Frequency of Electric Freight in New Jersey

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Frequency of Electric Freight in New Jersey

Postby green_elite_cab » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:02 pm

What was the frequency of electric freight trains on the Northeast corridor through New Jersey in around 1979? Are there railroad docuements out there I can obtain that would give me this information.

The short story is i'm trying to find out how many trains ran through the Northeast Corridor through NJ durin 1979 so that I can try an create a realistic operation on a model train layout, but I cannot find this information anywhere.


On the side, i'm also looking for commuter train timetables through Trenton to New York (which were half NJDOT, half Conrail if I understand correctly) and those would be useful to me.
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Re: Frequency of Electric Freight in New Jersey

Postby econandon » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:03 am

Check out some of the documents listed at this site: http://www.multimodalways.org/archives/rrs/CR/CR.html

The site includes freight schedules for each month of 1979, plus a lot of other documents. I don't know exactly what you're looking for, but this is my go-to place for historical CR documents. (Some links may be broken - but I have found that the site owner will fix if you email him).
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Re: Frequency of Electric Freight in New Jersey

Postby green_elite_cab » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:16 am

econandon wrote:Check out some of the documents listed at this site: http://www.multimodalways.org/archives/rrs/CR/CR.html

The site includes freight schedules for each month of 1979, plus a lot of other documents. I don't know exactly what you're looking for, but this is my go-to place for historical CR documents. (Some links may be broken - but I have found that the site owner will fix if you email him).



That was the first place I went to (i love their ZTS charts). unfortuneately, the relevant docuements are not available.

I'm simply trying to get an idea of what Conrail freight trains traveled the Northeast Corridor. Train labels, when they ran, speed limits, special rules, etc.
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Re: Frequency of Electric Freight in New Jersey

Postby econandon » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:35 am

green_elite_cab wrote:That was the first place I went to (i love their ZTS charts). unfortuneately, the relevant docuements are not available.

I'm simply trying to get an idea of what Conrail freight trains traveled the Northeast Corridor. Train labels, when they ran, speed limits, special rules, etc.


I can check some hard-copy documents, but I doubt they will be helpful to you. You're looking specifically for info on electrics, and nothing pertaining to diesels?
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Re: Frequency of Electric Freight in New Jersey

Postby green_elite_cab » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:17 pm

econandon wrote:I can check some hard-copy documents, but I doubt they will be helpful to you. You're looking specifically for info on electrics, and nothing pertaining to diesels?


Oh, I see what I did there, i can see how my thread is misleading. I just figured most freight trains would be electrically powered given the electrified nature of the route , and made a faulty generalization.

Basically, what i'm trying to do is get a picture of freight traffic on the Northeast corridor during the average week, preferably sometime in the summer of 1979 if that information could be had.

I want to simulate all traffic running on the northeast corridor roughly between New Brunswick and Waverly in New Jersey. I know that Conrail was still running freight trains at this time over this trackage. While Amtrak and NJ DOT schedules are easy to find, there is a lot less information on available on Conrail's early operations on the Northeast corridor.

In fact, conversations I've had with Conrail historical society members suggest that Conrail's presence on the Northeast corridor is not really all that well documented. However, there HAVE to be docuements out there with the relevant information, and I do not know where to begin looking.

I suppose i'm just trying to collect scarce information on an less-investigated end of Conrail history.
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Re: Frequency of Electric Freight in New Jersey

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:38 am

The end of electric locomotive operation out of the North Jersey Consolidated Terminal did not occur all at once but it was a gradual change. As trains were re-routed to the old LV, Reading route in New Jersey of course they had to operate with diesel power. I think the last use of electric power was in 1980 or early 1981 but I am not positive on that, I do remember seeing a couple of motors stored at the motor pit in the Meadows around that time. During my days working the River Line between North Jersey and Selkirk I remember running through trains out of Selkirk to both Pot Yard and Enola and the motors lasted much long on the Pot Yard trains than on the Enola trains for some reason. VE-1 (later SEEN) even in Penn Central days usually ran through from Selkirk to Enola with diesel power and just a crew change in the Meadows while NE-1 and NE-3 (SEMW) changed power from diesel to electric at Karny or Hack while these trains were still running on the corridor. I have a bunch of old Conrail Symbol Books which show the freight trains but these do not show what type of power was assigned to move these trains.
This is about the best I can add to this.
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Re: Frequency of Electric Freight in New Jersey

Postby green_elite_cab » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:40 am

Well, The train symbols are better than nothing, is there information about roughly what time of day they depart/arrive, or travel through a particular area?

This would still be helpful to me.
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Re: Frequency of Electric Freight in New Jersey

Postby gravelyfan » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:26 pm

green_elite_cab wrote:Well, The train symbols are better than nothing, is there information about roughly what time of day they depart/arrive, or travel through a particular area?

This would still be helpful to me.

The multimodalways site linked in the prior responses has the Conrail Freight Schedule books on it. You will have to do some work to go through and figure out which trains used the NEC in NJ (Waverly, Lane and Morrisville would be time points to look for) but it is do-able.
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Re: Frequency of Electric Freight in New Jersey

Postby green_elite_cab » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:33 pm

gravelyfan wrote:
green_elite_cab wrote:Well, The train symbols are better than nothing, is there information about roughly what time of day they depart/arrive, or travel through a particular area?

This would still be helpful to me.

The multimodalways site linked in the prior responses has the Conrail Freight Schedule books on it. You will have to do some work to go through and figure out which trains used the NEC in NJ (Waverly, Lane and Morrisville would be time points to look for) but it is do-able.


Most of those docuements no longer open. As it turns out, however, persistence pays off, since some docuements did open now, and I have found a "freight schedule". The real trick will be figuring when the train would be passing through NJ.

Is this the docuement?

http://www.multimodalways.org/docs/rail ... 1-1979.pdf
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Re: Frequency of Electric Freight in New Jersey

Postby green_elite_cab » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:57 pm

I have two further questions.

1.) Do each of these schedules "add" to eachother? For example, I notice the trains on the schedule for May, June, and July 1979 are different, yet none of those trains appear under the "Removed train" list at the beginning of each schedule.

There is a table called the "DATE OF EFFECTIVE SCHEDULES - THROUGH FREIGHT TRAINS" which lists train symbols and dates. For example, there is no "Washington-Croxton" schedule in the July 1979 schedule. However, the date of effective schedules suggests that the December 1978 schedule contains this train (and it does).

2.) What is the nature of the "Local trains"? some of them seem to be going pretty far, such as between Morrisville and South Amboy. Are these switching industries as they go along, not necessarily following a set schedule?

I notice a few say they have "make-ups" of sections for other places. For examle, the Morrisville to Oak Island train might also hace a Make up of "Metuchen" and "Linden" cars. Does this train just go to Oak Island with these cars, which would then be delivered by a local from Oak Island? Does it drop off the cars as it goes along?
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Re: Frequency of Electric Freight in New Jersey

Postby green_elite_cab » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:20 pm

Well, I just about have the "master schedule" completed. I'm pretty sure I've found every train running between New York and Trenton on the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak, Conrail, and NJ DOT, during July 1979. I will post it when I get home later today.

In the meantime though, does anyone have any further advice on how to tell which trains were normally powered by electrics, and which through diesels? I'm told there are "manifests" that list exactly which equipment was on which train (locomotives, road numbers, cars, etc). I'm not sure where I would find such information, other than perhaps the Conrail historical Society (I really need to join).

Photos are nice, but there isn't a photo for everything, and I sometimes suspect that photographers are more interested in the "unusual" than the mundane, causing some trains to be over-represented in history books and websites.
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