Tri-State Works with College Students

Part of Tri-State's mission is to be an active part of the community and provide educational experiences. Tri-State, in partnership with Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity, the world's oldest and largest professional business fraternity, sponsored the case competition for the new AKPsi members at the Ramapo College of New Jersey. The case was to develop a marketing plan for an upcoming project for Tri-State.

Richard King, Tri-State's Treasurer, is a brother of the fraternity and served as educator for the new AKPsi members. King detailed Tri-State's operations and mission, and served as a liaison between Tri-State and the fraternity. It was the job of the students to conduct research and analysis into Tri-State's industry. Four different teams, comprising a total of thirteen students, gave detailed and comprehensive proposals. 

  • The M. J. Partnership
    • Michael Ward '19
    • Jason Spencer '19
  • Simple Ricks
    • Kenneth Rieske '18
    • Amirjon Hirojidinov '19
    • Michael Tuazon '19
    • Haley Ames '20
  • And Then There Were Two (Winners!)
    • Jessica Torres '18
    • Edwin O'Connor '20
  • The Cows
    • Alex Osowiecky '20
    • Gabriella Rosana '20
    • Jose Carrillo '19
    • Matthew Levin '20
    • Nicholas Juenemann '20

The teams delivered their presentations to King and Kevin Phalon, Tri-State's Vice President, on November 9, 2017 at Ramapo College of New Jersey. Each team did an excellent job of researching, developing their ideas, and articulating them to Tri-State's officers.

Tri-State thanks Alpha Kappa Psi, the Anisfield School of Business, and Ramapo College of New Jersey for partnering with Tri-State to provide this opportunity to educate young business students.


Winterizing No. 19

With 19's first summer with Tri-State over, it is time to store it for the winter. Locomotives, like your car, are liquid cooled. Unlike your car however, which does not hold over a hundred gallons of coolant, diesels use water, rather than antifreeze. Because of this, water can freeze inside the block in the winter without a block heater, which 19 has never had.

To keep 19 safe for the cold seasons, volunteers drained the several hundred gallons of water from the block, removing drain plugs, draining the cab heaters, opening drain cocks, and shifting the locomotive to make sure water made it out of the low spots and crevices.

In addition, Tri-State member Ron Thrum custom-built a stack cap to fit No. 19, and any upward-facing vents were covered to keep out leaves and snow.

Come spring, volunteers will continue to make improvements, make electrical repairs, and refill and inspect the engine to put it back in service for several planned public appearances in the summer of 2018.

Repairs for RRRR No. 10

Progress on Erie C330 was put on the back burner when Tri-State volunteers discovered some significant damage that needed immediate repairs in the Raritan River 10.

The 10 has been a part of the Tri-State collection since 1986. The caboose was restored by volunteers in 2013. However, insufficient repairs made by Conrail have recently warranted further repair to the caboose. After its last excursion, volunteers found minor evidence of water leaking through the roof. In late October, volunteers found that minor evidence was a result of a major problem. Water entering the roof had caused significant rot between the roof and ceiling.

Several factors contributed to this. The caboose was built with a lap seam roof, meaning each panel overlaps the one next to it, leaving a seam through which water can enter. The caboose's original construction had fabric and fiberglass insulation which was pinned to the inside of the roof. This meant moisture could get trapped against the ceiling. Such a design would be a code violation in a residential home for that reason. Also, several patched (and leaking) holes were also found, which were presumably repaired by Conrail — during an era where longevity of repairs was far from a priority.

Tri-State volunteers made quick work of removing the old ceiling and fiberglass insulation. The plan will be to replace the ceiling with original construction and like materials, modifying the insulation so the same issues do not come about again. This work will be done over the winter so the caboose can be ready to roll in the Spring.

Railroad Museum [for a day]

Tri-State's last public appearance for 2017 was at the United Railroad Historical Society of NJ's "Railroad Museum [for a day]". The event, which was held on Sunday, September 25, served as a showcase for not only the URHS collection, but Tri-State's as well. Tri-State shares space with URHS in Boonton yard, which is leased from NJ Transit.

Tri-State's M&E 19 and cabooses were half of the open exhibits at the event, and Tri-State's volunteers had the opportunity to display their hard work to the public. Check out the photos of the event below! (Hover over for captions).

Lackwanna 896's "Second Restoration"


The first of Tri-State's three operating cabooses to be refurbished, DL&W 896, has fared well since it was fully-restored more than 20 years ago. Its high-quality DuPont Centauri paint job was applied by a professional automotive painter and has stood up well to the weather. That, coupled with its fully-restored interior, working oil lamps and coal stove, and like-new replica upholstery, has made it the crown jewel of Tri-State's collection for the past two decades.

However, as for anything stored outside, nature takes its toll. Before 896 hit the road in September, it was time for some improvements. 896's windows, roof, trucks, and under-frame were starting to show their age, which is to be expected after years of hauling passengers. All of that was addressed this summer.

Tri-State ordered new glass to replace the faded Lexan plastic that came with the window frames when the caboose first restored. Lloyd Leone, Jeff Jargosch, and Richie King took on swapping out and sealing all the new glazing, purchased locally from Snow's Glass in Dover.  It was no simple task. Hours of tedious work were needed to remove the cupola windows and replace the glass once the frames were on the ground. The new "real" glass now stands no chance of fading and is far easier to clean... and you can see out of them.

The radio antenna on the roof had also fallen victim to age. Erik Stenzel re-fabricated a new post for the antenna and welded it back to the roof. It may be a small detail, but when the caboose was built with "RADIO" emblazoned on its sides and cupola, it is an important one.

Kevin Phalon, with some help and equipment from member John Nolan, repainted all of the black on the caboose: trucks, stairs, and under-frame (which was formerly a steam locomotive tender frame).

All of that work, along with a wax job of the whole car body, resulted in 896 looking almost as good as it did 20 years ago. This is all part of Tri-State's commitment to not just high standards of restoration, but high standards of maintenance for the duration of our equipment's life in preservation.