New Jersey Junction Railroad
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Welcome to the New Jersey Junction Railroad WebSite



Here's a preview of some of the exciting projects we have put together for you:

Our feature article is the New Jersey Junction Railroad Railroad .

We have some other articles about railroading in the area. Find out what is National Junction? . Then find out about the Harsimus Branch . Read about the Hoboken Shore Railroad .

New York City was across the Hudson River. The Weehawken Ferry and car floats were used to cross the river.

We have some great photos of the New York Central Railroad and New York City .

A lot of the trains into the New Jersey and New York terminals included head end equipment such as mail cars, Railway Express and baggage .

Some of this went directly to Manhattan and ended up at the St Johns Freight House .

We have a lot of information on freight on the River Line .

See our reference section .

See also The New York & Western: this scale model railroad embodies many of the great aspects of railroading that we write about.

New Jersey Junction Connections .

New Jersey Light Rail Map .

Follow a new railroad into the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. They run tourist trains, dinner trains, and even a ski train from Saratoga to North Creek. They want to reactivate the railroad to a mine that was closed over 20 years ago. New technology and a new attitude maybe just the right combination.

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Several years ago I wrote a story on the major railroads of 1950 and what happened to them.

Now I am following up with a closer examination of the New York Central Railroad. This railroad only lasted until 1968 when it merged into Penn Central.

But, what was the NY Central Railroad like in 1950?

You will also be interested in "What if the Penn Central Merger Did Not Happen"

NATIONAL JUNCTION



There didn't seem to be a whole lot of on-line industry along the NJ Jct line. One of the roads interchanged to along the line was the tiny Hoboken Shore RR. This railroad ran in the area where NYC-EL-HSRR all came together, just about on the Hoboken-Weehawken border. You can see where the tracks had been from the new Light Rail but everything has been torn out. And what was once a pretty big Erie yard in Weehawken seems to have vanished without a trace.

I always visualized National Junction as a large facility but on the way from Weehawken to Jersey City there was a little sign on a steel post that said "National Junction". CNJ delivered a coal train for PSG&E at North Bergen every other day at least and there was alot of traffic.

The beginning (Milepost 0) was at the southern end of the Weekawken Tunnel.New York Central had a large yard there at one time, which was why it bacame Milepost 0. It is across the Hudson River from the Empire State Building where Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr had their famous duel. In 2002, the track through the tunnel from North Bergen yard was severed for a new New Jersey Transit light rail line.
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The New Jersey Junction Railroad Railroad

The New Jersey Junction Railroad Company was incorporated February 27, 1886, under the laws of the State of New Jersey. It owned a railroad, connecting the CSX River Division (former West Shore Railroad) with the trunk lines terminating at and near Jersey City, extending from Weehawken to a junction with the former Pennsylvania Railroad at Jersey City, and a branch to a junction with same road near Harsimus Cove. Its railroad and property were leased, with the consent of the Legislature of the State of New Jersey to the New York Central and Hudson River for one hundred years from July 1, 1886, with the privilege of a further term of one hundred years, at an annual rental of interest at four per cent on its outstanding bonds. The road was opened for through business for freight trains in May and for passenger trains in June, 1887.

The New Jersey Junction Railroad Company owned the capital stock of the following companies: Jersey City and Bayonne Railroad Company, New Jersey Shore Line and State Line Stony Point.

The New Jersey Shore Line Railroad Company was organized February 25, 1886, and received a charter dated March 2, 1886, from the Legislature of the State of New Jersey, empowering it to construct and maintain a line of railroad from a point in the township of Union, Hudson county, to a point in the town of Harrington, Bergen county, a total length of about fifteen and one-half miles. A portion of the projected railroad was constructed in the year 1910 from a point in the yard of the West Shore Railroad at Weehawken to the tracks of the New York Erie at Shadyside, a distance of 85/100ths of a mile, with side tracks measuring 26/l00ths of a mile, and opened for traffic March 14, 1911, the first movement of cars taking place on May 16, 1911. The balance of the projected route was formally abandoned and the money deposited with the State of New Jersey as security for the completion of the work was returned to the company. The capital stock was owned by the New Jersey Junction

