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How to Take the Train from Newark Airport to NYC

Newark Airport is one of the three main airports that serves the New York City area. You can take public transportation into the city from any of the three airports, but Newark requires NJ Transit trains instead of the ubiquitous MTA subway. In this post, we’ll explain exactly how to take the train from Newark Airport to New York City.

If you’re taking the train the other direction, we also have a detailed guide to taking the train from New York City to Newark Airport.

The Basics

Taking the train from Newark Airport to New York City — Manhattan specifically — is pretty straight forward. The train is the cheapest ($15.75) and usually the fastest (<1 hour) way to get to the city from the airport.

First, take the AirTrain from your arrival terminal to the Newark Airport Railroad Station. Then, connect to a NJ Transit train (Northeast Corridor or North Jersey Coast line) to New York City. The connection is a short walk, all with clearly labeled signs and ticketing, but we’ll get into the details below.

Trains terminate at New York Penn Station, in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. When you leave Penn Station, you’re within walking distance to the Empire State Building, Bryant Park, Chelsea, Edge observation deck and so much more. There’s also nearby Subway stations with connections to just about anywhere in the city.

How long is the train from Newark Airport to NYC?

It takes a little under one hour to get to New York Penn Station from Newark Airport. A perfectly timed trip from Terminal A can technically be done in as little as 35 minutes, but I wouldn’t bank on that.

Depending on the time of day and which terminal you’re in, the AirTrain will take 10 to 30 minutes. The AirTrain runs every 3 to 15 minutes depending on the time of day, and travel times between the terminals are as follows.

  • Terminal A: 15 minutes to the rail station
  • Terminal B: 9 minutes to the rail station
  • Terminal C: 7 minutes to the rail station

The train from Newark Airport Railroad Station to New York Penn Station takes about 25 minutes. Trains to the city usually run every 20, but vary by time of day.

Train Tickets from Newark Airport to NYC

The AirTrain is free to ride between airport terminals, so you won’t need a ticket to board from an airport terminal. Trains between Newark Airport Railroad Station and New York Penn Station are operated by NJ Transit and do require a valid ticket.

You can buy train tickets in advance in the NJ Transit app or from self-service ticket kiosks near the AirTrain entrance at each terminal or at the rail station. The kiosks and the app are both are very intuitive, and you just need to enter your destination (New York Penn Station) to get your ticket.

A one-way adult ticket from Newark Airport to New York Penn Station costs $15.75. Children ages 5 to 11 cost $3.50 and children 4 and under are free.

There is no price break for buying tickets roundtrip versus one way. The perk to buying roundtrip is that you don’t have to worry about waiting in any ticket lines on your way back. The downside to buying roundtrip paper tickets is that you risk losing them, or potentially your plans change and they get wasted.

Train Schedule from Newark to NYC

The AirTrain at Newark Airport does not have a posted schedule, but it runs frequently. Between 5 AM and 9 PM, the AirTrain runs every 3-5 minutes. It then switches to every 15 minutes between 9 PM to 5 AM.

All New York-bound NJ Transit trains that stop at Newark Airport Railroad Station go to New York Penn Station. The two NJ Transit lines that run most frequently are the Northeast Corridor Line (red) and North Jersey Coast Line (blue). You can view the schedules for both of these trains online in advance. Usually, you can count on a train coming every 20 minutes or less.

How to take the train from Newark Airport to NYC

In this next section, we’ll detail the experience of taking the train from Newark Airport to New York City.

Step 1: Newark Airport Terminals to Newark Airport Railroad Station

The journey to NYC starts at baggage claim. After you’ve exited the secure side of the terminal and collected your bags from baggage claim, look for signs to the AirTrain. The exact location will vary by terminal, but the entrance will be accessible from the arrivals level via elevator or escalator.

Ticket kiosks are available near the SkyTrain entrance. You don’t actually need a ticket for the SkyTrain portion, but you will need one for the NJ Transit train. Buy your ticket here if there is no line. If it’s too crowded, you can wait to buy your ticket at the railroad station or buy a digital ticket in the app.

If you board at Terminal A, which is the end of the line, all trains are going the same way. Signs above the doors on both sides of the track will tell you which train to board for the next departure.

If you board from Terminals B or C, trains on different sides of the track go different directions. Look at the signs above the doors and board the train towards “Train Station.”

Ride the AirTrain to the Newark Airport Railroad Station, which is the end of the line. Exit the AirTrain, head up the escalator (or take the elevator), and you will be at the entrance to the rail station. Tap your ticket (digital or paper) at the automated gates to enter.

Step 2: Newark Airport Railroad Station to New York Penn Station

After you tap into the station, look for one of the monitors inside the station. It will list all upcoming trains, their destination, and the track number (or letter). Look for the next train that has a destination of New York. All New York-bound trains from this station end at the same place: New York Penn Station.

Once you identify the track number for the next train, follow signs to that track. The station is above the tracks, so once you find the track number, head down to the platform.

The train is coming from somewhere else, so it likely won’t be waiting at the platform when you arrive. If the platform is crowded, keep walking to a further end of the platform. You can board the train from anywhere on the platform.

When the train arrives, the doors will automatically open and you can board. Take any available seat. At some point along the way, a conductor will come through the train and check for tickets. If you have a paper ticket, they will punch it. If you have a digital ticket, they will make sure it’s activated and then scan it.

Penn Station is the end of the line, so you don’t have to worry about missing your stop. It will be 2 or 3 stops and take about 25 minutes.

When the train arrives at New York Penn Station, exit the train and head up the escalators (or elevators) to the main terminal level. There are connections to 1, 2 or 3 Subway trains from within the station, or you can exit the station to street level and walk to 34th Street and 6th Avenue to connect to the N, Q, R, B, D, F or M trains.

You’ve made it New York City!

Tips for taking the train from Newark Airport

If this is your first time taking the train from Newark from NYC, I have a few tips/reminders for you.

  1. Don’t get off at Newark Penn Station. If you’re not paying attention or maybe have headphones in, you might hear “Penn Station” and jump off the train. You are looking for New York Penn Station, which is the end of the line.
  2. Don’t wait in line for tickets. There aren’t many ticket kiosks at the airport or rail station, so the lines can get long during busy times. It’s truly just as easy to buy tickets in the app. If there’s a line, you can probably download the app and buy tickets faster than it will take to wait in line.
  3. Follow the crowd. This isn’t a perfect plan, but a vast majority of the people taking the train from Newark Airport Railroad Station are going into the city. If there’s a bunch of people on a platform, it’s probably the one you want. Follow the crowds, but also double check by either asking someone or looking to the monitor.
  4. Use Google Maps to plan your trip. If you want to plan ahead or just want to know if you have time to crab a coffee, I’d suggest using Google Maps. Search for directions between Newark Airport Railroad Station and New York Penn Station. If you’re using a mobile device, Google Maps will display the soonest departure, and also a list of the next scheduled departures.