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 gravelyfan » Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:19 pm

THere are remnants of the platforms at Hudson/Ivy at the north end of Englewood, also at Cresskill and Leonia, just south of Fort Lee Road. Northvale also has remnants as I recall. There was an article in Railpace within the last year or so that described photographing the CSX local on this line (C-777) and I think it discussed using some of the stations as photo props.
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Postby HSSRAIL » Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:59 pm

This is from an Erie Railroad 1960 Track Chart book which I need to
figure out how to clean up in Paint Shop Pro and Erie Railroad Timetable No 41. Mileage from Jersey City. And an old Bergen County St Map 1980

MP 4.9 Susquehanna Transfer - underneath the ramp to Route 3.
MP 5.1 North Bergen - ??
MP 8.2 Fairview - Fairview Ave and Railroad Ave
MP 9.1 Ridgefield - Edgewater Avenue West
MP 9.8 Morsemere ??
MP 10.4 Palisades Park - Depot Place
MP 11.4 Leonia - Rte 12 Fort Lee major Hwy End Double track
MP 13.9 Englewood - Park Place
MP 14.9 Hudson Ave
MP 15.9 Tenafly- Clinton Ave
MP 17.1 Cresskill- Union Ave
MP 18.1 Demarest- Park Street
MP 19.1 Closter- Demarest Ave
MP 20.9 Norwood- Central Ave also called Broadway
MP 21.7 Northvale - Paris Ave Last Station in New Jersey
MP 23.7 Sparkill - Lawrence St
MP 24.9 Piermont - Hudson Terrace
MP 26.1 Grand View - River Edge Court ??
MP 27.6 South Nyak - Washington Avenue
MP 28.1 Nyak - Brookside Ave and Depot Ave

Run time Jersey City to Nyak took 1 hour and 7 min. in 1951.
HSS
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Postby Steve F45 » Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:38 pm

Thanks HSS rail.
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Postby pdtrains » Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:11 am

I'd like to see that 1960's track chart, if it
has industry sidings on it.

I believe the double track between Palisades park and Leonia.
Later emp tt's show it ending in Palisades Park.

There was also a half mile of double track (operated and signaled
as double track) in Closter, and at Sparkill.

Is there any way to email it, or can I pay you to
photocopy it for me?

Thx

Beth Marshall
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Postby wantsrail » Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:53 pm

According to 1937 TT. This was when the first service cutbacks began.
By 1940 the Erie had it single tracked north of Tenafly with passing sidings in Closter. This was about the time that I saw the RT 3 ramp being built when the train made the North Bergen stop.


MP Susquehanna Transfer -Prob. Paterson Plank Road
MP 5.1 North Bergen - underneath the ramp to Route 3.
5.9 New Durham 50 St, West Shore Tunnel (No Service)
7.5 Babbit NYS&W Diverges 83 St (Flag Stop (by 1937)
MP 8.2 Fairview - Fairview Ave and Railroad Ave
MP 9.2 Ridgefield - Edgewater Avenue West
MP 9.8 Morsemere Just South of Rt 46
MP 10.6 Palisades Park - Depot Place
MP 11.6 Leonia - Fort Lee Road
12.5 Sheffield Ave (Engwd) Betw I-95 & Rt 4
MP 14.0 Englewood - Depot Sq. Now a Music Recording Studio
MP 15.1 Hudson Ave
MP 16.0 Tenafly- Clinton Ave Now a Cafe (Restored) Single Track to North
MP 17.2 Cresskill- Union Ave Only original paving left
MP 18.2 Demarest- Hardenberg Ave. Senior Center (being restored)
MP 19.4 Closter- Demarest Ave Now private home 1 mile passing siding
MP 21.0 Norwood- Broadway
MP 21.8 Northvale - Paris Ave Last Station in New Jersey
22.6 Tappan- Oak Tree Rd
MP 23.7 Sparkill - Main St Piermont Line Jct Always Single track To North
MP 24.8 Piermont - Ash St. To be presved as museum
MP 26.1 Grand View - Station Lane Passing siding
MP 27.5 South Nyack - Washington Avenue
MP 28.0 Nyack - Brookside Ave and Depot Ave
Albert F. Cafiero
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Postby wantsrail » Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:53 pm

According to 1937 TT. This was when the first service cutbacks began.
By 1940 the Erie had it single tracked north of Tenafly with passing sidings in Closter. This was about the time that I saw the RT 3 ramp being built when the train made the North Bergen stop.


MP Susquehanna Transfer -Prob. Paterson Plank Road
MP 5.1 North Bergen - underneath the ramp to Route 3.
5.9 New Durham 50 St, West Shore Tunnel (No Service)
7.5 Babbit NYS&W Diverges 83 St (Flag Stop (by 1937)
MP 8.2 Fairview - Fairview Ave and Railroad Ave
MP 9.2 Ridgefield - Edgewater Avenue West
MP 9.8 Morsemere Just South of Rt 46
MP 10.6 Palisades Park - Depot Place
MP 11.6 Leonia - Fort Lee Road
12.5 Sheffield Ave (Engwd) Betw I-95 & Rt 4
MP 14.0 Englewood - Depot Sq. Now a Music Recording Studio
MP 15.1 Hudson Ave
MP 16.0 Tenafly- Clinton Ave Now a Cafe (Restored) Single Track to North
MP 17.2 Cresskill- Union Ave Only original paving left
MP 18.2 Demarest- Hardenberg Ave. Senior Center (being restored)
MP 19.4 Closter- Demarest Ave Now private home 1 mile passing siding
MP 21.0 Norwood- Broadway
MP 21.8 Northvale - Paris Ave Last Station in New Jersey
22.6 Tappan- Oak Tree Rd
MP 23.7 Sparkill - Main St Piermont Line Jct Always Single track To North
MP 24.8 Piermont - Ash St. To be presved as museum
MP 26.1 Grand View - Station Lane Passing siding
MP 27.5 South Nyack - Washington Avenue
MP 28.0 Nyack - Brookside Ave and Depot Ave
Albert F. Cafiero
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Postby RichM » Tue Oct 17, 2006 3:31 pm

I'm having trouble making this a link, but in a previous posting someone had provided the track charts from this site:

http://raildata.railfan.net/erie/homeerr.html
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Why did E-L abandon Northern Branch commuter service?

