Tom’s Raritan River
Raritan River Railroad
Floods and Wrecks
Track Inspection under the Garden State Parkway
Derailment at the NY&LB
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
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
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”,
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
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.
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
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
See the blue crane now in front of
Final damage to the bridge, rails,
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
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.
Here is an entire forum dedicated to
discussions of the RRRR!