Central Railroad Company Of New Jersey Steam Motive Power 1935-1956 By Fischer
Central Railroad Company Of New Jersey Steam Motive Power 1935-1956 By Robert F. Fischer
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Class A - 0-4-0 21
Class B - 0-6-0 25
Class C - 2-6-0 36
Class E - 0-8-0 39
Class G - 4-6-2 49
Class H - 4-6-4 61
Class I - 2-8-0 63
Class J - 2-6-2 71
Class K - 4-8-0 73
Class L - 4-6-0 79
Class M - 2-8-2 99
Class P - 4-4-2 113
Odds and Ends 117
Introduction To CNJ Steam Locomotives
A railroad's choice of motive power, disregarding financial considera-ions, is typically a function of the needs of their customers, the topography of the terrain over which the railroad operates, government imposed sanctions, and the state of technology that exists at the time the motive power is required. Selection is further defined by limitations of the railroad's physical plant, such as minimum degree of track curvature, bridge loading capacities, tunnel restrictions, side and overhead clearances, grades, and -in the case of locomotives that cannot operate bi-directionally - turning facilities. Added to these considerations is the foremost concern, economy of operation. A railroad is a business with profits their underlying motivation.
After decades of acquisitions, mergers, and consolidations - the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey (CNJ) evolved into what was, essentially, a large, tidewater, ter-
minal operation attached to a relatively short railroad. Its principal mainline ran westward from the 0.00 mile post at Jersey City, NJ, approximately 191 miles to Scranton, PA, ending 2,800' west of the 191 mile post in a connection to the New York, Ontario & Western Railroad. Between east and west termini lay the tidal marshes of the west bank of the Hudson River, the rolling hills of central New Jersey, the serpentine reverse curves of the Lehigh River Gorge, and the towering mountains of eastern Pennsylvania.
The CNJ's 19th century evolution into a terminal railroad had ultimately set the stage for future financial disaster. Income derived from freight haulage, which had been the principal activity of the pre-1960, non-subsidized CNJ, was a function of the kind of commodity shipped and the distance it traveled over the railroad measured in per diem rates (the length of time a freight car remained on the road). The longest run had been between Scranton and Jersey City but most of the interchange traffic came off the Reading Railroad at Allentown, PA, a mere 90 miles from Jersey City.
Prior to the national energy shift from predominately coal to fossil fuel during the 1930s, the CNJ had depended upon revenues generated from coal shipments. During the 1850-1860s it had prospered as a tidewater conduit for coal roads connecting at Phillipsburg and Hampton, NJ. Although the bulk transport of coal had historically earned the lowest tariff rates, the volume of these coal shipments had been great enough to encourage the CNJ to expand into multiple harbor side terminals (Elizabethport, Communipaw, and Port Johnston).
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