• Rutherford - Dundee - Passaic Jct - back in the day

  • Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.
Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.

Moderator: blockline4180

  by BlockLine_4111
How much local traffic was generated via the various switching drills that worked Rutherford Jct.- Dundee Jct.- Passaic Jct back in the day?

There used to be alot of trackside industry and customer that seem to have long vanished over a period of 3 - 5 decades in this locality.

Can anyone recall how busy this district once was?

  by Milepost 12
Hi, Been a long time since I replied to you about a topic.

I can remember a lot of traffic on the Dundee Branch growing up in the 1970's.. At least a good 3 drills a week going down Monroe Street in Garfield. Even in the post EL years until 1980 before I moved to Bayville for a while you could see at least 2 grills a week.

With age comes loss of memory LOL I can't remember if the EL or Conrail built the newer steel and concrete bridge across the Passaic River on the Dundee but I do remember the old rickety wood trestle into Passaic. I would say about it was 1975 when I was 11 ( all those years ago ! ) when my friend and I saw an RS-3 crossing the old trestle with a load of tankers & center flows going to Panasote ( remember them ? ) and we thought WOW that is alot of weight !

Traffic here really died after the 8th Street Labor Day fire in 1985 ( I was living in Passaic at the time above Red & White's bar on the corner of 8th Street & Wall Street , 2 blocks from the fire ). It was steadily declining before that in the 1970's when companies like U.S. Rubber ( Uniroyal ) , Okanite and the mills on 8th Street closed. And then after Panasote closed there were only really a handfull of business in the old mills that burned in the 1985 fire they serviced.

And remember the NYS&W serviced alot of industries right next door basically, the other side of Monroe Street in Passaic actually with the old Botany Mills, Forstmann's Passaic Mills and the Whippany Paper Board and Universal Products along the Dundee Canal by Ackerman Avenue in Clifton. That whet bust when the old trestle across the Passaic River in Garfield fell during Hurricane Agnes ( actually Tropical Storm Agnes at the time it hit here ) in 1972. The trestle was behind Werner Ford now Elmwood Supply on River Road. I can remember being real young when I saw one of the NYS&W's GP-18's pulling a string of Pennsy hoppers going to the Paper Board across the trestle while sitting at Dairy Queen ( now that is gone too ) back about 1970.

Passaic Jct. in the mid-1970's I remember seeing a lot of interchanges with the EL & NYS&W. We use to ride our bikes there , watch and take pics with our Kodak 126 Instamatics back then. I wish I didn't lose all those pics in a fire back in 2002. Some great memories. Sometimes we get lucky and after the interchange the NYS&W use to drill the Garfield Branch the same day to GSP & another business in the old Forstmann Mill and then down to Presto Lock , American Packaging , Stull Engraving with some center flows and of course garfield Lumber.

I know this isn't the real "Heyday" of traffic here but this is what I remember growing up in Garfield during the 1970's.

You might remember me with the NYS&W topic about the Garfield Branch a few years ago on the Susquehanna Forum before my computer crapped itself LOL. I believe you were the one who didn't like Barcalona's Pizza LOL.

Well I hope this helps you out a little, Mark

  by pdtrains
Late 1960's-early 70's.....

IRRC, there were 2 locals that worked the BC line late 60's/
early 70's....

BJ Drill worked out of Croxton with a train, switched the Carlton Hill Br, and other parts nof the BC line. (Mon-Sat?)

Garfield drill left light out of croxton, and worked Dundee spur,
and up the BC line also. Cars for Garfield drill were set out /picked up
at Garfield, or at the WJ siding. (M-F ?)

Road trains made pickups/set outs at Garfield, Coalberg Jct (Passaic Jct on the NYSW?), and WJ.
There were unique train order call on signals
on the home signals protecting Coalberg Jct on the BC line. Looked
like a Pennsy position light signal on the mast below the color lights.


  by BlockLine_4111
AIR in the 80s CR had the BJ and Garfield drills. Not sure which one drilled the Carlton Hill Branch, Ink operation at BJ, and sidings along the Wallington/SH/WoodRidge/Carlstadt borders. I think the Garfield drill used to go to Passaic Jct. and perhaps Nabisco and Waldwick too.

BJ ran to Dundee AIR. Garfield drill would switch Two Guys's siding, and the businesses off of Midland Avenue, one near MP12 off track #1 (now gone) and Gemini Plastics (now expanded). Opposite Gemini Plastics off off Track #2 there are reminants of a siding which I never saw in service. There used to be a rock/stone customer off of track #1 with an odd switching arranagement just before the Plauderville station stop. Just after the station there were industrial sidings off of track #1 and #2 nearby. Both now long gone.

AIR the Dundee Spur siding along the BCL used to extend west of Belmont Avenue with customers west and east of Van Winkle Avenue (one right across from MP12 and also a pickel factory where the apartments now stand along track #2).

AIR there was a long siding for Primex with its own wood trestle over the river just east of Garfield station, now long gone too.

Heck it seems the amount of drillin' and switching these parts back in hey day was enough work to employ an independent operator/swicthing company. So many jobs lost both in manufacturing and railroads too. Sad.....