@R&DB The sad part is this line was really good under old Conrail. Longer and faster trains and customers everywhere. They cared for this line until the very end. All that got thrown out of the window under shared assets. Putting an ex Penn Central manager in charge of this religion was a colossal mistake and it shows.
They have already tried giving this line away. That’s why we heard so many rumors about Chesapeake and Delaware taking over for a while. However, NJ Transit owns the line from all points north of Cross Street, and for some inexplicable reason they will not authorize a sale or give up Conrails trackage rights on this line. I believe this has to do with MOM but I’m not sure.
Seashore Lines might be the only hope for this area. Conrail wants nothing to do with anything south of Woodhaven, so Seashore Lines should seriously consider taking over the whole area south of Cross Street.
I think they should at least consider the following after they get Lakehurst to Woodmansie running:
1: Reopen the TRIT and serve anyone who may want rail service. Fortunately I hear that Amerigas and Builders General want rail service again so get that going first, then get some more customers and open a rail transloading facility.
2: Work out a “shared trackage” agreement from Lakehurst to Cross Street. Seashore Lines works the customers while Conrail transfers cars to and from Lakehurst. A similar example of this exists in Metuchen between Conrail and the Raritan Central Railroad.
3: Find out what can be done south of Woodmansie. If Ocean Spray doesn’t rail service then do rail car storage from Woodmansie to Chatsworth.
4: If the operation gets big enough, build a small freight yard in Lakehurst just north of the Route 70 bridge.
5: Passenger excursions from Lakehurst to Woodmansie and back with CNJ 1523 and some coaches.
6: Local freight service from Red Bank to Bay Head. Pulling this off is possible, but it would be very difficult.
What do you guys think? Personally I’d love to see the aforementioned things happen! It could be very profitable for Seashore Lines and Conrail, and it would take a lot of trucks off the roads.