M&E Reports Increased Rail Traffic in 2015

The Morristown & Erie Railway marked its third consecutive year of freight rail traffic increases in 2015.

The Morristown, NJ-based short line railroad has seen an eight percent increase in freight rail traffic in Morris County since 2014. This equates to over 2,000 trucks removed from New Jersey’s congested highway system annually.

The Morristown & Erie hauls a diverse group of products, including plastics, lumber, food products, and petroleum additives. The 26-mile railroad has seen an overall 72 percent increase in freight traffic since 2010.

“Our customers remain our number one priority,” said Marketing & Logistics Manager Rudy Garbely. “Several positive developments in 2015 helped the Morristown & Erie increase its business. We improved our efficiency, expanded and rebuilt our facilities, and acquired the equipment and tools necessary to improve service and expand growth possibilities for our customers.”

During 2015, the Morristown & Erie also saw traffic gains at its Bayway Refinery switching operation in Linden, NJ, continuing a trend that has seen carloads increase 29 percent since 2010. The Morristown & Erie has fostered this increase by helping to coordinate service times between Class I rail carriers and the receivers within the refinery, improving the refinery’s efficiency and output while providing more reliable service.

The railroad is projecting similar traffic increases in 2016, partly due to several capital improvement projects designed to harness additional business opportunities.

Construction on the brand-new Troy Hills Road Bulk Transload Facility, located just off Route 10 in Whippany, was completed in 2015. The location’s 13 railcar spots and easy, convenient access in central Morris County will facilitate the continued expansion and flexibility of Morristown & Erie freight rail services while further reducing truck traffic on New Jersey’s roads.

One of the leading developments for the Morristown & Erie in 2015 was the increase of vertical height clearances on the NJ Transit Morristown Line. The Morristown & Erie, which has freight operating rights on this section of NJ Transit’s track, is now able to interchange 15’6” height Plate C railcars with CSX Transportation in Kearny, NJ. This includes the majority of boxcars, all centerbeam lumber cars, and covered hopper cars. This will provide additional shipping options and added flexibility for the Morristown & Erie’s customers.

“As we enter our 121st year of continuous service in 2016, we are continuing to look for ways to help our customers develop,” Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Chuck Jensen said. “We take pride in providing the vital supply chain link between industries and new markets for their products. If we can provide the facilities and means for our customers to expand their business, we have succeeded in our number one mission: customer service.”

Click here to download the Morristown & Erie's press release.

M&E Railcar Height Clearances Increased for CSXT Interchange

The Morristown & Erie Railway is pleased to announce that effective today (Tuesday, November 11, 2015), vertical height clearances for freight trains on the NJ Transit Morristown Line have been increased to 15’ 6” – the standard height of a Plate C railcar. This includes the majority of boxcars, all centerbeam lumber cars, and covered hopper cars. Due to the increased clearance, the M&E is now able to interchange Plate C railcars with CSX Transportation in Kearny, NJ.

The Morristown & Erie, which has freight operating rights on NJ Transit’s Morristown Line, has been working with NJT to raise the height clearances on this section of track. This now enables M&E customers to use CSXT in addition to Norfolk Southern for shipments to and from points on the M&E.

The Morristown & Erie is always working to improve service to its customers. If you have any questions or inquiries regarding this new interchange opportunity, please do not hesitate to contact the M&E’s shipping department at ship@merail.com.

Click here to download the M&E's notice to customers.

M&E Leaves Maine, Focuses on NJ

2015 will be the final year for the Maine Eastern Railroad’s freight and excursion rail operations.

Since January 1, 2004, the Morristown & Erie Railway has been operating in Maine as the Maine Eastern Railroad, providing year-round freight service and seasonal excursion train service along the Rockland Branch. The railroad’s main office in Morristown, NJ was notified on Wednesday that the operating lease on the State-owned Rockland Branch, which runs for 58 miles between Brunswick and Rockland, ME, will not be renewed with the Maine Eastern. Instead, the local Central Maine & Quebec Railway will assume the freight operations on the Rockland Branch on January 1, 2016.

The Morristown & Erie Railway currently has extensive freight operations in Morris County, NJ and switching operations at the Bayway Refinery in Linden, NJ. Both have seen significant rail traffic increases in the past four years. The Morristown & Erie will be refocusing its efforts on these operations by pursuing several new business opportunities and continuing to foster the upward trend in freight shipments. The Morristown & Erie’s rail equipment currently located on the Rockland Branch will be relocated to New Jersey to supplement the railroad’s existing locomotives and rolling stock and help manage the increased business.

There are no current plans for the continuation of excursion passenger service along the Rockland Branch in 2016. The remainder of the Maine Eastern’s 2015 excursion season will continue to operate as scheduled, with Saturday and Sunday round-trips running throughout October. The final day for excursion service on the Rockland Branch will be Sunday, October 25, 2015. Tickets may still be purchased for these excursions at www.MaineEasternRailroad.com or by calling 207-596-6725.

