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  Special Thanks to Frank Reilly and Walt Grosselfinger
for their help with this compilation
 


1839 Opening of the E&S from Elizabethport to Plainfield for steam operated locomotive "Eagle" and train.

1840 The E&S was opened from Plainfield to New Market (Dunellen)

1841 Opening of the E&S to Yellow Tavern, one-quarter mile east of Bound Brook

1842 The E&S is completed west to Somerville

1846 Foreclosure of mortgage and sale of E&S to Coffin Colket and John O. Sterns, the contractors who built the road, acting as agents for the creditors.

1846 Organization of "The Elizabethtown and Somerville Rail Road of 1846." Stephen Vail of Morristown was its first president.

1846 Start of rebuilding of the railroad; wooden rails replaced with iron "edge rails."

1847 Incorporation of the Somerville and Easton RR to build a railroad from Somerville to the Delaware River opposite Easton, PA.

1848 The S&E was constructed from Somerville to White House Road and was leased to the "E&S of '46."

1849 The "E&S of '46" was sold to the S&E and name was changed to The Central RR of NJ (CNJ)

1850 CNJ extension from Whitehouse to the Delaware River was begun under James Laurie, Chief Engineer, a founder and first president of the American Society of Civil Engineers

1851 The High Bridge over the South Branch, Raritan River (1,300 feet long, 100 feet high) and bridges over the Musconetcong, Pohatcong, and Lopatcong rivers built.

1852 Opening of the CNJ (became known as the Jersey Central), to Phillipsburg.

1853 City of Elizabeth ordinance prohibited any train speeds "greater than 8 miles per hour"

1855 An agreement was reached with the Delaware, Lackawanna, & Western RR (DL&W) for transport of its  passenger and freight trains from Hampton to the Elizabethport waterfront. The DL&W broad gauge required the CNJ to install a third rail between the two points.

1855 The CNJ was extended from Phillipsburg over the newly completed Lehigh Valley (LV) RR bridge across the Delaware River. LV passengers were transferred to and from the Jersey Central at South Easton.

1855 An agreement to move coal to tidewater similar to that with the DL&W RR was established with the LV.

1855 The first NJ state tax on railroads was imposed, costing the CNJ $13,268.69 in the first year.

1858 A through line was completed between Elizabethport, Williamsport, PA, and Elmira, NY via the CNJ, LV, Beaver Meadow, and Catawissa Railroads.

1859 Through passenger service was established between New York (via ferry connection to Elizabethport) and Pittsburgh via CNJ, LV, East Pennsylvania & Pennsylvania Central Railroads.

1859 Excursions to the Coal Fields of PA were offered from NY via ferry to Elizabethport, by rail to Hampton Junction, the Delaware Water Gap, over Pocono Mountain, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Mauch Chunk and return. Side trips over the Switchback Gravity RR to the top of Mount Pisgah were available.

1859 Through passenger cars were run from Somerville to Elizabethtown and then over the New Jersey Rail Road (later the Pennsylvania Railroad) to Jersey City.

1860 The New Jersey legislature granted permission to the CNJ to extend its line over Newark Bay to the Hudson River at Jersey City and construction began.

1861 During the Civil War the government called upon the railroads to carry troops between New York and Washington via the CNJ, LV, East Pennsylvania, Northern Central, and Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroads.

1861 The Jersey Central had more double-track railroad then any other NJ RR

1862 The first federal tax was imposed on railroads to help pay for the Civil War.

1862 The CNJ advertised as the shortest route to Chicago and the west (898 miles - in 36 hours, via connecting railroads)

1864 The CNJ bridge over Newark Bay and extension of line from Elizabethport to Communipaw (Jersey City) was opened for passenger traffic. Communipaw ferry connection to New York was re-established for steam operation with the ferryboats "Central" and "Communipaw".

1864 Jersey Central's president was authorized to purchase enough land to increase its main line right-of-way width from 66 to 100 feet.

