Public Service Coordinated TransportNewark, Union City, and Camden, New Jersey Bill Volkmer From the George Conrad Collection
Part II Bergen, Hudson, and Passaic Counties Most of the 32 car lines in this area had been converted to bus or all-service vehicles by August 5, 1938. Four lines soldiered on through World War II. For the war effort, two rail lines, South Kearny and Federal were reinstutitued. On August 7, 1949 all the remaining Hudson Division lines were given over to buses. All-service Vehicle (trolley bus) operation on their respective lines had already ceased on April 4, 1948.
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…….
Edgewater – 125 St. Ferries th Trolleys in Bergen County
Edgewater terminal, where exchange took place between trolleys running in Bergen County and ferries crossing to 125th Street in Manhattan.
A ca. 1912 view of Public Service Open Car 1064 at the Edgewater barn. Leo Sullivan – Seashore Trolley Museum Collection
Cars of the Bergen Division’s  Hudson River,  Fort Lee, Englewood, and  Coytesville lines and even Essex Division’s Hackensack line were at various times stored in this DempseyAvenue car house at Edgewater, NJ.
The same Dempsey Avenue car barn inEnglewood, with cars all tucked in inside.
A side view of the same barn on Edgewater’s Dempsey Avenue with a“Hudson River” car passing by in revenue service.
A view of the horseshoe curve that all trolleys, including 3512, fromEdgewater and its ferries had to climb in order to reach otherdestinations in Bergen County, NJ.
A car like 3511, signed as “Edgewater Special School Car,” hauled children to and fromschool in Fort Lee on the line to Coytesville, even when little or no other service pliedthose rails. Shown at Edgewater, NJ, April 12, 1934.
PSCT 2310 was on the Passaic line, as the photo indicates, in the Paterson-Passaic segment of the service, which was abandoned and converted to ASVoperation in 1937. The then-separate Hoboken-Secaucus segment of the linehad undergone conversion in the previous year.
Car 3540 signed for the Hudson River line here at the Passaic WharfCH and yard in Newark, ca. 1939 and car 2423(?) signed for thePavonia line, both about a year after abandonment of those lines inthe Bergen and the Hudson Divisions respectively.
PSNJ 4089 plus another Center Aisle open car, probably in long termstorage at Passaic Wharf carbarn, November 1, 1937. Line had been abandoned for six months.
All Service Vehicle operating over Passaic Line ca. 1940s. Rails hadyet to be paved over.
The “Hudson River” carline ran to Hackensack and Paterson from the Edgewater ferrythat crossed to 125th Street, Manhattan. Car 3519 on the “ Hudson River” line iscaught here stopping in Hackensack, NJ on July 30, 1938, just 6 days beforeabandonment of rail service. Note the extra “interurban” headlight.
Notice that this photo was taken just six days later than the previous slide.
WEEHAWKEN Map Courtesy Morning Sun Books New Jersey Trolleys in Color ByJoseph Eid and Barker Gummere 2002
Wooden-signed Rt. 19 - Union City car 2452 is climbing the right-of way, parallelingPershing Road out of the New York Central West Shore RR and ferry terminal inWeehawken. The photo also shows the abandoned overpass for the Palisades Railroad atthe top of the Palisades. It connected to the Eldorado viaduct, which spanned theWeehawken railroad terminal.
In 1933 PSNJ took its 1926 Yellow Coach gas-electric bus #2015, which was powered by electricpropulsion motors, fed by a gasoline generator, and added dual trolley poles to it as alternative feedsfor the motors. The resultant “All Service” trolley bus was demonstrated on January 11, 1934 and wastried in temporary revenue service later that year climbing Bergen Hill on Pershing Road from the WestShore train and ferry terminal in Weehawken (as in this photo) as route 20. That ASV was laterrenumbered 9997. Note that no wires were (ever) provided for the run back down, so that ASVs had torely on their gasoline generators for downhill power here. (See next slide for additional info.)
Also, in 1934 the following streetcars still operated on the paralleling right-of-way seenhere: “19 Union City,” “23 Palisade,” “25 Weehawken,” and some “21 West New York.”Only in 1938 did “25 Weehawken” (and some “21 West New York”) ASVs resume use ofthe dual overhead here after a year of gas bus operation after the streetcars werediscontinued. The “23 Palisade” was converted to gas bus service on August 5, 1938.ASV service here ended on June 6, 1947. Union City car line ended on August 9, 1949.
Here is a typical trolley descending Bergen Hill along Pershing Road andcoming to the 90-degree curve in the route, to go eastward to its waterfrontterminal in Weehawken.
