Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

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Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby Jamskeeter » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:27 am

ease help...II’m trying to find the current location of a grade crossing called Sandford’s crossing in Kearny N.J. my great great grandfather was a gateman for the old Delaware lackawanna western back in 1913 to at least 1920. According to the census they lived on sandford’s crossings as well. The grade crossing “sandford’s crossing Morristown branch” was eliminated in 1922. Reading on its history the crossing was located where Newark turnpike crosses the d.l.w.r.r in Kearny N.J. that area has been redeveloped a few times since the 20s and I can’t find any old photos of the crossings before the 20s. Public service did allow for a trestle for the street cars to be built over that crossing. From pictures I have of my great great grandmother it looks like they lived in the current Amtrak Hudson interlocking station which was erected by p.r.r in 1911. Unless there was an identical tower east that has been torn down. If I could find some old maps or pictures of that crossing from before the 20s I would be so grateful. . I did come across a forum where someone stated the MMC moved the crossings but I thought it was eliminated before The state took over.
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Re: Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby MaRoFu » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:39 am

The crossing you are talking about is along the old Newark branch, I'm pretty sure. It's actually along the Erie railroad technically so I could be wrong.

The current location of the long-obliterated crossing I think you're talking about is on Route 7 right next to the interchange with the Newark Turnpike. If you peak on Google Earth it's all pretty clear. The ROW is still clearly visible around there, and a bridge still exists on the Northeast Corridor where the line crossed under it. The ROW can be traced towards the current Newark Branch ROW just after it enters the Meadowlands.

There also appears to be some abandoned rail ROW that probably branches off from the line above, crosses under the current M&E and heads towards the Newark Turnpike right before the bridge across the river. It probably connected with the P&H from there but I'm not really sure.
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Re: Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby CarterB » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:27 am

According to the NJ Public Utility Commission in 1913

In the Matter of the Application of the Morris and Essex Railroad Company and the Delaware,
Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company, its
Lessee, for Permission to Construct and Main- _._ . T . . „ . . ^CERTIFICATE tain an Additional I rack at tirade Across the Public Highway Known as Sanford's Crossing, in the Town of Kearny, County of Hudson and State of New Jersey. 1
Application being made to the Board of Public Utility Commissioners by the Morris and Essex Railroad Company and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company, its lessee, by petition in writing, for permission to construct sua maintain an additional or third track at grade across the public highway known as Sanford's crossing, in the Town of Kearny, County of Hudson and State of New Jersey, as shown upon the blueprint annexed to said petition, which blueprint and petition by reference thereto herein are made part hereof, The Board of Public Utility Commissioners, after hearing and investigation, Herley urants consent and permission for the construction and maintenance of said additional or third track, at grade, across said Sanford's crossing, as prayed for in said petition.
Dated April 29th, 1913.

Thus it appears that Sanford Ave may at one time have crossed the M&E DL&W tracks at foot of Sanford Ave.
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Re: Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby Jamskeeter » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:07 am

Thank you so much for your reply! I have been researching this for over six months and I also believe it was next to the interlocking tower. I did come accross a photo of the crossing in 1922 that threw me off. It’s strange because it def looks like that area but there is an over pass in the pic I can’t explain with a trolly overpass behind. At first I thought it was the N.J. turnpike but that wasn’t built until the late 40s. it Sort of looks like Belleville turnpike. There is a building and a signal bridge. If you have time and google “Sandford’s crossing all signals clear” the book railway age volume 73 should come up. Please let me know your thoughts. and it describes the crossing. Please let me know if you need me to send the pic another way. Thank you so much!!!
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Re: Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby R&DB » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:54 am

You might want to look at Historical Aerials for the old topographic maps.
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Re: Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby CarterB » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:34 am

Jamskeeter wrote:Thank you so much for your reply! I have been researching this for over six months and I also believe it was next to the interlocking tower. I did come accross a photo of the crossing in 1922 that threw me off. It’s strange because it def looks like that area but there is an over pass in the pic I can’t explain with a trolly overpass behind. At first I thought it was the N.J. turnpike but that wasn’t built until the late 40s. it Sort of looks like Belleville turnpike. There is a building and a signal bridge. If you have time and google “Sandford’s crossing all signals clear” the book railway age volume 73 should come up. Please let me know your thoughts. and it describes the crossing. Please let me know if you need me to send the pic another way. Thank you so much!!!


I believe the RR Age photo is flipped l to r. The trolley bridge was for PSCT predecessor Union Tracition IIRC
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Re: Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby pumpers » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:44 pm

I am late to this thread but let me put my 2 cents in.

