• CNJ Southern Division

  • Discussion of the CNJ (aka the Jersey Central) and predecessors Elizabethtown and Somerville, and Somerville and Easton, for the period 1831 to its inclusion in ConRail in 1976. The historical society site is here: http://www.jcrhs.org/
Discussion of the CNJ (aka the Jersey Central) and predecessors Elizabethtown and Somerville, and Somerville and Easton, for the period 1831 to its inclusion in ConRail in 1976. The historical society site is here: http://www.jcrhs.org/

Moderator: CAR_FLOATER

  by LBWaveDude
Rosevelt (45.4)

Where was this station? Is this the same as Shark River on the other list?
  by 1st Barnegat
LBWaveDude wrote:Rosevelt (45.4)

Where was this station? Is this the same as Shark River on the other list?
Shark River and Rosevelt were separate places. Shark River was south of East and West Earle, and Rosevelt was north.

CNJ’s Shark River Station was a 19th century station near Shark River road. 21st century map at: http://mapsonus.switchboard.com/bin/map ... tclickpost
  by 1st Barnegat
Does anyone know what CNJ signal 290A meant? What did it look like? Reference to it occurs in a 1968 employee timetable in terms of a signal aspect for "...Train Dispatcher desires train or engine to enter the Barnegat Branch..."

Its not listed at http://raildata.railfan.net/java/CNJCol ... gnals.html , http://www.railfanusa.com/info/norac-signals.html , http://raildata.railfan.net/java/DivRte/NORAC.htm , http://www.vnerr.com/training/NORAC_Signal_Rules.htm , http://crcyc.railfan.net/refs/ephem/cr- ... 0-1-88.gif , or http://crcyc.railfan.net/refs/ephem/cr- ... -1-88b.gif .

  by Zeke
When I qualified on the NY & LB in 1972 we had to work under CNJ rules. I was a Penn Central fireman and was told to go to Long Branch and meet the CNJ rules examiner. The old station at Long Branch housed all of the NY & LB officials including the dispatchers. One desk covered the Southern Division and I seem to recall there was an old green US&S CTC machine that covered the Southern down to Lakehurst ? after that it was manual block or train order territory down to Bridgeton. IIRC the Barnegat diverged at Lakehurst. CNJ rule 290 is restricting signal..... proceed at restricted speed. I would assume if you were proceeding south on the main track you may recieve a clear block signal and if you were heading past that particular signal you named and had a restricting signal it would indicate to the engineer he was heading down the Barnegat branch. Just a guess though. I do recall prior to Conrail monster CNJ JS-1's up to 150 cars. I remember seeing it Saturday afternoons south of Matawan. On weekends it seemed to run south bound late morning, early afternoons from WC ( WOOD Tower ) to BANK. During the week I used to fire The OWL and JS-1 would run 20 - 30 minutes ahead of us ( 1:00 am) thru South Amboy while we sat in the clear West of John street with our diesels, waiting for our electric train coming down from New York. Both trains were generally very heavy and long. The SJ-2 would fill out with sand hoppers somewhere down on the Southern and struggle like hell to get up Middletown grade one time I saw it with helpers shoving it up out of Red Bank.. The were a great amount of unit sand trains running up the Southern and NY & LB to Eport in the 1970 to 1977 period. When Conrail came in quite a few unit sand trains originated at Gliddens on a daily basis up until early 79. I recall heading down the Long Branch Memorial day evening 1974 and passed three sand trains heading up to Eport between South Amboy and Middletown mostly powered by SD-35's leased B&O 40's and Alco Road switchers. Pre EPA muffler days, man would those engines howl going up the roller coaster profile pre NJT Long Branch. I remember thinking where the Heck is all that sand going? I recall in the early Conrail days a road job that came up the Southern late evening terminating in Oak Island, the crew going to the motel and returning next evening on the counterpart to it heading out of Oak Island around 10 pm. It might have been symboled LE-1, LE-2 ? Whatever it's Symbol it came off around 1980-81.

  by Jtgshu
Man, a 150 car freight with helpers shoving up the Middletown grade - oh man that must have been a site - Zeke, you know off hand was is the grade of that? An ALP44 with 8 cars sometimes have a little trouble and crawl up it going west after making a station stop in Middletown - I never realized how steep it was.

The people today moan when the gates at Church St. stay down when we are in the station and don't go up before we leave!!!

My, how times have changed.....

  by 1st Barnegat
Jtgshu wrote:Man, a 150 car freight with helpers shoving up the Middletown grade - oh man that must have been a site …off hand was is the grade of that?....
This link shows the track grades on the NY&LB.


