|South Branch Railroad Bridge at Duke's Park, postcard circa 1905|
|1954 USGS Map.|
The blue arrow indicates the location of the railroad bridge.
The red arrow indicates the location of Duke's siding.
|South Branch Railroad Bridge at Duke Farms, 2015|
Passenger service on the South Branch was discontinued in 1953, and freight service declined steadily over the next couple of decades. By 1981 the rails were removed from the portion of the line through Duke Farms, but the right-of-way was still owned by Central Jersey Industries - the company that was created after the railroad's bankruptcy. Somerset County tried unsuccessfully to purchase the right-of-way for a bike trail in the 1970s.
Heiress Doris Duke was accused of illegally removing gravel from the roadbed in 1983, as well as placing large boulders to block vehicle access. In the end, she was able to purchase the property when it was auctioned in 1985.