The Upper End Of The Greenwood Lake Branch

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The Upper End Of The Greenwood Lake Branch

Postby jmp883 » Tue Aug 17, 2004 6:57 pm

I was wondering if anyone here has photos of trains on the upper end of the GLB, specifically north of Mountain View. I've seen the pics on several websites that show Erie RS's and coaches in the Wanaque Yard from 2 different angles as well as several different angles on the Midvale Station. I've also just recently found a model rr club website that has photos of the current ROW in the Wanaque area. I have a rather extensive railroad library, including all the Morning Sun books on the Erie, DL&W, and EL and there are only a few pics, and they are of the Midvale Station only.

I was just curious to know if anyone has photos of trains running between Mountain View and Wanaque, or of any publications that might have those pictures. I had a neighbor from years ago who had taken pictures along the line but he has long since moved out of the area. I've seen plenty of photos taken from Mountain View south, just nothing north.

In addition to the commuters, EL ran sand trains from Wanaque east to Bergen County to assist in the construction of I-80, I would think someone would have documented those trains, especially where they started from.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: The Upper End Of The Greenwood Lake Branch

Postby n01jd1 » Tue Aug 17, 2004 8:54 pm

The book "Erie Railroad in color" by David Sweetland published by Morning Sun books has 2 photos at Pompton Junction on page 37. There is another photo of Pompton Junction in the New York Susquehanna & Western book I believe is published by Carstens. Its a softcover Black and white book.





jmp883 wrote:I was wondering if anyone here has photos of trains on the upper end of the GLB, specifically north of Mountain View. I've seen the pics on several websites that show Erie RS's and coaches in the Wanaque Yard from 2 different angles as well as several different angles on the Midvale Station. I've also just recently found a model rr club website that has photos of the current ROW in the Wanaque area. I have a rather extensive railroad library, including all the Morning Sun books on the Erie, DL&W, and EL and there are only a few pics, and they are of the Midvale Station only.

I was just curious to know if anyone has photos of trains running between Mountain View and Wanaque, or of any publications that might have those pictures. I had a neighbor from years ago who had taken pictures along the line but he has long since moved out of the area. I've seen plenty of photos taken from Mountain View south, just nothing north.

In addition to the commuters, EL ran sand trains from Wanaque east to Bergen County to assist in the construction of I-80, I would think someone would have documented those trains, especially where they started from.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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GLB Pics......

Postby jmp883 » Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:41 pm

Hey n01jd1, thanks for the quick reply. Unfortunately those books are already in my collection. I do appreciate the info though. I have a feeling that the upper end was rarely photographed beyond what I've already mentioned, but it's worth putting out the request.

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Postby Greg » Wed Aug 18, 2004 7:39 am

Joe,

I have been looking for the same type of pictures you have. The best I turned up was a webiste (no longer active) that had shots of all the train stations north of Mt. View. I think the reason that there are no pics north of Wanaque might have something to do with the fact that the line did not see service since prior to WWII.
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Postby CarterB » Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:41 am

In addition to finding any pics N of Mt. View, I have a question on the operation/s to and at Sterling Forest on Greenwood Lake. Any maps I have found only show a dead end line and a spur at that terminus. How or where did they turn the steam locos?
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Re: GLB Pics......

Postby n01jd1 » Thu Aug 19, 2004 12:52 am

Upon thinking some more on this topic, I recall Railpace had an article many years ago with a photo of an RS3 at the Wayne Station on the Greenwood Lake branch. But I cannot remember what issue and year it was and unfortunately I lost my collection of old Railpaces due to the flooding caused by Hurricane Floyd. Also I recall another book that had photos of Erie operations in the Wanaque Area. It believe it was called Erie Memories.Also there are a few more shots of the Wanaque, Pompton and MtView area in the Trackside with Robert F Collins book by Morning Sun. Sadly I agree that there were probably not too many photographs taken on the northern half of the Greenwood Lake branch. One reason may be that the Greenwood Lake branch being a light density branch line discouraged many photographers who stuck to the large volumes of traffic on the main lines. Also, Wayne, Pompton Plains, Riverdale and Wanaque were pretty much out in the sticks back in those days. I-80 and I-287 had yet to be built so the only ways up into the area was Route 208, a two lane road, Hamburg turnpike also a two lane road and Route 23 which was not exactly the best road either. Any way you cut it, there were lots of reasons to go elswhere.






