What's left of the CNJ?

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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What's left of the CNJ?

Postby dhaugh » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:21 pm

I've been reading an old (1972) issue of Trains about the the CNJ, and was curious how much is still intact today for freight traffic.
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Postby metman499 » Wed Sep 27, 2006 3:17 pm

For over the road freights there isn't too much. The Chemical Coast sill hosts freights as does Eport yard, which has been redeveloped for piggyback in the last few years. The yard in Allentown is still a major part of NS operations in Eastern PA. The main line east of there is either torn out or used by NJT and sees local freights. A small part of the line in Bloomfield is accessed by the former LV. The bridge over the Delaware at Easton is still used by NS but reaches LV tracks on either side. The CNJ is intact north (rr west) of Allentown as far as Packerton as a main line. The R&N uses the CNJ from here to Coalport to access their single track of the LV north. The branch to Haucks is also still seeing service. The CNJ is also used by the R&N north (rr west) of White Haven through a recently rebuilt Penobscot Yard. At some point (I am not 100% clear where) north of the yard the R&N switches over to the LV. NJT uses the CNJ between High Bridge and Aldene for its Raritan Valley service. The track is still in between Aldene and Elizabeth but has been out of service/abandoned for many years now.
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Postby CAR_FLOATER » Wed Sep 27, 2006 4:18 pm

Just a few points -

Bloomfield is in Essex County, on the DL&W and Erie, Bloomsbury is in Warren County, on the LV and CNJ.

The CNJ-LV change over going down the mountain out of Solomons Gap PA is at Laurel Run Interlocking.

There are also branches on the Southern Division still in use out of Bridgeton, NJ

The NY&LB also counts of a sort, between Perth Amboy and Bay Head.

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XC to E'port

Postby amtrakhogger » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:19 pm

Back in '97 I saw a light engine CR(GP-15) going east on the CNJ at
Elizabeth towards E'port. I was shocked to see that move because I thought the line was abandoned. Since then I have not seen any trains on this segment.

Being that NS is using E'port Yard, I figured that they might want to
rehabilitate the main west to Aldene and run TV trains to Boundbrook over NJT. Pipe dream I guess.
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Postby Jtgshu » Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:36 pm

Don't forget the northern half of the "Southern Secondary" is still in use, for a usually once, sometimes twice weekly freight. The line is in use from Red Bank down to Lakehurst.

From Lakehurst to Farmingdale is to be the route of the Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex NJT line (when built) and the line east of Farmingdale to Red Bank is oen of the routes under study, as well as the former Freehold Branch, from Freehold to Matawan. However, the favored line is the former PRR Freehold Secondary, from Farmingdale to Jamesburg, then the Amboy Sec from Jamesburg to Midway on the NEC.

The Seashore Branch is intact for about 1/8th of a mile, west of the connection with the Coast Line in Matawan. Not used often, but can be, for NJT electric trains (its wired), there are two tracks there which end right before the single track parkway bridge
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Postby jersey_emt » Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:15 pm

Jtgshu wrote:
The Seashore Branch is intact for about 1/8th of a mile, west of the connection with the Coast Line in Matawan. Not used often, but can be, for NJT electric trains (its wired), there are two tracks there which end right before the single track parkway bridge


Wasn't that section of double track used as a 'yard' for a couple of Arrow III sets before electrification was continued on to Long Branch?
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Postby Jtgshu » Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:48 pm

Indeed it was - ive gotten various answers as to how many MU's each track can hold, but it was used as a layover yard for a while. There are very old brake shoes all over the place along those tracks.

There is also a signal lying down and pretty much destoryed along the rails there too - i guess that was MR's (thats the letters, right?) home signal off the Seashore. Were the two tracks on the Natco interlocked with "High" interlocking when the electrification ended at Matawan? I know there were crossovers between 1 and 2, but was the switches for Natco interlocked as well?

Its now referred to as the Natco Industrial Track by NJT, and it is in service and the catenary is energized and in service for electric trains
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Ex CNJ Morris County Branch Lines

Postby RAHWAY VALLEY » Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:44 am

The Morristown & Erie Railway serves former CNJ trackage in Morris County. This includes the former W&N Yard at Lake Junction (Roxbury), the High Bridge Branch between Kenvil and Flanders, and the Hibernia Branch between Dover and Rockaway.
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Old CNJ line

Postby Erie13 » Thu Jan 11, 2007 6:48 pm

I was wondering if anyone knows of a line that ran from coplay and crossed over a high bridge then crossed over the LV and finally met up with the ironton? And how about the tracks in Aldene and Elizabeth? How much and how many miles. Any pics of old lines?
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Postby metman499 » Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:39 pm

I could be wrong but I don't believe the CNJ interchanged with the Ironton. The Ironton was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Reading and the LV. My CNJ system map from the 1930s doesn't show the branch in question. I would geuss it to be Reading or Lehigh Valley
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CNJ in Northampton

Postby Erie13 » Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:54 pm

Lehigh Valley RR main at Northampton/Coplay. This branch left the CNJ main at Northampton, crossed the Lehigh River then the LV main to connect with the Ironton. I am looking to find out whether the tracks are still in place? I have pics recently showing tracks in place from whitehall etc. But would like more infor and pics. Like where it came from and who it connected to etc. It has 2 bridges on it i know of and sits dormant. Josh
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Postby 56-57 » Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:11 am

There is a section on www.gingerb.com regarding just what you're asking about. In the CNJ section, click on the mainline between Lehighton and Allentown, then scroll down until you see the Ironton section. You'll know it when you see it.

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Postby carajul » Thu May 10, 2007 7:03 pm

At Northhampton the bridge carrying the CNJ across the Lehigh River is still there and the rails are still on it. The switch is out from the main. The steel bridge over the LVRR main is also still there.

Amazing to see maps of the area even in the 1970s. A large rail hub with the yard and 5 RRs now reduced to a single track CNJ.
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Postby Ken W2KB » Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:48 pm

CNJ Signal Bridge at the OOS Linden Road (Roselle Park/Elizabeth) grade crossing taken November, 2007:

Image[url][/url]
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Re: What's left?

Postby OportRailfan » Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:21 pm

More recently the Natco line has been used for NJT's track replacement/maintenance equipment...

It looks like they're replacing ties throughout the NJCL
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