Public Service Coordinated TransportNewark, Hoboken, and Camden, New Jersey Bill Volkmer From the George Conrad Collection
Photo caption material Provided by David Pirmann through Frank Pfuhler who supplied the photos. Some photos from my own collection have been added. Caption information and corrections provided by Dave Phraner, Bill Mc Kelvey, Jack May, Frank Miklos, Joe Papay and others. Thank you one and all…….
Part I PSNJ was incorporated in 1903. Its streetcar-operating subsidiary, Public Service Railway, was formed in 1907. (In 1913 PS created a new separate subsidiary, Public Service RailROAD, to control the new revised “Short Route” of the Newark-Trenton “Fast Line” opened that year and its 1914 branch to Perth Amboy and the 1915 shuttle to Roosevelt/Chrome/Carteret.) Bus and streetcar operations were merged under a new subsidiary, Public Service Coordinated Transport, in 1928. This was transformed into Transport of New Jersey (when the only streetcar left was the Newark City Subway line) in 1972. Finally the state took all this over into its New Jersey Transit-Bus Operations in 1980.
Historical BackgroundThe Public Service Corporation of New Jersey (PSC or PSNJ) waschartered by the state on 5/6/1903, Thomas N. McCarter beingselected as its founding president, to acquire and consolidatestreetcar, electricity, and gas properties across New Jersey in whathas come to be known as the Northeast Corridor from the west shoreof the Hudson River to Trenton and Camden on the east bank of theDelaware River.Streetcar lines were left to operate under their previous names andorganizations until 8/20/1907 when they were amalgamated under anew subsidiary formed then, Public Service Railway. On 7/29/1913PS created a new separate subsidiary, Public Service RailROAD, tocontrol the revised “Short Route” of the Newark-Trenton “Fast Line”opened that year and its 1914 branch to Perth Amboy and the 1915shuttle to Roosevelt/Chrome/Carteret.It began operating buses, chiefly to connect its railhead at Tenaflywith the WW I staging area in Bergen County, called Camp Merritt.PS organized a new subsidiary, New Jersey Transportation Co., on11/14/1917, which became moribund after the war, but was revivedon 6/7/1923 as Public Service Transportation. Bus and streetcaroperations were merged into a new subsidiary, Public ServiceCoordinated Transport, on 1/31/1928.
Historical Background, Cont.The original Public Service Corporation was dissolved, as such, on7/15/1948 and transformed into “Public Service Electric and Gas”(“PSE&G” with this uniquely transposed title compared to practice inother similar companies adopting the sequence “Gas and Electric”—think of “Pacific Gas and Electric”—honoring the older fuel first, whilePS’s rendition is like saying “butter and bread” rather than “breadand butter”). PSE&G had become the parent of Public ServiceCoordinated Transport, which in 1972, was itself transformed intoTransport of New Jersey (at a time when the only streetcar left in thestate was the Newark City Subway line).Finally the state took all this over into its New Jersey Transit-BusOperations in 1980. (Then no longer in the transportation business,in 1985 PSE&G created an umbrella holding company changing initialsto PSEG for “Public Service Enterprise Group,” making itself, PSE&G,the principal subsidiary. Then, in 2005, PSEG sought to fold itself intoand become absorbed by Excelon Electric and Gas, which already hadinterests in Chicago and Pennsylvania, but was abandoned at the altarwhen state regulators prohibited the merger of this regulated publicutility as being not in the best interests of the home state and itspeople.) Joe Papay, Orlando, FL
PSNJ Postcard view at original PRR passenger station in Newark, NJ. Duringthe depression year 1935, the PRR opened a brand new edifice here inconjunction with their on-going main line electrification project. The newstation included a trolley subway in the basement.
PSNJ construction of entrance to Cedar Street subway from WashingtonStreet. November 24, 1915. Track lead to new Public Service building, thenunder construction, at Park Place, in downtown Newark, opened in 1916.Almost twenty years would pass before the City Subway line, using the MorrisCanal bed, would connect to Newark’s newly constructed Penn Station.
The Public Service (all rail) Terminal Building at Park Place in Newark, New Jersey probably made in 1916 when opened.
PSNJ 3525 replete with HL control, MU couplers and jumperreceptacles. Probably taken in 1916 when terminal building was opened for business.
PSNJ 3537, signed up for the revised (1913-1924) cross-state fast line run toTrenton. Probably taken in 1916 when terminal building was first opened forbusiness.
PSNJ 3500 series car leaves thePublic Service Building, seen in thebackground. Opened in 1916, thebuilding barely served rail cars for 20years before being given overentirely to buses. The following slide depicts the sceneafter buses took over.
