Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

the restoration of the long abandoned Lackawanna Cutoff has begun...the work started March 1 2011...here is a picture taken near Stanhope NJ...the current construction will extend NJ Transit passenger rail service seven miles to Andover New Jersey

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '11


So, at the risk of sounding ignorant, they're putting in new rails?

Chickynoonoo Chickynoonoo Message Chickynoonoo
Mar '11

I am sure they are putting in new rails, new ties, and repairing any areas that might have drainage problems. Repacking parts that have washed out and reclaiming anything that went to rails to trails. Also evaluating bridges and making the necessary re-enforcements or repairs. When things are abandoned for a long time people may encroach onto the property and sometimes erect sheds, fences and even roads.

CJ. CJ. Message CJ.
Mar '11

Wow, I've heard that this project was a possibility for a long time... The tracks used to be a good place to ride dirt bikes all the way out to Pennsylvania, which I've done a couple times just for fun (probably about 8 years ago...)

It will be interesting if/when they extend it through the Roseville "ice tunnel" and over the Paulinskill Viaduct.

Mark Mc. Mark Mc. Message Mark Mc.
Mar '11

And for $4,340,050. (before overruns) taxpayers get 7 Miles of new track to Andover. Sounds like another waste of money to me.

eapos eapos Message eapos
Mar '11

Andover was a traditional rural small town in the 60s; I have a feeling there has been major growth in that area.

BobR. BobR. Message BobR.
Mar '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

this is a historical marker that was placed along the Lackawanna Cutoff in Andover New Jersey...it stands on rt 517...looking south at the cutoff...and the Roseville tunnel will be re-opened as part of the re-construction of the railroad line

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '11

I did the math a few years ago. Should amount to about $11,000 per passenger of the line goes to Pennsylvania and the cost is what they projected at that time. Bang for the BIG BUCK! What a waste. Just more corruption.

Ronald
Mar '11

This is just the first phase of the overall project that will eventually restore service to Scranton PA. Andover is just the first step on a line that should never have been removed in the first place. With gas prices inching higher and higher ever week, we need an alternate source of transportation. Just how much money do you think we spend on our Interstate System and airports? Once in place Rail is a far more efficient mover of people and freight than any other means of transport. For those who are interested, below is a link to a Website that has a discussion by Railfans on the Cutoff. It has some pictures of the work in progress.

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=1580&start=3360#p913310

4paws 4paws Message 4paws
Mar '11

I guess I don't understand, but rail service from Scranton to where for what purpose? Which airline will this replace?

eapos eapos Message eapos
Mar '11

Its from andover to Hoboken..(first phase) It will replace Martz and Lakeland Busses eventually

BillyBob
Mar '11

To me the problem with all this stuff is the river.... Until we can easily get into NYC, the key word easily, without transfer --- everything seems destined to benefit folks closer in who can afford the time to transfer.

Need more directs.

mistergoogle mistergoogle Message mistergoogle
Mar '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

i took a ride by the Lackawanna cutoff construction site...today...it looks like they are clearing the right-of-way and grading the old ballast and removing old RR ties...rest assured that if they have started construction...the line will be built to Andover...from what i saw the RR crossing at Stanhope on Brooklyn Mtn rd will become a grade crossing...after the Andover re-opening... 21 more miles of the cutoff remains to re-opened...and it will be done in a timely manner...here is a picture from my personal collection...of the construction of the Lackawanna Cutoff...at Andover the first time around...this dates to 1908...this is a large steam powered shovel digging fill...for the cutoff...also locally..steam powered machines of the type were brought in by train...and offloaded at the Allamuchy Lehigh & Hudson Railroad station...and moved to Johnsonburg to work in the construction...of the cutoff in that area

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '11

This is such a waste of taxpayer dollars!! This is going to be a little putt-putt train that no one is going to use and eventually the State of NJ will see more $$$ in the lucrative trash hauling biz and this Lackawanna Cutoff will be converted into hauling NJ trash to PA. Then 4x a day people around the track will know what time it is my the stink!!

These NJ transit administrators all have cousins in the construction biz and money is wasted all over. Look at the NJ transit station at I80 and Howard Blvd. Big bucks to build a platform and station that 4 people use per day. They should've built a parking deck for park and ride. The lot is always full - most get on the bus from there and not the train.

commonSense commonSense Message commonSense
Mar '11

I don't think the LCO was ever rail-trailed. That's one of the few things NJ can be proud about... it has done wonderful things with the Rails-To-Trails programs. I use them frequently in warmer months. I've done hundreds of miles (cycling or running) on the Long Valley-High Bridge line.

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub Message JeffersonRepub
Mar '11

I am for this and cant wait till the to scranton line to be open we need to re claim our rail lines

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Mar '11

I know there are a few posters from Blairstown on HL. What do you folks think of this? Blairstown is the next stop on the list. From what I understand, this will be a "high speed" line with very few stops, getting into NYC from Blairstown in about 40 minutes. The Hackettstown train takes about 1hr and 40 mins. Would this be a positive or negative for Blairstown?


Its not gonna be that high speed if its a diesel line

Brad
Mar '11

I know it's not "high speed", but from what I understand NJ Transit trains can go up to 100mph, and with only 3 or 4 stops from Blairstown, you could arrive in less than an hour.


Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

at this point in time the Lackawanna cutoff...will be built with ribbon rail be capable of fast running...at NJ transit standards...the ultimate goal for the cutoff is 90 mile per hour running...and extending passenger service to Scranton with stops in the Poconos also...at this time no mention of freight running on the cutoff...{garbage trains??} the idea is to traffic on rails and off of rt 80...the extension to Andover will restore rail passenger service that was discontinued in the mid 1960s...I have no problem with freight trains running on the restored cutoff...it would be an additional source of revenue for the line...putt-putt train????? here is a shot of Paulinskill Viaduct...with a train...taken during the steam era

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '11

It would be huge plus for real estate values for Blairstown and surrounding towns. Easy commute to NYC! Wow! But...having lived inthe Mendham/Chester/Bernardsville area during its rapid growth period, I only hope some serious town planning would occur before the railline is a reality. Sufficient station parking spaces are seemingly always
lacking in every commuter town! This area is just too beautiful to become just wall-to-wall development!

































easy

Ashby Ashby Message Ashby
Mar '11

I hear the same John K. they can go 100mph, but will they. This country is so far behind in medium speed forget about high speed. I only wish we had alternatives to flying out west. I would love to do high speed from here to California. I am probably the minority here? I think it would be a great family adventure.

Steve-0 Steve-0 Message Steve-0
Mar '11

The biggest issue with rail as a transportation system is it's point-to-point limitations. If your destination is not in close proximity to the rail station then rail usage is very limited for daily passenger travel. Points to NYC could make sense, as would terminals in other large population areas, but out in the burbs I don't see how anyone can expect any kind of passenger density. Besides, limiting the number of stops further limits the number of passengers who will use the system.

So unless the system doubles as a freight rail, this will be just one more subsidized system that will have trouble turning a profit, let alone having a decent payback period.

justintime justintime Message justintime
Mar '11

One of the arguements of allowing freight on the cutoff was the concern for noise. But it was brought out that since the freight cars are taller than the passenger cars the Roseville tunnel could be an issue. I'll try to find the link from the NJ Herald and post it here later.


40 minutes Blairstown to NYC? Some serious dreaming... The Northeast corridor hits 110mph but it is straight as an arrow with little elevation change and runs on electric overhead lines. The service is this area is diesel/electric with elevation change and curves along much of the route. Is there a website outlining how 40 minutes can be accomplished or is it just John K trying to drum up business?

iJay2 iJay2 Message iJay2
Mar '11

We agree here; it's getting all the way to where you want to go that's important. I would take regular point-to-point NYC terminus as a step forward. Right now, it's hard to find frequent directs without going way inland to do so.

For example, the Financial District bus service takes a lot of time off using the subway transfer to head downtown. Used to be a uptown bus stop as well, but that was infrequent if you could find it all all. Would rather use the train but missing the transfers was faster.

mistergoogle mistergoogle Message mistergoogle
Mar '11

Hackettstown to NYC pick one;
- existing rail service - travel time 2 hours with many stops
- Martz bus from Panther Valley - 1 hour ten mins - no stops

Instead of expanding the line, NJ Transit should first speed up existing service.


Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

any issues with fast running on the cutoff...can be solved by looking at a map...the cutoff...is laid out very straight...with few curves...as far as the freight trains having a problem with Roseville tunnel...the tunnel was designed for freight trains...with a high ceiling...if needed the tunnel floor could be excavated lower to enlarge the bore...any fears of Roseville tunnel being a problem for freight trains should be allayed by this picture of a steam train passing through

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '11

iJay2...I have very limited knowlege on this project. Local government officials I spoke to still think this is a decade or more away from becoming reality. I have no stance on it, just wondering what others think about it right now.


this project will move beyond Andover...to western Warren County...and provide mass transit access...to Blairstown...and when completed...make passenger rail service to the Poconos available...not to mention...Scranton...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

I think one of these would have a problem.......


Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Here is one of the orignal "Piggyback Freight" Trains.


Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

doublestacks require 21 feet of clearance...Roseville tunnel has that...and i dont see that type of freight moving over the re-constructed line...and i have already proposed a solution to that problem...next... no they wont be moving giant military weapons on the railroad line...well thats the only question that has not been posted yet...next...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '11

It's cool John K. If there is even some merit to this it should spawn some more interest in Blairstown; at least within walking distance of the new station. Heck, if they chopped 30 minutes from the Hackettstown commute it might spawn a lot of interest.

iJay iJay Message iJay
Mar '11

umm what happens when the train hits Dover?? I believe it will behave just like any other NJ Transit Train Because THERE IS NO WAY TO PASS THE TRAINS AHEAD OF IT.

Brad
Mar '11

In otherwords They one east bound rail and one west bound rail with trains running both directions during rush hour. They may not have to "stop" at other stations but they would be held up switching tracks

Brad
Mar '11

Brad, this is the problem with Dover trains. One would think that they could have express trains with good times, but they really don't.

iJay2 iJay2 Message iJay2
Mar '11

They can't..not enough tracks..Its like following a school bus

BillyBob
Mar '11

The diesel Erie Lackawanna trains were grey and yellow and quite cool looking. What type and color were those Lehigh and Hudson trains ?

BobR. BobR. Message BobR.
Mar '11

if any one has to come home on 80 west at rush hours will pray for train service to nyc and surrounded areas

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Mar '11

Freight trains will not run on the cutoff because the rail routes that used to connect to freight yards to the east are all gone. This included the original Boonton line through Paterson, replaced by Route 80 in the 1960's, and its inferior replacement through northern Newark, torn up within the past decade. Passenger trains go through Newark Broad Street, a route not suitable for freights.

jerseydutchman2
Mar '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

jerseydutchman2...so where does the freight traffic that passes through Hackettstown originate...BobR...here is a shot form the 1970s...of a Lehigh & Hudson River RR train at Great Meadows NJ the L&HR had several paint schemes...this is one that i saw quite often locally

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '11

JUSTINTIME - all passenger service on the scale of NJT's network cannot make a profit. It is impossible. Not here, not in Europe, not in Asia. And how quickly we forget that our publically funded roads do not make a profit either, and no one seems to complain. There is no such thing as a "payback period." It is to improve the quality of life and grow a seriously skeletal rail network. Getting a few angry commuters off the road is a benefit - end of story.

