Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Important news about Sanda Kan

I'm afraid this item got lost in the shuffle. It is now over a month old, but still newsworthy.

There was an opinion piece published in Model Railroad News in June concerning Sanda Kan, one of the largest contract manufacturers in China of model railroad equipment. Here is the link to that article. I think it is worth checking out.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Saving the Dansbury Depot (East Stroudsburg, PA)

Following article is from the Pocono Record for Monday, 7-26-10.

Mattiolis promise $500K to save Dansbury Depot

By Beth Brelje
Pocono Record Writer
July 26, 2010

Drs. Joseph Mattioli and Rose Mattioli pledged $500,000 on Sunday to save the historic Dansbury Depot train station from demolition and expressed an interest in buying it.

But developer Troy Nauman says he still intends to raze the building and go ahead with his proposed project.

The Mattiolis' dramatic, impromptu announcement was made from their car at the depot curbside Sunday as a preservation press conference and rally was wrapping up.

The Mattiolis, owners of the Pocono Raceway, decided to drive past and see the building's condition firsthand.

Joseph Mattioli leaned out of his car and assessed the damage.

"I expected to see a big wreck. It's just 20 percent gone. You can refurbish it," Mattioli said. "I'd donate half a million to save it if (the developer) would do it."

Mattioli called the depot the heart of East Stroudsburg and said he instructed his attorney to talk with the owner about buying it. Price is a consideration. "I'm not going to get taken," Mattioli said.

Backing from the Mattiolis, however, may not be enough to stop the demolition.

"(The group Save Dansbury Depot) missed the deadline. The building is no longer for sale. I will definitely talk to Dr. Mattioli," Nauman said. "It's a great gesture. I would love to explore other alternatives with him."

Mattioli seemed to be considering his options on the spot. If he is able to buy the Civil War-era depot, one move would be to donate it to East Stroudsburg, he said.

"To tear it down would be a shame. See that ironwork there? It's priceless," said Mattioli, pointing to the ornate sidewalk canopy supports.

The crowd of about 40 preservationists listened intently as Mattioli was interviewed by local media about his intention to back preservation of the 1864 depot. When he was finished, the crowd cheered. Some preservationists burst into tears and cried, "Bless you," as the Mattiolis smiled and drove away. He then drove around the block and stopped for a second look at the depot.

The train station was converted to a restaurant in the 1980s and retained its railroad charm until it was damaged by fire last October. It has sat uncovered and in disrepair since.

Restaurant owner Pete Andrews agreed to sell the damaged depot to developer Troy Nauman, who planned to raze it and build a three- or four-story, mixed-use building in its place. The sale price has not been disclosed and is not yet a public record.

"I'm the equitable owner. I own it by contract and can go to closing anytime I want," Nauman said.

When word of the demolition became public, a group or citizens banded together under the name Save Dansbury Depot.

Nauman gave the group a week to produce a buyer with a sizable down payment. As time ticked out on that offer Friday, Teri VanBritsom of Effort got a temporary injunction to delay the destruction.

She must post $50,000 cash for the injunction at the courthouse by Tuesday. VanBritsom has the money and although she will not say where the money came from, it is not from the Save Dansbury Depot group. VanBritsom said she will be in the courthouse today, possibly filing more paperwork regarding the depot.

The injunction claims that the building may still be evidence from the fire and that the building may have asbestos, which could harm the welfare of the community if not properly handled.

Nauman says the fire marshal signed off on the fire and cleared the owner. Andrews was paid by the insurance company, Nauman said. The depot was gutted in 1978 and 1979 for renovation.

"There is no asbestos in the building," Nauman said. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection confirmed that.

"The approach this woman (VanBritsom) has taken, I don't want to sell it. I really want to do the project. I'm going to move forward with the original plan," Nauman said.

Fade to Black

Received the following via email from Kermit Geary, Jr. Text, photos, and captions are his.

Had the occasion to visit with Brian of Brian's Model RR Shop in Myerstown, PA on Wednesday evening and caught a few NS trains rolling through the area... Not one to usually shoot NS power, it sorta gives me a time-warp to 1969 and the wonderful PENN CENTRAL!!!!

NS 3424 & train at Richlands, PA

NS 9607 at Richlands, PA

NS 9807 with an eastbound Roadrailer Train at Ramona Rd, Myerstown, PA

6781 with local at Ramona Rd, Myerstown, PA

Monday, July 26, 2010

Special NJ Transit move of historical equipment July 24, 2010

Received the following text and photos via email. Our thanks to an anonymous rail fan.
(Also see the following post and the post NJT special move... on Friday, 7-23-10.)

It looks like that special, historical equipment that moved on the NJ Transit's Raritan Valley, moved thru the Westfield station today at high noon. We were at the farmer's market in the parking lot and paid no attention to the normal train whistles when the eastbound train pulled into or slowed down to pass the station. It wasn't until we turned around to head back to our car that we looked up and saw these incredible, vintage cars and engines roll by! It was an unexpected treat! A Pullman car, the GG1 and the Pennsylvania mail car--it's paint looked fresh!

Thank goodness I had my camera close by. I snapped these 8 photos as it slowly rolled eastbound out of the station.

We had no idea the reason or destination for this move; and just happened to stumble upon your biglittlerr Blog this evening in a quest for some information!

Wow! Interesting! We guess that this is just one more leg of it's journey up to Boonton(?). Guess they had to move east, then west and north.

The URHS's historical collection continues its journey to Boonton

Received the following via email.
Also see our post NJT special move... on Friday, 7-23-10.

