River Line NJ: Everything You Need to Know

While exploring the Delaware River (by car) and seeing some amazing scenery, I noticed a train running along the river and upon further research learned that it is called the NJ River Line, a common transit ride for tourists and locals that after closer inspection I decided to highly recommend as it is a very beautiful scenic train ride worth taking. In this post I’ll show you what you need to know about this rail.

Basic info:

  • Name: River Line
  • Location: 20 stations (Trenton NJ and Camden NJ being the main ones)
  • Ticket prices: $1-$2 for 2 hour rides
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Reviews: 4.5 out of 5

Quick info:

Now, what is the River Line NJ Transit service? It’s essentially a 34-mile light rail line that goes from Trenton to the bustling waterfront of Camden, New Jersey. In addition to being (primarily) a commercial based train ride, it also has a lot of scenery along the way to see, making it an excellent scenic train ride for people.

If you’re keen on exploring the diverse landscape of New Jersey and especially by train, this ride is something I would highly recommend doing.

What to expect along the route:

The River Line is a picturesque thread that stitches together the diverse fabric of New Jersey’s landscape. From the historic streets of Trenton to the bustling waterfront of Camden and everything in between, this stretch of light rail helps you see NJ from a whole new perspective that may really be one of the best options out there.

But let’s get into the specifics. With stops in picturesque towns like Bordentown and Florence, each station has its own charm, beckoning travelers to explore local boutiques and cafes. But it’s not just about the stops; the journey itself offers views that include the Delaware River, where the reflections of skylines and sunsets create postcard-worthy scenes.

This includes the captivating sight of the USS New Jersey, America’s most decorated battleship, now serving as a floating museum at the Camden waterfront. Along the way, riders can also spot public art installations, historic buildings, and sprawling parks. It’s the synthesis of urban vibe and serene nature that gives this light rail route its unique character.

Duration info:

As you already know the full journey from Trenton to Camden spans over 30 miles and typically takes around 60 minutes (this includes brief stops at all 20 stations). This duration can be perfect for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle, giving you time to soak in the views and unwind.

Ticket info:

  • An adult one-way ticket costs $1.60, which is quite a bargain for the experience.
  • Senior citizens and those with disabilities can benefit from reduced fares
  • Kids under 11 ride free with a paying adult

Don’t worry too much about ticket availability because there are no reservations. Tickets can be quickly obtained from vending machines at the stations or through the NJ TRANSIT Mobile App and/or official website.

Best times to ride:

In my opinion, the best times to ride the River Line are during off-peak hours on weekdays for a less crowded experience, or during weekends when you can take your time without rushing.

Seasons play a part too and in my opinion spring and fall offer the best temperatures and comfortable experiences giving you beautiful views of the Delaware River.

Tips and recommendations:

I’m going to share some insider knowledge to help you make the most out of your River Line adventure. Whether you’re a daily commuter, a leisure traveler, or a first-time visitor to New Jersey, these tips are bound to enhance your light rail experience. Starting with a well planned day trip can make all the difference. So here’s a few ideas:

  1. Combine a ride on the River Line with stops at local museums, historic sites, or parks. The charming waterfront towns along the route offer numerous opportunities for exploration.
  2. Grab a window seat on the right side when traveling northbound, or the left when heading south. And remember, your first attempt doesn’t need to be your last; each journey can offer something new.
  3. If you’re coming in from out of town, park the car at one of the end stations, take the rail up to the end point, Uber back down, then take the car and drive on the Pennsylvania side as there’s an amazing scenic drive there worth exploring (including other cool towns like New Hope which has it’s own attraction called New Hope Railroad).

In my opinion, the best part about the River Line isn’t just the convenience, it’s also about the little joys of the journey. Keep an eye out for local events along the route, from farmers market to seasonal festivals, and integrate them into your travel plans for an enriching local experience.


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