• Belle Mead General Depot

  • A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads
A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by clburton
I have heard about the Belle Mead General Depot but on this site there is information jumbled up.
Can anybody with information about the depot please post it. Thanks.
  by RailVet
I visited the site a few years ago but was a bit too late. The perimeter was fenced in and all of the buildings had been flattened. The track running east from the depot to a connection to an active railway had just recently been pulled up. A different track leaving the north side of the depot had been abandoned much earlier. A local fellow said the eastbound track hadn't been used in at least 20 years, if not longer.

According to a source I found, the depot had been used during WW II to provide service and repairs on equipment for units heading to the ports for deployment to Europe. Typically the personnel in the units were processed through Camp Kilmer, NJ, near Edison. According to "United States Army Transportation Corps Locomotives" by R. Tourret, GE-built US Army 7408, serial number 15726, built in 1942, provided motive power for the depot.

The site can be viewed in Google Earth, but there's little to see other than bare right-of-way and the concrete foundations of buildings that had once stood there. A topo map of the depot shows this:

http://msrmaps.com/image.aspx?T=2&S=12& ... le+mead|nj|
  by clburton
are some of the tracks still there
  by SemperFidelis
Last time I flew over the facility it appeared that a lot of trackage was still in place, but that was a year or two ago now so things may have changed.
  by RailVet
The Google Earth satellite photos are dated July 5, 2007 and, while the old rights-of-way are clearly visible, tracks are definitely long gone. Virtually everything is gone but the foundations of buildings, and that includes ballast under the rails and ties. I didn't see any tracks in place when I was there several years ago and there is nothing showing in the G.E. photos.
  by doctordirt

This Plymouth switcher served the Belle Meade/Somerville Depot for 57 years.
It was due to be scrapped when the Depot was privatized from GSA. It was instead saved by the MTA and transported to Morristown for restoration.

It is now fully operational, owned & restored by the Non-Profit Military Transport Association, and used almost daily as a yard switcher by the Morristown and Erie at their Morristown yard.

It has been restored to its 1942 color scheme since the photos were taken.