Elizabeth, NJ, was once the host of a four-track mainline of the Central Railroad of New Jersey (Jersey Central Lines or CNJ) between Jersey City and Cranford. These tracks (save for one) were abandoned the last day of April, 1967, as part of the Aldene plan which rerouted trains to the Penn Station in Newark. Today, evidence still exists of the multi-track mainline; the massive 20-track terminal is now Liberty State Park, and the CNJ passenger station has been converted to a restaurant.
Township of Elizabeth, New Jersey
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Line from Cranford through Elizabeth to Bayonne was still in service in 1979. A RDC shuttle ran betweeen Cranford over the Newark Bay Bridge to Bayonne until sometime after 1979.
The yard (CNJ) in Elizabeth is still in use (flatcars for container trains are stored and tanker cars). Section between Elizabeth and Cranford has been abandoned though plans someday include light rail. There is a section between Cranford and Linden that was restored (industrial use, refinery) but appears inactive. Plans to restore another line connecting Cranford north to Hwy 22 in Union appears to be stalled though part was rebuilt (ran out of money). Rails removed from hwy 22 south to CR509 were removed.
I was looking at a map from this year and see their is a lot of open land around the area where this is, does anybody know who owns this line still as I would like to try and purchase a section of it? Mainly the part by the NEC?
This was the first section I worked on when I was hired in 1976. I probably walked thousands of miles of track over the years from Jersey City to Phillipsburg. I left NJ Transit in 2002 and am currently working as a consultant to Metro North in Grand Central.
This ROW is owned by NJ Transit and there are hopes of installing light rail on already owned land. There is one track still in existence but is severed at the old passenger station downtown Elizabeth. The old freight yard is still in use and a mile section going west that switching use to switch freight. Beyond that the ROW is abandoned to Cranford. A branch section has been rebuilt that heads southeast to Linden that is not used much and another section that crosses Hwy 28 was being rebuilt but ran out of money, one road crossing across Hwy 22 was removed along with a mile of track. The plan was to rebuild rail track for industrial use.