• 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 CJPat
 
Fort McGuire Dix spur.
We assume you mean the Lakehurst Naval Air Station Spur? Fort Dix and McGuire AFB were served by the Union Transportation and PRR out in the Wrightstown side.
  by Bracdude181
 
@CJPat Yes that’s the one. The one in Lakehurst.

You can also see a picture of an NS engine on that spur in the pictures.
  by R&DB
 
The picture of NS 3045 at Gold Lumber shows how bad the track is at that spot. On that day, the engines snowplow hit the ground and dug into an adjacent concrete foundation that was once a train station.
There was only 1 station in Farmingdale and it was a joint PRR & CNJ station located at the northeast quadrant of the diamond at south end of Boud Ave. See my avatar, picture taken from Railroad Ave, looking northeast early 1900s. Station later enlarged in 1920s but was long gone by 1980. Looking at aerial photo from 2002 shows nothing but grass at the location.
The foundation that the loco plowed was probably one of the many structures along the curve or something dumped on the RoW. Where the curve begins on the FIT heading Toward the Sou. Sec. there was a switch where the FIT would have continued on to the diamond. Conrail often tied down locos there in the 80s & 90s. Saw them there many times when I lived in Maxim, but never took a photo.
You can also see a picture of an NS engine on that spur in the pictures.
That spur was used to haul away plutonium contaminated soil from a Bomarc missile silo accident on 539. The loading was done just inside the gate on Hope Chapel Road.
Last edited by R&DB on Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Bracdude181
 
@R&DB So that’s why they were still shipping waste from there. Trains carrying plutonium on the Southern is a worrisome thought! Weren’t they also shipping out bomb waste for a while?

My friend told me the foundation that NS 3045 hit was a train station foundation. Interesting to know that it was not a station that used to be there.

There was a sort of industrial park there for a while. There was a coal station nearby and the dilapidated building across from Freeway Warehouses used to be called Agway. I think they dealt with grain. Aside from the now defunct Gold Lumber, I can’t think what would have been there.

Edit: Forgot to mention that another building nearby (Crosslin Contractor Supply) got shipments of dog food by boxcar many years ago.

Man, all these people in one spot! We need places like that on this line again.
  by CharlieL
 
I guess you could call the contaminated soil they were shipping bomb waste, since the contamination came from a nuclear warhead. As for risk, they were shipping plutonium contaminated sand, not plutonium per se. The half-life of Pu-241 the most likely isotope to be used in a nuclear warhead, is a little over 24,000 years, so they could not leave it there. And shipping by truck would have been far more hazardous. And you're talking maybe 20 pounds of plutonium, tops mixed with several thousand tons of sand.
  by R&DB
 
Trains carrying plutonium on the Southern is a worrisome thought!
Sealed lead lined containers designed for the purpose.

The Navy never admitted to storing nuclear weapons at Earle either, but at one time they did. How do you think they got there?
Two routes, Coast Line to Southern and PRR to Farmingdale with trackage rights to Earle. Both routes were used to ship ammo for all types of surface ships. Back in the 60s and 70s you could tell when there were nukes on site by who was guarding the gates on RT-34. Rent-a-cops = no nukes. US Marines = nukes present. These days no US Navy surface ships carry nuclear weapons and Earle does not service submarines.
BTW I am ex-Navy. Submarine Service.
  by Bracdude181
 
@CharlieL and R&DB Thanks for the information.

I originally thought that the contaminated soil they were moving was from them cleaning up all the areas on the property where they test explosives and do training for the Air Force. No idea they were cleaning up nuclear materials. That worrisome thought comment comes from the fact that back then the Southern had some real nasty spots of track. Many of which are still there today and haven’t gotten any better!

P.S. Thank you for your service R&DB.
  by CharlieL
 
That dilapidated concrete building I believe was a cannery for Rokeach foods, specifically, tomatos and tomato paste. I believe someone on here said his father or grandfather was the boiler operator there. They shipped first by rail and then later by truck. Perhaps the concrete that was struck was a loading platform or ramp there.

I vaguely remember other stuff there, walked the old track between 524 and railroad ave several times around 2011 or so. A couple of sections of the track leading toward the old station were still there south of southard ave along with the remains of a couple of switches (which led me to believe incorrectly there had been a wye).
  by R&DB
 
along with the remains of a couple of switches
Charlie,
The curve and the FIT almost to 524 were double tracked and the stretch of the Southern from north of Main St to the FIT turnout was triple tracked until the 80s. When Golds Lumber was built (1980s?), they just used one of the double track as a siding for Golds. I think the second track on the curve was removed at the same time. It was used as a siding for the cannery and I find it strange they kept that track so close to the buildings.
  by Tanker1497
 
"And you're talking maybe 20 pounds of plutonium, tops mixed with several thousand tons of sand"

Approximately 300 g (11 oz) of WGP was not recovered after the original clean up (1960) and "a significant fraction of the radiological material contained in the weapon". Was shipped…to Medina Base, San Antonio TX" and then to Amarillo.
After repairs to the Lakehurst rail spur. Shipping from April 2002 through May 27, 2004, 21,998 cu yd (16,819 m3)
of "contaminated debris and soils were packaged,
shipped, and disposed" at Clive, Utah, 80 mi (130 km) west of Salt Lake City.

In general, the $6.5 million project will remove approximately 12,000 cubic yards of soil and 440 cubic yards
of building debris over six-months beginning next spring. The debris will be packaged appropriately and taken
by truck along Fort Dix and NAES Lakehurst roads to a refurbished rail loading facility on NAES Lakehurst.
The material will then be loaded onto railroad gondola cars and taken to the commercial rail line east of the
base via a reconstructed rail spur.
  by GSC
 
The triple track section was the interchange yard between CNJ and PRR. It was rare to see anything parked there. One of the last times it was used was in 1972 when the CNJ dropped off caboose 91155, that went to the Pine Creek RR at Allaire. The old 91000-series wooden cabooses had arch bar trucks and friction bearings and were outlawed at that time. BTW, that caboose was the very first CNJ wooden caboose, rebuilt from a Southern RR of NJ box car in 1871. It later was rebuilt with a steel frame (wood-framed cabooses pushed by helper locos tended to squash). Why CNJ started numbering the units with 91155 is a mystery.
  by Bracdude181
 
@Tanker1497 So they will start bringing waste cars back to Lakehurst this spring??
  by R&DB
 
In general, the $6.5 million project will remove approximately 12,000 cubic yards of soil and 440 cubic yards
of building debris over six-months beginning next spring. The debris will be packaged appropriately and taken
by truck along Fort Dix and NAES Lakehurst roads to a refurbished rail loading facility on NAES Lakehurst.
The material will then be loaded onto railroad gondola cars and taken to the commercial rail line east of the
base via a reconstructed rail spur.
@Tanker;
Is that a quote from 2002 or is it recent?
  by CharlieL
 
I think Tanker was quoting a news article at the time of the cleanup
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