What's left of the CNJ?

Discussion of the CNJ (aka the Jersey Central) and predecessors Elizabethtown and Somerville, and Somerville and Easton, for the period 1831 to its inclusion in ConRail in 1976. The historical society site is here: http://www.jcrhs.org/

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Matt Johnson
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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by Matt Johnson »

I've been cycling along the Henry Hudson trail a lot lately, and I've seen quite a few remnants of the old seashore branch. I'll try to upload some photos when I get a chance. I also have used the newer bayshore trail from Atlantic Highlands into Highlands, right along the shoreline, as a way to get out to Sandy Hook without having to bike up the hills. I believe that basically follows the route of the old seashore branch.

There's a building that I thought was the old Port Monmouth station. But looking at my copy of the Henry Hudson trail book, it claims that the station burned down in 1997. So I guess that's a new building in its place now. There used to also be a caboose there, but it disappeared a couple of years ago.

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Matt Johnson
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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by Matt Johnson »

Here's the building that I believe is on the site of the old Port Monmouth station.
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Matt Johnson
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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by Matt Johnson »

Kaback9 wrote:I'm documenting what I can of the Freehold Branch, more photos to come but here is what I have done so far.

http://kaback9.rrpicturearchives.net/ar ... x?id=39162
Great photos - I still have yet to get out to this part of the trail!

I'm surprised that old wooden bridge at Matawan is still standing!

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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by Jtgshu »

Indeed, that is the "new" Port Monmouth Station, it did burn down in 1997 or somewhere around there, but at the time, and I think it still is, is used by a local charity organization and was rebuilt with insurance money. Its not quite identical to what was there, but its pretty darn close, and they did a good job with it

The caboose went missing about 2 years ago, I posted in a few threads about it, and no one seems to have any idea where it went. I would have thought it would have made the newspaper or at least the local chatter, if it was moved, or even if it was scrapped on site....but I never heard anything about it.

If you look in those trees on the left, there are a few relatively complete telegraph poles in the station area. There isn't much left on the Seashore, with the largest remains being in Altantic Highlands at the pier, and even that is just mostly burnt pilings, but there are some ties and rail pieces. There are 2 crossings which still have rail in them, at Thompson Ave in Leonardo, as well as Thompson Ave in North MIddletown (East Keansburg) I don't think there are any other crossings with rail left in them.
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Matt Johnson
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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by Matt Johnson »

I was surprised to see that some of the houses in Atlantic Highlands, which still exist today, are shown in photos as being right up against the water many years ago. The entire marina area is built on landfill. The railroad indeed ran on a pier out over the water there. A little further east, the tracks ran right along the shoreline, along what now is the Bayshore Trail, which just opened this year.

http://www.boblucky.com/Biking/NewJerse ... shore.html

There's a photo in the book entitled Henry Hudson Trail: Central RR of NJ's Seashore Branch that shows the houses you see below, with the water beginning where the trail is now. Everything to the left is built on landfill!

Image

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Matt Johnson
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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by Matt Johnson »

Jtgshu wrote:There isn't much left on the Seashore, with the largest remains being in Altantic Highlands at the pier, and even that is just mostly burnt pilings, but there are some ties and rail pieces. There are 2 crossings which still have rail in them, at Thompson Ave in Leonardo, as well as Thompson Ave in North MIddletown (East Keansburg) I don't think there are any other crossings with rail left in them.
I took a ride today along the trail, heading in the other direction this time, and noticed a siding still in place near the end of the trail at the corner of Clark and Broadway across the parkway from Matawan.

Also, a photo of another abandoned piece of history along the old Freehold Branch - the runway at Marlboro Airport, which was closed in 2002 after an ill-fated attempt to build yet more McMansions, which resulted in a corruption scandal. There are also a couple of crossings along this part of the trail that still have rails visible.
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Kaback9
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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by Kaback9 »

Oh how I wish Marlboro Airport was still open :( .
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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by Jtgshu »

A few years ago, probably early 2004 or so, I was out riding my motorcycle and managed to get stuck behind a "train" (pun intended) :) of flatbed tractor trailers that were loaded with old rail lifted from teh Freehold Branch. While it was cool to see, it wasn't cool to get pummeled wiht rocks and dirt from the rails bouncing around on the trucks......
On the RR, "believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see"
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Steve F45
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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by Steve F45 »

has anything been done with the old cnj broad street station?

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Matt Johnson
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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by Matt Johnson »

Steve F45 wrote:has anything been done with the old cnj broad street station?
Was that in Newark? I don't think it exists anymore, with this bridge being one of the only remnants of the line there.

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amtrakhogger
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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by amtrakhogger »

That part of the CNJ Newark Branch (or the "Direct Line") was abandoned after the Aldene Plan in 1967. The remnants of Broad St Station that remained were demolished to make way for the Prudential Center. Apparently, part of the facade of the station was retained in the construction of the new arena.
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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by Ken W2KB »

The facade was supposed to be used as an alternate entrance for the arena, but as of the last time I saw it a couple or three weeks ago, no apparant progress had been made as to that end.
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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by Pinewald Station »

Here is an email regarding the Barmegat Branch Rail Trail as it proceeds from the southern portion of Berkeley Twp/Bayville northbound.


Hi Michael:

Thanks for your interest in the trail project. Ironically, I was out in the field with our project team all day yesterday siting signage for the next segment, Phase III, which will span 2.0 miles from Cedar Creek at Dudley Park to Maryland Avenue. It is anticipated that this phase will be let for construction bid in the coming month, with construction to begin during spring 2010.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any further inquiries.

Thanks again. Happy trails!

Sincerely,
Lee Dashti


PS...I have the email withe the PDF of the map for anyone interested... The rail trail is across the street behind the homes there....
Mike K2MMM

MP 78.4 on the CNJ Barnegat Branch

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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by R36 Combine Coach »

amtrakhogger wrote:That part of the CNJ Newark Branch (or the "Direct Line") was abandoned after the Aldene Plan in 1967. The remnants of Broad St Station that remained were demolished to make way for the Prudential Center. Apparently, part of the facade of the station was retained in the construction of the new arena.
CNJ's freight terminal and warehouse still stand, but most of the platforms and station are now a parking lot and arena area.
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airman00
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Re: What's left of the CNJ?

Post by airman00 »

transit383 wrote:Here's an abandoned CNJ signal bridge, located in Roselle:

Signal bridge at Linden Street

Nice picture! It's such a shame that a bustling 6-track main line, is reduced to this. :( I hope at least that signal bridge remains as a reminder of what once was. (all you need is for someone to complain and even history gets taken down.)

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