Friday, January 29, 2016

This Weekend Only, Find Us In 3 Locations!
Check out our O Scale Sale, our huge collection of puzzles, and more while supporting Somerset County 4-H at the Trainmasters Winter Train meet! Click Here for details on this great event!

Come See our collection of N-Scale at 40% Off, and our pre-owned collection in Springfield MA! Click Here for details for this train show!

As always, stop in to our store in Somerville NJ to say hi. To visit the store website click Here

See You This Weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bowne Station or Bust!

Black River Railroad Historical Trust

Membership Update

Next Meeting: Sat Feb 6 at 8:30 AM 

Fundraiser Info

Bowne Station or Bust!
Our project to reopen the railroad to Lambertville is moving forward in leaps and Bownes (HA!). Thanks to the hard work of our track gang, the section of track from Ringoes yard down to MP 6 is now in-service Class I railroad!

This year, we have plans to complete the remaining 1.5 miles of track to our new stop near Bowne Station, with the goal of opening the railroad to Bowne Station during our 2017 season (and that's a lot sooner than it seems!).

To make this happen without putting too much strain on our general budget, we've set a 2016 fundraising goal of $25,000. That may sound like a lot - but if we work together this is within easy reach.
If each of our members generates just $150 in donations, we'll be well over halfway to our goal!

Here's what you can do to help: 
  1. Visit This is where our online fundraising campaign is hosted. Make yourself familiar with our story, goals, and what we need this money for.
  2. Tell your friends, family, fellow-railfans, and anyone else who may be interested in supporting our cause to visit our fundraising campaign
  3. Remind folks that we are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, so their donation may be tax-deductible. (Advise them to consult their tax-professional for details and tax advice).
  4. Direct any potential donors to

If anyone (member or not) has questions about this project and would like more details please feel free to provide them with my email!

See you at the railroad!

Mike Shea

Here's what's coming up:
  • Sat Feb 6: Membership Meeting at 8:30 AM at Ringoes. Don't forget to review the minutes from our December meeting! We'll have lots to discuss, such as our early 2016 train schedule, some our plans for major 2016 projects, and more!

B&LE Generator Dimension Load on #4607 at Osgood 04-03-77

Those are Chris Harding's sentiments regarding sharing his terrific image of 4-truck flat car B&LE #4607

Chris was in Industrial Engineering with the B&LE in Greenville, PA when this gem basked in an April Sunday morning's sunlight up on the nearby former LS&MS/NYC/PC-B&LE interchange at Osgood, one year and three days into Conrail. The NYC Oil City Branch (CR Clarion Secondary) through here was abandoned in 1988 and pulled up in '91, so this interchange is long gone. That's the also long-since demolished, leveled and backfilled PA Route 18 overpass in the background (nobody to now care to cut back the trees and brush, either, as was visible above the impact register crates on the near end of the car).

Too bad there are no legible markings to suggest where this load was manufactured or destined on this 200-ton cap. car. Now, almost 39 years later, I wonder if it's still making 'juice', wherever it was installed. This was during the final stretch of my Senior Year at Sharpsville High School...wish I'd known about that load being there; I'd have gone up to see it!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Thank you for your interest in Black River & Western

Into trains? So are we! We are always looking for new individuals to join our organization and get their hands dirty fixing track, painting coaches, running trains, and everything else that goes into keeping the railroad running! Click the button below to learn how you can join us - no previous railroad experience required!

About Us
BR&W has been offering family friendly trains and events in Hunterdon County, NJ for over 50 years. We are staffed by a dedicated group of volunteer railroaders of all ages and walks of life. Our common interest and bond is a love of history, railroading, and a determination to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to experience old fashioned steam railroading right here in the heart of New Jersey.
Our organization, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corp. is currently involved in many projects, including restoration of several of our historic passenger coaches dating from the 1920's. Most significantly, we have undertaken to re-open BR&W's railroad line connecting Ringoes and Lambertville, NJ. Our volunteer track crew recently finished repairs on the first half mile of track as we push to begin service to WoodsEdge farm about 2.5 miles south of Ringoes. This will allow us to begin offering new and exciting trains and events to WoodsEdge, while our crews continue working their way south to Lambertville! Learn more about this exciting project, including how you can support our efforts, by clicking here!

Visit our website to find upcoming trains and events

First Section of Track Re-opened on the Alexauken Division

BR&W Trains To Head South From Ringoes!
BR&W is pleased to announce that several of our 2016 trains and events will be extended to feature a trip over the first portion of the Alexauken Division to be returned to service. These will be the first scheduled passenger trains to head south from Ringoes since 1997!

The railroad has been reopened to Mile Post 6 along Garboski Road, allowing selected excursion trains to continue their journey approximately 1 mile south past Ringoes Station.

So when can you catch the first train south? On Saturdays this Summer, we are tentatively planning on extending the last train of the day to include a trip one mile south of Ringoes! Details will be announced on our website this spring.

