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Central Railroad of New Jersey, passenger trains

By | May 28, 2021

The CNJ is Classic Trains' Railroad of the Month for June 2021.

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A black and white photo of a train leaving a station
A black and white photo of a train leaving a station
CNJ’s Queen of the Valley
Jersey City–Harrisburg, Pa., Queen of the Valley departing Elizabeth, N.J., in June 1936.
Bob Lewis
A black and white photo of a train leaving a station
A black and white photo of two commuter trains passing each other
CNJ Main Line commuter trains
RDC’s eastbound, GP9 and cars westbound at Cranford, N.J., in September 1958.
Gene Collora
A black and white photo of two commuter trains passing each other
A black and white distant shot of a train station and locomotives in a rail yard
CNJ’s Harrisburg Special
Jersey City–Harrisburg Harrisburg Special at Reading Company’s Harrisburg station in April 1948.
Linn H. Westcott
A black and white distant shot of a train station and locomotives in a rail yard
A distant shot of a ferry sitting at the terminal
CNJ’s Jersey City Terminal
Ferry slips at Jersey City Terminal as seen from Hudson River in April 1967.
John A. Yohannon
A distant shot of a ferry sitting at the terminal
A black train with yellow stripes passing by buildings
CNJ Main Line commuter train
Baldwin double-ended diesel with westbound commuter train at Elizabeth, late 1950s.
Bob Krone
A black train with yellow stripes passing by buildings
A locomotive travels over a bridge as a car travels below the bridge at the same time
CNJ shuttle train
RDC on Newark–Elizabethport “shuttle service” at Elizabethport in March 1958.
John Dziobko 
A locomotive travels over a bridge as a car travels below the bridge at the same time
A black and white photo of a locomotive with big white smoke coming out of its chimney
CNJ’s Blue Comet
Jersey City–Atlantic City Blue Comet departing Jersey City, 1936.
Wayne Brumbaugh
A black and white photo of a locomotive with big white smoke coming out of its chimney
A commuter train approaching a train station
CNJ Main Line commuter train
Westbound at Roselle/Roselle Park in April 1967.
John A. Yohannon
A commuter train approaching a train station
A green train with yellow stipes approaching people outside a train station
CNJ Main Line commuter train
Eastbound push-pull equipment at Bound Brook, 1973.
George W. Hamlin
A green train with yellow stipes approaching people outside a train station
A black and white photo of a train with white smoke coming out of its chimney
CNJ Main Line express
Eastbound at track pans near Dunellen, N.J., in 1931.
R. P. Morris
A black and white photo of a train with white smoke coming out of its chimney
A locomotive moving down the tracks with a water tower in the background
CNJ Main Line commuter train
Westbound at Roselle/Roselle Park, with eastbound Lehigh Valley train above, around 1953.
I. W. King
A locomotive moving down the tracks with a water tower in the background
A black and white sign that says the train station is open from 5-12pm
CNJ’s Jersey City Terminal
Gate and sign for Jersey City–Allentown Queen of the Valley before its last run, April 29, 1967.
D. C. Wornom
A black and white sign that says the train station is open from 5-12pm
A black and white photo of two locomotives stemming off in different directions
CNJ commuter train
Camelback with westbound commuter train passing Communipaw station as Fairbanks-Morse H16-44 switches cars, July 1951.
John F. Endler Jr.
A black and white photo of two locomotives stemming off in different directions
A distant picture of a ferry terminal with the city in the background
CNJ’s Cortlandt Street ferry terminal
Ferry slips at Cortlandt Street ferry terminal in Lower Manhattan as seen from Hudson River in April 1967.
John A. Yohannon
A distant picture of a ferry terminal with the city in the background
A close up black and white photo of a locomotive
CNJ commuter tank engine
Class H1s 4-6-4T No. 229, built by Baldwin in 1923.
Classic Trains coll.
A close up black and white photo of a locomotive
A black and white photo of a train coming down the tracks with white smoke coming out of its chimney
CNJ's Blue Comet
Jersey City–Atlantic City Blue Comet, approaching Red Bank on New York & Long Branch, 1933.
Don Wood coll.
A black and white photo of a train coming down the tracks with white smoke coming out of its chimney
A black and white photo of a training moving down the tracks next to trees
CNJ North Jersey Coast commuter train
Bay Head–Jersey City train near Red Bank on New York & Long Branch, mid-1950s.
Bert Pennypacker
A black and white photo of a training moving down the tracks next to trees
A black and white photo of a train outside a station
CNJ Newark Branch commuter train
2-6-2T No. 200 and combine on Jersey City–Newark run at Newark, mid-1930s.
Robert G. Lewis
A black and white photo of a train outside a station
A black and white picture of two trains running side by side
CNJ Main Line trains
Two trains westbound at Greenville (Jersey City) in May 1941.
Herbert Weisberger
A black and white picture of two trains running side by side
A black and white photo of a locomotive on the tracks
CNJ North Jersey Coast commuter train
GP40P with Jersey City–Bay Head train at Matawan, N.J., in January 1969.
Don Wood
A black and white photo of a locomotive on the tracks

All through June 2021, Classic Trains editors are celebrating the history and heritage of the Central Railroad of New Jersey. Please enjoy this photo gallery of Jersey Central passenger trains, first published online in February 2019.

Only from Classic Trains.

3 thoughts on “Central Railroad of New Jersey, passenger trains

  1. The Blue Comet between Jersey City and Atlantic City was an excellent feature train on a budget, using new standard cars and modernized old cars. The train was pre-streamlining.

    The Central* shared a policy with the connecting Reading Company of operating combines with the baggage end either way. Note the vestibule, steps and traps on the baggage end. CNJ also hosted B&O’s Royal Blue Line from Bound Brook NJ into Jersey City.

    *Nickname in CNJ/RDG territory. I understand there was a railroad in New York with the same nickname.

  2. The Jersey Central was a Reading Railroad subsidiary throughout much of its history, and this also followed to equipment practices(though the Reading never had Baldwin “Baby Face” diesels). They might have also shared electrification practices, since the Reading had considered electrifying its primary intercity routes out of Philadelphia, to Jersey City, Bethlehem, and Reading. It’s likely CNJ may have electrified both its main line to connect with the Reading at Bound Brook, and perhaps electrify its inner New York and Long Branch trains. Since Reading already copied the PRR in its suburban Philadelphia electrification, it stands to reason that CNJ may have followed similar plans. However, the Great Depression put paid to any such plans on either CNJ or Reading…a shame, since an electrified Reading line from West Trenton to Bound Brook and an electrified CNJ(and Aldene Connection) could have provided Amtrak and NJ Transit with an alternative to its NEC line from Newark to Philadelphia. Alas, that remains an untried possibility.

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