May 2013 URHS news

Did you hear the arm twisting from your house? Are you thinking what is he talking about? Well…. After Frank Reilly made clear he was not looking to run for the President’s position of the URHS again a few long time representatives approached me about doing the job. At first I said no, but after seeing that no one else was going to do it and believe it or not my wife, Carol, suggested that maybe I should do it, I consented although with a few caveats. The first is that I will only do the job for one year and the second that the URHS elect a few Vice Presidents and allow me to appoint others when needed to keep the time I need to spend on the job to a minimum. Well they agreed and at the April meeting I was elected President.

So now what? Well we now have Larry Gross as Operations VP, Ken Brown as VP and General Counsel, the VRA’s own Carolyn Hoffman as Secretary and Fred Heide as Treasurer and together we will work towards making sure the URHS has a successful year. But these people cannot do the work alone, it is going to take all of the other representatives and most importantly the member groups own members to see the URHS succeed. So when the time comes I ask you all to help when you can, it is not only rewarding it is also a heck of a lot of fun and you get to meet some good people.

As for current projects, we have 2 National Train Day events, the first is the one on the Cape May Seashore Lines (mentioned in the VP’s Report and elsewhere) and the second is that our 2 restored and Amtrak operational cars, the Hickory Creek and NYC 43, will be in Grand Central Terminal to take part in the 100th anniversary celebration taking place on May 10th through the 12th. If you are unable to join us on the CMSL be sure to take part of a day and go visit Grand Central.

Boonton yard should be busy this spring and summer as we get ready for our open house on September 22nd. Our yard foremen Steve Gerritsen and Larry Gross have plans to work on the Pennsylvania Railroad Flat car – #469521, Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR Cement Car (hopper) – #19525, Swift Company Refrigerated Box Car – SRLX #025048 and get the second prime mover in the General Electric 100-tonner – PSE&G #100 running again.

The Site Committee has been hard at work looking at potential sites and hopes to have a location or multiple locations picked out to start working on in the coming months. In the meantime, the Heritage Trail committee is working on collection data on various historical rail sites around NJ in hopes of creating multiple self-guided tours.

The URHS is looking into the sale and lease of a few of its passenger cars and if that happens there will be a need for volunteers to help prepare the cars to leave Boonton. As with all the other projects, volunteers are the back bone of anything they do and your help is requested and appreciated.

One final item, the gentleman who has volunteered for many years to do the URHS’s taxes has asked that he be relieved of his duties.
So a new accountant is needed, preferably one who will volunteer their time. If you know of anyone who fits that job description let me know.

See you around the railroad,
KC Smith