• Official Rahway Valley Thread

  • Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.
Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.

Moderators: GOLDEN-ARM, cjl330, mikec

  by lensovet
The Star-Ledger wrote:Another roadblock for freight rail line
Equipment problems mean more delays
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Star-Ledger Staff

More than four years after freight trains were supposed to be running between Cranford and Linden, another snag in the project is expected to delay any rail operations well into next year.

Problems with the signal equipment for the rail crossings in Roselle and the time it will take to rebid and manufacture the new signals will likely preclude the line from becoming operational until at least June 2009, according to Gordon Fuller, chief operating officer with the Morristown & Erie Railway, which was contracted to restore the old Staten Island Rail road, along with the Rahway Valley line from Cranford to Summit.

The delays with the rail crossing signals come at a time when the state and the M&E are at odds over more than $163,000 in expenses for legal fees and finance charges. Fuller said he is hoping to sit down with state officials within the next few weeks to resolve the current impasse.
Thanks for posting the article, I was starting to wonder if anything was happening at all.....It all seemed dead to me....
I recently drove past the South Ave. crossing in Cranford and noticed that a new black signal box has been installed....Anyone else see it?
I guess it's a sign of further slow progress...
  by bystander
another waste of money, no trains here ether
  by RV History Buff

I have just signed up for Railroad.net :-D . I am a big Rahway Valley RR fan, I live along the route in Union. I have been researching the history of the RV for sometime now, espescially the period from 1897 to the 1940s. I would be more than happy to share my findings. I would like to also say that there are many mistakes in published information on the RV.


RV History Buff
  by Don Maxton
Dear RV History Buff,

I would like to see your findings. Please e-mail to [email protected]

Thank you.
Hiyas RV History Buff, and WELCOME to the Railroad.Net Forums! We would enjoy hearing about your finds, so be sure to check the forum first, and verify you aren't making a duplicate posting. :-D
  by MEC Calais Branch
Share Out LOUD! post here!
  by Don Maxton
Yes, everyone is interested in seeing this information.
  by RV History Buff

Which information would you like to see, there is a lot. I have found annual reports, taxes for the year, newspaper articles, state assessments, etc. I have acquired sveral photos from railroad historian Tom Taber of the RV, and he has given me permission to use them however I like. There are photos of RV Nos. 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, and 16 that he sent me and also locomotive roster, a small written history, tickets, passes, and baggage tags. I am currently working with Steve Lynch to get his website updated and overhauled. :-D I have also been the one putting all the information on Wikipedia.

Hi Don!! I am glad to see that you posted on this forum. I have your book, and I have to say that the collection of photos is remarkable. There are several mistakes on the historical information in your book though, and if you want me to I will post the mistakes and corrections on this forum. I recall somewhere, maybe in the book even, that you had a lot of left over photos, and you were considering a second volume. What were the photos of? I would love to see them.

Here is some interesting info to start off with:


The New York and New Orange Railroad was charter on June 6, 1897, by members of the New Orange Industrial Association to build a railroad to their factories in New Orange (Kenilworth) from the CNJ and LV and on to Summit with a connection with the DL&W.

In 1899, an industrial rescession plagued the association and the factories shut down for the year. The railroad did very little business that year, and did not pay taxes. 1900 was not much better either. On November 8, 1900 the line was foreclosed on and a sheriff's sale was set for February.

Several men quickly organized the New Orange Four Junction Railroad on February 4, 1901, and bought the NY&NO lock, stock, and barrel on February 16. The NOFJ was headed by William W. Cole, an Elmira businessman, who helped to start the New Orange Industrial Association. Cole did the best to get the line to Summit, but never suceeded.

He attracted the attention of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1903. And the PRR contracted with the NOFJ to buy the soil from Tin Kettle Hill for their approach to their New York City Tunnel and this kept the NOFJ going until Louis Keller organized the Rahway Valley Railroad on July 18, 1904 and purchased the NOFJ on March 1, 1905.

RV History Buff
  by Don Maxton
Please feel free to post any errors, including the page numbers where they appear. I knew there were bound to be some, and I've caught a few already, and I would like to make corrections for the next printing.

I have quite a few unpublished photos given to me by the Clark family, and hope to do a second book at some point. I've been waiting for the reactivation to take place first, but that's taking much longer than anticipated.

Nice job on Wikipedia. I did catch one error: there was a grade crossing at Rutgers Street in Maplewood.
  by RV History Buff
Page 9: The New York and New Orange Railroad was chartered on June 6, 1897, not April 1897 as stated in the book.

Page 11 top photo: The station was owned by the New Orange Four Junction Railroad at this point.

Page 13 top photo: The stops called "Doty's" and "Katemiller" were actual Stations and not just flag stops. A flag stop by definition is a stop that you have to ask the conductor to stop at, or if your boarding you have to flag down the train. Katemiller was officially known as the "Arion Station" and the foundation is still in place.

Page 14 top photo: The date has to be incorrect as engine No.3 was wrecked in 1906.

Page 14 bottom photo: Louis Keller did not reorganize the NY&NO. He chartered his own railroad, the Rahway Valley Railroad, on July 18, 1904. He then proceeded to purchase the four mile line, the New Orange Four Junction Railroad on March 1, 1905 and the two companies were consolidated.

