Feature Articles 3 Departments 2 8 10 Hi All, It’s hard to believe we are celebrating our 25th year. Who could have thought that small band of dedicated Volunteers who came together a quarter century ago with a desire to “play with real Trains” would grow into the Great Society we have now. From those humble beginnings we have gone from a one car operation to the collection of equipment we now have. From running one car Santa Trains to the Polar Express trains we now run that sell out in less than two days and require two Santa’s to run. To having Thomas the Tank Engine and now the Dinosaur Trains. And we are always looking to expand! We have been in Films and are known all around the Railroad community. Not bad for that small group. Along the way we have made a great number of friends and sadly lost too many of our friends who will not be forgotten. As always there are tons of things to do and so little time to do them. Your help will make it happen. Come out and give an hour or a day, it all helps. Upcoming work in 2014. Getting the M1 ready for service. Getting the 501 ready for service. Brush cutting along the right of way. Work in the Station Area Let’s continue to work together and make 2014 a Great Year for our Society! As always, my “door” is always open to you, our members. Here’s to another 25 YEARS! President John Stocker The Polar Express at night. 2 Happenings At The Station Harold Fredericks President’s Message John Stocker Bel-Del News Harold Fredericks– Honored Rich Onorevole 13 Maywood Station Historical Committee Ed Kaminski 14 18 From The Current Time Table Ralph Bonanno Shop Talk Martin Den Bleyker Covers Front: NYSW 3810 on the SU-99 in Bagota NJ on 3-813. Photo: Ed Kaminski Rear Top: NYSW #3810 on the SU-99 at Butler NJ on 4-16-14. Photo: Kevin Quinn Rear Bottom: The NYSW 3014 at Maywood NJ on 2-05-14. Photo: Ed Kaminski

Th e station and freight house at Oak Ridge served the New Jersey Midland and New York Susquehanna and Western railroads for ninety years. In the 920’s and 30’s it was a gathering place where people came to talk and to get information from the telegraph. Passengers came and went on the train. The mail train brought letters and packages. Express shipments went in and out. Boxes and barrels moved n and out of the freight house. Coal trains, milk trains and ice trains passed by daily. While most days were routine there were some unusual happenings. The Trapper A well-known brakeman lived on a dead end road near the station. He was an ardent hunter, fisherman and trapper. He was often at the station telling fantastic stories about his exploits. He tended a trap along the right-of-way of the railroad. The man would jump off the front of a moving train, bag a muskrat, skunk or a mink and then jump on the caboose with his catch. Now if you asked the brakeman if this was a true he would assure you that it was. Anyway these exaggerated stories prompted some lively conversation. The Bitter Blacksmith One Sunday morning, in the early life of the railroad, an eastbound coal train stopped just below the station. There was trouble with the engine. A vital part needed welding, a simple job for a blacksmith. The local smithy was not cooperative. He refused to weld the part “because it was the Sabbath”. His language, however, indicated that there were other reasons. Some years before some of the man’s prime farm property had been appropriated by the Midland. His compensation was unsatisfactory and the blacksmith remem3 bered. Perhaps, the Susquehanna had an impossible job of making everybody a friend of the railroad. The Lost Mail Bag One hot summer afternoon the railroad mail clerk opened both doors of the mail car. When he arrived at the Oak Ridge he found that a bag of first class mail had fallen out. He was much disturbed as losing U.S. mail was a serious matter. My father sent my brother and me to find the bag. It laid somewhere between Stockholm and Oak Ridge. We drove to the midpoint at the Oak Ridge reservoir. My brother went west and I went east, looking on both sides of track. Two minutes out I spied the bag on the side of a small cinder fill. It was too late to reach my brother, a fast walker. I sat on a bank bag in hand while he went to Stockholm and back. The next day the grateful mail clerk gave us each a dollar which on the days of the depression was very adequate and welcome reward. The Stubborn Elephant Alfred Ringling, one of the brothers of the famed Ringling circus, came to Oak Ridge in 1913. He called a section of the Longwood Valley, “the most beautiful place on earth”. Here he built a three story fieldstone mansion overlooking a lake and farmer’s fields. Alfred envisioned and assembled a small trunk circus that would go from town to town in northern New Jersey. Animals were brought up on the railroad and marched three miles to the Ringling barns. Alfred’s only son, Richard, was named to managed the circus. Richard was a privileged young man who often came to the station in his Stutz bearcat sports car. The circus was not a success. The trucks were too often bogged down on the mud of the 1918 dirt roads. Ani(Continued on page 4)

