• Viability of CNJ Main Line Restoration: Cranford-Communipaw

  • Discussion of the CNJ (aka the Jersey Central) and predecessors Elizabethtown and Somerville, and Somerville and Easton, for the period 1831 to its inclusion in ConRail in 1976. The historical society site is here: http://www.jcrhs.org/
Discussion of the CNJ (aka the Jersey Central) and predecessors Elizabethtown and Somerville, and Somerville and Easton, for the period 1831 to its inclusion in ConRail in 1976. The historical society site is here: http://www.jcrhs.org/

Moderator: CAR_FLOATER

  by Pensyfan19
It is evident for nearly 40 years, the former CNJ Main line between Cranford, NJ and Communipaw Terminal has been abandoned, but the right of way is mostly intact. Could it be possible for restoration of this portion of track along the original CNJ Main line? Doing so could allow for up to 4 tracks of passenger and freight service for NJT and Norfolk Southern, as well as allowing for the development of rai yards and freight spurs.
Some potential hazards I have observed with the route would be the Elizabeth station redesign, the Elizabethport crossover, the Newark Bay Bridge, and the remainder of the route running along the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. I have analyzed the proposed sketch of the Elizabeth station, and can conclude that due to the addition of new elevators and stairs, this could leave only 3 of the 4 tracks accessible for restoration. Regarding Elizabethport and the Newark Bay Bridge, I propose a bridge starting as a run through going over the Conrail Shared Assets(?) freight branch, the adjacent tracks going down to connect a Norfolk Southern container yard and other freight access points, while the bridge continues to span over the South Reach, high enough for Coast Guard Clearance, and then be placed over portions of route 440, and then coming back down to meet up with a small yard. A second track would then be added adjacent to the existing freight track and then go under the highway again into Communipaw Terminal.
  by conductorchris
Right now the state is giving it's efforts to putting New Jersey Transit back together after Chris Christy, the Portal Bridge and the Hudson Terminal.

But what if things changed and we spent a similar amount on infrastructure as other countries. Sure one could imagine a third Hudson rail tunnel between Hoboken, Jersey City, Wall Street (and on to Brooklyn Atlantic Avenue and Grand Central Terminal). Do this and a powerful economic development force would be unlocked.

In such a world, a link from the CNJ to the Wall Street tunnel could make sense although these trains could also run through Newark and Hoboken.

Another way to go would be extend the light rail from Bayone onward to Elizabeth.
  by R&DB
Forget crossing Newark Bay's Lower Reach, Port Newark will never allow it.
A route from Elizabeth to Jersey City exists via Elizabethport then North on the Garden State Secondary to Oak Island Yard, then across the old Lehigh Valley Upper Bay Bridge. The Problem in Jersey City is Liberty State Park occupies the best site for a terminal. I don't believe the state would ever allow NJT to utilize the historic CNJ terminal. By the way there is no reason to use the HB light rail. CSX line parallels it.
  by CNJ Fan 4evr
I was just at E'Port over Christmas holiday. Main line is obliterated east of the Perth Amboy track(used by CSAO). There is a concrete recycling plant on the area that was once the main line/station area. A huge dirt mountain covers the main line track area by the old tower to the turnpike. There are really not that many residences in the area around E'port yard/Spring Street. It is mainly industrial. Light rail would not make sense now, just as the Bayonne scoot didn't make sense then. Think of all the money CNJ spent on 9 years of providing that service. Remember the 2-3-4-5 train joke. 2 engines, 3 cars, 4 passengers, and 5 crewmen. They were forced into that deal when the Aldene plan started. I believe Bayonne raised holy heck about it ,but in the end it was pretty much redundant.
It's sad, but reality is it will never see main line status again.
I'm just happy to see action in part of old E'port yard and on the Newark Y and Newark/Perth Amboy branch. Saw CSX stack on the PA line and three NS engines on the Newark Y heading into E'port yard. I did just get the CSX job on video but was 3 minutes early leaving the bridge, where I could have had a great shot of the NS engines. Such is life railfanning old school without a scanner/facebook .
  by R36 Combine Coach
The main line east of Aldene is officially OOS, last used when E-Port shops closed out and all equipment cleared
(late 1988 or very early 1989). Part of the advantage of MMC was that it is centrally located and NJT does not
require long distance moves on non-revenue trackage.
  by R&DB
Probably not viable for NJT. Only possible sations are Roselle, Elmora, Elizabeth. and E'Port. Not enough traffic.
The line could be better used by CSX / NS for car storage or as a shortcut from Bound Brook to the E'Port container terminals. That might not even work dueto bridge clearances. Besides, NJT doesn't like freight on their lines.