The city of Plainfield is served by not one, but two train stations! I’ve shown you one (Plainfield Station), so here’s the other one: Netherwood Station. It’s another station on the Raritan Valley Line (which is the present incarnation of the Central Railroad of New Jersey.)
According to a plaque on the side of the station, “the station takes its name from a once fashionable area of Plainfield so named by the longtime C.N.J. [Central Railroad of New Jersey] president, John Taylor Johnston, after his mansion ‘Netherwood’ located nearby” (which to me translates as “Netherwood The Neighborhood was named after this dude’s private mansion”), but online resources (, ) suggest that the Netherwood neighborhood was in fact named for the Netherwood Hotel (built 1878, demolished 1918).
Regarding the history of the station itself, nobody seems to know any specifics. The aforementioned plaque, for example, attributes the station design to “possibly… Bruce Price or Frank B. Bodine… based on stylistic analysis.” Its construction was probably “after the year 1887.”
It’s been called a blend of Richardsonian Romanesque and Queen Anne styles, but if you know what that means, you probably already knew that from lookin’ at the pictures.
Apparently, the fate of the station was briefly threatened in 1962 when the CNJ proposed closing both Plainfield and Netherwood stations, and building a new station with more parking in between the two. But the City of Plainfield was like “f*ck that” and so it never happened.
To continue ensuring the existence of these stations, they were both added to BOTH the National and NJ Registers of Historic Places in 1984.
This concludes everything I know about Netherwood Station.
Grady, J. and Pollard, D. (2008). Plainfield New Jersey’s History and Architecture. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.: Atglen, PA. ISBN 0764329154.
National Registers of Historic Places. (n.d.) “Netherwood Station.” Sponsored by NJ Transit. (Sign marker.) Documented May 2012.
This is the Plainfield train station. Although nobody seems to agree when it was built (though Central Jersey Railroad passed through Plainfield by 1839, and maybe the depot was built by 1869?), it’s been on both the National and NJ State Registers of Historic Places since 1984. The station underwent a $12.4 million restoration around 2002-2003.
I visited because it seemed nearby to some errands I was running. Initially, I had intended to wander around Plainfield and get a bunch of photos all at once; I took out a library book on Plainfield architecture a couple months ago, and I was kind of excited to see some of these historic buildings.
As it turned out: the area around the train station was a little sketchy. I got my train station photos and skedaddled.
Incidentally, the Plainfield train station is about two miles north of the South Plainfield house fire that killed five people last week.
For trip information to/from Plainfield rail station, check out NJTransit’s website.