The young man, in this 1946 picture, is not waiting for a train. He just stopped to see what was happening at the station. (Authors collection) mals, circus wagons and cages were shipped back on the railroad. One cow elephant was reluctant to leave. She left the march and was found drinking at Wallace’s pond. When she reached the station she refused to enter the box car. There was no way to get the big girl to go in under her own power. Six men and a boy hauled her in with the mechanical advantage of a block and tackle. The car door was secured just as the way freight blew for the road crossing. Section Hand’s Freight A motor car with four section hands stopped at the station to inquire if the track was clear for them to proceed to Newfoundland. They were particularly cautious because they had just had a frightening experience. At Stockholm they were told that the way freight was at Newfoundland and would soon be heading west. The foreman realized that the train as usual would be unloading freight at Oak Ridge and he could meet the train there. Unusually, this day there was no business. The way freight passed by the station without stopping. The track workers saw its plume of smoke rising above a narrow rock cut a mile before the planned meet. The scramble to leave the rails before entering the cut left the men and motor car in great disarray among the trackside weeds. The locomotive puffed merrily by with its half dozen cars and caboose. Experience Counts In the very early Susquehanna diesel days an Alco.S2. going in the coal yard siding, dropped two wheels off the track. The train crew was prepared with re-rails, spike and a spike hammer but had little experience spiking the re-rails to the ties. One by one the trainmen tried to hit the spike head with the pointed spike hammer. A seventy year old retired sectionhand stood by watching the bungling with disgust. He finally grabbed the hammer and drove the spikes home with the standard four meaningful strokes. With an easy tug on the throttle the wheels were lifted up on the rail. The Speedy Milk Trains To see the milk trains at the end of a day was like having dessert after a good meal. There were two of them, each with three engines and two dozen cars. The trains raced through Oak Ridge twenty minutes apart. Kids and grownups were warned not to stand in front of the station when the milk train 4 The arrival of a train was always an exciting time. The Hanford Branch mail and passenger train stopped at Oak Ridge minutes before eleven o’clock in the summer of 1939. This date engine No. 972 hauled the combination mail baggage car and coach. passes. The speed of the cars drew objects into their wheels. My brother lost his new express wagon this way. The three H -4 consolidations passed with a swish, swish sound as the engineers adjusted their throttles for a gentle braking action on the down grade. The little 50 inch drivers and the rapid motion of the rods added to the appearance of speed. A veteran engineer told me that he had piloted a milk train for 11 years with the same engine, camelback Consolidation No.121. The Susquehanna served the rich dairy farm country of Sussex and Warren counties, comparatively close to the market. The short haul was an invitation for trucks to compete. Inevitably the two milk trains and the ice train were combined. In the 1930’s, the three trains became one plodding freight, switching here and there as it went. The speedy milk trains were gone forever. Travel to the Farmers Picnic In the early 1900’s the big event of the summer was the farmers’ picnic at Lake Grinell. The picnic took place in an oak grove along the tracks of the Susquehanna and the L. & H. R. making connections at Sparta Junction. Many farm boys took their girlfriends to this popular outing. Les, a young fellow from Oak Ridge, took a girl from Milton. They arrived at the station with a fully loaded picnic basket and boarded the picnic special. They made the connection at Sparta Junction and spent a pleasant day at the picnic grove. The returning special train arrived at the station on time but Les and his friend were not among the passengers. Had they missed the train? There was concern how they would get home. Soon a work train arrived delivering the two special passengers to Oak Ridge. Les had to explain what happened. At Sparta Junction the two boarded the waiting train. Les chose the last seat on the last car. With all of the attention on each other they paid no attention to what was happening. The train pulled out leaving them stranded on an unattached car. They started walking. It was three miles to Sparta Station. It was the good fortune for the pair that the company engineers and surveyors had been working that day up along the Delaware River and were returning with an engine and a coach. The crew saw the plight of the travelers, broke the rules and invited them aboard. At Oak Ridge a horse and wagon was waiting to take them home, the end of a near perfect day.

track were laid down and picked up as the machine chugged to the dam site a mile away. After two years work the shovel was to be moved back on the railroad. It was stored along the road between our home and the tracks. Hyman – Goodman found no use for the machine so it just stood there marring the landscape. Kids climbed over it and got dirty. My mother hated the thing. Over the years my father made many attempts to get rid of the monster. Finally in 1930, he was told that the shovel was his to do what he pleased with it. He sold it to the scarp dealer for twenty-five dollars. This was a week’s wages at that time but little compensation for the nuisance it had been for nearly a dozen years. Fire in the Chimney There was a lot happening at the station in the 1890’s when summer boarders arrived to go back to the city. Jefferson Township Historical Society The Ugly Steam Shovel The Oak Ridge reservoir dam was built in 1900. It was greatly enlarged in 1917 by the contracting firm, Hyman – Goodman of Jersey. A huge steam shovel, originally used to build the Panama Canal, was brought upon the Susquehanna to move a necessary massive amount of soil. It was the heaviest shipment ever to be assigned to the Oak Ridge station. The shovel had eight wheels to move on the standard gauge track. A shelter covered the boiler, the engine, and the operator. There was a system of sheaves and cables and a four foot bucket on the long hinged boom. Sections of After 1927, the Susquehanna supplied soft coal for heating station building. It burned with intense heat, a sulfur smell and left a combustible residue on the chimney. A passerby noticed flames coming from the station chimney and notified the agent. The ever present fire ladder came into rapid use but the water barrel had been neglected. Available hands brought pails of water from nearby neighbors. It was poured on the charred roofing while the fire was allowed to burn out. The building was saved to serve the railroad thirty more years. The combined station and freight house buildings were moved one hundred feet to the fuel company’s property in 1962 and are still used as a warehouse for the company’s business. Alfred Ringling’s manor house being completed in 1918. The building contained 28 rooms, 8 baths, elaborate wood carvings, Tiffany stained glass, a $75,000 organ and fire5 A glimpse of the postal clerk at Oak Ridge in 1915. He sorted the mail while traveling, delivering mail from town to town. The engine is No. 24 hauling the “Sussex mail”. (Authors collection)

