In 1967, the Central Railroad of New Jersey became the first major northeastern railroad to declare bankruptcy, becoming the “canary in the coal mine” for the virtual collapse of the northeastern railroad industry that followed over the next several years. As its competitors also began to fall around it, the CNJ trudged along, saddled by increasing debt and failing infrastructure while it attempted to continue both freight and state-subsidized commuter operations. The 1970s found the railroad in dilapidated shape and fighting for survival as its physical plant shrank and its traffic dwindled.
This book covers the first 16.2 miles of the railroad’s east end during the CNJ’s final six years of independent operations, from its vacated facilities at Communipaw on the Hudson River waterfront to its bustling, busy junction at Cranford. Over 150 color photos illustrate the railroad’s equipment, facilities, and operations in the last years before the CNJ’s merger into Conrail in 1976.