What's Next?
Our crews are continuing towards Bowne Station, 2.5 miles south of Ringoes. There, we will establish a new station, platform, and picnic area to support service to WoodsEdge Farm!

WoodsEdge Farm is a gorgeous family farm deep in rural Hunterdon County. Our friends at WoodsEdge own and operate this vertically integrated fiber farm that is home to huacaya and suri alpacas, suri llamas and Tibetian yak. The WoodsEdge herds are housed in 4 livestock barns and rotationally graze 28 pastures. The Event Barn is filled with years of trophies and ribbons won by WoodsEdge breeding stock and is home of the WoodsEdge Farm Store featuring products made from hypo-allergenic alpaca & llama.

BR&W service to this new station will include
  • Scheduled trains featuring tours of the farm and shopping at the farm store.
  • Charters for parties, weddings, and other functions.
  • Other special events to be announced!

We plan to reopen the remaining track to WoodsEdge for our 2017 season - but we need your support. Today we launched a campaign to raise the remaining funds necessary to complete this work! Click Here to learn how you can support us and help us reach our goal - and bring the trains back to Lambertville!

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Easter Bunny Train Ride & Easter Egg Hunt

Dear Jan,

Ride the ONLY Easter Bunny train ride where you get off the train and have an Easter Egg Hunt!
While on the train visit with Mr. E. Bunny. Give him a hug and take a picture!
Your ride will wind along the scenic Delaware River leaving from the Historic District of Phillipsburg, New Jersey. The train will travel along the river to Carpentersville and our destination will be the site of the historic Lime Kilns. In front of the 150 year old Lime kilns is a beautiful little glade filled with Easter Eggs! Once we arrive you can get off the train, take a picture with Mr. Bunny and
gather 4 Easter eggs filled with little toys ( similar to what you find in cracker jack).
Enjoy the cute Easter music on the train, the gift shop, the snack bar, our banjo playing Hobo and a Juggler, its fun for the whole family!

Trips run on:
March 19, 20 & 26
11am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm and 3:30 pm

Thomas Comes In July!


JULY 8,9,10,15,16,17
Day Out With Thomas is a family event that offers children and their grownups the opportunity to ride with classic storybook friend Thomas the Tank Engine™ . Parents, grandparents and siblings join their aspiring engineers in the fun. The Day Out With Thomas experience will engineer miles of smiles for the whole family and introduce a new generation to the timeless excitement of railroading.
The train pulled by Thomas leaves every hour on the hour, 10 am to 5 pm.

You may also ride  the River Train along the scenic Delaware River  to Pinchers Point, New Jersey ( an hour and fifteen minute round trip).  For an added adventure take the River Train  to the Ol' Susquehanna Mine , enjoy the animated Mine Shaft Explosion, History and learn how to pan for Gem Stones that you can take home!.
The trips pulled by Thomas take you along the beautiful Delaware River to North Carpentersville New Jersey, a 25 minute ride.
The River Train   pulled by our STEAM locomotive #142  follows the same route  journeying further along the river to Edingers  with a brief stop at the "Old Susquehanna" gem stone mine.  At the mine you may get off , visit the mine and learn how to pan for gems.  Each passenger receives a bag of mine tiling's , a brief history of the mine and use of the  sluice to prospect for their very own gem stones they can bring home!
 You may also purchase tickets the day of the event for all trains although we advise that you purchase your tickets in advance.
Trains to  and from the mine depart every hour.  Stay at the mine as little as an hour or as long as you like!
Experience the exploding mine shaft tour-- its a hoot!
The Delaware River Railroad Excursions is operated by the New York Susquehanna & Western Technical & Historical Society Inc, a 501 c (3) non profit corporation.
 We are operated entirely by volunteers.

Foundation Delays Demolition of Historic Doris Duke Mansion in Hillsborough; Judge Holds Hearing Feb. 26 in Somerville

Foundation Delays Demolition of Historic Doris Duke Mansion in Hillsborough; Judge Holds Hearing Feb. 26 in Somerville 


January 18, 2016 at 8:40 PM
HILLSBOROUGH – Demolition of the historic Doris Duke Estate has been delayed until Superior Court Judge Yolanda Ciccone hears oral arguments against the plan in her Somerville courtroom Friday, Feb. 26.
Although Hillsborough Township has issued the necessary permits, the Duke Farms Foundation has agreed to hold off on the demolition until the judge has an opportunity to weigh the protests of a grass roots organization that has been fighting the plans to demolish the estate since last year.
“At least we have status quo,” said attorney David Brook, one of the leaders of DORIS (Demolition of Residence is Senseless). “Everybody in the group feels good about that and at least we’ll get a fair shot at trying to convince the judge that the township and preservation committee didn’t get it right.”
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The township’s Historical Preservation Commission approved demolition of the mansion in October last year by a 6-1 vote following a series of hearings that began in July.
The estate, built in 1893 has been unoccupied since Doris Duke’s death in 1993, and according to the foundation, would be too costly to renovate.

