Then & Now

Photo courtesy George Rogers Collection

Photo courtesy George Rogers Collection

Photo by Karen Zautyk

Photo by Karen Zautyk

For a change, the ‹Now’ photo shows a scene more bucolic than the ‹Then’ image. That’s because what you’re looking at ‹Now’ is the long-disused Erie Railroad Cut that runs through Kearny parallel to Midland Ave. Both views are looking west from the Kearny Ave. bridge at Locust Ave. The older image is from a 1906 postcard, ‹Made in Germany’ if you can believe it. (Why is a European company publishing local N.J. postcards? Why is there a postcard of railroad tracks in Arlington? Perhaps because back then there was money to be made in this highly popular early version of social media.) Along these rails moved trains of the Erie Railroad, then the Erie-Lackawanna, then NJ Transit, carrying riders to Hoboken for connections to N.Y.C. The passenger service ceased in 2002 when NJT’s Montclair Connection opened. Eventually, the tracks were removed, but ‹The Cut’ reportedly continues to be a transit route, offering a convenient trail for forest-dwelling critters to make their way down from formerly rural areas where their habitat is disappearing. So far, no bears appear to have made the trek. So far.

–Karen Zautyk

The Observer Staff