• CNJ Southern Division

  • 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/
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/

Moderator: CAR_FLOATER

  by Earle Baldwin
During Conrail's early years, I believe the road freight which ran from E'port to Red Bank was ER-1. He usually ran daily Monday through Saturday with a mid morning arrival at Red Bank.
  by JRWarrick
The end of track is now just feet north of the Route 70 bridge in Lakehurst. CSAO put up a barrier and rolled a rail disconnecting the line.
  by GSC
You would never know now just how busy Lakehurst used to be, with a turntable, roundhouse, and shops. And farther south (west), Whitings Jct was such a bottleneck that the Pennsy intended to build a line from Medford to Manahawkin to bypass it. What price progress?
  by liftedjeep
Here we see SJ-2 headed north for Elizabethport through Winslow and under the former Reading Line. Also of note is the top of the old water tower/tank just above the treeline to the right of the trestle. The Jersey Central's Winslow station is also pictured, which was closed in 1975 and later destroyed by fire. This shot was taken in August of 74. Only four years later in 1978 would the final train roll through Winslow Junction along the Southern Division before it was abandoned. (Picture taken by my uncle Jim Kranefeld)

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=4552214" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

  by pumpers
great pic. Was that water tower for the CNJ or Reading?
  by liftedjeep
The water tower belonged to the Jersey Central. It was actually the second water tank, having replaced the original ca 1926. Long out of service in the shot I posted, the water tower's "skeleton" lasted into the early 90's I believe before finally coming down.
  by liftedjeep
A sign denoting the history of the Blue Comet was placed along Main Street (Route 563) in Chatsworth at the site of the former CNJ grade crossing:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=4560506" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Close-up of the sign:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=4560507" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

  by CNJ Fan 4evr
Those signs are nice but actually having trains running on the lines would be better. The spot where the Winslow Jct. station stood is now a pit filled with water-mosquito breeding ground.
  by liftedjeep
-Here is a link to my "CNJ Southern Division" album. It contains pictures that I've taken over the past few years (and continue to add to) of what remains of the former Southern Division that is currently abandoned/out of service. The album begins in Lakehurst and continues south to Vineland:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/archiv ... ?id=104576" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

  by R&DB
A little more information on 3 stations on the Southern Divsion.
Squankum - MP52.5 (no structure/flag stop)
Maxim - was originally called Hendrickson's after the family that lived at the location. Was renamed Maxim after Hudson Maxim who built a smokeless powder plant in the woods to the northeast of the station location in the 1890s. Hudson was the brother of Hiram Maxim, the inventor of the machine gun and the powder plant was a big employer for a while. Station was removed shortly after CNJ ended passenger service in 1953.
Larabee's (aka Alexander's) - MP56.5 (shed/flag stop) Rte 547 (There is still a Station Place there.)
  by GSC
I love going back to this thread. So many memories of the Southern Division.

A favorite memory of mine is from a summertime sleepover at a friend's house in Farmingdale. Over the course of the night, we heard three westbound sand trains, each with a unique horn and quill. A few hours later, three eastbound sand trains chugged through town. Didn't get much sleep, but it didn't matter.

Sometimes I'd catch a daytime sand train, eastbound near Collingwood Auction. Sometimes a strange lashup of an SD35 and an RS1. Those poor old beat up L&HR and LNE hoppers, springs squashed flat, giving a few last runs before they collapsed somewhere. (Think of what happened to the Blues Mobile at the end of the Blues Brothers movie.)

I grew up in reasonable proximity to the NY&LB, the Southern Div., and the Freehold & Jamesburg. I saw some interesting things over the years.
  by R&DB
GSC » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:08 am
Totally agree with you about the interesting CNJ Southern Division. Three episodes from my very early yaers stand out in my memory:
1> Getting stuck in traffic at on Sycamore Ave while they drilled Lawes Coal Co.
2>Getting stuck at the same place for a 75 car plus train
3> waiting for a train on Main St., Oceanport from Eatontown toward Long Branch

One other, although not Southern Division, is watching CNJ drill the coal siding in Little Silver.
  by jcomuzzi
I'm hoping one of the contributors to this thread can help me understand signals on the Southern Division to help me with my modelling of them.

If you look at the track diagram here: http://raildata.railfan.net/cnj/homecnj.html It shows signals for the passing sidings at Lakewood, Farmingdale and Eatontown. However it only seems to show signals on the mainline and not on the sidings. Since this line was CTC (see reply from Zeke in 2004 in this thread), how did the dispatcher control a train that had taken the siding? I thought for a while that the track diagram was only showing the mainline signals, but looking in the Blue Comet book (p 403) it shows a picture of a train on the main in Lakewood at one end of the siding. The trailing point signal is between the points and the frog of the switch - like it was intended to control both the mainline AND siding.

Do I have this right? How did it work?
  by R&DB
jcomuzzi » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:38 pm
CNJ signals as a general rule were placed to the right of the track served in each direction. Much traffic was controlled by phone calls to dispatch from the many octagonal concrete phone booths along the route. (Especially at sidings) IDK about the particular signal you cite at Lakewood, but remeber that passenger traffic had priority over freight in those days and the freights nearly always took the sidings and phoned dispatch. Hope that helps. If you need an example of the booths visit Farmingdale.
Last edited by R&DB on Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by liftedjeep
R&DB wrote:
jcomuzzi » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:38 pm
If you need an example of the booths visit Farmingdale.
Concrete phone booth along the passing siding in Lakehurst:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=4375978" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;