So What's the Point of the old main/Whippany line?

Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.

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So What's the Point of the old main/Whippany line?

Postby carajul » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:53 pm

They have their old original mainline which until the 90s was busy as hell. Now it's used for excursions out of the museum on Rt 10. All the spurs are weed covered and used to store equipment. The boxcar sidings at the industrial park buildings are all bricked up. If the M&E only had this line they'd be bankrupt by now. What happened on this line and why isn't management doing anything to drum up more business? Talk about boom to bust.
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Re: So What's the Point of the old main/Whippany line?

Postby blockline4180 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:15 pm

carajul wrote:They have their old original mainline which until the 90s was busy as hell. Now it's used for excursions out of the museum on Rt 10. All the spurs are weed covered and used to store equipment. The boxcar sidings at the industrial park buildings are all bricked up. If the M&E only had this line they'd be bankrupt by now. What happened on this line and why isn't management doing anything to drum up more business? Talk about boom to bust.


I was told that all the customers on the Vornado Spur were driven away by the strong Trucking Unions who probably intimidated M&E and their customers with much lower rates.... After all there are a lot of Italian Mobsters/Teamsters living in East Hanover and Florham Park!
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Re: So What's the Point of the old main/Whippany line?

Postby mandealco » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:52 pm

There are still some good customers on the Whippany Line, including B&G Foods in Roseland. Also, the Railroad earns non rail revenues from utilities that use the right of way. The M&E is still a fine, customer focused railroad.

For more information, check out their web site: http://www.merail.com

Cheers
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Re: So What's the Point of the old main/Whippany line?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:49 pm

In addition to B&G, there's Royal Lubricants off River Road and a transload yard at Jefferson Road.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
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Re: So What's the Point of the old main/Whippany line?

Postby RS115 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:18 am

The railroad was built to serve the multiple paper milks that existed in Whippany many initially owned by the McEwan family that built the two railroads that became the M&E. Other traffic developed as the area grew. In the 80's and 90's the mills were gone and not only was there truck competition for the other traffic as real estate values increased the area was no longer competitive for warehousing operations who moved east or west. Could some things have been done differently yes. Would the outcome have been substantially changed probably not as the biggest forces were not ones driven by the railroad. It is somewhat amazing that the line survived - hopefully it will continue to do so.
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Re: So What's the Point of the old main/Whippany line?

Postby airman00 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:42 pm

That's interesting. What caused the mills to dry up? And in addition to that, it also goes to show you how much business the "truck" has stolen away from railroads.
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Re: So What's the Point of the old main/Whippany line?

Postby RS115 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:39 pm

Stopped by Morristown tonight. Rusty rails but was surprised to find NJT 4511 on the track 5 lead outside the shops. Anyone know what it's doing there? In Hackettstown last night heard a train come through from a friends house. I assume NS - anyone know how far east their going? Given conditions at Morristown they've not ventured out on Transit has/can NS on authorization from someone?
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Re: So What's the Point of the old main/Whippany line?

Postby TSTOM » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:51 pm

RS -

NJT 4511 arrived about 4 weeks ago. Likely the M&E is performing warranty work on it.
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