CNJ Towers - Jersey Central Chapter of the NRHS

Towers of the CNJ

Listed below are the towers of the CNJ broken down by line. The list and descriptions were complied by Richard Colletti, a former tower operator with the CNJ. Many thanks to Richard for giving us permission to post this information here.

MAIN LINE- Jersey City to Phillipsburg
"A" tower (JC)

Controlled traffic in/out of train sheds.

"B" tower (JC)

Controlled the passenger yards and all roundhouse and engine servicing facilities.

"C" tower (JC)

Controlled all traffic in and out of Comunipaw station (Jersey City) and controlled all traffic on the Jersey City to Newark branch.

"HY" tower - (GRNVLLE)

Responsible for setting up westbound local and express passenger traffic between Greenville and 8th street Bayonne. Diverted all freight traffic from the main line to Jersey City yard via "PS" tower. Also controlled the scale track.

"BV" tower - (BAYONNE)

Controlled all passenger traffic to the Newark Bay Draw ("DY"). Controlled all freight traffic in and out of Bayonne yard.

"DY" tower - (BAYONNE)

The infamous Newark Bay Draw bridge.

"FH" tower - (EPORT)

Controlled all traffic off and onto the draw. Separated and routed all traffic to and from the Jersey shore and traffic continuing west on the main line to Allentown. Also controlled the east end of the Eport shops and all freight deliveries to the huge "Singer Sewing Machine" factory that sat behind the tower.

"RU" tower -(EPORT)

This was a junction of the main line, Newark to Eport line and the Eport to Perth Amboy line. Towerman was responsible for all passenger trains, all freight trains originating out of Eport yards, all local switching traffic, all through freights that picked up or set out there, the shop traffic and the east end of Eport northside yard and east end of Eport southside yard. The towerman had 3 dispatchers, 2 yardmasters, and 1 shop foreman phone lines that he/she answered to. This place was a nightmare....I know...

"GW"tower -(EPORT)

This controlled the west end of both the northside and southside yards. Set up the local passenger and freight traffic that stopped at all stations and consignees between Eport and Cranford. Also ensured that all westbound freight trains containing exceed plate "C" cars were on track 2 at the Broad Street overpass with the PRR.

"QR" tower - (ELMORA)

Lotsa mystique about this tower and very little physical proof. Tower was closed circa 1946 or so when pusher service for the westbound freights was not needed anymore. There is also an opinion that there was a small yard at Elmora and the tower controlled the yard and the all local deliveries to the customers.

"XC" tower - (CRANFORD)

Controlled northside and southside Cranford Yard. Controlled the B&O yard on South Avenue. Controlled the orderly meet between the main line trains and the local shuttles.

"WF" tower - (WESTFIELD)

This tower controlled Westfield yard, station, the baggage track and local switching service. Also routed B&O trains off the express track to "XC" to be diverted to Staten Island. With the slow ebb of freight customers and the demise of baggage and mail service by rail, "WF" was not needed and closed. The interlocking was simplified and remote controlled from "XC" tower.

"JA" tower - (PLAINFIELD)

Controlled the Plainfield freight and passenger yards plus local switching and freight delivery's. In addition, there were passenger trains that originated out of "JA".

"DN" tower - (DUNNELIN)

On the same order as 'JA'. When the local freight traffic died down, the tower was closed and remote controlled from "JA".

"RK" tower - (BOUND BROOK)

This was a high speed junction between the CNJ and the RDG. Tower controlled Bound Brook station, the yard, all switching movements to the local customers and the Somerville branch movements in conjunction with "RA" tower. Some of the passenger trains that "RK" handled were the "Crusader" the "Wall Streeter" and the "Royal Blue"

"RA" tower - (RARITAN)

This tower controlled the Raritan passenger and freight yard, roundhouse, the main line up the mountain to Pa., the Flemington Branch and the Somerville Branch. This is also where the mainline dispatcher (Eport to Raritan) had his office.


Controlled the west end of Raritan yard plus switching moves to local customers.

"WH" tower -(WHITE HOUSE)

WH controlled pusher service and coal facilities.

"BY" tower - (BLOOMSBURY)

controlled  local yard and switching service. Had a wye for pusher engines.


Responsible for the junction of about five railroads. Also the last stop on the line before heading over the bridge into Pennsylvania. At one time housed the Raritan to Phillipsburg dispatchers office.


New York to Newark branch

Newark and Elizabethport line & Elizabethport to Perth Amboy line

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This page last updated September 15, 2015.
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