URHS Board Officers and other positions

URHS Board Officers

President: Larry Gross email: larry1090@gmail.com
Vice President & General Counsel: Kenneth D. Brown, Esq. email: w2kb@comcast.net
Vice President – Operations: Steven Gerritsen email: sggerritsen@gmail.com
Treasurer: Taras Terlecky email: tterlecky1@gmail.com
Secretary:   email: 

Other positions

Mechanical Consultant: Justin Kerstner email: jk2402@gmail.com
Webmaster: Mike O’Toole email: otoolemp@yahoo.com
Media Relations Manager: Kevin Phalon email: kjphalon@gmail.com

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Page last updated April 06, 2017

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What is Project U-Boat?

Project U-Boat is the URHS's effort to restore Erie Lackawanna 3372 to operation. The U34CH is a landmark in locomotive design, and it is a design that is entirely unique to the state of New Jersey. 3372 is the last servicable U34CH left in existence, and it is owned by the URHS of NJ. A recent review of the organization's motive power revealed that 3372 is the locomotive closest to potential operation, and to make restoration a reality, the URHS needs your help!

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HELP US RAISE 3372 DOLLARS!

Phase 2 of Project U-Boat will begin the locomotive's cosmetic restoration to protect it from the elements. This includes minor body work, light metal repairs, and a new coat of primer. $3372 will cover the costs of all supplies needed as well as several gallons of one of the best industrial primers available. We will be giving the U-Boat a paint job that will last for years!

Do you like get getting your hands dirty? Come volunteer with the URHS and help us restore 3372! If you are interested, click the link below and let us know. There is no commitment and no skills are required to help the URHS restore a piece of history!

  

CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER!

 

 

Latest news

3372 being towed out of Passaic Yard in October of 2014.

May 2015: The URHS launched Phase 2 of Project U-Boat. This second step the restoration of 3372 will include repair to the car body in addition to a coat of primer to protect the engine from the elements.

October 2014: 3372 was moved by the Morristown & Erie Railway on October 29. CLICK HERE to view the video of it moving for the first time in over a decade!

August 2014: The official homecoming move for 3372 is under contract with the Morristown & Erie. Upon successful brake inspection, the railroad will establish a date on which one of their two Alco C-424 will make the trek from Morristown to Passaic. The engine will be taken down the Dundee Spur to the Bergen County Line to make the trip to Boonton Yard. We will bring you more details on the move when they become available!

March 2014: We have reached our $2,500 goal for phase 1 of Project U-Boat! We received many generous donations ranging from a few dollars to a few hundred… and even one that was $1,000! The URHS's U34CH will be moved to Boonton NJ as soon as we conduct the proper tests and explore our pricing options. Phase 2 means it is time to raise funds to make the locomotive operational! That also means incentives and rewards for those who have donated, and those who plan to. Stay tuned, and as always, we sincerely thank you for your support!


 

Donation Rewards!
Everyone wins by supporting the URHS. Here is what you can receive for supporting Project U-Boat!

$150:
All of the above plus
your choice of one of the URHS's several NJ Railroad prints
See the URHS store for choices

$250:
All of the above plus
a personal tour of Boonton yard
This includes an experience which will not be open to the general public: a tour of the inside and outside of 3372.

$500:
T-shirt, print, yard tour, and...
a free ticket aboard the NYC 43 on the next URHS excursion

$1000:
T-shirt, print, yard tour, and...
a free ticket aboard the Hickory Creek on the next URHS excursion


About the U34CH:

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The U34CH represented a landmark in passenger train operation. It is truly the "last of the first of its kind." During the late 60's and early 70's, passenger trains were nearing the end of an era. Aging equipment, heated by steam, could not stand up to the demands of changing technology. Across the country, these older cars were being replaced with newer, electrically lit and heated cars, powered by car-mounted generators or individual power cars. At that same time, the Erie Lackwanna was dealing with an ever aging fleet of coaches and MU's that dated back to the late teens and twenties. When the NJ Department of Transportation took over passenger service, they used an ingenious new idea to modernize the fleet.