The New York and Fort Lee Railroad Company was chartered by the State of New Jersey as the New York and Bull's Ferry Railroad Company on March 14, 1861, on the purchase of The Hoboken and Hudson River Turnpike Company, incorporated March 16, 1857. The name was changed to its present title by supplemental act of the Legislature of the State of New Jersey on March 8, 1862. The road was opened for traffic in 1870. A portion of this company's right of way and tracks, amounting to about .24 of a mile, was leased to the New Jersey Junction on June 30, 1886. The railroad and property, other than that which was leased to the New Jersey Junction Railroad Company, has disappeared in the construction of the West Shore Railroad terminals at Weehawken. The entire capital stock of the New York and Fort Lee Railroad Company was acquired by the New York Central and Hudson River in 1886.

By Ken Kinlock at kenkinlock@gmail.com
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Harsimus Branch

The Pennsylvania Railroad Harsimus Branch Embankment carried freight across six blocks of downtown Jersey City to the Railroad's Harsimus Yards, located on the Hudson River directly across from Manhattan Island. The embankment, which fronts and runs parallel to Sixth St., consists of six segments, each approximately 400 feet long and 100 feet wide

Constructed in the period 1901-1905, the Harsimus Branch Embankment was a major component of the once predominant railroad landscape of Downtown Jersey City. It was connected to the Pennsylvania's Main Stem by an elevated, two-track line from which it branched near the Waldo Ave. Yard. This freight line connected to a spur of the New Jersey Junction Railroad just before reaching the embankment, allowing Pennsylvania waterfront freight to be moved north at the base of the Palisades to other rail systems.

Night and day, steam powered locomotives chugged upon it above the streets of Jersey City. Heavy traffic continued into the early post World War II period. Much of the cargo was produce and cattle headed for slaughter at waterfront abattoirs. Soon after World War II, competition from trucking and containerized shipping rendered much of Jersey City's railroad infrastructure superfluous. Operated less intensely after the demise of the Penn Central by Conrail, the embankment carried (if only to reverse direction) lengthy diesel powered "piggy back" container trains as recently as the early 1990s.
New Jersey Junction Stock Certificate
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West Shore Railroad
Sharing the “Water Level Route” with the New York Central was the West Shore; first as a competitor; later a subsidiary.
Hoboken Shore Railroad
a shortline that served a large industrial clientele running the length of Hoboken's waterfront
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Fallen Flags Photos Weehawken Ferry
March 20, 1959 Last sailing of the Weehawken ferry, connecting New York Central's West Shore line with Manhattan.
Freight Car on Barge
Here's a car ferry bring a box car across the river
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See our page featuring excerpts from the
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Here are a couple of 1940's New York Central tug boats.


(Photo clipped from an old New York Central Headlight)
Interested in NY harbor? See tugster: a waterblog a blog about New York harbor, the sixth borough
New York Central Tugboats New York Central Tugboats

CAR FLOATS



Carfloat operations in and around the New York City area formed a large part of day to day operations of the Class-I railroads that served the area.

New York Central Car Floats

Rail-Marine Information Group



Brooklyn Eastern District Railroad

Baltimore & Ohio Car Floats

Working Harbor Committee

The Port Jersey Railroad still operates around the port. The Ex-PRR Greenville float bridge is still in use. No longer operated by the New York Cross Harbor RR with it's Alco switchers, it is now NYNJ Rail.

I don't know if you would count this, but the MTA runs the South Brooklyn Railroad. I don't know if it actually goes out on to any docks. South Brooklyn's major function was to interchange subway equipment and rail bound supplies with the outside world. They had shippers on the line and it was a nice secondary business for them. The State MTA slowly weaned the outside shippers away from using the line. One of the last customers was Davidson Pipe. The SBK actually shared property with them off second avenue. SBK tail tracks ran out to the Municipal Pier at the Brooklyn Waterfront, but I don't believe they ever did any direct harbor side business. They just interchanged with Bush Terminal/Cross Harbor. Davidson Pipe now uses NYNJ RR yard on First Avenue. Tracks were relocated when the lot/yard off second avenue was sold to a big box/wholesale club. The interchange tracks are still in with the NYNJ RR but Subway cars now come in by flatcar via CSX/NY&A?and get off loaded in Central Brooklyn. Other rail shipments for the MTA come in this way too. Now SBK's waterfront presence is just an occasional?bunch of bad order/derelict subway cars on the tail tracks near the municipal pier.
Hudson River car float

Here's another view of a Hudson River car float. From my collection. Date and source unknown.

