Thursday, April 02, 2015

Tri-State Chapter NRHS - Monthly Meeting Notice - Thursday, 4-2-15 - Bill McKelvey - Rails Along the Morris Canal

Received the following via email.

Reminder for tomorrow's meeting

4/2/2015 - - - 1st Thursday of April!!!!


Bill McKelvey
Rails Along the Morris Canal

Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, NJ-29-114

at the Bickford Theater of the

Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ 07960

Thursday, April 2, 2015, 7:00 PM
Note that this is the 1st Thursday of April!

The April 2 meeting will feature a presentation by long-time member, author
and historian Bill McKelvey. This color slide illustrated program covers the
rail and horse car and trolley lines that paralleled and crossed the route
of the famous Morris Canal from Newark Penn Station through Bloomfield,
Boonton, etc. to the Dover area. Much focuses on the Newark City Subway as
it was built in the bed of the abandoned canal. Come prepared with your
questions as we hope to answer them for you

Bill is well-known in New Jersey preservation circles as a founder of the
Friends of the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Heritage Center. He
also established the Liberty Historic Railway, serving as its president,
with the purpose of laying rails within the CNJ Communipaw Terminal property
in Jersey City.

The meeting will begin at 7:15 p.m. at the Bickford Theater in the Morris
Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown. The programs usually begin
about 8:00 p.m. Admission is free, open to the public. All are welcome.
Light refreshments are often available. We will have a selection of books,
videos and memorabilia for sale before the meeting. Visit us at

Easter Is Almost Here

Received the following via email.

Easter is this weekend! 

Easter is this weekend, and that means this Friday and Saturday will be your last chance this year to visit Peter Cottontail on the BR&W Railroad!

A limited number of seats are still available for all departures this Friday and Saturday. Trains depart Flemington Station only. Visit our website for the complete schedule of departures. Reservations are required, and are now available through our website!

Don't forget to ask your Conductor to tell you all about our exciting project to extend the length of our Summer Excursion train rides!
Easter Bunny Express - 2015
Sunday March 22, 2015 to Saturday April 4, 2015 Celebrate Spring aboard the Black River & Western Railroad with Peter Cottontail! The Bunny himself will ride each train and give every child a tasty treat. These round-trip trains all depart FLEMINGTON STATION. Trains run rain or shine.

Opening Day 2015
Sunday May 17, 2015 Come join us as we celebrate our 50th anniversary! For one day only we are offering tickets for our Flemington-Ringoes excursions at our original 1965 prices of $1.00 per child and $2.00 per adult (plus ticketing service fee). Passengers will enjoy a steam-powered Flemington-Ringoes round-trip excursion and receive a souvenir ticket - a reproduction of our original 1965 tickets!


Comedy Night Fundraiser
Friday May 22, 2015 This one-night-only fundraising event will feature a train ride from Flemington to Ringoes and 1 hour comedy set by Raymond the Amish Comic. Proceeds from this event support our project to rehabilitate the Alexauken Division to extend the length of our passenger train excursions! ---Raymond's comedy set is aimed at an adult audience and not recommended for young children.---

Caboose Trains - 2015

Saturday June 6, 2015 to Saturday August 22, 2015 Enjoy an evening train ride from Ringoes to Flemington and return in one of our historic cabooses! Cabooses from several railroads are available and include bay window, cupola, and wide-vision models.


Readin' Railroad Story Time - 2015
Saturday June 13, 2015 to Saturday August 15, 2015 Enjoy a round-trip excursion between Flemington and Ringoes, and a reading of a popular children's book. Kids can follow along with their own copy of the book! Reservations required. "A" tickets are Adult tickets (age 12+). "C" tickets are Child tickets (under age 12). Make sure you consider how many books you want when choosing which tickets to purchase. Only tickets that indicate "1 book" in their description include a book!


B&LE F7 #712A in Vancouver, 04-67 with Ditch Lights(!), by Peter Cox

Received the following via email from our correspondent in NW Pennsylvania.

Thanks to Steve Timko and those who shared with him a set of Canadian slides from The Peter Cox Collection, here is B&LE F7  #712A and an unidentified B unit (that may well be #712B) outside a shop on the Canadian Pacific in Vancouver, British Columbia. Note the snow-capped mountain peaks in the background. Also note the unfortunate marring of the classic B&LE nose wings to attach temporary, Canadian-compliant ditch lights to the unit so it can lead trains on CP, nearly a half-century ago.

