• Harrison Branch

  • 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 riffian
 
Not sure if this topic has been covered before, and I apologize if it has. My explorations have brought me to this former DL&W branch line which (according to an old Lackawanna ett) is about 3 and a half miles in length. This branch is almost inaccessible (except by rail of course), But after much trial and error I found the wye at the Harrison end, which still appears to be in use, and found all trackage removed at the Kingsland end. Are there any active customers on this line? Also a little history would be greatly appreciated. It appears there were many heavy industrial sites along this line, but most appear to be given over to recycling and garbage handling today. Thanks in advance for any info!
  by sullivan1985
 
riffian wrote:Not sure if this topic has been covered before, and I apologize if it has. My explorations have brought me to this former DL&W branch line which (according to an old Lackawanna ett) is about 3 and a half miles in length. This branch is almost inaccessible (except by rail of course), But after much trial and error I found the wye at the Harrison end, which still appears to be in use, and found all trackage removed at the Kingsland end. Are there any active customers on this line? Also a little history would be greatly appreciated. It appears there were many heavy industrial sites along this line, but most appear to be given over to recycling and garbage handling today. Thanks in advance for any info!
Ok, at the Kingsland End, track HAS NOT been removed, its just buried under about 6 inches of crap that locals have dumped there over the last few years. The only customer left on the branch is Omega Plastics in Lyndhurst. The plant is located right in the middle of the northern Wye that connects to the Main Line.

A few years back, Conrail used to run a trash train up the branch into North Arlington to the facility off of Schyler Ave where a green GP38 and a matching caboose would (remotly controled from somewhere in the facility from what I've been told) switch the trash cars into differant parts of the small yard they had. That operation has stopped and nothing has happened between Omega and the Harrison Wye that I have heard about in about 10 years.

I also heard that when Conrail would do these jobs, it was common if the train would derail on its way into and out of the branch due to horrible track conditions.

I used to watch the trash train cross over Oriet Way at the unprotected crossing, while it crawled over the road with its long consist of garbage.

Just to give you an idea you where it is, the tracks in Kingsland are in two places. They split somewhere behind the Verizon building at the beginning of Schyler Ave (Next to the Schyler Dinner). The eastern leg of the Wye runs through the Omega lot and connects with the Main Line facing Hoboken. It is common to see covered hoppers here that NS switches around every few days. The other half of the Wye (buried, but still in existance) runs west right behind the Schyler Dinner, over Orient Way (Tracks Out Of Service signs have recently been put up), behind what used to be Aldo's Hideaway (until it burned down not to long ago), and right through the platform at Kingsland Station where it rejoins with the Main facing Suffern.

Hope this clears things up. On the old RR.net fourms, I rememeber asking this same question and it turned into a battle of whether it should be converted into a light-rail system between Newark and Lyndhurst. Good times... Good times...

E-mail me with any other questions you might have...
  by Dougster
 
Some additional information:

The branch was also known as the Kinsland Connector

There are 2 customers and the south end of the branch. A chemical plant that gets tank cars and a customer alongside I-280 that gets occassional loads in steel coil cars.

At the north end there is at least one customer that receives centerflow covered hoppers.

Only 1 leg of the wye in Harrison us used.

There used to be a sizable yard where I-280 runs now. Used to go there when I was a kid in the 1960's and early 70's where my dad used to take me and my brother to watch the trains. The yard was for sorting cars for the many (at the time) customers on the branch and in the immediate area. Also has a small car repair shop and also MOW area. Place used to be busy. Fond memories.

Hope you find this helpful.

Doug

  by Dougster
 
Sorry- Kingsland Connector

  by Tri-State Tom
 
Doug -

I vaguely remember a fairly substantial yard there as well....along the ex-Lackawanna main just west of the NJTpke, yes ?

Are there not tell-tale reminders of this yard's existance via 4-5 wide catenary structures spanning the main in the area ?

  by sullivan1985
 
Also, the northern end of the Kingsland/Harrison connection was also the former location of the DL&W engine yards & shops (what is now Omega Plastics). The yard (according to old topo maps from the 30's and 40's) was huge, and from what I've been told, the Main Line (Back in DL&W days, the Boonton Line) was even electrified from Hoboken as far as Kingsland Station so the MU cars could use both legs of the wye to gain access to the shops.

