Rail Passenger Service To End In County Oct. 3
Newton--The last remaining railroad passenger service
in Sussex County will be terminated Oct. 3 when the Erie Lackawanna
Railroad puts new schedules in operation and discontinues all but freight
service between Netcong and Andover Junction. The company has been operating
one passenger train out of Andover Junction in the Morning and one back
Discontinuance of the passenger service in Sussex County
is in accordance with Public Utilities Commission ruling, which also
permits the company to reduce service on other branch lines by about
50 per cent.
The PUC originally granted permission for discontinuance
of the Netcong-Andover Junction passenger service last May, but ordered
suspension stayed until the railroad company submitted satisfactory
revised schedules for other operations. The schedules have now been
submitted and approved, and the discontinuance approved for Oct. 3.
Last May, the PUC permitted the company to halt all
service between Andover Junction and Branchville. The last passenger
train to operate north of Andover Junction was on July 13. Freight service
has also been discontinued north of Andover Junction, but there will
still be freight service between Netcong and Andover Junction. The nearest
operating passenger station will be at Netcong.
The railroad company sought permission to discontinue
service on the Sussex Branch because of constantly declining business.
The Sussex Branch dates back to 1848 when the line was incorporated
as the Sussex Mine Railroad. Three years later the line connected with
the Morris and Essex Railroad, and in 1853 changed its name to Sussex
Railroad Company. The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad bought
the controlling interest in the line in 1881, and ultimately fully merged
with the DL&W in 1945. Later the DL&W merged with the Erie Railroad
to become the Erie Lackawanna.
Also pending is the company's application before the
Interstate Commerce Commission for permission to discontinue four main
line passenger trains between Hoboken, Binghamton, N.Y., and Chicago
Ill. The company contends it is losing $237,000 a year on the service.
Under the New Jersey PUC order, complete service will
be discontinued between Netcong and Washington.