CANCELLED - Tri-State Train Show

This has been a busy year for the Tri-State Railway Historical Society. We've restored Lackawanna F3A #663 to operation at Steamtown National Historic Site, and made great strides towards the restoration of our Erie bay window caboose #C330. With overwhelming public support, we were able to purchase and repair Morristown & Erie C-424 #19, thereby preserving the first operating diesel locomotive in New Jersey in over two decades.

However, the Tri-State Train Show has not been met with the same level of public enthusiasm. Despite enhanced efforts by our events team, responses to our advertising for both attendees and dealers/vendors have been very weak. 

As an organization, Tri-State believes in doing everything 110%. Running our train show with a lack of dealers, attendees, or support would be a detriment to our hobby and Tri-State's mission. As a result, Tri-State's board has made the difficult decision to postpone the Tri-State Train Show until further notice.

Please direct any questions to info@tristaterail.org.

Lackawanna 663 Fired Up: Part 2

Early this summer, Tri-State fired up DL&W F3 No. 663 for the first time in two years after a substantial rebuild. Since then, Steamtown staff and Tri-State volunteers have worked on finishing touches before putting the locomotive back in service.

For volunteers, this meant the little details: Replica builders plates, thanks to Rich Jahn of Anthracite Railroads Historical Society, were installed. The flag holders were put back on (with a placement unique to Lackawanna F units). Aluminum-cast rear door steps were replaced with replicas, again thanks to Rich and ARHS. Some rust and and weathering was removed and the body was cleaned and waxed. The cab seats, which have seen more than their fair share of use, were removed and restored. Volunteers repainted the seat frames, and the cushions were reupholstered by Winfield Upholstery of Lake Hopatcong, NJ. (See below for photos).

With its excursion schedule delayed by contract negotiations, Steamtown National Historic Site began its excursion season in mid-July. On July 29, No. 663 was test-run for the first time with ARHS's 664. The following Monday, 663 went out on the "Scranton Limited" train rides for its first trip of the season. Steamtown expects both 663 and 664 to haul excursions for the rest of the Summer and Fall after 663 is broken in and okayed for road service.

Check out the photos below by NPS Ranger Tim O'Malley:

More photos of the restoration process:

New Tools Broaden Horizons for the Tri-State Restoration Team

With work resuming on our Erie bay window caboose No. C330, Tri-State volunteers have set course to finish the heavy-duty repairs. To accomplish this, the organization made the decision to purchase new tools for the job.

Under direction of Equipment Committee member, experienced welder, and former-Bell Labs Engineer Steve Falco, the organization purchased the following:

  1. A Lincoln POWER MIG® 210 MP Multi-Process Welder. This welder can perform both stick (SMAW) and MIG (GMAW) processes on steel. The welder can run on both 120 volt and 240 volt AC power. However, the Boonton Yard site does not have easy access to sufficient AC power, which lead to the next purchase.
  2. A 13 H.P. Predator Generator. This generator can produce 5500 Watts of 240 volt power continuously, with short term delivery of 6500 Watts. The generator also produces 120 volt power, which can be used to run grinders, cut-off tools, etc.
  3. A Victor cutting and welding oxy-acetylene rig. The Victor torch is capable of cutting through six or more inches of solid steel, and has already been used to cut a damaged padlock from the caboose.
Steve Falco test drives the new torch on a broken lock.

Steve Falco test drives the new torch on a broken lock.

A number of associated items have been purchased, such as protective gloves, welding
helmets and goggles, Oxygen, Acetylene, and Argon/CO2 tanks, etc.

With this purchase, Tri-State becomes further independent in doing heavy restoration work, which is quickly becoming a more predominant part of what the organization does. Having these tools on-hand also gives Tri-State members the opportunity to try their hand at new skills and helps Tri-State to attract skilled labor to the volunteer team.

To learn more about volunteering visit http://www.tristaterail.org/volunteer/

M&E 19 Headed to Railfest this September

M&E 19 at the grand opening of the Steamtown National Historic Site in 1995.

M&E 19 at the grand opening of the Steamtown National Historic Site in 1995.

Tri-State's Morristown & Erie C424 No. 19 will be traveling to the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, PA for RailFest. This will be 19's first public appearance since leaving the Morristown & Erie in June. No. 19 will be on static display in the roundhouse complex on both Saturday and Sunday.

RailFest is an annual event which showcases Steamtown's collection and invites railroads, historical societies, and enthusiasts alike to bring their own historic pieces for display. Steamtown expects many guests to be a part of the event, but No. 19 is slated to be the sole visiting locomotive. It the will join DL&W F-3 No. 663 for the event, the first occasion the two locomotives will be together as part of the Tri-State collection. No. 663 is leased to the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society, operated by the park, and utilized in excursion service.

This will not be No. 19's first visit to Steamtown, however. The locomotive was on display at the grand opening of Steamtown in 1995!

Learn more at Steamtown's website, and let them know you're coming on Facebook

19's Last Run on the Morristown & Erie

On Sunday, Tri-State hosted a members-only excursion trip, which was No. 19's last train on the Morristown & Erie. The event was attended by 180 members and guests of Tri-State and dozens of railfans and train chasers. Before the excursion departed Whippany, President Mike Del Vecchio, Vice President Kevin Phalon, and Treasurer Richard King gave remarks before inviting donor, supporter, and chairman of Liberty Historic Railway, Bill McKelvey cut the ribbon, signifying that No. 19 was officially a part of the Tri-State collection.

Check out the gallery of photos below by Tri-State's photographer Greg Lacko: