Great Meadows Agency Question

Discussion of the L&HR and its predecessor the Warwick Valley Railroad for the period 1860-1976 at its inclusion with ConRail

Moderator: David

Great Meadows Agency Question

Postby jmchitvt » Thu Jun 03, 2004 9:47 am

Exaxctly when did Great Meadows close as an open agency?

Was F. J. (Jack) Percicval the final Agent/Operator or had he already promoted to Dispatcher at Warwick?

Wonder if any readers are old enough to know these facts?

I moved to Vermont in 1966 and missed a lot of the final decade.

Thank you.

Joseph
jmchitvt
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 10:17 am

Re: Great Meadows Agency Question

Postby Marty Feldner » Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:58 pm

jmchitvt wrote:Exaxctly when did Great Meadows close as an open agency?

Was F. J. (Jack) Percicval the final Agent/Operator or had he already promoted to Dispatcher at Warwick?

Wonder if any readers are old enough to know these facts?


Old enough? Who- me? :(

Don't have a specific date on Great Meadows, but it was an open station until the very early seventies. The manual blade-type order board lasted beyond the end of the L&HR; it's long gone now, but some of the bell-crank/rod mechanism is still there.

I didn't know Jack Percival was a Great Meadows op- I'd always known him as a dispatcher in Warwick. In fact, he wrote the last Form 19 issued by the L&H; "Train order no. 3, March 31 1976, to C&E Engs. 24 and 23, at Warwick; Engs 24 and 23 coupled run extra Warwick to G Tower and return to Warwick; Superintendent WSF (Bill Flood); Made Complete 614 PM, Percival Operator."

There were three of us at Warwick that evening observing the departure of the final run- Brian Wood, Bob Mohowski, and myself. Jack added a few extra carbons that night so that the three of us (and a car knocker working as rear end brakeman that run- Ed Crist) could have a copy. Still have mine, a treasured piece of 'flimsy'.

He may have taken his retirement that night, or he may have made the transition to CR- don't know for sure.
User avatar
Marty Feldner
 
Posts: 359
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:50 pm
Location: Warwick New York

Great Meadows Agency

Postby jmchitvt » Sat Jun 05, 2004 10:13 am

Marty - Thank you for the very complete reply to my question.

It was a nice touch to add the final train order message.

Jack lived in Vienna when his was assigned to MO by the way.

Recentlly went home and visited the station which condition surprised me. Even more surprising was the main and siding still intact in front. I kneeled down to touch those rails were I saw HO-6, EO-2, AO-4, and OA-1 if it was out of Maybrook early enough - having spent the whole day with Jack (when I was growing up).

Now that I'm past retirement age I can safely say that never have I been or will ever have an affection like that of the L&H.
jmchitvt
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 10:17 am

Re: Great Meadows Agency Question

Postby L&HR C&S » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:40 pm

Jim,
If by chance you did not find the answer to your question in the past nine years:
From my collection:

CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION
ATLANTIC DIVISION
HUDSON RIVER DISTRICT ( the original name of the Hudson Secondary )
TIMETABLE NO. 165
EFFECTIVE 2:01 A.M. MAY 10, 1968

General Order No. 43
Effective May 14, 1971, the duties of Agent at Great Meadows and Andover, New Jersey will be combined. The hours for these stations are as follows:
Great Meadows - 9:30 A.M. daily except Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
Andover - 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. daily except Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
Page 3, Timetable #165 should be corrected in ink, changing Andover to a DX Station under Train Order Offices.

General Order No. 51
Effective May 22, 1972, the Great Meadows, N.J. Station and Train Order Office will be permanently closed.
Crews will now leave waybills, mail, ect. at Andover, N.J. instead of Great Meadows, N.J.
Page 3, Timetable #165 should be corrected in ink, deleting DX under Train Order Offices.
W.S. Flood
Superintendent

Bill
L&HR C&S
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 8:49 pm

Re: Great Meadows Agency Question

Postby njmidland » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:42 am

The engineering firm that owns the Great Meadows station purchased the track and right of way for about 1/4 mile each way from the station so that it would remain.

