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Waldwick in Bergen County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Waldwick Erie Interlocking Tower

 
 
Waldwick Erie Interlocking Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, February 21, 2022
1. Waldwick Erie Interlocking Tower Marker
Inscription.  
The Tower was constructed by the New York Lake Erie and Western RR in a Queen Anne style. When the restoration was started the condition reflected the neglect of having been abandoned by its last operating owner in 1986. But, except for a few minor maintenance shortcuts the tower looked as it did when constructed in 1890. It had stucco on the lower panels replacing the original wood siding, and some modernization impacts like the addition of electrical feeds to meet upgrade needs in the early 20th century. It is an outstanding example of how an industrial building would reflect the architecture of the times

This is the sole remaining example of six towers built to this design. Originally there were three in New York and three in New Jersey. The two closest known examples in the area were in Ramsey, NJ and Suffern, NY both having been torn down; the Suffern tower in the 1990's to make room for a support for route 1-287. The other two known towers of this same style were located at Pompton Junction near Bloomingdale NJ and Great Notch near East Caldwell.

( timeline )
1841   Paterson and Ramapo Railroad
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Company Chartered, First tracks appear in Waldwick a few years later
1851   Union Railroad Company incorporated in NY, combines Paterson & Hudson and Paterson & Ramapo RR's
1852   New York and Erie begins leasing of Paterson and Union RR.
1854   12 stations and 31.8 miles of Only stations in Waldwick track between Jersey City and area are Ho-Ho-Kus and Suffern. Allendale at this time.
1856   Act passed to allow the connection of the New Jersey railroads and Erie in the Suffern area.
1863   Block signal use starts in NJ for the first time.
1865   2nd mainline track placed on Erie through Waldwick
1872  Patent for battery powered block signal is issued
1878   New York and Erie RR reorganized as NY, Lake Erie and Western RR
1880   Erie 460 Mile Trackage, 5.4 M passengers, 8.7 M tons freight
1890   Erie 460 Mile Trackage, 11.1 M passengers, 16.2 M tons freight
1890   WC Tower constructed - described as one of the largest and most outstanding in the area.
1890   Construction begins of a yard for intermediate commuter trains, 50 men employed, large car yard, 4 stall engine house. Leave Paterson to avoid water tax.
1894   Water reservoir is dug in the yard to collect water for the engines
1898   Erie 460 Mile Trackage,
Waldwick Erie Interlocking Tower image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, February 21, 2022
2. Waldwick Erie Interlocking Tower
14.7 M passengers, 22.5 M tons freight
1900   50,000 commuters to NY per day from New Jersey 40 lots on Franklin turnpike sold largely to railroad workers and commuters.
1902   3rd mainline track placed on Erie
1903   4th mainline track placed on Erie and engine servicing facility is removed because it is no longer needed
1904   Electric interlocking machine replaces "strong arm" lever system. General Railway Signal Company Model 2.
1908   Hudson & Manhattan Tubes opened to NYC
1909   49 Westbound and 51 Eastbound passenger trains to or thru Waldwick every day
1912   NJ Rapid Transit trolley comes to town and lasts until 1929 taking passengers from Paterson to Suffern 1920's downtown Waldwick booming with 10 businesses ranging from candy stores to department stores, an A&P and lumber yard
1920   1920 census has population at 1296, yard has about 50 employees 1920's lots in Waldwick advertised in NY papers
1929   Passenger Trains to or thru Waldwick 47 Westbound 50 Eastbound
1941   Passenger Trains to or thru Waldwick 52 Westbound 50 Eastbound
1946   Tower block diagram shows4 tracks, plus 2 parallel tracks from which siding etc are branched from. The feeder to the wye is not shown, no engine facility is indicated.
1986 Tower closed by NJ
Waldwick Erie Interlocking Tower image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, February 21, 2022
3. Waldwick Erie Interlocking Tower
The marker is at the right.
Transit with tracks now controlled from central location
1999   Tower acquired from private owner by Borough of
Waldwick with gift from local rail fan.
2002   Gift in will of Robert Keeble provides key funds to start rehabilitation of tower
2005   Exterior rehabilitation of tower is completed
2013   Interior rehabilitation of tower is complete and creation of museum begins
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1986.
 
Location. 41° 0.91′ N, 74° 7.442′ W. Marker is in Waldwick, New Jersey, in Bergen County. Marker is at the intersection of Bohnert Place and Zazzette Street, on the left when traveling east on Bohnert Place. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Waldwick NJ 07463, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Harvey Springstead (here, next to this marker); Waldwick Tower (a few steps from this marker); Waldwick Railroad Station (approx. 0.2 miles away); North Gate (approx. 0.6 miles away); Well-House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Front Entrance (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Hermitage (approx. 0.6 miles away); The “Bricks” (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waldwick.
 
Regarding Waldwick Erie Interlocking Tower. Chartered
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in 1832, the New York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad went into bankruptcy In 1893 and emerged in 1895 as the Erie Railroad. In 1960, through merger, it became the Erie Lackawanna Railroad. In 1976 Conrail took over the freight operations and in 1983 NJ Transit took over all commuter service in New Jersey.
 
Also see . . .
1. All Aboard Waldwick - Waldwick Historical Society. (Submitted on February 27, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
2. Erie Railroad Signal Tower, Waldwick Yard (Wikipedia). (Submitted on February 27, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
3. Erie Railroad (Wikipedia). (Submitted on February 27, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 27, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 27, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 241 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 27, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.

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Apr. 16, 2024