Bruce Van Wyk this seems to be a trait of railroaders in general, Bruce was quite adept at entertaining us. Many a Saturday night we would sit around the restaurant table and swap stories into the wee hours of the night. We always laughed and had a great time. I remember many years ago when we had the Newfoundland engine house and we had to swap out an engine in the M1. It had snowed and the roads were quite bad. Bruce and I somehow made it to the shop and swapped out the engine. All these years later I still remember how excited I was to work along side of him. It was always an educational process working with Bruce. You might learn anything from the top ( classified) speed of an aircraft carrier to the metallurgical makeup of a bearing, but it was always interesting to say the least. One thing I admired most about Bruce was that he never gave up on something he believed in. The society and his friends all benefited from his determined and forthright nature. Perhaps this is one reason why Bruce’s death is so hard to fathom, it seemed he would be around forever, way to tough and stubborn and determined to let any illness get the better of him. Alas our friend has left us and I know one thing for sure, the great railroad in heaven will be in perfect working condition by the time I get there, Bruce will see to that! L ong time New York Susquehanna & Western Technical & Historical Society member Bruce Van Wyk passed away on March 6th. Before retiring, Bruce worked as the maintenance engineer for Fratelli Beretta USA, Inc. in South Hackensack and was formerly the mechanic and lead foreman on the Morristown and Erie Railroad. Bruce also was a Navy veteran who served the country during the Vietnam War aboard the USS Enterprise.To say that Bruce was important to the society is a great understatement. Bruce was our Chief Mechanical Officer ( CMO) and for his exceptional service was awarded life time membership in the society. Bruce helped the society obtain a reputation for doing things others couldn't even imagine. He was a superb mechanic best known for being the leading force behind the restoration of our New York Susquehanna & Western RDC M-1. Much more than a mechanic, Bruce was a friend and a mentor to many of us. One of Bruce’s other talents was story telling, while During one of our Saturday night dinners Rich Onorevole presented Bruce with a Christmas present of a pine cone! This was a long running gag with Bruce. 6 Bruce at work on the Morristown & Erie Railroad. Photo: William Kunath

Many years ago we posed for this picture while running Santa trips in Ledgewood with the M-1. Bruce in his element working on a 610 block in our Newfoundland shop Above left: Bruce never shied away from a big job. Here we took the trucks out from under the M-1 for an overhaul. Above right: As always “holding court” telling stories. This was during a picnic in Whippany.

As always things have been quite busy. After The Polar Express, train operations took some time off, and maintenance work picked up! While the steam crew has been eagerly working on #142 in anticipation of springtime and the coming of “steam” the rest of us have been busy working on the coaches. Car 530 had the tiles coming up off the floor and many of the seats were loose as well. We lag bolted all the seats in place and re-glued down all of the tiles. One of the biggest projects was the repainting of the Gift Shop. All of the contents of the shop has to be removed and it was shipped off to Topton PA to be painted. It made its debut on The Easter Bunny Train Ride. The color is much brighter than we are used to but it represents the historical NYS&W red which just happens to also be the red of Stevens Institute of Technology. Above: The Polar Express had some beautiful snowy nights this year. Just enough to make it beautiful, but not dangerous. Top Left: Dylan Vieyles working of #142 valve lubricating lines. Top right: Devin Stasak working with Don Young to reassemble the cab appliances on #142. Bottom left: Our gift shop makes its first appearance in Susquehanna red during The Easter Bunny Train Ride. 8

Long time member Kevin Griggs ( KB) was awarded life time membership by the Society. Here Gary Shea presents him with a plaque in commemoration of his service to the Society. Kevin is our senior trainmen and is best known for his ability to pack a train. Kevin has retired to Connecticut to be close to his family and is missed on the Bel-Del 9