His purchase of the station was quite a story. The estate of the L&HR sold him the land for a very small amount because the property had a reversion clause: if the railroad ever stopped operating it would revert back to the original land owners. Well by 1980 this right had been passed down to 7 different people and entities, including Boys Town in Nebraska! The current owners tracked down each of them, got them to agree to a settlement and thus owns the land (and the station) free and clear. For me when I think of the L&HR my first thought is always of the Great Meadows station.
~Tim Stuy
Purveyor of fine food products from the Golden Age of Railroad Travel: http://www.phoebesnowco.com
User avatar
njmidland
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:30 am
Location: NJ

Re: Great Meadows Agency Question

Postby David » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:48 pm

njmidland wrote:The engineering firm that owns the Great Meadows station purchased the track and right of way for about 1/4 mile each way from the station so that it would remain.

His purchase of the station was quite a story. The estate of the L&HR sold him the land for a very small amount because the property had a reversion clause: if the railroad ever stopped operating it would revert back to the original land owners. Well by 1980 this right had been passed down to 7 different people and entities, including Boys Town in Nebraska! The current owners tracked down each of them, got them to agree to a settlement and thus owns the land (and the station) free and clear. For me when I think of the L&HR my first thought is always of the Great Meadows station.


Interesting information--Thanks for sharing that.
David-Moderator: New Jersey Railfan, L&HR, NYO&W and L&NE, Forums
User avatar
David
 
Posts: 666
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:28 pm
Location: Naples, Florida

Re: Great Meadows Agency Question

Postby jmchitvt » Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:06 pm

Bill - Thanks so much for your very complete reply.

We just got done lambing on our farm here in Central VT the other day when I read your reply - what a nice read on a blustery single digit late winter day!!

Could you complete your extract of General Order #43? - the start time doesn't show for Great Meadows, only the closing at 9:30AM. Never knew they went to a "travelling agent".

I was just a youngster when I first stayed a whole day at MO - what a fascinating country station!! Was sure to stay close to that old coal stove. The bay window was the FREEZER!!

After I got my NJ drivers license I drove over one evening after school and met Stan Pierce who'd just come over from the O&W after the shut down. He was covering for Jack's vacation and "shacked up" at the station for the week. That was long before I understood that term and of course Stan used it out of context. I particularly remember him answering the "Bell" phone "ONTARIO"!! That had come over with him; also with his vast experience as an agent and dispatcher from the O&W.

That WAS an interesting time for the L&H - Gordy Ellms came to the Engineering Dept, train and engine crewman, that 105 flanger, and MOST important heavy reefer traffic off the Valley that would have gone O&W to Maybrook.

Thanks again for "triggering" the old memories.

Joseph
jmchitvt
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 10:17 am

Re: Great Meadows Agency Question

Postby L&HR C&S » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:52 pm

Joseph,
The original post is edited below as for some reason I could not edit the original post as it was. If you would like, PM me with an address I could send you some good reading for this last part of the winter.
Also, did you know any of the signal department guys in the late 60s and 70s? I have been trying to track their names down for some years with not much luck.
Bill


Joseph,
If by chance you did not find the answer to your question in the past nine years:
From my collection:

CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION
ATLANTIC DIVISION
HUDSON RIVER DISTRICT ( the original name of the Hudson Secondary )
TIMETABLE NO. 165
EFFECTIVE 2:01 A.M. MAY 10, 1968

General Order No. 43
Effective May 14, 1971, the duties of Agent at Great Meadows and Andover, New Jersey will be combined. The hours for these stations are as follows:
Great Meadows - 9:30 A.M. to 10:30 A.M daily except Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
Andover - 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. daily except Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
Page 3, Timetable #165 should be corrected in ink, changing Andover to a DX Station under Train Order Offices.

