Monday, August 22, 2011

Perth Amboy's Railroad - Part 2, Passenger Service

As most of you know, Perth Amboy was crisscross with railroad tracks. Most of them were use for Freight. I remember crossing railroad tracks almost everyday, no matter where we were going.

In this section, it's about the "other" railroad, Passenger Service. Some of us used the railroad to either go to "The City" or "Down the Shore"

The Railroad Station to the above, was the ordinal Passenger Station before being replaced with the current one in mid 1920's. Rumor has it that the "old" station was moved to Lewis Street and still is being used as a residence. As you can see from this post card, it was "street" level. One of the main reason it was replaced with a below grade (street) due to the many crossing hazards throughout the city, especially the June 15, 1921 accident which killed 9 firefighters of the Eagle Fire Company #4 while responding to a fire on South Second Street.


During the 1980's the current station was placed on "National Registry of Historic Places" and was refurbished in the 1990's. The Perth Amboy Station is still in use today.



Besides, Lehigh Valley Railroad's mainly "Freight" service in Perth Amboy (Roundhouse was located along Parker Street), we had the Pennsylvania Railroad, New York Central and Central Railroad of New Jersey.

Most of us remember, the "Ditch", how many of us use to catch tadpoles and frogs?
We used the cement drainage shoots for sled riding with cardboard or just used the "Ditch" as a shortcut!


Below are just some of the many different type of trains the were accustomed to.




From Perth Amboy north, the railroad mainly used electric to power the locomotives. From South Amboy, south to Bay Head, NJ the locomotives were either coal or diesel.

See the houses along Market St.
Left of train.



At one time, the bridge crossing the Raritan River was the longest across any river in the country in the 1800's.

How many of us thought about walking across when we will younger?

I remember “playing” on the tracks and trains growing up in our city.

What a scenic scene.

I still look at my HO and N scale model trains of the Lehigh Valley and Penn RR to this day, the memories of "Old" Perth Amboy, NJ!





  1. We used to put pennies on the freight tracks in the morning, when we crossed them to go to school. When we went home for lunch we would find the now-flattened pennies along the track ties.

    Sometimes, when we came home from lunch, a long line of freight cars would be parked on the tracks right where we had to cross. Our mothers always told us not to go under the trains, but it normally would take too long to walk around the train. So under the trains we ducked, anxiously listening for the slamming sound that indicated that the engine had start to pull the train.

    1. Many a day going home from PAHS Ididn't want to hike up the Washingtion St. Bridge,,,and would duck under the Freight

  2. The railroad roundhouse off Parker St. was destroyed by fire, IIRC, around suppertime. It had to be in the 1960's; the weather was warm. When the fire trucks started racing up the neighborhood streets, we got permission to leave the supper table and chase after them. All the neighborhood kids and a good portion of the adults watched that building burn. Guys climbed up on top of the parked boxcars to watch. The flames and sparks lit up the sky.