Posts Tagged ‘Erie Railroad’

Trail Built on Erie ROW Wins Award

June 6, 2016

A trail built on the right of way of the former Erie Railroad has been recognized by the Greater Cleveland Trails and Greenways Conference.

The Freedom Trail of the Summit Metro Parks was named a gold medal winner by the Conference and was one of two Northeast Ohio trails rated among the best.

The first 4 miles of the trail opened between Southeast Avenue in Tallmadge and Middlebury Road in Kent and cost $1.1 million to develop.

One track of the former Erie is parallel to the trail because it has been railbanked.

Another 2-mile section has since been opened between Tallmadge and Eastwood Avenue in Akron. That segment cost $750,000 to develop.

Plans are to extend the trail another 2 miles to the University of Akron campus and eventually link the trail with the Ohio & Erie Canal towpath trail on the southern edge of downtown Akron.

Another gold medal winning trail was Barberton’s Magic Mile trail, which runs for a mile from downtown Barberton to Lake Anna.

The two gold medal winners were chosen from 36 nominated trail and greenway projects in Cuyahoga, Summit, Medina, Loran, Geauga, Tuscarawas and Trumbull counties. There were five silver medal winners named.

Erie/EL Stations of the East: 3 in New York

June 3, 2016


Erie Middletown Built 1896

Last in a Series

Our tour of Erie Railroad stations concludes with three stations in New York state.

The Tuxedo depot (top photograph) was built in 1882.

Although Middletown Station (middle photograph) is in its original location, the adjacent Erie mainline was ripped out by Conrail in the early 1980s. It was built in 1896 and is now used as the Middletown Library. Adjacent to the old Erie mainline right of way, the tracks were removed by Conrail in 1983.

Finally, there is Port Jervis station (bottom photograph), which was built in 1896 and served as home to the Delaware Division headquarters.

This station is now under private ownership and contains offices and retail. It is no longer in use by the railroad.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

Erie/EL Stations of the East: Ridgewood, Mahwah

June 2, 2016

Erie Ridgewood Built 1918

Mahwah Station Built 1871

Part 4 of a Series

Today we look at two more stations along the former Erie Railroad New York Division in New Jersey.

The station at Ridgewood (top photo) was built in 1918 and features a unique mission style architecture, that was ruined (in my opinion) several years ago by the addition of high-level ADA platforms.

This was the suburban stop for most Erie long-distance trains. Although it had eastbound and westbound waiting rooms, only the eastbound building is used today by New Jersey Transit.

The Mahwah station was built in 1871 but retired by the Erie in 1904 due to right of way expansion.

The building was moved in 1904 to a dairy farm for use as warehouse. After the dairy farm closed, the station was moved again to this location where it is now an Erie Railroad Museum. Although the station is more than 145 years old, it only served the railroad for 33 years.

For more info visit:

Article and photographs by Jack Norris

Erie/EL Stations of the East: Radburn (Fair Lawn)

June 1, 2016

Erie Radburn Built 1929

Part 3 of a Series

Does Fair Lawn sound familiar? Did any of you ever send out Kodachrome slide film to Kodak for processing? Most of it was developed at the Fair Lawn Kodak plant.

Today Kodachrome is gone but the Radburn station, which serves Fair Lawn, still stands and is used by New Jersey Transit. The depot, which features the Dutch Colonial style, was built in 1929.

Photograph by Jack Norris

Erie/EL Stations of the East: Rutherford, NJ

May 31, 2016

Erie Rutherford Station Built 1897

Erie Rutherford Station 2

Part 2 of a Series

The Erie Railroad had its start in New York/ New Jersey. As a result, the Garden State has some very old and unique stations, some of them dating from 1871.

Most of these stations still serve commuters seven days a week. Most have open waiting rooms but no ticket agents.

Only Mahwah does not remain in its original location. The tracks are about 200 feet away.

The station at Port Jervis, New York, also housed the Delaware Division offices. Most of the pictures in this series were taken within the past two to three years and show current conditions of the stations.

