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Route of the Rahway Valley Railroad

"New Jersey's Streak 'o Rust"
The Route of the Rahway Valley Railroad

#13 departs the LV interchange and rounds the curve before crossing Webster Ave. in Roselle Park. The scene is typical of RV ROW of the time period. The tracks are ballasted with cinders. Photo taken by Charles Roselius, collection of Don Oberding.

Here we are attempting to chronicle the Rahway Valley Railroad mile by mile, rail by rail, and tie by tie. In the first section the railroad is broken up into the six towns it served, Summit, Springfield, Union, Kenilworth, Roselle Park, and Maplewood as well as informative pages regarding the three major branch lines the railroad had, the Rahway Valley Line, the Rahway River Branch, and the Lehigh Valley Branch. All the railroad owned structures (engine sheds, stations, etc.), grade crossings, junctions, interchanges, and bridges are cataloged and chronicled. All locations are given a corresponding milepost to the nearest 0.01 mile (margin of error +/- 0.01 mile).

The second section breaks the railroad up into customer and industry lists which the railroad served throughout its history.


The Rahway Valley Railroad:
Rail by Rail, Tie by Tie

The Towns It Served





Roselle Park


The Branch Lines

Lehigh Valley Branch

Rahway River Branch

Rahway Valley Line

Roadbed and Track: The roadbed generally is in good condition. Practically all of the line is ballasted with engine cinders. There are some drainage ditches that should be cleaned out, particularly in cuts, but drainage could be considered generally good. The track was laid with second hand 70 pound rail in 1918 and 1919 with the exception of about five miles laid with new 70 pound rail in 1906. Rail is in fair condition and no renewals will be required for some time, except a small amount for broken rails and curve wear. Ties are all oak and pine, 90% of them treated, laid approximately 2,640 to the mile. Both cross and switch ties are in very good condition. The operating condition of the track generally is uniformly good. (From the August, 1944 report on the Rahway Valley Railroad by Wm. Wyer & Co.).


Maps of the Rahway Valley Railroad


In the course ninety five years that the Rahway Valley Railroad , along with its New Orange predecessors, existed the track plans and arrangements were constantly changing. As the years went by industrial concerns came and went from the railroad and the needs of existing plants changed. In tune with these changes, the railroad often moved, shortened, added, or sometimes completely removed sidings and spurs as the years went by. This section is an attempt to chronicle all of the track arrangements on the Rahway Valley Railroad over the course of 1897 to 1992.

Map of the Rahway Valley Railroad that was drawn up for the Lehigh Valley Railroad when they pondered purchasing the RV in the 1920's. Courtesy of the Steamtown National Historic Site

Map of the Rahway Valley Railroad from John J. McCoy's
Rahway Valley Railroad: Saga of a Shortline

Drawn by Thomas T. Taber, III


- Lackawanna Interchange

B - Summit Station

C - Ashwood Avenue

D - Russell Place


- Orchard Street

B - Horseshoe

C - Baltusrol

D - Springfield Station

E - Meisel Avenue

#3 - UNION

- Liberty Avenue

B - Katemiller

C - Branch Junction

D - Unionbury

E - Morris Avenue

F - Vauxhall Road

G - Hollywood

H - Stanley Terrace


- Route 22

B - Tin Kettle Hill

C - Kenilworth

D - Boulevard

E - Parkway

F - Colfax Avenue

G - Rahway River Branch


- Westfield Avenue

B - Roselle Park

C - Aldene

D - Cranford Junction

E - Staten Island Junction


- Rutgers Street

B - Newark Heights



Customers of the Rahway Valley Railroad

Organized By Town





Roselle Park


This is what made the Rahway Valley Railroad tick, its customers, and even serve a purpose for that matter. During its lifetime the Rahway Valley served scores of different customers and shipped wide varieties of products and materials.

While many short lines are built to serve one single industry, the Rahway Valley served a wide variety of diverse customers, from coal yards to pharmaceutical companies, and everything in between. George A. Clark, the railroad's long time president, was quoted as saying the key to his railroad's success was "Instead of a few big fellows we have dozens of little ones. In slow times the big ones shut down and everything stops. If you have little fellows some of them are sure to keep on" ("New Jersey's Streak 'o Rust " TRAINS Magazine, by John T. Cunningham, October 1950)

Compiled here is a listing of the many customers that the railroad served throughout its many years, although not complete, it is an attempt at a "Master List " of Rahway Valley customers and is ever growing..



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