• Raritan Central expansion

  • 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 Eric S Strohmeyer
Good evening all,

I noticed that the Raritan Central has filed with the US Surface Transportation Board to acquire and operate most of the remaining Conrail tracks from the "wye" at the Northeast Corridor, to Crows Mill Road in Woodbridge (including all of the former Metuchen Yard that supported the Ford plant for many years).

The link below will take you to the relevant pleading on the STB's website. See:

STB FD 36393 Raritan Central Railway, LLC. -- LEASE AND OPERATION EXEMPTION -- Consolidated Rail Corporation

https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... 300490.pdf

Strangely enough, the lease did not go all the way into Perth Amboy. This actually surprised me since the existing direct connection to CR's Garden State Secondary would have allowed most of the Raritan Central bound freight traffic to completely avoid high Amtrak mileage charges for using the NEC.

Has anything recently happened along the old LV Perth Amboy line that might have rendered that connection no longer feasible? I was under the impression that the line was still there, but just out of service.

Curious to know what the rumor mill might have heard.

Thanks in advance!
  by R&DB
The stretch of the former LV from Woodbrook Road east to Perth Amboy is now the Middlesex Greenway. (Rail Trail)
  by TAMR213
Wow! This came a bit out of left field.

So my understanding in reading the document is that RCRY is further taking over operations in Metuchen - but what change will this really cause operationally? Other than the various consignees located along the NEC, what traffic is flowing into Metuchen these days other than interchange to the RCRY? What sticks out most to me is the lack of inclusion of these rights along the NEC - will CSAO continue to / make better use of the "Receiving Yard" in order to continue serving these customers?

As far as the Middlesex Greenway and trackage on the other end of the Raritan IT:
I believe the Greenway currently dead ends east of Crows Mill Road (I could be wrong) near where the line from Raritan Center joins in. Track is blocked by a concrete barrier at the crossing of Crows Mill south of Smith Street (referenced in document). I believe the recycling business just beyond was the last active customer on the line circa 2010-ish. In addition, the track between this point and New Brunswick Ave seems to be in varying states of existence - Conrail oddly enough fixed up a portion of this track in the area of Augustine Place in the late 2000's and a wheel hasn't turned on it since (AFAIK).

Is there anyone out there that can give a clearer picture of current affairs?
  by Conrail Blue
Wow this is really great to hear. Was always wondering when this would finally happen given that a smaller local company could a better job of interacting and serving local customers. Really hope this will bring back former customers and bring in new ones. Glad to hear the Miracle Run Branch is part of the deal. Conrail hasn't run over it since the early 2000's I believe. Would be really cool if Schundler were to get cars again. And Heller Park now may see more service again. What's good is that most or all the tracks and sidings are still in place so with a some rehab work it should be good to go. Conrail currently has only one customer there.

As for the connection to the Chemical Coast, from what I understand Conrail runs a highrailer on it every so often to keep the line from being deemed abandoned and therefore allowing it to be scooped up by the county to make it a trail. Last summer I went to check out the section that goes over the parkway and you could see that a highrailer had recently passed over it. It would be in their best interest to keep it alive in case traffic isn't able to run on the corridor for whatever reason. Last thing we need in this state is more rail lines turned into trails. We have more than enough as it is. Losing this connection wouldn't serve or benefit anyone.
  by TAMR213
Conrail Blue wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:04 pm Glad to hear the Miracle Run Branch is part of the deal. Conrail hasn't run over it since the early 2000's I believe. Would be really cool if Schundler were to get cars again. And Heller Park now may see more service again. What's good is that most or all the tracks and sidings are still in place so with a some rehab work it should be good to go. Conrail currently has only one customer there.
I'm surprised to hear it was even served that recently. Looking at recent aerial photos, it seems as if the industry you mention has been demolished. Also, AFAIK Heller has been serviced by the RCRY for years now, though the track between Raritan Center and Heller has always been owned by Conrail. And thats what I mean - how much will this really mean operationally?

Hopefully this doesn't negatively impact what little freight is left on the Corridor. Anyone have any further details?
  by Conrail Blue
Went by Edison today and the Shundler property has been demolished and replaced with another distribution warehouse. So any chance of that branch seeing service again is gone.