1864 CNJ began operating sleeping cars between Jersey City and points west of the Delaware River, first in NJ in regular service.

1864 The original wood trestle at High Bridge was replaced by a fill costing $251,000.

1866 A third track was completed between Dunellen and Bound Brook. The last segment of single track on the main line, between Bloomsbury and Springtown, was double tracked. And a map was filed for a new rail alignment between Westfield and Plainfield.

1866 The LV merged the Lehigh & Mahanoy RR into its system providing, in conjunction with the CNJ, "the shortest and best route from Lake Erie to NY."

1867 Directors decide to operate the Jersey Central on Sundays. In protest, director William E. Dodge sold his stock and resigned.

1868 A track connection was made with the Lehigh & Susquehanna (L&S) RR at Easton, making a through route to Wilkes-Barre, PA. The L&S became a principal supplier of coal to the CNJ.

1868 The Jersey Central became the first railroad in America to introduce uniforms for employees. The uniforms consisted of a blue coat, pants, vest, cap with "CRR" and gilt buttons.

1869 North track of new line through Plainfield was finished and opened to traffic.

1870 Main line tracks were re-laid with steel rails replacing the former iron.

1870 By this year through sleeping car service was established in cooperation with the LV to the west.

1871 The Jersey Central leased the L&S RR from the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, giving the CNJ a continuous line from New York to Wilkes-Barre.

1872 CNJ stockholders voted to dissolve the merger with the DL&W made only six months prior.

1873 The Perth Amboy and Elizabethport RR was merged into the Jersey Central, completed by it, and became the Perth Amboy RR.

1873 The Reading, in concert with the CNJ, LV, DL&W, and Delaware & Hudson Railroads established the first American cartel in an attempt to fix the price of anthracite shipment and to limit volumes.

1874 The new branch (which became known as the Perth Amboy Branch) from Elizabethport to a junction with the New York & Long Branch RR was opened.

1874 The new line of railroad from Westfield, through Fanwood to Plainfield, eliminating grade crossings, was opened; the original rail line through Scotch Plains was abandoned.

1875 Broad gauge DL&W operations over the CNJ between Hampton and Elizabethport ended and the third rail was removed.

1875 The LV completed its own rail route, the Easton & Amboy RR, across NJ to Perth Amboy so LV didn't have to depend on the Jersey Central.

1876 In cooperation with the Philadelphia and Reading RR (Reading), trains begin operating between Jersey City and Philadelphia via Bound Brook.

1877 The Jersey Central enters receivership.

1880 CNJ locomotive #507 set a world speed record, running the 89.4 miles between Jersey City and Philadelphia in 98 minutes.

1881 The CNJ absorbed the Ogden Mine RR and captured iron traffic from the Morris Canal.

1883 The CNJ leased all of its railroads to the Reading. Shortly after that the Reading itself became insolvent.

1884 Four tracks were completed between Cranford and Westfield; three between Fanwood and Westfield.

1884 New Jersey imposed additional taxes on railroads, costing the CNJ $200,000 more annually.

1886 The Statue of Liberty was unveiled. The statue later became the basis of the logo for the Jersey Central.

1886 The B&O RR began service between Washington, DC and Jersey City using the Reading into NJ and the CNJ east of Bound Brook.

1887 The Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company forced the Jersey Central to retake possession of the L&S RR

1887 The CNJ broke its lease with the Reading and became independent.

1887 Through coal trains between Pennsylvania and Elizabethport or Jersey City began.

1887 CNJ began using Woodruff Parlor Cars on trains.

1888 A CNJ promotion to get more customers in their suburban territory by advertising and reducing fares resulted in an increase of 796,814 riders annually.

1888 The LV completed a new main line from South Plainfield to Roselle. LV freight trains then used the CNJ from Roselle to LV docks at the Big Morris Canal Basin in Jersey City. LV passenger trains continued to use the PRR Exchange Place Terminal in Jersey City via Metuchen.