The Public Service Building in downtown Newark, NJ. Scene was apparently taken after buses came to dominate the once all rail structure.
PSNJ 3212 is entering the upper level of the Newark downtownterminal from Mulberry Street on August 16, 1937, almost 2 monthsafter regular service here had ceased, (June 20, 1937). This wasobviously a “Special” run arranged for a railfan excursion.
PSCT ASV 9293 on the Rt. 25 – Springfield line Being in the yellowpaint scheme identifies this as a pre-WWII photo. Post war, thebuses were painted grey.
PSNJ 2651 Crossover at Newark, NJ City Limits July 2, 1936. Thiscar is currently undergoing restoration at Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Car is operating on Rt. 11 – Elizabeth.
PSNJ 2657 Passaic Wharf August 29, 1915 This is one of few photos showing glass windows in the clerestory.
Map Courtesy Morning Sun Books New Jersey Trolleys in Color ByJoseph Eid and Barker Gummere 2002
PSCT 2761 on #3 Bergen line at Orange St. Newark, NJ. Note girder bridge over the DL&W behind ca r.
PSNJ 2736 is also on the “3 Bergen” line in Newark at Orange St.preparing to switch ends and directions to its other destination,Wilson Ave. Crossover to the other track is to right of camera.Route numbers were displayed on the roof of cars operating in theEssex Division, centered in Newark.
PSNJ 2306 is also on the “3 Bergen” line in Newark ostensibly at theWilson Avenue end of the line, preparing to switch ends anddirections to its other destination, Orange St. This photo apparentlypre-dates route numbers being displayed on the roof.
PSNJ 4086, a Center Aisle open car, on the Rt. 31. The name of theline, as attested by the sign on its side, was “South Orange Avenue”line (“South” and “Avenue” commonly abbreviated), NOT the“S[outh] Orange” line. It should be noted that single ended opencars with center aisles were an American rarity of the first order.
PSNJ 2691 on Broad St. Newark, NJ March 24, 1935 Car, on the27- Mt. Prospect line, is a single ended car. Note the lack of foldingsteps on the side facing the photographer. It is unusual in that it hasa back up pole, but no retriever on the front dash. Front pole was toaid in turning the car at wyes because of heavy motor vehicle traffic.Also notice that this car was one of those somewhat deluxe carswhich wore a red (maroon) and cream livery. That scheme wasdiscontinued in the 1940s when all cars returned to the PS’straditional two-tone yellow paint scheme.
Car 1526 is seen running here on May 14, 1936 (just a little over a year before railservice was discontinued) on the Newark-Jersey Cite route originally designated the“Plank Road” line, that was changed to “1 Newark” in 1916. The line’s private right-of-way occupies the center of Business US 1 and 9, also known as the Lincoln Highway here(originally the Newark Plank Road itself). The elevated road in the background is thePulaski Skyway (cited in Orson Wells’ famous frightening broadcast of the War of theWorlds), which was built as an expressway over the meadows to carry non-commercialUS 1 and 9 traffic between the east side of Newark and the Holland Tunnel approachroad in Jersey City. Much later the NJ Turnpike was constructed across here in back ofthe photographer, with a ramp joining the Lincoln Highway just about where thephotographer was positioned.
Trenton Fast Line Remnant The next slide shows the other of the two cross- meadow routes operating from the Hudson River waterfront at Exchange Place in Jersey City to downtown Newark. This line was originally called the “Turnpike” line while the other was the “Plank Road” line. When both were to be switched from their previous street termini in Newark to the new Public Service terminal building at Park Place (previously depicted), this “Turnpike” line became (Essex Division) “43 Jersey City” and the “Plank Road” line became “1 Newark.” The “Turnpike”/”Jersey City” route had a more express right-of-way and better track connection in Newark, so that it was the route taken for the Jersey City-Newark leg of the original 1904-1906 “Long Route” of the Jersey City-Trenton “Fast Line.”
Rt. 43 - Jersey City car 2620 is crossing the Hackensack River Bridge between Jersey City and Kearny, NJ. This is a great view of this NJ Rt. 7 drawbridge. It was later replaced by a lift bridge.
