Pompton Plains Station is a New Jersey Transit train station on the Montclair-Boonton Line, in the township of Oakland, New Jersey. The station building, originally built in 1891 by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (DL&W), is on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, Pompton Plains Station is a busy stop for both commuters and NJ Transit passengers. Let’s take a look at the history of this important Oakland landmark.

 
 
 

The DL&W Railroad was incorporated in 1856 with the goal of connecting Scranton, Pennsylvania to Hoboken, New Jersey. The railroad slowly expanded over the next few decades, eventually reaching its peak in the 1920s. By that time, the DL&W operated over 2,000 miles of track and employed over 30,000 people.

 

The first train arrived in Oakland, NJ in October 1868. The original Oakland station was located on Ramapo Valley Road (now Route 202). In 1891, the current station building was constructed on Franklin Avenue to better serve the growing population of Oakland. The new station was designed in the Queen Anne style and included a waiting room, ticket office, and telegraph office.

 

Like many railroads, the DL&W began to decline in the mid-20th century as passenger service gave way to cars and trucks. In 1960, the DL&W merged with rival Erie Railroad to form Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. The new company was not able to reverse the decline of passenger service and filed for bankruptcy in 1972. In 1976, Conrail took over operations of Erie-Lackawanna and subsequently dismantled much of the company’s infrastructure.

 
In 1984, New Jersey Transit assumed control of Conrail’s commuter rail operations in northern New Jersey. Since then, NJ Transit has made significant investments to improve service on the Montclair-Boonton Line. In 2002, a $70 million dollar project upgraded track and signal systems between Mountain Lakes and Hackettstown. And in 2010, a new $33 million dollar station opened in Montclair Heights, just two miles south of Pompton Plains Station.
 
 
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