Craig Rutherford commented to me back in 2011 that some slides he had from the mid-through-late Sixties showed B&LE F7As and Bs on lease to power-short CP Rail. CPR leased s
everal B&LE units, plus B&M and UP engines because, "Most CPR power at the time was dedicated to hauling wheat for Russia, while leased power handled secondary trains."

had notes on some slides in his collection that also showed B&LE #712A
the following year on the then newly-merged Penn Central at the former New York Central West Detroit shops and fueling racks. In April, 1968, #712A was there at the shops and then, in June of that year, #712A was photographed at the fueling rack.

Action for Healthy Kids and CSX Announce Every Kid Healthy Grants for 2015-2016 School Year

Received the following via email. 

Action for Healthy Kids and CSX Announce Every Kid Healthy Grants for 2015-2016 School Year

Funds will advance health and wellness initiatives in schools and increase physical activity among students

CHICAGO (March 17, 2015) - Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) and CSX today announced the call for applications for Every Kid Healthy Grants for the 2015-2016 school year. Nearly 300 grants will be awarded to schools to support increasing physical activity and promoting nutrition initiatives.

Every Kid Healthy Grants will range from $500 to $2,500 to provide funding for physical activity, including facilities and equipment for recess, playgrounds and play spaces, classroom energizers, physical education, and walking and running clubs. Grants may also be used to fund nutrition initiatives to help schools work towards healthy schools certification programs. The Every Kid Healthy Grants are part of $1.4 million in grants for school breakfast and physical activity to be awarded by AFHK in the 2015-2016 school year.

"Study after study shows that kids who get regular physical activity experience improvements not just in their fitness levels but in brain function and behavior - yet funding for physical education continues to decline in schools," said Rob Bisceglie, CEO of Action for Healthy Kids. "The support we get from CSX recognizes the positive impact of physical activity on children's health and preparedness to learn, and helps to fill a gap in the national resources provided to schools for wellness initiatives."

For the 2014-2015 school year, CSX funded 287 AFHK grants to increase students' physical activity time, improve attitudes and behaviors, and engage parents in supporting activity at school and at home. Schools currently in the Active Kids Campaign are reporting an average of 55 minutes of physical activity per day among more than 143,000 students. CSX also supports AFHK's advancement of physical activity and nutrition initiatives in an additional 5,000 schools around the country, and hosts "Get in the Action" service events throughout the year where CSX employees volunteer at select schools to improve physical activity environments.

"Our partnership with Action for Healthy Kids has enabled us to share CSX's focus on health and wellness with kids and families in the communities where we work and live, while also involving CSX employees along the way," explained Tori Kaplan, Assistant Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility. "We are proud to support physical activity programs that help students be better prepared to learn and succeed in and out of the classroom, and create a healthy generation of employees, customers and neighbors for tomorrow."

Interested schools are encouraged to apply online at through May 1, 2015. To be eligible, schools must be located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia or Washington, D.C. 

An optional introductory webinar on the Every Kid Healthy Grants will be hosted by AFHK on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. Central Time. Registration is available online at

About Action for Healthy Kids®
Action for Healthy Kids® is a nationwide grassroots network that supports school-based healthy eating and physical activity improvements that increase academic success. With funding opportunities, expert technical assistance and our flagship program, Game On, we mobilize schools, administrators and parents to develop healthy school environments for children. To learn more about the ways our 85,000+ volunteer network is helping to make Every Kid HealthyT, visit us at, on Facebook ( and on Twitter (

About CSX
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company.  It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products.  For nearly 190 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation's economic expansion and industrial development.  Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation's population resides.  It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike.  More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at Like us on Facebook ( and follow us on Twitter (


Loren Fisher-Coleman
Action for Healthy Kids
(312) 878-7672

Kaitlyn Barrett
CSX Corporate Communications
(904) 359-1037

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Lehigh Valley Railroad Lives, sort of...

(Train sightings on 3-12-15.)

In a scene vaguely reminiscent of when the LVRR owned this stretch of track, NS 64K, with the Lehigh Valley heritage unit leading NS 1077, heads east over NS's Lehigh Line through Three Bridges, NJ (MP 48) around 8:26 AM. This ethanol tank train continues an easterly journey which started in Chicago (IL) and will terminate in Sewaren (NJ). That red building off to 8104's right is the former LVRR Three Bridges Depot. Perhaps the ghost of a former LVRR ticket agent is peering through the alcove's window and watching 8104's passage!

