West Summit Station

New Providence station

The New Providence Station, where I catch the train every morning, could not be seen from this vantage point until just a month or two ago, after workers spent the summer clearing out the tall trees. (One morning, there were trees, and one evening, there weren’t.)

While I was sad to see the trees go, apparently it’s necessary to help prevent “slippery rail,” where autumn leaves get impacted under train wheels, and the crushed leaves incrementally coat the rails with a slippery, hard-to-remove layer of resin-y stuff.

Another bonus to the tree-clearing: Now I can actually photograph the train station from an angle similar to the one it was photographed from in 1888.

West Summit Station, 1888

New Providence station is nowadays located on the border between Summit and New Providence, kind of in the middle of nowhere special. It’s an odd place, as most towns’ train stations are located near the hearts of their downtown areas; what’s odder is that a tiny town like New Providence has not one but TWO train stations to its name (both Murray Hill and New Providence).

As it turns out, this part of New Providence used to be West Summit, a town that no longer exists. Since the train station was still in use, and since the primary train station in New Providence was already called “Murray Hill,” I guess it made sense to rename the West Summit station.

I’m not 100% sure exactly how the landmarks in the above two photos relate to each other. Clearly the station is a different building (although I believe the current station building was “restored” recently, whatever that means), and I don’t know how close the two buildings were to each other. Furthermore, I don’t know if that dirt road in the vintage photo still exists, and if so, in what form.

But it’s basically the same spot, I think.

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