The Gladstone Branch is a branch of New Jersey Transit's Morris and Essex Lines. The Gladstone Branch primarily serves commuter trains; freight service is no longer operated. Out of 24 inbound and 27 outbound daily weekday trains, 2 inbound and 2 outbound trains (about 8%) use the Kearny Connection (opened June 10, 1996) to Secaucus Junction and New York Penn Station; the rest go to Hoboken Terminal. Passengers can transfer at Newark Broad Street or Summit to reach the other destination if necessary. The part of the line west of Summit is single-tracked with passing sidings at Murray Hill, Stirling, and west of Far Hills and operates in peak-direction only on weekday peak hours, except for some service operating reverse-peak from Murray Hill in the PM peak. On weekends the line operates Gladstone-Summit service hourly along the branch. Gladstone Branch trains to New York run through Secaucus Junction but no longer stop there.
The branch received severe damage from Hurricane Sandy on October 29-30, 2012, especially to the catenary and signal system, causing a suspension of service for one month. High winds brought down five tall catenary poles (whose replacements had to be custom-made), approximately five miles of catenary, and 49 trees across the tracks. Gladstone service was expected to resume on Monday, December 3 with electric Midtown Direct trains to Penn Station and diesel-powered trains to Hoboken, as full electric operation will be impractical until substation damage near Hoboken is repaired in early 2013.
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