Just more corruption? You think the roads, trucks and airlines are NOT corruption? Every rail expansion project in the U.S. has improved neighborhoods, and made vehicle miles travelled (VMT) drop.

This is a LONG overdue project. And thankfully, it is being done incrementally instead of all at once which is a much bigger risk. I-80 and US-46 are clogged with traffic from west NJ and PA. The beauty of the line is that it is a straight shot (thank the civil engineers who designed this marvel 100 years ago), with nary a curve and few if any street crossings. It never should have been ripped up .

lesscars43 lesscars43 Message lesscars43
Mar '11

Oldman,

The slow local freights that pass through Hackettstown one round trip a day link at Washington NJ with service from the yard in Allentown PA. They serve the few customers that remain along the former Lackawanna routes east of here. No through freights come here - the ones from North Jersey to the west go through South Plainfield -Phillipsburg (Norfolk Southern) or up the west shore of the Hudson (CSX).

Lesscars43,

Alas, whereas the cutoff is indeed a beautiful straight shot, it now connects only to meandering routes to the east. The main route goes to Denville and then heads south, with plenty of curves, all the way to Summit, before turning east toward Newark and New York.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Mar '11

lesscars, if the rail system were worth the investment it would be privately run and turning a profit. Because it is not profitable, how can one argue it has value to the population? Indirectly it may, but it's at the expense of investment in other industries that might be better suited to our needs than a simple point-to-point rail. If it were really something to be desired then there would be private enterprises willing to pay for it. Obviously that's not the case, so what's the point? I'll tell you: all of us are paying to lower the operating costs of corporations that ship over rail, artificially increasing their bottom lines and effectively hiding the costs via taxpayer subsidies. IOW, it can't possibly be of any real value except to those corporations reaping the benefit of the subsidies. How many times have they thanked you for your generosity?

justintime justintime Message justintime
Mar '11

i just found some nice Lackawanna Cutoff film footage...it mostly Roseville Tunnel...enjoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JuVIwg00yA

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '11

heres some more video of the Lackawanna Cutoff...starting a t dover NJ station...shots of Roseville tunnel...then more of the Pequset fill...then Delaware Water Gap...Water gap station ...Stroudsburg station...then Cresco http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrOHCwodHu4

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '11

There is no Stroudsburg station. That's *East Stroudsburg* you're looking at. The station after that was Analomink which technically is Stroud Township and not the borough.


In old timetables the Lackawanna RR called the station "Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg", indicating that the station, though located in East Stroudsburg, served both locations.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Mar '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Oldman, you certainly do come up with some great pictures. I have ventured both on and into the Viaduct and the Roseville Tunnel (aka the Ice Tunnel, as even in the summer you can find huge icicles hanging from the VERY high ceiling) many times. Both are extremely great examples of historical construction marvels. And the fact they are both still standing with very little damage, considering their age and the elements, leaves me thinking that modern day concrete construction is poor and not as well done as it was then. Example, I-80 and I-287 bridges LOL.

I don't have any historic pictures of the Viaduct, however I have some recent ones as my gf and I ventured up there at the end of the summer last year.

SeeintheReality SeeintheReality Message SeeintheReality
Apr '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

And another of the inside. Ps there was a much better picture, however because of the ridiculous pictures spray painted all over this tunnel, it was very inappropriate for this forum.

What I think will be interesting about this re-rail, is how they will go about crossing Brooklyn-Stanhope road and Sparta-Stanhope Road where they have just completely re-done that whole bridge and such.

SeeintheReality SeeintheReality Message SeeintheReality
Apr '11

Is this the viaduct in Blairstown.

Ryan(ligitty) Ryan(ligitty) Message Ryan(ligitty)
Apr '11

yeah its pretty cool. we went there one night when we were kids...there is also crazy paintings on some of the trees around the viaduct that you can only see with a flash light.

Most of it is crazy satanic stuff

TFulp TFulp Message TFulp
Apr '11

Yeah it is. The only thing is, you used to be able to enter from the side. By hiking up the hill a bit and climbing a plank set into one of the arches. However, because people are destructive and lack the common sense to not jump off the thing, they have mounted steel plates against the openings on the side. However there are a few manholes on top, on the track bed that you can climb down into. Now the thing is, these holes are not a direct shot down. You have to enter the hole and lay down to reach your feet down to the metal steps. You will get dirty and wet. My warning to anyone going to check this out, it is trespassing, and it is extremely dangerous. So if you are not into such activities, I would suggest not going. Oh and if you're afraid of heights, yeah not a good idea.

TFulp, I agree. There are some amazing pictures painted on and around the Viaduct. But there are also ALOT of stupid, idiotic, anti-semetic, well pretty much alot of stuff that if you're offended easily, will be quite disturbing to you. I for one don't get offended easily by stuff like that. However I do wish that garbage would stop. It ruins the true beauty of a very impressive part of history. Buy a sketch pad. LOL

SeeintheReality SeeintheReality Message SeeintheReality
Apr '11

I've been there. Before the plates though. I have also been down through the manholes. I have some beautiful photos from that place. A friend of mine died there. I have a beautiful black and white shot of where someone (not me) spaypainted his name on the rail.

Ryan(ligitty) Ryan(ligitty) Message Ryan(ligitty)
Apr '11

Yeah I have a lot more pictures. I just can't seem to find them in my computer.LOL

SeeintheReality SeeintheReality Message SeeintheReality
Apr '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

i have the video of the guys bungy jumping off of the viaduct...including the part where the bungy cord snapped and the guy got hurt really really bad...and dont forget the fellow who was drunk and driving his truck along the railroad bed...stepped out of his truck...on top of the viaduct and fell 105 feet to his death...the last i heard the viaduct was posted with No Trespassing signs and patrolled by the State Police...heres a shot of the viaduct under construction...and yes Brooklyn Mtn rd looks like it will be a grade crossing

oldman oldman Message oldman
Apr '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

looks like there will be no Steam Town rail trips to the Delaware Water Gap...any time soon a bridge is out of service near Stroudsburg...and will not be repaired until later this year

oldman oldman Message oldman
Apr '11

How come NOBODY is talking about why Conrail (a tax-payer funded government entity) lifted 130 lb. rails out in 1986 and sold the RIGHT-OF-WAY to Gerry Turco for 5 MILLION dollars so he could remove the fill and sell it and fill the cuts with garbage. Now, less than 30 years later, NJ Transit (a tax-payer funded government entity) is hitting the tax-payer for up to close to a BILLION dollars to replace it. Who in Trenton or Washington D.C. made the decision to rip up the tracks to avoid competition from southern or western railroads and why aren't they held accountable? The same person or persons must have made the the decision to rip up the western half of the Lehigh and Hudson River to keep the NYS&W from building an efficient system or rebuilding the Poughkeepsie Bridge in 1974 thus killing the great Maybrook Yard, the largest yard east of Chicago. Oh - We pay thier salary.... Duh!

Tom Paine
Apr '11

The cutoff was sold by Conrail simply because it was redundant - they did not need it and neither did any other line. It would have been nice if the line had been "railbanked", i.e. saved by government for possible later use, but no one stepped up.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Apr '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Tom Kean the the governor of New Jersey...passed up a deal to buy the Lackawanna Cutoff intact...with rails...for $10 million...a huge mistake...as Jerry Turco bought the abandoned...cutoff...for $3 million...and later sold the right of way to the state of NJ...for $33 million...except for a small portion that a real estate group bought near Port morris...they had to be bought out in a different deal...the western half of the L&HR...had no customers...and no run through traffic... { Jerry Turco also bought the L&HR right of way that was abandoned...he was selling the property for $16.000 a linear acre...}after the Poughkeepsie bridge fire in 1974...and the L&HR was mostly a bridge traffic line from PA to New England anyway...they tore up the rails in 1986...the decision to abandon the Lackawanna Cutoff...started with the merger of the Lackawanna railroad...with the Erie railroad...the board of directors re-routed Lackawanna freight over to Erie rails...and that made the cutoff surplus...and there were not enough online freight customers on the cutoff to keep the line active...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Apr '11

Yeah Oldman I drove on Brooklyn Stnahope the other day and sw the construction. It was weird thinking that there will be a train running throught there again. I remember as a kid having to drive down and under the tracks on that stretch of road. My uncle lives right there and he is not happy. Because when he bought that house and they tracks were torn up he was under the understanding a train would never travel through there again.

SeeintheReality SeeintheReality Message SeeintheReality
Apr '11

SeeintheReality...the Lackawanna cutoff restoration has been going on almost since Conrail abandoned the rail line... in 1984...so re-opening the line should not surprise anyone...and the opposition to re-open the line was fierce...rails to trails...etc...so its happening...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Apr '11

Im just saying what he thought. I could care less either way. The further out the train reaches could equal less cars on the roads. Maybe.

SeeintheReality SeeintheReality Message SeeintheReality
Apr '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

i know a guy who went into Roseville Tunnel and had one of the huge icicles fall on him...he broke some ribs...heres a picture of the Lackawanna Cutoff...with a freight train on top in Knowlton twp...the railroad in the foreground is the Susquehanna / Lehigh and New England railroad...this picture dates to 1941

oldman oldman Message oldman
Apr '11

I must say oldman, you really do come up with some amazing historic pictures. Keep it up.

SeeintheReality SeeintheReality Message SeeintheReality
Apr '11

You all don't know how good you have it. In September last year I was in Mt. Laurel for work. Now I live in Florida these days. My best friend lives in Blairstown. He needed to get his car at Newark that afternoon (a long story). I took a commuter train from Mt. Laurel to Trenton, and a NJT train from Trenton to Newark International, than the little monorail to meet my buddy and spend the weekend at his house. Travel time - 2 hours. Cost - under $20. No traffic and driving on I-78 - priceless. Train travel rocks. Here we've nixed high-speed rail connecting Tampa, Orlando and Miami. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Stephan Stephan Message Stephan
Apr '11

Oldman,

That photo is one of the best I have seen of the cutoff. Thanks.

A question: are you sure about the 1941 date? I would have guessed at an earlier date because there is so little tree growth, meaning that it appears the cutoff is still pretty new.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Apr '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

i would say the date of the photo is correct based upon the fact that the Lackawanna cutoff here is constructed of shale and rock fill...not much for vegetation to grow on...here is a picture of Hainesburg Junction...where the Susquehanna RR and the Lehigh & New England RR intersected...note the Paulinskill viaduct in the background

oldman oldman Message oldman
Apr '11

Chances are no money will be coming from the federal government. Turn them all into rail trails and move on...

iJay2 iJay2 Message iJay2
Apr '11

That same photo is in Wayne McCabes book titled "The Lackawanna Cutoff" The caption says one of the first trains to travel over the fill just east of the tunnel near Wolf Lake in Byram Twp. Wording is hand written on photo.


john c...heres the problem with your photo description...only in three places do railroad tracks go under the Lackawanna Cutoff...Tranquility { the L&HR}...and in Huntsville...near Hainesburg...{ the Susquehanna and the L&NE}... and Andover { Lackawanna RR } so this is not Byram twp...i see nothing here that reminds me of the tunnel near Andover along rt 206

oldman oldman Message oldman
Apr '11

Didn't the NYS&W/L&NE line pass under the Paulinskill viaduct? I remember visiting that spot some years ago. Could the photo be the Andover location, but when the Cutoff was new, before there was a route 206?

