Southern Railroad of New Jersey
SRNJ locomotive 1801 at Winslow Junction, NJ. In the center is a trestle for the Beesley Point Secondary line of Conrail Shared Assets Operations
|Dates of operation||1991–|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Length||71 miles (114 km)|
|Headquarters||Winslow, New Jersey|
The Southern Railroad of New Jersey (reporting mark SRNJ) is a small short-line railroad company based in Winslow, New Jersey. The railroad operates freight trains in two areas in Southern New Jersey. In the Winslow area, trains operate between Winslow Junction and Pleasantville, and between Winslow Junction and the Winslow Hot Mix asphalt plant in Winslow Township. In Salem County, the company operates on the Salem Branch between Salem and Swedesboro.
JP Rail, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation doing business as SRNJ, operates tracks in the Winslow area that originally belonged to the New Jersey Southern Railroad, and which were later acquired by the Central Railroad of New Jersey (in the 1880s) and subsequently Conrail (1976) and the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT; 1984). SRNJ acquired operating rights to the 15.5 miles (24.9 km) Winslow-Vineland route, known as the Winslow Branch, from The Shore Fast Line, Inc. (SFLR) in 1991. (SFLR, a freight carrier, is not to be confused with the Shore Fast Line, an interurban passenger railroad that was operated by the Atlantic City and Shore Railroad from 1907 to 1948.)
In the 1991 transaction SRNJ also obtained rights from SFLR to operate freight trains on 30.7 miles (49.4 km) of the Atlantic City Line owned by New Jersey Transit, from Winslow to Pleasantville; and took ownership of several short sections of connecting branch lines and junctions.
The Salem-Swedesboro route, known locally as the "Salem County Branch Line," was originally part of the Salem Railroad (later the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad), and subsequently became the Salem Secondary Track on the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines (PRSL). PRSL was acquired by Conrail in 1976, and the Salem branch was sold by Conrail to the Salem County government in 1985. SRNJ contracted with the county in 1995 to take over operations on the 18.6 miles (29.9 km) route (plus a one-mile spur in Salem) from the West Jersey Railroad Co. which was awarded the initial contract by the county in 1988. Between 2009 and 2012 U.S. Rail Corporation operated the Salem line. In 2012 the county reassigned the contract to SRNJ.
Winslow Junction operations
The short line serves local businesses and interchanges freight cars with Conrail Shared Assets Operations (CSAO). SRNJ maintains an interchange yard at Winslow Junction, connecting with the Atlantic City Line and the CSAO Beesley Point Secondary Track. The Winslow branch route was restored after it was damaged by floods in 2003. As of 2014 the Winslow Junction-Vineland section of track is not in use except for the northernmost 4 miles, which serves an asphalt plant. The railroad also has trackage rights over NJT's Atlantic City Line, to Atlantic City, where their branch line to Pleasantville, NJ branches off.
Salem Branch operations
In Salem, SRNJ maintains a yard and connects with the CSAO Swedesboro Industrial Track and Salem Running Track. The Salem branch line, which is over 100 years old, is in poor condition as of 2012, and the maximum speed is 5 miles per hour (8.0 km/h). In September 2012 NJDOT announced that it will provide a $1.35 million grant to Salem County to rehabilitate the track in 2013.
- "The Southern Railroad Company of New Jersey". Southern Railroad Company of New Jersey (SRNJ). Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
- U.S. Surface Transportation Board, Washington, D.C. (2012-02-29)." JP Rail, Inc. d/b/a Southern Railroad Company of New Jersey—Operation Exemption—Rail Line in Salem County, N.J. Federal Register, 77 FR 12366
- U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), Washington, D.C. (1987-09-18). "The Shore Fast Line Inc., Operation, NJDOT 'Winslow Branch' Rail Properties; Modified Rail Certificate." Finance Docket No. 31051. 52 FR 35334
- ICC (1991-12-12). "JP Rail, Inc.; Modified Rail Certificate." Finance Docket No. 31976. 56 FR 64804.
- Salem County Planning Board, Salem, NJ (June 2012). "Salem County Traffic and Transportation Plan Element." p. 21.
- The West Jersey Railroad Co., a subsidiary of Pioneer Railcorp, was later renamed West Michigan Railroad.
- ICC (1995-10-10). "JP Rail, Inc., d/b/a Southern Railroad Company of New Jersey--Notice of Exemption--Operation of Salem Branch Rail Line in Salem County, New Jersey." Finance Docket No. 32700. 60 FR 52689.
- Clark, Randall (2009-10-17). "New operator takes control of Salem County's short line railroad; grant sought for infrastructure improvements". South Jersey Times.
- Salem County, New Jersey (2012-02-01). "Re-Assignment of Contract for Operating the Salem County Branch Line for the County of Salem."
- SRNJ. "Winslow Operations." Accessed 2012-12-24.
- SRNJ. "Salem Operations." Accessed 2012-12-24.
- "New Jersey Provides Grant for Rail Rehab". Progressive Railroading. Trade Press Media Group, Inc. 2012-09-12.