Today we view the Rutherford, New Jersey, station, which was built in 1897. Shown are the exterior and waiting room.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

Erie/EL Stations of the East: The Stately Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, NJ

May 30, 2016

DL&W Hoboken Terminal Built 1907

First of a Series

New Jersey is big on preservation and many communities have preserved and/or restored their train stations.

Except for Mahwah, Waldwick, Middletown and Port Jervis, all of these stations still provide their waiting rooms for daily commuters using New Jersey Transit trains.

Only Mahwah does not sit in its original spot. It is now located about 200 feet from the tracks it once served.

In this first of a five-part series, Jack Norris takes us on a tour of Erie Railroad and Erie Lackawanna passenger stations in New Jersey and New York on the former New York Division.

We begin with the Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, New Jersey. This became the terminal for all EL passenger trains after the October 1960 merger of the Erie and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western.

Lackawanna Terminal opened in 1907. The exterior is copper and the waiting room ceiling was made by Tiffany (yes, THE Tiffany).

The original clock tower was removed in the early 1950s due to it being unstable. The clock tower you see is a recreation that New Jersey Transit installed in 2008.

During Superstorm Sandy, 5 feet of sea water and mud filled this waiting room. That is about a foot or so above the ticket window counters.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

Hoboken Terminal Entrance

Hoboken Ticket Windows

HobokenTiffany Ceiling

Erie 833, C&O 614 Out East

May 25, 2016


Erie 833 (3)

After hearing from Jack Norris last week about AC Tower in Waldwick, New Jersey, I sent him an email saying that the Akron Railroad Club would love to make a trip out to New Jersey to see the restored tower if we could ride the Lake Cities of the Erie Lackawanna. But the Lake Cities didn’t stop in Waldwick in the late 1960s and much of the ex-Erie is out of service in Ohio east of Ravenna. He responded to say how we could have gotten to Waldwick back in 1969.

After the Erie Lackawanna merger, all mainline trains went on the Lackawanna side via Scranton, Pennsylvania.

You could take a connecting train on the Erie side via Port Jervis and Binghamton, New York, and switch to the mainline train at Binghamton for the remainder of the trip to your area.

The connecting service stopped at Ridgewood, New Jersey, which is about two miles from Waldwick.

Today, one can ride the Lackawanna side to Hackettstown, New Jersey, and ride the Erie side as far as Port Jervis, New York.

Port Jervis is home to Erie 833 and in the late ‘90s was the destination of Chesapeake & Ohio 614.

[Former ARRC President] Dave McKay stayed with me and we rode a 614 trip. Here is a recent picture (eight months ago) of Erie 833 on the operational Port Jervis 115-foot turntable as well as some 614 pictures.

Alas, the old coaling towers were torn down in the early 2000s.

Article and Photographs From Jack Norris

C&O 614 (5)

C&O 614 (7)

C&O 614(2)


Keeping Erie, EL Alive on New York Division

May 20, 2016
The restored WB Tower in Waldwick, New Jersey.

The restored WB Tower in Waldwick, New Jersey.

Akron Railroad Club blog reader Jack Norris wrote from his home in New Jersey that because many of us here in Ohio are interested in the history of the Erie and Erie Lackawanna railroads that we might be interested in some news from the old New York Division.

In Waldwick, New Jersey (milepost 23.2) on four-track old Erie Mainline is the home of the famous Waldwick “S” curve (a.k.a. Collin’s Curve) and sits WC Tower.

The Victorian style wooden tower controlled the interlocking as well as the entrance to Waldwick Yard, a layover yard for intermediate distance commuter trains.

The tower was manned until 1986 when New Jersey Transit closed it. The tower then languished for several years and was in danger of being torn down.

The community of Waldwick wanted to save their tower as well as the matching Victorian station.

The restoration process was successful and both structures are now property of the Waldwick Historical Society.

WC Tower has been restored and is open infrequently for guests to visit. The building has displays on both the lower level and the operator’s level.

