• "Interchange" at Durham Siding

  • 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 David Hutchinson
I understand that cars are now being left off at Durham Siding.......can anyone help ?
  by TAMR213
Moderators note: Moved this thread to the New Jersey Railfan forum as it is higher trafficked and more likely to be answered.

I would also be interested to know "whats up".
  by pumpers
David Hutchinson wrote:I understand that cars are now being left off at Durham Siding.......can anyone help ?
OK, I'll bite. Where/what is Durham siding? Jim S
  by TAMR213
If Mr. Hutchinson is referring to what I believe he is - Durham siding is located on the Port Reading Secondary in South Plainfield near Helen Street. I haven't seen this myself, but I would take Mr. Hutchinson's word for it.
  by RailsEast
Durham Siding (@2800ft, according to a 1998 CR map) is the only passing siding on the Port Reading Secondary. It begins at MP7 to the east and runs west to Helen Street in South Plainfield. Over the years, I have seen cars on this siding every once in awhile, but never knew why. The PR Secondary is Conrail Shared Assets territory, with no other RR working this line, so I don't know if these cars are intended to be 'interchanged'. I always assumed that a Port Reading yard job staged cars there for delivery to any one of the many industries along the line at a future date.
Perhaps someone here has better info.....
  by David Hutchinson
I think I used the wrong word in using interchange... I was told the cars are dropped for the local industries and that they are switched out by Manville. The Durham siding was one of four on the branch. West in New Market was one and the other "passing" siding was Black Siding which crossed the Garden State Parkway. The shortest one was at Metuchen. The Metuchen runaround was used to facilitate the Port Reading shifter to service Metcuhen Coal and also Kelly's. Kelly's came off of the short runaround at Christol Street and Ross Avenue. The east end of the track was taken out by a derailment around 1955. Kelly's was gone probably in the mid 1950's. As a child, I remember playing on the site where there was an abandoned stake truck and a scale. Metuchen Coal, later Metuchen Coal & Oil was at the end of Christol Street at Main Street. There was also a Mobil station there. They had a very nice, elevated steel and concrete siding. The last car spotted on the siding was a bad order B&O quad hopper following the 1962 derailment at Durham. A children's park now occupies the site. The name Durham is part of Edison, the old Raritan Township. The siding used to continue more to the east. When the Camp Kilmer branch was built in 1942, the siding was extended so that it joined the West Leg Durham on the line going to Camp Kilmer. The branch had PRR dwarf signals and a "tower" right there where the siding connected to the main and the wye track. The tower was called "SN" referring to Stelton, another part of Edison. There was a hand operated train order type semaphore on the main line right near SN. The East Leg Durham Wye was taken up when three GP7s went on the wye because of a vandal throwing the switch. I never remember seeing any cars stored on Durham Siding except for a PRR Unit Train around 1972. I never found out why is was placed there instead of Port Reading Yard. Port Reading would service from the East end of Durham Siding and Manville handled everything west of there. There were a bunch of industries west and one, Victaulic, which had a very long siding that went over towards Stelton Road. Thanks to you all for allowing me to get some history in print. Oh, in 1964, there were about 6 to 8 trains a day, eastbound and westbound. A mixed train out of Bridgeport, PA, and the rest being Unit coal trains off the B&O and/or Western Maryland, and coal extras. B&O power came through between November, 1963 and around September, 1964.