Click on it and scroll down in the left panel to near the bottom. Then just below "New York and Long Branch Railroad" click on Milepost 10.0-20.0. This opens a new window and shows the track diagrams from LILY to OCEANPORT, MIDDLETOWN and RED BANK inclusive. The grades before and after MIDDLETOWN seem to .801 and .79, pretty steep for the Atlantic Coastal plain. A grade of 1.00 (a 1 percent grade) indicates a rise (or fall) of one foot in a hundred feet. Of course these are grades for a railroad laid down in 1875, and for one not originally hauled by electric motive power.

  by 1st Barnegat
Zeke wrote: ... When Conrail came in quite a few unit sand trains originated at Gliddens on a daily basis up until early 79...
I was fortunate to see a few of the Glidden Spur sand trains in the 1990's. These were unit trains with a conveyor system to tranfer sand from hopper to hopper and to waiting customers. Once during that period there was a wreck at the crossing of the Glidden Spur and County Rte. 547, with a couple hoppers off the rails that came to rest tilted. Tore up some of 547 too. Sadly the Glidden Spur is no more...
See http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.ph ... &start=270 , fourth post down.

  by Jtgshu
Wow, thats a cool map, but there sure looks like there is a grade east of middletown station, the map shows the dip where the current Laurel phase gap is (hendrickson Rd.) and Lily, for the old Lily Tulip Plant, now housing and a big mall, but i don't think its flat east of the current middletown station (Nut Swamp Rd on teh map is Church street, and the station is on the left side now. There definately is an uphill grade there, going west, adn it levels out pretty much at the automatic.....145 maybe, I can't think of hte number now (westbound)

44 powered trains CRAWL up that hill if they are low on sand or if they have bad wheelslip, and don't really start to gain speed until the automatic and around the Navy RR bridge, then start to head down the slight downhill heading towards Oak Hill Road and towards Red Bank..

Oh well, whatever, but thats a great map....I forgot about that site, they got some great stuff there

  by Zeke
Say First Barnegat where is the Barnegat branch ? I checked out the track map and the only branch I saw was the Toms river secondary heading off east at Lakehurst. Yes JT back in the 1970 - 76 period the NY & LB could be a sleepy little railroad during off peak times. On weekends in 1974 for example Westbounds to Bay head departed Matawan at 1:42 am ,the next westbound was CNJ train #5381 at 9:01 am the next PC #1155 at 11:14 am.

We even had a bunk house for layovers on Osborne ave in Bay Head. Back on topic CNJ freight trains were fairly close to the same schedule Mon - Fri to avoid conflicting with the passenger trains and the JS trains always ran late at night. That grade up out of the Navesink river bottom was extra tough for big trains cause you could not get a run on it due to the fact you were curving off the Southern thru Bank interlocking at 15 miles per hour. Once your caboose cleared Bank you were already way into the teeth of that grade and not likely to get much over 20 mph and with a wet rail the chances of stalling were pretty good, thats where the Alcos excelled, they could pull a house down at low speed. Hence the LB DS telling the Red bank drill crew to get on the hind end and shove him up to South Amboy. That little grade curving out of Matawan was also tough.

  by Jtgshu
Man, too bad I was born a few years too late to miss all this!!!

Yea, thats a long climb up east of Bank to the "summit" by Oak Hill Rd....

Too bad the closest thing we can get today to any of this is a once a week freight, or a NJT trian with a loco with a few traction motors cut out!!!
  by 1st Barnegat
Have done some Internet exploring on CNJ Signal 290, which was, of course, “Restricting,” and took my best guess at CNJ Signal 290A. Maybe CNJ Signal 290A was the equivalent of NORAC Signal 288.

It seems a signal that is a flashing indication (see http://www.railfanusa.com/info/norac-signals.html) usually corresponds to a letter designation. NORAC signal aspects 281b, 281c, 282a, are examples of this, even though NORAC signal aspect 283a is an exception.

NORAC signals 286 and 288 also flash, but are not included in the CNJ 1954 rules at http://raildata.railfan.net/java/CNJCol ... gnals.html . Perhaps they were created after 1954.

NORAC signal 288 is a variation of 290, where the yellow light flashes instead of remaining constant. Signal 290 means “Proceed at Restricted Speed until:
1) Passing a more favorable fixed signal,
2) One train length past location where more favorable cab signal is received, or
3) Entering non-signalled DCS territory."

Entering non-signaled DCS territory was applicable for the Barnegat Branch – there were no fixed wayside signals in 1968 on the Branch. The main line of the Southern Division, however, did have some fixed wayside signals. I recall one on the way towards Whitings.

Here’s the definition of DCS: “FORM D Control System (DCS) A block system, signaled or non-signaled, in which the movement of trains outside of yard limits is authorized by Form D.”

Perhaps CNJ wanted to indicate Restricting, but also to indicate the need to stop and pick up a form D. Which, in their case, is a “Clearance Card Form A,” as seen at http://raildata.railfan.net/cnj/bor/homebor.html
Last edited by 1st Barnegat on Sun Feb 13, 2005 9:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by 1st Barnegat
Zeke wrote:... where is the Barnegat branch ? I checked out the track map and the only branch I saw was the Toms river secondary heading off east at Lakehurst...
You're right - the only piece left of CNJ's Barnegat Branch is the ConRail Shared Assest Toms River Industrial Track. The TRIT still sees some service to a tank car customer. Until recently, freight would go as far as just west of Mule Road to a lumber company. This is near the spur to Ciba-Geigy across Rte. 37, but that is no longer operating.

