• Abandoned railroad in Passaic and Morris counties

  • 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 Brick City
Hello all, I have searched extensively for information on the following abandoned railroad and have found nothing.

There is an abandoned railroad bridge just north of the Route 46 bridge over the Passaic River in Little Falls. Using Bing Maps and Historic Aerials I traced it southeast to the Morris Canal and northwest all the way into Wharton. There is another abandoned trestle over the Passaic River just north of the Newark-Pompton Turnpike bridge in Wayne that appears to have been directly connected to the one in Little Falls.

It looked like the railroad was abandoned as far back as the 1950s and perhaps even the 1930s on the old aerial pictures. It was pretty clear to trace but there were already buildings springing up on the right of way by the 1950s. Does anyone have any clue was this railroad might have been? Guessing there is so little information because it appears to have been abandoned decades ago. Appreciate any insights.
  by alewifebp
The bridge north of Route 46 looks as through it would have connected to where it meets up with a infrequently used industrial spur near Lackawanna Avenue in Totowa. It operates up to Mountain View in Wayne, where they wye with the Boonton Line.
  by ladder2
There are 2 bridges just north of Rt 46 in Totowa- Little Falls. Neither were ever a railroad bridge. Closest bridge belongs to the City of Newark and carries a 52" water main. The 2nd bridge belongs to the county of Passaic, and carries Lackawanna Ave across the river. Speakin of abandoned railroads in the area, about 2 miles further north was the "High Bridge" across the Passaic River between West Paterson and Totowa, this stretch of railroad between Paterson and Totowa was part of the DL&W Boonton Line. The Erie Lackawanna abadoned this section
and turned the property over to NJDOT ans I-80 was built. The old high bridge was torned down and replacred with a 6 lane highway in its placed. The Morris Canal snaked around Garrett Mountian from Paterson through West Paterson and then into Little Falls before crossing the Passaic River in Wayne. Hope this helps.
  by Sir Ray
Brick City - when you were on Historical Aerials, if you had checked the topo map for what seems the earliest date (1938), you would have found the route that travels over the (now blue truss bridge - not sure what it was then) clearly marked Aqueduct (this holds true for the topo maps going forward too). Indeed, in 1938 the aqueduct and Lackawanna Ave. seem to be the only crossings of the Passiac in that stretch - Rt 46 not having been built yet.
There's another Aqueduct crossing not far down the Passiac, near Main & Union - it's clearly visible in Bing view as two large diameter pipes crossing the river on a truss bridge. This is next to what is labeled as a Filtration plant, and on the older maps you see a branch down to this plant - I remember around the turn of the century you could still see trackage in that rather forested plant, and I'm sure there was still a crossing on Riverview Drive, with trackage winding south from the light industrial park just north (which was also kind of funky looking), but the Bing view seems to show most of the trackage gone, except for some trackage curving around a parking lot and heading north on the west side of the buildings on Adams drive.
  by ladder2
Just a little further information about the filtration plant and its rail connection. The Passaic Valley Water commission plant in Totowa , until 6 years ago received its chlorine via tank cars from the Totowa spur. This spur ran accross Rt 46 and thru the Totowa industrial complex, across Riverview Drive and into the plant. Some 2o years ago several industrial plants also had rail sidings off this spur but gradually only thing left was the filtration plant. It stopped receiving rail and switch to trucks for delivery. Shortly after Rt 46 was rebuilt and the spur was completely removed. Today the Totowa Industrial Track ends at Lackawanna Ave. next to the Bethwood Rest.