Connection to Erie history - when severed?

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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Connection to Erie history - when severed?

Postby carajul » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:36 pm

I understand that the M&E was actually connected to the NJT at morristown but then connected on the other end at an Erie-owned line. CR abandoned the Erie and the M&E main is now stub ended. Can anyone give me a history of the Erie line, why and when it was abandoned, what interchange M&E did there and how the abandonedment affected the M&E if at all.

Also they should change the name to "The Morristown Railroad" now. Haha just kidding.
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Re: Connection to Erie history - when severed?

Postby dano23 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:04 pm

The M&E is still connected to the Morris and Essex line in Morristown.

In Essex Fells they connected to the Caldwell branch of the Erie. The physical plant was never technically transferred to Conrail which is always an interesting tidbit. From what I understand the abandonment didn't do much as at the time the EL was the M&E's connection on either end.

There's a good thread from about 5 years ago on here http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=85&t=14098
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Re: Connection to Erie history - when severed?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:39 pm

The Caldwell Branch never was tranferred into Conrail; it remained (along with the Sussex Branch ROW) with the EL Trustee, being abandoned July 1975.
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Re: Connection to Erie history - when severed?

Postby SemperFidelis » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:07 am

The reasons for abandonment were:

a) After the Erie and the DL&W merged, Morristown and Erie had two connections to the same railroad, one at Morristown and one in West Caldwell. No need for two interchanges with the same railroad, especially when the lines of the connecting railroad (former Greenwood Lake Branch and the Morris and Essex Line) connected back to one another by way of the Boonton Line.

b) Lack of significant online traffic. By the end, after the Morristown and Erie interchange was made redundant by the EL merger and after the State Hospital either closed or converted their heating plant from coal, there was only a lumber yard somewhere along the line that received any traffic.

c) There was a structurally deficient bridge over a creek that is now part of a walking/biking trail. I know trains were operating over the bridge up to the end, but large cracks in the abutments are quite obvious in some later photographs taken of the line.
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