Hainesburg Junction: great photo; not such a great junction.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Apr '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

the picture is a long coal drag photographed on Feb 23 1941...at Tranquility NJ...here is a L&HR freight passing through the tunnel...yes the NYS&W...and L&NE passed under the viaduct at Hainesburg

oldman oldman Message oldman
Apr '11

That must have taken some research. Thanks.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Apr '11

If the rails had been left in place on the cut-off for a short 25 years , the cost of refurbishing it would have been next to nothing compared to what it's going to cost with no rails. The N.Y.S.& W. learned this from when they re-built from Butler to Sparta Jct. as the equipment had a starting point from which to operate. When no tracks are present (i.e. the cut-off) rubber tired vehicles are used and you have no starting point. The N.Y.S. & W. quickly grabbed the L.& H.R. north of Sparta jct. to Warwick as CONRAIL was in a big hurry to lift it as the were with the cut-off. The N.Y.S.& W. still making good with this round-about route to the west - if they could have gone south/west to Allentown/Reading area it would have saved alot of mileage/fuel. I'm sure the mighty CANADIAN PACIFIC - whom took over the DELAWARE & HUDSON - could have gone from Scranton/Slateford/Port Morris/Boonton Line just as easily as it routes now over the out of the way READING & NORTHERN/Allentown Yard/Lehigh Main into Oak Island which is a very busy stretch of railroad. I don't care if it's the trash trains that move right now on the Lehigh Main, the steady stream of trash trucks on routes 80 & 46 or the Pennsylvania commuters that clog the roadways every morning - something has to be done and that something is the resurrection of the cut-off - now that gas is heading towards five dollars a gallon and will likely end up much higher than that. As for the Poughkeepsie Bridge which burned on May 8th 1974 - it's now called "Walkway Across the Hudson " and has been decked with concrete which weighs more than two fully loaded freight trains. This route is the most direct to New Haven's old Cedar Hill Yard and all of New England. The tracks on both sides of the bridge died - the Maybrook Yard is now giant truck terminals. The party's over folks - we can't fund the highways and airlines - leaving the railways nothing on which to operate. After all, the most efficient of transporting people/freight is by rail. Boy, it must be nice to know everything - "Oldman" .....

Tom Paine
Apr '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

my reply is this...here is a shot of the cutoff...with the rails in place...even if these rails were still in place...after all these years...they would still have to be lifted and replaced...because of rust and tie rot and neglect of maintenance...the biggest expense involving the cutoff...was buying back the property from the owners who bought it from Conrail...at one time the NYS&W...put forth a proposal to relay track to Tranquility...to connect with the Lackawanna Cutoff...to run freight and container trains...in and out of the NYC...metropolitan area...Jerry Turco...the owner of both right of ways rejected the offer...when NJ Transit...restores...the cutoff they will do it right with ribbon rail...and all new signals...as far as Poughkeepsie bridge...that had been a maintenance problem for years...and Conrail was glad to be rid of it...and I dont know everything...I just keep up with current events

oldman oldman Message oldman
Apr '11

By the time the N.Y.S.& W. rebuilt their line in the latter half of 1986, the Cut-Off was already lifted by Conrail. It was the L.& H.R. at the end of their existence that suggested building " The Tranquility Ramps " as a way to stay alive. With 130 lb. rail in place, rebuilding the Cut-Off would have been a walk in the park in cost and in labor as compared with no rail in place for the machinery to run on. Most railroad refurbishing equipment is steel-wheel driven. Again - as for the Poughkeepsie Bridge - in 1974 the green team of the N.Y.C.S. controlled the PENN-CENTRAL and favored The Selkirk Yard near Albany ( a long ways off ) as the preferred route to New England. Besides, The Poughkeepsie Bridge burned on May 8th. 1974 .... CONRAIL didn't exist until April 1st. 1976 ... why did they want to get rid of something they never owned ? The Poughkeepsie Bridge itself would have cost $225,000 to rebuild but instead was sold to GORDON SCHREIBER MILLER for the grand total of $1 ... something seems rotten, doesn't it ? Please don't respond, OLDMAN - has it's getting old you knowing everything and all ...............

Tom Paine
Apr '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Tom Paine...$225,000 to rebuild the Poughkeepsie Bridge...you are dreaming...that bridge suffered massive structural damage in the fire...and by the way...the Susquehanna RR did put forth a proposal to relay track to Tranquility...after they opened the L&HR-NYS&W...connection near Sparta...the reason that the L&HR was stubbed off between Sparta and Belvedere was that there was no more overhead traffic and no online customers...now whos a know it all......

oldman oldman Message oldman
Apr '11

I am going to say that we actually need more trains. I can understand if you're annoyed with taxes because they can be annoying. However, with the rising gas prices, I rather actually pay higher taxes than to pay too much money on gas and wasted time on traffic. On top of this, driving to NYC is also a ripoff, with the parking costs, potential traffic tickets (it's so easy to get a ticket for no reason or little violation, including parking) and tolls (the GWB toll is now $12). Plus, trains are safer for many reasons as commuters won't have to risk car accidents. Having a train will also be safer for people who prefer to drive due to less traffic. I don't get why those cheap people won't realize that driving is actually more expensive. MOVE TO PENNSYLVANIA IF YOU'RE CONCERNED ABOUT TAXES!!! YOU'RE ONLY HALF AN HOUR DRIVE FROM THE PA STATE LINE!


Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

the rails are in place and the rail line will be open soon...and damn...all the nimbys and nay sayers...heres a picture

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

Oldman,

Thank you for posting that picture! I am elated that this project is finally coming to fruition. May I ask where the photo was taken? Also, what is the status of a station in Andover? Obviously that will be the terminus of this branch for a while, and I wasn't sure what kind of station they were building. I was hoping for something nice with a bit of railroading grandeur, but I'm sure it'll be a simple platform and shelter. And finally, is NJT any closer to announcing a startup date?

By the way, my wife and I are moving to Green Township...and not 100 feet or so past our house on Kennedy Rd there is a bridge over the Cutoff. I know there are no plans for a station in Green (though I think they are planning some sort of maintenance siding) but it's still exciting to think that someday trains might once again pass by!

Josh Josh Message Josh
Oct '11

and as if we did not know it but there can be a increase of jobs if they build large parking lots so we can board the trains to the city or other stops some one can get a loan to start more taxi services useing the smart cars or volts to get you around as needed once you get off the train or to get you to the train saveing fuel and the envirorment and makeing JOBS

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Oct '11

caged animal...you have quite an agenda...try taking it one step at a time...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

Those tracks look all wiggily.

Joe M Joe M Message Joe M
Oct '11

i wish you could take a train to the air port in newark or to the shore or to cape may i would love it

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Oct '11

oldman

Where's the section that you have pictured? I'd like to check it out.

The crossing at Stanhope-Brooklyn road (the only on grade crossing) hasn't been finished yet. They presently have 6 very tall stacks of concrete ties next to the crossing. The southern section going towards Hopatcong station has ties down, but no tracks yet. Going north, there have been trucks in and out of there this past week and the debris pile that was near the crossing is getting smaller also, but no gravel down as of yet.

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Oct '11

If you travel route 80 in the mornings, you would be grateful for a rail option - for you and all the other ants crawling along the highway!!

By the way, what's with the big spaces in the middle of the posts? annoying.

pmnsk pmnsk Message pmnsk
Oct '11

Caged you can take a train to EWR, you'll just have to transfer...usually at Secaucus. It's not the most efficient route, but it works and saves you a ton in parking fees. And Cape May service used to exist a long time ago, and even was once on NJ Transit's 2020 plan. I'm not sure it's feasible though because everything that goes down the shore (south of the current NJ Coast Line) runs through Philly. NJT was running the express service to Atlantic City, but the train had to stop in Philly to switch power from electric to Diesel and reverse direction.

Josh Josh Message Josh
Oct '11

The tracks are wiggly because they still have to build the trackbed, with ballast and what have you, and align the rails.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Oct '11

I grew up in Blairstown and used the Cutoff as a four-wheeler superhighway. Used to hide gas in the Roseville tunnel. I was fascinated by it as a kid and can remember the Conrail train picking up the track. Pic attached is of the Paulinskill Viaduct Construction. Amazing. Route 80 viaduct was the largest reinforced concrete structure in the world at the time.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Oct '11

I'm very interested in any other historical pictures you guys have. I will post some more myself.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

heres a shot from the 70s...just as Conrail came into business...a freight train on the Paulinskill Viaduct

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

heres a shot of the Delaware River Lackawanna cutoff bridge...from the air

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

I am all for train service but I don't like stopping at every station on the way. I wish they had an express.

CJ. CJ. Message CJ.
Oct '11

Hmmm. Seems my pictures didn't post. Anyone have an idea why? I didn't get an error message or anything. Maybe the files are too large?

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Here's another try. Nice picks, btw, oldman.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Success! And another. This is the Pequest Fill.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

And here is the largest cut on the cutoff.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Oct '11

That Pequest Fill photo is amazing - showing how they were using a hanging track supporting small freight cars dumping the fill. Thanks, MeisterNJ.

This was all significant infrastructure built by private capital.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

MeisterNJ...nice pictures...heres a shot of a steam shovel filling railroad cars with material for the Pequest Fill

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

heres a shot taken in 1909 of Lackawanna Cutoff near Blairstown...the Lackawanna Railroad built the cutoff right from its earnings...they borrowed no money for the construction work...when the Pequest fill was being built...blasting operations there caused plaster cracks in houses as far away as Newton

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

Any idea on a time frame for restoration to Andover? And what kind of station they're going to build there?

Josh Josh Message Josh
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Nice oldman. Looks like a similar picture to the one I posted, from a different angle. Amazing with the suspended train. The Pequest fill is 6.6 mill cubic yards and 110 feet high. I did a presentation on the Lackawanna cutoff for school. This is a pic from overhead of the Route 80 viaduct. Both viaducts could be rehabbed and replacement not necessary. Shows the quality of the construction. Have you seen the Manunka Chunk tunnels? They're pretty neat as well. And they're on a curve, so it's pitch black in the middle. Northern one is collapsed partially in the middle. And they are only about 9 feet tall.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Oct '11

Josh, can't find anything from NJ Transit on a start of Andover service. And, unfortunately, just as with Hackettstown it will take too long to get to New York. This is partly because the most direct route was cut in the 1960's when the Lackawanna's line around Garrett Mountain in Paterson was taken to build Route 80. The remaining route is not very direct and has many curves.

A comparison from the current timetables:

Fastest service to New York from Hackettstown: 1 hour 58 minutes (change at Dover).
Fastest service to New York from Trenton: 1 hour 6 minutes. And Trenton is a longer distance away.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Oct '11

The Manunka Chunk tunnels were part of the Lackawanna's original main line, opened in the 1860's, I believe.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Oct '11

the Manunka Chunk tunnels are part of the original Warren Railroad...one was constructed in 1853...and the second was constructed in 1875...the Oxford railroad tunnel proved to be very difficult to construct...and took from 1853-1862 to complete...the tunnel is over 3000 feet long...the Warren Railroad was built as a broad gauge railroad...not standard gauge like the railroads today

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

Jerseydutchman - I agree, service will be painfully slow. NJTransit owns enough right of way in most places to have 4 tracks, yet to cut costs the overhead catenary is only wide enough for the current two track service. A third track could have been used for rush hour express service. Run a train from Andover local to Dover, then stop at the big stations on the route only. You can't even run down the Boonton Line now that it goes into Montclair which is the bottleneck of bottlenecks.

Sigh.

