Discussion relating to the PRR, up to 1968. Visit the PRR Technical & Historical Society for more information.
  by TAMR213
Hi everyone. I was wondering if anyone had any info, maps, track diagrams, etc. On the area of the NEC around New Brunswick, County, and by the former Kilmer Military Base. Infact, behind my house, there is a spur from the NEC, that seems to of gone to Kilmer, track is still there in the woods, track dates to around 1917. Also, in the area, I see that there are many old spurs that are no longer used, and looking on some old topo maps, it seems as if there was a small yard directly next to Edison station. The area now looks like a small industrial park, and as if it was onetime serviced like one. I would be very interested if anyone had some info. Thanks.

  by GandyDancer

Kilmer was served by the Reading and the Lehigh Valley from South Plainfield and by the PRR off the NEC.

What you see behind the Edison station and running parallel to the NEC on the Westbound side was mainly Reading trackage (was still drilled by a Reading switcher when I commuted from the Edison Station in the early '70's). The PRR drilled the American Can spur farther East.

That lonely steel bridge that spans the NEC farther east from the Edison station was part of the Kilmer loop, which was the way Eastbound PRR trains entered Camp Kilmer from the NEC. If you look in the woods near the apartments on the Eastbound side, you can still find bits of the trackage.

There were about 10-15 stub tracks for troop trains located roughly in the area on both sides of Kilmer Rd. near where the Motor Vehicle office is today. The lead to those tracks is still there, running through the parking lots. It used to run all the way down to Cedar Lane past the old Rutgers Press buildings and then curved North paralleling Davidson Rd./Hoes Lane through the Livingston and Busch campuses (before there were campuses) back to the Reading and the LV.

There was another set of team tracks where heavy equipment (bulldozers, tanks, half-tracks) was loaded onto flatcars about where the Rutgers Press buildings were located.

You can see some of the original Army buildings (gray colored) just across Kilmer Rd. from the truck driving school and those streets are part of the original Kilmer plant.

I have seen a Kilmer track map before and if I locate it, I will post a link.

  by TAMR213
Thanks for the info Gandy. I knew about the Lone Bridge over the NEC, and that the buildings and many others were Army buildings, as I live right down the street from them (Cedar Lane in HP). I did not know that there were stub tracks located currently where the inspection station was, I always thought they just went into the tracks for the buildings located across from the truck driving school. Do you know of the spur that crosses Kilmer Road north of the Kilmer Mail facility (that is no longer used)? Was it an industrial spur? It seems as if it was at one time, along with many others in the area. Were these too switched by the Reading? Interesting to hear that the Reading switched industries so close to the Pennsy. Do you know why this was? I would really appriciate the track maps of the area. Also, I would really appriciate if you had any photos of the area. I have been loking for some history on these rail operations, as they are right up the road from me, but haven't been able to find much, if anything sometimes. Thanks again.

  by GandyDancer
All the trackage from where Cedar Lane curves into Kilmer Rd. (an entrance gate was there once) up to Plainfield Ave. was all military.

The troop train tracks were between the NEC and Kilmer Rd. and the team tracks were above Kilmer Rd. The lead that you see by the mail facility crossing Kilmer Rd. led from the troop train area to the team tracks and continued northwest through the camp to meet the Reading and LV.

Here's a link to a reproduction of an old orientation brochure for the camp. Kilmer Rd. is running across the bottom and Plainfield Ave. is running north/south at the right border. Partially hidden behind the legend is the area of the stub tracks, labeled "Operations and Transportation." http://www.skylighters.org/places/pamph13.html

I'll keep looking for the detailed map.

  by TAMR213
Thanks for all the info. So I take it that the team track, is the track that is now the General Tire lead? Was there any sort of time when service to kilmer was stopped? Because some of the industries even have loading docks, etc. adjacent to the tracks, so I figure, maybe after some sort of time, it was used as an industrial track? And then I know in the 1970's, Conrail reconfigured the area, severing many of the spurs and sidings in the area. As you can see on this map: http://terraserver.microsoft.com/image. ... 6&z=18&w=1 It does seem awfully industrial, though you can still see some currently used, or remnents of military used track.

  by GandyDancer
Yes, it was generally North and East, closer to the interchange yard in that area just the other side of Kilmer Rd. - the configuration has changed somewhat since 1956 when Kilmer was decommissioned as a military facility. It was really crowded with trackage before then. Industrial development started in the '60's. Reading (and infrequent LV) service never really stopped as the military activities wound down and industry started to ramp up. The last big show was when the Reading brought in the missiles and equipment for the Nike base along 287 in the late '50's.

The initial businesses that went in were warehousing-type operations that made use of the sidings. Conrail, as usual, ripped up as much rail as it could and then ended up rebuilding a lot of it. Odd, since all of that was laid in the '40's as Kilmer was being built and was probably well above 100 lb. rail.

That circular track was the runaround for the troop train power.

About where you live was where we used to go to fly our gasoline-powered model aircraft and then we'd spend time crawling around the tracks.