North Jersey Coast Line Thread

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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby CharlieL » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:48 am

Sure do. Did a lot of swimming off the north trestle. Would float with the tide all the way to what eventually became the coast guard station. Nobody bothered us walking along the tracks. Also remember the old Avon station master, a guy named Bill. He sold tickets, gum, cigarettes, etc. Barely remember the Avon Inn would pick up customers at the station (during the war) with a horse-drawn hack.
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby GSC » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:03 pm

I remember the red smash boards and always thought how useless they would be if hit by a speeding locomotive. On the Belmar side of the bridge was a dwarf signal between the tracks. The freight trains servicing Belmar would return to the Bradley Beach yard on the "wrong" track and the dwarf would control that direction. I always thought those 3-over-3-over-3 absolute signals were cool. I remember when the Gundaker car dealership had its ad painted on the drawbridge counterweight.

Although I'm not old enough to remember this, I've seen pics of PRR K4s and trains during Asbury Park's baby and Easter parades tied up waiting for the return trips. Four trains fit in the Bradley Beach yard on the west side, two more on the east side. Other trains were parked in Belmar and Bay Head. I'd love to see traffic like that today.
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby TSTII » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:48 pm

GSC wrote:I remember the red smash boards and always thought how useless they would be if hit by a speeding locomotive. On the Belmar side of the bridge was a dwarf signal between the tracks. The freight trains servicing Belmar would return to the Bradley Beach yard on the "wrong" track and the dwarf would control that direction. I always thought those 3-over-3-over-3 absolute signals were cool. I remember when the Gundaker car dealership had its ad painted on the drawbridge counterweight.

Although I'm not old enough to remember this, I've seen pics of PRR K4s and trains during Asbury Park's baby and Easter parades tied up waiting for the return trips. Four trains fit in the Bradley Beach yard on the west side, two more on the east side. Other trains were parked in Belmar and Bay Head. I'd love to see traffic like that today.


I'm guessing the smash boards were perhaps a back-up 'STOP' signal for trains/engineers if the color signals lost power - particularly at night. Can't recall if they were mounted on the signal mast or had their own mast.

Yes, the old 3-targets each with 3 bulbs were indeed cool....as were the 2-target block types elsewhere along the coast line.

Was it always Gundaker on the draw counterweight ? AIR, that paint didn't finally fade away until maybe 20 years ago. Wonder how the heck they painted that ad initially.
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:55 pm

One of the purposes of the smash board, maybe the main purpose, was to provide irrefutable evidence after an overrun that the signal was displaying Stop when the train passed it. If the engineer was inattentive the impact of hitting the board might get his attention, but whether it would enable him to stop in time would depend on the train speed and the distance between the signal and the draw.
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby NJT4149 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:37 pm

Last night both the Aqua Train and MM-08 went to Bay Head. The Aqua Train had 4301, while MM-08 had 1001. It was pretty cool, since they both went through Bradley Beach within 10 minutes of each other.
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby NJT4149 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:27 pm

Here’s my video of MM-08 with 4109 meeting the Aqua Train with 4301 last night at Bradley Beach. Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/nZbWlk5ccKU
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby GSC » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:52 am

The smash boards at Shark had their own masts, probably the same design as a semaphore mast. Painting that counterweight must have been fun, dodging trains and bridge openings while trying to get the job done. I don't remember any other advertisements painted on the weight.

Was in Bay Head the other night and just had to stop by the yard. I noticed lots of blue lights - some blinking, others steady - in and around the trains. What are they for? Same as a blue flag rule?
Every 20 minute job is just one broken bolt away from being a three day ordeal.
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby amtrakhogger » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:23 pm

GSC wrote:The smash boards at Shark had their own masts, probably the same design as a semaphore mast. Painting that counterweight must have been fun, dodging trains and bridge openings while trying to get the job done. I don't remember any other advertisements painted on the weight.

