Erie-Lackawanna Train - Offs 1966

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Erie-Lackawanna Train - Offs 1966

Postby RedbirdR33 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:06 am

Forty eight years ago the E-L discontinued service on several rail lines in New Jersey and reduced service on others. This is a list of those cutbacks. I know that there are several students and serious researcher of the E-L here that may find it of interest and may be able to fill in the gaps.

Tuscarora Almanac - September 30, October 1 -2 ,1966 - The Book of Last Runs

The Erie - Lackawanna Railroad discontinues passenger service on several commuter lines in one of the largest train - offs in the metropolitan area. Listed below are the affected lines with their former railroad :

Discontunued on Friday, September 30, 1966

Northern Branch - x Erie Railroad

Service is discontinued between Hoboken and Sparkill, NJ. The following stations are closed; Susquehanna Transfer, Ridgefield, Palisades Park, Leonia, Englewood, Hudson Avenue / Englewood, Tenafly, Cresskill, Demarest, Closter, Norwood, Northvale and Sparkill.

Greenwood Lake Division -x Erie Railroad

Service is between Mountain View and Wanaque, NJ. The following stations are closed; Wayne, Pequannock, Pompton Plains, Pompton - Riverdale, Haskell and Wanaque - Midvale.

Caldwell Branch - x Erie Railroad

Service is discontinued between Great Notch and Essex Fells, NJ. The following stations are closed; Cedar Grove, Verona, Caldwell and Essex Fells.

Carlton Hill Spur - x Erie Railroad

Service is discontinued between Rutherford and Carlton Hill, NJ. The following station is closed; Carlton Hill.

Newark Branch - x Erie Railroad

Service is discontinued between Hoboken and South Patterson, NJ. The following stations are closed; Harrison (Davis Avenue), Kearny, Newark (Fourth Avenue), Woodside, Cleveland Street / Belleville, Belleville, Nutley (Walnut Street), Nutley, Nutley (Franklin Avenue), Allwood, and Athenia (Colfax Avenue).

Discontinued on Saturday, October 1, 1966.

Morristown Line - x Lackawanna Railroad

Service is discontinued between Netcong and Washington, NJ. The following station are closed; Hackettstown and Washington.
(Note: Although Hackettstown and Washington stations are located on the Morristown Line they are service by Boonton Line trains.)

Discontinued on Sunday, October 2, 1966.


Sussex Branch - x Lackawanna Railroad

Service is discontinued between Netcong and Branchville, NJ. The following stations are closed; Cranberry Lake, Andover, Newton, Lafayette and Branchville.

In addition to the discontinuances the remaining lines suffered major cutbacks in service.
The Boonton line would lose weekend service while the Montclair Branch would only operate the weekday rush. Sunday suburban service on the x-Erie Main Line would end as well. (Sunday Main Line service would continue to operate for a few more weeks in New York between Suffern and Port Jervis only.)

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Re: Erie-Lackawanna Train - Offs 1966

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:52 pm

West Arlington was 86ed in the cuts as well of Caldwell Branch trains, since that was the only train serving West Arlington by that point.
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Re: Erie-Lackawanna Train - Offs 1966

Postby Suburbanite » Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:26 pm

I'm surprised they didn't abandon the whole system. Urban planning types and transportation "experts" just LOATHED passenger trains back then. Buses or autos for all. Use those new roads. Burn gasoline. Fill up parking lots.

By reducing service on the Montclair and Boonton Line/Greenwood Lake lines to a few trains morning and evening, they guaranteed that ridership would continue to fall. Who wants to count on the train if there is no mid-day service, and if you miss your commuter train you have over an hour's wait? Funny how when they finally finished the Montclair Connection the demand for service just EXPLODED. (House prices rose sharply in the affected towns, too.) Now there are more and more people living in Morris County. Increase service? Naah!: nobody wants to take the train any more. That's why the Montclair Line died. No, wait. . . .
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Re: Erie-Lackawanna Train - Offs 1966

Postby JimBoylan » Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:07 am

New York, Susquehanna & Western "Suzie Q" service to Susquehanna Transfer also ended about this time. Long ago, that road had been operated by the Erie.
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Re: Erie-Lackawanna Train - Offs 1966

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:40 pm

JimBoylan wrote:New York, Susquehanna & Western "Suzie Q" service to Susquehanna Transfer also ended about this time. Long ago, that road had been operated by the Erie.


