frank754 wrote:In New York State, I was aware of the SF Tower (Suffern) and the NJ Tower (Newburgh Junction at Harriman, NY), and I have a few pictures of them here:
In New Jersey, there was one Ridgewood,NJ (WJ) and also Waldwick, NJ (WC)
The one in Waldwick has been restored as a non-operating historic site, but I was inside as a teen when it was operating (around 1970).
There was also an "MQ" Tower, I believe on the Graham Line at Campbell Hall, but I never visited it personally.
BJ (Rutherford Junction) - Rutherford Junction (BJ) is probably the most out of service one that stands. Rutherford Junction hasn't served purpose since 1966, (maybe later due to freight) when the Carlton Hill Branch of the old Erie main became passenger service-less. The building stands nicely, just like Ridgewood Junction, its used as storage.
- BJ Today
BE (Bridge over Passaic River) - BE Drawbridge takes the top spot as probably my #1 best known Erie structure. BE Drawbridge was the 1892 stream drawbridge built between Carlton Hill and Passaic Park over the Passaic River. This was soon rebuilt extensively in 1908. The bridge was a swing drawbridge, which would open when a boat came by. The bridge was conveniently right next to Passaic Park station, designed similarly to Mahwah and Ridgewood to this date. BE Drawbridge was interesting to say the least. Most bridges were run with gas and other stuff. BE Drawbridge was different. It was a massive truss bridge operated by steam, and had massive boilers. BE Tower was technically on top of the truss structure. In order to operate BE Drawbridge, you needed a Blue Seal from the state of New Jersey for knowledge of boilers along with standard operation of railroad. An unwritten reason by the 1960s that the Passaic Plan was institued, outside of the merger, was that BE was badly in need of a new boiler. The last train to cross was on April 2, 1963 and at that point, BE was swung open and remained until being cut down the next year. Ironically the mayor of Passaic was going offer the bridge for free if they paid to cut it down. There is one abutment left, the Carlton Hill
side abutment. The other is under NJ 21. Its around Exit 11A on NJ 21 NB.
XW (Paterson Junction) - XW Tower at Paterson served as basically the junction of the Newark Branch and the Erie Railroad mainline in South Paterson. The tower has been long gone for a while, its purpose negated after the Passaic Plan of 1963. However, NJ Transit still considered it as XW until recently.
WJ (Ridgewood Junction) - Ridgewood Junction (WJ) is the northern merge/diverge for the Bergen County and Main Lines. The station stands with Conrail paint, but definitely stands. NJ Transit now uses it for maintenance.
WC (Waldwick Tower) - The standing one. WC Tower serviced the entrance to Waldwick Yard. This thing is prime Erie, it would compare well to HO Tower at Horseheads, New York on the Susquehanna Division. WC Tower served purpose until 1987, when similarly to SF Tower (read down) was placed on automatic and as a result, no need to keep using the tower. WC then went into a stretch of just basically falling apart. In 2004, near collapsing probably, Curt Springstead and the Waldwick Historical Society got a grant to restore the building and turn it into a museum. They're even putting the WC levers back in the building, not functioning of course!
- WC Today
SF (Suffern Tower) - Also known as the Leaning Tower of Suffern, aligned trains onto the Main Line, Hillburn Yard and the Piermont Branch. The name Leaning Tower of Suffern was from the fact that when the Thruway was built, it disturbed SF's foundation and was beginning to lean. As a result, it needed timber stands to keep the building from tipping over. They even had to remove the wheels from the seats in SF because of the lean in the building. It was demolished in 1987 when the tower's job was tossed on automatic. SF was interesting in the last years of the Erie, (not the Erie-Lackawanna, but the Erie). Many people know of the deadly wreck of Engine 859 at Sterlington due to signal dispatcher failure. The dispatcher that ended up causing this 5-death, 35 injury mess at Sterlington was based in SF Tower and because of his failure, something easily avoidable ended up becoming the worst accident of the 50s. Let's just say, the ever-thrifty Erie was able to quickly repair and even repainted Engine 859. Obvious enough, the man was fired.
NJ (Newburgh Junction) - Graham Line split from the Erie main. Torn down in the 70s after automatic changeover. A similar design to NJ would be BQ Tower up on the Delaware Division in Lackawaxen. The blocks (supposedly, see other thread) of NJ lay in the junction by rumor.
MQ (Campbell Hall Junction) - For the poster, Frank, MQ was basically where the Montgomery Branch of the Erie Railroad met the Graham Line. Campbell Hall was the location of course. It looked similar to WC Tower (the Waldwick one-Remember some were repeated, like WC Tower at West Salamanca, New York) and was constructed as the junction between the two lines. The structure had a 1911 Saxby and Farmer lever set. The Montgomery Branch via Maybrook was really the only entrance to the New England markets until the Graham Line was constructed.
FX (Graham Junction) - This is only a recent one I've learned. FX Tower served as the main junction at the western end of the Graham / Main split. Basically FX served 5 tracks, all in the same direction! How it worked is that the Graham Line had two tracks at-grade. The Main Line had two tracks going up Otisville Mountain. Now in 1954, FX's purpose flew out the window when the Erie stitched the Main Line at Graham Junction into the Graham Line. I don't think many people realize the one lone track at Graham/Guymard once had 5 tracks. FX Tower I don't have a demolition date for, but I was at Graham Junction this weekend and the Graham Station foundation stands in the grass! You can see it very well and as a result, one of the two Graham Line right-of-ways is very obvious.
Hope this is helpful, love your site, btw. I've read it before. I'll keep listing them if you guys would like.
I didn't get into teaching for the promotions or the pension plans or so I could get to the golf course by 3:45. I did it because I wanted to help you kids. I'd forgotten that, till today. -- Principal Peter Prickly.