The usual Thursday stroll

On a surprisingly sunny Thursday afternoon (most Thursdays in NJ are cloudy), Conrail Shared Assets local train SA-31 heads down the CR Southern Secondary (the old CNJ Southern Division) in Eatontown with a short consist for Lakewood, NJ. This was a main freight route for the Central RR of NJ, running from Jersey City to extreme southern NJ, from the late 19th to mid 20th century, hosting at least two trains a day. Many years ago, there was a passing siding at this point on the line, with the north switch located just about where NS 5283 (GP38-2, ex-CR 8081, nee-PC 8081, blt 2/73) is positioned in this photo. In November of 1953, CNJ train SJ-2 derailed 21 cars at this spot, with a few even climbing the embankment to the left, and it is thought that the switch contributed to the accident.

There will be no problems for the crew today, as they take their very regular Thursday stroll down the Southern; in fact, if you wake up & don’t remember what day it is in this area, you will know it’s Thursday if you see the local going by. The train is never big, and never fast (10 mph restriction on this line), but there is much rr history in this area dating back to the 1850s, and it’s good to see the line still in operation into the 21st century.

Image recorded on August 15, 2013

Conrail Train SA-31 Southern Secondary Eatontown NJ

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Freight trains dashing through snow to make up time lost

Dashing through the snow (at the 10mph limit), Conrail Shared Assets train SA-31 does a bit of clearing along the right-of-way as she travels through Eatontown, NJ, on the Conrail Southern Secondary. With sunset approaching, long shadows lie across the rails, warning of impending darkness along the route through Monmouth and Ocean counties. Battling the worst winter on record, freight schedules throughout the northeast have been anything but ‘on-schedule’; no run in the past 10 days for this normally weekly train, hence the 12-car consist instead of the ‘normal’ 5 to 7 cars on any given run.

After a couple days of bright sun and non-frigid temperatures, CSX 4431 and the crew will have no problems traversing the line down to Lakehurst and return. Ex-Conrail GP40-2 3356 (blt 3/79) returns to home rails, 31 years on the job and still going strong for her new owner, CSX Transportation.

Image recorded February 19, 2010.

Freight trains dashing through snow to make up lost timeClick on the image to display it at a larger size. Use your browser’s Back button to return to this page.