Harold Fredericks 100 years Old! By Rich Onorevole On December 12th, 2013 the Paulinskill Valley Trail Committee celebrated Harold Fredericks 100th birthday at their annual dinner at the Lafayette House in Lafayette Township. Present were members of Harold's family and the event was co-hosted by Bob Nicholson Sr and Bob Nicholson III. Harold is, at 100 years old, just as a remarkable person that he was when he graduated college in 1934. He can still relate the memories that he experienced while growing up and living along the Susquehanna Railroad. His father, Harry Fredericks was the station agent at the Oak Ridge station for forty years. he also was the local postmaster for 33 years. In those days, a group of "locals" (who would be called "railfans" today), would congregate daily to greet the 6:30PM mail train. The stories that evolved here did much to shape Harold's admiration of the NYS&W. His Father also operated a small coal yard along the tracks at Oak Ridge, which also added to his experiences. He also has authored the widely heralded book "The Wilkes-Barre and Eastern Railroad" which many consider to be the definitive work on this railroad. Harold's talk on December 12th, was that of a summer-land vacation of a young man who traveled by train to the Karamac Inn by the Delaware Water Gap. Sadly, the Inn is long gone, and the tracks long abandoned. But the memories are alive through people like Harold, who also provided much input to new endeavors such as the hiking trails such as the Paulinskill valley Trail that now exist in the area. Harold showed that he can still relate the hundreds of stories based on his experiences of growing up along the Susquehanna. And he can still present a captivating slide show with many of the excellent images that he recorded during his lifetime. A humble individual, he graciously has assisted many historical groups by sharing his knowledge and materials. Time may have slowed him a bit, but he still has a twinkle in his eye when a subject that interests him arises....which is quite often. He is a treasure that many of us have had the privilege to share, and God has blessed us with having him for a century of memories!

T wenty five years! It seems like only yesterday when we started out on this adventure. We have been many places and done so many interesting things. It is inconceivable to imagine that things could have worked out any better! Things were not always easy, in fact, our success has come out of adversity! Every time a roadblock was put in our way, we worked around it only to come out better than ever before. Our specialty has always been historic restoration of railroad equipment funded by operating trips for the general public. Our equipment roster has blossomed from our humble beginnings with the NYSW RDC M-1, to a whole fleet of equipment including our very own steam locomotive NYSW #142. We have operated trips near and far. Hawthorne, Maywood, Rutherford, Whippany, Ledgewood, Butler, Rockaway, Newfoundland, Dover, Westfield, Dunellen, Binghamton, Syracuse, Lincoln Park, Ridgewood, Morristown, Hackensack and Phillipsburg all have hosted our excursions. We hold some of the most coveted licenses in the tourist railroad industry, such as, A Day Out With Thomas, The Polar Express and Dinosaur Train. Over 100,000 people visited our Delaware River Railroad Excursions in 2013. None of this happened by accident, we have an extremely competent group of volunteers that have dedicated their free time to ensure the success of the organization. Over the years, we have become a tight knit “family” existing for much more than simply the trains. The true secret to our success is in the caring and compassion we share for each other and our shared enthusiasm for our hobby. We have shared births, weddings, graduations and sadly, deaths, always coming together for the betterment of all. On these pages you will see some pictures of various trips we have operated and places we have been. I could fill books with all the photographs. Not much has changed other than some gray hair here and there. Our goals are still he same and our “family” is strong as ever. I thank each and one of you for all that we have. Chris Cotty VP & General Manager

MSHC 2013 Year in Review Year 2013 concluded another busy year for the Maywood Station Museum. Aside from the usual mix of preservation and maintenance items we attend to as well as a new restoration By Ed Kaminski H .O Scale Model of Maywood Station Museum’s Historic Locomotive to be Released this Spring! A finely-detailed, operating, H.O. Scale limited-run model of the actual National Register Listed, 1942-built, New York, Susquehanna & Western Alco S-2 Locomotive #206 that is cosmetically restored and located at the Maywood Station Museum will be produced by the Atlas Model Railroad Company this Spring. The model is available EXCLUSIVELY through the Maywood Station Museum while supplies last and all proceeds will benefit the museum. The Maywood Station Museum is accepting orders and the model will be available in Item # MSHC-01 (Analog/Decoder Ready) for $125.00 each (MSRP $149.95) and Item# MSHC02 (Decoder Equipped with Sound) for $220.00 each (MSRP $259.95). To place an order for a model(s), please send an email to info@maywoodstation.com with the quantity you wish to order and specify either Item# MSHC- 01 or Item# MSHC02 including your name, address and telephone number. For more information, please visit the Maywood Station Museum website at www.maywoodstation.com or the Maywood Station Museum Facebook page. All proceeds go to further preservation and maintenance of the historic Maywood Station Museum. project, membership had a very challenging schedule of museum open house events including our third year hosting a series of free concerts at the station. In 2013 we held a new event The Easter Bunny at the Maywood Station Museum on March 30. The event was very successful and with approximately 300 visitors. Many parents commented that they enjoyed the event and we look forward to making this an annual event in the museum schedule. We also held three free concerts on the station grounds – two on Wednesday evening open houses in June and August and one during Annual Railroad Day at Maywood Station on October 6. The weather was great for all three free concerts and attendance was good. The concerts were known as the The Maywood Station Museum Backyard Summer Concert Series and were once again sponsored by Park Avenue Acura. The concerts featured performances by local bands and performers, which included Dave Murphy & the Bull Brothers; Anker and David Jacobsen. On October 6, the museum hosted Annual Railroad Day at Maywood Station Museum. The event went on exceptionally well and it was estimated that approximately 400 people visited the station that day. The Annual Santa at Maywood Station Museum event on December 14 drew a record-high of 542 visitors marking our largest Santa event ever. Public attendance figures to the museum’s 2013 schedule of two open houses on Wednesday evenings and four Sunday afternoons between May and November plus the Annual Santa at Maywood Station Museum event on Saturday, December 14 came in slightly above 2012. The museum had the good fortune of enjoying favorable weather conditions at each open house/event. Additionally, the November 10 regular open house had an unusually high amount of visitors. For the year 2013, the Maywood Station Museum schedule of six open houses and the Annual Santa at Maywood Station Museum event drew 2419 visitors, up from the year 2012 total of 2387. This signified a 1.01% increase. Prior year totals are 2577 in year 2011; 2351 in year 2011; 2289 in year 2009; 1982 in year 2008, 2142 in year 2007, 1967 in year 2006; and 1621 in year 2005, the first year of museum operations. The museum also saw a 3.2% increase in revenue from open houses as compared to year 2012. The books, Maywood - The Borough, The Railroad, and The Station and The New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad in New Jersey and sales from Museum Store items including The Maywood Station Story DVD; holiday ornaments; calendars; T-shirts and hats; Reflector magazines; and Maywood Station models; as well as general donations and commercial photos helped contribute to the bottom line. Online sales through the Maywood Station Museum website’s Museum Store posted an increase of 82% over 2012 led by strong book and calendar sales. The 2013 Maywood Station Museum Holiday Ornament, which was released on October 6 at the Annual Railroad Day at the Maywood Station Museum event officially sold-out on December 14 for the second year in a row at the Annual Santa at Maywood Station Museum event. The annual ornament continues to be a strong year-end fundraiser for the museum. Year 2013 also brought several new additions and donations to the museum including many new photographs to the collection. (Continued on page 14) 13

