Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

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GSC
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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by GSC » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:09 am

Tom Gallo's "Henry Hudson Trail" book has a lot on this. Some good pics of stations, like North Long Branch, East Long Branch, West End. Interesting to scope it out on a local map, where all the lines criss crossed in town.

As built, the line from Eatontown (c 1861) swung north toward North Long Branch and on to Sandy Hook to the boat terminal. This is the line that went through the later Branchport junction. Next came the New York & Long Branch (backed by Red Bank interests after the R&DB line was all but shut down between Eatontown and Port Monmouth.) NY&LB reached Long Branch, and officially ended at Cedar Ave. South (west) from there, the New Egypt & Farmingdale RR went on to Ocean Beach (Belmar). (Interesting story about how the name of this line came about). In Long Branch, a line was built from the Eatontown - Sandy Hook line going south to the NY&LB curve at Cedar Ave. (The long driveway entrance to the grocery store there was that ROW).

The whole Long Branch trackage affair resembled a big "K".

A lot of the trackage still exists from the Eatontown - Sandy Hook line through town. Look in old grade crossings for rail, most of them just north of Broadway.

More fun, trace the old trolley ROW. It ran on private land (not on the streets), north of and parellel to most of Broadway, with a bridge over the NY&LB. This is harder to trace, but portions are still there.

A former co-worker, who lived in Eatontown, used to shoot glass insulators with a BB gun along the ROW from the back of Fort Monmouth to Monmouth Park. He at least saved a couple, including some rare purple ones.

Lots of places in Long Branch still scream ROW.
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ChrisU
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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by ChrisU » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:23 pm

Thanks for the info, do you know where the last trains on the line operated to and when?

JimBoylan
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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by JimBoylan » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:02 pm

1st Barnegat wrote:Here's a 1934 map showing the CNJ's route from Long Branch through Branchport to Eatontown and connection with CNJ's Southern Division.
That map from a 1934 CNJ Employees' Timetable is at least 10 years older, since it still shows the Atlantic City RR going to Sea Isle City. Probably out of bias, it doesn't show the West Jersey & Seashore RR going to Ocean City.

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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by GSC » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:36 pm

Have to dig out some info, but the last service from Highlands to Highlands Beach down to Sea Bright happened just after WW2 ended, when yet another storm wiped out the seaside-hugging line. (The sea wall is on that ROW now) Freight service still worked from Eatontown to Long Branch into the 1960s, have to get some exact dates. Passenger service was strictly on the NY&LB by then. By the 60s, the Eatontown-to-Long Branch portion was declared redundant, as Branchport and the rest of Long Branch could be accessed from Red Bank via the NY&LB.

If you have them, Tom Gallo's "Henry Hudson Trail" book, along with Don Wood's "Unique New York & Long Branch RR" can answer a lot of questions. (Those are my main reference sources!) Also, Bob Hoeft's article on working out of Red Bank in 1953 is a classic!
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ChrisU
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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by ChrisU » Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:23 pm

Thanks for the info.

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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by pumpers » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:25 pm

GSC wrote:... Also, Bob Hoeft's article on working out of Red Bank in 1953 is a classic!
And where do I find this??? Thanks, JS

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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by GSC » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:33 pm

It appeared in the Black Diamond (?), Anthracite Railroad Historical Society's newsletter many years ago. They have a link here, maybe they can provide you a copy, or email you the text. Great article.

Bob speaks of working freight out of Red Bank on the Southern, trying to fit everything into Red Bank yard, big Jersey City - South Jersey thru freights down the Southern, ammunition and ordnance trains to Earle, passenger and mail service to Lakehurst and Barnegat, local freight to Matawan, working local freights to Long Branch, and farther down the NY&LB.

Fascinating. Wish I was old enough to witness those days.
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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by GSC » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:21 pm

Just looking stuff up, I found that this route was built from Port Monmouth to Red Bank, then to Eatontown, and then turning and going to Long Branch, opening in 1860, the first rail line into Long Branch.

The Long Branch & Sea Shore, coming south to Long Branch from Sandy Hook and backed by the Camden & Amboy / United Companies to get in the way of Raritan & Delaware Bay RR, came in 1865.

Wikipedia has a pretty decent article on all of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey ... n_Railroad
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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by blockline4180 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:18 pm

Pretty fascinating stuff..Thanks!
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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by GSC » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:31 am

Being a real history nut, there's nothing like that "Eureka! I didn't know that!" moment.
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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by Jtgshu » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:47 am

yes that wiki link is an amazing breakdown of the RR history of the line and area!!!

And of course, "the trail of the Blue Comet" is a MUST for anyone who has any interest in RR history in New Jersey railroad history south of the Raritan River! Its so much more than a typical railroad history book, with pictures and captions - it is a history book that happens to be about railroading, but also development of the Jersey Shore and Monmouth and Ocean counties. Its more words than pictures (gasp!) but its a pleasure to read. And the pictures and diagrams are amazing.

Im thinking about buiding a shelf layout of parts of the Seashore Branch/Matawan/Freehold Branch and track diagrams and pictures in the book are helping tremendously with my track diagram sketches
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Bank Tower
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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by Bank Tower » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:23 pm

Here is a 1901 map showing the line - which served the first Monmouth Park racetrack - home to the "Jersey Derby" - with eleven sidings, before the Legislature banned betting on horses (with the deciding vote being cast by the founder of Asbury Park, Senator James Bradley) in 1894. The land on which the race track was located became part of Fort Monmouth which was also served by the line.
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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by OportRailfan » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:50 am

Bank Tower wrote:Here is a 1901 map showing the line - which served the first Monmouth Park racetrack - home to the "Jersey Derby" - with eleven sidings, before the Legislature banned betting on horses (with the deciding vote being cast by the founder of Asbury Park, Senator James Bradley) in 1894. The land on which the race track was located became part of Fort Monmouth which was also served by the line.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw that map you posted, and what I'd really like to figure out is where that wye and spur exactly were on the current(til June?) Ft. Monmouth property. Looking at google maps, it seems like it diverged immediately after crossing Parker's Creek for the RR east leg. The RR west leg maybe ran behind the current buildings that at one point was shortened into a siding behind them.
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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by Jtgshu » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:44 am

Thats what it looks like Oport - There looks to be the row of a siding as soon as you come over the bridge, and even remains of an old piggyback loading ramp. There was also a siding that went in front of the brick building, next to Leonard Ave Xing, that looks to have come into the main towards Oceanport draw. That seems like it would have been both legs of the wye, and If i had to guess, the ROW roughly followed what is now Leonard Ave, and across Oceanport Ave at/near the current traffic light.
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Bank Tower
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Re: Abandoned railroad track from Long Branch to Eatontown

Post by Bank Tower » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:30 pm

Hey Oport - Looking at the 1901 topo and a more recent one, I guestimate the wye tracks diverged from the NY&LB at points east and west of and almost equidistant from Horseneck Point Road. The land on the west side of the tracks along Parkers Creek appears to have been filled, so its probably not a reliable reference point.
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