Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New short line starts up in New Jersey

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A new short line railroad operator, the New Jersey Seashore Lines, began existence this week as rail right-of-way once owned by the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) was cleared of underbrush in preparation for upgrading.

The 13 miles of right-of-way, owned by the Clayton Sand Co., will be rehabilitated to allow access to the company’s sand mine in Woodmansie, located in the state’s Pine Barrens region. Clayton Sand has contracted with New Jersey Seashore Lines to operate service on the route between Woodmansie and Lakehurst, where ex-CNJ right-of-way is owned by New Jersey Transit Corp.

All grade crossings along the stretch will be upgraded, with funding provided by the state’s Department of Transportation, one source told Railway Age.

The development follows a decision by the Surface Transportation Board Sept. 25 which, in part, noted, “Anthony Macrie (Macrie), a noncarrier individual, filed a verified notice of exemption pursuant to 49 CFR1180.2(d)(2) to continue in control of Cape May Seashore Lines, Inc. (CMSL), an existing Class III carrier, and its corporate affiliate New Jersey Seashore Lines, Inc. (NJSL), upon the latter becoming a common carrier.”

“NJSL concurrently filed a verified notice of exemption ... to operate line of rail ... owned by a shipper, Clayton Companies, Inc. (Clayton) [Editor's note: SIC], but Clayton is not an applicant here,” the decision read. “According to the parties’ filings, after Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) abandoned the line, Clayton acquired it from Conrail in 1985 for use as a private industry track. Clayton has now engaged NJSL to operate the line for 10 years ...  NJSL states that it will hold itself out to provide common carrier rail freight service over the line during the 10-year period.”