Newark International Airport Monorail Transit System

This brief description has been derived largely from a preprint of a paper by Paul J. DeMeo of Louis Berger International. He is the Program Manager for this project and contact information has been provided below. This paper was presented at the 1996 meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C. in January. It will probably be published in the Transportation Research Record in late 1996 or early 1997.

This monorail system was designed to reduce trip time between long term parking lots D and E and the terminals (A,B and C) to make interconnecting passenger travel more convenient, provide better service for rental car patrons, improve traffic flow at the terminal frontages, supply real time information concerning train operation to reduce traveler confusion and anxiety, provide alternate vehicular frontage while eliminating costs associated with constructing secondary terminal frontage and related roadways, enhance the regional environment and economy and provide for a high level link with the Northeast Corridor train system.

In the past, the only way to reach the terminal frontage has been by personal auto, taxi, bus or van. This has meant long delays on airport circulation roadways and an uncertain trip duration (via shuttle bus) between the parking lot and the passenger gates. The new monorail system simplifies airport access by removing many vehicles from the frontage and improves the overall level of service for both arriving and departing passengers. Currently, there are over 11,000 long-term parking spaces at the airport. The monorail stations are located so as to place 90% of these spaces within 1,200 feet of walking distance, 67% within 800 feet and 33% within 400 feet. On average, walking time to a monorail station is under three minutes with no walk being more than five minutes. The headway between monorail trains varies from 2 minutes or less (peak) to 2.5 minutes (off-peak) and a typical trip between a parked autoand the terminal is now no more than 14 minutes. Interconnecting passengers can also use the monorail and the longest trip time between terminals A and C should take no longer than 4 minutes. Rental car patrons can use the monorail to cut their trip times from 30 minutes to 5-10 minutes.

The monorail will be extended from on-airport station E to the existing rail corridor about 1 mile away. This will allow connections to NJ Transit and Amtrak trains that operate in the NE Corridor.

The total system guideway length is 3.06 km (1.9 mi) and it has three terminal and 4 remote parking lot stations. Average speed is 19.3 km (12 mph) and a round trip takes 19 minutes. It is fully automatic and operates 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. The fleet contains 10 trains with 2 in reserve for a total of 12. The six car trains have a capacity of 78 passengers. Each car has four seats, all other passengers stand.

The system was contracted on a partial trunkey approach. The main structures (foundations, substations, stations and the maintenance/control facility) were designed by the NY/NJ Port Authority and constructed under 32 contracts. The train, it's controls, the guideway and various mechanical and electrical components inside the structures were designed, supplied and installed by Adtranz (formerly AEG, formerly Von Roll). The authorized amount for the system was $378,000,000 and the best available estimate for actual cost is $360,000,000. There were three breached contracts which produced delays in this project. It is believed that the cost of extending this monorail to the NE Corridor station is not included in these cost figures. It is argued that the development of this system will defer the need for a billion dollar terminal frontage expansion well into the next century.

Included here is a diagram of the airport terminal area showing the monorail station locations and route as are six photos of this new monorail system. The photos were taken by Tom Barr and provided by the monorail supplier, Adtranz. Use the BACK button on your browser to return to this page after looking at a photo.

Terminal diagram (12k)


#1 (15k)

#2 (21k)

#3 (27k)

#4 (19k)

#5 (20k)

#6 (15k)

Contact information: Paul J. DeMeo, Program Manager, Louis Berger International, Newark International Airport, Building 70, Brewster Road, Newark, NJ 07114. Phone: 201-624-6889; fax: 201-624-9450

More information about the monorail technology and press releases can be obtained from Wendy Ruch of Adtranz; phone (412) 655-5335 or e-mail:

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Last modified: July 26, 1996