Train From Branchville
From a passenger
of the last train from Branchville
I was there. My
friend Bernie and I were on that train. I had always wanted to ride
to Branchville and got my opportunity on the last day train service
was offered. There were quite a few railfans on that run.
We boarded in Mountain
View. It had one Boonton coach and one Erie mainline coach painted Grey,
Maroon and Yellow. We road in the Erie coach on the trip into Branchville.
We got to Branchville
thinking there might be a place to get something to eat.--think again.
Back then, the whole town was shut down [on Sunday]. We couldn't
even find a soda vending machine. I took several photos of running the
engine around the cars and then walked around for the next 
It was quite a
day. EL never adjusted their timetable for the time between Augusta
and Branchville. It was always padded to allow for picking up milk cars
and switching. So the train arrived very early in Branchville.
A number of Sussex
County residents boarded the train and rode it to Netcong. Several families
took their kids and were waving to family riding alongside on route
On the way back
we rode in the vestibule of the Erie coach just behind the Geep from
just outside of Branchville to Sussex Branch Junction just east of Netcong.
There was quite a crowd at Newton station that evening.
I was impressed
with how well the EL maintained the branch all the way to the end. What
amazed me was that most of the freight traffic was in Newton and Branchville
and those two towns were abandoned.
I often wondered
if the line could have succeed as an independent operator. The Roy Company
in Branchville had several boxcars on its property on that last day
of passenger service. There were a few freight cars at Newton as well.
I don't think there was another siding on the line. Maybe at Andover
but that was it. Possibly a shortline operator could have made it work.