A duo of NYSW GP18's pulling a pair of box cars past Arctic Ice on Semel Avenue and the line that traverses past the Garfield High School. Ray Wetzel photo, 1979 order to achieve their goal. Building a mainline through Passaic was too big an undertaking and also impossible due to the alignments already in place as well as the current logistical layout of the city. An alternative was needed, which came in the form of a branch line. This branch line would serve the industrial needs of their new tenants. The Passaic and New York Railroad was constructed at a cost of $70,000 using private funds. The route of the Passaic Industrial Branch was traced out in an era when land was plentiful and few barriers were in the way of planners. Inside Passaic, the rails followed closely along the Dundee Canal. This canal was originally conceived to carry boat traffic. This idea never materialized and the canal was used a source of cooling for the many mills and factories spread out. The connection of this branch line would be made with the New York Susquehanna and Western Railroad at Passaic Junction. Passaic Junction was so aptly named for the connecting railroad from Passaic in modern day Saddle Brook/Elmwood Park. Through a transfer of stock, the New York Susquehanna and Western Railroad would take over operations and become the sole operators of the line in 1886. At the time of construction, the entrepreneurs of the Equitable Land Company may never have realized the impact they made with developing the city of Passaic and the state of New Jersey. The Passaic and New York Railroad, later named Passaic Industrial, would go on to become a vital transportation link enticing development of mills, factories and also spawning a major increase in Passaic’s population. These mills and factories would prove vital not only for Passaic’s development but also for the needs of the war efforts stemming from both World Wars. In the beginning, the Passaic Branch carried freight and passengers into and out of Dundee/ Passaic. Passengers could ride a train from Passaic (M.P. 21) or Garfield to Passaic Junction and transfer to other Susquehanna trains. The Garfield station on this branch was located on Belmont Avenue and River Road (M.P. 18.9). In 1898 passenger service ended, bringing a close to non-freight revenue on the Passaic Branch. Passenger service was not the only use of the Passaic Industrial Branch. Large and small industry was being attracted to the city of Passaic. U.S Rubber, which was located at the southernmost section of the industrial, produced hard and soft rubber for various industrial uses. Raw materials as well as coal deliveries were commonly spotted at U.S. Rubber. Okonite Wire manufa ctured high quality cables used in many electric, telephone and submersible cable installations. Most of their factory in Passaic still stands to this day. It must also be noted that the Erie Railroad interchanged with the NYS&W at a junction point near the US Rubber factory. Campbell and Morrell operated a coal lot and building materials yard within Passaic. This yard was situated between the current Jefferson and Passaic Streets of today. The Susquehanna hauled many commodities including coal which proved vital for the many industries springing up along the newly laid rail line. Reid and Barry, along with The Botany Worsted Mills, Forstmann and Dundee produced wool, textiles and lanolin within the city of Passaic. In fact, Botany Mills was the largest mill on the branch employing over 5500 employees in their massive mill. Parts of the mammoth Botany Mills still stand to this day. The Pantasote Company produced synthetic leathers used in furniture upholstery along with wall coverings and window shades. They later went on to produce polymers from chemicals. Pantasote remained an active customer after the GP 18, NYSW 1800 pauses at Outwater Lane in Garfield. Garfield Town Hall can be seen in the far right hand side of the photo. Today, this location is now home to the Garfield Fire Department. Ray Wetzel photo 1979. 6

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