• The SIRR and RVRR V

  • 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, mikec, cjl330

  by Douglas John Bowen
 
We wonder if all these signs of progress aren't having a dispiriting impact on those opposed to restoring Rahway Valley Railway service. And, as it happens, a chance discussion August 5, 2005, between this NJ-ARP representative and a Springfield resident -- a co-worker -- while reviewing the latest messages on this thread reinforces that sense.

The resident volunteered that:

1. Springfield opponents to the Rahway Valley Railroad remain convinced that garbage trains are in their future -- "if not now, then long term"; but regardless of that ...
2. Many of the same residents claim they'd change their tune if passenger rail services were part of any restoration mix.

Regarding point #2, NJ-ARP (as a whole -- this rep quickly polled some other officers on this matter) remains bemused by such emotional gyrations. It's our belief that Springfield citizens think they see the writing on the wall, and it's rail freight through-running.

To that end, it's possible those same folks will list their "needs" for accepting rail's return. "Passenger rail" buys them political cover -- even though in past years Springfield has rejected proposals for light rail, and even a rail-trail, on the right-of-way traversing it.

Still, NJ-ARP and others have heard Springfield reps raise the issue of passenger rail before. We'll dutifully check out whether those expressed interests are in any way for real.

Regarding point #1: NJ-ARP informed the Springfield resident that if his neighbors want to dwell on "garbage trains" as a focal issue, they were welcome to do so, since they are in essence doing NJ-ARP and others a favor by being so distracted.

  by rvrrhs
 
It's funny how fixated the folks in Springfield have become. My mom, who lives in Troy Village less than 50 yards from the ROW, still expresses the same tired "it'll block emergency services" bunk, even though I have explained--countless times--that these won't be 100-car through-freights.

That trains of the size projected for the RV generally take less than 30 seconds to cross these streets seems to be (conveniently?) forgotten.

...and my Mom isn't amongst the true NIMBY contingent, who seem mostly to be deathly afraid of falling property values.

  by rvrrhs
 
...and of course many of the NIMBY's are just of the "do not disturb" variety--"I like my peace and quiet!"

  by CNJFAN
 
Just curious, about how many cars can be expected on the Rahway section and how big of a freight train will run on the SIRR portion?

  by james1787
 
I was driving to a friends house in Springfield this evening and I noticed that Part of the ROW was cleared from Baltustrol Rd (Near Rt 78 underpass) headed towards Baltustrol! They had stones down and a sign for parking. I'm guessing obviously this was done for the PGA tour but I wonder who's idea it was to clear the row and who did it? Pretty cool to see it cleared!! Can't wait to see tracks there again..

I took pics that I'll try to fix up.. I don't think they came out too well but I'll see what photoshop can do to lighten it up a bit. I'll be driving by there at an earlier time tommorrow so I'll try to snag a few more pics..

  by Jtgshu
 
hahhah - that would be a great way for the M and E to get the ROW cleared through that "hostile territory", AND make a few bucks on allowing parking on the ROW!!!
  by TheBaran
 
Took the 10-speed down to Elizabethport this weekend to check out the progress of the new rail connection from the AK lift bridge. They have made a lot of progress and things look to be nearing completion.

All of the bridgework is in place. From the AK lift heading westward (Jersey-side), a single-track bridge curves toward South Front Street. At the South Front Street overpass, the bridge begins to widen as the track splits. Further west, over South First Street, there are two spans. The south span holds its elevation and continues onto what will be a connection with the original SIRT wooden trestle. The northern span is at a lower elevation and continues to drop, eventually running down a concrete embankment for connection with the chemical coast line. There are currently two gaps left to complete, one gap between South Front Street and South First Street, and the other connecting the new track to the original SIRT trestle. Earth embankments will likely support these sections of the track. I was not able to get over to the chemical coast line to check the progress of the new connection there.

The AK lift bridge is undergoing work as well. The west tower is surrounded, top to bottom, with scaffolding. Large tarps cover much of the middle portion of the lift structure.

The Elizabethport area had gotten a facelift as well. South Front Street has been re-done and several new industries appeared to have recently moved in or expanded. Some older factories were being demolished as well. The Arthur Kill was being dredged, and on the Staten Island side, work had been completed on the four new container lifts. Further north, beyond the marina, work had also started on what appears to be new townhouses and condos. The area has never looked so good - quite a transformation from the days when the Chemical Control Corporation infamously burned some 25-years ago.

  by rvrrhs
 
james1787 wrote:I was driving to a friends house in Springfield this evening and I noticed that Part of the ROW was cleared from Baltustrol Rd (Near Rt 78 underpass) headed towards Baltustrol! They had stones down and a sign for parking. I'm guessing obviously this was done for the PGA tour but I wonder who's idea it was to clear the row and who did it? Pretty cool to see it cleared!! Can't wait to see tracks there again..

