A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

History: Construction of the Raritan River Railroad Bridge, 1874

 According to the 11 July 1874 edition of The Matawan Journal, the following railroad board members and other gentlemen boarded two train carriages on 7 and 8 July and visited South Amboy and Long Branch to weigh their options on two pending issues: construction of the Raritan rail bridge at one end and the extension of rail service from Long Branch to Ocean Grove at the other.
  • John Taylor Johnson,  President of NJ Central;
  • Sidney Dillon;
  • Col. Ricker, Superintendent of NJ Central;
  • A Reckless, President of the NY & LBRR;
  • Col J Moore, Superintendent of the NY & LBRR;
  • H S Little, Director of the NY & LBRR;
  • G D White, Director of the NY & LBRR;
  • N P Smith, Contractor of the NY & LBRR.
"The first object of inspection was the Raritan bridge. The spans ready to be placed on the bridge were timber. It was decided to take these and use them for other bridges, and substitute iron spans in their stead. This will make a continuous bridge, constructed entirely of wrought and cast iron, 1000 feet long -- one of the finest railroad bridges in the United States.

"It could have been finished much sooner if the wooden spans had been used, but the Directors feared that the number of canal boats, etc, coming down the Raritan might set fire to them and it was decided to construct the bridge so as to be fire-proof. This cannot be finished, with the wrought iron draw, before the last of April next, and by this time the entire road is to be completed so that trains can be run from New York to Long Branch."

The men decided to extend the line to Ocean Grove once the tracks were completed to Long Branch.


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