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Garden State Parkway

Overpass: Garden State Parkway


Looking south towards the Garden State Parkway overpass in Kenilworth. 1990. Photo taken by Peter Thornton, courtesy of Don Maxton.

#17 ducks under the Garden State Parkway on its way towards the Kenilworth Yard. 12/22/1971.
Photo taken by Tom Piccirillo.

#16 works a cut of cars underneath the Parkway. The track to the right of the train is a long spur to White Labs (later Schering). Photo taken by Joseph D. Korman.


As Union County became ever-more congested during the years of the Rahway Valley Railroad's operation, several major highways made invasions into Rahway Valley Territory. The Garden State Parkway , originally designated as Route 4 Parkway, was constructed through Union County from 1947 to 1950. The new highway crossed over the Rahway Valley Railroad with an overpass, between the Boulevard and Market Street grade crossings, just south of the present day A&P. Unlike the tumultuous relationship the railroad had with Route 22 (a crossing made at grade), the railroad and the Parkway had a relatively quiet and uneventual relationship.

However, during the construction of the highway, there was a rather eventful day. Bob Hoeft, a RVRR fireman at the time, relates the following story ---- " Well, one day, before they intended, they had to put it in service. About 10:30 AM, one morning, we were pulling a good size train with the No. 13  (a light 73 ton Baldwin Consolidation) west on the main paralleling Market Street in Kenilworth when a power shovel that was digging a ditch (for whatever reason - it might have been related to the Garden State Parkway which was under construction) on the fireman's side swung 180 degrees and was going to hit the locomotive. I saw it coming and pulled the air as I 'joined the birds'.

The bucket smashed the headlight, broke the bell harp from the locomotive, which, with the bell, fell to the walkway on the engineer's side. Continuing, the bucket hit the steam dome a glancing blow and bent the pops causing a deafening roar of escaping steam, bouncing upward and when we stopped, the bucket was resting on the caboose putting a big gash in the roof. We carried the caboose behind the tank (tender).

With the loss of steam at the pops, we knew we would soon be dead so we cut the engine off and ran like hell for the Kenilworth Office. When Clark saw it and us, he vehemently cursed everything and everybody individually for letting it happen. We still had a days work ahead of us so we started the diesel and went back to our train. The crane operator, who spoke broken English but good Italian, denied putting the hole in the caboose roof." (See The Line's First Diesel )

Looking south towards the Garden State Parkway overpass in Kenilworth. Photo taken by Jeff Jargosch.

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