CNJ Communipaw terminal question

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 Communipaw terminal question

Postby carajul » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:44 am

When was the CNJ's Communipaw waterfront yard abandoned? Was it just at the Aldene plan in 1967 or did they still use the facilities after the Aldene plan?

Looking at historic aerials web site everything is there in 1966 but the next year I can flip to is 1979 and while the buildings are there, the track areas are all mud.

Absolutely amazing the magnitude of the place in the 1950s. More trackage and rail cars than you can count. The word "massive" doesn't even describe it.

Today nothing there but trees and Libery State Park. The CNJ roundhouse has been obliterated by the Liberty Science place.
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Re: CNJ Communipaw terminal question

Postby philipmartin » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:30 pm

I can't answer the question. But they did run Budd cars between E'port and Bayonne, at least; possibly all tghe way from Cranford to Communipaw after the Aldene plan went into effect.
When I was a high schooler in the early 1950's I made a lot of visits to C'paw. You could ride the ferry free if you used the waiting room entrance/ exit at Jersey City. If you used the street exit, you had to pay about 35¢. All the railroaders were friendly. You could walk around the roundhouse, and the workers would talk to you. The Reading F units put me in another world. Watching a B&O train leaving town, where the railroad curved around west of the shops, under an overhead highway bridge; the cloud of dust it raised behind it was quite a sight. Those were the days of CNJ camelbacks, and pacifics with feed water heaters ahead of the smoke stack. Also CNJ specialty diesels, like double ended baby face Baldwins, and centipedes. Orange and blue F7's lettered for the Central Railroad of Pennsylvania.
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Re: CNJ Jersey City

Postby timz » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:59 pm

Far as we can tell from the public timetables nothing ran to Jersey City after Aldene started 30 April 1967 (or 1 May or whenever it was).
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Re: CNJ Communipaw terminal question

Postby 56-57 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:00 pm

C'paw engine terminal was used until 1972, as were the freight yards... Then it was mostly all closed in favor of Elizabethport... Construction sand was dumped using the coal dumpers up to, if not through that time.
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Re: CNJ Communipaw terminal question

Postby Kaback9 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:30 pm

When did B&O pull out?
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Re: B&O

Postby timz » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:37 pm

April 1958-- don't offhand recall whether that was the end of B&O passengers north of Washington, or just north of Baltimore-- probably the former?
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Re: CNJ Communipaw terminal question

Postby Blackseal Jim » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:22 am

I was just at the Liberty Science Center with my family. Its amazing that there is no trace of the engine facility. I did notice ,inside the LSC, on the first floor, a circular pattern in the tile floor. Maybe coincidence, or a nod to history.
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Re: B&O

Postby peconicstation » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:44 am

timz wrote:April 1958-- don't offhand recall whether that was the end of B&O passengers north of Washington, or just north of Baltimore-- probably the former?


April 1958 is when the B & O discontinued all passenger services NORTH of Baltimore.

As for the CNJ Passenger Terminal, there was some activity there after the Aldene Plan (albiet NOT public passenger trains). A scene in the movie "Funny Girl" with Barbara Streisand was filmed there after Aldene Plan day, and the coach yard still saw some use for a year or two (an example of this shown by
pictures of the Jersey City yards circa 1968, in the Book, The Jersey Central Lines in Pictures, Volume 3).

The shuttles or Scoots that ran from Cranford (or Raritan) to 8th Street Bayonne (22nd and 33rd Street's AM and PM peak) were stored and serviced
at Raritan, so there was no need for them to venture past 33rd Street, and from the point that the Jersey City engine terminal was closed, the track
from 8th Street east ward was "dark" (no signals), and everything ran with manual block orders.

For a year or two, the Jersey City Terminal, and the Broad Street Station in downtown Newark, were basiclly "mothballed" (the CNJ even passed on a offer
from someone to but the Newark Station and property in 1967)*. The idea being if the Aldene Plan did not work (whatever definition that would be)
the CNJ could re-use it's primary terminals while another "solution" was debated.

Ken

* I know this information for a term paper I did on downtown Newark while in Prep School back in 1978. The Newark Library's New Jersey Research Room had
(may still have) a file of newpaper clippings on the CNJ from 1960 to 1970, and another one from 1971 to "Conrail Day".
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Re: CNJ Communipaw terminal question

Postby Jtgshu » Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:58 pm

I have done some of my own research in the Newark Library and the amount of information there is absolutely tremendous!

I wasn't researching the CNJ, but rather Diamond Shamrock, but it was VERY hard to keep focus when I kept finding all this various information on the CNJ! :)
On the RR, "believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see"
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Re: CNJ Communipaw terminal question

Postby Kaback9 » Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:55 pm

Nice shots George! Thanks for sharing you have alot of neat photos, of engines I could only dream to see running today.
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Re: CNJ Communipaw terminal question

Postby philipmartin » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:10 pm

George- Thanks for the photo illustrating my post. I'm keeping that photo.
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Re: CNJ Communipaw terminal question

Postby firthorfifth06 » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:45 pm

I have to say, the CNJ is my favourite historical NJ railroad. Makes me wish I was born fifty years earlier for the sake of riding trains...

if anyone has them, I would love to see some photos of the CNJ Broad Street station while it was still in service.

Over on one of my posts on the CNJ forum, one member mentions that Broad Street was used on one occasion after the Aldene Plan. It was during the PC strike; the CNJ ran something like two trains from Raritan to Broad Street and two from Bay Head to Broad Street
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Re: CNJ Communipaw terminal question

Postby philipmartin » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:26 am

Trains to Broad Street would have had to come down via CY tower and E'Port because the bridge from Jersey City to Newark across Newark Bay, or the Hackensack River was gone. I no longer remember what took it out, but the CNJ didn't replace it. Our Hudson Bergen Light Rail has a spur off the line to Bayonne, using the old CNJ route to the bridge.
The PC strike lasted one day.
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Re: CNJ Communipaw terminal question

Postby peconicstation » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:09 am

firthorfifth06 wrote:I have to say, the CNJ is my favourite historical NJ railroad. Makes me wish I was born fifty years earlier for the sake of riding trains...

if anyone has them, I would love to see some photos of the CNJ Broad Street station while it was still in service.

Over on one of my posts on the CNJ forum, one member mentions that Broad Street was used on one occasion after the Aldene Plan. It was during the PC strike; the CNJ ran something like two trains from Raritan to Broad Street and two from Bay Head to Broad Street


The "strike trains" in 1972 ran along the Newark Branch to a point just before the Broad Street Station. Passengers were directed to the stairs that ran down
to Mulberry Street. Although the Newark Branch was still an active freight line at that point, the freight trains never ran into the terminal area itself and as a result the tracks while still in place, were in no shape to handle passenger trains.

From my research at the Newark Library there was a plan suggested in 1974 that would have put the broad Street Station back in service. This plan came about
during the time when the PATH extension to Plainfield was proposed. In this case CNJ commuter trains would originate in either Phillipsburg (which at that point just regained service), or Annandale (where a park n ride lot was proposed) run local to Plainfield, and then express to Newark using a dedicated
track to Elizabethport, then up the Newark Branch to the station, and before Broad Street a new station above the NEC where passengers could transfer to
NYC. Nothing much came from this as opposition to the PATH extension was pretty severe.

Broad Street did contribute revenue to the CNJ until Conrail Day, as a parking garage, Jersey Central Parking, ran in the basement of the station.

Pictures of Broad Street Station both in service and in ruins seem pretty hard to come by.

Ken
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