The former Erie Railroad station in the Radburn section of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, is closing for four months for some badly needed TLC.
It is getting a new roof, ceiling and interior renovations. The station was built by the Erie in 1929 and replaced a small wood building.
The station sees about 1,500 commuters a day and is one of only a couple of former Erie stations that still has an agent, albeit only for morning rush hour Monday through Friday.
The station is styled in the Dutch style that matched many of Fair Lawn’s early homes.
Since the station is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places the appearance of the depot will not change.
The only significant change to the station was the addition of a platform canopy in the early 2000s. Compare the 1950s postcard view with the picture taken at the same angle in 2012.
The Radburn-Fair Lawn station has a special meaning for me; It is where I became a railfan.
In the ‘60s, when I was old enough to start wandering around town on my own I would go to the station every day after school and watch the trains roll by.
The Erie Lackawanna’s commuter trains were hauled by RS-3s and geeps. The train to Port Jervis was hauled by an E8.
In the early 1970s the commuter trains were replaced with brand new U34CH diesels and push-pull train sets.
The E’s would last on the Port Jervis runs a few more years. In those days the station still had a full-time agent who was there until 4 p.m.
I had many pleasant conversations with the gentleman. There was also a full-time section gang that had an office in the station, including a a kind old Italian gentlemen who would always talk to a young railfan.
My daily railfanning would end at 6:15 p.m. when the train pulled in and brought my father home from his job in New York City.
We would get in the car and drive home to become a complete family once again.
At 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 14, the agent closed up the office and New Jersey Transit started removing the office equipment.
On Monday the station’s cozy waiting room fell silent. In about four months the refurbished building should be reopened and the waiting room and agent will be welcoming travelers once again.
I can’t wait to walk through her doors once again.
Article and Photographs by Jack Norris
A contemporary view of Radburn station.
Historic post card view of Radburn station.