EL Port Morris, NJ Tower

Hardcoaler Apr 12, 2016

  1. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Just a sad look at the DL&W's Port Morris, NJ Tower UN taken February 1983. This spot marked the eastern point of one of the DL&W's greatest engineering achievements, the New Jersey Cutoff, completed 1911 when this tower was built. The Cutoff headed west to Slateford Jct. at the Delaware Water Gap and shaved 11 Miles off the old road's route, reduced the ruling grade, reduced curvature and eliminated all highway crossings, all at a cost of $11 Million, which the DL&W paid from its deep pockets. (It later spent millions more on the Nicholson Cutoff in PA). Sadly the tracks on the Cutoff were lifted shorty after I took this picture, though a short section is to be put back in place soon for commuter service!

    1983-02 Port Morris NJ.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Looks so sad and forlorn. It's stunning how traffic and priorities can change so much that what was once vital becomes totally irrelevant.
     
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  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, Phoebe Snow has since shed some tears no doubt. Moving west on the Cutoff, here's the DL&W's tower at Greendel, NJ in July 1985 after the tracks had been taken up. There was a depot here too. The DL&W was a pioneer in the use of reinforced concrete and what they built has lasted through the ages, including the mighty Tunkhannock Viaduct in Nicholson, PA which bears the weight of NS trains today. The DL&W even built a concrete coal breaker in 1915, the massive Moffat Breaker in Taylor, PA. Anthracite coal made the DL&W a wealthy property that once boasted it was "Mile for Mile, The Most Highly Developed Railroad in America".


    1985-07-18 Greendel NJ Tower.jpg
     
  4. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    "Irrelevant" to the bean counters and board members interested only in near-term bottom line and stock price. They ignored the long-term planners and visionaries who could see the need for commuter traffic as suburbia expanded. The same is true of the ex-NYC Harlem Division northern 50 miles between Wassaic and Chatham, NY which PC abandoned and ripped up in the early 80's. Metro-North wishes those rails were still in place because the area population that now works in New York City has exploded.
     
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  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Much further west is the DL&W's Bridge 60 Tower in Scranton, PA, a rather uninspired structure to say the least. Photo taken May 1982. It still stands as part of the Steamtown National Historic site.

    1982-05-31 Scranton PA Bridge 60 Tower.jpg
     
  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Well said. It was obvious that the DL&W's extraordinary Cutoff was an asset that needed to be retained, but CR had no need for it an up it came for scrap. As the real estate market later boomed in NJ and homes became unaffordable, many people bought lower priced homes in PA and commuted across NJ into New York. The Cutoff could have handled this traffic with excellence.
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Quick buck, short term, the future be damned. Business schools in this country teach some mindless techniques, which are actually very destructive.
     
  8. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Supposedly, work on restoring that short section of the cutoff is being held up because the area is inhabited by a protected species of bat.
    http://www.njherald.com/story/28735428/bat-habitat-stalls-andover-train-station#

    When you look at the environmental impact investigation and reports for possible restoration of the cutoff, it's a wonder whether the Lackawanna ever encountered so much "red tape" during the original construction process?
    http://www.njtransit.com/tm/tm_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=Project019To
     
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  9. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Just remembered I have one of DL&W's Hoboken Tower too, taken January 1981. I think it still stands, but I'm not totally sure.

    1981-01-25 Hoboken NJ Tower - for upload.jpg
     
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    So many people wonder why this nation is not keeping pace with technology. Such costly, time eating hurdles are constantly thrown into the mix, causing delays and burning up financial resources.... :(
     
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  11. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Give me a break. You're right, the DL&W's Cutoff could have never been built in this era. I guess animals were better at adapting back then than today. :rolleyes:
     
  12. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Here's an aerial view of the Port Morris area from ~70 years ago, with the tower visible as a white dot, just above end of the yard in the upper left-hand corner of the photo, and the start of the cutoff running off toward the left side:

    [​IMG]
    http://www.landingnewjersey.com/portmorris2.htm
     
  13. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the post Point 353 -- what a neat shot! I'd forgotten about the turntable and roundhouse at Port Morris.
     
  14. PMOC

    PMOC New Member

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    Thanks for the post Point 353, very intreesting. I currently live in Landing so it was neat to read some history about it, Port Morris, and the surrounding area.
     
  15. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Almost forgot that I have another former DL&W tower on film at Denville, NJ, taken March of '81. The DL&W's secondary line from Boonton and the electrified main line from Morristown came together at Denville. I think the tower still stands, but I'm not certain.

    1981-03 Denville NJ Tower - for upload.jpg
     
  16. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

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  17. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

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    This is Hoboken Terminal Tower today. It must be a good day, because there are no chairs, desks or computer screens flying out the windows.
     
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    OK. There must be a story here.....
     
  19. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

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    Kenny, One of my best friends is the yardmaster in Hoboken. Lets just say when things are going bad, he vents his frustration & everyone knows when to stay away from him.
     
  20. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yikes!
     

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