The result was an order of new "Comet I" coaches from Pullman-Standard, and 32 U34CH locomotives from General Electric Co. This was the first time in the evolution of modern passenger equipment that locomotives and cars were ordered together to work in tandem. The new coaches would be powered by electricity delivered from a new type of generator in the U34CH. The drive shaft from the locomotive's 16 cylinder motor would go entirely through its main generator, which powered its 6 traction motors, and go into a generator used exclusively for powering the train. This meant that, to power the cars, the engine always ran at a full 960 rpm, the equivalent of full power. This made for a locomotive that was not only powerful and efficient, but exceptionally distinctive, characterized by its consistent roar both stopped at stations and at speed.

The U34CH, and its corresponding passenger car fleet, pioneered “push-pull” operation of trains in New Jersey. Today, all commuter trains in NJ run in this manner. The U-boats represented the turning point in New Jersey railroad history, as they bridged the gap between the first generation diesels from the pre-Conrail era and the modern head end powered passenger equipment of today. The story of New Jersey railroading would not be complete without including the U34CH, which is why the URHS finds it imperative to save the last one in existence.

About the restoration:

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The URHS knows the U34CH has a dedicated following of railroad enthusiasts who remember seeing these locomotives first-hand. This is why we have called upon you to help us. Many have asked the URHS why this loco­motive has not been restored and this is your chance to help make that happen! Please donate whatever you can to help 3372. It has been said that "many hands make light work" and if many contribute what they can, the U-Boat fan-base can make quick work of seeing 3372 in action!

The URHS sincerely thanks you for your support.

 

Click the Pay Pal link above to donate!

If you prefer donations by mail, they can be sent to our Boonton Yard office at:

United Railroad Historical Society of NJ Inc.
104 Morris Avenue, Boonton, NJ 07005-1314
C/O Project U-Boat

You can also reach our office phone at (862) 345-6642

The URHS is a 501(c)(3) not for profit educational organization

Transportation Heritage Festival 2015

Web_headerSeptember 20, 2015  |  10am to 4pm  |  104 Morris Ave. Boonton, NJ

On Sunday September 20, you can visit the United Railroad Historical Society for a fun and educational day with some of New Jersey’s rare and classic trains. For the fourth consecutive year, the URHS will open the gates of its normally-private Boonton Restoration Facility to showcase some of its historic collection. Visitors will be able to get up close and personal with vintage railroad equipment and well as visiting classic cars, trucks, buses, and military vehicles. Live music, food concessions, historical & educational presentations, and vendors of railroad-related souvenirs will round out a day that the whole family can enjoy!

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FOR FAMILIES: The Transportation Heritage Festival will include displays and entertainment for the whole family. In addition to dozens of classic vehicles that will be on display, much of the railroad equipment will be open to go inside. This includes coach, baggage, and executive private train cars. Kids and adults will love the opportunity to walk through the inside of and sit at the controls of a real diesel locomotive. Purchase snacks and refreshments, enjoy the live music, and make a family afternoon out of your visit to the yard!

10628380_707424382665786_2193933825386246323_nFOR RAIL BUFFS: This year’s event will feature several newcomers to Boonton Yard. New this year will be the URHS’s Erie SW9 no. 436 and well as the world’s last U34CH! Both of these locomotives are under restoration, and visitors will be welcome to see the inside and view the progress of these locomotives before they are road worthy. “New Jersey’s GG1s” will be on display along with two original pieces of PRR passenger equipment. The one-of-a-kind “Century Green” New York Central E8 will also be displayed with our other two restored “streamliners,” Reading 284 and NJDOT 4253. This lineup is subject to change, but all available track space will be used for display!

 10603678_707424422665782_3059282112857974896_nHOURS AND PARKING:

The yard will open to the public at 10 am and close at 4 pm. We recommend that those wishing to photograph our equipment come right at the start time to take photos before crowds grow.

West Boonton Yard is located at 104 Morris Ave, Boonton, NJ, which is easily accessible from Routes 46, 80, and 287. Visitors can have the option of taking the 0.3 mile walk from the NJ Transit station at 100 Frontage Road, or riding the shuttle bus from the Boonton public parking lot at 1 Plane Street, just off Main Street.

