Erie Northern Branch (Northern Railroad of New Jersey)

Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.

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Postby pdtrains » Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:35 am

No, didn't use the Greenwood lake.

The backup used what I think we called the "hill track"
which went from the portal of the Bergen Tunnel (KW)
off geographically west, and climbed a hill on the east side
of the "main line" tracks from West End tower.
It then went over the NYGL freight track and joined
the Bergen County Line at Bergen Jct, which is where
the BC line split from the "main Line" The NRR trains
backed on to track 1 of the BC line, then reversed direction
toward West End and Hoboken.

Reasons for not using the NYGL...
Would have to back up to DB draw, as that was the 1st physical
connection between the passenger track from West End and the freight track from Croxton. Also freight congestion on NYGL frieght tracks
at Croxton.


(Note: this is all
post 1962 track terminology. Pre 1962, The "Mail Line"
was the DLW Boonton Line, and the BC line at Bergen Jct was the
Erie Main Line. The Erie BC line pre 1962 didn't start till
Rutherford Jct (BJ tower)

As for the New Connection, I could be wrong here, but I believe
the plan was for the NRR trains to go thru the Erie Bergen Tunnel,
past Erie Grove St tower, then curve off to the left on to the
ramp track that went to the old DLW Hoboken yard (18F), which was
just south of the DLW Hoboken main.

This would bring the trains up to the DLW main, east of the
Hoboken tunnels, adjacent to track 4 of the main to Hoboken.

This track was used by transfer freights running between Hoboken
yard and Croxton Yard.

Work that needed to be done...
The ramp track went only into the yard. Switches needed to be
added to connect the ramp track to track 4 going toward Hoboken.
Also, the track needed to be upgraded for Pass use, and signals
and power switches needed to be added between Erie Grove street
tower and the connection to the Hoboken main.

beth
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Postby BlockLine_4111 » Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:20 pm

IIRC there once existed a connection between the elevated DL&W coming out of Hoboken terminal's north end to the NYC below it, allowing a westbound out of Hoboken to go down onto the NYC and northwest direction. Could perhaps made for an alternate direct connector to the NVRR by way of the NYC, heh?
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Postby pdtrains » Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:49 am

Suppose it would have been possible, but never heard of any
talks between the EL and the NYC.

I would put this scenario in the highly unlikely category.

This was in the pre-NJT days, and don't see why the NYC
would go along with it, or why EL would pay NYC for passenger train
moves when the EL could handle it on its own tracks.

beth
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Postby HSSRAIL » Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:12 pm

The West Shore Line Commuter Association had wanted the New York Central to use the Erie's vacated Jersey City Terminal instead of serving the seagulls at Weehawken. Since the New York Central was looking to discontinue the West Shore Service it had already pulled off the ferry service talks between the New York Central and the Erie did not take place as far as I know. The trains stopped running on the West Shore by the close of 1959 so there was only a 6 month window in which negotiations could have taken place. The state of New Jersey was not in the mindset of subsidizing commuter service at this point in time. Had the state of NJ been willing to come up with enough of a subsidy to have caused the Central to want to continue its West Shore Line Service than a deal would probably have been worked out. The state of New Jersey at this point in time thought it could compel the railroads to provide essential service. The West Shore case was a major turning point because it was here that the State of New Jersey learned that it could not compel railroads to provide essential commuter services at a loss. In April of 1959 the Lackawanna threatnened to discontinue all of its suburban service but backed off this action to facilitate its merger with the Erie Railroad. The filings with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities was not completed by the Lackawanna and even if it had been the railroad would have had to file additional paperwork with the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) as the NJ PUC would never have okayed total discontinuance of all suburban service all at once at least that outcome was not likely. The Lackawanna action began the process in which the state of NJ would begin to subsidize commuter service. After that decision was made than they had to decide which services they would subsidize the attitude here became lets only subsidize the "essential" service nothing more than what we absolutely have to have. The upstart of this policy was disintegration of New Jersey's vast commuter rail network and only a skeleton of lines were retained.
HSS
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Postby red baron » Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:53 am

BlockLine_4111" : IIRC there once existed a connection between the elevated DL&W coming out of Hoboken terminal's north end to the NYC below it, allowing a westbound out of Hoboken to go down onto the NYC and northwest direction. Could perhaps made for an alternate direct connector to the NVRR by way of the NYC, heh?

