zakharin wrote:Just out of curiosity, why was the RVL connection to Elizabeth abandoned?Long story, having to do with the initiation in 1967 of the Aldene Plan which routed CNJ trains onto the Lehigh Valley and into Newark Penn and the later elimination of the Newark Bay Bridge. There are many threads and a real CNJ-buff can tell you much more.
Prior to the elimination of the Newark Bay Bridge there was a train which ran over the former CNJ mainline from Cranford to Bayonne. The train was usually a pair of Budd RDCs and was nicknamed the Bayonne Scoot. My memories of the Scoot are that it had not so great ontime performance record because Newark Bay drawbridge openings caused regular delays. NJT eliminated it because there were several parallel bus lines between Cranford and Elizabeth. I used to take it to visit my Dad at work.
When the CNJ went into bankrupcy for the final time they came up with a plan for survival. They would sell off most of their mainline between Elizabeth and Philipsburg to NJDOT and focus on their SeaLand terminal in Elizabeth port. They would operate over the Chemical Coast, interchange with other railroads and, perhaps, get permission from NJDOT to do some local freight drills over their former mainline. The SeaLand terminal was one of their few profitable innovations. However, passenger rail was a real money loser for them and customers along the former mainline were declining every year. The line between Aldene and Elizabeth has been out of service since at least the mid 1980's. Union County, however, has been hoping to have some form of passenger rail along that route since the demise of the Scoot and things like light rail and extension of PATH have been proposed over the years.
My dream HO layout is Aldene era CNJ with one line going from Cranford to Elizabeth Port and the other from Cranford to Newark Penn. Not too many CNJ modelers want to recreate the waning days of the Jersey Central but post Aldene is the only CNJ I ever knew.