The Railway Switching Terminal at Maybrook - Purple Mountain Press

Gateway to the East

by Marc Newman with the Maybrook Railroad Historical Society

From the beginning of Chapter Two: NYNH&HRR et al.

The Central New England Railway Company took control of the rail line that was controlled by the Philadelphia, Readubg & New England Railroad and established a small terminal at Orange Junction (Maybrook). The terminal consisted of a few tracks for the westbound trains and a few tracks for the eastbound trains with a small roundhouse to service and repair train engines. Central New England constructed a two-story administration building and made living quarters available for its permanent workers.

Many railroads made use of the Maybrook Switching Terminal, including the New York, New Haven & Hartford, the Ontario & Western, the New York Central, the Erie (Erie Lackawanna), the Lehigh & New England, and the Lehigh & Hudson. The Lehigh & Hudson Railroad was an important freight service for traffic to and from New England. By 1882, the Lehigh & Hudson River Railway Company and the Warwick Valley Railroad Company had merged to form the Lehigh & Hudson Railway Company. The Lehigh & New England Railroad organized the Orange County Railroad Company in the late 1880s. That company shipped services and goods such as anthracite and bituminous coal, farm perishables, iron, steel, and petroleum, especially from Easton, Pennsylvania, to Maybrook. Before the mid-1890s, the Lehigh & New England Railroad was the Pennsylvania, Poughkeepsie & Boston Railroad.

By the late 1890s, the newly created Lehigh & New England laid track from New Jersey to Campbell Hall, which connected to the Erie Railroad tracks. After the completion of the Poughkeepsie Bridge, the Lehigh & New England delivered coal and steel from Allentown and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, through the Maybrook yard. Before the 1950s, the Lehigh & New England Railroad had converted its engines from coal to diesel. During the height of its operation, the company freighted services through portions of northern New Jersey, crossing the Delaware River at the bridge between Portland, Pennsylvania, and Columbia, New Jersey.

Through a series of interchanges with the Lackawanna and the New York, Susquehanna & Western, the Lehigh & New England was able to make use of the Maybrook yard. Unlike many other railroads, the Lehigh & New England used the Maybrook terminal exclusively for freight service and had no passenger service. In the late 1950s, the Lehigh & New England Railroad Company downsized its operations. By 1961, the company had closed. Parts of the line were sold to other railroads, and the New Jersey Central Company and Conrail used other portions of it.

Marc Newman is an award-winning teacher who has published books on the Civil War and American Revolution.

85 pages, 100+ vintage photos and track plans, 8.5 x 11, index, 1995
$12.50 paperback--A Purple Mountain Press original, 2006

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