Raritan Central expansion

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Eric S Strohmeyer
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Raritan Central expansion

Post by Eric S Strohmeyer »

Good evening all,

I noticed that the Raritan Central has filed with the US Surface Transportation Board to acquire and operate most of the remaining Conrail tracks from the "wye" at the Northeast Corridor, to Crows Mill Road in Woodbridge (including all of the former Metuchen Yard that supported the Ford plant for many years).

The link below will take you to the relevant pleading on the STB's website. See:

STB FD 36393 Raritan Central Railway, LLC. -- LEASE AND OPERATION EXEMPTION -- Consolidated Rail Corporation

https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... 300490.pdf

Strangely enough, the lease did not go all the way into Perth Amboy. This actually surprised me since the existing direct connection to CR's Garden State Secondary would have allowed most of the Raritan Central bound freight traffic to completely avoid high Amtrak mileage charges for using the NEC.

Has anything recently happened along the old LV Perth Amboy line that might have rendered that connection no longer feasible? I was under the impression that the line was still there, but just out of service.

Curious to know what the rumor mill might have heard.

Thanks in advance!
Eric S Strohmeyer
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R&DB
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Re: Raritan Central expansion

Post by R&DB »

The stretch of the former LV from Woodbrook Road east to Perth Amboy is now the Middlesex Greenway. (Rail Trail)
Harry

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Re: Raritan Central expansion

Post by TAMR213 »

Wow! This came a bit out of left field.

So my understanding in reading the document is that RCRY is further taking over operations in Metuchen - but what change will this really cause operationally? Other than the various consignees located along the NEC, what traffic is flowing into Metuchen these days other than interchange to the RCRY? What sticks out most to me is the lack of inclusion of these rights along the NEC - will CSAO continue to / make better use of the "Receiving Yard" in order to continue serving these customers?

As far as the Middlesex Greenway and trackage on the other end of the Raritan IT:
I believe the Greenway currently dead ends east of Crows Mill Road (I could be wrong) near where the line from Raritan Center joins in. Track is blocked by a concrete barrier at the crossing of Crows Mill south of Smith Street (referenced in document). I believe the recycling business just beyond was the last active customer on the line circa 2010-ish. In addition, the track between this point and New Brunswick Ave seems to be in varying states of existence - Conrail oddly enough fixed up a portion of this track in the area of Augustine Place in the late 2000's and a wheel hasn't turned on it since (AFAIK).

Is there anyone out there that can give a clearer picture of current affairs?
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Re: Raritan Central expansion

Post by Conrail Blue »

Wow this is really great to hear. Was always wondering when this would finally happen given that a smaller local company could a better job of interacting and serving local customers. Really hope this will bring back former customers and bring in new ones. Glad to hear the Miracle Run Branch is part of the deal. Conrail hasn't run over it since the early 2000's I believe. Would be really cool if Schundler were to get cars again. And Heller Park now may see more service again. What's good is that most or all the tracks and sidings are still in place so with a some rehab work it should be good to go. Conrail currently has only one customer there.

As for the connection to the Chemical Coast, from what I understand Conrail runs a highrailer on it every so often to keep the line from being deemed abandoned and therefore allowing it to be scooped up by the county to make it a trail. Last summer I went to check out the section that goes over the parkway and you could see that a highrailer had recently passed over it. It would be in their best interest to keep it alive in case traffic isn't able to run on the corridor for whatever reason. Last thing we need in this state is more rail lines turned into trails. We have more than enough as it is. Losing this connection wouldn't serve or benefit anyone.

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Re: Raritan Central expansion

Post by TAMR213 »

Conrail Blue wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:04 pm
Glad to hear the Miracle Run Branch is part of the deal. Conrail hasn't run over it since the early 2000's I believe. Would be really cool if Schundler were to get cars again. And Heller Park now may see more service again. What's good is that most or all the tracks and sidings are still in place so with a some rehab work it should be good to go. Conrail currently has only one customer there.
I'm surprised to hear it was even served that recently. Looking at recent aerial photos, it seems as if the industry you mention has been demolished. Also, AFAIK Heller has been serviced by the RCRY for years now, though the track between Raritan Center and Heller has always been owned by Conrail. And thats what I mean - how much will this really mean operationally?

Hopefully this doesn't negatively impact what little freight is left on the Corridor. Anyone have any further details?
Erik Romatowski
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