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From: "Tupaczewski, Paul R (Paul)" paultup AT lucent DOT com
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 13:27:36 -0400
Subject: The 4th of July weekend EL hunt :)
"Bergen_meets_main.jpg" - image/jpeg, 120310 bytes, 1136x852 (24bit)

I decided to take a couple more days off from work for the 4th of July weekend to relax. On Thursday, June 30, I spent the day doing some railfanning with a friend of mine from college. Interestingly, it turned out to be a day of "what's up with the EL today!"

After meeting up in Whippany in the morning (and photographing the M&E's newly-repainted RS1), we headed up to Ridgefield Park to see what was up on the Susquehanna. Much to our surprise, we found the railroad's last two active SD45s at the engine facility (NYSW_3634.jpg) - shades of the EL!

We then headed down to CSX's North Bergen Yard (former NYC), and stumbled upon a fast-moving freight coming off the former Erie Northern Branch, headed west by five Union Pacific units (Erie_Northern.jpg) Then we spun past Croxton Yard (inaccessible due to a complete rebuilding of County Road), and stopped by the former Harmon Cove station, now abandoned. We did see an NJT train coming off HX drawbridge swinging onto the new connection to Secaucus Junction (HX_with_new_trackage.jpg) While here, the Croxton local departed (Croxton_local.jpg) to switch the remaining industries south of Passaic Junction.

Driving up the road a little, we came to where the new connection merges in with the Main Line (former DL&W Boonton Line) in Secaucus, where we saw a Metro-North set of equipment heading east (Bergen_meets_main.jpg) I wasn't fast enough, but NJT's Track Geometry Inspection Vehicle (TGIV) quietly snuck up on us, headed east. Darn We continued on to the new "Secaucus Junction" station (Secaucus_Junction.jpg), a rather large and imposing structure sitting astride the former Main Line. Turning around, we can see the rather complex interlocking (New_interlocking.jpg) controlling the western entrance to the station. A note of explanation about the interlocking photo is in order: The two center tracks are the original Main Line (former DL&W Boonton Line), and the DL&W's "Upper Hack" drawbridge towers can be seen in the distance. The new connection to the Bergen County Main (previous photos) is at the upper right distance. The right track is new, while the left track used to be a!
connection installed by the EL to allow freights coming east on the Main Line to access Croxton Yard directly - this track used to descend until it met the Greenwood Lake Branch, then swung to the east and dove under the Main Line tracks to get into Croxton. Also of interest here are the few remaining (and unused) EL industrial tracks (Old_industrial_tracks.jpg), where an NJT gon sat this day.

After a quick stop at White Castle for lunch, we decided to see what was up on the New York & Greenwood Lake (former Erie/EL Dundee Spur). Their facility on Dundee Island is now quite busy, with former woodchip cars being loaded up with construction debris for shipment west. Sitting next to their structure is former EL U34CH 3372 (EL_3372.jpg), looking a little weathered but at least protected from vandals. Looking around, the road's primary power, a pair of Erie-esque painted GP9s, weren't there, so we decided to see if they were out on the road... literally and figuratively. (Train_chasing.jpg) So we "chased" the train down Monroe Street in Garfield to the interchange with NS, where we got an NJT train passing (Garfield_Jct.jpg). On the return trip, the first Geep made its way lightly down the crowded street (NYGL1.jpg, NYGL2.jpg), and the second Geep followed behind running light.

Plowing north, we caught a tiger-striped former EL Comet I cab car leading an eastbound at Milepost 12 on the Bergen County Line, just east of Plauderville station (Milepost_12.jpg). Shortly afterwards, we arrived at Passaic Junction, where (surprise!) the NS local we saw at Harmon Cove earlier in the day had completed its work, and was roaring east. I managed to get a grab shot of the power crossing the NYS&W (Erie_over_NYSW.jpg).

Continuing north, we ended up at Waldwick to see progress on the tower. It now has railings and bannisters (Waldwick_tower.jpg), and even managed to get an eastbound passing it (Waldwick_tower_with_train.jpg). Curt Springstead and the folks with the tower restoration committee are doing an incredible job here!

Since we were this far north, we decided to explore all the way to Suffern. Along the way, we stopped in at Mahwah to see the former Erie caboose there. Erie 04940 (Erie_04940.jpg) sits next to the original station (Old_Mahwah_Station.jpg), which is now a museum. There's also a locomotive bell there (Bell.jpg) with nothing to indicate what it's from - is it an Erie bell?

At Suffern, we quickly looked at the freight yard there, which is still active (Suffern_Yard.jpg). We also saw lots of Comet I cab cars (Comet_1_cab_cars.jpg) - in the scope of 20 minutes, we saw four separate trains here (it looks like they're lining them up to go to Hoboken in time for the evening rush)

On the way back, we stopped at the former DL&W Lincoln Park station to shoot the historic structure (Lincoln_Park_station.jpg), as well as the train arriving with the passing siding alongside, the location of many, many EL meets (Lincoln_Park_passing_siding.jpg).

All in all, quite a bit of EL content found in a short amount of time (9:30am-5:00pm)

- Paul

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