DIRECTIONS:

  • From northern New Jersey, take I-287 exit 45 and turn left onto Myrtle Avenue. Continue one mile to Main street. To park at the NJ Transit station parking continue straight – the lot will be to the right. For shuttle bus parking, turn right at Main Street. Continue for one mile and take the first left after the Boonton Avenue traffic light.
  • From the central and southern NJ via Route I-80, take I-287 north to exit 44. Turn right onto Main Street. Take the first left for train station parking or continue straight for shuttle bus parking. Continue for one mile and take the first left after the Boonton Avenue traffic light.

 

Hudson Limited 2015

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ALL TRIPS SOLD OUT!

Tickets still available for the Cherry Blossom Special. Click here to learn more!

The Hickory Creek speeding down the Northeast Corridor bound for New Orleans via Washington DC.About the Hudson Limited

On the hind end of Amtrak’s “Empire Service,” Hudson Limited riders will be able to experience the same luxurious accommodations and beautiful view of the Hudson River that riders did in the 40s and 50s. The Hickory Creek was designed especially for the view along the NYC’s “Water Level Route” and this is a fortunate opportunity to ride the car on it’s home rails. All proceeds from tickets go to benefit the preservation of the Hickory Creek as well as the URHS’s historic railroad collection. By purchasing a ticket, you will not only have the chance to relive history, but you can help save it as well.

PLEASE NOTE: Dress code for these trips will be Business Casual, with a sport jacket pre­ferred for gentlemen. All fares include round trip travel, all food and drink served on board.

March 28

Hickory Creek $250

SOLD OUT!

March 29

Hickory Creek $250

SOLD OUT!

April 11

Hickory Creek $250

SOLD OUT!

April 12

Hickory Creek $250

SOLD OUT!

On-board the Train

All of the following comes included with the purchase of a ticket on the Hudson Limited:

Three members of the URHS volunteer team serving in the spirit off the 20th Century Limited: Chef Robert, Kevin, and Mark

A classic table setting reminiscent of the 1 class service aboard the original 20th Century Limited!

Between New York City and Albany, passengers will be served drinks at their seat while they watch the breathtaking views of the Hudson River go by at up to 110 miles per hour. During the northbound trip, passengers will sit down to a freshly cooked meal made on board the train. On the return trip, guests will enjoy drinks and hot hors d’oeuvres served to them at their seat. Food, as well as beer and wine, are all included in the price of the ticket and will be served to passengers by the URHS volunteer wait staff.

The Hudson Limited will depart New York Penn Station at 11:20 a.m. on train 233 (Empire service). It will arrive in Albany at 1:50, layover, and depart at 4:20. Passengers will arrive back in New York at 6:50 p.m.


 About the Hickory Creek

1-Forman 2In 1948, America was riding high after the end of World War II, and the “streamliner era” was in full swing. The New York Central Railroad unveiled a brand new modernized train set for its famed “20th Century Limited.” It featured all the amenities that any first-class traveler of the day could ask for and was the train was considered the pinnacle of rail transportation at the time. Everyday, its all-private room consist skated along the shore of the Hudson River, beginning with its streamlined E8 diesels and ending with its crown-jewel “lookout lounge” observation car: the Hickory Creek.

The Hickory Creek’s raised floor and over-sized windows made for a ride that was unparalleled by any train in the eastern United States. It was only natural that this train earned the name “The most famous train in the world!” The United Railroad Historical Society purchased this car and had it restored so that passengers can enjoy the classic 20th Century Limited experience in the 21st Century. Today, the Hickory Creek is fully restored and updated to modern Amtrak standards, but still retains the glory is its 1948 appearance inside and out.

Cherry Blossom Special

The Hickory Creek speeding down the Northeast Corridor bound for New Orleans via Washington DC.About the Cherry Blossom Special

The URHS is proud to present its first-class service to the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC. The Hickory Creek was built in the 1940s with two high standards in mind: speed and luxury. On this overnight, weekend journey, passengers will enjoy this classic, elegant form of travel on one of these two historic rail cars en route from New York City to the nation's capital. During the three hour journey to Washington, passengers will enjoy high-class service at their seat from the URHS volunteer staff, and on the return trip, passengers will sit down to a first-class, multiple course dinner as the train speeds along the world's busiest railroad at up to 110 miles per hour.

All proceeds from tickets go to benefit the preservation of the Hickory Creek as well as the URHS’s historic railroad collection. By purchasing a ticket, you will not only have the chance to relive history, but you can help save it as well.