A Lehigh Line visitor...

(Train sightings on 3-10-15.)

On Tuesday, NS's Lehigh Line had a departure from the 'normal' trains I am accustom to seeing along this stretch of track. It was the Federal Railway Administration train, NS symbol 901, consisting of NS 5175 (ex-SOU 5175; GP38-2), NS 5609 (ex-NW 4138; GP38-2), DOTX 218 and DOTX 220 passing by LEHL MP 40 around 1 PM. The DOTX 218 Entered service in 2004 and operates in self-propelled and towed mode, is equipped with a track geometry measurement system to measure gauge, alignment and track surface. It has a Gage Restraint Measurement System (GRMS), utilizes a deployable fifth axle to apply lateral and vertical loads to the rail and then take measurements of the impact to the rail from the forces. DOTX 218 is also equipped with a differential global positional system to provide high accuracy GPS coordinates to each foot of track surveyed. DOTX 220 was built in 2007 and is equipped with a full suite of track geometry measurement and mapping systems, allowing it to take real time track geomertry, laser-measured gauge, profile and ride quality measurements and record the data in its own systems at extremely high speeds. The car has crew seating for up to 16 to 20 in the inspection gallery at the B-end and 4 in a technicians' station at mid-car. It is also equipped with a small galley, ample storage, and an ADA-compliant restroom.

February Reading & Northern GP39RNs (rebuilt ex-Santa Fe GP30s)

Received the following 2 emails from our correspondent in NW Pennsylvania.  First one is the original from Brian Plant which included the photos below.  Photo captions are the photo labels from Brian's email. 

If you didn't receive the first email from a couple weeks ago, I was on vacation the last week of February and traveled from New York to Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and even cut through part of West Virginia on the way back home. Tom Mik from Connecticut was my travel partner and we met up with good friends Pete Ruesch, Chris Thompson and Barry Lennon in Indiana. We also received tour guide support in person from John Means on the South Shore and Mark Mautner in the St. Louis metro area, as well as tactical intel from Terry Chicwak, John Leopard, Todd Novak, Scott Snell and many others along the way.

The following images are from the first day of the trip when we followed the classy Reading & Northern GP39RN models, former Santa Fe GP30 REBUILDS painted to match the Reading Company's final paint scheme for freight diesels, from Tamaqua to Mount Carmel and back as far as Ashland. It's hard to imagine just how much Anthracite coal traffic used to be shipped by rail before the 1950s, when the oil industry took a stranglehold on the home heating business. The R&N has done a wonderful job rebuilding the Anthracite traffic since taking over the former Reading lines from Conrail in 1991. 

Brian Plant

Wonderful, Brian!

I love the accentuated, snow-covered grades, as seen through your telephoto. Long-lens operations views can really highlight the roller-coaster profiles that railroaders and their locomotives have to overcome in their routine execution of their daily duties while conducting interstate commerce...even (especially!) on customer sidetracks. There is no doubt as to the wisdom of having derail protection
, in particular, on that one track with the yellow derail reminder!

It might seem for most of the year to be almost overkill to 'remind' conductors of the presence of a derail, but beneath that substantial blanket of snow, these brightly-colored safety devices can 'look' just like all of their surroundings. The distractions and difficulties of switching in snow (especially if at night, accompanied by heavy snowfall or frigid, drift-forming winds) could allow the momentary lapse of focus that could get a crew just a few feet beyond a buried derail's actual vs. perceived location, with a unit's wheel-set or truck on the ground or a derail plowed off the rail.

R&N's #2532's retained class lights, which appear to be illuminated 'white' in one scene, are a nice retro touch. I understand why the FRA has allowed their removal and the discontinuance of their inclusion on new-builds, but to my vintage eyes, motive power noses -- especially on units that once had class lights -- simply look 'naked' without them. It is so nice to see a pair of clean units with the classic and classy, half-century+ old EMD GP30 profile still generating revenue ton miles, as we approach the end of the first quarter of 2015!

Thank you for sharing this nice photo set (typical of your work!), Brian.

2532  locust summit cloudy

2532 locust summit 320mm

2532 snowy detail

2532 gordon last

2531 east of gordon close

2531 east of gordon

2531 silhobw

2531 locust descent

2531 locust summit wide

2531 locust summit yard

2531 p activ steep grade

2531 p activ start down

2531 p activ spot

2531 red light p activ

2531 snowy ip spot

2531 spotting gordon