsafe about Secaucus?
  by wborys
I wasn't commenting on 'safe' specifically with Secaucus in mind.
I seem to remember some rail fans commenting that some locales they've
visited seemed to have a feel of 'unsafe', perhaps felt threatened by
locals after dark, maybe teens with nothing better to do than
hassle folk, etc. I don't have specifics, not even sure if these were Jersey-specific,
but perhaps a search of posts (or a forum question) might provide more details if
my memory is not correct.
  by JamesRR
Hamilton and Princeton Junction are both great. Hamilton has the overpass, but you're shooting through glass - the vantage point is still interesting.

Princeton Junction has a vehicular overpass south of the station that you can technically bike over, you could get some shots there, too.

Newark at rush hour is a gold mine of activity, but you have a lot of crowds and you risk getting hassled taking photos.