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  • 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 NJMedic

Kinda new to the railfan world. I've always had in interest but having a 5 year old son who is "train crazy" has peaked my interest more then ever. Please indulge me a few questions, or at least point me in the right direction.

Port Reading Junction: We (my two sons and I) made our first trip there the other day. This after asking a guy at work where in Woodbridge Port Reading Junction was. He gave me a silly look and gave me the right location. We must have hit it just right because we saw three long freights within a half hour. Is this the normal amount of traffic (noonish) or were we just lucky. Is there a particular busy time of day or day of the week? How much concern should I have about the local police? Maybe having two little kids jumping up and down next to me moves me down the list of potential terrorist but I would rather stay clear of any problems.

Browns Yard. This is only about a mile from our house so it is alittle easier to watch the trains around here. Any particular time of day/day of the week that is good or is it hit or miss. This the yard recent expand? There seems to be more freight hanging out there then I had seen over the last several years. Could this be from the NIMBYs complaining about the layovers in Sayreville? Who does this line serve? I know there is a lumber yard in Jamesburg but I have never seen a train south of Jamesburg.

My oldest son is in love with steam trains. Now even more thanks to the "Polar Express" and his gift from Santa this year, a 2-8-0 PRR passenger setfrom MTH. I would like to take a trip to Steamtown up in Scranton but was wondering if it was worth the trip this time of year? I realize they are not running excursions right now but is the museum and the displays worth the trip. We already been on the I&NH and the BR&W, Allaire State Park, and the NYC Transit Museum. Any other destinations that might be of interest? I'm planning a trip to Strasburg when the weather gets a little warmer.

Thanks for any insight

  by Tom_E_Reynolds
Let me be the first to say...welcome aboard.

Here is a great link to a schedule for Browns Yard.


I also used to live a mile or so from Browns Yard some 15 years ago.

Since you live in EB, I will also point out that a great little short-line, the Raritan River Railroad, used to run right through the center of EB. Today the remaining trackage is supported and switched from Brown Yard.


As you can see, the freights out of Browns Yard serve most of south-central Jersey all the way to Toms River. I'm sure the other guys here can help explain what train numbers (SA-31?) and schedules you should be looking for.

Good Luck!



  by Ken W2KB
Steamtown should be fine. Call to see what's going on, including the relatively new trolley museum and ride.

  by kpiersol

Just a technicality: Were you referring to "Port Reading" itself, as I think "Port Reading Junction" is in Manville, not Woodbridge, and I have been trying to find an easy way to access Port Reading Junction (see another topic elsewhere in this forum "Legal Access to Port Reading Junction"). You made it sound like a piece-of-cake to get there (Port Reading Junction). Just curious.

  by wis bang
Steamtown is worth the trip, touring the grounds & seeing the exhibits should be entertaining. The trolley was just stating to set up when I visited so that should make it more interesting...I'll see that next time I visit Scranton...

  by cjvrr
There is a Coal Mine Museum south of Scranton that also has a steam train ride. I am not sure of its name but I have heard it is worth the trip.

I especially like Steamtown, but to get the most bang for your buck I would suggest going on a day they are running the Steam train, diesel powered caboose rides and shop tours. This is usually a few times per year in the sping and summer. The warmer weather lets you roam around the collection too. Much of which is outdoors.

I have heard that as of Jan 1 they now charge to park in the Steamtown parking lot :-(

  by henry6
...things to see...don't forget Whippany, Ringoes, Strasburg, lists are endless. Check out the library for books, dvds, etc. And don't forget hobby shops for books, magazines and models!

  by TheBaran
You can always park for free at the Steamtown Mall covered parking garage. The mall is connected to Steamtown with a pedestrian walkway that was constructed on the old coaling ramp. The walkway provides a nice overhead view of Steamtown. At the end of the day, you can grab some fast food at the mall food court, which is located at the starting point of the walkway.

  by wis bang
The Coal Mine Tour is in Kiaser Valley on the North side of town. It's suposed to be nice too! It's county owned, I think; they had just opened the [at the time barely developed] park where it is located when I was in college.