Brooklyn-Stanhope Road

About one mile west of Port Morris Tower and one half mile west of where the west leg of the wye connected to the Cutoff, the tracks crossed over Brooklyn-Stanhope Road. This location is very significant because after over 70 years without a single grade crossing, Sussex County decided to reroute the road to cross the abandoned right of way at grade in the late 1980s. The underpass still exists in 2005 with the approach signal for Port Morris Junction immediately west of it. 20 years later in 2000, a second grade crossing was installed next to Greendel Station. These are the only two grade crossings today after almost 90 years since the Cutoff was completed.

Brooklyn-Stanhope Road 1983

A Great Highway of Steel and Wood – This photograph was taken from atop the Brooklyn-Stanhope Road overpass looking west. You can see the road climbing up along the left. By this time, Conrail had already run the spike puller along the westbound track. Note that only about every 4th or 5th tie is still spiked. This was the first step in rail removal. At some later time, the rail train could still run over the track at slow speed when it actually came time to tear it up. Also note, in the distance, milepost 47 appears on the right hand side.

Brooklyn-Stanhope Road 2005

The same view today shows the road crossing at grade. Note the abandoned road still there in the bottom left corner of the photo.

Brooklyn-Stanhope Road Underpass 2005

Hiking down the old road, we see that the underpass is still intact.

Port Morris Wye 1980

Here we are looking east. Note Port Morris Tower in the distance. The track going off to the right is the wye. Note also the westbound signal on the wye track partially hidden by the trees. The dwarf signal protected westbound moves onto this switch.

Port Morris Wye 2005

In March 2005, Port Morris Tower is hidden by trees and the tracks are gone. The ties on the left were the westbound mainline. The dirt road is where the eastbound main was. Even the dwarf signal is gone – a cable coming out of the ground now marks the spot. The switch frog for the wye coming off of the third track is in the right foreground. The tall signal for the wye still stands but is hidden by the trees.

Port Morris Wye 2005

The fill for the wye is easily seen in the winter with the bare trees and the snow highlights. Today, Center Street passes under both the Cutoff and the wye leg. At one time, the Morris Canal took this route.

Port Morris Interlocking 1980

Immediately west of the wye was this crossover which allowed a westbound train to come off the wye and get on the westbound main. We are still looking east toward Port Morris Junction. The double headed signal was for eastbound trains, while the small dwarf was for reverse running on the westbound main. Interestingly enough, the roadbed is wide enough for that 3rd track to have been extended all the way to Brooklyn-Stanhope Road. Perhaps someone out there knows if that ever existed.

Port Morris Interlocking 2005

The thick layer of snow conceals the roadbed and switch ties in March 2005, but the signal, dwarf stand, and signal box are still intact.