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.

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wis bang
Posts: 297
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:18 am
Location: East Windsor, NJ

Re: Official Rahway Valley Thread

Post by wis bang » Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:11 pm

I started working on Iorio St in June of 2003 and the original rail was in place between Liberty St & the Y w/ all the switches running to the rear of the plants on Rahway Ave, including the use of a diamond to chris-cross two sidings to make the connections. We had our twenty foot container/storage siting on the rails.

They came in and removed all this old track and processed the rail bed [including a wash out just b/4 the bridge] w/ a bulldozer and then laid new ties and set new rails including remaking the liberty ave crossing.

The demo & restore took a long time and cost alot of money. It was funny to notice all those 'customer' sidings were left without switches connecting them to the rail. Any of the Rahway Ave. plants would need a rebuilt connection should the line be rebuilt.

The condition is from the Bridge is not good! Once thru Springfield there are three overpasses, one was removed years ago and was not replaced. The others were like the bridge, old 'N shakey!
Grandson of a LV Conductor & I remember the EL running behind the Univ. of Scranton [class of 76]

ironhorsehistory
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:45 am

Re: Rahway Valley History

Post by ironhorsehistory » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:51 am

Hi everyone,

I've noticed this thread is pretty dead lately. Been lurking/reading for a long time now. Thought I would ask a few questions to get things going again.

I know that information has finally surfaced about the diamond in RP. When I saw a mention of a diamond, I was hoping it would have been the other diamond near the wye. The one in RP was visible on Conrail ZTS maps and a few other places as well. Does anyone know about another diamond? I saw a mention of it somewhere on the web but I can't find it anymore.

Also, does anyone know where/when Ply-Gems moved? I believe it to be around 1970 or so...but none of my sources has very precise information.

Thanks for any help,
Jack

RAHWAYVALLEY
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:36 pm

Re: Rahway Valley History

Post by RAHWAYVALLEY » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:18 pm

Also, does anyone know where/when Ply-Gems moved? I believe it to be around 1970 or so...but none of my sources has very precise information
PlyGem, in Union, NJ, was still an active customer after the Delaware Otsego takeover of the Rahway Valley in 1985. They were still receiving loads of lumber through the late 1980s.

ironhorsehistory
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:45 am

Re: Rahway Valley History

Post by ironhorsehistory » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:17 pm

The location they occupied up to the end, though, was not their original facility. Apparently the had previously been somewhere else on or near the wye...

Thanks for the reply! What other industries were down there at the end? Most of my information is from the 40s to the 60s, not much after 1970. Things changed a lot on the RV over time.

Don Maxton
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 4:49 pm

Re: Rahway Valley History

Post by Don Maxton » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:31 pm

Jaeger Lumber on Morris Ave. in Union received its last shipment from the RVRR in 1989. Last time I looked (quite a number of years ago), the siding tracks were still there but the switch had been removed.

ironhorsehistory
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:45 am

Re: Rahway Valley History

Post by ironhorsehistory » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:29 am

Wow...I didnt realize they were in the game so late. Thank you for the info. Now if I can just get my map of the wye right. I'd like to include it as an element in a model railroad i'm planning, but I keep coming up with conflicting information about which customers were where...and this story about another diamond!

Thanks all for the info...

Don Maxton
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 4:49 pm

Re: Rahway Valley History

Post by Don Maxton » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:51 pm

Christie Enterprises in Kenilworth was a customer right up to the end. They received covered hoppers of plastic pellets that they stored in silos. I spoke to the president of the company and his son at the time, and they were quite upset that this service was coming to an end.

ironhorsehistory
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:45 am

Re: Rahway Valley History

Post by ironhorsehistory » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:14 am

For commodities such as plastic pellets, rail really does make the most sense. Its a shame there weren't more rail-oriented or rail-dependent customers at the end. What about around they wye? Was there any business there at the end? I remember seeing some activity there once in the very early 80s, but I had no camera to document what was going on there.

I assume by then that Newark Iron and Binder and Essex Chair and the others there had all given up the ghost? Its amazing when I look at the books of inbound waybills off the CNJ from days long gone by at the amount of traffic. They were getting 20 cars or more off the Central alone on some days. By the 80s I don't even think they were running every day. Such a shame... :(

What about the Agency station? Did they handle much traffic late in the game? I've seen newspaper clippings/pictures of that boxcar that got loose and rolled out into Morris Avenue...was that all it was? LCL in boxcars? Or did they do teamtrack work as well?

Be well, and thanks once again...

ironhorsehistory
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:45 am

Re: Rahway Valley History

Post by ironhorsehistory » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:14 am

For commodities such as plastic pellets, rail really does make the most sense. Its a shame there weren't more rail-oriented or rail-dependent customers at the end. What about around they wye? Was there any business there at the end? I remember seeing some activity there once in the very early 80s, but I had no camera to document what was going on there.

