From: Todd Hollritt thollritt AT yahoo DOT com
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 13:23:44 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Branchville (Discovery day?)
"Branchville_006.jpg" - image/pjpeg, 979x734 (24bit)
I had a chance to hike a small portion of the EL (DL&W) on Friday. I thought some of you might find these of interest; I took the images along the Sussex Branch in Branchville NJ. The first photo is heading timetable west about a half mile south of the terminus of the branch, that's Mill Street on the right. Notice the LARGE boulders on the left; I am pretty sure these were set in place by the Lackawanna in an effort to restore service after hurricane Diane devastated the town in August 1955. PHOTO 2 is looking back eastbound toward RT 206 heading south from the same spot, the boulders run along the right side of the railroad (trail) here.
PHOTO 3 is walking back towards Branchville, this is remains of the trestle before the Mill Street crossing, PHOTO 4 shows what would be original Sussex Railroad stone abutments (?) and Lackawanna concrete supports that still stand today, sorta has a Stonehenge feel to it don't you think? The brook is very dry today, but image what it must have looked like when it overflowed its banks in 55!
PHOTO 5 is bittersweet, a short section of rail is still visible today west of the Mill Street crossing, you can pause at this rusty grave marker from 1966 for a bit. Okay, let˘s walk on.
After a short walk I arrived at the next former plate girder bridge that's missing, the main one that supported the branch itself is long gone, but a short one remains on the siding track PHOTO 5, it even has some rails intact. Looking beyond in PHOTO 7 you can spot the DL&W (D&M) baggage car spotted at the Montague Supply Company (Former GLF Agway) siding (recently restored trackage 2003). It sure brings back some life to the railroad as you peer through the woods at it in PHOTO 8!
As I headed back east I walked off the rail trail and captured an image of a Lackawanna culvert under the right of way PHOTO 10, there were still many disgarded railroad ties still visible in the area as you can see.
The last passenger train left town on October 2.... Forty two years ago!