DORIS contends the mansion, which was remodeled and expanded several times by Doris Duke has major historical significance and should not be razed.
The 2,700-acre expanse that surrounds the estate is maintained and managed by the Duke Farms Foundation with frontage along Route 206 south. There are expansive grasslands and heavily wooded areas.
By design, it has slowly evolved into a popular environmental learning center and ecological preserve with bike paths and guided tours of the grounds.
Brook has been filing arguments and briefs protesting the demolition for months.
He expects the judge will set up a briefing schedule which will allow the foundation to file briefs in favor of the demolition with DORIS given the opportunity to reply no later than Feb. 16, according to Brooks.
Secluded from public view, the Duke Farms Foundation did apply for, and did receive a permit to begin salvage of plumbing fixtures, doors, windows and railings from the sprawling 65,000 square-foot mansion, once home to the world’s wealthiest woman, who inherited a massive fortune from her industrialist father James Buchanan Duke.
“If we win this, one of the first things I’ll be asking the judge is to get inside the place to inspect it and see what its condition is,” Brook said.

Friday, January 22, 2016

GSD Saturday Meet is POSTPONED

Garden  State  Division - N.M.R.A.
Winter Meet Postponed 
Due to anticipated weather conditions

The GSD Winter Meet 
scheduled for this Saturday is postponed

Reschedule Date is Saturday, February 6th, 2016
Same Location - Same Time - Same program
Save the NEW Date
NMRA Garden State Division
Winter Meet
Saturday, February 6th. 2016  at 9:00 am.
The Dater Elementary School Cafeteria
35 School St. Ramsey, NJ 07446
Plenty of Parking
Easy access from Rt. I-287 and Rt. 17
Walking distance to many eateries for lunch.

Morning will be Clinics, Model judging, White Elephant table, 
and Bring & Brag.
In the afternoon will have New Layouts Open

We encourage you to bring a non-NMRA member to this event.
* * * * * * *

* * * * * * * 
For additional information on Division activities see the following site:
The Garden State Division - 
The NMRA Garden State Division, 
                              Your local contact for the NMRA

Most of us will be holding up in our homes for the next few days. 
No excuses to hit the workbench and get that model finished.
Send in a photo when you do. 

Andrew Brusgard, Director and the e-mail clerk
Garden State Division - National Model Railroad Assoc

Winter Storm Update

Due to the Pending Winter Storm, The Big Little Railroad Shop will be Closed on Saturday January 23, 2016. 

 Stay Warm, 


Amtrak's Capitol Limited @ Harpers Ferry

In an undated photograph, Amtrak's westbound Capitol Limited is slowing down for a station stop to pick up two passengers. Lead by Amtrak 272 (F40PH) and considering the way they are dressed and suitcase, perhaps their destination will be this train's final stop which is Chicago. This train takes its name from the former B&O's Capitol Limited. For many years this train was the choice of travelers between Chicago and Washington DC.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

CSX to Consolidate Operating Divisions

CSX Express
January 18, 2016
CSX to Consolidate Operating Divisions 

Jacksonville, FL – January 18, 2016 – As CSX (Nasdaq: CSX) continues to match its network resources to business demand and drive additional efficiency, the company announced today that it is consolidating its operations administration from 10 divisions  to 9 divisions and closing administrative offices at Huntington, West Virginia. Huntington Division administrative responsibilities will be reassigned to five adjoining divisions: Atlanta, Baltimore, Florence, Great Lakes and Louisville.

CSX will continue to run trains over the territory, and its yards and other facilities in the Huntington region – including the Huntington locomotive shop – will continue operations. The company remains committed to the Huntington community, which has played a vital role in railroading and American commerce since its namesake Collis P. Huntington completed the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in 1873.

The 121 management and union employees who currently report to the Huntington Division offices will remain employed in the area supporting the transition of administrative responsibilities over the next several months. At the conclusion of the transition period, the timing of which may vary by role, many employees will be given an opportunity to fill positions in other areas of the network.

Primarily serving customers in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio, the Huntington territory encompasses the Central Appalachian coal fields, which have been significantly affected by low natural gas prices and regulatory actions. Over the past four years alone, CSX’s coal revenues have declined $1.4 billion. Today’s announcement is part of CSX’s focus on reducing structural costs and aligning resources with demand in its coal fields, and follows the reduction of train operations at Erwin, Tennessee and the closing of mechanical shops at Corbin, Kentucky.

CSX remains firmly committed to providing safe, reliable rail service to customers throughout the region. CSX maintains more than 2,000 miles of track in West Virginia and handled more than 1.7 million carloads of freight in the state in 2014.

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 (