• CR on the Southern Secondary

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey

Moderator: David

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  by R&DB
 
Winslow - Woodmansie was closed due to lack of traffic. Passenger traffic ended in 1953. The oyster business in Delaware Bay died in the '60s. Produce shipments went more to Philly. The sand shipments to Matawan ended when the glass plants closed. So no need to pay to maintain the line when the reduced traffic could go via Pavonia. The track from Winslow to Vineland is also unused for the same reasons. (Although SRNJ does some car storage there.)
CNJ used to compete with PRR for traffic from South to North Jersey. When Conrail took over all freight, there was no longer a need for the Southern. Any traffic that needs to go between the two areas just gets routed via Pavonia and West Trenton.
  by CJPat
 
Lakehurst to Winslow was abandoned by Conrail because the trackage was completely unnecessary. There was very little in the way of customers between Lakewood and Winslow. Because of all the mergers under Conrail, the bigger qty of traffic south & east of Winslow could now be handled directly thru Philly & Camden and Conrail was looking to shed as many redundant track miles as they could to cut costs (they were trying to salvage all those railroad companies that declared bankruptcy).

They didn't want back up and alternative routes. It was unaffordable. The goal was to shed weight to something maintainable. The other alternative was to drown in the existing costs and have Conrail completely collapse. In my opinion, they did save railroading in the northeast. The 1960s thru 1970s was such a horrid time for rail. Of course, the government saved freight rail, but of course they were the ones that caused it's near demise in the first place with the added regulations, taxes, and subsidies going to highway and air travel as well as moving the US Mail Contracts from rail to airplane.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:29 pm @JohnFromJersey Not entirely how much was lost to housing and highways in South Jersey, especially seeing as how many more smaller customers and local trains they have compared to around here. The decision to close Winslow-Woodmansie doesn’t seem to have a clear reason behind it...

That redundancy you mentioned is actually a good reason to reopen the Winslow-Woodmansie segment but right now I can’t say if there’s demand for it. If it were to happen it would probably be best if it was all operated by one company. I’d say either Seashore Lines or Winchester and Western if it were up to me. That would pretty interesting!
I can't really see any of those two companies running trains on this line, to be honest. What would they be moving and to where? Short-haul sand trains? I could see a Class I or even C&D running trains on this if they wanted to use it as an overflow route, meaning long trains and potentially HAZMAT stuff that local towns on the Southern and FIT might not like. Even still, there's not enough heavy industry in the Eastern Central and Southern NJ that would justify reopening a major route like this, I feel.

We'll have to see. If Plate F cars do get allowed on the Southern by C&D's and NJ's "investment," that opens the door to a lot of things.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
CJPat wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:22 am Lakehurst to Winslow was abandoned by Conrail because the trackage was completely unnecessary. There was very little in the way of customers between Lakewood and Winslow. Because of all the mergers under Conrail, the bigger qty of traffic south & east of Winslow could now be handled directly thru Philly & Camden and Conrail was looking to shed as many redundant track miles as they could to cut costs (they were trying to salvage all those railroad companies that declared bankruptcy).

They didn't want back up and alternative routes. It was unaffordable. The goal was to shed weight to something maintainable. The other alternative was to drown in the existing costs and have Conrail completely collapse. In my opinion, they did save railroading in the northeast. The 1960s thru 1970s was such a horrid time for rail. Of course, the government saved freight rail, but of course they were the ones that caused it's near demise in the first place with the added regulations, taxes, and subsidies going to highway and air travel as well as moving the US Mail Contracts from rail to airplane.
Even with those regulations and taxes gone earlier (damn you ICC, and the Staggers Act was one of the few times President Jimmy Carter didn't screw things up), the same thing would've happened; they would've shed A LOT of rail lines. Granted, they probably wouldn't have shed as much, we'd still probably have CNJ, PRR, and NYC, but tracks like the Southern would probably still be affected as industry dried up. If I'm correct, railroads receive NO subsidies except grants to improve infrastructure; airlines and trucks receive a ton, or at least did until recently.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
R&DB wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:11 am Winslow - Woodmansie was closed due to lack of traffic. Passenger traffic ended in 1953. The oyster business in Delaware Bay died in the '60s. Produce shipments went more to Philly. The sand shipments to Matawan ended when the glass plants closed. So no need to pay to maintain the line when the reduced traffic could go via Pavonia. The track from Winslow to Vineland is also unused for the same reasons. (Although SRNJ does some car storage there.)
CNJ used to compete with PRR for traffic from South to North Jersey. When Conrail took over all freight, there was no longer a need for the Southern. Any traffic that needs to go between the two areas just gets routed via Pavonia and West Trenton.

A bigger question is, why did the Delaware Bay Oyester Business collapse? I know the Barnegat Bay one collapsed as the pollution from the houses that were built around it, and the boats of the people who lived in them, killed off a lot of the marine life (I did a research project on this last year). I'm also assuming that the glass plants that used to be very numerous in Central NJ were either lost to NJ's unfriendly business environment and/or outsourcing that started to take hold around the late 70s/early 80s.
  by Bracdude181
 
@R&DB and CJPat Thank you for the information. I had been wondering why everything south of a certain point was routed into Camden.

@JohnFromJersey I mentioned those two specifically because I believe that they can service all area customers efficiently and at a good price, while also providing the maintenance needed around here. I can’t say I am enthusiastic about C&D running down here from the research I have been doing...