There indeed existed such a connecting track, called "Ravine Road" according to Bill Sheppard. I can't speak of its use/traffic patterns, but it allowed westward movements from Hoboken to access the Weehawken Branch/New Jersey Junction.

pdtrains : As for the New Connection, I could be wrong here, but I believe
the plan was for the NRR trains to go thru the Erie Bergen Tunnel,
past Erie Grove St tower, then curve off to the left on to the
ramp track that went to the old DLW Hoboken yard (18F), which was
just south of the DLW Hoboken main.


You hit the nail on the head here. I can't speak for the plans you mention, but I can tell you that the existing track that allowed eastbound movements from the Bergen Tunnel (not Bergen Arches) direct access to the Weehawken Branch was prior to "OS" tower, so moves would immediately veer to the north (onto the w/b Weehawken Branch main) upon exiting the tunnel. After passing the Monmouth Street coach yard (the remains of which could still be viewed, at least up until the last few years I can vouch for), a crossover allowed access to the e/b Weehawken Branch main, and then the 17th Street DL&W interchange. This would have allowed movements to reach the Hoboken freight yard (18F) via "2 Bridge". As you mentioned, upgrades would have been required for scheduled passenger service, most importantly at Grove Street (DL&W) allowing movements across the interlocking to access the passenger terminal. I recall at some point a thread here in which the question was posed why movements (passenger) were not made utilizing this route. I believe the conclusion was that the efforts at the time were more directed at ending the service as opposed to facilitating it.
There was a spaghetti bowl of trackage in the area of "OS", a clear view of which was hampered by the overhead viaducts of the Holland Tunnel approaches.
Last edited by red baron on Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:15 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby red baron » Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:00 am

Incidentally, anybody here have access to back issues of "Block Line"? I'm looking for a copy of the Summer 1980 issue, and would naturally reimburse for expenses of copying/mailing.
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Stations on the northern branch

Postby Steve F45 » Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:50 pm

Was curious to know where abouts all the stations where on the northern branch up to the ny state line?
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Postby pdtrains » Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:27 pm

I may have an extra copy. Will let you know if I find it.


I forgot all about "2 bridge" and "1 bridge" at the top of
the hill. I actually worked the scale track at 18f, and the
at the float bridge, what seems like a million years ago.

The "Pusher" (Croxton-Hoboken transfer run) used
this routing through Erie Bergen tunnel, etc, or it
went DLW hoboken tunnel-West End-Bergen Jct,
then backed down to KW.

For those who weren't there, The Pusher was the regular
hangout for the EL SW-8's, usually 368, 370, or 371.
When one of the 400's was used, it was considered the
"big" power. The pusher also used one of the "T" cabooses
on occasion.
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Postby red baron » Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:17 pm

pdtrains
At risk of drifting off topic:
Did you ever work the former Erie side? Was curious about operations in the former Erie float yard, at the auto unloading terminal that EL set up, operated by FJ Boutell.
Did you work 18F when the coal dumper was still running, or was that before your time?
I am interested in hearing your recollections of that area. Thanks.
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Postby pdtrains » Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:37 am

Sorry, that was before my time.

I remember the "Coal yard" at Hoboken yard, and "the dumps"
as they used to call it, but that was all OOS by my time.
I think most everything on the Erie side east of Grove street
was OOS too. There may have been 1 track in the archways
that ran up on the old elevated passenger ROW, to a cold storage
place in Jersey City, but that was it.
Erie grove st tower closed in 1967 IRRC, and I was in that area
1969-1970.
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Postby nydepot » Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:42 pm

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Postby Steve F45 » Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:16 pm

There's nothing there for NJ.
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Postby mainetrain » Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:20 pm

if you dig through the erie pages you'll find stuff.

I've been out of NJ for some time, from what I recall Englewood north

Englewood, still there as a cafe
Tenafly, still there
Cresskill, burned down lat 60's
Demarest, still there
Closter, some RR stuff still standing
Don't know about Norwood, Northvale
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Postby Steve F45 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:41 pm

ok i'll go back and look again.

Do you remember if there was one for leonia, just off of fort lee rd?
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Postby pdtrains » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:38 pm

By the 60's Noorwood and Northvale were just shelters.
Doubt there ia anything left there now.

Closter...Station was converted to a residence.
Freight house across the tracks from the station was still there
a few years ago.

Demerest, Cresskill, Tenafly...as mentioned.

There was a station (shelter only) at Hudson Ave, Endlewood.

Leonia was east (south) of Englewood. No station left as
far as I know.

beth
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