The buildings that are serviced with tracks off of Cromwell Avenue were serviced by the New York Central - it was the Bronx Terminal Market. This was the New York City Municipal Market. Those same tracks were connected to the Hudson River Line of the NYC at end of Cromwell and to a carfloat that was located just to the South of the Macombs Dam Bridge. And more tracks were connected to the NYC up at the Macombs Dam Bridge. The tracks are still visible in the parking lot just to Southwest of 157th Street.

The NYC float was the northern most carfloat on the Harlem River until the NYC Subway system built one to service the 207th Street Yard. The float was located at the North end of that yard near 215th Street. New IND Subway cars delivered from the mainline RRs - the cars were built in St. Louis. Some were delivered by the Bush Terminal RR since they had been first delivered to the city in Brooklyn for testing on the Sea beach line.

The 145th Street Bridge (Manhattan side numbered) has 149th Street on it's northern side in the Bronx. The Erie Railroad served that pocket terminal via a carfloat. The small gantry crane is still visible. The pocket terminal only served the tracks on the city block occupied by the Erie.

On the Southern side of that bridge was located the Lehigh Valley Bronx Terminal - another pocket terminal served via a carfloat. This was a much larger facility - but it too was self contained and not connected to anything else.

Webcam of New York City from New Jersey

Webcam of New York City from Hoboken, New Jersey


Weehawken Ferry Welcome Sign

1945 sign welcome home for troops

(Photo clipped from an old New York Central Headlight)

After the New York Central and Hudson River RR leased the New York, West Shore and Buffalo Railroad around 1886, the NYC&HR itself, and not the West Shore, built a subsidiary, the New Jersey Junction RR, from Weehawken to Jersey City (National Junction). Thus Jersey City became the eastern (railroad direction) end of the NYC River Division, but the terminal yard remained at Weehawken. The NJ Jct was used for some passenger operations to the PRR station in Jersey City, and mostly for freight interchange with the other New Jersey railroads. Even though NYC operated it as part of a former West Shore RR division (the River Division) it was never part of the West Shore Railroad. NYC merged both railroads (West Shore and NJ Jct) into itself in 1952, along with the Wallkill Valley Railroad, which had always been separate, corporately, from the West Shore.

The West Shore purchased the Walkill Valley for a million dollars in 1881. There was no lease involved. The New York Central took control of the West Shore in 1884. Passenger service ended in 1937. Freight service ended in 1977, with formal abandonment coming in 1982.
Port Jersey Railroad

Port Jersey Railroad is an intermodal freight transport facility that includes a container terminal located on the Upper New York Bay in the Port of New York and New Jersey.


The municipal border of the Hudson County, New Jersey cities of Jersey City and Bayonne runs along the long pier extending into the bay.
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Interested in Penn Central? New York Central? Pennsylvania Railroad? New Haven Railroad? or in the smaller Eastern US railroads? Then you will be interested in "What if the Penn Central Merger Did Not Happen". You will also enjoy "Could George Alpert have saved the New Haven?" as well as "What if the New Haven never merged with Penn Central?"

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New York New Jersey Rail LLC



NYNJR is part of the national transportation rail system and moves rail freight by rail barge across NYC Harbor.

The New York New Jersey Rail, LLC carries a wide range of goods to include Food & Consumer goods, Recyclables, Building Materials, Scrap, Brick, Lumber, Plastic, and Large Steel Beams.

