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Monday, August 21, 2006

06-08-21 PHOTOS: South Jersey Tour

Several months ago I took a small road trip around South Jersey with a friend from Boston. We started off near Trenton with some photos of MILLHAM tower, then wandered down to Cove Road at CP-HATCH for some RiverLINE photos. Finally we headed east to Winslow Township home of the South Jersey Railroad and the Cedarbrook Bunker. Tomorrow I hope to head out to one of the Abandoned NIKE Missile bases which once surrounded most large American cities.

If you remember the old Bell System, you might not know that all those monopoly profits went into building a long distance network that was literally bomb proof, Atomic Bomb proof. Across the country there exists to this day a network of bunkers to keep the phones working in case of nuclear attack. They were linked by a series of microwave relays and L4 co-axial carriers. So next time when you're shouting "Can you hear my now" into your Cell Phone, think of what "6 9's of service" used to mean.

The other cold warriors in South Jersey are the SJRR's fleet of Alcos. Granted most of them are Canadian imports, but it's close enough. You don't see any imported diesels from Lada or Gaz.

The whole group of pix is at:

If you want to learn more about the old Bell System go to

And a brief tour...

MILLHAM tower in Hamilton NJ is located on a straight stretch of NEC that used to contain a complete 4-track interlocking. Ultimate the interlocking was removed during one of the NECIP's as Trenton area freight traffic declined, but was partly compensated for by the construction of the new Amtrak HAM interlocking about a mile to the east.  MILLHAM was controlled by what became the prototype "corridor" style tower built in 1941 which replaced many older plants.  The peaked roof is a new addition to shield the leaking flat roof. 

RiverLINE unit #3501B at Cove Rd.

The bunker at Cedarbrook. The pryamyds are vents and the brown thing on the concrete post is a gamma ray detector to alert the ppl inside to a nuclear blast.  It's amazing the quality of service we got when AT&T was still a monopoly.  Even after a nuclear war the old network would have still functioned.

Old microwave relay horn antennas. If you hook your laptop up to one of these you can get 802.11b wireless up to 30 miles distant. 

Wow...that's a lot of backup power. Something still uses this place.

Lehigh Valley painted SJRR C420 #415 getting it's brakes repaired.

SJRR built a small transfer table to help them swap trucks out for repair.

Another jury rig...the SJRR sander mounted on a boom lift.

Former Iowa Interstate C420 #802

And former CN C420W #3579

SJRR yard at Winslow Jct as seen from the former PRR bridge over the CNJ Southern Division.

Another remnant of the Bell System. This box was marked "RR Signal Dept" but why the Bell System label??

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