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Galloping Hill Golf Course

Galloping Hill Golf Course
"Tin Kettle Hill Grade"



The little bit of railroad located along the Galloping Hill Golf Course was both scenic and picturesque. In the the winter time the golf course would be home to many sledders and skiiers, daring enough to take on the course's steep hills. #15 puts on quite a show for the sledders, rolling past Galloping Hill (just over the little hill to the left) and up Tin Kettle Hill. 1952. Collection of Jeff Jargosch.


 

#14 has just topped Tinkettle Hill and heads for Route 29. 1944.Photo taken by William S. Young

 

TIN KETTLE HILL GRADE

Although the Rahway Valley Railroad was built to serve, and was more intertwined with, the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, NJ, but there was in fact another golf course in the RVRR's territory. Just a stone's throw from the Kenilworth Yards was, and still is, Galloping Hill Golf Course.

Located in what was planned to be the New Orange Industrial Association's "Lake Wewanna," the Galloping Hill Golf Course opened for business in 1928. The course, still in operation today, is managed by the Union County Parks Department. Opened years after the RVRR discontinued regular passenger service, there was never the opportunity to take the train to Galloping Hill, however the RVRR and the golf course did have little bit of a relationship after all.

The Clark family , managers of the RVRR for over fifty years, were avid dog lovers. Apparently some of their dogs would find their way to the Galloping Hill Golf Course, near where the dogs were kept at the Kenilworth Station . "The progenitor of all the dogs that hung around the Rahway Valley must have been the dirty black-and-white stray that showed up at Kenilworth in the early 1940ís. Lady belonged to nobody, begged lunch from the train crew, hunted rabbits, presented the railroad with two litters of pups, and had a habit of running onto the greens of a nearby golf course and stealing balls. The police finally traced her to the Rahway Valley, and took her away at the end of a rope. The next day she was back." ("Short Line Man" William S. Young. Railroading Magazine. April 1969).

The Rahway Valley Railroad's main track, between the Route 22 grade crossing and the Kenilworth Yards, ran alongside the golf course. The tracks in this area were constructed in a small cut and located high above the golf course. The golf course itself is located in a sort-of low level "bowl," which is probably why "Lake Wewanna" was proposed to be located here. Nevertheless, the golfers must've enjoyed seeing the RVRR steamers going by despite getting soot on their clean golf clothes!

The tracks located along the course apparently had a bit of a grade to them. This area was referred to by William S. Young as the "Tin Kettle Hill Grade" (the actual Tin Kettle Hill was removed 1903-1906 by the PRR for use as a fill). In talking about a track velocipede that George Clark had purchased, Young mentions the grade, "He made a trip or two between the Unionbury station and Kenilworth, about 2 miles, but decided that pumping up the grade over Tinkettle Hill was too arduous, even for him." ("Short Line Man" William S. Young. Railroading Magazine. April 1969).

William Young captioned this photo - "Summit Flyer" heads up locally famed Tinkettle Hill out of Kenilworth. Record for Tinkettle, with running start: 38 cars" Photo taken by William S. Young

Seen here is #17, in her two different paint schemes, somewhere along the Galloping Hill Golf Course. As the years went on this area became thick with vegetation, making photographs, such as the earlier ones, difficult to take. Left photo, Collection of Frank Reilly.

Looking south. Photo taken by Jeff Jargosch.

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