New York City’s sole remaining rail car float business
• Bush Terminal Rail Yard, Brooklyn, New York
• Greenville Rail Yard, Jersey City
• Region’s direct link to National Rail Freight Network
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WIKIPEDIA contains several articles of interest to the New York Central historian or fan:
New York Central Railroad
List of New York Central Railroad precursors
New Jersey Junction Railroad
List of defunct United States railroads
Many of these articles have been developed by our staff researcher KC Jones.
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RailwayStation.com has provided a 1942 Quiz Book on Railroads and Railroading.

At right, some interesting questions and answers:

How much floating equipment do the railroads operate?

At the beginning of 1941, the railroads of the United States had in service 1,911 steamboats, tugboats, barges, car floats, ferries and other units of floating equipment.

You can find out more about New York Central's Marine Fleet

St Johns Freight House

St Johns Freight House
Photo above is of the St Johns Park Freight House. These are from a brochure published by the New York Central in 1934 and re-issued by the West Side Rail Line Development Foundation (author was a former member and supporter of this foundation).

St. John's Park was abandoned when some of the High Line ROW below Bank St. was sold for housing. But had traffic there dried up by then? Was there any debate over it at the time? The line was only about 20 years old at that time. When St. John's was in service, there were about 8 tracks running into it-- how was it switched? And what kind of stuff was shipped to St. John's. Also, the line served Nabisco, Armour--when did they stop using the line? And did the RR serve Bell Labs (now Westbeth) whose building it ran through?

For answers to these questions, click here or on picture above.

Interesting New York Central, River Line and New Jersey Junction links




Fitz's New Railfan Page

North Jersey Railnut

The Pennsylvania Railroad Harsimus Branch Embankment
New Jersey Junction Scriptology

New Jersey Junction Connections

A conecting track that always caught my eye was the long curving trestle, off the DL&W around Grove St in Hoboken (about a 1/4 mile east of the Bergen Tunnels), which came off a westbound Lackawanna track and ended at a switch onto the New Jersey Jct just north (by compass) of the DL&W overpass above NJ Jct RR.

When I first saw it, back in the mid-60s, the track appeared to be still in service though seldom used. I have read in various publications (many local newspapers and an R&LHS newsletter) that the NJ PUC once proposed the track be used for passenger service. This was in 1959-60 after the West Shore suburban trains stopped running and the NJ PUC was trying to restart the service.

They proposed the West Shore trains could come down from the tunnel at Weehawken along the NJ Jct route, then use the connecting track to go into Hoboken Terminal (where ferry and Tube service to Manhattan would be available).

Anyway, the trestle remained until sometime in the Conrail era, I think. I always wondered if it was used on a regular basis.

The 1943 NYCRR Station List shows Weehawken as an interchange with the Erie, NYS&W and NYO&W. Apparently that was under the old arrangement where the NYS&W handled the cars to Edgewater. That was revised in 1949, when the charges paid by NYC to NYS&W for handling the cars were just about doubled, but the operation probably continued the same way.

This was just after the SeaTrain terminal was built at Edgewater (1947), so there was some traffic involving that operation. Two other major factors at Edgewater were a Ford Motor assembly plant and dock at Edgewater, and the earlier NYS&W coal piers. I believe that the NYC-NYS&W interchange at Little Ferry had been in place for many years - it shows in the 1943 NYC Station List, annd it makes sense for both railroads to not have to haul cars twice through Bergen Hill tunnels.

The write-up in the 1954 Moody's shows NYS&W handling about 25,000 cars per year at Edgewater, and about 10,000 of them interchanged with NYC. Presumably most of the remainder came from or to the Erie at Passaic Jct. Nearly all the value of the NYS&W as a going concern was in the operation at Edgewater. After Ford and Seatrain had gone away, the value of the Edgewater real estate was the major asset of the NYS&W.

The 1952 merger of the West Shore into the NYC also included the New Jersey Junction RR (never owned by the West Shore) and the New York and Fort Lee RR. I don't have an earlier Moody's Guide handy to determine how the New York and Fort Lee figures into this mix, but its name indicates that it's in there somehow.

NYC built a short Weehawken- Edgewater connecting track, called the New Jersey Shore Line Railroad Co., around 1900 (later absorbed by the New Jersey Jct. RR). This was when the Erie RR was building Susquehanna's Edgewater terminal (but Erie considered the terminal its own property, not Susie Q's).