Was in Bay Head the other night and just had to stop by the yard. I noticed lots of blue lights - some blinking, others steady - in and around the trains. What are they for? Same as a blue flag rule?

Yes, blue light is the same as blue flag.
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby NY&LB » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:18 pm

Service suspended du to downed wires in Middletown. Service expected to resume tomorrow.
Can anyone explain why they cannot run to Aberdeen and bus around to Red Bank?
Seems to be leaving a lot of folks who went up this morning with few options to get home.

Back in the day, when service was run by the PRR and CNJ they would have figured something out, I can remember being on trains that ran to Monmouth Jct and then up to South Amboy after a mid day bridge strike at The Raritan river swing bridge.

They could figure it out, why can't NJT?

Cut the wires, run dual modes and fix things after the evening rush?

Seems to me that no onE has any problem solving skills.
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby CNJGeep » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:47 pm

Welcome to today's litigation-centric and instant gratification culture.
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby GSC » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:30 am

Just after electrification opened to Long Branch, some people warned that if there was a problem with the wires, the whole system would crash.

It did.

There were so many interconnecting lines back just after WW2 that running around a problem was handled. There aren't those lines anymore, to provide an escape route, so something else should be in place when problems arise.

Yes, we get snow here. Sometimes even in November. So many things fell apart because of this one. I hope some people in charge learn from it.

By far, most of those inconvenienced by the storm were going home from their jobs. But what of those going to work, especially those with a time-sensitive job, where they have to be at work by a certain time? Do they still have jobs? I once worked in a place where I had to be there by a certain time. It wasn't negotiable. The guy I worked for didn't care about our problems or our excuses. I don't work for him anymore, but the job entailed being there on time.

I hope the NJT, the road departments, Govs Murphy and Cuomo, and others in charge learn from this.

Back in the days when Pennsy ran the Main Line - wire problems? Send a diesel to rescue the train. A simple solution perhaps, but it worked.
Every 20 minute job is just one broken bolt away from being a three day ordeal.
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby GSC » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:23 am

I know the system was down on Friday, 17-Nov. Nothing running down around Bradley Beach, etc. Was service up on Saturday? I didn't see many trains. Maybe I just wasn't close enough. I only saw two eastbounds and one westbound, between 6 pm and 2 am, plus the usual eastbound deadhead through Asbury Park around 2:15 am. Did I just miss the usual schedule or were things cut way back?
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby Ken W2KB » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:54 am

NY&LB wrote:Service suspended du to downed wires in Middletown. Service expected to resume tomorrow.
Can anyone explain why they cannot run to Aberdeen and bus around to Red Bank?
Seems to be leaving a lot of folks who went up this morning with few options to get home.

Back in the day, when service was run by the PRR and CNJ they would have figured something out, I can remember being on trains that ran to Monmouth Jct and then up to South Amboy after a mid day bridge strike at The Raritan river swing bridge.

They could figure it out, why can't NJT?

Cut the wires, run dual modes and fix things after the evening rush?

Seems to me that no onE has any problem solving skills.


(1) few if any alternate routes still exist, (2) where they do exist, track speeds are likely very low, i.e., Class 1 track 15 mph, (3) crews are not qualified to operate on other routes
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby NY&LB » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:00 pm

Ken: fully understand 1,2 and 3
Why not run to Aberdeen and bus around to Red Bank?
there should be no issue with equipment, likely several train sets west of Middletown, crews ARE qualified on the coast line (I hope), to me seems better than leaving commuters stranded.
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Re: North Jersey Coast Line Thread

Postby GSC » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:23 am

Maybe the problem with using buses is that they were all busy already, stuck up north themselves?

Not long ago, the Shark River draw was out of service. Buses took riders from Asbury Park to Belmar, around the problem. Maybe a little inconvenient, but they got from A to B. Another plus is that trains west of Long Branch aren't very crowded. But it worked.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall of some of these offices, suits yelling back and forth, blaming each other.
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