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7/8/2002


Rail News: Rail Industry Trends
New Jersey short line to operate county-owned lines



Morristown & Erie Railway Inc. (M&E) recently filed an
application with Surface Transportation Board to rehabilitate and operate certain lines owned by Union County, N.J.


The 42-mile short line plans to activate the lines in four phases: (1) former Staten Island Railway Corp. lines in Linden; (2) former Staten Island
Railway lines in Cranford; (3) a former Rahway Valley Railroad Co. Cranford-to-Union mainline; and (4) a former Rahway Valley Union-to-Summit mainline.


M&E and the county May 9 reached a 10-year operating agreement, under which M&E will rehabilitate Phase 1 and 2 lines (except for a specified limitation in Phase 2), and initiate rail service within six months.


M&E wouldn't begin rehabilitating or servicing Phase 3 lines until it receives the county's written concurrence, at which time the short line would be required to initiate service within nine months. M&E and the county in the future would have to agree on a timetable for the Phase 4 line.


Pending STB approval, M&E would interchange traffic with Conrail, Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation at Cranford, Linden and Bound Brook, N.J., and provide through service by exercising its right to operate over New Jersey Transit's line at Cranford Junction.

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