Dover & Rockaway Railroad Realignment Project

The Dover & Rockaway Railroad (D&R) is an approximately six-mile long active freight rail line owned by Morris County and operated by the Dover & Rockaway River Railroad.

The D&R currently connects to the NJ Transit Morristown Line west of Dover and runs parallel to the NJ Transit rail on the north side of the Rockaway River through downtown Dover. East of Dover, the D&R turns north and runs along the Rockaway River through the center of Rockaway Borough before terminating north of I-80 in Rockaway Township.

The D&R has 13 un-gated railroad crossings in Dover and 5 in Rockaway Township; many crossings are located in close proximity to each other. As a result, trains move very slowly through this area.

Realignment crossing map

A Freight Concept Development Study was completed by the NJTPA in 2020 to develop potential alternatives to relocate the existing connection between the D&R and NJ Transit’s rail line from west of Dover, to the east of the town. Moving the connection to the east of Dover would allow for the removal of un-gated rail crossings in downtown Dover, and improve the efficiency and safety of freight rail transport on the D&R. A preferred alternative was identified in the Study.

Morris County was awarded a grant from NJDOT’s Rail Freight Assistance Program to design the preferred alternative.