New York and Greenwood Lake Railway (1878–1943)
New York & Greenwood Lake service
The Montclair Railway was established in 1867. It was founded by Julius Pratt, who had renamed Montclair, New Jersey, for what was then West Bloomfield. By the mid-1870s it ran between Croxton and Sterling Forest at the New York state line, but the financially unstable railroad went into receivership, and in 1875 became the Montclair and Greenwood Lake Railway In 1878 the company was re-organized as the New York and Greenwood Lake Railway (NYGL), under control of the Erie.
In 1887, the Erie created a new subsidiary, the Arlington Railroad, to create a new, more direct ROW in the Kearny Meadows between the Hackensack River and Passaic River. In the mid-1890s, the Erie greatly expanded the infrastructure and service on the Greenwood Lake, taking over the Watchung Railway in 1895 and the Caldwell Railway and the Roseland Railway in 1897, the former becoming the Orange Branch and the latter two the Caldwell Branch. In 1897, the Erie opened the DB Draw over the Hackensack and the WR Draw over the Passaic providing the company a modernized ROW from its Pavonia Terminal through the Long Dock Tunnel and across the Meadows.
The property was acquired directly in 1943 by the Erie Railroad, which merged with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in 1960, to create the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. Passenger service on the line north of Mountain View, to Greenwood Lake, was abandoned in stages.
Conrail operated commuter rail on the line from 1976 to 1982, when New Jersey Transit Rail Operations took over. The line south and east of Mountain View is operated as part of the Montclair-Boonton Line and runs now to Hoboken, with Midtown Direct service into New York Penn Station. Three passenger stations (Arlington, Rowe Street and Benson Street) were abandoned when the Montclair Connection opened in 2002.
Conrail continued to operate freight service on the line until 1999, when the Norfolk Southern Railway took over. Norfolk Southern operated on the Orange Branch until 2010 when the last remaining shipper Hartz Mountain closed their Bloomfield plant.
- Railroads in New Jersey, The Formative Years, by John T. Cunningham, 1997, Afton Publishing Co., Inc.
- "Erie Railroad" (PDF). Inventory June 1918. June 30, 1918. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- "JULIUS HOWARD PRATT DEAD.; Named Montclair and Built New York & Greenwood Lake Railroad". New York Times. October 15, 1909.
- Olsen, Kevin. "A Short History of the New York and Greenwood Lake Railroad". msuweb.montclair.edu. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- "The Montclair Railway.; Handed Over To The New-York And Greenwood Lake Company" (PDF). The New York Times. December 18, 1878.
- "New Branch of the Erie" (PDF), The New York Times, March 23, 1887, retrieved 2012-06-06
- "Railroad Facilities A new branch which will benefit New Jersey people" (PDF), The New York Times, November 16, 1880, retrieved 2012-06-06