Tom’s Raritan River Railroad Page




Forgotten History

of the

Raritan River Railroad


Floods and Wrecks





Track Inspection under the Garden State Parkway





Derailment at the NY&LB Connection 1973!







In the Sayreville area around where Crossmans Sand and Clay pits were, and where the Gillespie Branch was, washouts started to become a major problem in the 1970s for the Raritan River Railroad.  As the Crossman (and other near by) properties started to get built up with houses and commercial buildings, the water had a tendency to run to the tracks, washing over the Raritan’s ROW.


The following shots are in the South Amboy area.





The Raritan Street Bridge can be seen in the distance:



Looking north on the Gillespie branch.  The Gillespie wye would be about 100 yards ahead.





This shot is looking at the RRRR Bridge that crossed the Crossmans Narrow Gauge line in 1971.  In this shot, the narrow gauge is long gone, and all we see is a small stream.  All this water started to cause problems for the RRRR’s bridge.




Fifteen years previous, in the 1950s, there was no stream, just the narrow gauge tracks.

Same Bridge as above, showing the dinky and Raritan River Railroad locomotive from Fred Deiberts’s “Rails up the Raritan”, pg 11.






The purpose of this photo is lost to antiquity, as no one remembers where it is, or what it shows.  I assume it shows an ice-flow crossing over the tracks.  But where, I can’t seem to figure out.






South River Flood Damage in 1978

This was the former location of the South River Freight Station, which was burnt to the ground in a spectacular fire in 1969.  The large concrete platform survived the fire, and is clearly visible in these pictures.





More shots of the South River / Sayreville area.  These shots are looking east from the South River Swing Bridge.  Seems to show construction of a culvert.








I believe this washout is on the Sayreville Branch in September 1971.







After Conrail took over in 1980, the shops were abandoned, and burned to the ground in 1983.







Conrail rips up the rails in South Amboy after building the Gillespie connection to Browns Yard.







A major derailment under the Garden State Parkway Bridges in 1978






RRRR Number 3 with a broken window.  Looks like a bullet hole to me?!








The following shots are from the Phoenix Branch, Kearney spur, looking east towards National Lead.  I believe the photos are looking at the future connection to the Water treatment plant on the right side.





A minor fire was reported at the Parlin Station, April 1980. 

(yes, April 1980 was the month Conrail took over)







A HUGE derailment on the Lawrence Brook Trestle October 1978:



At first, things didn’t look that bad, derailments happen all the time…right?





Closer inspection reveals that the car is barely hanging on to the bridge!

Ten more feet, and it would have been over!





That car is barely holding on!






To resolve this mess, the Raritan River Railroad had to get a Crane Operator to drive ONTO THE BRIDGE, to lift the car!


See the blue crane now in front of the car:





Final damage to the bridge, rails, and ties





A minor derailment on the Lawrence Brook Trestle March 1979








Inspection Train 1966

Ray Stockton and Bob Kipp from the RRRR meet with inspectors, possibly from the Central RR of NJ for an inspection trip over the Raritan River Railroad in 1966.




Another Inspection trip, this time in 1973? with Ray Stockton (on crutches), Dom Paonie (again – see above photo), Robert Kipp, Charlie Miller, and pop-pop?








I assume the following fire pictures are at the PC Interchange.










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