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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ–The Meadowlands rail station here recently opened to the public. Designed by DMR Architects, the station is part of the larger Meadowlands Railroad and Roadway Improvement Project, a multi-agency cooperative effort to provide a mass transportation alternative to access the New Jersey Meadowlands Sports and Entertainment Complex.

The overall construction program includes both railroad and highway projects, with $180 million in funding for the new rail station and related work provided by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

“We were charged with designing a new rail transportation facility, which terminates the new two-mile long track system that spurs off the Pascack Valley Line,” Kurt Vierheilig, project manager and senior designer for DMR Architects, tells GlobeSt.com.

Pedestrian movement influenced the station’s design and layout. “The pedestrian overpass connects several platforms and a pedestrian plaza along with a series of ramps that intersect the 950-foot-long station,” he says. The new station features large circulation stairs as well as overpass and ramp systems to move people to their desired platform safely and efficiently.

The station’s main purpose, Vierheilig says, is to service the 2.4-million-square-foot Xanadu complex and the new football stadium, the latter of which at least is scheduled for completion in 2010. Work on the $2.3-billion entertainment/shopping center, on the other hand, is stalled due to financing troubles, and after several missed deadlines no opening date has been set.

The train station is the first of its kind for the area, as well as the first station that DMR has designed, and will allow passengers to travel from Northern New Jersey, midtown Manhattan and Long Island through Secaucus Junction Transfer Station to the stadium and eventually the entertainment complex.

According to elected officials on hand for Monday’s ribbon cutting, the station has been in the making for more than 40 years, when the New York Giants moved out of Yankees Stadium and into the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The Meadowlands previously had bus lines providing the only mass transportation service to the area.

Initially, trains will operate for stadium events that figure to draw more than 50,000 people, including Giants and Jets preseason and regular season games, major concerts and Gold Cup soccer matches.

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