plus, a bonus section
Suffern, NY is at the southwestern corner of Rockland County, and is the only non-terminal train station on New Jersey Transit outside of the state of New Jersey. This town has a long and storied railroad history, with the Erie Railroad first coming to the town in 1841, as part of their original mainline, now the Piermont Branch. In 1862, a new station was built, at the site of the current station, and in 1887, this became the new Erie Mainline, with trains running to Pavonia Terminal in Jersey City. The Erie merged with the DL&W in 1960 to form the Erie Lackawanna, which operated trains until Conrail took over in 1976. NJT started operating the lines in 1983, with Suffern being the current northern terminus of the Main and Bergen County Lines. In addition, Metro-North owned, NJT operated Port Jervis Line trains also run through here to Port Jervis. Despite this storied history, today, most stations on the Main and Bergen County Lines are "nothing" stations. Is Suffern any different?
I got off the my terminating train, and was greeted by a ridiculously small station sign, and a glorified bus shelter. The northbound platform isn't looking very un-nothing-y (technical term) so far. However, there can't be that many people boarding here going northbound so I get why there aren't many amenities on this side.
A ridiculously small station sign
This is either a glorified bus shelter or a plexiglass box, I'm not sure which.
So, let's head under the tracks to check out the northbound side. Ignoring the...questionable grammar of the sign, I crossed under the tracks and came up onto the southbound platform. Now, this looks a lot more un-nothing-y.
Hello, where do I catch the train to Station?
The stairs to the northbound platform.
The southbound side has a station building with a ticket office and waiting room inside. Unfortunately, when I came, it was closed, however I still got to take a peek inside. On the outside of this building, there were the schedules for this line, as well as NJT's new geographic rail map. Oh, and there was an honor box for parking fees. How wonderfully old-school!
The interior of the station building
Ooo, new NJT map!
Just to the south of the building, there were some Metro-North style crappy narrow shelters, and to the north, there was a pathway to an auxiliary parking lot. Now, it's time for the bonus section that you've all been waiting for! It's Hudson Link's Suffern "station". Hudson Link calls itself a BRT system, but really, the only aspect of BRT they have is that their stops are sorta nice. So, let's head over there now.
Bit rusty much?
The Metro-North style crappy narrow shelter
I walked up to the stop, and...uh, there isn't much. It's basically a shelter, a map, a screen displaying real-time info, and a ticket machine. Not much else. I guess it's good that Transit of Rockland's Suffern "hub" uses the Hudson Link stop, but there's not much to see here. Does being next to an old rail line make it better? Uh, sorta...
Hudson Link's map
The shelter and ticket machine (card only, by the way)
Ridership: The NJT station got 686 riders per weekday in 2017, which makes it the 8th busiest on the Main/Bergen County Lines!
Pros: It is a well-situated station, serving Suffern and the surrounding areas quite well, and the fact that there is a waiting room still there is a nice touch.
Cons: Low level platforms aren't great, and it's sort of nonsensical that the Hudson Link/TOR stop isn't at the station.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Suffern's downtown, along Laffayette Avenue, is small but quaint and has a lot of really nice shops and restaurants! Also, the south end of the Suffern-Bear Mountain hiking trail is just to the north of town!
Final Verdict: 7/10 for the NJT station, 5/10 for the Hudson Link "station"