Just on the Oyster thing, wasn’t that a popular commodity on the Barnegat Branch in the early 1900s? Supposedly all the Oysters would be loaded onto trains and be shipped to NYC where all the area restaurants would buy them. Remember reading that somewhere...
  by R&DB
 
Just on the Oyster thing, wasn’t that a popular commodity on the Barnegat Branch in the early 1900s? Supposedly all the Oysters would be loaded onto trains and be shipped to NYC where all the area restaurants would buy them. Remember reading that somewhere...

The oyster business in the Delaware Bay out of Bivalve and Maurice River was huge. Much was shipped on the CNJ to the NYC area. Killed off by pollution.
Another huge shipper was Seabrook Farms. Cheaper frozen foods from other areas of the country reduced this business.
The sand product from below Bridgeton was very desirable for glass making. The Matawan area glass makers got priced out by cheaper labor elsewhere.
And as CJPat noted there was basically 0 customers between Lakehurst and Winslow until Clayton bought part of the line. And that lasted less than 10 years because of the construction economy went to H**L.
  by Rustygunz60
 
The collapse of the Delaware Bay oyster fishery was due to a variety of issues. The elimination of the prohibition of motorized vessels used for harvest increased efficiency and caused a decline in the resource. Then, several naturally occurring parasites dealt the death blow. The demand is there, but the oyster beds never fully recovered. More oysters are being grown now, but by means of labor-intensive aquaculture, in very artificial conditions. Unlike oysters, clamming has suffered more from human-caused water quality issues. Many waters are closed seasonally, when water temperatures cause bacteria counts to rise. Others are closed all together. Only a few large bodies of water in the bays are mostly unaffected, such as Great Bay at the mouth of the Mullica River, largely due to the undeveloped nature of the Mullica River watershed.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Seems like the chances of Winslow-Woodmansie coming back online are slim to none then. I don't think a company, rail or otherwise, would try to fix up these tracks if they are just going to be hauling sand south towards Philly or whatever industry needs them in Vineland.
Someone here has said CSX wanted to possibly use the line as an overflow/alternative to the Trenton Subdivision in the past.
  by Bracdude181
 
@JohnFromJersey That would be me. It’s a rumor I found out about through a friend. Would very much like to see it, but I don’t think we will. I think the whole point of that would’ve been to divert the oil trains (Like K611 and K614) off the Trenton Sub due to (supposedly) poor infrastructure in the Philly area and it would’ve been cheaper to fix the Southern and send trains that way than to repair the infrastructure in Philly.

Not entirely sure if it’s cheaper to fix the Southern than the infrastructure along the Trenton Sub in Philly, or if the Pinelands Commission would be accommodating of 1-2 crude oil trains a day and whatever else would be sent along this route.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:25 pm @JohnFromJersey That would be me. It’s a rumor I found out about through a friend. Would very much like to see it, but I don’t think we will. I think the whole point of that would’ve been to divert the oil trains (Like K611 and K614) off the Trenton Sub due to (supposedly) poor infrastructure in the Philly area and it would’ve been cheaper to fix the Southern and send trains that way than to repair the infrastructure in Philly.

Not entirely sure if it’s cheaper to fix the Southern than the infrastructure along the Trenton Sub in Philly, or if the Pinelands Commission would be accommodating of 1-2 crude oil trains a day and whatever else would be sent along this route.
I think it would be far cheaper to fix the Sub than essentially start a new line from Winslow-Lakewood, lmao. That being said, the re-route would be significantly longer, and they would have to fix more than just Winslow-Lakehurst, and they would have to hop onto the NJCL; NJT would HATE that.

Could be possible with the C&D operation going on.
  by CJPat
 
Too many agencies and commissions saying"Never gonna happen". If it had any possibly use to justify the costs, there would have been actions taken decades ago. Short of American Standard opening a new toilet fabrication plant in Chatsworth, this line is gone.
  by Bracdude181
 
@CJPat I had been wondering about restoring service to Chatsworth for Ocean Spray. They get a whole lot of trucks in there and supposedly all the cranberries going through that place get trucked all the way up to Boston. Maybe load the cranberries into insulated boxcars and have CSX take them to Boston from Oak Island?

Aside from everything else that’s been mentioned there could be railcar storage from Woodmansie to Chatsworth, as that part of the line isn’t completely destroyed. The bridge over RT 72 would be the hard part to fix. Anything south of Chatsworth is in horrible shape until about 1 mile north of Winslow.
  by Ken W2KB
 
R&DB wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 6:56 pm
Ken W2KB wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:39 pm
Bracdude181 wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:36 pm @pumpers You see the NJT sign? Still don’t know what that’s about.
It is my understanding that NJ Transit owns the line south of the Clayton Sand owned portion. Hence, the NJT bridge number.
The CNJ Southern Division (everything South of Perth Amboy) became Conrail property on April 1, 1975. The last trains to transit the full Southern were within a couple of years when Conrail abandoned Woodmansie to Winslow Jct. The property reverted to the NJ DoT. Clayton Sand purchased the Lakehurst to Woodmansie portion in the early '80s from the State. The stretch below Woodmansie is still State property, probably owned by DoT. Since the bridge in question still has tracks, it's probably administered by NJT.
It is my understanding that NJDOT transferred ownership of all railroad related property to NJT some years ago. NJT does claim ownership on this exhaustive list: https://www.njtransit.com/real-property ... nj-transit
  by Bracdude181
 
Well 4451 is in Port Reading so there’s something different in browns. Not sure what but I think 4429 or 4452 (ew) might’ve replaced it.
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