Today’s equipment move making its way past Tabor Lake on it’s way to the URHS yard in Boonton. We are relocating Rahway Valley 17, and our Erie Crane from the Troy Hills siding to Boonton, NJ.
Photo Matt Herman
The URHS is moving the two Blue Comet coaches we own, the Westphal and D’Arrest, that have been graciously stored on the Southern Railroad of New Jersey for the past many years to a new home, on the original Route of the Blue Comet, so they can be better preserved while our restoration plan is finalized. The cars will not be able to move by rail so they will be trucked out of Winslow Junction.
Since grants are hard to come by and also take a long time to secure, we are reaching out to the public, the historians and the fans of these truly significant pieces of New Jersey history for donations to help fund the move and to begin funding the return of these two cars to service. Through some gracious donations we have funding to move one of the cars!! Thank you for your support!
So now, our goal is to raise $20,000 for the movement of the second car and to begin stabilizing them. Once the cars are moved and secure, focus will begin on the preservation and restoration, but one step at a time. Time is of the essence with this, so please, donate here on GivingGrid and help us save and preserve these important pieces. If the goal is not met, all resources exhausted and the second car is unable to be saved, all funds raised will go towards the restoration of the one car moved. That is worst case scenario and I have high hopes that it will not come to that.
Help us spread the word as well as donate! Share this page with everyone you can to help us reach our goal! Please also explore this site for more info on our organization and our collection. URHS of NJ is a 501(c)(3) organization – all donations are tax deductible. Thank you! Steve Gerritsen VP Operations
No Header Text
No Footer Text
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!
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!
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!
Everyone wins by supporting the URHS. Here is what you can receive for supporting Project U-Boat!
All of the above plus
your choice of one of the URHS’s several NJ Railroad prints
See the URHS store for choices
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.
T-shirt, print, yard tour, and…
a free ticket aboard the NYC 43 on the next URHS excursion
T-shirt, print, yard tour, and…
a free ticket aboard the Hickory Creek on the next URHS excursion
About the U34CH:
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:
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
On November 5th and 6th 2016 the URHS in conjunction with Boonton Station 1904 will be running a trip on November 5th and 6th from NY Penn Station to Albany-Rensselaer, NY and return. Departure from NY Penn Station will be at 11:20 am with refreshments and appetizers being served to Albany-Rensselaer, NY.
We will arrive at Albany-Rensselaer, NY at 1:50 pm then disembark and proceed via shuttle bus to the CV Evens Brewery Pump Station Restaurant for a buffet lunch. We will then Board the bus again at 3:30 and travel back to the Albany-Rensselaer Amtrak station for a 4:05 p.m. departure arriving at NY Penn at approximately 6:45 p.m. On the ride back, coffee and desserts will be offered. For those of you interested, the train numbers are 233 to Albany-Rensselaer and 244 to NYP.
Tickets prices are dependent on the car you would like to ride and are limited in seating.
NYC 43 – $175.00 | NYC Hickory Creek – $275.00
Again, this includes food and drinks (menu below) on the train, shuttle bus in Albany-Rensselaer to and from the restaurant and buffet lunch in Albany. Please click HERE to purchase tickets.
A round-trip bus from Boonton Station 1904 to NY Penn is offered for an additional $25.00 per person.
Thank you again for your continuing support and all proceeds go to the URHS of NJ, a 501(c)3, to help maintain the yard where NYC 43 and NYC Hickory Creek reside.