I've explored a bit in that area to see if I could find any kinds of remains from the old shops, but there is only a few side tracks left for Omega to receive its shipments on from NS.
  by sullivan1985
 
Dougster wrote:Some additional information:

The branch was also known as the Kinsland Connector

There are 2 customers and the south end of the branch. A chemical plant that gets tank cars and a customer alongside I-280 that gets occassional loads in steel coil cars.

At the north end there is at least one customer that receives centerflow covered hoppers.

Only 1 leg of the wye in Harrison us used.

There used to be a sizable yard where I-280 runs now. Used to go there when I was a kid in the 1960's and early 70's where my dad used to take me and my brother to watch the trains. The yard was for sorting cars for the many (at the time) customers on the branch and in the immediate area. Also has a small car repair shop and also MOW area. Place used to be busy. Fond memories.

Hope you find this helpful.

Doug
Wow, had no idea there was still any activity on that end of the branch. But I shouldn't be suprised because I've never been down that way. Only been in the Lyndhurst, North Arlington & Kearny Areas.

  by Dougster
 
As far as I can tell, there are virtually no remains of the yard. While the cantenary supports did cross 5 tracks back then, they were removed to build I-280. Possibly the only remote remains is the east leg of the wye that is buried under weeds and dirt and even that may only be the switch off the M&E. The west leg was built new. The yard ran from where the east leg of the wye is to about where the exit into Harrison is located. Somewhere online there is an aerial view of the area from the 1940's that shows the yard but I have not seen it in years. The track that is alongside 280 westbound remains on its orginal alignment along side the highway but was more of a spur, not part of the yard. It used to serve the foundry located there and a factory at the stub end. Both are still there but neither get service as far as I know. The steel coils are off loaded along the spur. I wish I had photos from back then but alas as a 7 year old, I was more facinated with watching the trains. I thank you for bringing this topic up. Brought back alot of fond memories. I needed that tonight.

  by Dougster
 
Tri-State Tom:

Yes you are correct.

  by wantsrail
 
Suprise! Suprise!

Can you believe this?

That NJ Transit actually owns the Kingslands Line.

  by Sir Ray
 
Dougster wrote: The track that is alongside 280 westbound remains on its orginal alignment along side the highway but was more of a spur, not part of the yard. It used to serve the foundry located there and a factory at the stub end. Both are still there but neither get service as far as I know. The steel coils are off loaded along the spur.
I thought the steel coils are off-loaded right next to the foundry. If I remember correctly, east of Worthington Av. is kind of an 'industry park', which is mostly a parking lot with some former mill buildings. However, from the east side of parking lot you can see a chemical complex which receives tank cars.
The western end of the spur adjacent to I280 used to hold covered Hoppers for some sort of roofing firm (not sure if it's still there) into the early 1990s - then they stopped receiving rail freight for some reason.
BTW, was the huge corrugated light blue steel building ("Worthington") which occupied a block at Worthington and Harrison Ave. supposed to be reused as a film studio (and what was it in the first place)?

  by sullivan1985
 
wantsrail wrote:Suprise! Suprise!

Can you believe this?

That NJ Transit actually owns the Kingslands Line.
Doesnt suprise me much. NJT owns most of the rails in this state anyway...

  by metman499
 
The "chemical plant" is actually a foods oil company. This is the most steady traffic on the line right now. Over the summer rigger Joe Supor was recieving the coil steel. His building, where he does the coil steel, was used for warranty repairs on the NJT ALP-46s. He also hauled out at least one Comet 1 coach, now on an Army base in South Jersey. For the last few months he has been quiet.
The foundry is not rail served, nor the steel fabricating plant.
The local, H-84, comes by up to twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Normal power has been two GP40-2s but I have seen GP38-2s, GP15s, and SW-1001s. They go down the line as far as the bridge on Harrison Ave, but the track on the bridge is in really bad shape.
H-84 also works down in Kingsland during the week.

  by Lackawanna484
 
The Kingsland Connector has a bridge over the Belleville Turnpike (Route 7) at the foot of the long hill. This location often floods in high tide, or after a heavy rain. The roadway is a heavy truck route, so flooding creates serious problems. It's also the main garbage truck route to the Meadowlands Dump.

The Hudson County (Kearny) and Bergen County (North Arlington) border runs underneath this trestle, and the counties asked NJT if they could remove the bridge, and raise the roadway. NJT declined, but the matter might be revisited in the future.

  by JLo
 
The Connector also runs through part of what is the Encap site, which is projected to become golf courses, hotels and light industrial parks. Perhaps it will have new life as a result.

http://www.meadowlandsmiracle.com/Main. ... erview.asp