• US Navy Earle Railroad

  • 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 Bracdude181
 
I would hope those DOD documents are correct. Rumor has it that the on site administrator(s) wish to do away with the train, or downsize as much as possible if the former isn’t an option. Beats me as to why.

Have also heard they will stop replacing/upgrading the on-site railcar fleet as part of this. Not sure how they expect that to play out. Freight cars only last so long…
  by AceMacSD
 
From my guys on the inside, they're not rumors. Earle has scrapped all but one or two of their entire tank car fleet. Some flats and box cars and two engines were also scrapped by Red Bank recycling. The connection to the interchange was partially severed or barricaded because they don't want to do business with the outside world.
  by Bracdude181
 
I wasn’t hearing about equipment being scrapped.

Might be a bit early to be certain but maybe the Earle Railroad may not be around soon? What happens if this line gets shut down? What happens to the remaining engines? And for that matter the entire Earle rail network?
  by JohnFromJersey
 
This does not sound good. Guess we will not see a return of railroad/railroad-related service at Dix-McGuire anytime soon then either.
  by Bracdude181
 
@JohnFromJersey Sadly yes, I’ve also been hearing that is the case.

I’ve always wondered why they don’t get their ammo boxes in by rail instead of the flatbed semi trucks they do it with now.
  by Bracdude181
 
Actually…

Hey AceMac, would your inside sources be able to confirm the other rumors I’ve been hearing that Raritan Central crews have been operating the Earle trains lately? And that the RCs owner is offering to buy the Earle rail network?
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Fri Aug 26, 2022 6:35 pm Actually…

Hey AceMac, would your inside sources be able to confirm the other rumors I’ve been hearing that Raritan Central crews have been operating the Earle trains lately? And that the RCs owner is offering to buy the Earle rail network?
I don't think the feds would let a private rail company's employees work inside a highly protected and confidential military base, much less let said private company buy the rights to run inside the base. That sounds like it goes against so many military and government protocols...
  by CharlieL
 
Other than a rather tenuous connection to the Southern, that rail line has no connection to the national rail network. It's whole purpose is the transport of naval ordnance and related supplies to (and from) supply ships. No way in my opinion would DOD allow a private contractor to operate it.

I vaguely remember an incident in the 60s where someone bought a house adjacent to the rail line near Swimming River. They were shocked to find out the rail line transported explosives (on Sunday nights) past their house, and engaged in lawsuits to either stop the trains or make the realtors involved buy back their house with penalty payments. At that time, Earl had marine guards which implied nukes were handled there.
  by Bracdude181
 
Not the first time I’ve heard of someone in NJ buying a house next to a train line then throwing a fit about trains running near his/her house.🙄

I have heard that Earle transports either nuclear weapons or materials by rail to and from the port, but I have no way to confirm. I’d imagine info like that isn’t something the US Navy is willing to share, especially with the way things are nowadays.

Just on the Southern connection, others have mentioned on here that the connection has been removed or barricaded. Is this true? It still looks connected on the satellite view and I don’t see a barricade of any kind…
  by CharlieL
 
The sole purpose of that rail line is (or was) to transport ordnance (Earl NAVAL WEAPONS STATION) and related supplies to and from ships - look at the start and end points of the line. At one time there was an interconnect with CRRNJ before that stretch down the coast was abandoned. Although I have no special knowledge, the absence of a USMC guard detachment means no current nukes. Ordnance pertains to things that go "boom". And yes, I have some familiarity with the subject as somewhat more than 50 years ago I was involved with the maintenance, storage, and transport of tactical nukes.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
I hope this won't get me on a list, but I have confirmation through others that Earle used to have nuclear weapons. A family friend is a firefighter in the area, and has been one for a long time, as he started during the Cold War around the 70s/80s. This family friend said that every so often they would do drills/trainings at Earle, and that if certain areas (with the nukes) of Earle were on fire, to prioritize those areas over others, and if the fire was uncontrollable, it was best for the local fire departments to run like hell and get as far away from Earle as possible. This family friend also claims he was shown what the nuclear weapons looked like (he said he saw them on whatever launching system they were on), but I'm not sure if I believe that.

I'm not sure exactly why Earle was so quick to tell some firefighters about where the nukes were, but since this was the 70s/80s just outside NYC, I'm going to assume the DoD knew the Soviets knew Earle had nukes and where they were located, and figured it didn't really matter anymore. Earle also had anti-nuclear weapons protests outside of it in the 80s, so it was not a secret.

Also, Earle no longer carries nuclear weapons. After the end of the Cold War, the US Navy removed nuclear weapons from their surface ships, and keeps the nukes to the submarines. AFAIK Earle does not supply submarines. If things continue heating up with China, I will not be shocked if the Navy puts nukes back on surface ships, and we see the USMC guard detachments again.

Going back to the railroad, I would not be shocked if Earle has blocked off their entryways into the facility from the national rail network. Earle RARELY gets anything delivered to them anymore, and if they do, it was new engines and freight cars. AKA you only need deliveries of that as needed, like once every decade or so. Not to mention, I'm sure Earle had some sort of legal agreement/restrictions with CR about the access points in Earle, I doubt they have the same with C&D/DRRR, who now operates the line connecting to Earle.
  by AceMacSD
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Fri Aug 26, 2022 6:35 pm Actually…

Hey AceMac, would your inside sources be able to confirm the other rumors I’ve been hearing that Raritan Central crews have been operating the Earle trains lately? And that the RCs owner is offering to buy the Earle rail network?
Confirmed. Some RC guys have been working over there for some time now.
JohnFromJersey wrote: I don't think the feds would let a private rail company's employees work inside a highly protected and confidential military base, much less let said private company buy the rights to run inside the base. That sounds like it goes against so many military and government protocols...
Not sure where you're getting this information from but RC already works in military installations. The RC guys said they have operations in a military depot or two in Pennsylvania. Apparently the owner of RC has a very good rapport with the military. Also, the government has many contractors and such working on their installations. My oldest kid has friends who are contractors for the military. It happens quite often.

As far as why these bases don't get their ammo boxes by rail is probably the same reason I mentioned about Nestle not getting product by rail. Either the shipper or manufacturer does not have rail access or they don't get the quantity to justify rail service. I can't speak on where they get these boxes from since I don't know. Another thing about shipping things like ammunition by train is that it can easily go missing. Either a misrouted car or even for security purposes. I can't tell you how many times the beer cars we handle get broken into. At least a truck driver can somewhat better see what is happening to their single trailer than a train crew member with at the very least six cars between them.

As for what happens if they shut down, per my guys inside, they would most likely scrap the cars and engines on site like they did with their other cars and engines. Why pay to move it out when you can just have it scrapped by the lowest bidder? The guys say the equipment is obsolete and not legal per current FRA standards. Also look at what happened to the switch engines at Raritan Steel over in Perth Amboy. I went by one afternoon and saw and excavator tearing that little blue engine to pieces. Again, it's easier to just pay someone to scrap it all.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Ok, maybe Earle hires RC guys to run their trains, but, RC overall buying the entire Earle network within the military base?? I'm not sure if that would be allowed. If Earle is thinking about ceasing use of rail operations to begin with, and moving to trucks I assume, how would RC make revenue on that line??? The line runs through the military base, I doubt Earle/DoD would let companies build inside said base to utilize the railroad.
  by Bracdude181
 
@AceMac All valid points. That sucks that they’ll probably scrap the engines. That’s unique equipment they got in there! At least the freight cars I understand because they aren’t fit for use outside Earle.

Also lol at the beer car break ins. It’s 5 o clock for someone somewhere!
  by OportRailfan
 
That's nuts that theyre moving away from all the rail infrastructure/movements. My dad worked out there as a laborer rebuilding the finger piers about 10-15 years ago.
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