• Browns Yard question / history

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey

Moderator: David

  by Pennsyjohn
Ah, the old days. Back in the 50's Browns Yard was used as an auxiliary storage for the loaded coal cars for the
Seaboard dumpers. The place was full of them. I think you could still find lumps of coal around the tracks there.

The catenary there provided a wealth of electric engines running around.
As I grew up on Raritan Street, watching the engines pulling the long trains was a lot of fun.
I saw my first E44 there.

Many a long winters night, in a heavy snow storm was punctuated by the arcing of a hard working GG1's
pantograph bouncing off the catenary due to heavy sleet on the wire. It was just like being at ground zero for a lightning strike.

Brown's yard has a long history of use. I suspect it will be there long after I'm gone.

  by scottso699
TAMR213 wrote:
BigDell wrote:TAMR213, great info, thanks! And great photos. I only ever saw one of the E40's one time, idling near Elizabeth on the NEC waiting for clearance... that had to be 1975. I was at Junior Achievement (anyone old enough to remember that?) which was conveniently situated near the station.
have though found this and this photo quite awhile back, of a PC (or possibly very early Conrail) manifest train traveling through what is undoubtedly Helmetta led by an E-40. Along with this and this photo, of the same unit (on what looks like the same train) in Spotswood.
Anyway, is there much left of Browns? I need to take a drive by and see for myself.
No problem. I hope my info is correct, as I said this is way before my time being born in 1989, but thats as I've had it told to me. Apparently only 2 E-40's made it into Conrail?

Browns Yard is still a busy local yard, and the cantenary poles are still in place (albeit without wires). It is served every weekday (I believe) by the OI-16 transfer, and is home of the several local jobs that operate the lines eminating from the yard (Amboy Secondary, Sayreville Running Track, Freehold Industrial Track, and Hightstown Branch), along with the Southern Secondary.
Speaking of the E-40s - there is a great article about them in the latest Classic Trains Magazine. It was written by an engineer who had nothing but bad luck with that engine - he HATED that engine - very humorous.
  by carajul
The catenary wire on that track from the NEC to browns yard and in the old coal yard was all still in place in 1994. It came around around 1996. The yard (not all of it but alot of it) was still intact in 1994 when I explored it. The track was all just rusted black sitting in the sand. The catenary wire was like a spiderweb above the yard. There were also light towers and those ancient marble illuminated signs that said "hi wire" and "low wire" and "lower pantograph" everywhere along with these speaker/bullhorn looking things on the catenary poles. It looked like a wasteland railyard.

I have no idea why CR tore the cat wire down. Wouldn't hurt to keep it up. I mean really what would the difference be?

Also those electrical sub stations are still located along the line behind wooden fences you just have to know where to look for them. Although they are now engulfed in trees.