June 30, 1966. Service on that line would've been mighty fine today as my bike broke down in Butler...
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Re: Erie-Lackawanna Train - Offs 1966

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:52 pm

Suburbanite wrote:I'm surprised they didn't abandon the whole system. Urban planning types and transportation "experts" just LOATHED passenger trains back then. Buses or autos for all. Use those new roads. Burn gasoline. Fill up parking lots.

By reducing service on the Montclair and Boonton Line/Greenwood Lake lines to a few trains morning and evening, they guaranteed that ridership would continue to fall. Who wants to count on the train if there is no mid-day service, and if you miss your commuter train you have over an hour's wait? Funny how when they finally finished the Montclair Connection the demand for service just EXPLODED. (House prices rose sharply in the affected towns, too.) Now there are more and more people living in Morris County. Increase service? Naah!: nobody wants to take the train any more. That's why the Montclair Line died. No, wait. . . .

They undoubtedly wanted to abandon the whole commuter operation. The cuts that took place were probably the most they could get approval for from the regulatory authorities at the time. As it turned out, before that last of the trains could be discontinued a movement was started to find a way to preserve what service was left. At one point, the Erie (or maybe the EL, I don't recall what year) approached the State of NJ for financial support. I know they had some discussions with the Highway Department (I think at that time no state had a DOT -- they were still called the Highway Department), and the railroad and the Commissioner at the time, Dwight Palmer, worked something out which provided financial support -- then still a new concept -- and I think, among other things, led to the purchase of the first Comets.
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Re: Erie-Lackawanna Train - Offs 1966

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:16 pm

ExCon90 wrote:They undoubtedly wanted to abandon the whole commuter operation. The cuts that took place were probably the most they could get approval for from the regulatory authorities at the time. As it turned out, before that last of the trains could be discontinued a movement was started to find a way to preserve what service was left. At one point, the Erie (or maybe the EL, I don't recall what year) approached the State of NJ for financial support. I know they had some discussions with the Highway Department (I think at that time no state had a DOT -- they were still called the Highway Department), and the railroad and the Commissioner at the time, Dwight Palmer, worked something out which provided financial support -- then still a new concept -- and I think, among other things, led to the purchase of the first Comets.


I know, on the CNJ side in 1973, Timpany was ready to shut everything down in a meeting with NJDOT (which came into existence in 1967 if I remember right), and they were boarding up everything in preparation for complete CNJ collapse to get more money from the state, whether or not the state wanted to.
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Re: Erie-Lackawanna Train - Offs 1966

Postby RedbirdR33 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:35 am

Roadgeek Adam wrote:West Arlington was 86ed in the cuts as well of Caldwell Branch trains, since that was the only train serving West Arlington by that point.


Adam: Service at West Arlington continued until 1969. The October 27, 1968 Time Table lists one eastbound train at 7:47 AM. There was no westbound service. I imagine that whoever rode that train had to walk home.

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Re: Erie-Lackawanna Train - Offs 1966

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:57 am

RedbirdR33 wrote:
Roadgeek Adam wrote:West Arlington was 86ed in the cuts as well of Caldwell Branch trains, since that was the only train serving West Arlington by that point.


Adam: Service at West Arlington continued until 1969. The October 27, 1968 Time Table lists one eastbound train at 7:47 AM. There was no westbound service. I imagine that whoever rode that train had to walk home.

Larry, RedbirdR33


That's bafflingly stupid. Also, if you have a copy of this timetable, could you scan it? I am curious to why most records show W. Arlington dying on 9/30/66.
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