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The Passaic Valley & Peapack Railroad

This railroad was originally intended to be the focus of this page. I live in Bedminster, NJ and commuted along this branch line. When I tried to find out the history on the Internet, I was surprised to find not a single match.

The Passaic Valley & Peapack was chartered in 1865 to connect some point in the County of Union or the County of Essex, passing through the township of New Providence, so up the Passaic Valley at or near Basking Ridge, and so on to the village of Peapack in the country of Somerset. In a rather ambitious plan, this charter was later amended to allow for expansion to the Delaware River.

Construction began in 1870 at Summit with a connection with the Morris & Essex and moved quickly toward Basking Ridge. Two years later, service to Bernardsville, not far from the current station on Rt 202 was initiated.

The light population along the branch did not lend itself to success as either a hauler of freight or passengers. However, the wealth of the sparse population in the area, did encourage the small railroad to continue operation. In spite of this, the railroad had continued financial problems before being leased by the DL&W in 1882.

There are substantial remains of this branch line in existence today. The Right of Way is completely intact. The original freight station is a newspaper publishing house on 202. This branch also has the honor of having the last passenger station built by the DL&W: The Lyons Station.

In addition to the PVPRR, the DL&W history on this line it substantial. However, this information is contained on the DL&W page.

Passaic Valley & Peapack Railroad: 1865-1882

(c) 1999 - Phil Paone

 

For more information see: "The Gladstone Branch", by Tom Nemeth.