Bracdude181 wrote: ↑Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:17 am
I'd just like to throw my two cents in regarding recent posts about a potential re-activation of the Southern between Winslow and Woodmansie.
While it's almost certainly not going to be reactivated, I have heard some rumors that say otherwise.
One of the rumors was that Conrail was to have NJ Seashore Lines reactive the line between Lakehurst and Winslow, to move cars between Oak Island and Camden. An Oak Island to Camden transfer was run for a short time while the line was still active (to my knowledge) so I guess something like that could work if there's money to be made on that kind of train.
The other rumor, which is honestly kinda crazy, was that CSX and Conrail were looking into rebuilding Lakehurst to Winslow (as well as the rest of the Southern) so that it could be used as a permanent reroute for CSX oil trains.
Apparently, residents along the CSX Philadelphia and Trenton Subdivisions are worried about one of the oil trains derailing and exploding. Something along the lines of the Montreal Maine and Atlantic crash in Lac Megantic.
Instead of going down the CSX mainline, the trains would be sent down the Beeselys Point Secondary to Winslow, where the trains would turn North and use the Southern. From Farmingdale onwards, there's a few potential routes. The Coast Line and the Northeast Corridor are two routes they considered.
I personally don't think this will happen, but it's certainly a possibility.
The only other area of the Southern that I know is being looked at for sure is Woodmansie to Chatsworth. NJ Seashore Lines has considered doing car storage on this stretch, so maybe that's what we are likely to see. It's certainly better than nothing.
I always thought that with NJSL managing the future Clayton operation, that eventually they would reactivate the Southern south of Woodmansie; doesn't make much sense that they wouldn't, imo, because the detour they would have to take to get from their South Jersey yards/HQ/whatever to Lakehurst as of now would be going up the NEC to North Jersey, taking the Coastline down to Central Jersey, and then ride the Southern down to Lakehurst; as far as I know we haven't heard about them building any yards/shops on the Secondary, so I'd imagine a trip that could take 30 minutes would end up taking hours
. Maybe there's something going on behind the scenes, like NJSL and Conrai are in talks about the rest of the route, and that's why we haven't seen much activity (outside of Gateway failures) besides rebuilding the line.
I do think the SOUS would be a good freight mainline that could be used, but the NEC is more direct for transit between Camden, Philly, and Oak Island. However, they have to share that with passenger rail. I don't think they'll do the oil trains, because as someone mentioned here earlier, the Pine Barrens are sensitive environmental reserve. I don't think rerouting giant oil trains through them so they won't potentially derail and explode elsewhere would go over well. Not to mention, the FIT goes through some pretty dense areas. But maybe I'm wrong.