Josh Josh Message Josh
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

this is picture of Manunka Chunk Railroad station...with the tunnels in the background...there was a small railroad yard there as well as an interchange with the Belvedere -Delaware railroad

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

old man I hiked though the tunnels many years ago and the conection to belivdere

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

heres what the collapsed part of Manunka chunk tunnels looks like

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

wow nice pic it was about 72 i went in there with ols coleman lantern was fun when we got to the other end it was coverd by ice but we got out ok many years later we went down there on atc and had a wreck i could not walk or feel my legs for a long time never go alone iwas luck to get out when the feeling in my legs came back i rode out so be warn buddy system works

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Oct '11

Oldman, I am very happy about the restoration - went to see the sign in your picture this weekend....

pmnsk pmnsk Message pmnsk
Oct '11

Nice. Yeah, I've been in both MC tunnels. Love the pic. First time I've seen that one. Any idea of the year of it? I've also been in the Oxford tunnel. I entered from the Route 31 side. When I went driving/looking for the other end, couldn't remember how to get there. What road goes near the other end? I remember the track bed is right next to the road, couldn't find it though and didn't have time. It's a damn big tunnel.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Oct '11

Must be tunnel hill road. I just looked at the map. Alot easier to enter there than climb down the slope from 31.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Oct '11

the Manunka Chunk station picture dates to the late 1800s..Tunnel Hill rd was the original roadbed of the Warren Railroad...before Oxford tunnel was completed the railroad went over the top of the mountain and through the heart of Oxford...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

heres a shot of a Delaware Lackawanna & Western steam engine emerging from Manunka Chunk tunnel heading west bound

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

I remember there on 519 by the old bridgevill coal and oil yard and on green pond road in buttsville where the tracks were we would sometime on the school bus would have to wait for the train to go by on its way from oxford to portland

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Oct '11

Caged ...I remember all the tracks being in place...on that section of railroad...one picture that I dont have...is a picture of the railroad bridge that crossed over rt 46 in Buttzville...I remember the bridge...and when it was torn down...but no picture...they were dismantling...that section of the railroad all the way into the late 1970s...and the railroad was still in place in the town of Delaware...until the 90s...but not used...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Found this one today. Pretty cool. Looks a bit different than oldman's photo. I don't see the roof for the shelter between the tunnels.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

MeisterNJ...nice picture...thats the Belvedere-Delaware railroad yard at Manunka Chunk...its all abandoned now...but some railroad ties and tie plates are still there...heres a picture for you...the Manunka Chunk junction after the flood of 1913...this flood was one of the problems that led to the abandonment of the railroad

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

Looked at the NJTransit EI files. Looks like the Andover station will be pretty tame, with a simple concrete overhang above a raised platform. Though, the location of the station seems less than desirable as it will not be on any main roads.

Josh Josh Message Josh
Oct '11

Hurricane Diane in 1955 finished off that northern-most section of the Bel-Del. It did lots of damage to other railroads as well.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Oct '11

The piles of concrete ties at the RR grade intersection with Brooklyn-Stanhope Road has gone from 6 very tall stacks down to two and a half or so (Dark on the way home tongith, couldn't see them too well). They've been taking them north of the intersection after cleaning up that section last week.

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Oct '11

Just a note to all Ask Santa Claus for a copy of The Lackawanna Railroad of Northwest New Jersey if you do not have it already. It has a wealth of info and pics of the cutoff as well as the other lines. I have had mine for 20 years or so and always find myself revisiting it. Great coffee table book! Roseville Tunnel is presently under begining stages of work. The Train is not far behind!

Foresttracker Foresttracker Message Foresttracker
Oct '11

Go to Steam town and take the train ride and hear all about it.

CJ. CJ. Message CJ.
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

The Lackawanna Railroad In Northwest New Jersey...has been out of print for years...you might find a copy on Amazon.com another hard to find railroad book about this area is Down Along The Old Bel-Del...by Warren Lee...much history and pictures...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

I've read both of those books out of one or more local libraries - yes, they're very good and informative. Another one I remember is called something like "The Iron Mine Railroads of New Jersey". Iron was a very important early industry in this area, and resulted in quite a few local railroad lines, most of which are gone.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Oct '11

Caged Animal The tracks you speak of in Budd Lake were probably not part of the Lackawanna System, therefore would not be in the book. Netcong and Stanhope are in the book. Amazon still shows stock of the book!

Foresttracker Foresttracker Message Foresttracker
Oct '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

heres the breakdown on the above mentioned books...The Lackawanna Railroad In Northwest New Jersey was co-authored by Larry Lowenthal and William T Greenberg...Iron Mine Railroads of New Jersey...was authored by Larry Lowenthal...both are very informative books...Lowenthal and Greenberg also authored another book together...Morris County Traction...a very good history of the Morris County Trolley system ...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '11

Thanks for the book info "oldman"

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Nov '11

This is awesome. I'm happy that NJ Transit is investing in this part of the state. Economic stimulation! Property values! Only benificial.

Rob The Man Rob The Man Message Rob The Man
Nov '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Found this pic today. Neat.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Nov '11

Good find, Meister! A once-important transportation artery. It appears the locomotive is burning wood. meaning that the picture dates to when our region's old-growth trees had not yet been used up. (Can't tell for sure though.)

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Nov '11

Oldman..when is your book coming out???

bug2
Nov '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Meister...nice shot...never saw that one before...heres a picture of a crane cleaning up a derailment at Manunka Chunk

oldman oldman Message oldman
Nov '11

Cool shot oldman. That's pretty cool seeing the crane. I found that last pic on ebay of all places.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Nov '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Meister...heres another shot...with some history...that was a very busy place years ago...its all silent now...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Nov '11

I heard from one of the workers on-site that the project has been shut down until Oct 2012 due to DEP & EPA concerns. Has anyone else heard anything?

Jeff H. Jeff H. Message Jeff H.
Nov '11

Hadn't heard that. That would stink. Looking fwd to them going all the way to PA, in my lifetime. Found some more pics. As soon as i figure out how to convert from PDF to jpeg, will post.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Nov '11

the last I heard was that the re-construction crews had permission to re-lay track all the way to Lake Lackawanna...and were awaiting clearances to work towards Andover...but I could see some NIMBY...causing trouble...the DEP and EPA...should have written this all off a long time ago

oldman oldman Message oldman
Nov '11

If we could be assured of passenger loads like the ones shown on this link, I think they would hurry the project along!

http://youtu.be/2fRyqP0aHtQ

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Nov '11

thats a crowded train...please...try this... standing room only http://youtu.be/fsJoaIKd7Fk...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Nov '11

Your link beats mine, oldman! But whereas you are showing travel from a large [annual?]religious festival with inadequate transportation, mine just shows the daily commute. Imagine?

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Nov '11

go look at he parking lot by arlington station if the lot was bigger it still would be full

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Nov '11

actually riding on trains in India is a pretty normal thing to do...and not really because of any religious festival... http://youtu.be/PHelulhKe08

oldman oldman Message oldman
Nov '11

anybody want to ride the bus...this is how they do it in India... http://youtu.be/Di9jA8QqlMM

oldman oldman Message oldman
Nov '11

Luckily they also have first class trains for people who can afford it.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Nov '11

Just read Lackwanna Railroad in NW NJ. Very interesting. And some great photos! I especially like the photos of building the Paulins Kill Viaduct.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Nov '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

the Lackawanna Cutoff was opened 100 years ago this week...heres an old Lackawanna railroad advertisement featuring the mascot Phoebe Snow... the Phoebe snow was one of the railroads most prestigious passenger trains on the cutoff... her clean white dress...was meant to show that the Lackawanna Railroad was a cinder free and a clean passenger train to ride on...steam powered railroads were notorious for being dirty by using coal it made smoke and threw cinders all over ..

oldman oldman Message oldman
Dec '11

Can anyone give a description of where the MC Tunnels are located? And if there is anything left to see. Would love to hike to them. I've been in the Paulinskill Viaduct many times and would like to explore more of this abandoned rail line.

SeeintheReality SeeintheReality Message SeeintheReality
Dec '11

The tunnels are off of the west bound side of 46 just north of the former King Coles Grove. Kinda behind a daycare center which I cant remember its name. I have been there many times with my father...bring rubber boots cause the tunnels are full of water...good luck.

sadbear sadbear Message sadbear
Dec '11

if you go to the Manunka Chunk tunnels...best to approach them from the rt 46 side...and then can follow a trail to get to the rear side of the tunnels...if you look around you can find sections of Roebling wire rope...it was used in the construction of the tunnels

oldman oldman Message oldman
Dec '11

If you park by king coles look up to the west bound side of Rt46 you will see the rail bed for the belvidere split you can walk up the slope and walk west on the rail bed and it will take you safer to the tunnels if you go in the tunnels high boots a must and good very good lights dont go a lone and dont every one go in at once and let people know were your headed

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Dec '11

Here is the tunnel entrance coordinates 40.861237,-75.047635 If you park at cole grove and walk, its about a 3 mile trek. Park a little up from the daycare and walk from there. A path is next to the day care parking lot and puts you right near the tunnel. Do not park in the day care parking lot.

I'll post some pics later. Oh and don't ever attempt the oxford tunnel if your thinking of that one too.


Love that advertisement oldman!

Jams Jams Message Jams
Dec '11

SeeintheReality, just a reminder that the MC tunnels and the Paulinskill Viaduct were not on the same rail line. The Viaduct is an example of what the Lackawanna wanted to gain by building the Cutoff and thus being able to avoid those tunnels, curves and grades for most of its through trains.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Dec '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

the Lackawanna Railroad was known as The Route Of The Phoebe Snow heres another ad

oldman oldman Message oldman
Dec '11

Why not attempt the Oxford Tunnel, OP? Because of the water now? I've been through it, about 6-7 years ago. Seemed to be in good condition for its age at the time.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Dec '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Oxford is very badly flooded. I took the trip mid July last year. Entered on Hill St. and was up to my knees in mud, muck, and garbage- not to mention all the mosquitoes, i felt like i was one of those laboratory feed bags. Someone removed the dedication stone that was right over the entrance in order to display it at shippen manor. The hack job they did left the hillside above the entrance exposed and all the silt and mud had filled up half the entrance. You could only walk about 6 feet into the tunnel before hitting water. It's a shame- it truely is a modern marvel for it's age and size at nearly a mile long. I will dig for the oxford pics, but here are MC pics.

Path approach to the tunnels.


Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Tunnels straight on. On a hot summer day the air coming out of the tunnels is so cold that a fog forms at the entrance.


Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

The left tunnel has partially collapsed. It still has the old rail tack in it. I've heard it was passable, but i didn't want to venture it without hip waders.


Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

The right tunnel is passable with a few minor collapses but wear rubber boots for the water. The tunnel curves to the left. So you can't see the other side and mid tunnel you can't see either end... it is very dark- remember to bring a flashlight.


Great shots, OP. Thanks.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Dec '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

heres the inside of the Oxford RR tunnel dry

oldman oldman Message oldman
Dec '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

heres the inside of the Oxford RR tunnel flooded

oldman oldman Message oldman
Dec '11

Are there any other tunnels in jersey or near in pa ? other than my self have you seen the trains run these tracks the one from washington to buttzville and on up to port land or the one that comes from andover to the meadows and on to p burg , I do . all so when there was a road grade crossing in great meadows be for the vioduct went in ?

