Reading/CNJ power pool or trackage rights?

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Reading/CNJ power pool or trackage rights?
Posted by Mjorstad on Friday, February 22, 2019 6:44 PM

Hi everyone,

I was watching some clips of the CNJ and Reading in operation during the transition era.  I noticed a lot of points where Reading steam or CNJ steam were found on each other's systems in Pennsylvania; for example, there was footage of a CNJ Pacific at Reading Outer Station.  Now, I know the Reading had ownership of the CNJ, and that the two shared trackage from Bound Brook to Communipaw Terminal.  However, the videos seemed to cover areas outside of this area.  My question is, what kind of trackage rights and/or power pools did the CNJ and Reading have outside of New Jersey?

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, February 22, 2019 7:22 PM

Simply put, the Reading had trackage rights (freight and passenger) on the CNJ from Bound Brook (in NJ) east to Jersey City.  The CNJ had trackage rights on the Reading from Bound Brook to as far as Reading in PA.  

The Reading also connected with the CNJ in the Bethlehem PA area. Some Reading freights may have run into NJ from there, I don't think any passenger trains did, but I'm not really sure on that.

I don't believe they shared power all that often in the steam era, but it became common for the Reading to loan power to the CNJ during the diesel era.  That was also the time when the CNJ was really having money troubles. 

The Reading was a majority stockholder and de facto owner of the CNJ up until 1944, after that the CNJ became autonomous.  It's also the time the CNJ adopted the "Statue of Liberty" herald.  What's on the side of a CNJ tender is a pretty good way of dating the film you're looking at.  Prior to 1944 the CNJ tenders were marked "C. R. R. of N. J." with Reading style lettering.  

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, February 22, 2019 7:36 PM

Flintlock76
Simply put, the Reading had trackage rights (freight and passenger) on the CNJ from Bound Brook (in NJ) east to Jersey City.  The CNJ had trackage rights on the Reading from Bound Brook to as far as Reading in PA.  

The Reading also connected with the CNJ in the Bethlehem PA area. Some Reading freights may have run into NJ from there, I don't believe any passenger trains did, but I'm not really sure on that.

I don't believe they shared power all that often in the steam era, but it became common for the Reading to loan power to the CNJ during the diesel era.  That was also the time when the CNJ was really having money troubles. 

The Reading was a majority stockholder and de facto owner of the CNJ up until 1944, after that the CNJ became autonomous.  It's also the time the CNJ adopted the "Statue of Liberty" herald.  What's on the side of a CNJ tender is a pretty good way of dating the film you're looking at.  Prior to 1944 the CNJ tenders were marked "C. R. R. of N. J." with Reading style lettering.  

I believe the B&O held a 49% interest in the Reading, up to the formation of ConRail when it divested that interest.  This interest allowed the joing operation of the B&O's Washington to New York business - both freight and passenger.  Remember the B&O owned the Staten Island Rapid Transit.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, February 22, 2019 7:53 PM

Quite true, I'd forgotten the B&O used to run to Jersey City on the CNJ as well.

With all the 'roads that came through Bound Brook was quite the spot for New Jersey railfans, lot's of action there in those days.  I understand it's still a pretty good place to watch trains.  CSX, NS, and Jersey Transit action there now.

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Posted by Mjorstad on Sunday, February 24, 2019 9:08 PM

Flintlock76

Simply put, the Reading had trackage rights (freight and passenger) on the CNJ from Bound Brook (in NJ) east to Jersey City.  The CNJ had trackage rights on the Reading from Bound Brook to as far as Reading in PA.  

The Reading also connected with the CNJ in the Bethlehem PA area. Some Reading freights may have run into NJ from there, I don't think any passenger trains did, but I'm not really sure on that.

I don't believe they shared power all that often in the steam era, but it became common for the Reading to loan power to the CNJ during the diesel era.  That was also the time when the CNJ was really having money troubles. 

The Reading was a majority stockholder and de facto owner of the CNJ up until 1944, after that the CNJ became autonomous.  It's also the time the CNJ adopted the "Statue of Liberty" herald.  What's on the side of a CNJ tender is a pretty good way of dating the film you're looking at.  Prior to 1944 the CNJ tenders were marked "C. R. R. of N. J." with Reading style lettering.  

 

 
Perfect, this is the exact info I was looking for.  Thank you so much!
 
I will ask, do you happen to know what kind of power was used over/assigned to each RR’s trackage rights?
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, February 24, 2019 10:02 PM

You're welcom Mjorstad!

As far as power-specifics I can only give some general examples.  In the steam era CNJ power ran on Reading lines to Reading, Harrisburg, (I just found that one out) and freights ran on Reading tracks down to Philadelphia.  In the late steam era the locomotives used by the CNJ would have been Mikados on the freights and Pacifics on the passenger trains.  

The Reading (and B&O) ran Pacifics on their passenger trains to Jersey City, and the Reading also ran their T-1 4-8-4's on freights to the CNJ's New Jersey tracks as well.  

The CNJ was famous for running Camelback steam locomotives right into the early '50s, but I don't think they left New Jersey at all.

The Reading and the CNJ loaned each other steam engines but I think it was more the exception than the rule, pretty much on an "as needed" basis.

As far as the diesel era is concerned you might see anyone's power anywhere. 

If you're really interested in the CNJ let me recommend a couple of great videos, put out by John Pechulis Media.  "Along The Jersey Central, Volume 1, Jersey to Jim Thorpe."  Films shown are from the late '40s to the early '60s.  Volume 2 are CNJ operations in the Jersey City and Elizabethport areas in the early '60s.  Plenty of diesel action in that one, CNJ diesels and various other railroads.

Film quality is superb!  The only negative critisism I have is the narrator of Volume 1.  It's narrated by former railroader Mike Bednar, who knows his stuff (and how!) but doesn't have much of a speaking voice, but I find if you pretend he's in the room BS-ing with you it's ok.

www.johnpmedia.com  

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