The Lackawanna Cutoff - Then & Now


In its prime, Andover was host to three rail lines, the Lackawanna's Sussex Branch, their Cutoff, and the Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad. Unfortunately no trains pass through town anymore. The Sussex Branch is now a public hiking trail which provides excellent access to both its crossing beneath the Cutoff and its interchange with the L&HR. The photos below are presented working from south to north.
Map of Andover

Map from The Lackawanna Railroad in Northwest New Jersey by Larry Lowenthal and William T. Greenberg Jr., Tri State Railway Historical Society, 1987.

The Hole in the Wall in 2005

South of the Cutoff is the famous "Hole In The Wall". The shot of this famous culvert on the Lackawanna's Sussex Branch is taken from the west side. The well maintained Sussex Branch Trail sports new wooden railings atop the structure.

Sussex Branch Culvert under the Cutoff in 2005

Looking north, the Sussex Branch passed under the Cutoff through this culvert. The Cutoff is on the start of the Pequest Fill. This photo shows how high the Sussex Branch was in comparison. Note the rock inside the culvert. The Lackawanna planned ahead and was fully prepared to double track the Sussex Branch without disturbing its premier Cutoff! Oddly enough, had expansion of the Sussex Railroad into New York State occurred, possibly necessitating a double track line, the L&HR might never have been constructed.

Sussex Branch and Route 206 Culverts under the Cutoff in 2006

This photo is looking south from the shoulder of Route 206. On the right is the opposite side of the Sussex Branch culvert shown above.

Andover Junction interchange track in 2005

Looking south from Andover Junction down the Sussex Branch, the fill for the L&HR interchange track is still intact. The L&HR used to bring freight from Maybrook south, through this interchange, and down the Sussex Branch on which it had trackage rights to Port Morris Yard. The L&HR had a few large capacity sidings on the east side of the Route 206 crossing for this operation.

Andover Junction

This photo of Andover Junction is looking north on the Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad. Even though the Sussex Railroad was built first, all trains stopped to receive clearance from the L&HR because it was a mainline railroad and carried considerably heavier traffic. Thus, this became an excellent location for a station stop and this building was erected.

Photo by Robert B. Adams from The Lackawanna Railroad in Northwest New Jersey by Larry Lowenthal and William T. Greenberg Jr., Tri State Railway Historical Society, 1987.

Andover Junction in 2005

In 2005, this signal, in the exact same location of the semaphore shown in the previous photo, still stands above Andover Junction while the ties remain below.

This page was written by Robert J. Savino
Last Updated April 10, 2006
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