Monthly Membership Meeting

  • Morris Museum's Bickford Theatre 6 Normandy Heights Road Morristown, NJ, 07960 United States

Mitch Dakelman
A Tribute to the Pennsylvania Railroad

Long-time member Mitch Dakelman, who will show two 16mm films relating to the Pennsylvania Railroad. GG1: AN AMERICAN CLASSIC, a 30 minute color film from 1983, during the twilight of the legendary GG1 career. These streamlined electric locomotives carried millions of passengers and millions of tons of freight for the Pennsy and its successors between 1934 and 1983. Filmed by the late Mike Autorino, and assisted by his wife Marianne, the film chronicles the career of the GG1 with emphasis on "Big Red", GG1 4877 which had run its last miles in a beautiful Tuscan red inspired paint scheme that adorned a handful of the G's during the 1950's. GG1 4877 and sister 4879 are preserved by the United Railway Historical Society, both cosmetically restored in the 1939 and 1955 paint schemes, respectively, and displayed in Boonton. Both Amtrak and NJTransit painted a GG1 historically, making them the first "heritage" engines. A second film is called CLEAR TRACK AHEAD (the second version we are showing, made in 1948), which was one of many films produced by the Pennsylvania Railroad. The 28 minute Black and White sound film showcases the railroad showing both steam, diesel and electric operations. This print was used in the recently PBS documentary on Penn Station. In the days before youtube, railroad companies produced promotional films for local libraries and schools. Mitch joined Tri State in 1981 and manages the NRHS film and photo archive, located in Phillipsburg, NJ.