• 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

  by JohnFromJersey
 
Went out to see the train pass through some crossings not too far away.

A few things I will note:
1. This is the first time in a long time that I've seen only a single-engine has traversed the Southern.
2. The crossings seem to be in need of some serious work; sometimes they will flicker on and off as the trains go by, like in this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOy73bdg-fM, and/or they'll stay on long after the train has passed. The crossing in the video is Asbury Rd, right next to Extech.
3. I saw a car run the crossing, with the train only feet away from hitting it as it sped through. If the max speed on this line was a bit higher, you'd see some serious accidents around here.
  by Bracdude181
 
@JohnFromJersey It’s been like this for a very, very long time. The downfall began in 2003.

When you get a chance, chase the train all the way from Red Bank to Lakewood in daylight. You’ll see everything that goes on. The light runners, the broken crossings, the god awful track,the whole nine yards. It’s a very far cry to how good this line was under 80s-90s and even early 2000s Conrail.
  by Bracdude181
 
Just heard from a friend that SA38 messed up the switching at Brick Recycling. Instead of taking the empty tank out, they put the loaded one in front of it and left. Now Bel Ray is unable to unload the tank car.

Will be interesting to see how this gets sorted.
  by NY&LB
 
In reference to the above post. Is your friend a railroader? Saying the crew “messed up” might be his opinion but there likely is a good reason for what was done.
This type of post is not productive and one of the reasons for “unfriendly” crews.
PLEASE think before you post “hearsay” material.
THANK YOU.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:10 am Just heard from a friend that SA38 messed up the switching at Brick Recycling. Instead of taking the empty tank out, they put the loaded one in front of it and left. Now Bel Ray is unable to unload the tank car.

Will be interesting to see how this gets sorted.
Pretty sure this has been done before without issue, it's just rare. I'm going to go on a whim and say it was done because the switching was probably done at like 2 am. I don't blame them, there's limited light sources and I wouldn't want to be getting in and out of a cab at that hour on the side of 34/33 there.

If it's an issue, they'll probably send a single engine or switcher down to fix it.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Bracdude181 wrote: Fri Oct 08, 2021 7:41 am @JohnFromJersey It’s been like this for a very, very long time. The downfall began in 2003.

When you get a chance, chase the train all the way from Red Bank to Lakewood in daylight. You’ll see everything that goes on. The light runners, the broken crossings, the god awful track,the whole nine yards. It’s a very far cry to how good this line was under 80s-90s and even early 2000s Conrail.
I find it hard to believe that the line was *ever* in better shape compared to now with how miniscule the traffic is and for how long it's been that way (since the mid-90s, I'm assuming).

Speaking of that, does anyone know *how* much of the line C&D is supposedly taking over? It's confirmed that it's the FIT and SOUS, but will they also have control/trackage rights on the Hightstown Industrial Track too? I'm just wondering since if C&D wants to expand their operations in Central/South Jersey a bit after taking over, they won't have any connections to South Jersey, unless they reconnect the HIT and the Bordentown Secondary, or restore the SOUS down to Winslow. I doubt the NEC or anything else would be an option for them to operate on.
  by CharlieL
 
Don't think re-railing the Hightstown secondary is even possible; no provision has been made (a bridge) under the Hightstown bypass (rte 133), and thru Hightstown itself and beyond the former ROW no longer exists, to say nothing of the rail bridge in the center of town. It's not encroachment, the ROW was abandoned and I'm guessing sold off.
  by Bracdude181
 
@JohnFromJersey Forgot to mention that while it’s normal to have 2 cars in the same spot there they need to positioned right for unloading. From the report I got it sounds like the loaded tank was placed fairly close to the switch inside Brick Recyclings property instead of right next to the building.

It’s funny you mention someone taking over the Hightstown Industrial. I’m honestly surprised Conrail hasn’t gotten rid of that line by now! C&D could take it over as part of the whole thing, but it remains to be seen. Also for what it’s worth, I think they should get some more customers on that if they will take it over. Some of the people out there want rail service but Conrail can’t be bothered.

As for how this line was in the 90s, it was FAR better than it was now.

You still had 25 MPH trains. (Outside of Lakewood)

You still had at least one train a day, and extra crews to switch out customers as needed.

A lot of the trains had weird power. B40-8s, B23-7s, SD40s, SD50s, SD60s, C39-8s, hell, anything that was in Browns came down!

Customers EVERYWHERE. Big, small, and they dealt with lots of different products. Plastics, Lumber, Tar, Propane, Fertilizer, Telephone Poles, Sheetrock, Sand, (out of Glidden) And whatever the Military dealt with. (Usually toxic waste but sometimes weapons)

I mean it probably pales in comparison to how it was under the CNJ, but as a smaller secondary under Conrail it was great!

As I’ve mentioned a lot of times, the downfall began in 2003. Less trains, customer exodus, deteriorating track, closure of the TRIT, and all of NJTs nonsense on freight car restrictions started around that time too.