PSNJ_Rt. 43 “Jersey City” car 2204 is seen here crossing the meadows in Kearny, NJ onApril 14, 1936, just a couple of years before the line was converted into an ASV trolleybus run. Towers to the left belong to the bridge that carries Lackawanna trains acrossthe Hackensack River into Jersey City as towers to the right signal the PRR andH&M/PATH crossings of the river. The road on the right carries paralleling NJ 7, whichwas originally a toll turnpike that gave the “Jersey City” its earlier name of the“Turnpike” line. This route was also taken by the through Jersey City-Trenton cars onthe longest run that ever operated in the state (72 miles), but with a short lifespan ofonly two years (1904-1906). ”
Rt. 57 - South Kearny car 3257 is riding on private-right-of-way track which brancheddown from business US 1 and 9/Lincoln Highway to Bell’s Western Electric and theFederal Shipyards WW II war plants. The bridge to the left of the trolley carriesKearny’s Central Avenue over US 1 and 9. The elevated structure in the background isthe Pulaski Skyway, which carries US 1 and 9 non-commercial traffic between Newarkand the Holland Tunnel approach road in Jersey City.
This motor-up-front all-service vehicle was what replaced the trolleys on the 43-Jersey City line. The high speed right-of-way was abandoned and trolleybus wires were strung over the paralleling roadway. The ancient all- service vehicles provided a rough ride on the poorly paved roadway with its Belgian Block surface. We see here an old style All Service Vehicle converted from a 1926 or 1928 gas-electric bus. It is accessing the overhead for the “43 Jersey City” line on the cross-meadows highway between Newark, Harrison, Kearny, and Jersey City where predecessor rail cars had run on a separate private right-of-way instead, to May 1, 1938. Info. from Frank Miklos and Joe Papay.
PSNJ 2282-223? Main Ave. at Glendale St. NUTLEY,NJ February 11,1936 – Rt. 13 Broad cars on Main Ave. which is Passaic Ave. at thispoint, but otherwise confirmed. Facing south. The building behindsecond car still exists.
PSNJ 2416 “13 Broad” car 2416 on Broad Street at South Clinton Avenue inNewark, NJ on September 4, 1937 facing north. The Newark Symphony Hallis on the right. The next day this line became an ASV route on September 5,1937.” WDV notes that dual overhead is not yet in place indicating that theASVs were operated in gas mode possibly temporarily?
Rt. 5-Kinney car 2419 facing west on Ferry Street near McWhorter Street, Newark, NJ on the last day of streetcar service, October 3, 1936. Newark’s new Pennsylvania Station is still under construction in the background. The fancy building to the right of the trolley still exists. The next photo shows the replacement ASV trolley bus that used the new dual overhead shown here.
PSNJ car 2431 is facing south on Old Bergen Road at the corner of Bartholdi in Jersey City on April 10, 1947. This was actually a single track segment, with passing sidings, toward the end of the “Jackson” line in the Greenville section. That is Greenville Park on the right. The fire hydrant is still there. “Special” in the car’s destination sign marks this straying hard-signed “Union City” car as on a fan trip. The car is currently preserved at the Shore Line Trolley Museum in Branford, CT.
A Rt. 43 Jersey City” car 2423 is shown in the Harrison Car Yard, in Harrison, NJ on November 2, 1934. The location is on Harrison Avenue near 5th Street where a large school now exists.
PSNJ “43 Jersey City” car 2725 is entering its private right-of-waywest of the Hackensack River in Kearny, NJ on February 10, 1936near the present Meadows Maintenance Center for NJ Transit.
Rt. 21 Orange” car 2625 is on what was then called Main Street (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard) in East Orange at the DL&W RR station on February 27, 1951. Parts of the two versions of the “Orange” line (via Orange Street and via West Market Street), together with the “29 Bloomfield,” were the last surface lines to be operated by Public Service.
PSNJ 2628 Rt. 21 - Orange St. car is in a similar position as car 2625 in the previous photo. I-280 now runs left to right exactly on this spot now, paralleling the DL&W RR track, but the train station remains intact.
PSNJ 2213 Cars like this Rt. 49 - Union, shown at its northern terminus at the DL&W station on Plane Street in Newark, NJ, on August 25, 1935, met cars here like the Rt. 17- Paterson in another photo, which was near its southern terminal. Line was abandoned three weeks later, September 14th. The trip to Bound Brook took 2 hours and 19 minutes over largely single track running with passing sidings.
PSNJ 2680 Rt. 29 - Bloomfield car is running eastbound past the Montclaircar house at Bloomfield Avenue and Bell Street on March 22, 1952. Thebuilding signed Public Service still exists. The Food Fair is now a WholeFoods, the Food Fair sign reused. The car house itself was torn down in the1990s.
PSNJ 2716 signed Rt. 29 - Bloomfield is seen peering out of the Montclaircar house at Bloomfield Avenue and Bell Street on March 22, 1952.