For the next 11 years following the August 5, 1938 Palisade car lineabandonments the only trolleys to operate into the Weehawken Terminalwere Rt. 19 - Union City cars like 2808 shown here.
Union City’s Loop andPalisade’s Stub EndTerminalA picture shot from the topof the Palisades displayingthe Public Service terminaland the New York CentralWest Shore RR terminalsand ferry slips at the foot ofPershing Road,Weehawken, with the NewYork City skyline andsteamship piers across theHudson River. The stubtracks where “Palisade” cars used tochange ends jutted to theleft in front of the bus thatis stopped within the “Union City’s” loop track.
Pershing Road Hill A shot from the top of thePalisades showing a car on the“ Union City” line. Thisaffords a clear view of theNew York Central’s WestShore Division freight andpassenger riverfront yardsthat had ferries going to 42ndand Cortland Streets in NewYork, all making this animportant terminal complex. The NJ Junction RR tracks atthe foot of the hill hereparalleling the trolley linetoday host NJ Transit’sHudson-Bergen Light Rail line,which after a station here forNew York Waterways’ strictlypassenger ferries to NewYork, heads into the tunnelthat the trains used to use tocome out in the meadowlandsat the other side of BergenHill. Otherwise, nothing is thesame here today—no trolleys,no trains, no rail yards—except for Pershing Road itself
PSNJ car 2804 is climbing the hill along side Pershing Road in Weehawken onthe Union City Line.
PSNJ 3279 at top of Pershing Road incline overlooking the NYC West Shore LineWeehawken Terminal ca. 1935. Car 3279 is a double ender on the “ Palisade” line.Double-end cars were used on this line when its cars did not turn on the loop track in theWest Shore terminal, but instead terminated on the stub end tracks jutting to the northof the loop.
Pershing Road Incline: This is a revealing view of the upper end of Pershing Road and the trolley routeparalleling it. The wide street paralleling the hilltop and river is Hudson/Kennedy Boulevard East. Thedating of this photo is no later than the last day of trolley service here, August 7, 1949. And notice thatthe pair of ASV trolley bus wires that were held up by brackets only on the north (left) uphill side ofPershing Road and joined with the outbound trolley overhead leading into 48th Street have alreadybeen removed. The last “25 Weehawken”/“21 West New York” ASV to run here did so June 7, 1947.Thus the photo date falls somewhere between those two dates.
A rear view of single ender 2452 on a fan trip climbing the Palisades fromWeehawken.
Car 2805, a “ Union City” line trolley outbound from the Weehawkenterminal, has just completed the 90 degree curve in its right-of-wayparalleling Pershing Road. The inbound track alongside the car has a secondpair of offset rails (a baffle?) embedded in sand meant to retard a runawaycar before it would hit the sharp curve ahead. At the uphill end of thisretarder, rails are normally/automatically set to send a down-coming car intothe retarder, which a motorman in full control of his car can avoid by bringingthe car to a full stop before the retarder turnout, opening the door, andstepping out to throw a standing switch arm to align the rails for the non-retarding bypass track. (Info. from Joe Papay)
Double ender 3270 on the “21 West New York” line on August 1, 1936crossing on the recently completed Willow Avenue bridge from Weehawken inthe background to Hoboken over the NJ Junction RR tracks. Duringconstruction of the bridge all but trolley traffic was detoured over the olderparallel Park Avenue bridge a block to the right (east) while “West New York”and “Weehawken” trolleys rode across the RR still at grade by way of atemporary single track laid on Willow Avenue along the east (right) side ofthe construction. Trolleys did not make use of the bridge tracks for long, butwere replaced by gas buses on April 13, 1937 and in turn by ASVs on March27, 1938. NOTE: THE NEXT SLIDE CONTAINS ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY REGARDINGTHIS PHOTO FROM JOE PAPAY.
