• Article regarding the Chester Branch

  • 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, mikec, cjl330

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  by cjvrr
 
Last bit of old track was removed today. Contractor anticipates having the final 2000' of track between Berkshire Valley Road and Lake Junction installed and back in service by next Thursday.
  by joe k
 
OK..............here's a Q/A for this line

Looking at Historic Aerials at Lake Junction you can see the W&N leading west towards Picatinny Aresnal, where they are working on the Route 80 overpass...... here the line switched off towards Lake Hopatacong (Lake Junction).......HOWEVER, if you follow the W&N west towards Picatinny Arsenal (about 1/4 mile after the river bridge) there is the remains of a old Wye near a utility ROW..........look at the early 30's image and 1957. Is this the inter-change with W&N and the CNJ?? Did the W&N have a connection with CNJ near Dell Ave??
  by X4401
 
Thats a good question. Lake Junction is a maze of rails, some in service, some overgrown, and some long gone. I know of an abandoned wye track which looks to be an old CNJ wye or interchange which is currently ripped up and partialy obliterated by Roxbury Auto Wreckers. I whipped up a quick google map to outline some of the area. The wye track is outlined in yellow, is this the one your talking about?

http://www.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&h ... 3&t=h&z=11

Edit: Here is a historical Topo map that shows lake junction well:

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/njgs/enviroe ... ule/14.pdf
  by RS115
 
Great map - THANKS. Question - the abandoned crossing next to the current Chester Branch crossing of Berkshire Valley Road - I had always understoof that to be part of an old wye - was it just a siding to some long gone concern? There are some fairly serious woods in the area/not sign of any old usage. I vaguely remember when I first moved up to the area in 1984 that while not looking in service that track would have still been somewhat passable so it hadn't been dead all that long.
  by pdtrains
 
X4401 wrote:Thats a good question. Lake Junction is a maze of rails, some in service, some overgrown, and some long gone. I know of an abandoned wye track which looks to be an old CNJ wye or interchange which is currently ripped up and partialy obliterated by Roxbury Auto Wreckers. I whipped up a quick google map to outline some of the area. The wye track is outlined in yellow, is this the one your talking about?

http://www.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&h ... 3&t=h&z=11

Edit: Here is a historical Topo map that shows lake junction well:

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/njgs/enviroe ... ule/14.pdf
The yellow (abandoned) track is W&N. The wye is the junction between the CNJ high bridge branch and the W&N.

The connection from the CNJ northbound on the high bridge br on to the W&N, and then to the new connection
to the DLW main westbound, was used by CNJ/EL run thru freights between Eport and Scranton until 1976.
  by cjvrr
 
Great news! Today the new track was tied back into Lake Junction. This was the final section of track that required multiple day work windows from M&E. It also marked the best production from RCC on the project, 2,100 track feet and one turnout in 7-1/2 days. The crews busted their butts to get this section done.

Track work was complete enough to be placed back in service by 12:20pm and M&E ran a load of lumber down to Berkshire Valley Road by 2pm. Photos of this first run over this section of track are here;

http://cjvrr.rrpicturearchives.net/arch ... 712&Page=3

Now the track crew work will shift to Horseshoe Lake while final spiking, ballast placement, and tamping work goes on between Lake Junction and the Berkshire valley Road bridge.

Track is all ready for the Toys for Tots train this weekend.
  by joe k
 
Yes, you nailed the location in yellow of the old Wyw ............like you said, there was / is a ton of old rail bed within this small area!
With Route 80 blazing the trail it must have removed some of the redunant ROW's like the old Wyw (in yellow) allowing all access to be done further west at todays "Lake Junction" near Berkshore Valley Rd.......Picatinny Spur.

Interesting too is the Lake Hopatacong line (in Orange) ...........most of the old line can be clearly seen from Google Maps. Has anyone ever walked this line and found any old RR artifacts left?? (spikes etc)

How far north was this line ever going to be extended........it ends just west of todays Route 15.

Great job........thanks for the input

Joe K
  by blockline4180
 
Nice pictures, good to hear the about the fast progress!!
  by SemperFidelis
 
The line to Lake Hopatcong extended to Thomas Edison's iron plant about 15 miles north of Lake Hopatcong. Mr. Edison thought he could find a way to refine iron efficiently using magnetics but was not correct. The plant did not last all that long, if I recall my history correctly.
  by cjvrr
 
Another quick update. Progress has slowed some with the snow after Christmas. However over the last two weeks the contractor has been installing rail anchors and should finish that specific work by the end of this week. All track work will then be complete. Other work on the project should be completed by January 28th (pending weather) leaving some final cleanup that may have to wait for the snow to melt.

County had originally hoped to have a ribbon cutting / final spike ceremony on January 12th, but the pending snow storm lead us to cancel it. It will be postponed until some time in May. I will post a date, time and location, once I know it.

Chris
  by cjvrr
 
Been a long while since my last update.

Winter weather and snow cover had all work stop mid January. Mid March Railroad Construction started work again. All trackwork is now complete and punch list items are being worked on.

Fence along Horseshoe Lake in Roxbury should be completed this week.

All work on the project, including punch list items should be fully complete by April 12th, the date of the final walk through.

The County is planning a ribbon cutting ceremony for mid May.

Chris
  by cjvrr
 
FRA did a full walkthrough on April 7th. They noted four missing cotter pins, that was it.

Fence at Horseshoe Lake was completed yesterday.

Punch list items should be finished in the next few days.

A little bit more ballast work is to be done up near Lake Junction Mon-Wed next week, but otherwise the project is complete.

Kuiken lumber received their first two loads on Tuesday and they were already offloaded by Thursday. No cars at Holland Thursday.
  by X4401
 
Question about the route 10 and route 46 grade crossings: Is the state still looking into replacing them, and is this considered to be part of the Chester branch rehab or is it completely separate?
  by NYS&W142Fan
 
X4401 wrote:Question about the route 10 and route 46 grade crossings: Is the state still looking into replacing them, and is this considered to be part of the Chester branch rehab or is it completely separate?
Usually grade crossings are upgraded using State DOT money. I would think they would be separate from the County rehab.
  by cjvrr
 
Route 46 crossing for the Chester Branch has been funded by NJDOT. It should be going out to bid shortly.

I have heard Chester Branch Route 10 crossing is on the NJDOT list, however it will be a very involved project with construction staging, rebuild half the crossing at a time, etc. That crossing had been rebuilt probably 10-20 years ago with 130lb rail and is still in very good shape.
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