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The Connection with the
Central Railroad of New Jersey
(Later Conrail & NJT)

Central Railroad of New Jersey - Baltimore & Ohio - Reading - Staten Island - Rahway Valley - Chessie System - NJ Transit - Conrail

Here is a great view of Aldene/Cranford, showing the four track CNJ mainline and drill tracks. Off to the right can be seen Cranford Junction, the SIRT-CNJ connection, as well as the Agency Station located there. Off to the far left is the Cranford Roundhouse and Aldene Junction, the RVRR-CNJ connection. Dominating this view is the large CNJ signal bridge. The Garden State Parkway crosses the CNJ with its long bridge, and the opening of the Parkway's SIRT crossing is also seen at the extreme right. Almost out of site, just visible under the Parkway bridge, is the LV's bridge over the CNJ main. Romerovski Brother's tower can also be discerned.

Along the Jersey Central
(between Cranford and Roselle)


Along the
Jersey Central

(Through Cranford, Aldene, Roselle Park, and Roselle)


Along the Lehigh Valley

Aldene: CNJ/LV

Aldene Junction

Rahway Valley / CNJ

Cranford Junction

Staten Island / CNJ


Conrail at
Aldene & Cranford

NJ Transit at
Aldene & Cranford

The Suzie-Q at
Aldene & Cranford

(between Cranford and Roselle)

Cranford Station

Excee Tower

Cranford Shop Facilities
(Roundhouse; Watering & Coaling Facilities)

Aldene Station

Aldene Station

Roselle Park Roundhouse

Roselle Park & Roselle Station

Roselle Park, Aldene, and Cranford were great places to see a great deal of railroad action in their hey-day. The main railroad through this section was the Central Railroad of New Jersey (a.k.a. "Jersey Central" or 'CNJ' or 'CRR of NJ') with its four track mainline, plus drill tracks. The CNJ was a hot-bed of activity here. Long freights and famous passenger trains passed through here on their way to the Communipaw Terminal in Jersey City.

Also, through trackage rights, the Reading and Baltimore & Ohio railroads operated over the CNJ main as several of their named trains, such as the Reading's "Crusader" and the B&O's "Royal Blue," terminated at Communipaw. But perhaps the best action to see here was all the switching operations. Two shortlines, the independent Rahway Valley Railroad (RVRR) and the B&O owned Staten Island Rapid Transit Railway (SIRT) made connections with the CNJ at Aldene Junction and Cranford Junction, respectively.

The CNJ also had a number of facilities located at Aldene/Cranford, including their Cranford Roundhouse, the Excee Tower (also known as "X C" Tower), and the first and second Aldene Stations (the first of which may have been RVRR-owned). The CNJ also had other stations located in Cranford and Roselle Park, but they are not part of this page.

Aldene is the name of a section of the town of Roselle Park. Aldene, or rather "Aldene Junction " in railroad terms, was where the Rahway Valley Railroad and the CNJ made their interchange, dating as early as the New York & New Orange Railroad which built the original connection in circa 1898. The original configuration was that the Rahway Valley trackage curved east into Aldene on the northern side of the CNJ, went under the LV, passed the original Aldene Station and connected with the CNJ. Later, post-Aldene Plan of 1967, the Rahway Valley trackage was flipped to curve westward into Aldene. There was a small, but adequate, interchange located here on the northern side of the CNJ main which the Rahway Valley utilized.

Cranford, or rather "Cranford Junction ," is where the Staten Island Rapid Transit Railway (later the Staten Island Railroad, then Staten Island Railway), a subsidiary of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, interchanged with the CNJ. The SIRT trackage interchanged on the southern side of the CNJ main. There was also a sizable yard located where the CNJ met the SIRT

The Lehigh Valley Railroad also passed through this area on an embankment which elevated the line through this area. The Lehigh Valley Railroad bridged over the four track CNJ mainline, which is the large truss bridge seen in photos in this section. In early times the LV was a level route through this area and made a switch connection with the CNJ. When the CNJ denied the LV to make a 'diamond' crossing of their mainline as part of their extension to Newark, the LV trackage was elevated and built over the Jersey Central track, which discontinued the CNJ-LV interchange here. In other, nearby, areas the LV made connections with the Rahway Valley Railroad (at Roselle Park) and the Staten Island Rapid Transit Railway (at Staten Island Junction in Cranford).

Although the focus of this website is the Rahway Valley Railroad , the amount of activity at Aldene/Cranford encircling the CNJ, B&O, RDG, SIRT, as well as the RV is too difficult to ignore, and was a big part of the Rahway Valley story. This page is an attempt to capture, at least just a little bit, of the history and action that was present at Aldene/Cranford at one point in time.

See Also:

Railroad Model Craftsman, July 1949, issue

Aldene Plan

Freight Salesman on the Rahway Valley

A view of Aldene/Cranford looking north, post Aldene Plan of 1967. The Cranford Junction yards can be seen at the right, while Aldene Junction is further down the tracks on the lefthand side.


An Overview of Aldene
A Simple Map by Richard J. King

This crude and simple, yet informative, map gives the reader a feel for what Aldene and Cranford Junction looked like from the years 1898 to 1976. The main railroad on this map is the Central Railroad of New Jersey (grey-blue line) which runs east-west. Here the CNJ made connections with the Staten Island Rapid Transit line (royal blue line, owned by the Baltimore & Ohio RR) at Cranford Junction, the Rahway Valley Railroad (gray lines) at Aldene Junction (originally point #2, then moved to point #1 in 1967). The CNJ also had located here their Cranford Round House as well as their Excee Tower, which oversaw the operations in this tightly clustered area.

The original construction of the New York & New Orange Railroad followed the light gray line, coming from Kenilworth and crossing under the Lehigh Valley Railroad (red line) before connecting with the CNJ at the pointed numbered #2 in front of the original Aldene Station (marked 1st Station), which may have been RVRR owned. The original Aldene Station was razed and was thence occupied by the plant of Romerovski Brothers. The station was relocated onto the other side of the elevated LV mainline, the present location of Sun Tavern.

The RVRR-CNJ interchange, collectively known as "Aldene Junction," remained in this arragement (going under the LV) until the Aldene Plan was implemented in 1967. As part of the Aldene Plan a ramp was constructed to connect the CNJ with the LV, shown with the lime green line. The construction of this ramp posed a problem to the extant RVRR-CNJ connection. The junction was simply "flipped" to follow the dark gray line above and a new connection was made at the point marked #1.

The Garden State Parkway, constructed 1946 to 1957, bridged this consortium of railroad action right down the center, marked with the wide green line. In the years after its construction, the Parkway bridge was a looming presence at Aldene/Cranford Junction.

The area respresented in this map is divided among three towns, Cranford, Roselle Park, and Roselle. They are divided with the thin white line.

DISCLAIMER: This map is not drawn to scale, nor does it reflect the number of parallel tracks any
of the rail lines represented in this map may have had at this location at any one time.


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