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Dec '11

if you like a walk and you go though the MC tunnel keep walking have some one pick you up on 519 about a mile from 46 at the oil tanks its a nice walk also walk the tracks from belvidere to pburg a long the river

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Dec '11

Byram ice tunnel on the Lackawanna line. Not sure if its off limits due to the construction. it is located here 40.971847, -74.711764


Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Musconetcong RR tunnels near Pattenburg NJ...there are two tunnels there both over a mile long...one is abandoned...the other is currently is in use...by Norfolk Southern RR...they were both built by the Lehigh Valley RR...I have included a picture of the portal of the abandoned tunnel

oldman oldman Message oldman
Dec '11

The picture of the flooded Oxford tunnel is hauntingly beautiful!

Jams Jams Message Jams
Dec '11

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

heres a picture of the west end of Oxford Railroad tunnel...intact with the marble dedication stone featuring John Blair President Warren Railroad...they damaged the tunnel portal by removing this stone...it should have been left in place...also bear in mind that the oxford tunnel interior shots I posted previously...feature illumination...the tunnel is pitch dark without light

oldman oldman Message oldman
Dec '11

from Andover? you can walk to netcong from andover and get on the train there. I would imagine they will provide a large parking lot for ppl to leave cars at while on train. If you can drive to andover why couldnt you drive to netcong. Or walk to netcong I see Patrick walking rt 206 everyday He seems to beable to do it so I think the rest of us can too.

aguy aguy Message aguy
Jan '12

thank you for bringing Patrick...into this thread...he seems to "beable"...nice comments...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Jan '12

Just as an update to the progress made. Within the last two days track has been laid on the concrete ties up to the south side of the only current grade crossing on the Cutoff at Brooklyn-Stanhope Road.

This morning I noticed that on the north side of that intersection track had been laid on one side of the ties going towards the north and although it was dark on my way home tonight, it looked as though the second track of the pair had been laid going towards the north, but that was only a guess going by what I saw by reflected light as I drove past.

The tracks are about 6" to about 15" above the current roadbed, so I'm not sure what method or means they'll use to bridge the intersection, unless that is, it's only a preliminary move and they still need to come down with a machine to settle the ties in the gravel and tighten down the rail, etc. I'm not sure how modern track work goes.

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Jan '12

what oldman you dont like patrick ? I think he is a great guy. I have ate with him at mcdonalds a few times. always up beat and happy.

aguy aguy Message aguy
Jan '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

this is the type of track being laid on the Lackawanna Cutoff...rails with pandrol clips to hold them to the concrete ties...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Jan '12

Thanks for the article, Bug2. It's a bit odd though how it is so focused on passenger trains. Freight was always the primary money-maker and driver of the Cutoff's construction.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Jan '12

Also a problem in the article: Commuter service from Andover via the cutoff will not be "restored" since it never existed. I don't think there was ever even a station there.

There used to be a few daily trains from Andover via the old line through Netcong though.

jerseydutchman2 jerseydutchman2 Message jerseydutchman2
Jan '12

Thanks for the picture "oldman". I was pretty sure that there had to be further done in the laying of the track. As I mentioned, the ties and track is above the roadbed and is also on TOP of the gravel, which I knew couldn't be the final stage in the process. My Dad worked on the Pennsy and came from a RR and coal town in Central PA and I've never seen ties with track on them just lying on top - always they (the ties) were settled in the gravel.

On the north side of the road, both sides of the pair of track are laid atop the ties, again with both on top of the gravel, HOWEVER, the first 50-100 feet of rail is settled on top of standard wooden ties for some reason. It's not for lack of concrete ones, as there are still some of them left. perhaps it is easier to align the end with the south side and the intersection on the wooden ones, then once aligned, put the concrete ones in place before settling? I have no idea, but I'm enjoying what progress I've seen so far!

By the way "aguy", The proposed "Andover" station is supposed to be sited on Roseville Road, which is approximately 9-10 miles from the Netcong station. Dodging traffic on Rts. 206 and 183 and walking at a pace of about 3 miles per hour, that would take about 3 hours each way, which is certainly not a viable option. If you've been on 206 in the AM, especially with the construction, it's a decent ride to get from one to the other also, as well as frustrating traffic-wise.

Any option to help take more cars off that section would definitely make me a bit happier in the AM, plus hopefully once in use, the rest of the Cutoff should be seen to be a viable and economic option. Right now with the Rt. 183 bridge closed, there is less traffic on 183 itself, but north of the intersection with 206 is a complete zoo.

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Jan '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

glad to hear that the cutoff restoration is progressing...this picture is from Greendell NJ...1984...the Conrail train is removing the rails...regrading the crossing on Brooklyn-Stanhope rd...they will tamp the gravel...and possibly bring in a pre-assembled panel track... they will...probably use plastic composite panels to bring the new tracks to grade with the road surface... have seen this type of construction done numerous times...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Jan '12

Do you think they will go on to Pa and how long would that take and are the trck in good shape on the pa side to scranton

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Jan '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

restoring the cutoff right now ends at Andover...there is 21 miles of intact rail road bed without rails between Andover and the Delaware Water gap...that exist...at least two bridges...will have to be rebuilt...the tracks beyond the Water Gap are for freight only...and would need to be upgraded for passenger service...the master plan for re-opening the cutoff...calls for several new railroad stations...but the completion of the cutoff remains years away...on another note...the Morristown & Erie railroad... and Morris County NJ...have just announced plans to push for new freight service on several existing rail lines in Morris county...and are exploring the re-installation of railroad track on several intact but abandoned railroad beds in that area...this could get interesting

oldman oldman Message oldman
Jan '12

I was hope full because they re placed the one old vioduct with two new ones on Rt 521 out side of blairstown

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Jan '12

Caged

Since my family owned the Blairstown train station at the time they were planning the new route of the highway and the replacement viaduct(s), I was able to see the process and planning going on at the public meetings.

They had planned for the eventual reopening of the Lackawanna Cutoff, by designing the new structure's opening high enough over the track level that the double high commuter trains would be able to get through. I may actually have copies of the paperwork handed out at the meeting around here somewhere. That was back a bit over 10 years ago.

It's been in the works for quite a while now, but studies and BS continuously held it up.

One funny thing about the environmental group's opposition as well as part of the "wetlands remediation" required when the new path of 521 over the track would require filling in of a couple of small pond/wetland sections, was that many "wetlands" areas were created by the building of the Cutoff! Local gravel was often used, creating depressions that became new wetlands when it was built.

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Jan '12

not only was local gravel used in the cutoff construction...they also had their own cement plants...also...the wetlands you refer to...were called borrow pits where they excavated for fill...to build the cutoff

oldman oldman Message oldman
Jan '12

Exactly my point oldman! The "borrow pits" became the "wetlands"sections that everyone is so up and arms about filling in here and there. I'm sorry, but to me that was a big deal over very little since there were other nearby "wetlands areas" that were created in the same man-made way, not as a natural process over thousands or even millions of years.

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Jan '12

I know people want to save the planet and the wet lands but these are not the people who have to sit in traffic at the gap or by the rt 15 cut off or the other log jams on I-80 just sitting there burning gas , also they need biger parking areas , I would al so like to see that in NYC and other citys this class that taxie cabs be electric cars like volts or smart cars but who am I

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Jan '12

Caged, you've got some great points there. For example, the Netcong station parking lot always seems very full during the week when I go by on my way to work. I don't think there's room to expand there either.

Hopefully, the new station at the Roseville Station will be large enough to accommodate the commuters that decide to ride from there once the section is finished. If they find it's not large enough and that there's a lot of riders, then perhaps there will at least be enough room to expand!

Also, WAY back, there were electric taxis in NYC, but the replacement of the charged battery platforms was too much of a pain, so they moved to gas-powered only. These days hybrids would actually be great for that kind of usage, just as you mention.

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Jan '12

Phil D.,

When did your family own the Blairstown Station? When it was 106.3? I grew up little more than a mile from there off of 521. Used to ride on the cutoff for hours on my ATV and explore the viaducts, tunnels, and stations. It would be great to have passenger service restored all the way to PA.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Jan '12

MeisterNJ

After the radio station closed down, I saw it listed for sale when part of the family was looking to open a pizzaria, thinking it would be a great location for people on their way home from work, etc. While they decided it wouldn't fit their needs, my Dad thought it would be a great location to relocate the security business he co-owned to there, so they bought it and we started to clean out the inside and get all the systems (water, etc.) going.

The decision was made around 2001-2 to move the business to PA, so the station was then put on the market and sold to the current owner. I definitely loved a number of the details of the building, especially the mosaic floor and the built in drawers and shelves of the stationmaster's office!

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Jan '12

That would work out good a Pizza shop and train station you pick up a pie wen you get off the train

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Jan '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

This was taken at the Stanhope-Brooklyn Road (aka County Road 602) grade intersection with the tracks of the cutoff.

The view is of the southeast section of the tracks as they head towards Port Morris.

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Jan '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

This picture was taken towards the north side of the road where the tracks are trending N-Northwest on their way towards the new bridge where Stanhope-Sparta Road crosses over them. Both pictures were taken early Saturday afternoon (Jan 14, 2012).

As you can see, the rails here are on wooden ties and are that way for about 100 ft until they are back on the newer concrete ties.

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Jan '12

I cant even imagine the hell NJ Transit...will have to go through to get this grade crossing finished and approved

oldman oldman Message oldman
Jan '12

The bigger problem on the Cutoff is that a some of the old drainage ditches are blocked and caused the RofW to become flooded. There are those who say this constitutes "wetlands" and requires special permits and studies. Bureaucrats at work!

4paws 4paws Message 4paws
Jan '12

4paws the correct name for any government representative...and their lower class contacts...is idiocrats...try talking to them some time... you will learn what a waste of time is

oldman oldman Message oldman
Jan '12

Now lets fall back in time when the rail lines were being built it got done by hook or by crook and thats what is needed to day get it done the rail beds are there and some need refreshing just do it condem the propertys that have changed the line refurbish and get the trains running with all the light weight materals to make cars of carbon fibers stronge and safe michines that can lay track where man power was once used , burn the red tape

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Jan '12

Dumb question. Why call them 'borrow' pits? When were they going to return the 'borrowed' material? Seems like 'steal pits' would be more appropriate. Just sayin'.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Jan '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

the Lackawanna Cutoff restoration project has reached Lake Lackawanna...Byram NJ...here is a picture of the end of track that has been installed there...work will continue later in the year...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '12

Thanks for the pic and update oldman!

As for the Brooklyn-Stanhope Road intersection with the cutoff, they first pulled the tracks to one side (apparently for ease of access since it may be the only spot that allows easy access to the northerly area) and they now have seemingly removed the section of track that I'd mentioned being on wooden ties in an earlier post. The tracks now seem to start about 200 or more feet north of the intersection with the road where the concrete ties begin.

The tracks to the south of the intersection have also been moved off to the side a bit as well.

Since the leaves aren't on the trees right now, you can also see the tracks from the parking lot of the (Hopatcong) Louise Childs Library and from the bridge over the tracks on Stanhope-Sparta Road just north of Lenape Valley High School (be careful where you park by the bridge though). They should have kept construction access at that point from where they updated the bridge/crossing a couple of years back.

They have 2 construction trailers parked on the old bridge, but it doesn't look as though they access the tracks from there with vehicles. That is apparently done from the grade intersection at Stanhope-Brooklyn Road. I've seen 5 or more cars parked there on my way to work in the AM at times.

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Mar '12

I haven't ridden dirt bikes on these tracks for years, but seeing the pictures makes it seem like yesterday! Took them all the way out to PA and back a few times.