The preceding photo is of especial interest to me. You see, mynamesake father worked at the “Daniel Papay Iron Works,” foundedby and named after his father, which was located at 1618 WillowAvenue, Hoboken right next to these bridge works on the left (west)side. On the Hoboken end the bridge descended to grade right at 16thStreet (the origin and reference of the “16” in this “shop’s”-as thefamily called it - “1618” address). I used to visit “the shop”periodically in the later 1930s (during my grammar school years inUnion City) in both the streetcar era and the ASV era for the “21 WestNew York” and “25 Weehawken”—but, oddly enough, not in the gasbus one year intervening period. Incidentally, at 15th Street, the“Hillside” line for Public Service used to take off (until 1928) fromWillow Avenue to the west and the face of the Palisades, which itscaled, and at 14th Street several trolleys went east toward theriverfront and the ferry to 23rd Street in New York. To the west at14th Street the “viaduct” took off to make its own way up thePalisades to Union City for rubber-tired vehicles only (not streetcarsnor even trolley buses). Back to 16th and Willow: In the ASV era Iwitnessed the existence and use of those rewiring pans, illustrated inother photos, for ASV lines “21” and “25,” which they would makeuse of to re-access the overhead at the foot of the bridge when trafficsituations on lower Willow and Washington streets had made itnecessary for them to reel in their trolley poles and proceed ongasoline-generated power until they cleared those affected areas.Joe Papay, Orlando, FL January 2011 email@example.com
HOBOKEN Map Courtesy Morning Sun Books New Jersey Trolleys in Color ByJoseph Eid and Barker Gummere 2002
Hoboken’s 14th Street ferry was one of two Lackawanna RR ferries that went to 23rdStreet in Manhattan. Several streetcar lines served this ferry, including the Willow andWashington lines shown. They were local Hoboken lines named after the streets they ranon. Note the surveying crew already taking notes for the expansion of the terminal inthe future!
PSNJ 1691 14th St. Ferry turntable turned cars due to lack of spacefor loop and single end cars being used. Note circular overheadarrangement.
PSNJ 903, 591,701 Hudson Place Ferry Term. Car 701 on the left is on the “Washington”line, 591 in the center is on the “Willow” line, and 903 on the right is on the “Grove.” Thelocation is the Hudson Place ferry terminal, under reconstruction at the time in Hoboken.
PSNJ 1787. Car is on the “Union Hill” line, which became Rt. 19- Union City in 1926,when the municipalities of West Hoboken and Union Hill amalgamated to form UnionCity. The photo shows the three loading tracks on the upper level of the Public Serviceterminal at the Lackawanna RR ferry and train station, Hudson Place, Hoboken, NJ.
In this early shot, a Rt. 17-Summit car, 2435, is poised to leave its Hudson Place terminal at the DL&W ferry and railroad station in Hoboken. Hudson and Manhattan trains also served this location.
PSNJ 9821 converted from gas bus to All Service Vehicle – Hoboken Terminal. Vehiclewas a gas-electric bus that, uniquely Public Service, was converted to one that couldalso operate from overhead wires. Such vehicles were assigned to the Rt. 15 Passaicline from Hoboken to Secaucus in 1936, replacing the trolleys which once rode all theway to Passaic and Paterson, known originally as the “White Line.”
This is the northern end of Washington Street at 14th Street, Hoboken in the 1940s, withthe white line going down the center of 14th. Here the famous Washington Street jitneybuses are lined up (second famous after Atlantic City’s jitneys on its Pacific Avenue),which, a bit grown up, are poised to make their runs down the length of this “milesquare” city, with the Lipton Tea building (now gone) looming behind them. 14th Streetcontinued to the right to the ferry (gone too) at the Hudson waterfront. The dualoverhead was for “21 West New York” northbound ASVs to take the turn fromWashington Street onto 14th to get to Willow Avenue to complete their trips north intoWeehawken. The jitneys and these ASVs competed with each other for patronage.
PSNJ 2805 Approaching Hoboken Terminal. Car could be operating on the Jackson, Summit or Union City line.
PSNJ 3258 Approaching Hoboken Terminal. It is signed for the “ Federal” line, a rebuilt WW II runthat connected South Kearny war plants with the Hudson tubes to New York at Exchange Place on theJersey City waterfront. The “ South Kearny” line was also a WW II revival, which had a somewhatgreater longevity than the “Federal” and connected the same war plants with the tubes at another placein Jersey City, Journal Square. Both lines used double-ended equipment needed for reversing only inKearny, and neither operated on the elevated trestle to Hoboken. (The only double-enders thatregularly ran on the trestle to Hoboken were rush-hour-only “ Oaklands,” though that line reallydidn’t need double-enders.) The signs on the front of this 3258 “Federal” clearly signal this was a fantrip.
PSCT 9835 is operating on the 21 - West New York Line on Observer Highway,within the shadow of the Hoboken elevated structure.
PSNJ 2747 climbing the trestle from Hoboken to Jersey City on August 6,1949, the last day of operation of the Hudson Division trolleys. The churchwith a white stone steeple at right was located on the corner of Monroe andObserver Hwy. in Hoboken right across from the house of a railfan who couldsee it from his window. The Hoboken terminal clock tower rises in thedistance at the riverfront at the extreme right.
