The NEC still sees freight in NJ, but there is much more in PA inbetween Trenton/Morrisville and PA.
There are often relays of freight from Oak Island Yard in Newark, NJ (comes out on the NEC at Lane interlocking) down to Metuchen Yard (at Lincoln and Edison interlockings)
There isn't much local service on the NEC in NJ, but there is some. The switches that get served are General Tire and National Can in Edison/Metuchen area, and Deans down in South Brunswick. Also, there is freight service in New Brunswick, on the Millstone Branch (where the NJT Jersey Ave trains go) and down on the Delco Lead, which is the track that follows the NEC for about 3-4 miles south of New Brunswick. They lost a big customer on the Delco when Johnson and Johnson shut down their operations there in South Brunswick
There is also a few customers down by Trenton, in the area of Ham interlocking. There is a lumber yard west of Hamilton Station that gets a car or two, and there have been a few more cars lately by the switch/wye to the Bordentown Secondary (on the westbound side) so maybe there is a new customer somewhere around.
There used to be a bakery in North Elizabeth (Berry Bakers maybe?) that would receive a car or two every once in a while, but i haven't seen anything there in a while, and I was told it shut down (I haven't smelt the cookies in a while going through there, so maybe they did).
There used to be a LOT of freight activity in the area, with the GM Plant in Linden and the Ford Plant in Edison. but they have both shut down within the past 5 years, and there is nothing left of either. Monster trains would run from Lane down to Linden and Edison from Oak Island. It was not uncommon to see 4 or 5 locos and 100 plus cars. Sadly, they are all gone. But the runs inbetween Metuchen and Oak Island can be a good size though.
Rarely, but it does happen, a run through freight comes from Oak Island and heads down the North Jersey Coast Line (at Union interlocking) if there is some kind of blockage/work on the roughly parallel, freight only, Chemical Coast Line. There is also a customer on the North Jersey Coast Line at "Cutters" that is serviced by I guess a Metuchen crew I guess. Cutters switch is in Woodbridge/Perth Amboy area.
Its a shame to see what has been lost in the past 5 or so years, i can only imagine what it was like back in the "good ol days". I guess its a payoff for having more pax trains means less and more expensive freight service...........
On the RR, "believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see"
John, aka "JTGSHU" passed away on August 26, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion to railroading at railroad.net.