PSNJ Montclair CH Bloomfield Ave & Bell St. -Various cars,color schemes, and car routes using the Newark City Subwayare here seen lined up. Date unknown.
PSNJ Car 2716 is on the “29 Bloomfield” line outbound on Bloomfield Avenuewhere it crosses Ridgewood Avenue in Glen Ridge, NJ.
PSNJ 2729 Rt. 29- Bloomfield Ave. car is crossing the bridge over Erie RR. December 25, 1949
PSNJ 2717 Paces an Erie RR passenger train on Bloomfield Ave. at CaldwellCollege (between Elm & Arlington) facing east. Stone wall at left is still there,but no traces of railroad (Erie Caldwell Branch, although the Morristown &Erie still operates a little farther southwest).
PSNJ 2725 Corner of Bloomfield Ave. and Broad. Rt. 29 car is coming from Caldwell andcrossing Broad Street in the center of Bloomfield, NJ. Note that the imposing building inthe middle of the shot is signed “The Bloomfield Bank and Trust Company.”
A PSCT car is westbound on Bloomfield Ave at Park Ave. beside a DeCamp Bus Linesvehicle. The Episcopal Church still stands in September 2008.
Double-ended Rt. 57 - South Kearny car 2767 is running north on BergenAvenue across Bergen Square, which commemorates the original Bergen, outof which Jersey City sprang. Note the double-wired overhead for ASVs likethe Rt. 9-Newark Ave.
Rt. 57 - South Kearny car, 2767 on another nearby section of BergenAvenue about to pass another car, possibly a Rt. 7- Jackson.
Another Rt. 57- South Kearny car, 3255, is caught in traffic onBergen Avenue near where the others were photographed. Thesingle-ended car ahead is probably a Rt. 7 – Jackson.
PSNJ 3219 a Rt. 23 - Central car is turning from 14th Street onto Central Avenue andheading for Newark’s Penn Station, on December 11, 1947. The car would be using 14thStreet to come onto the line from the Roseville car house shared with “21-Orange” linecars in East Orange. The buildings here are all gone.
PSNJ 2467 Market St. Newark, NJ near Penn Station July 30, 1937.
It does look like car 2691 is signed for the “7 Jackson” line. However, such aline is not in Newark, but rather, in Jersey City. So perhaps this run is on afan trip in the Newark area. July 27, 1948.
Photo at unknown location, but dated, December 10, 1947
PSNJ 3258 on fantrip at Mississippi Ave. Tail track on abandoned Eagle Rock line in West Orange, NJ.
PSNJ 2812 Market Street east of Mulberry St. in Newark, NJ June 18, 1934 is paintedyellow to denote it as a city car with longitudinal seating instead of the transverseseating in the cars which were painted in the deluxe red and cream colors. When theirdays of service ended in Essex County the 2800 series cars, in the deluxe configuration,were transferred to the Hudson Division, where they continued until the end of serviceon the Union City line. The two 2800 series cars that were in the "city" configuration(Nos. 2811 and 2812) did not go to the Hudson Division and were scrapped in the 1930s.
Additional information from Joe Papay…Plank Road cars ran from Exchange Place inJersey City onto Market Street in downtown Newark and then as far west as the carhouse at 16th Avenue and 20th Street. When, in 1916, this line was shifted into the newterminal building on Park Place and renamed the “1 Newark” carline, a new carline wasinstituted to take its place in local Newark service, “33 Market.” Here car 2812 isperforming such service on Market Street east of Mulberry Street on June 18, 1934.
PSNJ 2283 is on the “17 Paterson” line passing the DL&W Station atBroad Street, Newark, NJ on October 24, 1936, The shot faces northon Broad, with the car signed and headed for Newark. I-280 nowpasses just north of this RR bridge, but the building with the archedwindows behind the Warner Quinlan building still exists, on the NEcorner of Broad and Grant.
PSNJ 2297 Main and Market Streets, Paterson, NJ March 19, 1937 Facing easton Market St. Building still exists NE corner Main& Market. See next slide for Joe Papay’s in depth analysis of this picture……
An interesting and rare view of downtown Paterson streetcar operations and car 2297. The late date of 3/19/1937 would seem to mark the car as operating on the “17 Paterson” line, a long- distance intercity route extending to/from Newark. All local rail service in Paterson and the entire Passaic (County) Division had ceased long before then (mostly in the 1920s), leaving only the “Paterson” (to 7/13/1937) as well as the intercity “1 Hudson River” line (to 8/4/1938).(c) I have trouble identifying these track arrangements with route maps of the location.(d) If we are looking east on Market, the car would seem to be turning from east on Market to north on Main.