But during the 1940s things began to change, largely because of the Erie reorganization and the decision to no longer continue as parent of NYSW (which was also in bankruptcy but finding a way to reorganize on an income basis pretty tough to do). In January 1942 it was reported that the New Jersey PUC approved the conveyance of "the Edgewater section of the Erie Terminals Railroad Company south of Fort Lee to Walter Kidde as trustee of ...the New York Susquehanna & Western." (This is from Moody's Investors Guide for railroads.) Erie fought to keep it, but lost. The courts ruled that without Edgewater NYSW had NO chance at reorganizing on an income basis. Soon this decision would create headaches for Central.

Next, at a Nov '43 ICC hearing on the NYSW reorganization, the examiner recommended the rejection of "the present contractual rights between the New York Central and the Susquehanna covering their interchange of traffic at the Edgewater Terminal, which has been in effect since 1904."

The following day THE TIMES reported that "representatives of the New York Central Railroad and the Erie Railroad [who attended the hearings] opposed the recommendation that the agreement between Central and Susquehanna...be terminated." The two roads took it all the way to the US Supreme Court too, but the court tossed it back to the ICC.

The 1950 Moody's Guide, in the NYS&W entry, contained the following-
"On May 18, 1948 an ICC examiner recommended rejection of existing contracts covering trackage rights between New York Central and Susquehanna at Edgewater and arbitration of new rates and charges applicable to the changed conditions to be effective upon consummation of the reorganization. Subsequent evidence was presented and pursuant to a decision of the ICC on Oct. 3, 1949 the New York Central offered a contract, which the Susquehanna accepted on Dec. 30, 1949...The new contract provides for a payment approximately twice what Susquehanna was formerly receiving from the New York Central. On 10,000 cars per year, which is about the average volume of the last ten years, this would mean an increase of approximately $75,000 a year to the Susquehanna's net income before taxes."

The payments were for "haulage" by Susie Q up to Edgewater, minus what Susquehanna paid for tracks rights over the mile- long NJ Shore Line.

But presumably, the Susquehanna won the battle but lost the war. If the Register is correct, at some point after 1949, Central simply moved the interchange to Little Ferry.

The West Shore and NYS&W had a track connection at Edgewater. The Official Railway Equipment Register shows it as a "Track connection but not used as a regular interchange point." The only regular NYC/NYSW interchange was at Little Ferry.

The West Shore connected with the Lehigh Valley National Docks line near Pennsylvania RR's line to Exchange Place... Conrail called it CP WALDO.

Under New York Central it was named "National Junction" in both the tariffs and the NYC Timetable. National Jct. was also a New York Central day & night interlocking station, with an office call of NJ.

The West Shore didn't have a physical connection with the Hoboken Shore RR. They had to use a short piece of the Erie Weehawken Branch at Weehawken to make the interchange. The tariff shows Hoboken Shore / Erie interchanges at Weehawken and 11th St Hoboken. NYC, West Shore (listed separately) and NYSW show "Weehawken via Erie," and the other NJ railroads (CNJ, LV, & PRR), show "Weehawken via Erie and NYC."

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North Bergens Mr. Fixit
North Bergen's Mr. Fixit
(Photo clipped from an old New York Central Headlight)


Snow Belt in New York State Boonville Station There is a "Snow Belt" in New York State that runs above Syracuse and Utica. It goes East from Oswego to at least Boonville. Here's the station at Boonville.

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Conrail's River Line


Conrail currently serves as a local carrier for CSX and Norfolk Southern; this arrangement is often referred to as Conrail Shared Assets Operations, the basis of the current reporting marks CSAO. Conrail was split between CSX (42%) and Norfolk Southern (58%). The three areas still owned by Conrail were kept to avoid giving any single railroad a competitive advantage.

Until the 1998 split of Conrail, "River Line" referred to a line from Jersey City, New Jersey to Selkirk, New York, along the west side of the Hudson River.

A parallel track, which was operated as part of the River Line from Jersey City to Weehawken, New Jersey, was known as the Weehawken Branch. The River Line has since been split into several sections.

