CNJ's Newark bay draw

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CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby e-paw » Nov 8th, '09, 23:39

I wanted to start this tread to showcase pics and info on the Newark bay drawbridge, known on CNJ time tables as "DY". It connected Bayonne and Elizabeth NJ. I will mainly concentrate on the third incarnation of the bridge to occupy this space. It no longer stands today, but for most of it's life it was the largest RR bridge of it's type in the world. Four tracks wide and over a mile long (almost 2), with 4 sections that could be raised or lowered independently of each other. To start I'll just post a link to a pic of the 2nd bridge to cross in that same spot,

http://www.nealjconway.com/nepasites/ad ... ridge.html

And also a link to another forum that has lots of pics and info on the same bride.

http://forums.railfan.net/forums.cgi?bo ... 997;start=

More to come latter.
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Re: CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby tomustang » Nov 8th, '09, 23:42

That is simply unique...
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CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby e-paw » Nov 10th, '09, 22:23

A quick timeline of the Newark Bay crossing.

First bridge opened 7/29/1864 wooden draw
2nd bridge opened in 1902 rolling bascule
3rd bridge opened in 1926 4 span lift
9/15/58 commuter train #3314 plunges off open south span causing 48 fatalities
1966 french freighter SS Washington strikes north east span removing 2 tracks from service.
one track returns to service 6 months latter, but damaged lift span remains inoperable.
5/67 Aldene plan is started removing all passenger service from the bridge except for a Bayonne/Cranford shuttle called the ''Scoot''.
CNJ freight continues until 1976
8/78 last run of the "Scoot"
7/80 center lift spans are demolished.
1987/88 east+west approaches are removed.
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Re: CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby e-paw » Nov 10th, '09, 22:37

This group of pics I took, the first is from the mid 1980's looking west towards Elizabeth. the lift spans have been demoed and the track removed. On the left side you can see where a few switches were to cross over from one track to another.And in the distance you can just barely see the signal bridge still standing. In between the signals and the lift span opening all tracks had a automatic derail that came into play anytime the bridge was open.
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Next we have the first bridge east of the DY draw crossing avenue "A" in Bayonne, the CNJ logo still present.
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Re: CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby e-paw » Nov 10th, '09, 22:53

This group shows pretty much how things look today. All that is left of the structure is the concrete footings standing in Newark bay. Not visible, but still there, just off to the left of them are wood pilings from the very first bridge to cross the bay. They can be seen at low tide just at the watter edge.
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This artifact is a leftover from the bridge's construction. It was used to pour the footings that held up the bridge.I was told some years ago that when the bridge went into service in 1926 this barge mounted cement mixer was sunk by the construction co. just north of the crossing and abandoned. It's kind of odd that the bridge is gone but the equipment used to build it remains.

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CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby e-paw » Nov 15th, '09, 14:05

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way in the background of this pic from April of 67 you can see the drawbridge. this gives you a good sense of the size of it considering it 's about a mile and a half away. This is the eastern approach looking west towards Elizabeth port. To the left is BV tower and the right is Bayonne's West 8th street station. The station was still in use at this time but soon to be abandoned. Built in 1891 she served 4 tracks and was one of four stations to serve the city, the others being east 45th, east 33rd and east 22nd street. West 8th street was a good candidate for preservation but was burned down twice by arsonist (stone doesn't burn very well). Just to showcase the forethought of transportation management, all the passenger service (track and stations) were removed at a cost of millions of $ in the 80's just to be replaced by a light rail system 20 years latter in the exact same place. :wall1:

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Being a peninsula Bayonne had several bridges on it, she hosted 2 rail and 2 auto crossings along with some ferry crossings. This is the Port authority Bayonne bridge (the large steel arch in the background) as seen from the top of DY draw looking south in the mid 80's
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CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby e-paw » Nov 15th, '09, 14:50

The CNJ time table from 10/69 has some interesting info on the bridge.
There is a speed restriction of 35 mph on the eastern curve leading to the bridge but on the bridge it's self the restriction is only 45 mph. It's a little odd to have a faster track speed on a bridge than the surrounding track that's on the ground. That is probably due to the lack of funds causing a drop in maintenance = lower track speeds. This speed restriction is shown for tracks 1,2,and 3. Track #4 was out of service due to a collision between the bridge and a French freighter a few years earlier, it was never repaired.
It also shows that the bridge was equipped with wayside mechanical trip type automatic train stop and 3 dispatchers phones.
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Re: CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby TrainNut » Nov 15th, '09, 20:19

I just typed in "Newark bay draw bridge" into Google images and found lots more additional pictures. There were even a couple showing the train that ran off into the water. Very interesting stuff. Thanks.
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CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby e-paw » Nov 15th, '09, 22:28

I found an article from the NY times announcing the construction of DY draw. Just click the link.
http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-fr ... 946397D6CF
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CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby e-paw » Nov 18th, '09, 20:42

Here is link to another article on the bridge. This one is about the runaway commuter train. I will be going more into this later, along with the maritime collision.


http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates/2007/0 ... _trai.html
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Re: CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby sgtcarl1 » Nov 20th, '09, 21:46

This is one of the Best Threads, yet!! I love history, especially when it comes so well documented!! Great job on the selection of links, too!! :tada: :tada: :tada:
I only know what I know, and I don't understand very much of it, either.
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CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby e-paw » Dec 1st, '09, 21:43

This is probably the pic that I should have started this thread with.
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It shows the 1926 bridge in it's first days of operation. Just south of it is the 1901 bridge that at this point is being removed. In the inset is the 1860's bridge.

As of last thanksgiving this is all that's left.
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those pilings are from the 1860's bridge and the concrete footings to the right are the remains of the 26 bridge. the 01 crossing was in between the 2.
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CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby e-paw » Dec 4th, '09, 23:01

I drove past the bridge the other day, and much to my horror I found that a painting crew had painted over all the graffiti on the avenue "A" approach (Shown in one of the other pics). They treated the CNJ liberty logo as some unsightly mark on the bridge and covered it with a big white box. I was so disgusted I couldn't bring my self to get a picture of it. I realy doubt the painters had any idea of what they painted over.
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CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby e-paw » Dec 7th, '09, 22:25

Here is the new west 8th street station under construction. It's much larger than the original station, and sits on the same plot of land. The raised platform behind it is the NJ transit light rails turn around leg. This being the southern most stop on the system the track extends west past the station and dead ends, giving the trolley a place to reverse direction for the return trip to jersey city. Conrail's (ex CNJ) yard starts 1/4 mile east of this location. Although service has been suspended west of the yard they still use this portion of there track (located next to the light rail line) to move cars around in there yard. the elevated platform may come in handy as a train watching spot when the yard is active.
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CNJ's Newark bay draw

Postby e-paw » Dec 7th, '09, 22:39

This is DY draws little cozen, the LV/PRR crossing. It's located at the border of Bayonne and Jersey City. Now jointly owned by CSX-NS it is the only rail crossing for the Newark Bay. 2 tracks wide and a single lift section make it about 1/4 the size of the CNJ bridge. The larger bridge in the background is the NJ Turnpike bridge between exits 14 and 14a. This shot looking west was taken from the Society hill complex towards Newark.
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