Although the interlocking machine and model board are not in the building at the present time, both still exist and may, in fact, be reinstalled one day, depending on public interest and funding. The Waldwick Station will open this Sunday (May 22, 2016) as a town history museum.

By the way, if you know where to look you can still find seven EL manhole covers still doing their intended job even though their railroad is long gone.

I am sending along some photographs of WC Tower and the restored station.

About 100 commuter trains a day pass through Waldwick on a weekday as well as a couple local freights. One road freight passes through nocturnally five nights a week. I am also attaching the websites for both structures.

For more information, visit


The Erie station in Waldwick before its restoration.

The Erie station in Waldwick before its restoration.

The restored Erie Railroad passenger station in Walkwick, New Jersey, as seen in December 2014.

The restored Erie Railroad passenger station in Waldwick, New Jersey, as seen in December 2014.

An Erie Lackawanna manhole cover.

An Erie Lackawanna manhole cover.

The next three photographs show the various exhibits of Erie and EL artifacts.

The next three photographs show the various exhibits of Erie and EL artifacts.



New Jersey Transit has an extensive network of commuter rail routes in its namesake state.

New Jersey Transit has an extensive network of commuter rail routes in its namesake state.

The current NJT locomotive livery.

The current NJT locomotive livery.

NJT trains come with a variety of motive power.

NJT trains come with a variety of motive power.

A Metro North commuter train.

A Metro North locomotive pulls a commuter train.

WC Tower before its restoration.

WC Tower before its restoration.

Another view of WC Tower.

Another view of WC Tower.

Neglected Reminder of the Erie Railroad

May 17, 2016
Looking down the tracks where rails used to be on an old Erie Railroad bridge near Kent.

Looking down the tracks where rails used to be on an old Erie Railroad bridge near Kent.

The view of the old Erie Railroad bridge over Breakneck Creek as seen from the Portage Hike and Bike trail.

The view of the old Erie Railroad bridge over Breakneck Creek as seen from the Portage Hike and Bike trail.

When a railroad line is abandoned, the railroad and/or salvage company generally removes anything that might be of value.

Most notably, it pulls up the rails, ties and ballast. In many cases, though, bridges are left in place because they cannot be easily removed, particularly if a bridge is quite large.

Along the Portage Hike and Bike trail is one such example. The bridge shown above probably carried a set of lead tracks into the yard in Kent over Breakneck Creek.

It is located adjacent to what used to be the westbound main and judging by it looks of it it has not been used in several decades.

The Erie Lackawanna greatly diminished operations in the Kent yard well before the EL became part of Conrail in 1976. In fact, the Kent yard was rationalized quite a bit in the middle 1960s as the financially strapped EL cut back on yard operations in a bid to save money.

It’s doubtful that EL executives at company headquarters in Cleveland concerned themselves with the fate of a bridge over a creek. The decision to leave this bridge in place was made much lower down the chain of command.

Boards have been placed at both ends of the bridge to keep trespassers off, but the barriers are not substantial enough to deter someone determined to walk out onto the bridge.

I would imagine that has been done before and maybe some people still do it. Myself, I would not want to find out how sturdy this bridge still is. The metal supports are probably strong, but the wood boards show signs of advanced deterioration.

It was enough for me to observe this bridge from a safe distance while wondering what tales this structure could tell about about times past.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

An Akron Railroad Scene Imagined in Layers

May 11, 2016


It is May 1974 in Akron and this is looking west across the Erie Lackawanna yard. Imagine this is in layers.

First there is a Pennsylvania Railroad gondola on the now-removed Penn Central track nearest the viewer.

Then come the hidden two-track Chessie System mainline (now CSX) and the hidden and now-removed two track EL mainline.

To the left is the EL yard office. Behind it are yard tracks. There is an EL transfer caboose on one. Behind it is Erie Railroad 520, and behind that is Sperry 125.

If you look closely behind Sperry 125, you can see the track leading to the bakery and the EL-served bakery.

Today only the two CSX tracks and Sperry 125 survive.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas


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