New York and Long Branch

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Wed Aug 10 11:00:58 EDT 2011

Actually electrification goes all the way to Long Branch.
Tom Cosgrove

On 8/9/2011 10:40 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:

> Jerry,

> Thanks for the additional details, most of which I remember to some

> degree. You see, from October 1956 to September 1958 I was an

> Army draftee assigned to the Army Signal Research and Development

> laboratory (the Hexagon) at Fort Monmouth, NJ, (the lab was actually

> near Eatontown) doing radio interference testing and remediation.

> I tried to get off base on alternate weekends as my meager finances

> would allow. Most weekends my destination was New York, where the USO

> had a whole blackboard chalked up with free tickets to Radio City

> Music Hall, Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, Yankee's baseball games,

> etc., all of which I took advantage of.

> I always took the train anytime I traveled from Fort Monmouth. I

> could walk out the east gate to the NY&LB Little Silver station and

> get a PRR train or a CNJ train. Only a few trains stopped at Little

> Silver, so I would often take a local bus from the east gate to Red

> Bank where all of the trains stopped. The PRR trains went into either

> Penn Station in Manhattan or Exchange Place in Jersey City where I

> could transfer to a Hudson and Manhattan (aka Hudson Tube) train into

> Manhattan. The trains to Penn Station were diesel south of South

> Amboy and electric between South Amboy and Penn Station (the

> electrification now extends to Red Bank, south of South Amboy). Some

> of the PRR trains into Exchange Place, such as one nicknamed "The

> Broker," were power by K4 Pacifics, sometimes double headed. The CNJ

> trains were diesel powered and terminated in Jersey City where I could

> get a ferry across the Hudson River to Liberty Street in Manhattan.

> In good weather a morning ferry ride across the Hudson with the

> approaching New York skyline ahead was a pleasant experience.

> On these weekends, and some mid-week leave days, I rode just about all

> of the NJ commuter lines and some of the Long Island RR lines. Also,

> during the almost two years that I was there, I rode into, or through,

> every station on the New York City subway system.

> My work in radio interference testing resulted in 132 days TDY

> (temporary duty away from base), and these trips often involved train

> trips. I also took leave in order to take some train trips on my

> own. I have pleasant memories of the DL&W's /Phoebe Snow/ from Newark

> to Buffalo and a Nickel Plate train on to Erie, PA, where we ran radio

> interference tests on a multi-gauge, multi-coupling, multi-brake

> system "universal" diesel-electric that GE had built for the Army

> Transportation Corps. The return trip was in the observation car of

> the /Empire State Express/. There was an overnight trip in a Pullman

> on the B&O's /Washingtonian/ from Jersey City to Washington and

> daylight rides on the PRR's /Senator/ and /Keystone/ (the latter a

> low-slung train) in the northeast corridor. Other name trains

> included the Lehigh Valley's /Black Diamond/ Buffalo to Newark and the

> New Haven's low center of gravity train, /John Quincy Adams/ New York

> to Boston. Finally in my memory, a Budd RDC ride through Hoosac Tunnel.

> As Archie and Edith used to sing, "Those were the days!"

> Gordon Hamilton

> ----- Original Message -----


> *From:* NW Mailing List <mailto:nw-mailing-list at>

> *To:* nw-mailing-list at <mailto:nw-mailing-list at>

> *Sent:* Monday, August 08, 2011 12:47 PM

> *Subject:* New York and Long Branch


> Rails Remembered, in the Arrow, includes time spent riding trains

> of the NY&LB. I lived there for the first 15 years of my life,

> and would like to add to the content of the article. The southern

> end of the line was a model RR style loop at Bay Head; and the

> loop is still there ! During steam days, all NY&LB trains started

> their northbound journey from Bay head; the loop included many

> storage tracks for staging. The land would be valuable real

> estate; but probably would need extensive remediation before it

> could be sold for residential use. Bay Head is an upscale

> seashore town; the loop property would be worth many millions.

> The PRR locomotive change took place at South Amboy, on the south

> side of the Raritan River. It was also the eastern end of the

> legendary (and sometimes infamous) Camden and Amboy RR. The

> combined PRR--CNJ trackage extended north across the Raritan River

> on a low trestle w/ swingbridge, through Perth Amboy; and

> separated at a junction north of that town. The CNJ tracks

> continued north to Elizabethport (a junction), then turned east to

> the terminal at Jersey City. The PRR tracks turned northwest,

> through Woodbridge, then joined the PRR main just south of Rahway.

> That junction, still in use, was interesting. The four track main

> was elevated; the tracks from the NY&LB

> increased from two to three, and entered the junction from below,

> at three different points.

> Today, all commuter trains use the ex-PRR tracks; many of the

> trains are electric MU's (originating at Long Branch); locomotive

> drawn trains from Bay head terminate at PRR's station at Newark

> New York bound commuters can finish their journey by changing

> either to a NJT train to Penn Station; or by changing to PATH

> (today's name for the original 'Hudson Tubes').

> Anyway; loved the article and the chance to remember my early years.

> Jerry Crosson (now residing in Missouri)..


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Tom Cosgrove
Past Captain RBVFA Squad, EMT-B
SKYWARN Spotter LME002
Red Cross Disaster Volunteer since 1995

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