1889 The current CNJ terminal in Jersey City was opened and the four track main line was completed to Bound Brook. During the peak years 40,000 passengers used the facility daily.

1889 The LV completed its own RR between Roselle and Jersey City withdrawing from the CNJ.

1890 The CNJ purchased land at Nolan's Point on Lake Hopatcong and laid out excursion ground, complete with dancing pavilion, swings, walking paths, and boats for rent. The Jersey Central then provided the finest short Sunday excursions to the lake. As many as 60,000 people took the trips every summer in the early 1900's. Accommodations were available at Nolan's Point Villa and the more expensive Hotel Breslin. The round trip could be had from Jersey City and intermediate points for $1 and a hot noon meal for 50 cents.

1890 Royal Blue Line trains, a cooperative arrangement between the CNJ, Reading, and B&O Railroads inaugurate service between Jersey City and Washington.

1890 From this year through 1915, 9,000,000 of the 12,000,000 immigrants who passed through Ellis Island reached the US interior via the CNJ.

1892 A Jersey Central locomotive was clocked on the Reading west of Bound Brook at 91.7 miles per hour.

1892 CNJ locomotive #385 set a world speed record of 105 miles per hour between Plainfield and Westfield.

1892 The CNJ is leased to the Port Reading RR, a subsidiary of the Reading.

1893 The world's first motor operated signal was installed on the Jersey Central near Phillipsburg.

1893 The restored, historic Camden & Amboy RR "John Bull", the first steam locomotive to operate in NJ travels under its own power on the PRR main line over the CNJ main line in Elizabeth enroute to the World's Colombian Exposition in Chicago.

1898 The second big California gold rush induced the B&O to begin the first transcontinental passenger trains from Jersey City to San Francisco without change of cars.

1901 The CNJ built a new locomotive shop at Elizabethport. The 160 acre site employed more than 600 workers and had a total of 600,000 square feet of buildings. Facilities included : Machine Erecting and Boiler Shop; Freight Car Repair Shop; Blacksmith Shop; Passenger Car Repair Shop; Automotive Repair Shop; Air Brake Repair Shop; Passenger Car Paint Shop; Upholstery and Dye Shop; Locomotive Blacksmith Shop; Planing Mill; Boiler Shop; Flue Shop; Power House; and Storehouses.

1901 Automatic electric block signals were installed between Bound Brook and White Haven, PA.

1902 The Jersey Central inaugurated the "Queen of the Valley" express passenger train between Jersey City and Harrisburg, PA.

1903 The Liberty Bell traveled via a special train on the PRR main line over the CNJ main line at Elizabeth enroute to Boston for the celebration of the 128th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

1904 Public Service (PS) RR commenced through interurban trolley service from Jersey City to Trenton via Newark, Elizabeth, Plainfield, Bound Brook, and New Brunswick. The segment between Elizabeth and Bound Brook was originally known as the Main Line and was later identified as the #49 Union Line. The PS Main Line roughly paralleled the CNJ Main Line and crossed under it at Elizabeth, Westfield, Plainfield, Dunellen, and Bound Brook.

1910 A sixth track was installed between Cranford and Westfield.

1910 A speed record between Jersey City and Washington of 226 miles in 4 hours and 7 minutes, including stops for locomotive changes and stations, was set during a heavy snow storm.

1911 Several additions were constructed to the Elizabethport freight car repair shop complex, including a 179' x 600' building for freight car repairs, by the John W. Ferguson Co. and Phoenix Iron Co.

1913 LV passenger trains began using the Jersey Central from Oak Island Junction to Communipaw and the CNJ Jersey City Terminal.

1916 An explosion at Black Tom, south of the CNJ Jersey City Terminal, involved scores of carloads of ammunition delivered by the Jersey Central and LV.