The URHS's historical collection of railroad equipment continues it journey eastward to Boonton. This image shows the entire collection on the move passing through the Bridgewater, NJ station (MP 31.4) around 11 AM on July 24th. Behind NJT's 4205 (EMDX 14, PC 3262 & CR 3262) and 4212 (EMDX 24, PC 3272 & CR 3272) is a GG1, an F7, two Erie E8s, seven coaches of various heritage and a hopper bringing up the rear. The equipment's eventual destination will be Boonton, NJ were there will be better facilities to work on the restoration of this equipment than what was to be found in Lebanon. In the background can be seen the light towers of the TD Bank Ballpark.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Photos from 2010 NRHS convention - Part 4

Received the following from Kermit Geary Jr. Text, photos, and captions are his.

The Final trip & Showcase trip of the convention was on Saturday June 26th when the Reading and Northern's Pacific number 425 would power the train from Duryea, PA to Port Clinton, PA. Performing most of the grades by herself, the LGSR 426 was along to assist if required. As usual, the steam crews on the R&N out-did themselves while making the 425 be the shining star! Sit back and enjoy these images.

30-R&N 425 backing down to Coxton Yard office in Pittston, PA

31-R&N 425 storming out of Pittston, PA Yard on old LV Main heading for Port Clinton, PA

32-R&N 425 & train at Oaks Ave in Pittston, PA Note the Butterfly bush on right trying to match colors with the 425

33-R&N 425 southbound through White Haven, PA

34-R&N 425 at Glen Onoko, (Jim Thorpe) PA from a rocky overlook

35-R&N 425 working hard under PA Route 93 at Nesquehoning, PA

36-R&N 425 drifting past Tamaqua, PA

37-R&N 425 races thru Hecla, PA heading for Port Clinton, PA

38-R&N 425 arriving at Port Clinton, PA after another well run excursion

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Photos from 2010 NRHS convention - Part 3

Received the following from Kermit Geary Jr. Photos and captions are his.

21-D-L 4118 leads NRHS excursion train out of Scranton, PA

22-D-L 4118 with train at Elmhurst, PA

23-D-L 4118 rambling past the switch to the Tobyhanna Army Depot at Tobyhanna, PA

24-D-L 4118 arriving at East Stroudsburg, PA. note operation Lifesave vehicle caught between gates !!!

25-D-L 4118 at Slateford, PA

26-D-L 4068 leads excursion train west out of East Stroudsburg, PA wow check out the smoke!!

27-D-L 4068 & train at Paradise Crossing, PA oh yeah they ARE pulling a smokey steam loco!!

28-D-L 4068 arriving at Tobyhanna, PA

29-CN 3254 exits Nay Aug tunnel in Scranton, PA completing the NRHS trip

Friday, July 23, 2010

Extra police at Raritan Borough train station

Below is a rather cryptic article posted on The Courier News website on Tuesday. I wonder how the commuters felt when they saw all those police? Were they forewarned?

Extra police presence expected Wed. morning at Raritan Borough train station

STAFF REPORT • July 20, 2010

RARITAN BOROUGH — The NJ Transit Police Department and New Jersey State Police will have several officers at the Raritan Borough train station from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. a high visibility / presence detail, according to the Raritan Borough Police Department.There may also be a police helicopter in the area.There are no threats involved in this activity and no cause for concern, police say. Questions about the event can be directed to the NJ Transit Police Department.

NJT special move on Raritan Valley Line

On Saturday, 7-17-10, NJT ran a special train up to Lebanon to move all that historical equipment eventually out to Boonton. Saturday's move only made it as far as Raritan. Below are 2 photos of the train pulling into the Raritan yard. Anyone with more information that I can post on this blog please email me at

Photos from 2010 NRHS convention - Part 2

Received the following from Kermit Geary Jr. Photos and captions are his.

12-SBRR 54 with her recent friends in Honesdale, PA

13-SBRR 54 leaving Honesdale heading for Lackawaxen, PA

14-SBRR 54 passing Hawley, PA depot

15-SBRR 54 leaving run-around at Lackawaxen, PA

16-SBRR 54 arriving Rowlands, PA (1)

17-SBRR 54 arriving Rowlands, PA (2)

18-SBRR 54 rounding Lords Creek Curve, west of Lackawaxen, PA

19-SBRR 54 approaching White Mills, PA

20-SBRR 54 arriving Honesdale, PA...'the BL2 that ate Honesdale' note front door open!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Photos from 2010 NRHS convention - Part 1

Received the following via email from Kermit Geary Jr. Text, photos, and captions are his.

Greetings all!! Finally some time off from Sperryland! And just in time to bring to you the NRHS convention in Scranton, PA! The next 5-6 emails will be of the events in Scranton, PA.

1-Flagg Coal 75 providing a steamy start to the NRHS 2010 convention

2-Luzerne & Susquehanna 600 at Duryea, PA

3-CP 4651 - 8244 passes freshly repainted Luzurne & Susquehanna 600 at the interchange in Duryea, PA We had this set up to meet the passenger train before their 'service interuption'

4-D&H 7312 prepareing to back out of the NORTH leg of the wye at Bridge 60 in Scranton, PA following the service interuption

5-D&H 7312 leads passenger extra thru Taylor, PA

6-D&H 7312 passes thru Mocanaqua, PA in the 99 percent humidity

7-D&H 7312 trundling thru Wapwallopen, PA along the Susquehanna River

8-D&H 7304 during the run-around at Sunbury, PA

9-D&H 7304 passing grain elevator at Catawissa, PA

10-D&H 7304 with video chaser west of Nescopeck, PA

11-D&H 7304 passes the Polish Falcon Hall in Mocanaqua, PA