I took pics that I'll try to fix up.. I don't think they came out too well but I'll see what photoshop can do to lighten it up a bit. I'll be driving by there at an earlier time tommorrow so I'll try to snag a few more pics..
This was done by a guy who lives on Bryant Ave., whose backyard is along the ROW. For years he has used the ROW to park his vans for his painter/paperhanger business--which may not be legal per town ordinances.

I walked in there yesterday evening, and he had even spray-painted parking spots on the gravel.
  by wis bang
 
Standing in our break room this morning. It looks North towards Liberty along the RVRR & our buildign fronts Iorio Street.

All of a sudden the yellow MOW machine that the M & E has been using all week up at the Liberty street crossing comes down the rails. It was nice to see something moving on the new rails. I snuck into the empty offices next door and watched it travel down past the dead end of Iorio St and disapear.

Later, comming back from lunch, it was back up near the crossing along w/ a hi-rail truck...

  by mikec
 
A power shovel has been working from A&P in Kenilworth South to almost the RP juction. It looks like they are going to reroute the curve that was added there when A&P and the car wash was constructed. It appeers that the ROW is wide enough for 2 tracks in this area. Maybe there was many side tracks in this area along market st at one time.

  by rvrrhs
 
mikec wrote: It appeers that the ROW is wide enough for 2 tracks in this area. Maybe there was many side tracks in this area along market st at one time.
That's where the original Kenilworth passenger station was. Perhaps there were 2 tracks there some time before WWII.

Back then, there were factories on both sides of the ROW both north and south of Kenilworth Boulevard, and most if not all of them had their own sidings.

  by CJPat
 
Volco Brass was the large factory on the south side of Kenilworth Boulevard in Kenilworth at the intersection with Market St. They had a multi-story brick faced factory on Market St with the railroad running behind them and I think they had a smaller building on the east side of the tracks (site now occupied by the A&P). The Rahway Valley Railroad office (former passenger station) and their 4 bay engine house was located on the property opposite Volco (now occupied by some sort of stripmall). It was set back a couple hundred feet back off of Kenilworth Boulevard adjacent to the Memorial Garden and Galloping Hill golf Course (a favorite sledding site when we were kids).

When Volco was torn down on/about 1981, I remember they said that the ground was so badly contaminated by the metals and lubricants that were used in the processing, that they kept the southewest property fenced off for years. I was surprised to see the A&P in the vicinity.

Volco had a siding for the factory. I seem to remember covered hoppers there. I think this is what accounts for the two track area observation. I also believe this is what accounts for the odd curvature/bend in the track as it swings past A&P. I don't think the Rahway Valley was doubletracked anywhere.

  by rvrrhs
 
Actually, there was a quarter-mile or so of passing siding between the Van Winckle's Creek bridge and Mountain Ave. in Springfield...or at least it was a siding with switches at both ends. That track may still be in place--I haven't walked it since the mid 1980s.

In fact, my avatar shows one of the GE 70 tonners approaching Mountain Ave., so in the far background, to the right of the "main line" was the western end of the siding.

  by RS115
 
Volco did have a siding, during the late 70's early 80's it was primarily used for storing hoppers for Monsanto though I seem to recall it being used occassionally for thier own use. The main line on the that side of the Blvd was a straight shot -the trolley curve that's there now was installed later during the A&P construction.

The long run-around in Springfield was intact at that time but horribly overgrown - we never used it. There was another short siding on the station side of the tracks that was usable part way in. The only customer in the area was Best Pencil who got a few cars a year which the crew would simply spot on the main in the area of the station. Don't know how they unloaded I never witnessed it. The short track was used in 1980 when we ran the passenger specials to Baltusrol for that PGA tournament. The lead engine would be cut off at Springfield in the morning, back into that house track then the train would be shoved forward the last mile or so by hte other engine. The engine which went into the spur would follow to pick up the crew and then go off to do the days freight work with the crew being driven up for the return trip.

As an aside, in preparation for those passenger runs the track gang spent a lot of time cutting brush north of Union and even threw in a few ties and a lot of gauge bars. There were a lot of crossed fingers that week but everything stayed on the rails.

  by CJPat
 
Was the passing siding set up to service the Springfield Station (like the siding that serviced the RRRR freight house in Millstone)? This could allow through trains while freight cars were offloaded at the freight house. The more I think about the Kenilworth station, the more I believe there could have been adequate room to do the same, although with the engine house right there, they would have had a simple yard configuration to support all. That was alot of stuff going on right around that station building.

Was there any stations for Union or Summit?
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