General Order No. 51
Effective May 22, 1972, the Great Meadows, N.J. Station and Train Order Office will be permanently closed.
Crews will now leave waybills, mail, ect. at Andover, N.J. instead of Great Meadows, N.J.
Page 3, Timetable #165 should be corrected in ink, deleting DX under Train Order Offices.
W.S. Flood
Superintendent

Bill
L&HR C&S
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 8:49 pm

Re: Great Meadows Agency Question

Postby jmchitvt » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:29 am

Bill

Wow, that was a FAST reply!!

My email is jmchitvt@yahoo.com

The signal maintainer at MO in my era was Stanley Briski. That brings up another story. He had this blue enameled with white lettering steel Wells Fargo Express sign nailed to the inside of the car barn door, which by the way was the smaller one closest to the station. He'd gotten it from the Allamuchy freight house and wanted $25 for it. This was a princely sum in those days. He wouldn't come down on his price and I obviously couldn't come up with the cash so it stayed where it did. Wonder where it is now??

I'm sure you've seen all my work on the L&H site and can't think right now of much more to contribute. My time frame on the West End was 1941 when I was born in Pburg and left for VT in 1966. After 1961 my time following the L&H dwindled as I had education, Army, girls and all that to occupy me. But until the EL merger those WERE the best years as Marty Feldner admitted when I did my piece about Bob Huyler and associates going to the O&W auction in 1958 at Foley Square in the NYC financial district.

Feel free (and anyone else) to send any questions about what the 1950's were like on the West End. And, thanks again Bill.

Joseph in VT
jmchitvt
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 10:17 am

Re: Great Meadows Agency Question

Postby CNJ Fan 4evr » Sat May 10, 2014 7:12 am

When Island Dragway had cars not stop and end up on the L&HR did they have the operator's number to have him hold trains if any were scheduled ? I have seen old films in the'60's with the RS3's smoking past Island Dragway with long freights,so they did run trains past when races were going on. Always cringe when I think about would would have happened had a dragster not stopped and ran right into a moving freight. I'd say Train-1 Dragster-0 on that.
CNJ Fan 4evr
 
Posts: 348
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:49 pm

Re: Great Meadows Agency Question

Postby Marty Feldner » Sat May 10, 2014 8:17 pm

There was a chain-link fence across the property just before the tracks (just beyond the end of the shut-down area)- had to be 30' - 40' tall, to catch runaways and keep them off the ROW.

I was there the second time Don Garlitz broke 200 mph (the only time I was ever there, with a bunch off high school buddies). Garlitz' 'Swamp Rat' suffered a chute failure, and he went into the fence at speed. Quite a sight...
User avatar
Marty Feldner
 
Posts: 359
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:50 pm
Location: Warwick New York

Re: Great Meadows Agency Question

Postby BobWaz » Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:44 pm

Jack did make the Conrail transition. I worked w/ him in 1980 when he served as the CR 'travelling representative' (freight agent) in Warwick. At that time, the old L&HR shops were the Jones Chemical Co. and perhaps the biggest customer on the truncated northern end of the line. The CR office was in a trailer on the Jones property. A local daily freight plied the branch (E. Greycourt to Highland) with a handful of cars. The crew called at the office to get switching slips (and chew the fat w/ Jack). The agency also handled a southern piece of the former L&HR that mainly served a zinc mine in Sparta, NJ. That segment was periodically traversed by a job out of Bethlehem, PA. I recall visiting the Sparta yard and checking cars with Jack. It was a pleasant week. We exchanged books (he was a WWII buff, as I still am).

Never saw him again although after the rep job was abolished a year or two later, I noticed on a bid sheet that he had moved down to Suffern as ticket agent. He may even have lasted into NJT days.

Nice guy. A real gentleman.
BobWaz
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:13 pm


Return to Lehigh and Hudson River Railway

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest