Vice President Kevin Phalon and Treasurer Richie King, who spearheaded the project, are both current college students. Phalon, 22, is a senior television production student at Seton Hall University who also interns for CBS News. King, 23, is a senior accounting student at Ramapo College of New Jersey and is part-owner of an independent publishing company.
“It did not take long at all for Tri-State to find the resources to make this possible. That really speaks to the importance of this locomotive. People want to see it preserved,” said Treasurer Richie King.
“Nineteen checks off so many boxes for us. It is historically relevant to New Jersey, it is familiar to most railroaders and railfans in New Jersey, and it will come to us running. An opportunity like this hasn’t presented itself in my lifetime,” said Kevin Phalon, Vice President of Tri-State.
Not since 1994 has a running diesel been taken out of service and preserved in operation in New Jersey. The last example of that is Erie Lackawanna 3372, the last surviving U34CH which is owned by the United Railroad Historical Society of NJ.
No. 19 will be stored in Boonton, N.J., at the United Railroad Historical Society of NJ (URHS) at their rail yard in Boonton, NJ in serviceable condition. Before it leaves Morristown, it will have the condemned wheel set replaced so that it can be put back in service. This work will be paid for through Tri-State’s GoFundMe fundraising effort. Tri-State intends for No. 19 to leave Morristown as an in-service, blue-carded locomotive.