The Railway Age article has a track diagram with distances, and shows a "Sanford's Viaduct" crossing the Lackawanna. I would assume the "Sanford Viaduct" is right near where "Sanford's Crossing" used to be. I can't make out the exact numbers of the distances, but adding up the numbers I can make out (and note the diagram is not to scale), I find the distance on the Lacakawanna from the east side of Passaic river to the west side of the viaduct to be about 6000 feet. Measuring on Google maps, that puts Sandford's Viaduct just a small bit west (EDIT: originally typed east by accident) of where the Newark Turnpike once crossed the Lackawanna (a linear extension of where it is west of the DLW today). Looking at old maps it seems the Belleville turnpike ended just north of the Lackawanna where it hit the Newark turnpike.

So I think in the "eastward view" picture in the Railway Age article, the foreground bridge is the Newark Turnpike (heavy support columns) and behind it could be the streetcar bridge. The angle of the Newark turnpike (farther away on the right) is right, so I do not think the picture is flipped. Sandford's crossing (where the picture is taken) is a bit west of the overpass. From poking around, it seems there was a streetcar line which ran along Newark Turnpike (sounds like some of you know streetcars better than me), but I don't know which side. If I am interpreting the picture correctly, the streetcar was on the north-east side of the Newark Turnpike.

In the looking west picture, you see the 3 Lackawanna tracks, and then some cars on the left, parallel but on a higher grade. I suppose those cars are in the PRR Meadows yard. Is Meadows yard still higher today than the Lackawanna? I haven't been a passenger on that piece of the Lackawanna since back before Conrail!

On the other hand, in the eastward view, you don't see PRR tracks parallel to the DLW on the right. I think that is because Meadows yard bends away from the Lackawanna right around my supposed Sandford's crossing point - a bend you see on maps today. You do see a building that looks like a church almost, at an angle to the tracks, with a siding with cars on it on the side of the building away from the Lackawanna. So it's probably not a church, perhaps some part of Meadows yard, but I am just guessing.

So from all of this I don't think Sandford's crossing is near an extension of the modern Sandford Ave, but about 2 miles east of there.

One thing to resolve is the issue of living in Hudson Tower, which was PRR, not DLW. It's in Harrison, quite a ways west from where the DLW Sandford crossing seems to have been accordign to my above argument. I would also think Hudson tower would have been a very busy place 24/7 back in the day, so I don't know about anyone living there. Maybe the Lackawanna had some kind of structure near Sandford crossing where they lived.

From Googling, it seems Sandford was basically the founder of Kearny, going back to the 1600's.

Well, that's enough for tonight. I may be way off target, but that's my 2 cents.
JS

PS. If there is any interest, I can forward your post to the Erie Lackawanna newsgroup (not part of railroad.net) -it has a buch of very active old-timers who would probably know it off the top of their heads.
Last edited by pumpers on Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby CarterB » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:21 am

pumpers wrote:
PS. If there is any interest, I can forward your post to the Erie Lackawanna newsgroup (not part of railroad.net) -it has a buch of very active old-timers who would probably know it off the top of their heads.



Yes, please crosspost!!

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Re: Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby pumpers » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:43 am

another tidbit.
https://books.google.com/books?id=wOk6A ... na&f=false

See midway down the right column on page 795. It is an original article, Nov 29, 1895, in the Railway Gazette, describing the approval of the streetcar over the Lackawanna as noted earlier. Before they passengers had to walk across the DLW to get from one end of the streeetcar line to the other.

And: https://books.google.com/books?id=BWE-A ... na&f=false July 1985, a request that the Hudson County Freeholders grant permission for the streetcar to pass over the DLW at Sanford's Crossing, "on the old turnpike Rd" .

So it sure sounds like Sanfords crossing was where the (Newark?) turnpike crossed the DLW

WIll post to the DLW group tonight,
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Re: Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby CarterB » Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:10 am

I think this pretty much confirms your posit that it was where Newark Tpk crossed the DL&W.
'
TENTH ANNUAL REPORT ||
Board of
Public Utility Commissioners
For the
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
For the Year 1919
"The work of eliminating the following grade crossings is in progress:
3—Sandfords Crossing on the meadows, the crossing of the Newark
Turnpike with the D. L. & W. R. R. just west of the junction of
the Belleville Turnpike with the Newark Turnpike.
Grade Crossing Elimination Cases under consideration:"

and

1896
Jersey City, N. J.-Work was begun Jan. 8 upon the steel trestle which is to carry the trolley road be tween Jersey City and Newark over the Delaware, Lackawana & Western tracks at Sandford's crossing on the Newark and Jersey City turnpike. It is to be 900 ft. long and will have 21 ft., clear headroom. The cost is estimated at $25,000, and the contract calls for comple tion by April 1.
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Re: Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby pumpers » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:54 am

I posted to the "ErieLack" group, and they confirmed the location where Newark/Harrison - Jersey City turnpike crossed the DL&W. DL&W called the location "Sanford's", not "Sandford's". They pointed me to their archives and a bunch of photos came up of the construction of the overpass to eliminate the grade crossing. In the following 4 links, you will see a description of some photos, with a link to a page which has thumbnails of photos, and you can then click on them individually to open them up. They are very big files and might take a while to download.

