Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail operations.Official web site can be found here: www.njtransit.com. Discussion related to light rail operations included. Visit NJ Transit for official information.
From what I can tell, south of Delair, the tracks are not connected to Conrail's line, and so I'm assuming that's NJT-owned. Same for the bit at the north end. However, is the rest still Conrail-owned, or was it sold to NJT?
I found the answer in the STB site (here) - NJT was trying to buy it but instead entered into an agreement with CSX, and CSX still owns it. I'm not sure about the track south of Delair Junction, where CSX uses the tracks to the west of the River Line (see http://nycsubway.org/nyc/riverline/riverline-trackmap.html).
NJT (or NJDOT) purchased the line from Conrail Shared Assets.
South of Hatch Interlocking in Delair, the River LINE track(s) and the CSAO tracks are, indeed, separate. Freight trains can operte between Camden and the Delair bridge without regard to the River LINE.
Now we (and I*) know where a huge chunk of the capital funds went. And of course I'm convinced further that a modern FRA DMU setup could have defrayed this, and thus prevented the erosion of some of NJT's "political capital" (pardon the cliché)...
*That being the reason for my retraction of an earlier post.
Our apologies; NJ-ARP didn't realize many people were unaware that New Jersey Transit purchased the River Line. We think it was a good move, and worth any "political capital" supposedly spent. And we'll note (again) that in 1999, there was no realistic DMU equipment alternative available to those advancing passenger rail interests for the River Line. It didn't exist.
Such purchase was being considered as part of a larger package of routes, and prior to the push to establish the River Line in any capacity (DMU or DLRT). Conrail first made its sale offer of the "Camden Cluster" on Jan. 25, 1996. NJT and NJDOT weighed several routes, including the (now) River Line and the Mt. Holly route, as well as trackage south (east) of Woodbury.
Even if such were not the case, we're not convinced that an all-FRA compliant railroad (heavy rail) operation would be free of freight rail interference, as many seem to believe, if the state of New Jersey did not own the right-of-way.
We recall the arrival of both CSX and Norfolk Southern on the Garden State scene in the late 1990s with some clear memories of battle positions taken by the Class Is, positions not particularly amenable to those pesky passenger rail operations.
Thanks to chuchubob for getting this information out before we did.