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Central New Jersey Steam Switchers
In the beginning, road engines coupled their own trains and placed cars from their trains as required. By the time business increased to require several trains to be run each day, the work of gathering cars, making up trains and spotting cars from inbound trains consumed too much time to be included in a road trip. Older and nearly obsolete road engines were assigned to switching service. During a day's work these could make up several trains and break up others and spot their cars for unloading. This permitted road engines to be used entirely for their intended work, coupling to their trains and hauling them over the road. As ever, they picked up and set out cars at places en route where there is not enough switching work to employ a switching crew.

Engines were then built especially for switching. Their outward appearance was generally that of road engines minus leading and trailing trucks, which were not needed to guide the drivers at the slow speed used in this type of work. Since they were never far from the round-house, the early switchers were tank-engines. The limited coal and water supplies became an irksome feature as business increased. Consequently, later designs included separate tenders of ever-increasing sizes. Imagine if you can, a yardmaster with a road engine and crew waiting for a train to be made up,another train entering the yard and the switch engine needing water and/or coal. The later switchers could work an eight-hour shift on a tank of water and go two or more days on a tank of coal. Today's diesels average about three days on a tank of fuel oil.

CNJ 0-4-0 Switcher #14

CNJ 0-6-0 Switcher #1

CNJ 0-6-0 Switcher #19

CNJ 0-6-0 Switcher (superheater), 1918#103

CNJ 0-6-0 Switcher, 1923 #111

CNJ 0-6-0 Class E (saturated Steam) Switcher #276

CNJ 0-8-0 Switcher #318
While switchers generally carried all their weight on driving wheels, there were few during the 1870's with engine trucks. Some also had trailers.There were some uncommon types of road engines built at about the same time. These were of the 2-4-0 and 2-4-2 types. The former were used in road switching and local freight work, while the latter were suburban passenger engines....The Inspection Engines have been much publicized.They are illustrated here solely to include all classifications under one cover.

CNJ 2-4-0 Switcher #30

CNJ 2-6-0 Switcher #724

CNJ 2-6-0 Switcher #153

CNJ 2-6-0 Switcher #233

CNJ Inspection #Star

CNJ 0-6-0 Switcher #402

CNJ Inspection #900
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North East Rails  Clint Chamberlin.
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