Aside from the upcoming Museum Open Houses and events schedule for 2014, membership will be working on several maintenance and preservation items as well as commencing on a large, new, restoration project of an original New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad semaphore signal. The semaphore pole and base was moved to the station in the summer of 2013. The goal is to restore the semaphore to operating condition sometime in 2014. If you haven’t visited our museum in the past, we invite you to come to an open house or event in 2014 and experience our museum for the first time. If you’ve visited in the past, make plans to visit us again and see our new displays, exhibits and events. - Ed Kaminski Available Now!! - Maywood & NYS&W in New Jersey Books! The Maywood Station Museum Store now has available two books written by historian, author and Maywood Station Historical Committee President, Edward S. Kaminski and published by Arcadia Publishing Company. Maywood - The Borough, The Railroad, and The Station traces Maywood's history from a farming community through its population and industrial growth brought on in part by the coming of the New Jersey Midland Railway in 1872. Separate chapters include The Borough of Maywood; The New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad in Maywood; and Maywood Station including its role in the development of Maywood and its recent restoration and museum. New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad in New Jersey, traces the history of the railroad from the late 19th century through the 20th century and covers the complete route of all its mainline track and branches in New Jersey. Each 128-page book contains over 200 quality images with detailed captions and are available for $22.00 each at Maywood Station on Museum Open House dates or by mail order through our website at www.maywoodstation.com. All proceeds will go toward further preservation and maintenance of the historic Maywood Station Museum. Society Train Show at Mother Seton High School in Clark, NJ on Sunday, March 2. MSHC Members Rob Pisani, Kevin Quinn, David Percival, Wendy Cummings, Tim Moses and Vince Molodowec were on hand representing the Maywood Station Museum at the table…….Pat Reynolds and his wife Barbara vacationed in Utah during mid-March. Pat also ran in a marathon while he was there…..Original MSHC member Doug Earls has taken a new job in Texas and has relocated there……The Easter Bunny visits the Maywood Station Museum on Saturday, April 12 from 10am to Noon. This event was very well received last year and we look forward to hosting this year’s event once again. Maywood Station Museum Store The Maywood Station Museum has available numerous merchandise items in the Museum Store on Open House dates or they can be ordered online on our website at www.maywoodstation.com. These items include the awardwinning DVD documentary The Maywood Station Story; Maywood – The Borough, The Railroad, and The Station and New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad in New Jersey books; Atlas Model Railroad Company HO and N-scale models of the actual Maywood Station™; Maywood Station Museum Holiday Ornaments and Pens; Maywood Station Museum T-shirts, Polo Shirts, Windshirts and Caps; NYS&W Railway Caps; NYS&W Railway Miniature Clocks; NYS&W Railway Calendars; NYS&W Railway Lithographs and Postcards; NYS&WT&HS Calendars; Engineer Hats; Children's Train Whistles; Children's Pull Toy Trains; and Atlas Model Railroad Company Train Sets. All proceeds help support the preservation and maintenance of the historic Maywood Station Museum MSHC Membership News Ed Kaminski’s photo of an NYS&W train blasting through a snow bank at the Maywood Avenue grade crossing in fron to the Maywood Station Museum appeared in the Jan. 5 Sunday edition of The Record Newspaper……A Red Carpet reception was held on Feb. 8 for Kevin Quinn to commemorate his appearance on the Extreme Collectors television show……Keith Smollin married his fiancé Bonnie on March 15 in Scranton, PA. Congrats to both! …….Work will start again once the weather warms in the spring where it was left off in the fall on the restoration of the semaphore pole……The Maywood Station Museum once again hosted a sales and information table at the annual Jersey Central Chapter National Railway Historical 14