1917 The US Government took over all railroads for the duration of World War I.

1917 The Westfield grade crossing elimination project was completed.

1918 Through passenger trains of the B&O and LV Railroads were shifted from Jersey Central's Jersey City Terminal to Pennsylvania Station in New York City by the United States RR Administration. B&O freight trains continued using the CNJ. LV commuter trains were routed to the PRR Exchange Place Terminal.

1920 Government operation of railroads ends.

1922 "The Mermaid" passenger train was inaugurated to carry summer vacationers from Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Mauch Chunk, Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton to the Jersey Shore via Elizabethport.

1926 B&O passenger trains were forced to return to Jersey Central's Jersey City Terminal by the PRR; those of the LV did not. The B&O commenced providing free bus connections for its patrons between points in New York City and trainside at Jersey City.

1926 The new draw bridge over the Newark Bay was opened for service.

1927 Beginning in this year the sprawling Mack Truck Co. plant adjacent to the CNJ main line in Plainfield manufactured small railroad switching locomotives. The last unit was sold in 1937.

1928 Special trains were operated under contract to the American Zeppelin Transport Co. to carry zeppelin passengers and mail between Lakehurst and NYC. The CNJ also operated special trains for sightseers to each arriving and departing zeppelin.

1929 The "Blue Comet" train, with fine quality dining service, was established between Jersey City and Atlantic City via Elizabethport and Winslow Junction.

1929 The "Bullet" passenger train was established between Wilkes-Barre and Jersey City by the CNJ.

1930 The "Williamsporter" was established between Williamsport, PA and Jersey City. Railway Post Office service was begun on that train.

1930 The Cranford grade crossing elimination project was completed.

1931 The B&O introduced the world's first completely air-conditioned passenger train, the "Columbian", between Jersey City and Washington.

1931 The B&O inaugurated "Rail-Air Passenger Service" between Jersey City and Los Angeles/San Francisco.

1931 A major grade crossing elimination project in the Elizabeth - Elizabethport area was ordered by the NJ Public Utilities Commission.

1933 The Reading assumed control of the CNJ under Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) authorization.

1933 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt traveled between the White House and his home in Hyde Park, NY by rail, frequently using the CNJ-Reading-B&O Route. Buck Benny Rides Again was the code name used to indicate that Roosevelt was on the train.

1935 The B&O introduced its new streamlined "Royal Blue" train employing the first streamlined diesel-electric locomotives in long distance service.

1935 Trolleys on the PS #49 Union Line are replaced by the hybrid gasoline/electric All-Service Vehicle. The more than 400 new trolley busses were transported to NJ on flat cars over the CNJ Main Line.

1936 The Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy RR's new "Denver Zephyr" streamliner traveled over the CNJ main line enroute from Budd in Philadelphia to the CB&Q in Chicago.

1937 The Reading began "Crusader" service with a new stainless steel streamlined train between Philadelphia and Jersey City via Bound Brook.

1937 The largest CNJ excursion moved 17,374 passengers between Bayonne and Asbury Park on 19 trains of 12 cars each.

1937 The CNJ operated a special train from Raritan to California and Washington state for the Civilian Conservation Corps volunteer workers. It consisted of 8 Pullman Cars and 4 baggage cars (two of the latter were converted to kitchen cars)

1937 Billions of dollars of gold reserves was moved from NYC vaults to a new gold vault at Fort Knox. The shipments continued for two years and were alternated between the CNJ and the PRR so as not to establish a pattern. The CNJ movements were on armored vehicles from NYC via their ferryboats to Jersey City Terminal where they were transferred to trains via the CNJ main line for the first part of its journey.

1937 With the destruction of the zeppelin Hindenberg at Lakehurst, the special CNJ connecting trains ceased.

1938 The Railroad Enthusiasts, Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, and Railroad Magazine sponsored an advertised trip over the B&O from Jersey City, Elizabeth, and Plainfield to Harper's Ferry, VA. A stop was scheduled at Brunswick, MD for inspection of the yard and engines there. The locomotive George H. Emerson was expected to pull the train on the same day round trip. Fare was to be $4.50

1938 North Jersey Chapter National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) announced an "Extraordinary Excursion" over the Jersey Central from Jersey City to Brideton, Bivalve, Lakehurst, Tuckerton (former Tuckerton RR) and the Raritan River RR to New Brunswick and return. Blue Comet equipment, including diner was used and a sightseeing gondola was to be attached to the train. Fare was to be about $2.50 The Jersey Central was to handle all the reservations! The trip, was apparently too good to be true, as it was rescheduled to the spring of the following year with several changes.

