Tom’s Raritan River Railroad Page





on the

Raritan River Railroad


Phoenix Branch 1972




Phoenix Branch Map – from Rails up the Raritan




National Lead Tracks – Official RRRR System Maps 1956

Bob Kipp Collection




Ilmenite Ore was used by National Lead to make Titanium Dioxide, which was used as a pigment in paints.  This plant, at the end of the Phoenix Branch (otherwise known as the Kearny Spur) was built in the late 1930s and was in continuous operation until the 1980s when it was shut down and converted into a superfund site.  Ilmenite Ore is slightly radioactive, and well, 50 years of using the stuff has caused just a slight cleanup problem.




A few hopper cars filled with Ilmenite Ore being shipped on the Phoenix Branch in 1972 to the National Lead plant got hung up on a loose rail and tipped over. 



 Raritan River Crane No. 3 was called out, as well as CNJ hopper No. 9261.  We will see on a few occasions when the Raritan River would call in extra cars from the CNJ to help out every once in a while.




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