goes as far west as Midland Park NJ on occasion, also is a good money maker for the railroad with the customers they serve. As for the remaining crews, the WS-1 and WS-2 remain focused on the CSX Intermodal yard, and the WS-3 being the afternoon assignment that assembles the SU-99 prior to its departure, then drills cars in the intermodal yard with a couple of non intermodal customers they usually serve. But in any case, while there hasn’t been any major news, the railroad has quietly and smoothly continued to serve its many customers safely and without incidents. As for other items in this department, the railroad has comMARCH 2014 Ok folks, its been a while, but here we go again with another look at the recent activities of our favorite railroad. I must confess that this time the column will likely be smaller owing in part to a general lack of news, but as the saying goes, the one constant in railroading is change, there is still some news here and there to report on. So here we go…. OPERATIONS Operations over the past several months have been somewhat uneventful, but if nothing else they’ve been steady. Car loadings are either growing or holding their own, and the revenue side of things looks good. There have been several capital improvement projects both completed and ongoing, with some additional projects planned for the future. Unlike the last column which had a significant amount of northern division news, this time the bulk (such that it is) of news is from the southern Division. The past several months have marked a winter that was actually a REAL winter in the northeast, both in terms of snowfall and temperatures, and this resulted in the railroad running several plow extras, and in once instance running three separate plows on the same day: one on the northern division, one on the Southern Tier and one on the southern division. But I’ll get back to this in a bit. Traffic has seen an overall increase on the southern division. As an example, the railroad has the WS-5 crew, on duty (as of press time) at 6 pm, which works east of Little Ferry to North Bergen and Jersey City to the Marion interchange with NS. This assignment has seen a steady increase in traffic and it is now normal to come back to the yard with 30 + cars on a regular basis, and the crew run out of time before completing their work. The result has been having a second crew finish up any leftover work the following day, thus supplementing the WS-5. The WS-6, the Sparta Turn has also seen traffic increase, with Sparta Jct seeing a crew there nightly and most times for several hours. A lot of times the cars for Sparta will be dropped by the SU-100 or even the 99 since the road trains have more available horsepower. The other job that has seen an increase of activity is the WS-4, the “PC Job” as the bulk of its work is centered around Passaic Jct yard in Saddle Brook NJ. This job, which 14 pleted several capital improvement projects recently. Most notably was the installation of ties, ballast, and re-decking of a few bridges on the Southern Division between Butler (MP 38) and Sparta (MP 64). This was completed in part with funding of s state DOT grant, which I mentioned in a previous column. As part of this grant, several grade crossing improvement projects were undertaken, most notably the Mt Vernon St crossing in Ridgefield Park NJ. This crossing sees a significant amount of heavy truck traffic and because of that, was in major need of repair. The work involved the installation of new rail, ties and ballast, along with a new concrete crossing. This took several days to complete, but when completed, was a much welcomed improvement for all involved. CSX, which parallels the NYS&W here, is planning for an upgrade/replacement of its crossing at Mt Vernon St later this year and as of press time, ballast has been dumped trackside, along with ties and crossing timbers. No timetable has been set for installation as of now (late March). Next, we have the winter that wouldn’t quit…… This past winter was one that a lot of people would like to forget. As of late March when I type this, we are into Spring by a few days, but you would never know it owing to the continued bouts of cold snaps with temps hovering around or struggling to get above freezing when we should be around the 50 degree mark here in northeastern NJ. That said, this winter did have the bonus of a lot of snow and thus increasing photographic opportunities for several people, myself included. The peak seemed to be here in NJ when on Valentine’s Day, Feb 14, the railroad operated THREE separate snow plow extra trains. One ran on the Northern Division, which normally sees several of these movements each winter, owing to the lake effect snows up in that region. A second ran over parts of the CNYK, the Southern Tier Line east of Binghamton towards Port Jervis NY, though the plow extra didn’t go that far. The third train ran over the Southern Division from Ridgefield Park NJ to Warwick NY and return, which I happened to catch and will thus report on as follows. It was no secret the railroad planned a plow run for Friday, February 14, and as such several people in addition to myself gathered at Ridgefield park to await the departure of the train. The plow, # 91, had been moved to the service track in anticipation of an impending storm that did indeed drop a significant snowfall (on top of several inches already on the ground). The weather was sunny and bitterly cold, but that didn’t dampen spirits. Hope for a yellow jacket on the train were dashed when the NS 5294, a GP38-2 was used instead. It was shortly after 9 am when the 91, pushed by the 5294(facing east) began its trek westward. While the morning sunlight proved a bit tricky, several people were out for the chase and the sun and clouds did their dance for a good portion of the afternoon. A light delay owing to a vehicle stuck on the tracks just west of Butler slowing things down minimally, but the run went without incident otherwise. It should be noted however, for those of us