I assume by then that Newark Iron and Binder and Essex Chair and the others there had all given up the ghost? Its amazing when I look at the books of inbound waybills off the CNJ from days long gone by at the amount of traffic. They were getting 20 cars or more off the Central alone on some days. By the 80s I don't even think they were running every day. Such a shame... :(

What about the Agency station? Did they handle much traffic late in the game? I've seen newspaper clippings/pictures of that boxcar that got loose and rolled out into Morris Avenue...was that all it was? LCL in boxcars? Or did they do teamtrack work as well?

Be well, and thanks once again...

ironhorsehistory
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:45 am

Re: Rahway Valley History

Post by ironhorsehistory » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:21 am

I only have a poor photocopy of the article i got from a friend. He is trying to dig out his original so I can scan and post here. Hopefully its not too far lost amongst his 'treasures' lol.

I'll keep you posted.

RV History Buff
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:46 am
Location: Union, NJ

Re: Official Rahway Valley Thread

Post by RV History Buff » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:01 pm

kmsalex wrote:well this is odd... someone seams to have cut back the small trees and heavy brush up on the part of the tracks right before the bridge... or should i say where the bridge once was over morris ave in union. that's just what i could see from street level passing by. who could have done this if not the county and why? the only way up there is to either start by a dirt road crossing near the wye, or clime the side of the 15 foot over grown embankment by jager lumber. i mean i could see someone doing the second one, with a chane saw on there back, hell i did it dragging a 40 pound bike. but i somehow hope this might be a sign that the protect is still alive, any thoughts?
Unfortuately this is NOT an RV reactivation, a few weeks back I was driving past Jaeger Lumber, and the right-of-way was actually suffering an electrical fire. I could imagine that the brush was burned or was cut back to repair the overhead power lines.

RV History Buff
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:46 am
Location: Union, NJ

Re: Official Rahway Valley Thread

Post by RV History Buff » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:38 pm

On the side of the ROW opposite Jaeger Lumber there are powerlines that run parallel to the ROW. I do not think it was a lightning strike, but possibly a transformer explosion or a fallen power line.

cjl330
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 9:19 pm

Re: Official Rahway Valley Thread

Post by cjl330 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:02 pm

Unfortunately, the Rahway Valley is never going to be reactivated. No more public funds will be allocated to this project. I was a very big supporter of the project, and my business associate would have been a customer on the RV. But in the end, what we got was a $10 million dollar siding in Roselle to store covered hopper cars for the Conoco refinery, something Conoco could have easily afforded to build themselves. The NIMBY's got the local politico's ears, and they in turn got Corzine's ear (BTW, Corzine's best friend is the Mayor of Summit). The state (Corzine) ordered that all funding go only toward the Staten Island side of the project, and no more funding or work was to go toward the Rahway Valley, even though the RV had 11 unused sidings (11 potential customers), whereas the SIRR had 2, not including Conoco. Then all funding was cut. This is why we have what we have now. And the NIMBY's say "See, there is no economic benefit". They didn't want there to be any economic benfit in the first place. The Rahway Valley is dead. The NIMBY's can now have a party, along with two individuals who post on this board.

Sirsonic
Posts: 1705
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:35 pm
Location: CP-Late

Re: Official Rahway Valley Thread

Post by Sirsonic » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:08 am

The funding was never cut. In fact, more funds were allocated to "finish" the SIRY side after the original funding ran out, even though the M&E mouthpiece had previously stated publicly that due to cost savings on the SIRY side they would have enough funds to rebuild the RV all the way to Summit. What actually became of the millions of dollars that was allocated to this project and spent by the M&E has never been properly accounted for, and public statements made by the railroads now former leadership were contradictory and misleading at best. In the end probably close to $15 million public dollars have been spent to build a storage track for cars from Conoco.
Proven Theory #2 - If you don't work for the railroad, you don't know more than the people who do, no matter how many years you've hung around the tracks, or how well you think you understand railroading.

Rest in peace Jtgshu.

cjl330
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 9:19 pm

Re: Official Rahway Valley Thread

Post by cjl330 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:07 am

Well Sirsonic, you claim that the funds have not been properly accounted for. All funding and allocation of said funding was approved and overseen by the County Manager George DeVanney, and the head of the DOT, Chris Colluri. In fact, it was Mr. Colluri who told the M&E to stop working on the Rahway Valley, and also informed them that any future funding would go to the SIRT only. It was also Mr. Colluri who allocated and approved the so-called "additional funding" for the brand new grade crossing signals on the SIRT. That being said, I am going to stronly disagree with you on this one. It has always beeen very apparent that you despise the M&E, and I know you would love to see someone from that company get indicted. In case you haven't heard, the M&E recently assisted the state in the arrest of two individuals who TRIED to get the M&E to participate in a scam to steal state funds.

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