here the trackage entered what was known as the Forstmann Huffman Woolen Mills complex. Like so many woolen factories in Passaic, Forstmann required large amounts of raw materials to produce wool garments. In 1957 the NYSW 1800 working deep within the old Forstmann Mills complex in Garfield. This local is switching newsprint cars into Garden State Paper plant. cities outside of Passaic A few feet from the underpass of the present day NJ Transit Bergen Mainline at Saddle Brook the NYS&W Passaic Industrial splits off their mainline. It takes an almost 90 degree turn into Elmwood Park. Along this stretch of track some small industries sprung up. Kerr Concrete Products built pre-cast pipe sections, Bergen County Bluestone offered quarried products and a few lumber distribution facilities sold building products. These building product distribution facilities were located within the current shopping mall located on Market Street. Most of these building products were used to build houses and develop the land surrounding the very same tracks they served. The tracks cross Market Street and take a winding route through a wooden cut in Elmwood Park. It passes through “Cherry Hill” which housed government workers that were involved with war time manufacturing in the area. On the other side of Cherry Hill the tracks make a few more crossings at the Boulevard and again at State Route 46. Prior to the mid-1990’s these two crossings were unprotected. Train crews needed to flag the crossing by day or light a fusee at night. This challenging highway crossing was not as heavily trafficked in the early century as it is now. No other industry resided between Market Street and the highway. The Passaic Industrial “main line” remained on a southern route from Route 46 into the city of Garfield. Prior to entering Garfield a spur was built to service another massive woolen mill located in Garfield, adjacent to the Passaic River. This spur track crosses Garwood Court and Ray Street on its way to the mill. These crossings were all manually protected and required the train to stop and protect every time they approached traffic. After crossing Ray Street the Passaic Branch crosses Fleischer’s Brook. From woolen mill closed down, but the complex remained an active customer of the NYS&W. Industrial pioneer Richard Scudder constructed a paper plant close to the woolen mills facility that turned recycled paper board and cardboard into reusable paper products. Garden State Paper manufactured mostly newsprint rolls which are required in the printing of newspapers. Along with Garden State Paper, Finkle Outdoor Furniture and a coal fired power plant was also located within the Forstmann Huffmann Mills facility in Garfield that utilized Susquehanna rail service. Some of the Forstmann facility remains to this day. However, Garden State Paper was torn down around 2010. As of 2015, Passaic Industrial trackage remains in place from the switch before Garwood Court all the way to Fleischer’s Brook. Back on the Passaic Industrial “main line”, the track continues south and serviced smaller industries. A recent customer, Garfield Lumber, received inbound car loads of lumber. At City of Passaic photo taken around the late 1970's. The ROW and Dundee Canal are still intact along with several mills. Decades later this scene will be dramatically changed with the arrival of State Rt.21. Photo archives from The Library of Congress. 8

9 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication