It is not known when this 12-mile line was built, but it does appear in an 1895 railroad map, being owned even then by the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ). It had a connection at both ends: In Freehold, to the south, the line connected with the Pennsylvania Railroad; to the north at Matawan, it connected with the New Yok and Long Branch Railroad. The line saw both passenger and freight service; passenger service was discontinued in 1954.
Freight service continued for a while. In 1975, as a result of the Conrail merger, the US Railway Association omitted the line from Conrail's service area, leaving no one to operate the line. However, freight service continued undeterred due to subsidiaries made available by local programs. In 1977, the state of New Jersey purchased the line and contracted Conrail to serve the line.
The line was finally last abandoned in 1983. The state, which still owned the right-of-way, began to see other opportunities for the line: the communities of Freehold and those to the south were burgeoning, and a commuter line along the Freehold Branch was considered more than once as a means of mass transportation. However, each attempt to re-open the line has met fierce opposition from towns along the right-of-way.
Today, some bridges and tracks remain, but there seems to be no interest in reviving the Freehold Branch anymore.
Stations along the line:
|0.00||Freehold (connection with PRR)|
|12.09||Matawan (connection with NY&LB)|
Track charts for Freehold Branch: