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Black River and Western Railroad

Getting lost in the beautiful Hunterdon County countryside, as it stretches out from either side of the right of way of the Black River & Western Railroad is easy. All you have to do is look out the window of the railcar...


The Black River & Western Railroad, which runs from Flemington to Ringoes is a refreshing way for the whole family to see rural Hunterdon County, New Jersey

Winding more than sixteen miles through gently rolling hillsides, from Three Bridges in the north, where it meets the Conrail network, to its southern terminus along the nearby Delaware River just beyond the station in Lambertville, the Black River & Western Railroad carries shoppers and sightseers to and from stops along the railroad's main line. This shortline railroad delights young and old alike with its authentic coaches, vintage diesels, and the haunting sound of the steam whistle echoing throughout the valleys and rolling countryside of Hunterdon County.

The railroad began in 1854 when the Flemington Transportation Company built the line from Flemington south to Lambertville where it met the Pennsylvania Railroad. Eventually, the companies merged. As the Flemington line grew, the Jersey Central Railroad made tracks into Flemington from Somerville. The historic marker that denotes the meeting of these two giant railroads is still implanted in the ground. By 1885, 54 scheduled passenger trains entered and left Flemington each day. Freight traffic was also substantial, generated largely by creameries along the lines which produced up to 6000 gallons of milk a day. Two million peach trees gracing the countryside also made Hunterdon County a primary supplier of peaches for the rest of the world. But by the 1930s, when the last passenger train ran on the PRR, New Jersey's railroad traffic had dwindled. On April 25, 1953, #788, a Camelback Ten-wheeler, carrying 125 people was the last passenger train to run on the CNJ line.

In the early 1960s, the idea of rediscovering the Great American Railroad became a budding plan in the bustling town of Flemington, where a deal was made to operate a tourist line on the still-operating freight rails. Passenger service on May 16, 1965 when New Jersey Governor Richard Hughes cracked a bottle of champagne on the rear driver of Steam Locomotive #60. By 1975, Black River & Western Railroad owned and operated both the freight business and the passenger service from Three Bridges, where it interchanges its freight with the Norfolk Southern to Lambertville. The passenger trains travel between the rural farmlands of Ringoes and historic Flemington weekends from April through December with Thursdays and Fridays added during the months of July and August. Many special events run throughout the year including: The Easter Bunny Express, The Great Train Robbery, Halloween Special, October's Fall Foliage runs, and The Santa Express. Black River also hosts birthday parties, private caboose charters, Wedding trains, corporate meetings and offers group rates.

Black River & Western Railroad is a museum on wheels. The coaches, built in the 1920s, come from the Central Railroad of New Jersey and the Canadian National. There have been extensive renovations throughout the years on the coaches. During the winter of 2001, a dedicated group of volunteers stripped multiple layers of weather beaten paint from the interior walls of CN coach 494. Mahogany wood lay underneath. After sanding the wood, it was stained, varnished, and reinstalled with brass screws. The seats were spruced up by painting them with vinyl paint and by removing the aluminum coverings over the handrails of the seats to expose the original, metal handrails. Luggage racks and heater covers were painted and reinstalled. Walking into the car now is like walking back through time.

Elizabeth Griswold

Comments

Paul
05 Nov 2014, 07:05
The train does still run.
Jenny Nix
26 Sep 2014, 18:22
Is the train still running?
Jim
15 Jul 2014, 12:01
Can you please send information concerning the train ride? Please provide with time of departure, cost and location.

Thank you,
John Whisnant
31 Jul 2013, 17:54
Please send me details about the place and time of departure on Tuesday or Wednesday, August 20-21. Thank you.
christina
08 Oct 2011, 07:52
hi,,i would like to bring my grandson on a train ride..do you have times for a sunday,,thank you
Michael Kerbowski
20 Mar 2011, 08:31
Please contact me at phone 856-783-2941.
EDITH BERTAN
23 Nov 2009, 08:10
WE ORDERED TICKETS FOR THE NORTH POLE TRAIN RIDE AND I NEVER RECEIVED A CONFIRMATION.THIS WAS NOV. 16 2009.IT WAS CHARGED TO MY CREDIT CARD. I HAVE BNEEN TRYING TO REACH SOMEONE TO LET THEM KNOWBUT THERES NO ANSWER. PLEASE GIVE ME CALL. 9082171350
Mary Lou Russo
20 Sep 2009, 07:57
I am interested in this train ride for 10/10 or 10/11 for three adults and two children. Please send me the schedule, location and price for train rides. Thank you.
Michael Britton
09 Aug 2009, 05:12
Hello,\r\nDo you have a 2009 Schedule and Price List?
CHRIS KELLY
16 Jul 2009, 12:37
Do you have a schedule for 2009?\r\n\r\nThanks
Linda
12 Apr 2009, 16:14
When will you publish your Spring and Summer schedules?
Dominick
07 Apr 2009, 00:01
I would like to get information regarding to LOCATION, TIME AND PRICE FOR TRAIN RIDES. \r\n
Maritza
31 Oct 2008, 08:49
PLEASE FORWARD LOCATION, TIME AND PRICE FOR TRAIN RIDES.
Jason Okrosy
09 Oct 2008, 14:02
Do you run any excursions during the week in the fall season?
ANTHONY GRIMANDO
27 Aug 2008, 07:00
CAN MY FAMILY AND I TAKE A RIDE ON THE RAILROAD. WHAT ABOUT TIMES AND PRICE?
Jeff Scott
17 Jan 2008, 00:38
Nice story, I didn't know you coould write...
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