From the point of view of one of the many dedicated URHS volunteers, I can say that the 2013 URHS Transportation Heritage Festival was just as successful as we had all hoped it would be. The event brought just shy of 2000 people to see our collection at Boonton yard and helped the URHS to raise over $5000. From much of the testimony I received, we had exceeded expectations of the quality and improvement of our exhibits. We had 5 of our best pieces of cosmetic restoration on display: NJDOT E8 4253, CNJ GP7 1524, “Reading” F7 284, and PRR GG1 4877. In addition to those, we had Bill McKelvey’s newly restored GE 45 tonner on display, as well as GG1 4879, which is currently being worked on by Star Trak in the shop. The hit of the day however, was the visiting Norfolk Southern heritage locomotive 1074. The replica Lackawanna paint scheme contrasted beautifully next to the GG1’s Brunswick Green, and the two made for a great photo opportunity. It also provided visitors an exceptionally rare opportunity to see a heritage locomotive up close and personal.
In addition to our visiting locomotive, we were lucky enough to have a visit from Tri State Chapter’s Lackwanna caboose. It was delivered behind 1074 and was left open for tours throughout the day. Also open for tours were our CNJ GP7 and our “display train,” an idea that was brought to the open house by the VRA’s own Frank Ball. This was a hit among guests as they had the opportunity to see inside the PRR coach and baggage car, the NJT 1 (Blue Comet’s “DeVico”) and the cab and engine room of Reading 284—a rare opportunity for most guests.
On the night before the open house, we held a night photo session in Boonton yard with the five displayed locomotives.This was well attended, and we sold out the 30 tickets well before the event. This shoot gave us the opportunity replicate a scene the DL&W’s Phoebe Snow (played by the VRA’s Carolyn Hoffman), which made a headline in Railfan & Railroad magazine. The photo shoot, and the open house to follow also provided for a two-page spread in Railpace as well as many submissions to Railpictues.net.
After countless hours of hard work, I was relieved to stop and relax on the day of the event to enjoy our hard work and listen to what visitors had to say. The most common comment I received was praise to the hard work of our volunteers. This trend also continued in comments online after the event. Many were wowed, not by just the appearance of our exhibits, but the improvement over years past. The fact that we, as an organization, received such high praise from such a typically critical audience is something that we can all be proud of. Our hard work, and our correspondence online before the even helped to grow our reach far beyond where it had been months earlier. The event, the buildup beforehand, and the sharing of guests’ experiences afterwards helped to garner support that will be very valuable to the URHS. We hope to continue the Transportation Heritage Festival as an annual event and we hope to continue to continue the trend of improvement and growing support well in to the future.
Railfan & Railroad was on hand to cover our night photo shoot.
Railpace features a 2-page spread on our Transportation Heritage Festival.
The Hickory Creek even made it into a featured photo in the December Trains Magazine.
Get to your local dealer and pick yourself up one of these excellent publications!
A Night with New Jersey’s Railroads
The very first URHS Night Photo Shoot
Equipment on display:
On the evening of September 21, 2013, the United Railroad Historical Society will see its long-term goal of a night photo shoot come true, and we would like you to be a part of it! We have a limited number of tickets available for photographers interested in photographing four of our beautifully restored and lit locomotives, plus our special guest: Norfolk Southern’s Lackawanna Heritage Unit!
This photoshoot will be set up and run by Ruotolo Photography and the URHS volunteer staff. All 5 locomotives will have operating lights, and will be lit for both time exposures and flash photography (provided by Ruotolo Photography). Actors and props will be added in throughout the shoot to add character to photographs, and there will be opportunities for unique images in and around the shop. The small group of photographers who purchase tickets will have a casual intimate experience with the URHS collection, and will leave with images they can enjoy for a lifetime!
Tickets are only $20, and will sell fast, so buy yours today! You can purchase your tickets via Pay Pal with the link below. If you have any problem with your purchase, or have any questions, contact Kevin Phalon at KJPhalon@gmail.com. See you at the yard!
Page updated September 17, 2013. ©1987-2014. All rights reserved.
Transportation Heritage Festival
Sunday, September 22, 2013 10 am – 4 pm
In our original Lackawanna West Boonton Yard this year will be Norfolk Southern’s Lackawanna Heritage Locomotive #1074! Click images to enlarge!
Night Photo Session 9/21 — several years in the making!
This will be a professionally-organized photo shoot featuring our restored equipment & DL&W Heritage loco #1074. Admission is $20 – limited tickets available. More info!
Come join the United Railroad Historical Society for the Annual Transportation Heritage Festival! For the third year, we welcome the public to come and explore our normally private Boonton Yard Restoration Facility. This year promises to be bigger and better than last year with more displays, more equipment, and a special guest! Norfolk Southern’s locomotive will sit alongside several members of our collection including:
Equipment on display:
- New Jersey Department Of Transportation E-8a #4253 (left)
- Norfolk Southern Lackawanna Heritage unit SD-70 #1074
- General Electric 100 Ton & General Electric 45 Ton (right)
- Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1 #4877 (below)
- Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1 #4879
- Central Railroad of New Jersey GP-7p #1524
- Reading Railroad F-7p #284 (right)
Click to enlarge pictures!
This year will include a new feature — our train tour
Guests will be able to tour the interior of Reading Railroad F-7p #284 (above) and several cars including our Pennsylvania Railroad Baggage Car #9286 (below), Pennsylvania Railroad Coach #1547, and the Observation Car ‘DeVico’ from the Central Railroad of New Jersey’s First Class luxury train ‘The Blue Comet’ aka #1178 (right).