Conrail kept the part south of CP 2, at CSX's North Bergen Yard. This part has recently been sold to New Jersey Transit for their Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. This system connects the communities of Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, and Weehawken, New Jersey. While it only serves Hudson County, there are plans to extend the light rail line into neighboring Bergen County in the coming years, with a northern terminus at the Vince Lombardi Service Area on the New Jersey Turnpike. The eventual overall length of the line will be about 20.6 miles.

CSX Transportation now owns the rest of the line. Their Bergen Subdivision runs from CP 2 north to CP 7, a point in Bogota, New Jersey. Their River Subdivision runs the rest of the way from CP 7 to Selkirk.

At CP 2, the Bergen Subdivision connects to Conrail's Northern Branch, which now carries trains that had used the River Line south of CP 2. At Selkirk, the River Subdivision ends at the Castleton Subdivison, with the Port Subdivision continuing towards Albany. The Castleton Sub was built as part of a bypass for through trains around Albany.

The River Line began at CP Waldo, at a junction with the Passaic and Harsimus Line which serves freight in northeastern New Jersey, as an alternate to the Northeast Corridor. It takes trains from the Northeast Corridor and Lehigh Line near Newark Airport northeast and east into Jersey City. The P&H Line runs west through the what was the Pennsylvania Railroad (just north of PATH), through Marion Junction, allowing through trains from upstate New York to continue towards the rest of the country.

At CP Nave, the River Line junctioned with the National Docks Secondary, which still runs south on the east side of the New Jersey Palisades with the Nave-Croxton Running Track running west through the old Erie Railroad tunnel to Croxton Yard. The junction only allowed trains coming to/from the south on the National Docks to continue to/from the north on the River Line.

North of CP Nave, the River Line entered Hoboken; it is now used for the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail north of this point. The Light Rail runs around the west and north sides of Hoboken and into Weehawken, where it turns west through a tunnel to CSX's North Bergen Terminal, originally part of the New York Central Railroad.

From that point north, the River Line is still in use, but by CSX as their Bergen Subdivision and River Subdivision, north towards Albany, New York.

The Weehawken Branch was just east of the River Line, from somewhere in Jersey City north of CP Nave to Baldwin Avenue in Weehawken. It was operated by Conrail as a second track of the River Line.

The River Line was abandoned south of the Tonnelle Avenue overpass (just south of CSX's North Bergen Terminal); the short connection between the National Docks Secondary and the River Line was also abandoned, as was the Weehawken Branch.

T The first bit of the River Line, splitting from the P&H Line and passing over the National Docks, was built fairly recently as a connecting track. North of there, the line was the New Jersey Junction Railroad to the Weehawken tunnel. Through the tunnel, it was the West Shore Railroad. Both of these lines were owned by the New York Central Railroad.

The Weehawken Branch was built and owned by the Erie Railroad. It originally passed through the middle of Hoboken, but was later realigned to the west side, right next to the New Jersey Junction Railroad.
River Line Freight: Northbound in 2005

Q-402 & Q-404 Oak Island (Conrail Yard)

Q-418 Pavonia Yard (Conrail Yard outside Philadelphia on New Jersey side)

Q-410 Waycross Ga. (picks up along the way)

Q-438 Hamlet N.C. (Picks up along the way)

Q-273 Auto Rack train, picks-up at North Bergen most of the time
Wislew Publications
See more trains on the River Line at
Wislew Publications
Many of my articles were published in the CALLBOARD of the Mohawk and Hudson Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.
and in the BRIDGE LINE BULLETIN of the Bridge Line Historical Society

Weehawken History


Weekawken Time Machine: railroads; lots of West Shore and New Jersey Junction
NY Central Grain Elevator
railroads; lots of West Shore and New Jersey Junction.
Weehawken grain elevator
See KC Jones BLOG about Railroad History We cover New York Central, New Haven Railroad and other Eastern Railroads. Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones See Penney Vanderbilt BLOG about Golf and Vacations, especially on the French Riviera We have a lot about Nice, France. Not only do we cover golf on the French Riviera, but also Northwest France, Quebec, Golf Hotels and THE US Open

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