Snow plow extra on the Ramapo River Bridge, Oakland, NJ Feb 14, 2014 Ralph Bonnano in our warm vehicles chasing the train, there was NO heat in the cab of the snow plow, making a long day seem longer for the crew and track dept. personnel no doubt. But the weather cooperated (even if the sun in the sky seemed to be there just for decoration), and the plow train was a nice diversion in a pretty cold and long winter season. Kudos to the crew of Jason Emery and Todd Hryn (who endured the lack of heat in the plow’s cab) along with the track dept. employees. MOTIVE POWER UPDATE Things have been kind of quiet in this area this time around. One item of interest was that in late March, it was announced that the threeGP20’s (#s 2062, 2064, 2066), long in the4 dead line in Binghamton NY, have been sold for scrap to a local dealer, Ben Weitzman and Sons. The fluids were drained, the the scrapping was expected to take place in the Liberty Street yard in Binghamton, NY. This leaves the three SD70Ms and 2 SD45’s on the deadline, with their fates unknown at the present time. As for the rest of the roster, the SD60’s have been performing their duties largely without incident, as have the tunnel motors and SD40-s. The 3022 returned to Jersey for a bit in late March, as the 3014 and 3016, which had been mainstays on the Southern Division, were sent north for inspections and some mechanical work. The lone GP40, 3040 continues to soldier on in Utica, with other power being rotated between Syracuse, Cortland and Binghamton. The NJ based locals are being handled by CSXT 2732, NS 5294, and NS 5291. The only time these have left the property has been to go to their respective owners for their periodic inspections and any mechanical repairs that might be needed. But aside from that, its pretty much all quiet on the power front these days. 15 RETIREMENT, NYS&W STYLE, PART DEAUX And lastly, in what seems to be a regular feature, I would like to note the retirement of a long time NYS&W locomotive engineer and good friend, Mark “Sparky” Wilber, last October. Mark, having reach the combination of 30 years of service and 60 years of age, decided it was time to “pull the pin” after a lengthy career. It should be noted that before his time on the NY&W, he also worked on companion Delaware Otsego Corp railroad Fonda, Johnstown and Gloverville, an operation which has long since passed from the scene and has been abandoned. Mark was working the BH-1 job out of Binghamton NY when his retirement came, and you can bet he doesn’t miss the alarm clock going off or having to answer the phone anymore. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Mark several years, and I’m glad to call him a friend and fellow professional. He was always gracious and hospitable to me when I ever was in the area, and a great guy to talk with (and share the occasional spaghetti dinner with in Bogota NJ when he made it to Jersey on a few occasions). I don’t know of anyone who didn’t like him, and I can only wish him many happy days in his retirement, and thank him for his years of service and friendship. Enjoy your rest, Sparky, you’ve earned it !! Finally, as I noted, this column is a little smaller this time for several reasons, but nevertheless its here again. With the coming spring, there should hopefully be more news, and a trip to the Northern Division for me is in order to renew friendships first and foremost, and then as well to scope things out in the news department. But keep in mind, I cant do it alone; your contributions are always welcome, for its YOUR Reflector, YOUR T&HS, and YOUR dues that help us to keep going and publishing. Please email me at blet601@gmail.com with any pertinent clippings or news items and they will most likely be used the following Reflector. I cant do it alone; your help is needed and always welcome. Until next time…….

Top: SU-99 power on the rear of its train as the WS-3 crew drills out cripple cars. Ridgefield Park, NJ 2/28/14 Bottom: WS-2 with the 3014 passes eastbound as the SU-99, waits to depart Bogota NJ 2/5/14

Top: Westbound SU 99 at Edison Road, Oakland NJ Feb 3, 2014. Bottom: WS-X plow extra westbound at Goffle Road crossing, Midland Park NJ 2/14/14

