Abandoned Rails of Toms River, New Jersey

This is the Toms River Industral track, currently out of service; they have not seen a train in the past 4 years. The track ends about 4.6 miles away at the Ciba Giegy Chemical Plant siding. Photo by Eric Kreszl.
This railroad track is the CNJ Southern Division which continues down to Bridgeton. There has not been a train on this track for decades. Photo by Eric Kreszl.
This is Norfolk Southern GP40-2 #3026. This is one of the very last Norfolk Southern locomotives still wearing Conrail paint. The track in the background to the left is Toms River Industrial Track. The structure in the background was used to load covered hoppers for shipment to Florida, and hasn't seen service in a few years. Photo by Eric Kreszl.
#3026 is sitting on what is called the Ocean County siding. It comes off just before the crossing in the background. Photo by Eric Kreszl.
Toms River Industrial Track crosses Route 37, in what is un-officially known as the largest railroad crossing in New Jersey. Photo by Eric Kreszl.
This shows the tracks as continue on to the Ciby Geigy chemical plant from Route 37. The grade crossing was classified as abandoned just recently. Photo by Eric Kreszl.
This picture shows the tracks approaching the Ciba Geigy chemical plant. Photo by Eric Kreszl.
This picture shows the tracks approaching the Ciba Geigy chemical plant. Photo by Eric Kreszl.

The Barnegat branch served the Toms River area, along with several other towns, including Forked River, Pinewald and Waretown. Train frequency on the line diminished greatly in the 1970s, but the tracks remained intact for infrequent service to the Oyster Creek nuclear facility. By the late 1970s, Conrail had abandoned the southern portion of it up to Pinewald.

It is reported that while the tracks have been dormant since 1981, a train did pass through Toms River in 1988 using the tracks, making that the train the first since 1981, and last train to run in 20 years. It is believed to have been carrying sand.

These pictures come from the northern section in Toms River, and show the spur that once served the Ciba Geigy chemical plant, which was shut down due to ground water contamination.

Thanks to Roy Spellman for contributing information.

—  User Comments  —

Much of the line below Toms River is being converted to Rail-Trails. The trestles are still in place though.

Pam Herbert
Waretown, NJ
1/14/2012

they should open it back up

kevin
toms river nj, NJ
6/24/2013

They should, but they won't-the politicians are too busy using our tax money to buy votes than investing in infrastructure (or anything else, for that matter).

Albert
Manahawkin, NJ
12/12/2013

Was there an old railroad that used to be near Wranglebrook that used to cross Southampton Road in Silver Ridge park?

Mike
Spotswood, NJ
6/19/2016

Mike, that is the Barnegat Branch.

Andy S
Toms River, NJ
6/23/2016

Why can't something be done? Can't the metal signs be recycled? All of the roads leading into Holiday City are a disgrace. We travel over every crossing almost daily, there is no way around them. Someone should look into this.

Joan Hussey
Holiday City West, NJ
6/23/2017