• 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 ccutler
There are still many military train moves elsewhere, but they appear to be dedicated military trains and not "loose" carload shipments. It's a little shortsighted to dismantle Earle's rail capabilities, since ammunition reloads during wartime could require a huge number of truck movements.
  by pdtrains
Luckily, the govt (and big industry, for that matter) never does anything short sighted, stupid, or politically/personally motivated. :P
  by AceMacSD
JohnFromJersey wrote: Sun Aug 28, 2022 1:10 am 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.
I'm no expert on the military or the government for that matter. From my sources, there are military bases that do sell or lease out property within the base for commercial use. I'm sure the businesses and their staff are properly vetted as part of the deal. For example, the D&H had an agreement with the Navy to operate in the Philly ship yard. A bulk transloading operation was set up within the base. Since I have not been over their since before split date I can't speak on how things are now that one of the Canadian roads took over DH.
  by AceMacSD
OportRailfan wrote: Sun Aug 28, 2022 9:52 pm 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.
My sources told me the pier was damaged during Sandy. Now restrictions on train sizes that can operate on the pier have been put in effect and something about only one locomotive being allowed on the pier. They also said "an investor" was offering to contribute to repair or rebuilding the pier to accommodate larger commercial marine traffic that cant get beyond a railroad bridge.
  by Bracdude181
@AceMacSD So let’s assume they go this route and the investor spends whatever he/she spends on repairs to the pier.

What does this mean for the Earle Railroad?
  by R&DB
Assumig it does go partial customermatertial. who is going to ship all the way down th Earle just to go North or Northwest?
  by AceMacSD
There is much doubt that this will even happen. Per my sources, the Navy would have to put out a contract for any other potential party to be able to get in on. I also think the local community would object to such a plan to bring commercial traffic to the piers, then throw in an environmental impact study. Then comes who will work the piers. Longshoremen aren't cheap. I don't know much about the facility aside from what I can see on Google Earth but it looks like quite an engineering nightmare. How do you keep a structure like that going considering all of these hurricanes and Nor-easters?
Maybe it can work but this carrier would need to dump a lot of money into this on top of what's currently in the works.
  by Matt Johnson
AceMacSD wrote: Sun Sep 04, 2022 9:02 am
My sources told me the pier was damaged during Sandy. Now restrictions on train sizes that can operate on the pier have been put in effect and something about only one locomotive being allowed on the pier.
Well I caught a couple of the switcher sized locomotives pulling a train in 2020.
  by Bracdude181
Nice! Not many people have caught them on the pier.
  by JohnFromJersey
I seriously doubt there is commercial potential for the pier.
A) The Port of New York and New Jersey can already handle Panamax/the largest ships that are out there today, and has much better infrastructure for dealing with transloading goods in and out of the port.
B) The 'fingers' of it go pretty far out in the bay, which is good for larger marine traffic. However, those "fingers" are pretty narrow, I'm not sure they can handle anything besides the rails and some light equipment being placed on them.
C) IIRC there are no cranes on the docks. Going off of B, I'm not sure if the necessary cranes to unload and load ships would be possible to place - Navy ships IIRC have their own crane/loading systems to put material from Earle onboard.
D) There are quite a lot of US Navy ships that utilize Earle's finger docks frequently. I do not think the DoD would want ships flagged under foreign nations, served by foreign nationals who may or may not be from hostile nations (Think China, Russia, etc) being close to state-of-the-art naval vessels... It would take a long time to unload commerical ships on Earle's docks (if even possible) so that allows for a malicious crew to take photos etc. of any Navy ships nearby.
  by Bracdude181
If Raritan Central took it over maybe they could establish a Sandy Hook to Lakewood intermodal service! Direct train access for the Jewish warehouses! 😂😂😂
  by R&DB
A much better use would be a subsisutute for the MOM. eitther originating a Whiting or Toms River traversing throughLakewood Collingwood to Leonardo to high speed ferry into Manahatten and Brooklyn.
  by Bracdude181
Thats not a bad idea actually!
  by JohnFromJersey
Funny that you mention that, @R&DB. (Atlantic?) Highlands used to have an extensive ferry terminal that was connected by the CNJ's Seashore Branch out of Matawan. The ferry terminal had a big fire some years ago, and shortly thereafter the line was cut back to Union Beach at IFF. Not long after, the whole thing was abandoned. You can see the remaining bridge that crosses the Parkway around the Aberdeen/Matawan exit.

You could perhaps convert the Henry Hudson bike trail back into a railroad. The ROW is pretty much in tact and not infringed on, almost all the way to where it originally ended at where Seastreak is. I'd imagine doing so would be unpopular with residents, since the trail is quite used, but I can attest that there is a lot of crime and drug problems on the trail.

As for utilizing Earle's railroad, that would be a good idea. Not sure if you could use the piers to have a ferry, but it would certainly be possible to convert the last half of the Henry Hudson Bike Trail from where it goes under Normandy Road to Seastreak's ferry terminal.
  by RandallW
Satellite imagery suggests that about 1/3 of the ammo bunkers at Earle _are_ box cars on sidings surrounded by protective berms (these are towards the NE side of Earle), that there are ammo bunkers that are designed to load directly into rail cars (almost all east of Rt 34), but that most ammo bunkers west of Rt 34 requires loading ammo onto a truck to transport to the railroad.
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