Oh, and that picture waaaaaaaay earlier in this thread of the Manunka Chunk tunnels... the guy in the bright orange jacket is me (well, at least it's the back of my head). I walked through them with a couple of friends a handful of years ago, but it was pretty much just a muddy mess.

Mark Mc. Mark Mc. Message Mark Mc.
Mar '12

What a waste of money. Do the math, It will cost around 12 grand per passenger to get this up and running. Just more politics.

Dollar watch
Mar '12

Dollar watch...what would you rather see the money spent on... welfare...food stamps...mass transit projects need to be addressed...the sooner the better...one more thing you should think about...in the inner cities of NJ...you can hop a bus or train...and its all subsidized ...by tax money...try hopping a bus or train in this part of New Jersey ... the service is very limited...be thankful that mass transit is being extended out this way

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '12

I'd rather see the money used for tax relief. 12 Grand per passenger to keep maybe a couple thousand cars off Rt. 80 is not a good use for money. Mass Transit does not work in the area out here. Like I said before, what a waste of money and it's being spent without most of the public knowing it.

Dollar watch
Mar '12

Dollar watch
Is all going to come down to mass trans sooner of later and we have to get ready for it sooner or later better now, right now the inter city and the use of standard taxi are needing to be changed to electri cars
all so when the built things like I-80 there should have been a rail line in the center or mono rail
with proper time schuedle and park and ride stations of proper size rail lines will work , we have to slow down how fast do we need to get there

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Mar '12

Caged..That's all fine and dandy..but the real issue is transportation from the "train station" to the "work place". Most people are individuals and live their lives by their schedule not NJ transit. The "herd mentality" of mass transit only works for places like "factories' where everyone has the same schedule not office parks where schedule can vary on a day by bay basis

Brad
Mar '12

I can understand the sentiment that it's a waste of money, but I think its actually showing some forethought. There will be mass transit needed eventually, and the right of way and rail bed is sitting there, mostly unobstructed, for use. Either build it now, or table it forever. Just to say that it will be 12k per passenger is a very short term look at it. What happens down the road when the congestion is even worse on our roads? And it will only cost more and more in the future. That's my view.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Mar '12

all I will say is look at the traffic on I - 80 smart cars to pick you up at the train station and to take you back yo run your car to the station lot but what do i know

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Mar '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

So I took a ride this afternoon. This is how far they've laid track West from Brooklyn -Stanhope road, A little more than halfway from BS-Road to the Roseville Tunnel, by my estimation. There's also a break in the track near a rebuilt double underpass. Don't know what road goes overhead. Saw the track laying equipment, and it was heading East. Ride wasn't bad until after this point. Then it got pretty sketchy and tight.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Mar '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

And I kept going. It was almost necessary, as there weren't many places to turn around. My poor truck took a beating with all the trees and limbs down. And the ballast was pretty rippled in a few places, made the going real slow.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Mar '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Roseville Tunnel was clear. I guess they've removed most of the debris in preparation for laying track. There were surveyor's marks in the tunnel. A lot of water to drive through on the West side. Got off onto Roseville Road. It was further from the tunnel than I remember. Seemed like it took forever. I would not recommend driving it. Very nerve racking.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Mar '12

MeisterNJ...you are a brave man to drive a truck over that rough territory...last I heard...NJT...was going to shotcrete line the inside of Roseville Tunnel...to try and stem the water problems

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '12

Some would say brave, some would say stupid. Probably somewhere in the middle. I was really cursing myself when I thought I might not be able to exit onto Roseville rd. Then I would have had to turn around and go back. I'm glad I did it though, really brought back memories.

Oldman, Any idea what road the two overpasses are for? About a mile West of BS-Road. Looked like the overpasses they put in for Hope road in Blairstown, only bigger. I also saw where I think Port Morris Junction was. You could tell there were sidings.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Mar '12

This is from the Wikipedia page: 'Due to a delay in obtaining state environmental permits, work on the remaining section to Andover, NJ will not resume until Dec 2012. Work east of this point continues, however'. Well that stinks.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Mar '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

MeisterNJ...those two overpasses...you mention...are the Sparta-Stanhope rd bridges...one is old, one is new...thats why they stand side by side...here is a picture of the original bridge...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '12

Yeah, a couple minutes on google maps and I figured it out. Nice pic showing the double track. And I was incorrect before, that was not the Port Morris Junction, or I would have seen live track and is East of where I got on. Don't know what siding that was that I passed a couple miles West of BS-Road.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Mar '12

"'Due to a delay in obtaining state environmental permits, work on the remaining section to Andover, NJ will not resume until Dec 2012. "

This is why nothing can get done in this state or any other state to may hands to feed money to to get things done

Caged Animal Caged Animal Message Caged Animal
Mar '12

MeisterNJ...this will be interesting...will the Lackawanna Cutoff restoration...be finished before Rt 206 in Byram...is finished being re-constructed...that road is a mess...and not much progress seems to be getting made

oldman oldman Message oldman
Mar '12

oldman

Your last comment's good for a laugh because I've ben thinking the same thing. Some residents of Byram that work with me and I have been having that discussion for a while now. I think Byram ticked off the state by delaying the expansion for so long and coming up with the BS "town center" crap, as well as wanting 206 to become a "boulevard". One town council finally approved it, then the next one wanted to revisit the plans and take their approval f the expansion back.

I, for one, am tired of all the backups there. The off-center intersection with Waterloo Road, the two lanes into one at Acorn street with the left turn exit of the CVS not dumping onto the jughandle as it should, but right across the two lanes as they merge was a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, I drive against the traffic nowadays, (although in the morning trying to turn onto Waterloo is a major pain), but can see how bad it still is.

The railroad WAS moving along so well that I had no doubt it would be done first, however after the DEP BS holdup, 206 may actually be done first.

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Mar '12

Yeah, I'm glad I don't have to visit that part of 206 very often. Looks like a war zone. How can they lay 1 mi. of turnpike per day and now it takes them 3 years to add a lane or jug handle to a road? Maybe if government would wise up and streamline these processes, get rid of red tape, and take the unnecessary hands out of the cookie jar they wouldn't take so long and have astronomical cost. The little bridge over the Black River on 206 just North of Chester took what, a year? Ridiculous.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Mar '12

Nice to see the cutoff restored. I hope that eventually it will be fully restored to a double track system to allow freight to bring needed revenue to the states of NJ and PA.


Where is the Eastern entrance of the Oxford Tunnel? I've been there before, but can't remember how to get back. Has to be off of Axford Ave, no? I was driving through Oxford today and tried to find it, but couldn't. Probably hidden by vegetation. Or is it off of Stouts lane? Was just looking at satellite photos and you can still make out the line in the trees. Has anyone been through the tunnel lately?

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Aug '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

the ends of the tunnel are laid out like this...when you leave Oxford going south on rt 31 the westbound tunnel entrance is on your right in a deep cut...the east bound tunnel entrance is in a long cut that starts near Oram lane heading towards central Oxford...it is very overgrown...and at the last report the tunnel was very flooded...

oldman oldman Message oldman
Aug '12

Meister, the entrance is accessible from Hill St.

I would not go this time of year. You will be eaten alive by mosquitoes and the muck and mud is so deep you will loose at least one shoe.


Just this past week, concrete barriers with safety orange painted markings on them were installed at the Brooklyn-Stanhope Road intersection with the rail line. If I can snap a pic to post, I'll do so.

Apparently they want to deter curiosity seekers in vehicles as well as ATV riders from accessing the area that has already been built out. Whether this is due to someone getting injured, vandalism or the prospect of either, I don't know, but I wish they'd get it going already!

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Aug '12

Thanks guys. I was on Hill road. Looks a lot different that what I remember when I went through the tunnel probably 8 years ago. Think I was on Orams Lane at one point. When I went through, the water wasn't much of a problem. Walked in in nothing but workboots. That was late summer though, so it was pretty dry. Don't necessarily want to go through at this time, just wanted to take a peak at the entrance. Though I did just come from fishing the South Branch and had my waders with me.

Thanks for the info guys.

Phil D., it's probably also to keep guys like me from just driving the route. Yeah, they should really get going. Amazing how long construction takes nowadays. They can lay a mile of Turnpike in a day, 50 years later a small bridge takes 8 months.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Aug '12

I am sure this had been asked before:

Any idea what is the expected travel time between Delaware water gap and penn station?

And what is the expected completion time?

Thanks!

Roman Roman Message Roman
Sep '12

at this time there are no plans to extend NJ Transit service beyond Andover. NJ Transit recently filed for environmental permits to finish construction to Andover. To reach Delaware Water Gap would require the relaying of 21 miles of track. Plus the installation of signals...and building of new railroad stations. This wont happen anytime soon. NJ Transit has not even begun to offer any sort of train scheduling or times for Andover,let alone completion of rail service to Delaware Water Gap .

oldman oldman Message oldman
Sep '12

to get to penn station (newark) Its about 90 minutes from Hackettstown to Broad Street station in Newark. Then you have to take the "light rail" from broad street to penn station Newark (10 minutes)..If you want Penn Station York.. You can either Hope another train at penn station (newark) or Ride the Hackettstown train to Secacus(switch there) or continue on the hackettstown train to Hoboken and then take Path to NYC


Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Here's a current pic of the south side of the intersection of the tracks with Brooklyn-Stsnhope Road. The construction trailers that were parked on the old bridge over the line at Stanhope-Sparta Road are gone also.

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Sep '12

thanks for all the great posts everyone... Wikipedia still suggests the Andover station is completed in 2014... anyone know if that's getting pushed out? any rough idea how many years before we could see a station in blairstown... if ever? this decade or next?

markv markv Message markv
Oct '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

markv...considering the many battles that it has taken to get to Andover .[ and thats not done yet].Dont hold your breath.Trains will roll..But it is going to happen.At least NJ Transit is rebuilding what Conrail destroyed.This is a picture of Greendell tower when Conrail was tearing up the tracks back in the early 1980s...

hobo hobo Message hobo
Oct '12

As I said upthread, I can remember seeing that train taking up the tracks when I was taking the bus to school. At the Blairstown station. Would love to take cutoff all the way to PA someday. Maybe.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Oct '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

I was there in 1986 when Conrail tore up the tracks through Great Meadows NJ. probably the same train.they used a machine like this,to pull up sections of rail.

oldman oldman Message oldman
Oct '12

great pic hobo doesn't seem like I should hold any hope for this decade... maybe before my 4yr old gets into college....

markv markv Message markv
Oct '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Seems to be a bunch more pictures on google images. This one is really cool. Anyone know if they're ready to go next month?

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Nov '12

I would not hold my breath to see the Lackawanna Cutoff restoration get started anytime soon...NJ Transit suffered a huge amount of damage from Hurricane Sandy. They are still restoring service to some sections of track. They also suffered damage to a large quantity of locomotives and rolling stock.

oldman oldman Message oldman
Nov '12

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Nothing going on still, from what I can tell. There are some really nice photos for sale on ebay. I bet oldman has seen them already. Here's one.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Jun '13

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

There are a lot of old Lackawanna Cutoff Construction pictures out there. Enjoy this.

from
Jun '13

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Nice. Where are they located, from? I've stumbled upon many. But am still finding new ones. Like this.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Jun '13

Any updates on this?

theHHSinformant theHHSinformant Message theHHSinformant
Jun '13

They're waiting on permits for the Andover station. There was an article in the herald recently. DEP has to make a decision soon.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Jun '13

After everything I have read about this I still don't get it. It really is cost prohibitive. Now if they made it a greenway that would be awesome! I also think more people would use it.

