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|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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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 URHS.org and follow our progress at www.facebook.com/URHSofNJ
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The URHS has decided to take on a number of projects that will certainly make a big splash in the railfan world. The first is the moving of the last remaining U34CH from where it has been stored in Passaic NJ to the restoration yard at Boonton. The engine began life at Erie Lackawanna 3372 and ended its day to day service life at NJT 4172. The engine will be evaluated for possible return to service although this time in excursion service. If you would like to donate to help restore the engine you can visit www.urhs.org and click on the donate button.
The other big project for the spring is to get Reading F-7, #284 ready to be moved to Spencer NC and the Streamliners at Spencer event being planned for May 29 th through June 1 st by the NC Transportation Museum. For more information you can visit: http://www.nctrans.org/Streamliners-At-Spencer–May-29—June-1,-2014.aspx
The URHS will also begin selling T-shirts depicting EL 3372 and Reading 284, plus we will be reissuing their very popular PRR 4877 GG-1 shirt that sold out in one day at last year NJ Transportation Heritage Festival. In the future they will be releasing a brand new shirt featuring the NYC Hickory Creek. Watch the URHS web site or www.vratrips.org for links to order any of these shirts.
Future plans for this summer call for the repainting of NYC 4083 back into its unique NYC Century Green colors. This is one of only 3 engines ever to wear that color scheme and is the only remaining one of those 3 to exist. Once this engine is completed it will certainly be one of the most talked about engines in the rail preservation world and will be sure to draw lots of people to see it at the next Heritage Festival.
Speaking of that, the next NJ Transportation Heritage Festival is scheduled to be held on September 21 st and will feature not only the 4083, but also the other restored equipment in Boonton and maybe a surprise visitor. Add to that the antique trucks, buses, military equipment, fire trucks and numerous historic presentations by area rd historians and the 3 annual Heritage Festival is sure to be a hit.
Plans are in the works to run the Hickory Creek and NYC 43 on more public excursions with the feature trip being planned to go to the Train Expo 2014 in Owosso Michigan in late June. For more info about the event visit: http://michigansteamtrain.com/expo-2014/ Other trips will likely be day trips to Albany and maybe even Washington DC. Please watch the regular web and social media site for more details as they become available.
The last bit of big news is the donation of DLW 3453 to the Walkersville Southern in Maryland. The 3453 is a 1912 club car that the URHS got from NJT with intentions to at least cosmetically restore it. Years of sitting out and the lack on restoration funds had taken its toll on the car and so when the WS asked if they could acquire the car and restore it to operating service the decision was made to donate the car to them. It was loaded on a trailer and bogey and left Boonton Yard on Friday February 7 th .It was quite a sight watching the car roll on rubber tires up Morris Ave on its way to its new home and will be an even better site when we see it operating once again, this time in Maryland and in a dinner train consist.
I cannot wait to buy my ticket. Visit wsrr.org/ws for more on the WSRR and its operations.