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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

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  by R&DB
 
@Bracdude
I agree Freehold - Farmingdale is a must, to eliminate the South Amboy - Red Bank NJT interaction.
This Middlesex - Ocean - Monmouth section of NJ is very problematic for freight rail service. NJT and Amtrak are not very friendly to freight traffic, but are the only ways into the territory from the national network. Since Amtrak seems to be the less antagonistic of the two, freight moves via Monmouth Junction make sense. If NJT has problems (supposedly) with certain traffic this could be avoided.

Perhaps a new yard near Monmouth Junction would help? Close Browns and use the rails to create a new Monmouth Junction Yard. If my shortline operator previously proposed in this thread were to operate this new yard and the lines connected to it, Conrail shared assets could eliminate all Browns Yard services. Conrail would only interchange with the new yard.
  by Bracdude181
 
@R&DB I have heard that Conrail has considered letting another railroad take over almost everything in Central NJ minus the Amboy Secondary. However, I’m not sure if something like this will happen.

I’m not sure if a new yard at Monmouth Junction would help. It would be expensive for one thing. A wye would probably make more sense as it would allow for transfers to get on/off the NEC without a shoving move. It could also (theoretically) open up the potential for Browns based NEC locals. If a new yard is built there it sure won’t be built by Conrail though, seeing as how they are too cheap to put bonding strips in for the crossing circuit at Cross Street.

I suppose Seashore Lines could take the area over in theory, but doing that will take a LOT of money, and I’m not sure where they will get such money from.
They could lease these lines, but I’m not sure what kind of rate Conrail would charge to lease them. Plus they would need a small yard somewhere and more engines than the two we will likely see in Lakehurst.


@CJpat A document regarding such restrictions almost certainly exists, but it has never been made public.

As for where NJ Transit seems to stand on freight, this might be the answer.

https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/di ... 0/1481582/
  by CJPat
 
@Bracdude181 - Thanks for the response, although I do not believe this particular lawsuit provides an adequate insight to NJT's perspective on rail as based on my reading,as this was more of an argument as to the authority of NJT to taking property (section of ROW that carried the freight siding into NJT's area of responsibility) so they can "improve" themselves without due compensation or cooperation to re-establish the link. Clearly it is perceived as anti-freight, but that is as far as applicability goes. The lawsuit basically established that NJT is an acting arm of the NJ Government and has the authority of such.

There was no discussion regarding restrictions. Although one would believe that if such a restriction was used as many times as it was perceived, it would have to be a public restriction rather than a "secret" one. Unlike the Federal Government, they can't use the "for National Security" justification to shield such publications of such a restriction. It could be argued that safety is a factor for establishing restrictions, but it would be hard to argue scrap gondolas, coil cars, and refrigerator cars pose any such health hazard.

I can only fall back on my observation that most businesses now a days (that would locate to Ocean county) do not have a high enough demand for qty rail service to qualify in the eyes of Conrail and hence would be considered non-economically sustainable. My perspective would be that Conrail evaluates each customer as to whether their business alone could sustain service on the Southern. That is why Woodhaven works. I believe Brick Recycling failed because initially, they were getting several gondolas a week avg which quickly dropped off to one a week avg hence disqualifying itself from further future service until such time that it expands its needs more.

Overall, I would think that NJTs concerns only revolve around weight on the rails and available slots to let slow freight thru and perhaps the impact of NIMBY's (since NJT is a government agency in essence).

But again, I am just one unqualified fan sitting in the nosebleed seats talking about my beliefs. I was just hoping, with the enthusiasm you have shown, you could actually point to an actual written restriction. I don't think that this level of business would be fertile grounds for a "secret" rules committee.
  by Bracdude181
 
@CJPat To be honest, the restrictions are something I found out about through my sources and my internet research. Even so, nearly everyone I talk to tells me the same thing.

I’ve talked to Conrail crews, NJT crews, employees from both companies, friends, and other sources who are at least somewhat involved in North Jersey Conrail. They have all told me the same thing, which is the problems I have previously mentioned on here and the Southern Secondary topic. I’ve even heard complaints about Conrail from some of their own customers!