From the display train, guests will also be able to walk into a real locomotive to see how it works up close and personal.
The Transportation Heritage Festival will also include displays of many other forms of transit
This will include buses, trucks, cars, and military vehicles.
Guests will also be welcome to enjoy presentations in the Lackawanna freight house outside the yard, and see informational booths and souvenir tables outside.
Inside the yard, the URHS will be selling lunch including hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks, and many other snacks and treats for you to enjoy while you spend a few hours enjoying our collection.
Our event will be held at the URHS of New Jersey West Boonton Yard Restoration Facility in at 100 Morris Avenue, Boonton, New Jersey 07005.
There is no parking at the yard.
PARKING – Free!
A vintage bus will shuttle visitors between the Plane Street Parking Lot and the festival or from the Boonton NJ Transit train station lot you may walk 0.3 miles to it on the sidewalks. The festival is less than one block west of Main Street on Morris Avenue. There is no parking on Morris Avenue. There is, however on-street meter parking on Main Street.
DIRECTIONS – To Plane Street parking lot
From the central and southern NJ via Route I-80: Take I-287 North to the Main Street exit, #44. Cross the bridge to Main Street. In 433 feet at angled intersection bear left onto Plane Street (Boonton Smoke & Deli on left). After 0.2 miles is the parking lot at 6 Plane Street on the left.
From northern New Jersey: Take I-287 south to the Myrtle Avenue exit, #45. Travel 0.2 miles and then turn left onto Myrtle Avenue. Continue for 0.8 mile. Take the second right onto Main Street. In 433 feet at angled intersection bear left onto Plane Street (Boonton Smoke & Deli on left). After 0.2 miles is the parking lot on the left.
DIRECTIONS – To NJ Transit train station parking lot
From the central and southern NJ via Route I-80: Take I-287 North to the Main Street exit, #44. Cross the bridge over I-287. At light turn left onto Myrtle Avenue extension. Parking lot entrance is on the right.
From northern New Jersey: Take I-287 south to the Myrtle Avenue exit, #45. Travel 0.2 miles and then turn left onto Myrtle Avenue. Continue for 0.8 mile to Main Street. Sign: I-287 South → at this intersection. Cross Main Street and road becomes Myrtle Avenue extension. Station lot entrance is on the right.
Sunday bus service to/from Boonton via Lakeland Bus summary.
Buy your return ticket in NYC prior to embarking – Boonton ticket agent is a local business and it MAY NOT be open when you choose to leave!
NYC Port Authority Bus Terminal to Boonton – 7:30am, 8:30am, 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm…. Arrive in Boonton 55 minutes later.
Boonton to NYC Port Authority Bus Terminal – 11:25am, 12:25pm, 1:25pm, 2:25pm, 3:25pm, 4:25pm, 5:25pm, 6:25pm, 7:25pm, 8:25pm, 9:25pm, 10:25pm, 11:55pm – last bus ’till morning!
Tickets – Port Authority Bus Terminal – Windows 1-10 and all vending machines.
Tickets – Boonton – Bobby’s News & Gifts (Sunday hours 9:30am – 2:00pm).
Printable schedules and more info www.LakelandBus.Com Phone : 973-366-0600.
Admission to the event is a donation of $5 per person, or $10 per family
All proceeds will go to further preserving New Jersey’s rich transportation heritage. The United Railroad Historical Society of NJ is a non-profit 501(c)3 educational organization.
Sponsored by the United Railroad Historical Society of NJ
To learn more about the URHS visit: United Railroad Historical Society of NJ Inc.
This page last updated September 3, 2013.
Now that our 1st Annual NJ Transportation Heritage Festival is history, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Festival Committee (listed below) and the many other volunteers and participants who made the event a success. Even though we lost $52.53 on paper, it was still a major success, especially considering it was our first attempt and the many obstacles we had to overcome.
Some of the positive event outcomes are:
- 1. Actually we didn't have a loss as URHS sales table is now well stocked for future income.
- 2. John Ferante donated a large quantity of very old Trains magazines which we will sell at a premium in the future.
- 3. NJT Operation Life Saver people were extremely pleased as they gave out 600 pencils and 750 coloring books, booked another event and were amazed that their presentations drew so many people.
- 4. One of our kind and generous volunteers sent us a $500 donation after the event.
- 5. Many people were asking about and encouraging us to have the Festival again next year.
- 6. The Mayor of Boonton was most pleased that many attendees patronized other local businesses after our function.
- 7. Six new volunteers signed up and some old ones were resurrected.
- 8. We received nothing but positive feedback and NO complaints.
- 9. All member group sales tables and Canal Society stated they were happy with results.
- 10. The Military vehicle group raised well over $100 for their Toys for Tots program.
Other statistics: Attendance was approximately 2,400-2,500 or more. Income: Donations $2,126.84, Raffle $346, URHS Sales Table $1,907, Food Sales $1,349 and Sales table rental (NYCHS) $15.
Once again, on behalf of myself, the URHS and those who attended the Festival, I want to THANK all of you who worked so diligently, cooperatively and unselfishly and who together made our event a big success. Many, many THANKS.
Festival Committee: Frank Reilly – URHS President, Bill McKelvey – URHS Director, KC Smith – URHS Director, Frank Ball, Alan Bird, Steve Gerritsen, Larry Gross, Fred Heide, Carolyn Hoffman, Justin Kerstner, Dave Lindstrom & Matt Phalon.
Pete Hasler, URHS Event Chairman