High Bridge Branch
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The High Bridge Branch was a branch line of the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) that started in High Bridge, New Jersey at a connection with the CNJ main line and continued north to iron-ore mines in Morris County. The High Bridge Branch line followed the South Branch of the Raritan River for much of its duration.
The High Bridge Branch connected to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (DL&W) and the Wharton & Northern Railroad just west of Wharton, New Jersey and to the Mount Hope Mineral Railroad and the Dover & Rockaway Railroad in Wharton. It originally connected with the Chester Branch of the DL&W at Chester north of U.S. Route 206, but from Long Valley to Chester became the Chester Branch when the railroad was extended north from long Valley to the Wharton area. The line once carried both freight and passengers, with iron ore being its primary commodity.
The High Bridge Branch was not included in the Conrail network in 1976. Section north of Bartley remained in use under a state subsidy agreement. The Bartley-High Bridge section was converted to the Columbia rail trail; the section from the crossing of the High Bridge Branch and the DL&W Chester Branch to Main Street, Wharton was abandoned; the portion in Wharton is being converted to a rail trail.
The Bartley-Kenvil section was purchased by Morris County from the State of New Jersey on 1986 and leased to regional short line operator Morristown & Erie Railway (M&E). Shortly thereafter, a new track connection was built east of Kenvil with the former DL&W Chester Branch named Ferromonte Junction.
Freight customers were sought after county acquisition. first was R. P. Smith & Co., a brick customer near Route 10 in Ledgewood. Service began on May 2, 1988. Within the next few years, the railroad was opened to Flanders to a plastic extruding company and ultimately to Bartley where Toys "R" Us built an almost fully automated regional distribution center of 1/2 million square feet with a footprint to expand to . The line currently ends in Bartley, just south of Toys "R" Us. Frank Reilly, Executive Director of the Morris County Department of Transportation Management and M&E president were responsible for current operations on the line.
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』
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