From: "Tupaczewski, Paul R (Paul)" paul DOT tupaczewski AT alcatel-lucent DOT com
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 10:44:36 -0500
Subject: Netcong redux
"us_mineral_complex.jpg" - image/jpeg, 1459x1094 (24bit)
I've been a bit busy lately due to business travel, workload and getting ready for my sister-in-law's wedding tomorrow (my wife and daughters are part of the ceremony), so I haven't had much chance to post to the list, but now that I finally found some time, here goes!
I had to get a haircut up near Netcong the other day, and I had an hour to kill, so I decided to drive up to Netcong and get some detail photos of topography and structures that I will need to model for my layout (since I'm right at Netcong in HO scale anyway).
Per our earlier discussion, there's an industry in Bill Sheppard's EL track diagram book that was there in 1975, and had a notation that cars couldn't be parked east of Bank Street. So I parked by the station and walked down to the location of the facility. There were earlier discussions that this might have been "Stocker's", a masking tape manufacturer, but I ran into the current owner of the building who told me the owner prior to him was "US Mineral Wool," just as Bill's diagram books states (oddly enough, even though production is long gone from here, US Mineral still has an office down the street).
The tracks remain in the street, but are no longer in the building. The track climbs up the hill towards the main (and is still visible deep in trees and weeds). The grade is easily 2-3%, it's quite steep. Near the top of the grade, the tracks are obliterated - it appears that a small creek near the top flooded out the track at the top, and the County replaced it with a new larger culvert (see the "where_the_spur_started" attached photo).
The other photos show the US Mineral factory building and the spur coming down. For comparison (and to provide some flavor), I've attached a Tom Nemeth photo of EL RS3 #932 shoving a pair of brand-new ATSF reefers (?!?) down the spur to US Mineral in 1970. I assume they were being used as spacer cars to reach inside the building - note the other reefer on the team track closer to the camera. Anyone know who got refrigerated goods in Netcong? :)
This photo dramatically shows the gradient drop-off from the Netcong station area (that's Main St. in the foreground, and the station and freight house are out of the picture to the left). My shot ("where_the_spur_started") was taken right about where the first ATSF reefer is in the EL-era photo, looking down the hill.