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Reading 92887 CabooseM&E 1 CabooseErie-Lackawanna #03125 Crane
Erie-Lackawanna #45519 Boom CarStrategic Air Command 89491Army #89404 & #89494

Reading Railroad caboose #92887 May 2014 Boonton NJ Photo: Steve Gerritsen

Reading 92887
Builder: Reading Company Shops – Reading PA
Model: Caboose NML
Built: March 1941
Storage Location: Boonton, NJ

History: Conrail assumed control of the Reading Company Railroad and the caboose became Conrail property as Number 18752.

Conrail subsequently donated it to the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center collection in 1989 through the efforts of Robert Bahrs.

M&E 1 (DL&W 4)
Builder: DL&W RR Keyser Valley shops
Model: Class N – 4 wheel caboose, wt. 18,000 lbs
Built: 1901
Storage Location: Whippany, NJ

History: This caboose was last shopped by Kaiser Valley on 6-1932 by its original owner the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad and sometime thereafter was sold to the Morristown & Erie Railroad.

After service on the M&E, No. 4 was moved to the Black River & Western Railroad. In 1993 the BR&W donated it to the URHS who moved it to the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad for temporary storage.

In 1998 it was relocated to the Whippany Railway Museum and restored to M&E No. 1 by Steve Hepler and Charlie Berkemeyer.

Erie Railroad 03125 Crane
Builder: Bucyrus Co.
Model: 160 Ton Crane
Built: 1926
Storage Location: Boonton, NJ

The following about 03125 is taken from “ERIE and D.L.&W. Wreck Trains” by Ronald R. Dukarm, c. 2009 Erie Lackawanna Historical Society, Inc.

Built in 1926 by Bucyrus Company, builder #4593. 160-ton capacity. Originally steam converted to diesel (date unknown, but several others were likewise converted between 1956 and 1958). To Erie Lackawanna in 1960. At some point, during EL years a pantograph was added to the boom to allow it to work in the electrified territory. To Conrail 45006 in 1976, then conveyed to NJDOT. Donated to URHS in 1995.

Info submitted by Mike Dodge – ELHS member.

Erie Lackawanna 45519 Boom Car
Builder: Keyser Valley Shops
Model: TOFC flatcar
Built: 1950’s
Storage Location: Boonton, NJ

History: Original owned by the Lackawanna Railroad which later became the Erie Lackawanna Railroad. Pictured above with crane 03125. This was a Lackawanna TOFC flatcar which was constructed at Keyser Valley during the 1950’s. It was originally built, most likely in the 1920’s, as either an open hopper or a boxcar, as the DL&W used both when converting older surplus equipment to flatcars for piggyback service.

I have not yet been able to document either the Lackawanna number when it was in revenue service nor the EL number when converted to Maintenance of Way service. Although I can’t yet prove it, I believe 45519 is a Conrail or NJ Transit number as EL practice was to number MoW equipment with six digits, not five. Info submitted by Mike Dodge – ELHS member.

Strategic Air Command #89491 Photo: Gregory Rice

Strategic Air Command #89491
Builder: American Car & Foundry
Model: recreation car
Built: circa 1945 in St. Charles, MO
Storage location: Boonton, NJ

USAX #89491 was built as a hospital sleeper for the U.S. Army just at the end of World War II. In 1961, it was taken out of surplus storage in Ogden, UT for use on the Strategic Air Command’s “RBS Express.” RBS stood for “Radar Bomb Scoring,” which was a drill that the SAC used to score the accuracy of their bomber crews. Rather than practice in one location, the SAC put radar equipment on train cars to run drills in areas all over the country, and even once in Canada. The train was stationed for 45 days at a time and was entirely self-sufficient, requiring it to have sleeping quarters, a cafeteria, offices, and lounges. This car was used as a “recreation car” for men to use in their downtime. It had lounge seats, reading material, and a commissary for men to buy items they needed right on the train. The RBS Express was disbanded in 1971, and the cars found new uses in the armed forces. This car was used at the Naval Weapons Station Earle in Earle, NJ.

US Army #89404 and #89494 Photo: Richard Crerand.

U.S. ARMY #89404 & #89494
Builder: American Car & Foundry
Model: hospital cars
Built: circa 1945 in St. Charles, MO
Storage location: Boonton, NJ

USAX #89404 and #89494 were built as hospital sleepers for the U.S. Army just at the end of World War II, and saw service during the Korean War shuttling wounded troops around the United States. By the early 1960s, many of these cars had found themselves in surplus storage in Ogden, UT. However, several of these cars found new uses in the armed forces. These two cars were used at the Naval Weapons Station Earle in Earle, NJ, and now serve as Star Trak Inc.’s workshop at the Boonton Yard.

Page last updated January 4th, 2018.