NJ Toys For Tots Train 2010

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NJ Toys For Tots Train 2010

Postby ns3010 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:34 pm

Last Sunday, due to an incredible convenience, I was given the opportunity to ride aboard this year’s Toys For Tots train. The train was jointly sponsored by the Marines, the Military Transport Association, Morristown & Erie, New York Susquehanna & Western, Norfolk Southern, and New Jersey Transit. It operated on the NYS&W on Saturday and on the M&E on Sunday.

At 8:30 am, in the pouring rain, we arrived at the Berkshire Valley Road crossing on the M&E’s High Bridge Branch to be picked up by the train, which hadn’t arrived yet. When we pulled up, I saw the centerbeam that they delivered the week before sitting on the main, and immediately thought, “Uh, I wonder if they realize that they’ll have to move that out of the way…” Well, apparently they forgot until they arrived and saw it. The train arrived, led by NS 3010 long hood forward, followed by cabooses SOO 100 and EL C372, boxcar ME 1775, and observation car Ohio River. Here’s a shot of the train being flagged across the road as it arrives to get us:

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After boarding, we shoved the centerbeam into the Kenvil Team Track before getting on our way. We sat in the cupola of SOO 100, which was right behind the 3010 for the trip to Flanders. Here’s the 3010 out the cupola window

After a rocking, swaying ride and stopping to flag almost every crossing, we finally crossed the bridge over Route 206 and arrived at the runaround in Flanders. The 3010 uncoupled from SOO 100 and ran around to the other end and coupled onto the Ohio River. After a brake test, we were on our way back east to the first collection site at Flanders Firehouse.
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At the Firehouse, Washington Middle School alone brought 1,270 toys, completely filling two school buses! There were tons of other toys, so I’m estimating a total of about 2,000 at that stop alone. They counted as they loaded the toys, and they got backed up in the boxcar, so they started putting some in the C372, which got filled immediately.

Before we could get on our way, they had to close up the boxcar. They were having trouble with the door, and had to use a sledgehammer to close it!
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With two blasts of 3010’s amazing RS3L, we were on our way to the next stop at Sleepy’s in Ledgewood. On the way, I interviewed the coordinator, John, for my project. He was absolutely thrilled with the outcome, despite the weather.

Soon, we reached Sleepy’s, where I had to get off, although the train continued to three more stops. It was a great experience, and I hope I get the chance to be on the train and help out again next year!

Enjoy! Hopefully the videos will be coming soon, if Youtube will let up upload them (maybe 31 times is the charm?)
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