Postby Port Jervis » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:25 pm

From what I can gather from the internet, this line traversed several heavily populated areas of New Jersey. The nearby Pascack Valley line retained it's passanger services, and both lines have a similar look and feel. Was there political pressure from locals to terminate passanger service? Was ridership in 1966 significantly less than the nearby PVL?
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Re: Why did E-L abandon Northern Branch commuter service?

Postby RichM » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:49 am

Many reasons, there are several old threads on the NJ Transit and New Jersey forums.

Primarily a steady decline in passenger volume beginning with the opening of the GWB. Accelerated after WWII, down to three trains a day by the early '60's, even with the NYC/West Shore shut-down of commuter operations.

Moving the rest of the Erie trains to the Lackawanna Hoboken terminal left the Northern an orphan, and the new bus terminal on the Manhattan side of the GWB permitted simple service at least every 30 minutes along the Red and Tan 84 and 20 bus routes covered the NJ side of the line all day, with more frequent service during the rush periods... and of course, reverse commuting and weekend service.
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Re: Why did E-L abandon Northern Branch commuter service?

Postby wildwood junction » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:30 am

The Northern Branch operated 3 trains a day in each direction since about 1938. There were even 2 Saturday trains until about 1958. Bus service cut into ridership signifcantly with the opening of the GW Bridge. Ridership on the 3 trains was substantial though through the 1950s. The evening trains left Jersey City at around 5:15, 5:45, and 6:30pm with 6, 8 and 2 Stillwell coaches and usually Alco RS power. Around 1960, however, the service was switched to Hoboken, and this entailed a cumbersome and time-consuming back-up move. Ridership dwindled until 1966 when the service was discontinued. Today NJT has a project for light rail service to Tenafly, but this is moving at a glacial pace. Ironically Red & Tan recently has made major cutbacks on Routes 14 and 84. Both routes now are essentially rush hour only. :wink:
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Re: Why did E-L abandon Northern Branch commuter service?

Postby Port Jervis » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:18 am

wildwood junction wrote:The Northern Branch operated 3 trains a day in each direction since about 1938. There were even 2 Saturday trains until about 1958. Bus service cut into ridership signifcantly with the opening of the GW Bridge. Ridership on the 3 trains was substantial though through the 1950s. The evening trains left Jersey City at around 5:15, 5:45, and 6:30pm with 6, 8 and 2 Stillwell coaches and usually Alco RS power. Around 1960, however, the service was switched to Hoboken, and this entailed a cumbersome and time-consuming back-up move. Ridership dwindled until 1966 when the service was discontinued. Today NJT has a project for light rail service to Tenafly, but this is moving at a glacial pace. Ironically Red & Tan recently has made major cutbacks on Routes 14 and 84. Both routes now are essentially rush hour only. :wink:


Thanks. How exactly did Northern Branch trains access Hoboken? I always assumed they used the ROW now utilized by the HBLR.

As for the current proposal to restore some service, I know there are other threads about it, but I'll just say here that it sucks, unless it goes to Hoboken.
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Re: Why did E-L abandon Northern Branch commuter service?

Postby wildwood junction » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:26 pm

1960-1966 Northern Branch trains ran right to just about underneath the DL&W tracks (on the west side of Bergen Hill), then backed up to the Erie Main Line/ Boonton Line tracks on a connector track so the trains could then go to Hoboken. This took time and was considered even unsafe by some passengers. The Northern Branch service ended in September 1966 along with lots of other services, eg Newark Branch, Greenwood Lake Line to Wanaque, Caldwell Branch. :(
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Re: Why did E-L abandon Northern Branch commuter service?

Postby blockline4180 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:35 pm

wildwood junction wrote:1960-1966 Northern Branch trains ran right to just about underneath the DL&W tracks (on the west side of Bergen Hill), then backed up to the Erie Main Line/ Boonton Line tracks on a connector track so the trains could then go to Hoboken. This took time and was considered even unsafe by some passengers. The Northern Branch service ended in September 1966 along with lots of other services, eg Newark Branch, Greenwood Lake Line to Wanaque, Caldwell Branch. :(



Service to Washington on the old DL&W main, and the Sussex Branch too.... I also read somewhere that the Gladstone Branch was on the chopping block too, but was averted last minute.

The year 1966 was the end of the innocence, and was the beginning of a vast culture change with many different customs in society, but that is a topic for another forum.
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Re: Why did E-L abandon Northern Branch commuter service?

Postby JimBoylan » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:01 am

1966 was also the end of New York, Susquehanna & Western commuter subsidy and trains. New Jersey & New York RR Pascack Valley Line trains were very scarce by then, I am surprised that they didn't wither away. I don't like the economics of equipment and crew utilization for one way, rush hour only trains.
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Re: Why did E-L abandon Northern Branch commuter service?

Postby trainwayne1 » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:19 am

Did the Northern Branch trains all stop at the Susquehanna Transfer? It seems that using the transfer would have saved a lot of time for commuters as it did for customers on the NYS&W. Or was it a case of most Northern Branch customers needed to get downtown in NYC to the Wall St. area?
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