Picture 3

It’s hard to talk about the town of Manville without talking about the railroads. Awhile back I posted a photo of a Lehigh Valley steam engine passing through the Main street railroad intersection. This photo was an important one, when talking about the esthetic history of the town as well as the industrial one. Geographically Manville is sort of nestled in between two lines of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroads as you can see in the map above…

If you look at the map and find the area where the red and green lines connect just southwest of bound brook you will be looking at Port Reading Junction… right next to the current Manville Yard. If you can imagine a line going south from Finderne that would pretty much be Main Street. The “green” line that heads southwest was a shortline called the Deleware & Bound Brook, which served the Weston-Manville stop. The Deleware & Bound Brook Passenger line provided easy access to West Trenton Junction and Bound Brook where you could get a connection to New York City or Philadelphia. The “red” line going west is the Lehigh Valley Line, which passes through the center of town… and served Johns Manville and the Main Street Train station. The other green line to the north is the line that served the Manville Finderne Station and also provided easy access to New York… this passenger line still runs, but service was shut down to the stop in 2006. At some point in the 70’s all three abandoned stations were still standing… here are some photos. These are all by Bob Pinnisi… again I hope he doesnt mind, but these are great photos.




It’s hard for me to understand why there isn’t a single passenger line serving Manville at the moment given all the tracks around town. Someone told me that they were talking about starting service up again, but I just haven’t seen anything serious happening. Growing up in Manville the trains become ingrained in you… it’s the way of life. I lived across the street from the tracks most of my life, watching freight trains go by every day… I used to dream about where they were going… later in life I got on one and found out. When I moved out of my old house I had a hard time sleeping without the proverbial late night rumbling. When it comes down to it Manville’s relationship with the railroads was crucial, amazing, and occasionally a burden… overall I believe that Manville could not have flourished as a town or a player in the industrial revoloution without them. Here is one last photo by Neal Ranauro…




7 thoughts on “THE RAILROADS

  1. I was born and raised in Manville, but know nothing about the Manville railroad stations. Whenever we went to New York City (mostly with the Cub Scouts) we used the Bound Brook station.

    • One time I used the Somerville station. A friend, John Surdich. and I ordered fireworks from an ad in the back of a comic book. We had to take the bus to Somerville to pick them up at the train station. They were in two humongous boxes labled EXPLOSIVES all over. We, two teenagers, somehow got them home with no questions asked. They lasted more than a month.

  2. Anyone remember the train wreck in lost valley in (I think 1959)? It was on the Reading. Iwoke up one morning to the sounds of the “big hook” cleaning up. Hopper cars turned and twisted every which way. Coal spilled everywhere, track ripped up. We had some photos, but they are lost.

    • MIKE… my family has told me about this wreck. we lived on Angle ave right next to the railroad tracks. My grandparents were removing coal from our front yard after it happened… it must have been a disaster. I’ve tried to research it, but I couldn’t find any info online. I need to hit up the library.

  3. The last picture in the series depicts the LV’s Class K steam locomotive having the 4-6-2 wheel arrangement. These types of locomotives were also known as Pacifics. On many railways, Pacific steam locomotives provided the motive power for express passenger trains throughout much of the early to mid 20th century before being replaced by diesel and electric locomotives, and high speed trains. LV’s Class K steam engines were numbered 2100-2129 and were on the roster from 1916 to 1951. Here is the 2104 pictured in 1920 (

  4. My grandparents lived on S. 5th Avenue and I spent a lot of time there visiting as a child. My mother was from Manville so we visited frequently as we lived in Virginia. At night the sound of the train whistle was comforting and made me feel secure. To this day, every time I hear a train whistle in the distance it not only brings back find memories it is comforting to me.

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