Founded in the early 1960's by a group of friends with an interest in steam railroading, Black River & Western Railroad has seen many changes over the years. The first BR&W passenger trains between Flemington and Ringoes operated under a lease agreement with the Pennsylvania Railroad, which still operated freight service on the line. Eventually, the BR&W purchased the line from Lambertville to Flemington, and later added the former Central Railroad of New Jersey line from Flemington to Three Bridges.
Once the BR&W owned the railroad outright, we got into the freight business! We are proud that our little railroad, built in 1854, has never ceased serving its original purpose: providing economical transportation to local businesses. BR&W currently serves several industrial customers in Hunterdon and Warren Counties. In fact, our railroad is one of the few places in North America where you will ocassionally encounter a steam-powered freight train!
While we take good care of our freight customers, the heart and soul of our operations continues to be our passenger excursion trains. Excursions and themed events operate throughout the year, and provide visitors many ways to experience old-fashioned railroading right here in Hunterdon County.
The Black River & Western Railroad is an independently owned and operated Class III common-carrier railroad located in rural Hunterdon County New Jersey. From South to North, the railroad connects the towns of Lambertville, Ringoes, Flemington, and Three Bridges. Freight is interchanged with the Norfolk Southern Railway at Three Bridges. The BR&W is part of the Black River Railroad System (BDRV) which operates freight services on several shortline railroads in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as locomotive leasing throughout the United States.
The Black River Railroad Historical Trust (BRRHT) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization which manages the public passenger trains and events on the Black River & Western Railroad. While we are independent of the BR&W, we work closely with the railroad in order to fulfill our mission to preserve railroad history and educate the public about railroading.
All BR&W passenger trains are staffed by the volunteer railroaders of the BRRHT. Interested in joining? You can join the organization with no prior railroad experience and take advantage of our comprehensive training program to learn ALL railroad crafts, including Maintenance of Way, train service positions, equipment restoration and more! Click here to get started!
Passenger excursions currently operate between Flemington, Ringoes, and Bowne. We continue to work toward our goal of re-opening our line to Lambertville, NJ. Click here for more information!