Pictures X1610.jpg thru X1612.jpg are during construction, Aug. 21, 1920
http://lists.railfan.net/erielack-diges ... 00131.html
X1610 part is the new overpass close to completed, and X1612 is one of my favorites. Looking NW. The streetcar bridge on the right, the new bridge on the left, and the plank road in the middle is I believe the orignal Newark -Jersey City Turnpike, looking in the direction from Jersey City to Newark. So the crossing must have been where the building is going on, where the DL&W crosses.

Pictures X1656.jpg thru X 1660.jpg are construction shots. Nov. 11, 1920
http://lists.railfan.net/erielack-diges ... 00248.html
In X1657 you see the pre-existing streetcar bridge - the truss section is the part spanning the DL&W.

X1715.jpg http://lists.railfan.net/erielack-diges ... 00005.html
and X1716.jpg thru X1719.jpg http://lists.railfan.net/erielack-diges ... 00017.html
are mostly the finished product. THey are not dated but in 1921 I suppose. Note you still see semaphore signals - this is just before the new signalling projects with signal lamps in the Railway Age article of November 1922 described a few posts ago. Compare X1719 to the "eastward view" in the railway age building. YOu see the same "church-like" building on the right, and the streetcar trestle behind the bridge. This shows up in a lot of the photos and can help you get oriented. In think the original crossing was just in the foreground of X1718 (westward view), before the bridge. The small road you see on the left (south) of tracks (also in X1716) is still there on modern maps, going to the NJ transit Meadows Maintenance Yard, and is a dead-end coming off the Newark Turnpike (and labeled Newark Turnpike or Harrison TUrnpike on modern maps, depending which one you look at). You also see it on the right side (looking eastward, the other way ) in X1717 and X1719.
Last edited by pumpers on Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby pumpers » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:02 am

A few more things.

I found some Sanborn maps of the crossing area, after the overpass was built.
Just north of the crossing (see crossing on the very bottom)
Harrison,+Kearny+1907-Apr.+1950,+Sheet+27.pdf
North of the crossing
(182.4 KiB) Downloaded 75 times

and just south of the crossing
Harrison,+Kearny+1907-Apr.+1950,+Sheet+26.pdf
South of the crossing
(176.48 KiB) Downloaded 66 times

Note in the "south of the crossing" map the left and right halves are different sections (the top of the right half lines up with the bottom of the left half) . Note the DLW tracks on the the right of the left half. (North is not straigth up). On the right half at the top right is the "church-like" building I refer to in a few of my posts - it is a storage building. There is a small fire hose cabinet in front of it - it shows up in image X1719 in my previous post. On the map, the crossing is just right of the storage building above off the map. The Newark Turnpike (labelled Harrison ave) is seen on the lower right of the right half.

The ErieLack poster said everything south of the DLW tracks were PRR tracks or shop buildings.

That's all, Jim S
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Re: Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby CarterB » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:12 pm

Great info, pumpers!!!! :-D
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Re: Old grade crossing. Sandford’s crossing Kearny nj

Postby pumpers » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:51 pm

Jamskeeter wrote: I did come across a forum where someone stated the MMC moved the crossings but I thought it was eliminated before The state took over.

I think what they are referrring to is that there is a employee stop at MMC on the line to Hoboken, which is now called Sanfords. Easy to see on an aerial map website. It is about 500 feet east of the original crossing. ALthough there is a pedestrian overpass for employees to get from the parking lot (north of tracks) to the facility (south of tracks), from google maps it looks like there MAY be a crossing at grade for employees too.

My guess (and it's just a guess) is before the modern MMC was built, NJT in its early days may have been using some old shops in the PRR Meadows complex, so they had an employee stop in the area on the Hoboken (DLW) line as now, just in a slightly different location (called "Sanfords" since it was in the area of the original Sanford's crossing, which went away over 50 years before NJT.) That may be why some people say that "Sanfords was moved due to MMC." Really not sure though - I do think NJT used the old CNJ ELizabethport shops at first, although maybe not exclusively.
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