L&HR CENTENNIAL FAN TRIP OF SUMMER, 1960

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

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DonPevsner

L&HR CENTENNIAL FAN TRIP OF SUMMER, 1960

Post by DonPevsner »

Does anyone remember the Summer, 1960 100th-anniversary
fan trip on the L&HR? There were two complete trains: one
behind Reading T-1 4-8-4 #2124 and the other diesel-powered.
As I recall (from age 16), passengers all went one-way steam
and one-way diesel. The consists began in Warwick,NY; went
south to Phillipsburg,NJ; then went north again to Maybrook Yard;
then finally back to Warwick. (If this is incorrect, please correct
my 44-year-old memory.) And "a great time was had by all!"

Marty Feldner
Posts: 385
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:50 pm
Location: Warwick New York

Post by Marty Feldner »

Image

Don, I remember it like it was yesterday, and you are substantially correct. It was June 4, 1960, first departure I believe was at 1:00 PM. I rode the second section with my family (the diesels were #3 and #10, specially repainted for the celebration- they were the only RS-3's to ever be repainted). I was 13 at the time. The photo is of the 2124 backing its train clear of the station before the runs; the two kids front and center are my brother and I (I'm the one in the black shirt). The engineer was Ned Sutton, a neighbor and friend- his son and I were best friends in school. At the time, I believe Ned was at the top of the seniority list, and one of the few left still qualified for steam and passenger service.

I am not (and never have been) a 'morning person', but I was up before 5 AM that Saturday morning, listening for the sound of the 2124's whistle coming up the valley.When we heard it, my father, brother and I hightailed it for the shops to await its arrival (only about three blocks from the house). There it was watered and coaled up (from a gondola, using the L&HR Burro crane 220 with its clamshell bucket).

Image

All the L&HR men knew us, and we knew all of them (we were no strangers to the yards), so naturally we spent some time in the 2124's cab that morning...

The whole town, and the railroad, had been gearing up for this day for most of the year; displays in the Library, dress-up 1860 costume and beard competitions, special suppliments to both weekly newspapers, the railroad had taken 'bobber' caboose #81 and put it on display on the railroad green for the summer, several L&HR souveniers for the occasion.

Another neighbor, a Mr. Dolson, was a retired conductor who went back to the passenger days; he dug out his complete uniform and worked the train 'on duty'. He wasn't particularly friendly as a neighbor, but on the train he seemed as happy as a kid in a candy store!

As you put it so well, "a good time was had by all"; even the weather co-operated- it was an almost perfect spring day. And to a thirteen year old, all was right with the world.

Urban D Kaye

Post by Urban D Kaye »

Marty -
AMAZING pix! Wow that musta been a great day. Thanks for posting those, along with yr recollections.

Urban D Kaye

Post by Urban D Kaye »

Sorry for the double post...technical glitch I s'pose.


You said the engineer was L&HR ... What arrangement was there betwen the L&HR and the RDG to use their Iron Horse Ramble power for this excursion?
Last edited by Urban D Kaye on Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
njmidland
Posts: 311
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:30 am
Location: NJ

Post by njmidland »

Marty,

OK, I have to ask. What souvenirs did the L&HR produce?

Tim

Marty Feldner
Posts: 385
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:50 pm
Location: Warwick New York

Post by Marty Feldner »

Erratta, addenda, and additions...

(I cheated a little here- dug out the local papers from that week for some details; plugging holes in a 44 year old memory, so to speak.)

As I said, this excurson and celebration had been in the works for several months. Originally, the plan was to limit sales to 1000 tickets for the excursion, but they sold out quickly; additional demand prompted the decision to add a second section, for an additional 1000 tickets.

The 2124 and crew was rented from the Reading, and passenger cars from the Erie (a mix of mostly stillwells, two baggage cars, and a few long-distance heavyweights).

Technically, Ned Sutton was the L&HR pilot engineer. But, it was 1960, and even if Big Brother were watching, he wasn't too concerned with who was actually at the throttle of the 4-8-4. Matter of fact, RFE Bill Flood was in the cab (as I remember), and might even have had his hand on the throttle, at least once. I do know there were a lot of big grins on the faces of all present, including the 'brass' in their fedoras.

A few centennial postcards were printed, including one of a commisioned painting of 4-4-0 #1, the Grinnell Burt, one of the 10-class 4-8-2's, and RS-3 #1. A B&W aerial shot of the Warwick yards and shops was sold locally as an 8x10 print. The excursion tickets were printed on gold-colored card, and the stub was a souvenier. A centennial brochure was printed, with the official 'company' history of the line and photos of all past presidents (given to all passengers). A vinyl billfold with the L&HR herald (sans 'lightning bolt') was also given to passengers. There may also have been a special 'pass' printed up- I don't have one, but a friend (an L&HR veteran) is checking his collection for me.

I was wrong on the departure times from Warwick; the first section was 9:00 AM, the second at 10:00. The total round trip ride was about six hours.

A special postal cancellation was available, and I seem to remember an on-board mail slot for an RPO cancellation- have to double check on that one.

(BTW- the coaling shot isn't mine- I have one, but it was from a half-dead Kodak 126 [?] Brownie; not sure where this one came from, but it's been in my collection for about 35 years.)

rfalcone
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 8:03 am
Location: Pearland, Texas

Post by rfalcone »

Marty,

I think everyone will agree with me on this. You are truly an asset to this forum!!

Rich

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