Notafan Notafan Message Notafan
Jul '13

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Notafan, we dont need more " greenways" in this part of New Jersey. Perhaps you should get out and explore a little. There is the Sussex Branch trail, Paulinskill Valley trail, and miles of other abandoned railroads . Parts of the Warren Railroad and the Lehigh&Hudson River Railroad have been turned into trails. The former Jersey Central Railroad in long Valley has been turned into a trail. The Lackawanna Cutoff should never have been abandoned and it will take cars off of the roads when it re-opens. As far as the environmental issues that are causing the construction delays they are ridiculous.Perhaps you should focus your energies on getting the long abandoned Morris Canal towpath and canal bed turned into a "greenway".

oldman oldman Message oldman
Jul '13

Not to mention the Patriot's Path in Morris County, DL&R canal path in Somerset, etc. It's an intact railway that should be utilized. It's short sighted to say that it's not needed. Traffic isn't getting any lighter. Re-build and they will come.

Thank goodness I don't have to travel 80 anymore.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Jul '13

Yeah I have ridden and run on all of these. It would be great if the cut off could be utilized to free up traffic, but living in this instant gratification era and me generation I don't see it happening( I might be the worst offender ). I no longer need to commute into the city everyday but if I had to take the train it was brutal, way to long( hardly anyone on it until Morristown). The Martz bus was best option if i wasn't driving in. I agree we don't need anymore rail trails but what a waste if it just sits there not used at all. All in All a lot of neat history along these rails/rail trails

Now the Morris Canal Greenway is a great idea! Could you imagine how cool it would be to get on the Canal Path near Buck Hill and end up in either Stephens, Allamuchy, Deer Park! You could even jump on the Sussex branch and head up to Kittatinny!

I think I'm going to talk with our Freeholder.

Notafan Notafan Message Notafan
Jul '13

I agree with how bad the NJTransit manages/schedules its train commute to NYC for us in North Jersey (Sussex County), until/unless they add/schedule a (at least 1) EXPRESS train [from Port Morris to NYC], the "efficiency, sensibility, and/or purpose" will remain just as "wasted" (not-profitable, aside un-wanted) compared to the Martz bus and Lakeland. Unfortunately, just FYI, Martz's "monthly commuter discount" rides cost no cheaper than from $514 to $637 - Ouch! - so unless NJTransit, the Lackawanna Cutoff link, or Martz (Lakeland) make some incentives for the commuter in the $$$ and/or Time (Express lines), this "restoration" of the Lackawanna Cutoff is just as "historically" important and "display" worth as any "restoration" of the way things used to be, not advanced or a step forward to help/better society - If not, then this will not slow or replace (possibly increase) the number of drivers/cars (pollution?)/traffic, etc. as our population/work force advances/increases. [On a lighter note: By the time this restoration turns into a financial/economical/environmental break-point, we'll all be flying(driving) in jets (saucers), like the Jetsons!...around yr 2099.5?!?....zoommmmm)

JJ3 JJ3 Message JJ3
Jul '13

You can't compare the high priced Martz fares with Lakeland. From Budd Lake it's about $400 for commuters.


Notafan, Warren County and the State Of New Jersey already own sizeable portions of the Morris Canal towpath and bed in this area. There are smaller sections that need to be aquired.Certain property owners are not interested in the canal greenway at all. There are very intact and preserved sections of the canal in the local area that should be made part of a greenway.

oldman oldman Message oldman
Jul '13

Though I live in Hackettstown, I commute daily to NY out of Gladstone, which has free parking. One of the benefits of this station is that it has one morning and two afternoon express trains, which run local to Summit and then express to New York. I think such a service would make commuting from stations west of Dover by train much more desirable. This type of service could now be made a reality with the introduction of dual power locomotives which can run on diesel west of Dover. A train could run local to Dover/Denville/Summit and then express to New York. Just a thought, I've always been a big fan of increased rail service.

placenotway placenotway Message placenotway
Jul '13

Should be fun to ride! Choo Choo! :)

Lngvly22 Lngvly22 Message Lngvly22
Jul '13

placenotway - Agreed. Unfortunately it doesn't seem (or at least I haven't seen them) fully utilize the DP Locomotives for what they're capable of.

theHHSinformant theHHSinformant Message theHHSinformant
Jul '13

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Actually New Jersey Transit ALP-45 DP locomotives already do show up in Hackettstown. I have spotted them several times.NJ transit sometimes field tests locomotives on the line to Hackettstown.

HtownForum HtownForum Message HtownForum
Jul '13

Hey all thought you might be interested in this...perhaps it's one of you who started it! Someone is looking to make a museum out of the old Greendell station, which is about 300 feet from my house. Sounds like a great idea, though I'm not sure how feasible. Check it out.

https://www.facebook.com/GreendellNJStationMuseum

Josh Josh Message Josh
Jul '13

Rail line lacks funding past Andover
Posted: Aug 15, 2013 10:57 PM EDT Updated: Aug 15, 2013 10:57 PM EDT
By BRUCE A. SCRUTON
bscruton@njherald.com

Planners at the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority said Thursday they will be strengthening language in a long-range planning document that makes it appear that the authority is giving up on any extension of the Lackawanna Cut-off beyond the planned Andover station.

“The project is still a priority,” said NJTPA spokesman Dave Barrens, “but the fact remains, there’s no current funding (beyond Andover) and that’s not a new situation.”

Freeholder Director Richard Vohden said at Wednesday’s meeting of the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders that he took the statement in the 2040 Plan to mean the authority was pulling its support.

The planning document said NJ Transit is “now implementing the extension of the Lackawanna Cut-Off from Port Morris to Andover ... a distance of about six miles,” then adds that NJ Transit “is not planning to fund any extensions further westward since the majority of the projected riders would be residents of Pennsylvania and the service is only operationally feasible if it were extended into Pennsylvania.”

The 2040 Plan is NJTPA’s update of what projects it is looking at over the next quarter-century.

Vohden put his objections in a letter sent to the authority and said the plan’s statement “completely ignores the point that these (passengers) are nearly all working in New Jersey.”

And, he said, it also ignores the fact of even more congestion on Interstate 80 caused by a spike in trailer truck traffic when the expansion of Port of Newark and Elizabeth is completed.

“The congestion we now experience will pale in comparison to that in the future,” he wrote.

Vohden was named Sussex County’s representative on the authority’s Board of Trustees in January.

The authority is the conduit for transportation funding from both the state and federal government and oversees projects in the northern 13 counties of the state. The authority’s board is made up of a representative from each of the 13 counties, the mayor or appointee from Newark and Jersey City, a representative from the governor, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NJ Transit and a citizen.

The authority also includes planning and funding for NJ Transit as well as a majority of the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike and the seaports of northern New Jersey.

Each year, the NJTPA oversees more than $2 billion in transportation improvement projects and gives representatives a place to discuss funding.

The Lackawanna Cut-off was built by the railroads in the early 1900s as a shortcut from rail lines near the end of Lake Hopatcong across southern Sussex County and northern Warren and to cross the Delaware River at Columbia and connect with the rail lines in Pennsylvania. When it was completed, the cutoff was a nearly level stretch of rails using the latest in concrete technology at the time and hailed as an engineering marvel.

The line was abandoned in the 1980s and ownership was taken over by the state.

As a passenger rail line, the idea was to put down new rails and run a commuter rail service from Port Morris, where NJ Transit has existing rail service, all the way to the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pa., area. A station was planned in Andover and another in Blairstown, along with several stations in Pennsylvania.

The planning document statement concluded: “If the State or local governments of Pennsylvania come forward with the necessary additional capital funding for the extension and funding to cover operating expenses not covered by fares, NJ Transit will cooperate with them accordingly.”

Vohden ended his letter saying the plan “should not simply contend that this essential project is a small and unnecessary element that, by itself, can be dismissed.”

He said that there are limited crossings of the Delaware River, essentially the I-80 bridge in the Delaware Water Gap and the Route 46 bridge in Columbia, and if either or both were blocked, “essential travel between New Jersey and the rest of the country to the west will come almost entirely to a halt.”

Barrens said the plan’s language will be modified to include the concerns of the county and will note “rail service can help with congestion,” but he said the question continues as to where funding will come from, not only to build the rail line and associated stations, but to make up any operating deficits not covered by commuter fares.

Rails have been partially laid from Port Morris toward Andover, but construction of the Andover station has yet to begin.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said a few weeks ago it would grant a waiver for the station’s setbacks from a nearby stream.

Clearing of the land for the station is expected to begin this fall.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Vohden mentioned the plan also continues to include improvements to Newton-Sparta Road, a project that was rejected in 2011 just as it was to go out to construction bids.

The project had reached a federal deadline for approvals and at the 11th hour, Sparta Township raised an objection to one phase of the project and there was not time enough to negotiate or modify the plans.

Sussex County Administrator John Eskilson said Wednesday that he does not know the significance of including the project in the 25-year plan but said the federal funding has dried up.

© Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and New Jersey Herald

honey badger honey badger Message honey badger
Aug '13

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

There is some progress being made on this project. The right of way has been preserved all the way to Delaware Water Gap. If you wonder why the rails have laid dormant on the cutoff project,,just look at the Rt. 206 construction in Byram NJ. Whether its environmental issues and/or wetlands protection it all adds up to massive delays. The result is that the cost of any restoration goes up with every new problem.

HtownForum HtownForum Message HtownForum
Aug '13

Question to anyone : as of 2014 was is the status of rail service restoration west of
Andover nj to Delaware Water Gap? Updates welcome.

A true railroad buff, glenn

Glenn Trachen Glenn Trachen Message Glenn Trachen
Jan '14

Its on the back burner. No news to report and nothing in the works.

waybill waybill Message waybill
Jan '14

They delivered a bunch of ties to Port Morris. The limiting factor is the Roseville Rd Station. It was held up over environmental concerns. Looks like it will be next year at the earliest for the station to be built. From there, who knows how long it will take to go West.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Jan '14

There has been no mention of building a grade crossing at Brooklyn Mtn road. I cant imagine the railroad safety requirements as well Nimbys bringing up issues.

waybill waybill Message waybill
Jan '14

waybill

There's no grade or any other crossing at Brooklyn Mt. Rd.

The crossing is/will be located at Stanhope-Brooklyn Rd. aka County Rt. 602.

I use that road nearly every weekday on the way to work and back. The tracks have been in there on concrete ties for many months now, just waiting to be finished and have the grade crossing put in. A railfan that used to work with me said that it would most likely only be a matter of a couple of days at most to put in the grade crossing. I believe he also said it would likely come in as a preassembly or in several premade units which would allow it to be installed relatively quickly.

I don't know what any of my fellow commuters that travel that way would say, but I have no problem with it at all and wish they would get this project moving again. What "Environmental issues" are so complicated that they can't be addressed and solved. Oh wait, that's right, it's the NJDEP we're talking about, that has no idea of compromise and enjoys its "rule the roost" posturing.

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
Jan '14

Phil D. Its Brooklyn Mtn rd. to me. I am quite aware of the other Brooklyn Mtn rd. in Hopatcong. I used to drive Brooklyn Mtn rd when the tracks were still in and there was a one lane tunnel under the railroad.

waybill waybill Message waybill
Jan '14

The rail line would get more use as a hiking trail than a putt-putt "commuter (2 people)" train.