THE HILLSIDE ROAD: The high “viaduct” seen here carries rubber-tired vehicles up from14th Street, Hoboken. Until 9/2/1928 (at most two years after what is shown here),trolleys ran on the “Hillside Road,” leaving Willow Avenue on 15th Street, a block northof the viaduct and made their way west to the NJ Junction RR at the foot of thePalisades, turning left (south) along the RR to the bridge crossing the tracks, and thencontinued up an incline north under the viaduct again, around a horseshoe curve, finallyattaining Palisade Avenue at 7th Street in Union City. “33 Bergen (Pike)” cars continuednorth on Palisade and eventually reached Hackensack. “14th Street/WestHoboken/Crosstown” cars went across Union City to join the “17 Summit” line to as far
PSNJ 2697 operating on the Jackson line on Hoboken elevated line.
PSNJ 2658, a Jackson line car makes a stop on the HobokenElevated. A second car probably from a different line is closelyfollowing.
PSNJ 2749 “ Jackson” car is rounding the corner from Booream to CentralAvenue in Jersey City, coming from Hoboken in the east and heading south onthe el structure over Central towards the crossing of Observer Hwy andeventually descending to the surface near Journal Square. The warehousebuilding with faded sign still exists at the SE corner of Central and Booream.The building with the cupola roof lies on Ferry Street to the north of Booreamand just east of Central.
PSNJ 2802 LEAVING HOBOKEN ELEVATED UNION CITY LINE.Palisade Avenue facing east (basically we are looking at the top ofthe big Hoboken-JC incline). Building with arch windows still exists on eastside of Palisade between Ferry and Ravine.  “Summit” cars also took theroute this “ Union City” 2802 is following. The branch to the right (south)here was used only by the rush-hour-only “ Oakland,” which alone used(unneeded) double-enders.
PSNJ 2747 NEW YORK AVE HOBOKEN ELEVATED. The church steeple at rightis at corner of Ferry & Central. This ” Jackson” car is on the elevated aboutto cross New York Avenue in Jersey City and is headed for the crossing overPalisade Avenue and then down the incline to Hoboken. Ravine Avenue is theeast-west street paralleling the el. The warehouse at right still exists, so dothe garden house and brownstones with awnings at left (that is the corner ofRavine & Webster).
The end of the Public Service elevated line from Hoboken at Pavonia Avenue,Jersey City, and near (but not in sight of) the Hudson County Court House,which gave its name, “Court House,” to the original line that ran here, untilJuly 16, 1909, when the name was changed to “Jackson.”
PSNJ 2054 in wye just south of Palisades Junction. Palisades Junction was where thenorth-south “Palisade” line and the east-west “Hudson River” line crossed each other.Although “Palisade” cars often continued north of this junction, to Fort Lee and evenCoytesville, at times certain trips, at other times most trips, of “Palisade” cars did not gofurther north than this junction. The wye shown in the photo just south of the junctionallowed single-ended cars to be reversed.
PSCT bus 6624 on Rt. 67 – Union City in late 1930s.
All heavy car maintenance was carried out at Newark’s Plank Road shops. Car2462 appears to be freshly outshopped in this view taken at Union City CarHouse. The Johnson fare box can be seen on the platform as well.
PSCT 3281 at Union City Car House October 26, 1941. Streetcar traffic was one-waynorthbound on New York Avenue (left in the photo) here in Union City, NJ. At this carhouse 2 parallel tracks can be seen, the right one for through traffic, the left one withswitches for each bay in the car house. 3281 is a double-ender being operated on anOctober 26, 1941 fan trip, poled in the contrary direction to enter (or bypass) the bays.Rt. 17 - Summit car 2648 (?) in front of it is a single-ender headed in the properdirection of traffic.
PSNJ 2658 Last day Rt. 37 Oakland - May 17,1949 – On OaklandAve. Jersey City, facing north from about mid-block between Laidlawand Jefferson. The warehouses still exist, but most of the windowshave been bricked over.