Page 16 bottom photo: The caption states that the letter was to RV Trustee W.W. Cole. The date is given as May 20, 1903, but the Rahway Valley Railroad was not created until July 18, 1904. If you look at the letter it says "Mr. W.W. Cole, Pres, N.O.F.J.R.R." This proves that the letter was for president William W. Cole of the New Orange Four Junction Railroad.

Page 18: No.7 was constructed in 1908, not 1905. It was sold in 1917, and shipped to Spain in the 1920s and after that in the 1930s and 1940s it worked in South America on a logging line.

Page 19 top photo: In it's lifetime the RV only owned one caboose, No.102. There was never a caboose numbered 101, but there was a flatcar bearing that number. The photo is clearly the rear of a passenger coach.

Page 20 bottom photo: It should read 0-6-0T not 0-6-0.

Page 24 top photo: The Rahway Valley Railroad did not purchase No.11 from the Montpelier and Wells River Railroad. It was purchased from the Grafton and Upton Railroad in 1920, and the G&U purchased it from the Montpelier and Wells River Railroad. On the G&U it was numbered 5, and on the M&WR it was numbered 11. http://www.nyysa.com/archive/images/1/3/3925-0.jpg Builder's photo of No.11.

Page 26 bottom photo: The RV and DL&W were reconnected in 1931, not for the first time. They were first connected in 1912, but that connection was soon torn up, Louis Keller's orders, after four years of court battles to get the connecton. He was not fit to run the line, which is obvious.

Page 27 top photo: Although passenger service did end in Spring, 1919, a railbus numbered 11 was kept in service until 1922 for Louis Keller and work trains.

Page 27 bottom photo: No.12 was built by the American Locomotive Work's Pittsburgh Works.

Page 29 bottom photo: His actual name was Charles, but everyone called him Carl.

Page 31 top photo: No.15 was not purchased in 1939 it was purchased in 1937.

Page 35 bottom photo: This shows that Charles Keller Beekman held shares in the railroad. He was a New York Lawyer, and Keller's nephew. He became the executor of the Keller estate after his uncle's death, and controlled the railroad until his own death in 1941.

Page 38: No.16 was painted red and YELLOW in the 1960s, and in the mid-1970s it was repainted Maroon and White. Due to No.17 being painted Green and Yellow and No.16 being painted Red and Yellow, and then the repait into identical paint schemes people along the route believe that there were three locomotives.

Page 48: Caboose No.102 was purchases in 1934, not 1932.

Page 49: Postcard is from 1911.

Page 57 top photo: George Clark died in 1969, and his tenure as president was less than 40 years.

Page 65: Again, Louis Keller did not purchase the NY&NO in 1904, he purchased the New Orange Four Junction on March 1, 1905.

Page 82: The left leg of the wye was known as "Branch Junction" and the right and top legs were known as "Wright's Switch." There was never a station called "Branch Junction Station."

Pages 88 and 89: On Page 88 it states that Louis Keller extended the line into Maplewood in 1909, but on the next page it states that the line was built between 1915 and 1916. Well, the branch was actually owned by a seperate company, the Rahway Valley Line. The RVL was created in 1911 and built it's line to a section in Maplewood commonly refered to as "Newark Heights" or "Hilton." In 1915 Keller decided to jack up the line to over Morris Ave, Vauxhall Rd, and Stanley Terrace.

Page 93: George Arthur Clark was born in 1901 and died in 1969 in his office in the Kenilworth station, he did not live to see the 1970s.

Page 100: Not a correction, but I am curious about this map, it is the only thing that I have seen that proves that the RV had a round house on the Monsanto Branch, which was officially known as the Rahway River Branch. Is there more to this map?

Hope this helps Steve. I would be interested in getting in contact with Mary E. McCoy and the Clark Family, do you have their addresses?

RV History Buff
  by RV History Buff

Here is an obituary for Roger A. Clark who died in 1932.

Roger A. Clark Dead; Railroad President
Headed Rahway Valley Line, 11 Miles Long, in New Jersey--Native of Rochester, NY
-Union, N.J., October 3rd, Roger A. Clark of 2204 Morris Avenue, President of the Rahway Valley Railroad, one of the shortest rail systems in the United States, and a member of a family of railroad builders, died on Saturday, at his home after a long illness. He was born in Rochester, N.Y., sixty-two years ago.
Mr. Clark entered railroad work as a young man with the Buffalo Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad, being employed as auditor. Later he went to Oregon as auditor and general freight agent of the Central Railroad of Oregon. He came east in 1919, and in 1922 became president and general manager of the Rahway Valley Railroad, which provides frieght service in Summit, Kenilworth, Roselle Park, Union, and Maplewood.

Several years ago Mr. Clark suffered an illness while on a trip to Havana, Cuba which resulted in the amputation of both legs. Despite this handicap, he continued his duties as head of the railroad. Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Mary A. Clark, a son, George A. Clark, and a daughter, Miss Ruth M. Clark; a sister Mrs. Bessie Mayo or Rochester, N.Y., and two grandchildren.

RV History Buff
  by Sfd4
Good news. Hello all! My chiropractor has leased the old train station for his office. He will be restoring the interior. I have provided him with photos of the station. When its done you will be able to look inside. He also has offered the Rahway Valley R.R. Historical Society the use of it for their meetings. He is a great person and loves history.
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