jmp883 wrote:Hey n01jd1, thanks for the quick reply. Unfortunately those books are already in my collection. I do appreciate the info though. I have a feeling that the upper end was rarely photographed beyond what I've already mentioned, but it's worth putting out the request.

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Postby cjvrr » Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:24 am

I remember seeing at least 15-20 years ago a video on public access TV of a program given by an older gentleman at one of the Wanaque schools. This man had color video taken back in the 1940's or early 50's of a black diesel switcher at the Ringwood mine and at various points along the line, all north of Wanaque / Midvale. He spoke about the railroad and its history in the area. The video may have been from when they scrapped the line north of Midvale, I am not sure.

My parents did not have a VCR at the time, or else I would have taped it.

I have also seen photos in a nonrailfan private collection of a train wreck just south of Route 23 in Pompton Plains. This is the wreck that occurred at the then lumber company switch. Probably in the 1960's. The owner would not allow copies to be made of the photos. The engines were RS-3's.

Remember up until the early 1960's the area north of Mountain View was mostly farmland, so other than a possible visit from a railfan, there just weren't too many people there to take any pictures.
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Thanks......

Postby jmp883 » Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:33 pm

Wow, got more response to this request than I thought I would. Appreciate the info from all who posted and IF anything turns up in regard to this area, I'll be sure to post it for all.

Thanks again!

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Postby JDFX » Mon Sep 20, 2004 9:08 am

Joe,

You'll be suprised how much interest there is in both the Greenwood Lake Branch, and the Caldwell Branch, yet there is few photos out there...

I lived along the then defunct line, interestlingly, my computer teacher in Wanaque Elementary School, Ms. Kulick, her father worked for the Erie, well before the school was built...

It was through her that I became more interested in local railroading, and less in Burlington Northern at the time...

I'm willing to bet that alot of photos are lost to garbage unfortunately by people who have attics cleaned out, not realizing the historical signifigance of what they have...

Very Sad indeed...
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Re: The Upper End Of The Greenwood Lake Branch

Postby trainwayne1 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:57 am

I'm not sure if anyone is still interested in this thread, but I recently had the oppotunity to sui down and talk with a gentleman of 89 years who worked as a MW employee on the Erie in the 50's and 60's and has some knowledge of the NY&GL. He remembers the sand trains and told me that they were loaded in a big sand pit about a half mile west of the crossing of Ringwood Ave in Wanaque, and at the Houdaille sand plant on Riverdale Rd. He explained that the trains didn't run too long.....the weight of the trains on track that was not very well maintained was the cause of several derailments. He said that the last derailment involved several cars and happened just west of the Rt.23 overpass, and came very close to taking the highway bridge out. That's when the railroad decided that the track just wasn't in good enough shape to sustain the heavy use, and ended the operation before there was another chance for a serious derailment.

The wreck mentioned previously in Pompton Plains happened very early on a Monday morning. During the colder weather, on Friday nights, the engines from the commuter trains terminating at Wanaque would be MUed and taken to Croxton for use during the weekend. The wreck occured when early Monday morning, the MUed engines were being moved back to Wanaque. Just east of the Rt. 23 overpass, there was a facing switch to the siding at Carlson Lumber (Now Morris Pipe, an NYS&W customer) Over the weekend a couple of kids had somehow thrown the switch, and the 2 or 3 RS-3's were routed into the siding at 40-50 MPH into several loaded lumber cars. He recalled that both the engineer and fireman were both killed. I worked with an engineer whos last name was Struck in the late 60's, and he was the brother of the fireman who was killed.