Route maps do not seem to provide for any carline —local or intercity, old or new—ever having made such a turn. It would make more sense if what we are seeing is a car, not turning, but continuing straight up Main, which is exactly what the “Paterson” did do. A relevant consideration in that regard might be whether the trolley pole is set for the curve or for thatSecond opinion. Car is straight-across track. On the other hand, alldefinitely making a left the wiring that appearshand turn, per pole still in place, especiallyposition on wire. WDV on east-west Market Street, is not understandable for such a late date.
PSCT 9830 ran on Main Street, Paterson, NJ from 11/22/1937 to8/21/1947. Because Main St. in Paterson became Main Ave. inClifton and Passaic, the line was simply called “Main.”
PSCT 9100 appears to be in Roselle where a trolley right-of-way cutting diagonallybetween First and Second Avenues was paved for all service vehicles and later buses. It still exists, but the paving is so bad that the buses no longer use it.
Rt.49 - Union (originally “Main”) line car 2272 on the overpass across theB&O RR at South Avenue and Lincoln in Aldene, NJ on January 18, 1933. TheB&O would not allow the trolleys to cross its tracks (on its branch here toStaten Island) at grade, forcing passengers to change cars by walking acrossits tracks. When this bridge was opened in June of 1900, through servicebecame possible, without change of cars, between Newark and Bound Brook,and only a few years later regular through Jersey City-Trenton service wasrun this way, from 1904 to 1906.
From Joe Papay’s NotebookThe B&O would not allow itself to be crossed at grade by the49 Main/Union carline and this caused a foot transfer to haveto be made before the overpass was constructed allowingthrough Newark-Bound Brook service without change of cars.This whole 22.88-mile-long route was a major component ofthe original PS through Jersey City-Trenton 72-mile “FastLine” that operated 1904-1906.The later revised Newark-Trenton “Fast Line” had an entirelydifferent high-speed alignment between Elizabeth and NewBrunswick that bypassed this routing completely, with thatthrough service lasting from 1913 to 1924 .
Rt. 49 - Union car 2227 is running on right-of-way in the middle of PlainfieldAvenue in Scotch Plains, NJ, on April 24, 1934. Note the complete absence ofvehicular traffic that day!
PSNJ 2270 is southbound on the Union Line somewhere near Scotch Plains,NJ.
PSNJ 2233 is passing the 49 line’s central power plant at Cranford , NewJersey on January 18, 1933. Scene is on South Avenue crossing over theRahway River Bridge. The line was abandoned and converted to All ServiceVehicles on September 14, 1935. It was the first such North Jerseyconversion for PSCT. Camden’s Haddon line had been converted September1st.
Car 2302 is seen here on a single track right-of-way for the Union/Main line inWestfield, NJ.” There was another line that met this one in Westfield, theRahway line, but though it had single track elsewhere, it was all doubletracked in Westfield.
PSNJ 9291 on Rt.-49 All service vehicle 9291 is shown at Washington Park onthe 49 line. Note the route number sign posted to the right of the roll sign.The left sign spelled out most of the towns that were served by the 49 line.Some drivers did this because many passengers were confused when theysaw the route name (UNION) on the destination sign and thought the buswent to that community. The “49 Union” line was the first line to be convertedto ASV operation in north Jersey.”
PSNJ 966 3533 3523 Carteret, NJ Roosevelt/Chrome/Carteret Line December 18, 1915. Joe Papaytheorizes thus about this: Hamm’s The Public Service Trolley Lines in New Jersey gives December 8,1915 as the opening date of the “Fast Line” shuttle that connected what was then called “Roosevelt”with “Roosevelt Junction” on the main Newark to Trenton and Perth Amboy “Fast Line.” The route wassingle tracked, and the name “Roosevelt” for both the place and the junction name changed to“Chrome” in 1916 and then to “Carteret” in 1922. So, could the dating of the photo really have beenthe same December 8 instead of December 18? The picture, with all those people and cars present,seems to be showing a celebration and that would befit an opening day. The 2 tracks do indeed seem toend here, just as Hamm’s map does show the stub terminal did. The car on the left (966) looks likeequipment that did run on the “Fast Line” while the other 3 cars look more like locals.
PSNJ “Fast Line” Interurban car 3536 from Newark/Elizabeth to Perth Amboy. World War I era.
PSNJ Trolley trestle over Raritan River between Perth Amboy and South Amboy.
PSNJ 2651 being restored and preserved at Phillipsburg, NJ