Reading 284 update at Spencer, NC

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Photo left: Larry Gross
Photo above: Kevin Phalon

Reading 284 Builder: Electro-Motive Division of General Motors
Model: F7A Builder’s Number: 8552 Built: October 1949
Horsepower: 1500 Original Owner: Chicago & Northwestern RR, Nos. 4074A, nee 424

History: New Jersey Transit acquired this locomotive from the Chicago & Northwestern in 1983 and utilized it as No. 424 primarily from Hoboken to Dover and Waldwick. It was retired in 1985, stored and donated to the URHS museum collection in 1991. It has been restored to represent a Reading Company locomotive of the same type that operated through central New Jersey between Jersey City, Port Reading and points south and west. Storage Location: Boonton, NJ


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U34 CH #3373 Update

Just a quick update on Project U-Boat — we are waiting for paper work to be sent in to the railroad that will be doing the move.

Once the paper work gets turned in we can set a date for inspection with the railroad and do air and brake tests. We are hoping this will be done within the next few weeks. Stay tuned for further updates!   6/29/2014

Chasing Reading 284: URHS Sends a Streamliner to Spencer

Over the past several months the restoration team from the United Railroad Historical Society has put hundreds of man hours into the restoration of Reading 284 for “Streamliners at Spencer.” I’ve had the privilege of being one of those volunteers since the beginning of the project. Finishing this project has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and it was a pleasure to see our engine out on the road.

On May 13, 2014, Norfolk Southern picked up 284 from our restoration facility at Boonton Yard and delivered it to Dover, NJ. The next day, some of the volunteers and I chased 284 on H02 from Dover to Washington Township where it was handed off to H65 to go to Allentown. We followed our engine all the way to Phillipsburg and watched it cross into Pennsylvania.

If you like seeing projects like this, I hope you’ll consider volunteering with us or donating to the cause. We always appreciate the support! I hope you enjoy the video and thanks for watching.

Learn more about 284 and other projects at and follow our progress at­ietyofNJ

Hudson Limited a trip to Albany on the Hickory Creek – May 3rd & May 4th

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 car’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 is offering a select amount of tickets to relive the 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.

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 the view along the NYC’s “Water Level Route” and this is a fortunate opportunity to ride the car on it’s home rails.

Between New York City and Albany, passengers will be served drinks, lunch, and hot hors d’oeuvres at their seat while they watch the breathtaking views of the Hudson River go by at up to 110 miles per hour. Food, as well as beer and wine, will be served to passengers by the URHS volunteer wait staff. All proceeds from tickets go to benefit the preservation of the Hickory Creek as well as the URHS’s historic railroad collection. For $225, 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.

Price per ticket: $225

New York City – Albany
233 <-- Train Number --> 244
11:20 am NYC-Penn 6:50 pm
11:44 am Yonkers, NY ——
12:04 pm Croton Harmon, NY 5:58 pm
12:43 pm Poughkeepsie, NY 5:20 pm
12:57 pm Rhinecliff, NY 5:06 pm
1:20 pm Hudson, NY 4:45 pm
1:50 pm Albany-Rensselaer, NY 4:20 pm
Northbound Southbound

NYC Railroad – Hickory Creek

Builder: Pullman Standard Car Manufacturing Co.
Type: 5 Bedroom, Lookout Observation Lounge
Built: August 1948
Original Owner: Pullman Company, Chicago, Illinois
Storage Location: West Boonton Yard, New Jersey

History: This car and was christened on September 15, 1948 in Grand Central Terminal, New York City. General Dwight David Eisenhower officiated the celebration of the New York Central Railroad’s rebuilt ’20th Century Limited’ train entering service between New York City and Chicago, Illinois. During it’s 20 years of service, the Hickory Creek graced the rear end of the “most famous train in the world” and was used in advertisements, pro­motions, and Hollywood’s finest movies to reflect a standard of excellence in premier rail travel. In 1968, it was retired and sold to Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus. United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey obtained the car in 1991 and contracted Star Trak to rebuild the car to Amtrak standards. Its inaugural trip was run on June 26, 2005 between New York City and Niagara Falls, NY. It is currently available for charter through Luxury Rail Vacations, Inc.






20th Century Limited Carpet Section

Red Carpet Treatment

In 1902, The New York Central Railroad used plush crimson carpet which was rolled out to welcome passengers to the train in New York for departures only and was specially designed for the 20th Century Limited to direct people as they boarded their train. The 20th Century Limited is believed to be the origin of the phrase “Red Carpet Treatment”. Getting the Red Carpet Treatment” passed into the language from this memorable practice. At left is one of two known remaining sections of that original carpet.

More about The 20th Century Limited


United Railroad Historical Society of NJ Inc., 104 Morris Avenue, Boonton, NJ 07005-1314 1-862-345-6642 Web page last updated May 11, 2014. ©1987-2014. All rights reserved.