1938 Through sleeping car service between Jersey City and New Orleans began.

1939 Principally because of heavy New Jersey taxes, Jersey Central filed a petition for reorganization under federal bankruptcy statues.

1939 North Jersey Chapter NRHS arranged an "Excursion" over the CNJ from Jersey City to Bridgeton (including a stop at the roundhouse), Bivalve, Lakehurst, and Tuckerton and return. Blue Comet equipment, including a diner (service 85 cent lunch and $1 dinner) was used. The fare was $4.25

1939 Railroad Enthusiasts advertised a three day railfan journey via the B&O from Jersey City, Elizabeth, and Plainfield to N&W's great shops at Roanoke, VA with stops at Silver Spring and Luray Caverns. Round trip fare from NY was $13.60 with air-conditioned hotel $2 per night and breakfast 50 cents.

1941 Last run of the CNJ "Blue Comet"

1943 The US office of Defense Transportation ordered the CNJ to discontinue 68 of 338 weekday suburban passenger trains due to shortages caused by World War II

1943 Large volumes of petroleum products were handled over the CNJ from points west to the world's largest tank car yard which was opened at Tremley. This was necessary because German submarines were sinking many ships transporting oil from the Gulf of Mexico to the east coast.

1943 CNJ moved 450 carloads of machinery/material for the manufacture of the atom bomb over the main line.

1945 The war-torn aircraft carrier USS Franklin was cut up for scrap which was moved to Bethlehem steel mills and some salvaged parts were shipped to Seattle to repair the USS Bunker Hill, all via the CNJ

1946 Jersey Central transformed its Pennsylvania properties into the Central RR Co. of PA to stop the State of New Jersey from confiscating the PA earnings of the CNJ under the guise of taxes.

1947 The first CNJ grade crossing to get automatic electric gates was Flemington Road, White House.

1947 PS substituted buses for the All-Service Vehicles on the #49 Union Line and overhead trolley wires are removed.

1948 First run of the CNJ-Reading "Wall Street" between Jersey City and Philadelphia.

1948 The first practical demonstration of television aboard a moving train was on B&O's "Marylander" between Washington and Jersey City.

1948 All steam locomotive helper service between Raritan - Hampton - Phillipsburg ended due to deiselization, saving the CNJ $385,000 annually.

1949 The ICC approved a plan of reorganization for The Central RR Company of New Jersey.

1950 The CNJ "Philadelphia Flyer" and "Scranton Flyer" trains were discontinued.

1951 CNJ dining car service between Jersey City and Allentown ended; only dining car service between Jersey City and Philadelphia remained.

1952 CNJ canceled all passenger service west of Allentown.

1953 North Jersey Chapter NRHS sponsored a Gala Spring Trip to Green Pond Junction covering the Wharton & Northern, Mount Hope Mineral RR, and the High Bridge Branch from Jersey City, Elizabethport, Elizabeth, and Plainfield. The eight-car train with 497 passengers was pulled by CNJ Pacific locomotive #810.

1953 Railroad Enthusiasts and the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society sponsored a Scenic Tour of the Reading Catawissa Branch from Jersey City, Elizabeth, and Plainfield with a stop at Cranford to view the roundhouse (still standing) and steam locomotives. Two B&O dining cars were included in the consist.