April 4-5

Hickory Creek: $349

April 4-5

Tavern-Lounge: $289

On-board the Train

All of the following comes included with the purchase of a ticket on the Cherry Blossom Special:

Three members of the URHS volunteer team serving in the spirit off the 20th Century Limited: Chef Robert, Kevin, and Mark

A classic table setting reminiscent of the 1 class service aboard the original 20th Century Limited!

Southbound: On Saturday morning, guests aboard either car will enjoy a continental breakfast, fresh fruit, and mimosas, served by the URHS volunteer staff. All passengers will enjoy service at their seat while they enjoy the passing scenery from the lounge of the Hickory Creek's unique "lookout lounge."

Northbound: On the return trip to New York on Sunday evening, guests will sit down to a multiple course meal cooked on board the train by a professional chef. Guests will also enjoy complementary wine, beer, and soft drinks served to them at their seat throughout the ride.

Dress code for these trips will be Business Casual, with a sport jacket preferred for gentlemen.

The Hickory Creek will depart New York Penn Station at 7:05 a.m. and arrive in Washington DC at 10:25 a.m. on the tail of Amtrak’s Carolinian. Passengers will receive a special discounted rate at the Hyatt Place Washington, which is one Metro stop away from Union Station. Passengers will then have time to tour the nation’s capital at their leisure until the return trip, which departs Washington Union Station at 4:06 p.m. and arrives in New York at 8:47 p.m. 

Washington_C_D.C._Tidal_Basin_cherry_treesOff the train & at the Festival

The Cherry Blossom Special was named so because it will arrive in Washington DC for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates the coming of  the Spring season and the gifting of the Cherry Blossom trees to the United States from Japan.

The will arrive in Washington in the late morning, giving guests plenty of time to tour the city at their leisure until the return trip on Sunday evening. During their time in the city, guests may choose to visit the festivities of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, or tour the landmarks and museums of Washington DC and enjoy the flowering trees during their stay.

The April 4-5 trip will coincide with the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival. Visit www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org for more info on "The Nation's Greatest Springtime Celebration!"

Hotel Accommodations

Passengers riding the train will need to purchase a hotel room for the layover in Washington DC. Guests aboard the Cherry Blossom Special will receive a special rate at the Hyatt Place Washington for $149 for April 4-5. tickets must be purchased by March 14th to be eligible for the hotel discount.

Hyatt guests can begin making reservations either by calling into the central reservations number listed and asking for the “United Railroad Historical Society of NJ” Group Block or by using the booking links below. With these links you will still need to enter the dates and click “check availability” and it will then enter you into the block. April Block: http://www.washingtondcuscapitol.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html?corp_id=G-URSS

Hyatt Place Washington, DC/US Capitol, 33 New York Avenue, Washington, DC N.E., 20002, Tel: 202 289 5593 Fax: 202 289 5591


 About the Hickory Creek

1-Forman 2 In 1948, America was riding high after the end of World War II, and the “streamliner era” was in full swing. The New York Central Railroad unveiled a brand new modernized train set for its famed “20th Century Limited.” It featured all the amenities that any first-class traveler of the day could ask for and was the train was considered the pinnacle of rail transportation at the time. Everyday, its all-private room consist skated along the shore of the Hudson River, beginning with its streamlined E8 diesels and ending with its crown-jewel “lookout lounge” observation car: the Hickory Creek.

The Hickory Creek’s raised floor and over-sized windows made for a ride that was unparalleled by any train in the eastern United States. It was only natural that this train earned the name “The most famous train in the world!” The United Railroad Historical Society purchased this car and had it restored so that passengers can enjoy the classic 20th Century Limited experience in the 21st Century. Today, the Hickory Creek is fully restored and updated to modern Amtrak standards, but still retains the glory is its 1948 appearance inside and out.


About the Route

The Cherry Blossom Special will run on the tail of Amtrak's Carolinian. The train's route between New York and Washington DC runs on the original Pennsylvania Railroad main line. For decades, this route has been the standard for passengers traveling to many of the cities along the eastern seaboard. This line is where the URHS's GG1s 4877 and 4879 clocked millions of miles across a 45-year career. This trip will offer a special opportunity to retrace the steps of these famous locomotives from another piece of URHS-restored equipment.