Hiker
Jan '14

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Hiker, go hike the Appalachian Trail . There is also the Sussex Branch trail. Go hike the abandoned Warren Railroad in Warren County like other people do. Hike the abandoned Morris Canal . How much do you want? If you and your ilk had things done all railroads would be hiking trails. The Lackawanna Cutoff is a vital transportation artery that will be restored to service.The construction has been underway and will be completed.

from
Jan '14

So you're telling Hiker to....take a hike? Couldn't resist.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Jan '14

My opinion is that it is a waste of money. For the few that will ride it just because they enjoy the rush of sitting on a train going 30 MPH there is absolutely no return on my tax dollar investment. "from" - thanks for pointing out the obvious but "vital"? OMG! Go ride the Amtrak Acela if you need a fix.

hiker
Jan '14

Touché hiker.


Wouldn't it be cool if they installed a monorail system and paved a bikers path? I wonder how many would comute using their bikes? I wonder if train stations would include a place to shower, change and get a bite to eat?

Happy guy Happy guy Message Happy guy
Jan '14

I was really hoping there was a chance this project would actually be completed (all the way to PA)... That's the only way there will be enough riders to have frequent enough service to be useful... If they make it to Andover and never continue, it was just a waste... The only reason not to take the train is the lacking schedule... Last time I looked at the train in Hackettstown there was no way for me to get to work by 7AM (not a frequent requirement, but maybe two dozen times a year), and the last train back here left before 9PM (!!)...

Moving out here I had resigned myself to the fact that I'd be driving the 130 mile round trip every day until I learned about this possible expansion. If it continued to PA, it would tap a huge market of the PA->NYC commuters (tax refugees) which would allow them to run the trains frequently enough to be useful... I guess that's down the drain now...

brendan brendan Message brendan
Jan '14

Also, hiker, there would be no return on the tax dollars spent turning it into a "greenway" (whatever the hell that means)...

I think that the bulk of what our government spends our money on is a complete and total waste, but any reasonable person would agree that infrastructure buildout is a fairly one legitimate role of the state government... I suppose you can debate the necessity of this buildout, but it certainly isn't redundant. Building out to PA allows the PA tax refugee commuters to fund the frequency of service needed to attract more commuters to the area... It's easy to say it will be underutilized right now, but then again, what was the utilization of route 80 when it was originally built? The number of commuters is only going to increase...

brendan brendan Message brendan
Jan '14

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Hiker, go take a long walk on a short pier. It is very selfish of you to want the cutoff turned into a hiking trail. As I previously pointed out there are plenty of hiking trails in this area. By the way New Jersey Transit does not run " putt-putt " trains.

waybill waybill Message waybill
Jan '14

"go take a long walk on a short pier"

Thank goodness for waybill. This person has the answer to everything. And a nasty rebuttal. What a class act.

You're just angry because someone realizes you have 22 alias, name changes, and starts unfounded rumors about your employers competition going out of business. Twice or more. A new definition to "hoisted on your own petard" which is karma for walking the plank.


While it my be a good idea, it will be close to a three hour ride into the city from PA. It takes close to two hours from Hackettstown. Way too many stops and there are only so many trains that can get into Penn Station at a time. Once you get into Penn then you will probably need to take another form of transportation to get to your job unless you work close by.

kb2755 kb2755 Message kb2755
Jan '14

kb2755 - The current market for PA to NYC is dominated by Martz. One of the reasons is it's non-stop after the few stops in PA and the one in Allamuchy. The price is not all that great, but its convenience is great. The train would need to be different from the same current type of service from Hackettstown. Similar issues exist when looking at Morris County line stops that take two hours as you said. If you get around that plus the issue of number/time of services that was also mentioned, it *could* be viable. Some kind of dual purpose use is not that hard to do.


Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

This may be stupid, but I think they should build a monorail like in Disneyland. It is only going to be a few stops most likely and monorails are cheap, fast efficient and quite frankly-really cool.

Lngvly22 Lngvly22 Message Lngvly22
Jan '14

Keep dreaming about your mono-rail. GC you are always so Perfect and Correct.I envy you.

waybill waybill Message waybill
Jan '14

hey waybilly - the Lackawanna cutoff was already used as a trail before they started putting in tracks (waste of $) a little while ago.

And really? No putt-putts in NJ? 2 hours to go less than 40 miles is a PUTT PUTT!

hiker
Jan '14

Hackettstown-Hoboken is 57 miles. While the train moves along at a good speed where it can, it takes too long overall due to the roundabout route and the stops.

jd2 jd2 Message jd2
Jan '14

hiker, I would assume they would have some express trains with few stops that would put the Poconos to NYC route closer to 2 hours than 3. It would be a straighter route than Hackettstown. And the line is built for speed, at least on the cutoff. And while the initial ridership might not be that great, it would increase over time. People would move to Warren County and Eastern PA if there were train service. It's shortsighted to say there's no riders, don't build it. In thirty years if there is no service, they will rue the day they didn't restore it, IMO.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
Jan '14

As discussed previously in this thread, while the cutoff itself is very straight, the old routes east of there that would have to be used are the same roundabout ones as the Hackettstown route. There used to be a pretty good straight rail route to the Hudson, but in the early 1960's the part going around Garrett Mountain in Paterson was torn up and used to provide the then-abuilding Route 80 with its way to get through there.

jd2 jd2 Message jd2
Jan '14

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

Hey hikerbilly. The state of New Jersey paid 33 million dollars for the Lackawanna Cutoff right of way. It was built as a railroad , the tracks should never have been removed. As a taxpayer 33 million dollars is way too expensive to spend on a hiking trail. The cutoff has a better use and future than a hiking trail.Better yet why dont you appeal for the railroad tracks through Hackettstown to be torn up for a hiking trail.You are the hiking mastermind.P.S. GC I am awaiting your comments

waybill waybill Message waybill
Jan '14

btownguy, your link didn't work for me. The following link worked:

http://timesleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?avis=TL&date=20140127&category=news&lopenr=301279836

Here is the content for future reference if the article be lost:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hearing call of ‘All aboard’?

- Experts discuss feasibility of passenger rail service


January 27. 2014 11:31PM

WILKES-BARRE — Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority President Lawrence Malski said Monday studies show major industries are looking to get out of congested metropolitan areas and move to areas like NEPA.

Passenger rail service that links Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton, he said, would be a major factor in attracting those companies to the area. U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, suggested the idea on Friday to spur economic activity.

“It’s (passenger rail service) is a major requirement that they have,” Malski said. “When you connect cities like Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton to a major city like New York, major industries will follow that rail line out here because they would have an efficient and reliable form of transportation for workers.”

But even with Barletta’s support, transforming the project from a good idea to reality will take much work — specifically in finding the necessary funding, estimated to be in the millions of dollars.

Connecting Northeastern Pennsylvania’s three largest cities with an eventual link to the long-awaited Lackawanna Cutoff — the line that will run from Scranton, through the Poconos and to New York City — is looked at as a key component in the region’s economic future.

However, the Lackawanna Cutoff is a $550 million project, Malski said, with just $70 million secured to date. The project has been planned for more than two decades.



Cost still unknown:

That said, Malski and Barletta and others are forging ahead to try to make the commuter project happen. There are no firm estimates of what the cost would be for connecting Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton.

“If we tied everything together, the economic benefits would be significant,” Malski said. “It would tie the entire region to the New York City market and beyond.”

Part of any feasibility study would be to determine if any existing rail lines in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties would be available for use for passenger service, Malski said. However, some new track may have to be laid.

Luzerne County Councilman Rick Williams, an architect, said he is certain having a strong rail system would be in the best interests of the region.

Williams said having passenger rail service would remove a lot of traffic on already-congested interstate highways. He said many people have been advocating for improved rail service for many years.

“And once we connect Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton, we can then look at Syracuse and Harrisburg, and then we can see connecting to Chicago and Boston,” Williams said. “There is a nationwide rail system out there, and if we could connect, it would increase our economic possibilities and dramatically improve the quality of life.”

But the road to increased rail service is fraught with high costs, easement proceedings and securing rights of way. Funding is a must, and without it, the project could never get off the ground.

Malski said New Jersey Transit would be the operator for the line from Scranton to New York City. When and if the Scranton to Wilkes-Barre to Hazleton line become a reality, the operator could be the County of Lackawanna Transportation System or the Luzerne County Transportation Authority, he said.

A feasibility study would have to be funded and completed before any project could go forward, Malski said.



Rail attractive:

Malski said corporations are looking to move their headquarters and other operations out of the large metropolitan areas, and Northeastern Pennsylvania could become an attractive landing spot for some companies.

“When these moves are being contemplated, these corporations are always looking for passenger rail transportation,” Malski said. “We at PNRRA are very much in support of Congressman Barletta’s stance on passenger rail service.”

Barletta, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, last week said he has looked into the possibility, having met with Lackawanna County Transit Director Bob Fiume about the concept. Fiume, Barletta said, is researching it and will get back to him with more details.

Fiume did not return messages left at his office Friday or Monday.

“But the concept, at the very least, could result in a big advantage for the area,” Barletta said Friday.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BrianG BrianG Message BrianG
Jan '14

It seems to based on the above their main concern is linking Scranton to Wilkes Barre to Hazelton. If anyone believes that people will commute from New York City to up there is gravely mistaken. If corporations decide to move there then people will decide if they want relocate to that area. This is more about bringing jobs to NE Pennsylvania not about the people in the Poconos travelling to jobs in NYC. As I stated before, a train ride into NYC by train will be three hours. The bus is quicker. While I don't have a problem with extending the rail line but where will the funding come from. They were able to get funding to build a train from California to Las Vegas that ended in Arizona and from there you would have to take a bus to Vegas. How screwed up are we here in this country that this was passed. Its was all political.

kb2755 kb2755 Message kb2755
Jan '14

Wikipedia shows "Phase 1: to Andover" to be completed by 2015/2016:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lackawanna_Cut-Off_(NJ_Transit)

BrianG BrianG Message BrianG
Feb '14

Re: Lackawanna Cutoff restoration

The Lackawanna Cutoff Restoration has been stalled many times for environmental issues. Then there were the NIMBYS. NOT IN MY BACKYARD. The railroad was built in the early 1900s. No one complained back then. A railroad was a sign of prosperity. Now everybody has a complaint about this rail project. The project will go through because of the need for passenger rail service. Other states are pursuing high speed rail service. The Lackawanna Cutoff is built well enough that high speed rail service could be installed there.

waybill waybill Message waybill
Feb '14

Thread bump - any updates? i saw they were parking retired Comet cabs where the switch is to start on the cutoff, along with those old AEM-7s. The comets are now gone (demolished and trucked away) - does this mean we're getting closer?

TrainGuy TrainGuy Message TrainGuy
12 hours ago

Believe they resolved the environmental issues have been resolved. ,There's some equipment recently parked at Brooklyn Stanhope Rd. They can resume clearing brush in November ?

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ Message MeisterNJ
7 hours ago

MeisterNJ

"Clearing brush" indeed! There are actually trees on top of the RR bridge that goes over Center Street in Landing as well as brush %0 I too have noticed that they changed the way the concrete barriers were placed on the western side of Stanhope-Brooklyn Road such that there are now chains going through drums in the middle and the concrete barriers are on the outside, so they can bring in heavy equipment such as the Trackhoe that's been parked there for a week or so. I hope all the quad riders that skirted the barriers didn't do too much damage to the area from the time work stopped on the line and now!

Phil D. Phil D. Message Phil D.
5 hours ago

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