1953 All road freight trains were dieselized

1954 Last regularly scheduled CNJ steam powered passenger service, Jersey City to Cranford.

1954 North Jersey Chapter NRHS sponsored a Farewell Rail Camera Tour using the last operating camelback in America, CNJ #774, from Jersey City via Elizabethport to Freehold, Bay Head Junction, and Atlantic Highlands. Adult fare for the day was $4.50!

1955 Electric Railroaders Association sponsored a trip on the Wharton & Northern and High Bridge Branches using CNJ #774, from Jersey City and Elizabethport.

1955 Railroad Enthusiasts sponsored a steam trip using CNJ #774 from Jersey City, Elizabeth and Plainfield to Jim Thorpe with B&O Dining Car Service.

1956 Dunellen track elevation was completed.

1958 All B&O passenger service to Jersey City ended.

1958 Two locomotives and three coaches of train #3314 passed red signals and deraild going off the end of the open Newark Bay Drawbridge, killing 44 passengers and four crew members and injuring 50.

1959 The North Jersey Chapter NRHS and the Railroad Enthusiasts sponsored a Rail Camera Inspection Tour to the Reading, PA shops from Jersey City, Elizabethport and Plainfield.

1959 A crewless, runaway diesel locomotive, #1706, departed the Jersey City Terminal moving west. At Elizabethport it was shunted south toward Perth Amboy. The engine roared out of control at speeds averaging 40 miles per hour for 36 minutes until it was finally "caught" by another locomotive which got up to speed ahead of the runaway and stopped it. The throttle of the "ghost locomotive" was found wide open...

1960 The Trolley Museum of New York sponsored a Rail Diesel Car (RDC) trip from Jersey City, Elizabethport, and Plainfield to Rockaway and return.

1960 First state subsidy for commuter trains to CNJ

1961 Railroad Enthusiasts operated a Rail-Camera Excursion from Jersey City to Green Pond Junction and return using RDC's.

1961 TOFC (Trailer on Flat Car) service began over CNJ, Reading, and B&O route.

1961 Service with RDC's inaugurated between New York and Allentown. Discontinued in 1964.

1963 Second day freight service was inaugurated between Jersey City and Chicago

1965 End of US Post Office mail service on the CNJ

1965 Centralized Traffic Control was installed on 13 miles between Hampton and Phillipsburg

1966 CNJ began push-pull passenger train service

1966 Steamtown, USA and High Iron Co. sponsored a Steam Safari using CPR #1278 from Jersey City, Elizabeth and Plainfield to Jim Thorpe and return

1967 Passenger service between Jersey City and Allentown was discontinued; cut back to Hampton.

1967 Service to Jersey City was rerouted to Newark Penn Station via the LV route with a new connection provided at Aldene. CNJ ferry service ended and Jersey City Terminal was closed.

1967 Jersey Central filed for final bankruptcy

1967 The High Iron Co. operated a Safari #2 from Elizabethport to Bridgeton and return using CPR steam locomotive #1286. Safari #4 operated from Elizabeth, Plainfield, and High Bridge to Green Pond Jct. and return using CPR #1286 and #1238. Safari #5 operated from Elizabeth to Jim Thorpe and return with same locomotive.

1968 A steam excursion using CPR steam locomotive #127 was operated to Jim Thorpe on February 25th.

1968 High Iron Co. operated a double headed (CPR locomotives 1286 & 1238) steam excursion from Newark Penn Station via Plainfield to Wilkes-Barre and return.

1968 High Iron Co. Iron Horse Ramble ran with NKP #759 from Elizabeth & Plainfield to the Palmerton, PA festival and return.

1968 First locomotives purchased by New Jersey Department of Transportation, EMD GP40Ps, start arriving on CNJ.

1969 CNJ became part of the first "land bridge" rail route between west and east coasts, which by-passed the Panama Canal saving 10-20 days on Asia-Europe freight shipments.

