• Need help to identify an old structure or tower at Summit, NJ Station / When this station was built

  • Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.
Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.

Moderator: blockline4180

  by steve coraggio
I am looking to find out what this structure was used for and when in operation and stopped. I was at NJ Transit Summit Station on August 23,2022 . It appears to be some type of tower for tracks and controlling trains at the east end by Summit Avenue. Summit, NJ. see atatchment

Also does anyone know when the Summit NJ Station was built. and the railroad? I want to add that information requested here into picture albums on railroad picture archibves.net of Summit Station and the structure.
Any help is greatly appreciated and will be mentioned i the album(s) . Thank you Steve Coraggio, [email protected]
  by steve coraggio

Attached here is my photo related to my original post of Monday October 17,2022 for the structure at NJ Transit Summit, NJ Station.

Picture also posted Oct .19,2022 on NJ Rail Forum Steve Coraggio, [email protected]
  by JasW
I grew up in Summit—I was a child in the 60s, and I remember going to see one of the last Lake Cities long distance trains stop at the station—and even I have no idea exactly what the tower was used for, nor does any other local railfan that I know. A guy who runs a Rahway Valley site (the RVRR connected with the DL&W a couple hundred yards east) says in the 60s, the RVRR would receive their waybills from the tower. But he otherwise has no idea about the use of the tower.

My semi-educated guess is that the tower at least had something to do with the yard on the other side of Summit Avenue, which yard used to be larger/wider until they expanded/built the large parking lot along Broad Street (half of which is now a parking garage) in the early 60s. One could see the whole of the yard from the bay windows of the tower, elevated but still looking under the Summit Avenue overpass.

It also may have something to do with the station being the last (or first, depending on the direction) joint stop of the Morristown line and Gladstone Branch, with eastbound Gladstone Branch trains arriving on the track by the wall and Morristown line trains arriving in the track in the middle.

But nobody seems to know for sure. Your photo shows how decrepit the structure has become, with the peaked roof having been removed (sometime around 10 years ago) and the architecture details on the front literally falling off. As the picture below taken in the early 70s shows, it's not just a unique structure built into a retaining wall, but had not inconsiderable architectural merit. It's a shame it was allowed to deteriorate.

(Photo courtesy trainweb.org)

Summit Station was built in 1904, which is when the tracks were depressed below street level in a long open cut. The railroad itself came through Summit in 1838 as the Morris & Essex RR, which was leased by the DL&W about 30 years later and then merged into the DL&W during WWII.
SC and JW - I have been interested in this structure built into the retaining wall just east of Summit Station myself after noticing that it does look to be an DL&W design. That photo dates from the re-electrification of the M&E Lines by NJT first half of the 1980s - note the larger insulators for 25 KV AC power and the new signal. NJT Rail Operations took direct control from Conrail just over 40 years ago on January 1, 1983.

I always found interesting during the re-electrification how the older DL&W/EL 3000 VDC electrification was kept in use along with the old MU cars - until the conversion to Arrow MU cars and AC power was completed in August 1984 - I rode one of those "Farewell to the Lackawanna MU" trains along with the crowds taking in that final day back then before the new Arrow equipment went into service. Goodbye old friends...MACTRAXX
  by steve coraggio

Thank you for replying to my inquiry about Summit Tower and how it looked with the peaked roof. have seen that shot previously . I am a railfan and saw the remains of Summit Tower when there last summer. Always nice to try and find the history of some railroad structure, building etc.

Steve Coraggio