As for Heller Park, I do remember seeing RCRY engines switching out there but also saw Conrail as well so I don't how exactly it worked out there. As of today there's only one customer left, Dependable foods. Conrail switches them but its random. From what I've heard it can be 2 or 3 cars a week or a couple cars a month. But all the track is still in place to the different warehouses. Hopefully RC can pick up some more business there.
  by Trainman14
This is indeed interesting news. Would anyone have a current RCRY roster?
  by Sir Ray
Since this thread got a bump, this brings to mind another thread (Metuchen Yard Operations) with posts from this past December mentioning a new client in Heller Park (Yanuzzi Materials). There was a image of gondolas in a yard siding, from whence they would be taken to the new customer - any further info on this company and their operations?
  by RailsEast
I am not sure of the actual roster, but I was fortunate to shoot several units this past Thursday which should make up most of the units currently in service.
Hard to describe how I felt looking at an ex-SR high hood unit on the property; I spent many summer months in Tennessee as a young man observing the Southern, which fed my appetite for railroading.

Anyway, some photos from Edison on 1/21/21 where two crews were working this day; photos within the facility were taken with permission. Please be respectful & identify yourself when on the property.

http://njtwom.rrpicturearchives.net/sho ... id=5487622
http://njtwom.rrpicturearchives.net/sho ... id=5487624
http://njtwom.rrpicturearchives.net/sho ... id=5487639
http://njtwom.rrpicturearchives.net/sho ... id=5487628

  by GSC
Maybe it's more of a shortline or an industrial, but is anyone railfanning the Raritan Central RR, that serves the Raritan Center and Heller Industrial Parks in Edison? Except for some photos posted on Facebook, I see little about the operation. Looking at Google Maps and having worked in Raritan Center some years ago, I know there is quite a lot of railroad in and around there. Things have changed since I worked there, and I think a trip is in order to check things out. Where else will you find an operating GP-30?

  by RailsEast
Garry, see this thread for some recent activity...

And here for some 10 year old photos...
http://njtwom.rrpicturearchives.net/arc ... x?id=54585

My last visit 2 months ago had 2 trains working the area. Hope this helps.

  by GSC
I found the other thread right after I posted this one,of course.

Great pics, glad they decided on the red paint. That green wasn't very attractive.

When I worked in Raritan Center (Raritan Grocery / Shop Rite) the rail service in the park seemed pretty bad, with CR units swaying slowly along bad trackage. The place has changed so much since i worked there, 1982-1986. A lot more buildings, minefield roads that were finally paved, etc.
  by jdh823
Seems like the long awaited beverage facility project behind Home Depot is finally under construction...
  by ccutler
Yannuzzi is also shipping high volumes of C&D materials.
  by Sir Ray
I guess this thread was merged together with another one awhile back. That's fine, gave it a bump.
I used to sort of railfan Raritan center around the turn of the century, sadly last time I was there was for a show at the NJ Expo center in 2011 (and that was about 7 years after I was last there). Things change.

1) Referring back to my January post in this thread on Yanuzzi Materials, does anyone know the track layout? Is it just a siding alongside the Felxi Storch building, multiple tracks, does the trackage angle SW along the facility border, any info?

2) Possibly mentioned before, but RCRY was awarded a fair amount in the 2021 NJ Rail Assistance program, to extend the Sweetwater siding. Google Aerial shows a lot of sidings around that area near the Raritan (trackage left over from mining operrations it has been claimed), many seem to be storage for covered hoppers. is RCRY going to do something else but more storage?
Also, around the turn of the century, wasn't there a fair sized ink distibutor/facility around there that took tank cars?

3) Wasn't there an Owens-Corning plant on Woodbridge Ave. near the line into Raritan center? Was it closed by the turn of the century?
In the same area, since the Times plant closed, has any other business that located to the site used rail-freight?

4) I recall passing on many a outing a resturant called Jetson's in one of the Raritan Center campus buildings. Well, there are only mentions on review sites about it on the web nowadays, with no address. I suppose it closed, but did anyone ever eat there, and what was it like?