• Bel-Del south of Easton

  • 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 carajul
What's the status of the Bel-Del south of Easton? I followed the trackage on live maps all the way to Milford, NJ. It's all in place. I noticed there are strings of freight cars on sidings here and there and just north of Milford there is mow equipment. But the trees are growing over the row. Any potential customers? When is the last time it was used and who owns it? There seems to be a rock quarry and a chemical company near Milford that have sidings.
  by rr503
See the Bel-Del thread in this forum. The track is active to Milford.
  by SemperFidelis
The quarry is still an active customer. I would doubt they see heavy and/or frequent service however. They mainly do river rock and low quality (IMHO), grey construction/concrete sand.

Sand is found in far too many places to have too many customers too far from a source who would need to lean on rail service for delivery...especially a shortline railroad thatnhas to interchange with a class 1. Trucks are always going to dominate this market. If the customer were along a regional that cared about carload shipments (think NYS&W) that was the interchanging railroad for the shortline then maybe, maybe the move would work. Ideally, the move would look like the Milford-Bennington haul: one shortline, no interchange...but that is such a unique situation that I can nary think of another like it.

The river rock is nice enough and is wanted by people for very nice landscaping projects, including large corporate and warehousing sites), that I can imagine the quarry and railroad doing a healthy business moving loads of that around the country. Heck, I live in Scranton, PA and I can think of half a dozen people on my little block who use river rounds from the Belvidere Quarry a little off of Route 46 on the old L&HR in thier yards. It all comes by way of local landscapers or landscaping supply places, but the point is they are a very popular type of stone.
  by Hawaiitiki
carajul wrote:What's the status of the Bel-Del south of Easton? ... There seems to be a rock quarry and a chemical company near Milford that have sidings.
If you're referring to the chemical plant just south of Milford, that property has been mothballed for at least 10 years. Judging from aerials, appeared to do a lot of business via rail in its prime.

The ROW turns into a quite popular rail-trail just before Frenchtown, so Milford unfortunately is likely as far as the Bel-Del will ever claw back.
  by carajul
It's nice to see the line refurbed and in use to Milford again. Can I ask why it was re-actived? Tourist trains or is there a new customer? How paid for it?

Also with the crossing flashers be fixed in Milford? I watched several online vids of the line in the 90s when it was active and the flashers didn't work then either.
  by RailsEast
Technically, the line is still out of service south of MP43; Milford is MP 35. Volunteers have been keeping the line clear for the past several years in hopes of extending excursion service to Milford. The line was deemed passable in September of 2016 (with FRA approval), so Don (Donko142) took his recently restored GE 45-tonner and a BDRV caboose to the Milford Alive festivities at that time, and every free ticket to ride the caboose hops was gobbled up quickly (over 2 days). Money was raised for the tie replacement project northward from Milford earlier in 2016, with a Buy-A-Tie program through the NYS&W Technical & Historical Society, and with many businesses in Milford also helping out with small contributions. Without the donations, and the superhuman effort of Donko142, no one would be talking about this dormant section of track. Because of these great efforts, this 8-mile stretch of RR is back on the map, and long term plans for service resumption are no longer a pipe dream. Regular passenger excursions are still a few years away, but I do know that there are plans to again bring a train to Milford in September of this year. The rail is good on this section, we just need more wood (ties).
The flashers in Milford are not scheduled to become operational at any time in the near future; remember, operational grade crossing protection requires a monthly inspection by the RR, adding dollars and time into the equation.
There is no freight business south of the quarry at this time; the paper plant at MP41 in the out of service section has not seen service in many, many years.
Milford is indeed the end of the line.

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