• Official Rahway Valley Thread

  • Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.
Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.

Moderators: GOLDEN-ARM, cjl330, mikec

  by Sirsonic
The spokesman for the M&E had said on several occasions prior to the money running out the first time that the original allocation would allow for not only the rebuilding of the SIRY, but also the entire RV all the way to Summit. This is evidenced by their obstinate insistence that they would go all the way to Summit, even though the original allocation of funds was only supposed to cover rebuilding of the SIRY and the RV to the Rahway River in Springfield. The M&E at the time insisted that the SIRY was coming in under budget, and so under budget in fact, that they would be able to restore the rest of the RV. Now, they said a few months ago that they had run out of funds for the SIRY before it was "completed" and needed some $2 million to finish the SIRY and install new crossing protection. That money was supposed to finish the SIRY, but once again, the funds are expended and nothing is "complete". Between the original $7.5 million and the additional $2 million, what has my money bought? There has been no significant renewal of the SIRY; a good deal of ties have been replaced, some new ballast has been dropped and the line has been surfaced. One new crossing signal installation has been installed of the 7 or 8 crossings on the line.

If you hire a "general contractor" to renovate your house for $100,000, and the contractor says that will cover the job should you believe him? What if he tells you that your project is coming in under budget, because the beams you thought were rotten are sturdy? What would you think if after telling you that he stops working one day and says your money is all spent and he needs another $50,000 to finish the job. What would you think if he, again, just stops one day with the project not completed, would you blame yourself? The only reason Union County should be blamed for anything is for awarding a no-bid contract to an outfit that has proven time and time again now they are unqualified and unable to do the job they were hired to do.
  by Sirsonic
I was also able to find, from earlier in this forum, an article that appeared in the July 25, 2004 Star-Ledger which states in relevant part:
M&E President Gordon Fuller said ... that the cost of repairing the Staten Island line ran substantially below initial estimates. As a result, there may be enough money left in the $7.5 million transportation fund to complete all the track work from Cranford to Summit.

However, crossings and signals can be extremely expensive. Depending on which systems state officials select, it could make the difference in whether there are sufficient funds to complete the project, he said.
While Mr Fuller certainly had a point about the cost of crossing protection, the fact remains that no crossing protection was even purchased until the second round of funds were allocated, supposedly for that purpose. This would seem to prevent that cost from being pointed to as the reason why the funds ran out the first time. So, we are left only with the question of was Mr Fuller horribly uninformed about the operations of his railroad, or was he simply being intentionally dishonest?

The entire text of the article was copied to the thread, and can be found on page 3 of this forum, the "the SIRR and RVRR" thread, page 11 of that thread.
  by CJPat
If the numbers aren't adding up for you, call the newspaper and ask them to do a follow up story. Let them ask more direct/specific questions to the M&E and Union County. Ask the County if they can account for their expenditures. It just sounds like a lot of people making insinuations (or more) as to the integrity of the M&E for some perceived or real grievances.

I thought the State had done some investigating on their own. So far no one from any official or business enterprise is persuing any questions of money spent (at least in any public forum).
  by barbi3
My name is Barbara DeMarco, I am a Great Grand Daughter of Roger Arthur Clark and Grand Daughter of George Arthur Clark, Georges daughter Shirley Clark was my mother, I was adopted and I am trying to find information on the family. I have met all my siblings and Shirley just before she died. I know Georges wife also worked for the railroad, his son Robert died and his daughter Carol is alive and lives in North Carolina. Any information and or pictures you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I just bought the book hoping to find information on the family. My email address is [email protected]

Thank you
  by myfavscr
The county removed the Route 22 grade crossing and paved it over.
  by NE2
What was the county doing on a state highway?
  by Sirsonic
NJDOT removed the crossing as it was in a seriously deteriorated condition and was causing a hazard.
  by myfavscr
My error. Thanks for the correction. I'm surprised it wasn't done years ago.
  by AndyB
After reading myfavscr post earlier, I had to go over and check it out. I was hoping that it was just paved over. Nope, it is gone. Even the 100' of track between east bound and west bound Rt.22. For those not familiar with the area this is where Rt.22 has a very wide center isle area with stores between east and west bound lanes. One of the earliest highway shopping districts. The crossing must have been taken out over the weekend, Any details?

While I was out there, I also drove past the Liberty Ave. crossing and now have to report that this also has been recently removed. Had to be last week. They have even installed curbs and sidewalks on both sides of the street at the crossing location. All the new rail, a few thousand feet, recently installed in the area is still intact on both sides leading up to the crossing but, the crossing is gone.

Is this ink on the notice that Rahway Valley rebuild is dead?

Sirsonic wrote:
NJDOT removed the crossing as it was in a seriously deteriorated condition and was causing a hazard.
Disagree with you. I cross it regularly, 3 or 4 times a week going to and from the stores along Rt.22.
I thought it was in very good shape and well kept. I think the entire crossing was rebuilt back in the 1990s with heavier rail and all new ties. Any one got the date on this. It certainly had no bone rattling potholes like under the NJT/ CSA bridge on the Newark/Hillside border further east. Now there is a hazardous section of road.
  by necrails
While some may think the crossing was in great shape it does make sense to remove the rails and pave over it if the project isn't going to move forward any time soon. The constant pounding on the rails would cause the surrounding pavement to break down faster than typical NJ pavement.

The DOT could have done a better job with the paving (in my opinion) but they did avert potential pothole problems in the future. This section is easily replaced if the project ever gets life again.
  by pgmrdev
I couldn't help but jump into your thread. I thought you all might be able to help me. I have come across two RVRR unused tickets and was trying to find out their value. I know they are circa 1909-14 because they are signed by Secretary Haratio Franklyn Dankel and that is the period he served as Secretary of the RVRR. One ticket is a Baltusrol to New York ticket and the other is Baltusrol to Newark ticket. All have their segment tickets intact and both are unused. Here is a link to view the New York ticket. As I stated, they are both gem mint. Have any idea what the value of these tickets might be? Thanks for any help you can provide.
  by MNR's #1 Conductor
Just a question folks, and I hope you all can help!!

Having checked out Cranford Station (NJT Raritan Valley Line), and done some photography there, I was hoping to catch some shots of M&E and/or Rahway Valley operations there, especially to get some shots of the "M&E SW-1500 #20 "Benjamin Friedland" in action there. What times and what days, if there is a set time and day of operations, does the M&E and Rahway Valley work in the area around Cranford and Cranford Junction??

Thanks everyone!! :-)
  by Btkspot89
I have never seen them in the cranford area. But I am also not sure if they have any contracts out there. You will not be able to catch ME 20 for a bit. It comes to the Morristown area then it will disappear again for a while. It is most likely serving the Bayway Refinery in Elizabeth/Linden at the moment. And there are no photo opportunities there.
  by kilroy
No service on the RVRR. The Staten Island is used to store cars as far west as Linden Ave.

In other words, forget about any action in Cranford from the M&E.
  by Sirsonic
The "restoration" ground to a halt several years ago when the initial funding ran out and nothing more has happened to the RV since then. Millions more was allocated to allow for the SIRY, which was supposed to be restored at the same time, to be finished. That money is also gone and no more work has been done on the SIRY. Neither line is "finished" according to the M&E, although trains do occasionally operate to Cranford on the SIRY where cars are stored on the line. Dont look for anything more to happen to this line unless a new operator steps up to the plate and even then there is no guarantee the state will be willing to spend even more money on this money pit.
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