PSNJ 2303 On Bridge over Erie RR Jersey City, NJ ca. 1936 – Another great view. Trolley car is crossing Erie Bergen Arches. View is s.e. from Hoboken Ave. The area is overgrown by trees now, but online aerial photos clearly show the small arch for the trolley line and the concrete retaining wall. Very interested to find out if that bridge is still there down in the weeds and trees. See Joe Papay comments on next slide for more information about this photo…
“ Pavonia” line trolley 2303 is on the bridge over the Erie RR’s Bergen Arches in Jersey City, NJ ca. 1936 with Dickinson HS in the background. The car is coming from the same Erie RR’s waterfront train and ferry terminal at the foot of Pavonia Avenue in lower Jersey City. It is headed for Hoboken Avenue, just behind the photographer, and then west to the street junction known as Five Corners, where it accesses Summit Avenue and goes north on Summit to the Union City border at the Paterson Plank Road. Its terminus there was known as “Transfer Station.” Non-electric buses took over the line after July 9, 1938, but the abandoned track and overhead were retained on Summit Avenue as a connection between the “Jackson” at its south end and the “Summit” to the north.
Map Courtesy Morning Sun Books New Jersey Trolleys in Color ByJoseph Eid and Barker Gummere 2002
PSNJ car 1890 is moving away from the PRR ferry terminal at Exchange Place, JerseyCity, NJ on Montgomery Street at Greene. The Arlington Hotel building amazingly stillexists, as the only structure that was not demolished for the 101 Hudson Street project.Nothing else seen in this photo still exists. The ferry terminal is at upper left corner.
PSNJ_2267 JERSEY_CITY_N_J_November 27, 1933- Corner Montgomery andWashington facing east down Montgomery. Jersey City main post office is thefancy building. See the next slide for an in depth analysis of thisphoto by Joe Papay……………..
Car 2267: Note that this was on the “9 Newark Ave” line, a local Hudson Divisionoperation, not on the “1 Newark” line, an Essex Division intercity operation,though both ran—on different routings—in Jersey City. Moreover, there is aconflict between what the caption says, on the one hand, and what the car in thephoto itself says and what route maps and route descriptions found elsewheresay, on the other hand.The car’s destination sign says “Greenville,” which is not “east down MontgomeryStreet,” where Exchange Place lies, but rather to the west. Of course, it ispossible that the car’s crew has already and prematurely changed that sign for itsnext outbound run.Furthermore, route maps and descriptions say that there was only single track onMontgomery EAST of Washington Street and it served car runs only OUTBOUNDfrom Exchange Place. True, Montgomery Street to the WEST of Washington Streetwas double-tracked, and “Newark Ave” cars did run both inbound and outboundon these tracks (the inbound cars turning right/south onto Washington Streetitself to get to York Street to reach the Exchange Place terminal).Thus, how accurate the caption is depends on whether the photo seems to beshowing a one-track or a two-track operation on Montgomery Street here andwhether the destination sign is correct or instead premature for a car running and“facing east down Montgomery”—and whether the fancy post office shown is onthe NORTH side of Montgomery, which would make the car to be running EASTinbound with a prematurely changed destination sign, or the post office is on theSOUTH side of Montgomery with the car running WEST outbound and having aproperly set destination sign.Also, is it likely that a passenger would be boarding an inbound car only abouttwo blocks from the Exchange Place terminal rather than an outbound car headedfor distant Greenville?
PSNJ 2669 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ ostensibly August 16, 1949. SipAvenue facing east. Joe Papay wonders where the 8/16/1949 date for thisphoto came from, since all of the last Hudson County trolleys ceasedoperation 9 days earlier, August 7th. Was this a post-abandonment specialrun? A RT. 7-Jackson car 2669 is emerging out of Sip Avenue just beyond itsJournal Square station. It is about to take the curve into Bergen Avenue tocontinue its trip to the southern end of Jersey City.
PSCT 2443 is on the Jackson line in the old color scheme. No one seems tomake much of the fact that there were two different kinds of PS cars withrespect to the route signs on their roofs.Here is an example of the one kind: its “Jackson” route sign is solid and madeof wood and would take a mechanic to manually change/replace it by anothersign for another route. The other kind of sign (as in the very next shot) is asoft roll-up job under glass.
PSNJ 2641 Jackson Line. Possibly at the loop at Greenville.
2011 End Points 2011 End Points 2011 End PointsMap Courtesy Morning Sun Books NOTE: This map wasNew Jersey Trolleys in Color conceptual in nature but By Joseph Eid and Barker Gummere 2002 does not represent exactly what was built.
Typical Kinki Sharyo LRTcar on Hudson-Bergen Line2001
This photograph was taken sometime between April 22, 2000 and September 11, 2001.Newport Mall Station, Pavonia
View shows the temporary 22nd St. terminal of the Hudson- Bergen LRT line with paralleling ex- CNJ trackage used for freight. In 2011 the line was extended south to 8th St.
This map moreaccurately reflectsthe as-built Hudson-Bergen LRT System.