Newark Liberty International Airport is one of the three major airports that serves the New York City metropolitan area. Even though the airport is located across the Hudson in New Jersey, it’s just as easy to get to on public transportation as the other two NYC airports. In this post, we’ll explain exactly how to take the train to Newark Airport from New York City.
If you’re taking the train the other direction, we also have a detailed guide to taking the train from Newark Airport to New York City.
The journey to Newark Airport from New York City starts at Penn Station. From there, it’s two trains to get to Newark Airport terminals.
First, take NJ Transit (Northeast Corridor or North Jersey Coast Line) from New York Penn Station to Newark Airport Railroad Station. Then, switch to the AirTrain which connects the rail station to all Newark Airport terminals and parking lots.
How long is the train to Newark Airport from NYC?
It takes a little under one hour to get to Newark Airport from New York Penn Station. A perfectly timed trip to Terminal A can technically be done in as little as 35 minutes. However, I’d err on the side of caution and budget one hour. If you need to get to Terminal C and/or you just miss a train, it quickly becomes an hour.
The train from Penn Station to Newark Airport Railroad Station takes about 25 minutes. You will want to be at the station 5-10 minutes early to get to the right track and buy tickets (if needed).
Depending on your travel time and terminal, the AirTrain will take another 10 to 30 minutes. This train runs every 3 to 15 minutes depending on the time of day. Travel times between the terminals are as follows.
- Terminal A: 15 minutes from the rail station
- Terminal B: 9 minutes from the rail station
- Terminal C: 7 minutes from the rail station
Train Tickets to Newark Airport
Trains between New York Penn Station and Newark Airport Railroad Station are operated by NJ Transit and require a valid ticket.
You can buy train tickets in advance in the NJ Transit app, from self-service ticket kiosks at New York Penn Station or from an agent at the ticket window at New York Penn Station. The self-service ticket kiosks and the app are both are very intuitive, and you just need to enter your destination to get your ticket.
A one-way adult ticket from New York Penn Station to Newark Airport 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.
All NJ Transit tickets to Newark Airport Railroad Station include access to the AirTrain. You will use the same ticket for both trains, so be sure to hang on to it. If you don’t have your ticket, a separate AirTrain ticket costs $8.25.
Train Schedule to Newark Airport
There are two NJ Transit lines that stop at Newark Airport: Northeast Corridor Line (red) and North Jersey Coast Line (blue). You can view the schedules for both of these trains online in advance. The schedule varies by day and time, but generally these trains run pretty frequently. Usually, there is not more than 20 minutes between trains.
NOTE: A handful of Northeast Corridor trains do not stop at Newark Airport, but most do. Be sure to look for the airplane icon on the train monitor at the station and/or check the schedule for the most accurate routes and times.
The AirTrain 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.
How to take the train to Newark Airport from NYC
In this next section, we’ll detail the experience of taking the train to Newark Airport from NYC.
Step 1: New York Penn Station to Newark Airport Railroad Station
The journey to Newark Airport from NYC starts at New York Penn Station.
Enter Penn Station from the corner of 7th Avenue and 31st Street. Head down the escalator and you’ll be in the main concourse.
To your left, there are several self-service ticket kiosks. To your right, there is the ticket window where can purchase a ticket from an agent, plus more kiosks.
From the waiting area, you’ll see that each track is clearly numbered. There are signs by each door with the track number, plus signs above that point to different track number locations.
Look for one of the monitors around the concourse that displays the upcoming trains. Each train listed on the monitor is color coded and has a departure time, destination and line name listed. Trains that stop at Newark Airport also have an airplane icon. Shortly before departure (usually 5 minutes), the board will update with a track number.
Look for the soonest train that is red (Northeast Corridor Line) or blue (North Jersey Coast Line) and has the airplane icon. When the track number is displayed, head to that track. At the track will be a train, and you can board any open car.
Shortly after departure, a conductor will come through the train and check for tickets. If you have a paper ticket, they will punch it and sometimes put a paper slip on your seat. If you have a digital ticket, they will make sure it’s activated and then scan it.
The train ride to Newark Airport Railroad Station will take about 25 minutes. The number of stops will vary based on the line and specific train that you’re on, but should be 2 or 3 stops. On both trains, Newark Airport Railroad Station is the one after Newark Penn Station.
Step 2: Newark Airport Railroad Station to Newark Airport Terminals
Exit the train at Newark Airport Railroad station and follow signs for AirTrain to Terminals. After crossing up and over the tracks, you’ll head toward the AirTrain entrance. Scan your NJ Transit ticket (paper or digital) on the automated gates to enter the AirTrain station.
Pass through the gates and follow signs to the AirTrain, which will be to your right and down. There’s also a Dunkin Donuts and restrooms at this station.
When you arrive on the platform, there will be tracks on both sides. Signs above the doors on both sides of the track will tell you which train to board. This station is the end of the line, so trains from here only go one direction, but you want to board the train that departs next.
After the train departs, it takes 7 to 15 minutes to reach the terminals. The AirTrain makes the following stops.
- Parking Lot P4
- Terminal C (7 minutes)
- Terminal B (9 minutes)
- Parking Lot P3
- Terminal A (15 minutes)
When you get off the AirTrain, follow signs to the terminal and on to departures. This might be on a different floor, depending on your terminal.
Tips for taking the train to Newark Airport
If this is your first time taking the train to Newark from NYC, I have a few tips/reminders for you.
- Hold on to your ticket. After they punch your ticket on the NJ Transit train, be sure to put it somewhere safe. You’ll need it again to get on the AirTrain. If you lose it, you’ll get hit with another $8 charge for the AirTrain. Buying a digital ticket in the app is another good way to avoid this issue.
- Use Google Maps to plan your trip. If you’re planning your route for an upcoming flight, I’d suggest using Google Maps. You can set the “Arrive by” date and time, and then Google Maps will tell you the scheduled train that will get there by that time.
- Don’t get off at Newark Penn Station. If you’re not paying attention or maybe have headphones in, you might hear “Newark” and jump off the train. To get to the airport, you need to go to Newark Airport station, which is one after Newark Penn Station.
- Give yourself a buffer. Google Maps may tell you that trip takes closer to 35 minutes. That can be true, but it also depends a bit on a lot of things. Plan for an hour, and then get a coffee if you end up with extra time.
- Follow the suitcases. This was the bit of advice I gave my friend who was visiting from a small town when I put her on the train after she visited. It’s not a perfect plan, but it’s a good rule of thumb. Most of the people on the train who have suitcases are going to the airport, too.