Of course, I didn’t find everything out from my sources. I’ve looked around on the internet for the info I can find relating to this problem. So far it hasn’t been much, but to me at least it does affirm what I’ve been hearing. There are documents relating to freight restrictions on the NJCL, but none of them have talked about the commodity and car bans that I hear so much about. From what I’ve seen and heard, I think they are definitely real though.

Also, that ideology of only serving larger customers is unfortunately very true and that is one of the all time biggest reasons why there’s almost no freight traffic in Central NJ anymore. Prior to shared assets, Conrail cared a great deal for this line and the Southern. Most of the trains had at least 20-25 cars well into the late 90s. There was so many people down here that they ran switching crews as needed.

All of that changed under shared assets. They put someone new in charge (some scumbag who used to be Penn Central’s track maintenance head) and this guy scared a lot of the smaller people away starting around 2002 or 2003.

I call it the “less is more” ideology. It involves getting rid of everything that they feel they won’t make money on regardless of what it is. NS has adopted this too and it’s slowly killing them. Even with the restrictions on NJT we’d have a lot more people down here if North Jersey didn’t function like this. I’d go as far to say that the TRIT might still be open if this guy wasn’t calling the shots.
  by Ken W2KB
 
The US Surface Transportation Board ("STB") has jurisdiction over NJ Transit with respect to any "restriction" on the provision of freight service over NJT trackage. Both the railroad and customers can file a complaint with the STB for adjudication if the freight carrier or customer has any concerns with respect to such restrictions, whether the restriction is in writing or simply applied informally. Accordingly, there either are no such restrictions (other than weight or clearance issues which are demonstrably reasonable) or such restrictions do not impede the freight carrier or customer to any significant extent to warrant legal action.
  by Bracdude181
 
@Ken W2KB Interesting. Thank you for that piece of info. I wonder why some of the customers I know that do complain don’t do so to the STB?
  by CR7876
 
Bracdude181 wrote:@Ken W2KB Interesting. Thank you for that piece of info. I wonder why some of the customers I know that do complain don’t do so to the STB?
If you know the customers, why are you asking the question here?
  by Bracdude181
 
@CR7876 Sorry I worded that wrong. I Meant to say the people I’ve talked to from time to time. Sometimes people who work at places like Woodhaven and Extech will come and talk to me and my friends. I’m not in regular contact with any of the current customers.

Sorry for the confusion. I could’ve worded that better.
  by R&DB
 
BTW, does anybody have old (CNJ era) track maps of the TRIRR showing mileage, etc. IS milepost ) at Lakehurst?
  by CJPat
 
The best I found was:
CNJ Track Map for the southern div circa 1966
http://raildata.railfan.net/cnj/homecnj.html
Scroll down left side index until you find "New Jersey Southern Branch"

And a Conrail track map between Lakehurst & Ciba-Geigy, circa 1985
http://www.multimodalways.org/docs/rail ... 201985.pdf
See pdf page 119 or page 102 (document's paging)
  by CJPat
 
You also might be interested in the following from 1st Barnegat's rrpicturearchive.net site
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... ?id=309090
I believe it is the time schedule from CNJ from Oct 1934. It includes mileposts.

1st Barnegat's rrpicturearchive.net site includes many good pictures:
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/archiv ... px?id=8882

I hope some of this helps.
  by Bracdude181
 
@CJPat Wow. That old Conrail map is a nice find! Same goes for the Barnegat Branch info. I’m wondering how long freight to Forked River stuck around, as I’ve heard several different answers whenever I ask that question.

Weird that Whiting was still on the map. Did they still run locals down that far in 1985? I can’t think of what would’ve been down that way apart from Clayton Sand.

Also, it appears that NJT owns Farmingdale to Freehold and the Southern as far as Lakewood according to the map. Wonder if that means NJT has to pitch in if Conrail rebuilds Farmingdale to Freehold...
  by R&DB
 
@CJPat
Thanks, I had the CNJ, but the Conrail map is new to me and has what I was looking for.
  by Bracdude181
 
Has anyone noticed the signs that say:

“CONRAIL PRIVATE PROPERTY TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED”

Along the old Barnegat Branch ROW east of where the line turns left into Ciba Geicy? One of the signs also said NS police on it which to me says Conrail Shared Assets still owns the land...
  by nomis
 
Per the Ocean County GIS maps, Conrail owns the ROW to just west of the Parkway,
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