I may have another opportunity to speak with the gentleman again soon.......If anyone has other questions please post the here and I can try to get more details.
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Re: The Upper End Of The Greenwood Lake Branch

Postby CarterB » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:18 am

What year/s was all service cut back to Wanaque? When were last trains of any kind on up to Ringwood and/or to Hewitt?
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Re: The Upper End Of The Greenwood Lake Branch

Postby blockline4180 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:21 am

CarterB wrote:What year/s was all service cut back to Wanaque? When were last trains of any kind on up to Ringwood and/or to Hewitt?



I don't know when service was cut back to Ringwood, but I'm pretty sure the last scheduled commuter train ended service to Wanaque-Midvale station in September 1966.

FYI, many other lines(Sussex Branch, Caldwell line, Northern Branch) saw passenger service discontinued around the same time.
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Re: The Upper End Of The Greenwood Lake Branch

Postby trainwayne1 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:23 pm

blockline4180 wrote:
CarterB wrote:What year/s was all service cut back to Wanaque? When were last trains of any kind on up to Ringwood and/or to Hewitt?



I don't know when service was cut back to Ringwood, but I'm pretty sure the last scheduled commuter train ended service to Wanaque-Midvale station in September 1966.

FYI, many other lines(Sussex Branch, Caldwell line, Northern Branch) saw passenger service discontinued around the same time.



Passenger service to Greenwood Lake was ended in the 20's when the Wanaque Resevoir was built. Portions of the original right of way can still be seen during low water times. The route to the mines was kept open through the early 40's because of WW 2 in case the mines were needed for ore.

Here are a couple of links with more info and some pictures.

http://erierr.railfan.net/glbranch.html

http://www.wanaqueborough.com/archive/railroad.htm

http://history.gsmrrclub.org/history7b.html

http://www.unofficial.net/wanaque/erie.html
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Re: The Upper End Of The Greenwood Lake Branch

Postby NJ Vike » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:06 pm

You'll be happy to know that there's a book that has some rare photos of the NY&GL at Ringwood Junction. I just got the book:

Trackside along the Erie Railroad and its Connections with Jim Kostibos
Jim Kostibos
An all-color retrospective on the Erie and EL and key freight connections east of Hornell, NY.

Item  #1347

http://www.morningsunbooks.com/eriecat5.html

According to the authoer, the last train to come down the branch was October 1961 :-(
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Re: The Upper End Of The Greenwood Lake Branch

Postby gravelyfan » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:35 pm

trainwayne1 wrote:The wreck mentioned previously in Pompton Plains happened very early on a Monday morning. During the colder weather, on Friday nights, the engines from the commuter trains terminating at Wanaque would be MUed and taken to Croxton for use during the weekend. The wreck occured when early Monday morning, the MUed engines were being moved back to Wanaque. Just east of the Rt. 23 overpass, there was a facing switch to the siding at Carlson Lumber (Now Morris Pipe, an NYS&W customer) Over the weekend a couple of kids had somehow thrown the switch, and the 2 or 3 RS-3's were routed into the siding at 40-50 MPH into several loaded lumber cars. He recalled that both the engineer and fireman were both killed. I worked with an engineer whos last name was Struck in the late 60's, and he was the brother of the fireman who was killed.


This wreck was discussed recently on the erielack email list. Here is a link to several pages of scans of a local newspaper account, courtesey of the Railfan.net 'erielack' E-Mail List Photo Archive.

http://lists.railfan.net/listthumb.cgi?erielack-01-26-10

I grew up in Pequannock in the late 1960's and 1970's so witnessed the slow demise of the line. One of the "last hurrah's" that I saw before Conrail sold the line to NYS&W was when the local ran with a 9900 series RS3M, this was probably in 1980 or 1981 if I were to guess.
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