Here's two maps of the Barnegat Branch in the CNJ days (and the whole CNJ system for that matter): http://mapmaker.rutgers.edu/HISTORICALM ... R_1941.jpg . Look for the line between Lakehurst and Barnegat. Also try http://raildata.railfan.net/cnj/homecnj.html and click on "System Map."

The last regular passenger train was known as the "Fisherman's Train [1]," and lasted into 1953. The last freight to Barnegat was before 1969-1970, when the tracks there were removed. The "Trail of the Blue Comet,"by Christopher T. Baer, William J. Coxey, and Paul W. Schopp shows a 1966 photo of freight in Barnegat. The last freight to Waretown was 1973 and the tracks to Oyster Creek (site of the nuclear power plant) lasted until 1979. Freight continued to Toms River into the '80s.

Here's a good web site on the Barnegat Branch: [1] http://octrainguy.com/barnegatbranch.html

Robert A. Staples web site ( http://www.thebluecomet.com/cnjsoudiv.html ) has a few photos of trains on the Barnegat Branch.

Please respect all copyrights in these web sites.

  by NJ Vike
Here's some photos I did recently and not too long ago and includes Chatsworth Station prior to being moved. I do have the shot of where it is now being used as a residence.

The tracks were there that cross RT563 to about two or three years ago. Some railroad employees ( I was told) were using a RR company truck and removing the tracks and then selling the tracks for scrap :-(

Here's the pictures:

http://forums.railfan.net/forums.cgi?bo ... 6;start=20

  by Milepost 12
I know this is kind of an old string in the forum but it brought back a lot of semi-sweet memories.

Back in January 1980 when I was 15 , I moved with my family to Bayville ( actually the Pinewald section ). Three months earlier we went to look at houses there and we came along a great newly built house by the twin gates part of Princeton Ave. I was in my glory because low and behold on the other side of the street was the former CNJ's Barnaget Branch. Not a house but the tracks ! I was in heaven, while my family went inside to look at the house, I ran across the street ! After scouting out the tracks and area, I ran back in the house and said, " We'll take it !!!!".

That was in October of '79. We sold our house in Garfield and in January of 1980 we moved. The day we met the moving truck at the new house , of course I ran across the and I couldn't believe my eyes. The track were GONE !! From under a foot of snow that was on the ground they were gone ! Torn up I found out from Barnaget to Admiral Avenue in Beachwood. Growing up in Garfield, I always had the NYS&W Passaic Branch ( or the Garfield Branch ) 1 block from my house and the ex-Erie Bergen County Line a short bike ride away but now I have no ROW near me.

After a month or so I use to ride my bike to take pictures up to Toms River to watch the Trilco Drill once a week and Toms River Chemical's Drills but by the mid-80's that was gone too.

Funny some things on the branch still exist like where the old Pinewald station was on the corner of Wheaton Ave & Central Blvd. The flagpole is still there visible through the scrub pines and oaks. The old coal dock in Barnaget is a great piece of history of the line's past. I still have packed away in my parent's attic a crossbuck from the branch a Conrail Maintenance Crew member gave me back in 1980 when they where doing a sweep of the branch for loose ends. We were talking about the line and it's demise and the one of the gentleman said here is a little something to remember it by.

A question I have is what was the last company to do business with the CNJ south of Forked River before the abandonment of that part of the branch in 1973. I know of the business' in Toms River, Berkeley and Lacey but i am not sure of south of the Nuke Plant. Could it be where Clayton is there ? This will help me out alot in the modeling off the branch I am doing.

Thanks again for letting me reflect a bit on the old branch and any help on the business' south of the nuke joint that the CNJ serviced on the branch would really help.
  by pumpers
I was down at Bayside yesterday on the Delaware River (not Bayside View mentioned above by Port Norris on the Maurice River Branch), but where the main line of the southern division once ended. A beautiful and now despolate spot, but no artifacts/remnants were obvious, especially with the tide very high as it was. Hard to believe there was once a small town there. Not much of anything at all now.

Anyway, when was the line running to Bayside actually abandoned? It is not clear from the above posts. I hear it was when the caviar business (from sturgeon in the Delaware) went away. Any info on when the service was stopped to various points west of Bridgeton in this direction would be appreicated. (Bacons neck, Sheppards Mill, Bayside, Greenwich Pier, etc ) On maps.google.com, this line still shows up running a few miles west of Bridgeton towards Sheppard's Mill. -- that section must have lasted longer, I think to reach a branch to industries on the southwest side of Bridgeton.