1969 High Iron Co. operated a steam excursion with NKP #759 from Jersey City to Jim Thorpe.

1972 CNJ operations in PA were terminated.

1972 New run-through service was inaugurated between Jersey City and Harrisburg in cooperation with the Reading.

1972 Freight pool service was begun with the Erie Lackawanna RR between Jersey City and Scranton via the CNJ Main Line and High Bridge Branch. That ended with the 1976 Conrail takeover.

1972 The first air conditioned commuter coaches for the general public were purchased by NJDOT and placed in service on the CNJ and other NJ RR's. They were built in the 1940's and 50's and were obtained second hand. A number of these cars have been preserved and are in the URHS collection.

1972 Winter Steam Excursions from Elizabeth to Bethlehem and return using Reading locomotive #2102 by Steam Tours, Inc.

1972 Steam Tours, Inc. and the Railroad Enthusiasts operate "The Royal Blue" excursion from Elizabeth via the CNJ-Reading-B&O route to Washington, DC and return the following day using Reading #2102.

1973 The Railroad Enthusiasts sponsored a trip from Elizabeth to the High Bridge and Wharton & Northern Branches.

1974 Passenger service from Hampton to Phillipsburg was restored.

1974 CNJ operated "The Mermaid" service from Raritan to the Jersey Shore via Elizabethport

1975 Mainline Steam Foundation sponsored a "Blue Comet Nostalgia Special" from Raritan to Bay Head Jct. and return using steamers FEC #148 and CPR #972

1975 Extension of PATH from Newark via Elizabeth over CNJ to Plainfield was proposed.

1976 Conrail took over operation of the Jersey Central and five other bankrupt railroads. B&O freight train operation over CNJ ended.

1976 PATH extension to Plainfield was defeated

1976 Liberty State Park opened with the former CNJ Terminal the focal point.

1978 The "Bayonne Scoot", passenger service from Bayonne to Cranford ended, terminating 142 years of passenger service on parts of the line. The Newark Bay Drawbridge was abandoned and later removed.

1981 Service on the CNJ-Reading route between Newark and Philadelphia was eliminated by NJ Transit.

1982 Passenger service to West Trenton ended.

1982 Tri-State Railway Historical Society (RHS) operated a fall foliage excursion from Newark and Roselle Park to Allentown and return using NJDOT E8 locomotives.

1983 NJ Transit took over commuter rail operations from Conrail

1984 Passenger service to Phillipsburg ended.

1985 Tri-State RHS "Farewell to the CNJ" trip from Newark, Cranford, Dunelle, and Raritan to P'burg & return.

1985 Railroad Passenger Services Corp. sponsored a Hershey Park Special Excursion from Newark and the Raritan Valley Line to Hershey Park and return.

1987 NJ Transit opened the Meadows Maintenance Center making the former CNJ E-port shops redundant. Machinery and parts were relocated to the MMC. Passenger equipment moves between Aldene and E-port Shops for maintenance cease. Many shop buildings were demolished, but the 1901 locomotive shop and some other structures survive.

1988 Tri-State RHS hosted the NRHS convention with the following trips using portions of the CNJ Main : Bound Brook to Selkirk, NY behind triple headed Morristown & Erie Alco diesels; Bound Brook to Reading via Philadelphia; and Bound Brook to Reading via Allentown, the latter both using NKP #765.

1991 Waterfront Connection was opened; Raritan Valley trains began operating to and from Hoboken

1993 NJ Transit released the Newark - Elizabeth Rail Link Options Study. The planned light rail route incorporated a segment of the former CNJ RoW between E-port and downtown Elizabeth.

1993 A real estate development project near the site of the CNJ Elizabeth Station proposed to build on a portion of the main line route.

1994 The Scoping Summary Report for the Newark - Elizabeth Rail Link produced by the Federal Transit Admin. and NJ Transit identified the Jersey Central Main Line between E-port and Plainfield as a NERL Future Candidate System Extension.

1995 The CNJ Main Line was determined to be eligible for the New Jersey and National Historic Registers. The revised Elizabeth development project preserving the CNJ right-of-way and incorporating the restoration of the CNJ station was approved. 

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