wise, to try it. We then took on the task of running trips ourselves to raise money for the RDC. Once it was ready, we ran trips on several rare mileage lines with the Budd. We used the RDC in Morristown, Chester, Dover, Scranton and Syracuse as well as on the NYS&W. It would appear in a Heineken TV commercial and a low budget film patterned after the Long Island massacre. When we realized a one car train limited our resources, we obtained the M-2 and M-4 but lost our shop in Newfoundland to work on them. For a time, we had a replacement shop in Butler, but those Budds never got into it. Soon after, the Susquehanna Railway entered the SILVER EDITION When I think about it, it’s been an amazing journey. November 2013 marked this Society’s 25th anniversary. May 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the Delaware River Railroad Excursions. I joined the Society about a half year after its inception so I’ve been there pretty much all the way and it’s staggering the steps we took. When you watch the movie, The Station Agent, it opens with a scene of railfans sitting around a projector watching pictures of trains. It is a familiar scene. It is where we started. We had four meetings a year, but would later make it bi-monthly. We’ve held those meetings in five different venues, the current one being Maywood library where the meetings continue. As one of our objectives was to support the formation of a badly needed transportation museum in New Jersey, in 1989, we were assigned the M-1, an original Susquehanna Budd RDC and thus was born our Mechanical Department. It was quickly given an exterior paint job, which consisted of removing any paint on the car and placing a maroon letterboard stripe with silver SUSQUEHANNA upon it. It was then displayed in the Hoboken Train Festival and that’s when and where I joined the Society. It wasn’t until the following year we had a place to do further work, the former Morris County Central enginehouse in Newfoundland. Newfoundland station was the central site of The Station Agent and one other film used the locale during the period it was owned by one of our members. It would not be our last involvement in films. We went to work on the RDC in July of 1990 and in September, 1992 we rolled it out for its shakedown run. It returned to Hoboken for the Rail Festival, which was then in the autumn, and those who remembered it from its 1989 appearance were stunned at its “new” look. Our Operating Department tourist market in New Jersey when they acquired Mikado 142 from the Valley Railroad. In the process, it would be used in the film Cider House Rules. We naturally took to assisting the railway in running their program. Eventually we were leasing the engine and coaches to run trips on New Jersey Transit Boonton and Raritan Valley lines. Then came the day we could no longer run on the Susquehanna. Rather than be depressed about it, we looked for a new home to run 142 permanently. This was not an easy task. As it turned out, the still unfounded museum was to be placed in Phillipsburg. With no progress being made, the town asked the Black River Railroad, owners of the Belvidere & Delaware Railway, if they could start an operation there. They intended to run a Brill motorcar. That is when we asked the Black River where we could run and next you know, we started running there May 1st, 2004. We had bought the engine from Steam locomotive #142 poses with Tobey Maguire on the cover of “The Cider House Rules”. Our locomotive was in several scenes in the movie as well. started with our staffing of the New Jersey Transit Ski Trains in 1990. It was an unsuccessful attempt to demonstrate rail service to the Vernon ski area. They picked a poor year, weather18 the railway but we also needed cars. It was not the first piece of rolling stock we obtained. During the work on M-1 we got the Plymouth 18 ton engine to make shop moves. We would add another engine to our roster when we put S-2, 206 on display at Maywood Station. We leased cars from the NYS&W and the Adirondack Railroad but we needed our own equipment. When an opportunity came up to acquire ten Budd SPVs, we took them. Moving them turned out to be a logistical nightmare and in the end they were scrapped. We purchased 5 World’s Fair series Long Island cars from Cape Cod. But before we could do much with them, we then got an opportunity to purchase 9 bi-level gallery cars from Chicago Metra. We sold two and swapped four for the NYS&W Long Island coaches. Four of the newer L.I. cars eventually would be scrapped as well. The Long Island had a habit of pouring tons of salt on the stairwells in winter, which left them in rough shape. We also acquired a baggage car for head end power for the bi-levels. When we started on the Bel-Del, it was with 3-1/2 miles of track running hourly on weekends while the Brill ran Thursdays and Fridays in summer for two years. During that time, we supplied a crew for a freight train used in another film, The Mercy Man. It was an independent film that was apparently released in 2009, but probably only in the Los Angeles area.

We gained a bit more mileage each even year since, now up to 7-1/2 miles, but the plan was always to reach Riegelsville, 1.2 mile yet to go. But as we gained mileage, we also got more inventive. With the 2005 release of The Polar Express, our Christmas trains made a rather radical change starting in 2006 when we were licensed by Warner Brothers to run trains themed to the movie. In 2013, we put tickets on sale August 1st and sold out 28 trips August 2nd. In 2010, another movie, Becoming Santa, was partially filmed on the Polar Express. In 2011, a James Franco film, Black Dog, Red Dog was filmed on the railroad with many of our members as extras. We are still waiting for release of that film. We now also have Thomas the Tank Engine and the Dinosaur Train themes while our traditional Easter trips and pumpkin trains in October continue to thrive. All told, we now attract over 150,000 riders a year making us the biggest tourist attraction in Warren County. Sorry Hot Dog Johnny’s. Now remember, I cover Mechanical and Operational departments in this column. I haven’t touched upon 25 years of the Reflector, our calendar, Maywood Station and more of the diversity of our Society. Yes, we’ve come a long way. It has come to the point that nothing seems out of reach and I won’t make limits when I speculate on what the next 25 years hold. It’s done with the dedication of our members and the desire to be more than just another railfan group. And it’s just plain fun! My inbox is always open. Email Mechanical@nyswths.org for instructions on how to help us write the history of the next quarter century. Right two photos: Over the winter work was done on the LIRR passenger cars. Many of the seats were loose and had to be re-bolted to the floor. Almost every seat and most of the tiles had to be removed and re-attached. Many of the seats were re-upholstered as well. As our cars age, they need more work. Its easy and fun work that anyone can do, regardless of their mechanical skills. We are looking to put together a permanent “car shop” of members who want to work on the equipment. Come give a hand! 19 Our newest addition! This is a mulching brush cutter with a reach of 31 feet from center of track. We will now be able to assure our train and our passengers are not damaged by tree branches!

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