This line can truly be great again, but it’s going to take a lot of work, and an operator willing to provide efficient service for a cheap price.
  by Bracdude181
 
@CharlieL Yea it’s almost impossible to extend the Hightstown Industrial past Route 133, but between there and Jamesburg there’s several potential customers. That part is abandoned now though. Conrail took the tracks out of service after Chamberlain and Barclay went out of business in 2019.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
CharlieL wrote: Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:57 pm Don't think re-railing the Hightstown secondary is even possible; no provision has been made (a bridge) under the Hightstown bypass (rte 133), and thru Hightstown itself and beyond the former ROW no longer exists, to say nothing of the rail bridge in the center of town. It's not encroachment, the ROW was abandoned and I'm guessing sold off.
Which is a damn shame, since, to my knowledge, that was THE Camden and Amboy Railroad, one of the first railroads ever. Very strange that the however many miles long middle was abandoned, but the ends of it were left in tact. Doesn't make much sense. If C&D ever wanted to go deeper into South Jersey, they would probably have to do something with Winslow-Woodmansie
Bracdude181 wrote: Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:07 pm @JohnFromJersey Forgot to mention that while it’s normal to have 2 cars in the same spot there they need to positioned right for unloading. From the report I got it sounds like the loaded tank was placed fairly close to the switch inside Brick Recyclings property instead of right next to the building.

It’s funny you mention someone taking over the Hightstown Industrial. I’m honestly surprised Conrail hasn’t gotten rid of that line by now! C&D could take it over as part of the whole thing, but it remains to be seen. Also for what it’s worth, I think they should get some more customers on that if they will take it over. Some of the people out there want rail service but Conrail can’t be bothered.

As for how this line was in the 90s, it was FAR better than it was now.

You still had 25 MPH trains. (Outside of Lakewood)

You still had at least one train a day, and extra crews to switch out customers as needed.

A lot of the trains had weird power. B40-8s, B23-7s, SD40s, SD50s, SD60s, C39-8s, hell, anything that was in Browns came down!

Customers EVERYWHERE. Big, small, and they dealt with lots of different products. Plastics, Lumber, Tar, Propane, Fertilizer, Telephone Poles, Sheetrock, Sand, (out of Glidden) And whatever the Military dealt with. (Usually toxic waste but sometimes weapons)

I mean it probably pales in comparison to how it was under the CNJ, but as a smaller secondary under Conrail it was great!

As I’ve mentioned a lot of times, the downfall began in 2003. Less trains, customer exodus, deteriorating track, closure of the TRIT, and all of NJTs nonsense on freight car restrictions started around that time too.

This line can truly be great again, but it’s going to take a lot of work, and an operator willing to provide efficient service for a cheap price.
Interesting, I was under the impression that the most amount of trains this line got over the last 30 years was twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'd blame the "downfall" of this line more on factors that aren't within Conrail's control, like NJ's unfriendly business environment and the 2008 crash. I believe Gold's Lumber went out of business directly because of the 08 fiasco.
  by Bracdude181
 
@JohnFromJersey Gold Lumber Co got bought out by Home Depot and Home Depot decided to close the location. It burned down not long after that.

NJs taxes on businesses and NJT freight restrictions are a big reason why the Southern Secondary (and Central NJ as a whole) have gotten so bad, but it’s mostly because of who’s in charge in North Jersey. They don’t care about anything out of Browns or much of the system they are running for that matter. You’ll notice that over the past 20 years most of the upgrades in Conrail North Jersey have been to the Lehigh Line and Oak Island.

Everything else? Either sold off, abandoned, or neglected in one way or another. In the 2000s they had another line they were running and I kid you not, Conrail wanted it gone because they lost $4700 on it annually.

But the income generated by the line was over 1.5 million annually!!!
  by RailsEast
 
Mods forgive me, a bit off topic, but NJT with funds in place has named a contractor for the Portal bridge replacement.
https://njbmagazine.com/njb-news-now/po ... announced/
It has been said that the Portal replacement is necessary for full utilization of the proposed Gateway Tunnels (tunnels which will hopefully use South Jersey sand via the Southern Secondary).
This is a pretty big announcement today, let's hope the 'real' big announcement is not too far off.
  by NY&LB
 
Weeks marine has been working on the Raritan (River Bridge) replacement for quite some time and pouring a LOT of concrete without any train loads of jersey sand. I doubt that the Portal bridge will require vast quantities of sand. Now the tunnels are another story……
Last edited by NY&LB on Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by R&DB
 
#1582394 by RailsEast
Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:40 pm
Good news! Lets hope they move quickly.
  by GSC
 
No one mentioned that an empty centerbeam is parked in Brick Recycling, along with the two tank cars. Was it left as an idler, or just parked there for convenience? It looks like it's in the way. Not exactly sure if that siding can take the weight of two loaded tanks plus one or two locomotives.
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