The Maine Eastern Railroad would like to thank its customers, passengers, supporters, and the State of Maine for the opportunity to operate the Rockland Branch for the past twelve years. The railroad also wishes the Central Maine & Quebec the best success with its new operation.

Click here to view the M&E's press release.

Artist Andy Fletcher Draws M&E Locomotive

Renowned railroad artist Andy Fletcher has produced a drawing of Morristown & Erie Railway locomotive #19.

Fletcher, the artist responsible for designing Norfolk Southern's fleet of 20 heritage locomotives, posted the drawing to his Facebook and Twitter accounts yesterday.

"Morristown & Erie is truly a fan-favorite and it was a pleasure to draw C424 #19," said Fletcher in an online comment. "Locomotive #19 brings generations of families together to celebrate the holidays and railroading. Truly a great locomotive."

Locomotive #19, a C424 model produced by the American Locomotive Company (Alco) in 1964, has been operated by the Morristown & Erie since 1984. It is frequently used on holiday and excursion rides at the Whippany Railway Museum, where it hauls over 5,000 passengers a year.

The Morristown & Erie Railway extends its thanks to Mr. Fletcher for representing our company among his collection of over 2,000 railroad drawings, which have been made into prints, magnets, and other memorabilia that is very popular in the railroad industry.

Prints, posters, and other products featuring Fletcher's drawing of M&E #19 will be available on his website in the near future.

M&E Reports 13 Percent Freight Increase in 2014

The year 2014 marked the second consecutive year of freight traffic increases for the Morristown & Erie Railway. 

“This was an extremely successful year for the Morristown & Erie,” said Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Chuck Jensen. “The addition of significant infrastructure improvements will position the railroad for continued success in 2015.” 

The Morristown & Erie Railway ended 2014 with a 13% increase in freight rail traffic over 2013. This increase is part of a larger overall trend that has resulted in a 59% overall increase in M&E freight traffic between 2010 and 2014. The railroad is projecting similar traffic increases in 2015, partly due to several capital improvement projects designed to harness additional business opportunities. 

The Kenvil Team Track was expanded between July and October of 2014, adding an additional track and three additional railcar spots to the facility. The expansion project was performed jointly by the Morristown & Erie Railway and the Morris County Department of Transportation, and it will expand the capacity and marketability of freight rail in Morris County. Marketing efforts are already underway to bring additional freight customers to this facility, which is currently being used by a local lumber distributor to transload from railcars to trucks. 

In the summer of 2014, the M&E began construction on the new Troy Hills Bulk Transload Facility. The location’s 13 railcar spots and easy access off Route 10 in Whippany will facilitate the expansion of M&E freight rail services while reducing truck traffic on northern New Jersey’s congested highways. The Troy Hills facility is projected to open in 2016. 

“We are very much looking forward to our 120th year of continuous service in 2015,” Jensen said. “We will continue to provide reliable and quality freight rail service while expanding our outreach and business opportunities.” 

More information on the M&E’s freight initiatives is available throughout this website.

Click here to view the original press release.

M&E Receives Jake Award for Safety in 2013

The Morristown & Erie Railway is proud to announce the receipt of a prestigious Jake Award with Distinction for safety in the year 2013. Issued annually by the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), Jake Awards are given to all short line and regional railroads that have an injury rate lower than the industry average of 2.42 per year. Jake Awards with Distinction are given to railroads that have no reportable injuries in a given year. The M&E has always maintained an exemplary safety record, and has been a consistent winner of this award since the Jake Awards' inception in 1995.

New York City Law Increases Biodiesel Blends

The Morristown & Erie's customer, Renewable Energy Group, recently posted an article on their website regarding the the law passed by New York City that affects biodiesel blends in municipal vehicles. 

From the article: 

Renewable Energy Group® (NASDAQ: REGI) hailed New York City’s new law that will utilize a five percent blend of biodiesel in the city’s vehicle fleet beginning next year, and increasing to 20 percent in the near future. [...]

The new law requires the city fleet to use a B5 biodiesel blend beginning July 1, 2014. Beginning July 1 2016, the city fleet must use a B20 blend from April to November. The city will also launch a pilot program prior to December 1, 2016 to study year round usage of B20 with no fewer than 5 percent of the city fleet. [...]

In addition to the fleet law, the city has had a B2 biodiesel requirement for home heating oil in effect since last year. The New York State legislature recently passed B2 statewide legislation, requiring all heating oil for use in any building within Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties to contain at least two percent biodiesel, effective October 1, 2014. On July 1, 2015, all heating oil sold for use in any building statewide will meet this standard.

Renewable Energy Group is the nation's largest biodiesel producer and marketer, and the firm's rail-served facility on the Morristown & Erie in Whippany is one of the New York metropolitan area's leading distribution points for biodiesel. The Morristown & Erie looks forward to an outstanding business partnership with REG as biodiesel production increases in the near future!

For more information on Renewable Energy Group, please visit their website.