CNJ Jersey City freight traffic

Discussion of the CNJ (aka the Jersey Central) and predecessors Elizabethtown and Somerville, and Somerville and Easton, for the period 1831 to its inclusion in ConRail in 1976. The historical society site is here: http://www.jcrhs.org/

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CNJ Jersey City freight traffic

Postby acela314 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:53 pm

Hey im making The CNJ mainline between Jersey City and E-port in trainz (currently at 22nd Street Bayonne Station) and it looks pretty good, but i had one question in mind:

How does freight traffic come and go into the Jersey City Yards?

I looked at maps and saw a separate line branching from the mainline near claremont and heads towards numerous yards before heading back up into the main strip of land near the terminal to the south of the passenger line. Is this the line freight trains took?
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Re: CNJ Jersey City freight traffic

Postby Ken W2KB » Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:41 pm

I remember seeing it from CNJ passenger trains when in High School when I lived in Bayonne 1965 or so. Look at this topo map, the freight trains branched off just north (railroad east) of the NJ Turnpike interchange 14B. http://www.lhry.org/Images/Aerial/1955JCtopo-CNJterm.jpg

The trackage just to the north of the area labeled "Black Tom" was the coal train yard, with the dumper at the water's edge. North of that (east of the roundhouse/engine terminal shown on the map) was the main freight yard, with the finger piers for transfers of freight to barges, etc. North of that was the main passenger yard west of the passenger/ferry terminal.

Glad to hear of your project! Would like to see it when done!
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Re: CNJ Jersey City freight traffic

Postby CNJ Fan 4evr » Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:12 am

I see a small yard right next to the E. 22nd St. light rail station and there is a track outside the fence along the light rail rout in Bayonne that is for freight. I have been shooting video along the old CNJ and want to get the Liberty State park station. Someone told me that was once Communipaw curve under the National Docks Branch. Is that correct ?
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Re: CNJ Jersey City freight traffic

Postby acela314 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:43 am

Ken W2KB wrote:I remember seeing it from CNJ passenger trains when in High School when I lived in Bayonne 1965 or so. Look at this topo map, the freight trains branched off just north (railroad east) of the NJ Turnpike interchange 14B. http://www.lhry.org/Images/Aerial/1955JCtopo-CNJterm.jpg

The trackage just to the north of the area labeled "Black Tom" was the coal train yard, with the dumper at the water's edge. North of that (east of the roundhouse/engine terminal shown on the map) was the main freight yard, with the finger piers for transfers of freight to barges, etc. North of that was the main passenger yard west of the passenger/ferry terminal.

Glad to hear of your project! Would like to see it when done!


Thats what I thought. I noticed the yard near 22nd street as well and will be included. In fact im working on it right now. A lot of oil tanks are around this area. (according to historic ariels)
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Re: CNJ Jersey City freight traffic

Postby Ken W2KB » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:02 pm

CNJ Fan 4evr wrote:I see a small yard right next to the E. 22nd St. light rail station and there is a track outside the fence along the light rail rout in Bayonne that is for freight. I have been shooting video along the old CNJ and want to get the Liberty State park station. Someone told me that was once Communipaw curve under the National Docks Branch. Is that correct ?


South of the LSP Lightrail station(railroad west) was the mainline curve for CNJ passenger trains into the passenger yard and Terminal. North (railroad east) of the LSP station was the LV main into its freight facility, along the south side Morris Canal Basin. (LV had a carfloat bridge on the Hudson River immediately north of the CNJ passenger terminal.) A bit beyond was the curve where LV passenger trains went (so I have been told) to the area north of the canal basin (the map I linked shows a track marked LV where the white background area is adjacent to the pink area. That track was long since freight only by the time the map was made, but much earlier for passengers continued east towards the river. Don't know, but perhaps LV passengers took the PRR Exchange Place ferries to get to NYC?

Interestingly, the map incorrectly spells the Jersey City Street that went to the CNJ ferry terminal as "Johnson" Avenue. "Johnston" is the correct spelling as it was named for the first president of the CNJ at its formation.

Until it was destroyed in a large fire in the 1960's there was a large wooden CNJ freight house (for LCL) on Prospect Avenue, Bayonne between 19th and 21st Streets. South of 19th Street was the Bayonne Freight yard of which the present version you saw is a smaller version.

The mainline was 4 tracks and at about 34 or 35th Street or so there was a 5th track that branched off and was the very long lead track into the Bayonne Yard as well as for switching the freight house. There were two tracks that came out of the yard at the west end and went to a smaller yard just west of Avenue C, and those two also merged and joined the mainline at about Avenue C just west of the 8th Street Station eastbound platform. On the other side along North Street were at Avenue C a Swift's meatpacking facility and next to that a coal yard (one of several along the mainline in Bayonne). Both of these were still active freight customers into the 1960's.
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Re: CNJ Jersey City freight traffic

Postby 25Hz » Sun Aug 03, 2014 3:49 am

LVRR used erie's terminal, then DL&W, then PRR's exchange place, then CNJ communipaw, then they did some kinda move via steam then DD1 into NYP for the remainder of LVRR passenger service......... if i'm incorrect please add correction. :)

CNJ infrastructure remnants are all over the place in bayonne & jersey city. If you ever get a chance, hit up HBLR and you can see most of it, especially in winter.
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Re: CNJ Jersey City freight traffic

Postby MACTRAXX » Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:18 pm

Everyone: Interesting subject - but in the wrong place...

This subject should be in the Anthracite Railroads section-CNJ or the New Jersey Railfan section...

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Re: CNJ Jersey City freight traffic

Postby CNJ Fan 4evr » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:09 am

If you want to see how much has changed go to http://www.historicaerials.com and just check out Jersey City terminal and surrounding area. I followed main line up to Broad St. Elizabeth and I am amazed at what is where the CNJ lines used to be. Do the "compare" option and you can almost pinpoint where Tower A was in what is now the parking lot. You can also see where the signal bridges were. Granted the older images are not as clear but you can still see what once was.
I was at the LSP light rail station and now looking at the old aerials I can see that the orange bridge on the Natl. Docks branch is actually in the middle of where the truss bridge was. So where some of the CNJ tracks came out is now filled in. The light rail doesn't start following the CNJ roadbed until just west of the bus shelter. I'm going back next week to shoot some more video of that area. Also going to film a static shot from where Tower A was.It's a shame what happened to the terminal from Sandy.The sheds are starting to crumble as well. :(
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Re: CNJ Jersey City freight traffic

Postby philipmartin » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:55 pm

25Hz wrote:LVRR used erie's terminal, then DL&W, then PRR's exchange place, then CNJ communipaw, then they did some kinda move via steam then DD1 into NYP for the remainder of LVRR passenger service......... if i'm incorrect please add correction. :)

CNJ infrastructure remnants are all over the place in bayonne & jersey city. If you ever get a chance, hit up HBLR and you can see most of it, especially in winter.

In my time, GG1s pulled LV passenger trains up from Hunter to NK (on the LV) where the power swap was made.
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