Belvidere and Delaware River Railway
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|Locale||Hunterdon County, New Jersey|
|Dates of operation||1995–|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Headquarters||Phillipsburg, New Jersey|
The Belvidere and Delaware River Railway Company (reporting mark BDRV) is a class III railroad in the United States. It was formed in 1995 when the Conrail Delaware Secondary was purchased by the Black River Railroad System, which operates several railroad services in western New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. The Black River Railroad System also owns and operates the Black River & Western Railroad. The trackage bought was a portion of the former Belvidere-Delaware Railroad which was controlled by the Pennsylvania Railroad and then the Penn Central.
The main operation of BDRV is freight service south along the Delaware River from Phillipsburg to Carpenteersville, a distance of 7 miles along the scenic Delaware River in New Jersey. Much of the industry is lumber, stone, chemicals and raw materials. Service is provided three days per week. Originally BDRV served the James River Paper plant in Milford, New Jersey, taking over the task from Conrail but that ended in July of 2003 when the paper plant closed. The paper plant today is currently a SuperFund site. No train has been to Milford since early 2004 when the last train left with some of the remaining freight cars that were on the paper plant property. Freight service to Congregated Paper in nearby Riegelsville, Pennsylvania was also terminated in early 2004 when the firm switched from railroad to trucking for product shipment.
The Belvidere and Delaware River Railway connects with Norfolk Southern in Phillipsburg, which provides connections to the national rail network. Commercial agreements also provide a connection with the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPRS) at Allentown, Pennsylvania. The BDRV is a Norfolk Southern handling carrier, meaning Norfolk Southern haulage rates include delivery to BDRV customers by the BDRV.
In 2004, the NYS&W Technical & Historical Society, in partnership with the BDRV began operating steam excursions between Phillipsburg and Carpentersville, using former NYS&W #142. The #142 is an China Railways SY type 2-8-2 Mikado steam locomotive built by the Tangshan locomotive works in 1989 for the Valley Railroad in Essex, Connecticut as Valley #1647, and was sold to the NYS&W Railroad in 1992. The locomotive was renumbered 142, and operated mainline excursions on the NYS&W. The locomotive was brought out of storage by the BDRV for use on the excursions in 2004. The NYS&W Technical & Historical Society operates their trains under the banner name "Delaware River Railroad Excursions".
Since around 2009 the NYS&W T&HS has been clearing the line south of Carpentersville of vegetation, eventually reaching Milford in late 2010. The line south of Carpentersville remains to this day out of service though track gangs frequent the southern portion on rail speeders. Every year the borough of Milford has an event called "Milford Alive" which includes rail speeder rides on the defunct railroad line. There are plans to eventually return rail service to the Riegelsville area but not for Milford at this time.
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