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Getting to the 2015 NRHS Convention and finishing up New Jersey Transit

by Chris Guenzler

This year's National Railway Historical Society convention would be held in Rutland, Vermont. I was asked to be a Car Host and Bus Host again this year. I started planning this trip back in July 2014 and worked on all the details through the next spring. Chris Parker would be a car host on some trips and Robin Bowers would be joining us on all the pre- and post-convention trips, while Chris would head home after the convention. Tickets went on sale in October and I purchased the three events I needed to attend. Robin and Chris also acquired tickets for those that they needed. Bob and Elizabeth Alkire also wanted to go but unfortunately were unable to. I would really miss both of them.

The plan was we would all fly to Albany and meet there, get the rental car then stay two nights at a motel in Dover Plains. The first full day we would ride Metro North from Wassaic to Grand Central Station in New York City then Subway to Penn Station. From here we would ride New Jersey Transit to Hackettstown, back to Summit, then out to Gladstone, which would complete my riding all New Jersey Transit lines. We would return back the same way. The next day we would stroll the Walkway over the Hudson, a former railroad bridge, at Poughkeepsie, then the 11:00 AM Delaware & Ulster train in Arkville, New York followed by the 2:00 PM Catskill Mountain Esopus Scenic Train then the 4:00 PM Catskill Mountain Kingston Limited. From there we would drive to Rutland.

My plan for after the convention was to finish both Metro North and Amtrak once again. All I had to do was work at my job at Heninger Elementary School in Santa Ana until June 10th and say goodbye to my great staff and kids before going home and resting for my flights to Albany.

6/11/2015 I was up at 2:20 AM, showered and had breakfast before waiting for Super Shuttle to pick me up at 3:00 AM for my trip to LAX this early morning which he did on time. We picked up six other people, two going to Albany, one for Philadelphia, one going to Syracuse and two going home to Toronto. We arrived at LAX at 4:35 AM and I checked my two bags to Albany at the curb-side baggage area then went through Security with no problem and waited for Robin to join me at the gate.

Southwest Airlines Flight 591 6/11/2015

This flight from LAX would take both of us to Midway Airport in Chicago. We left LAX in a rare June rainstorm and had a smooth flight east. I read my new Jethro Tull A New Day #119 Magazine, followed by Trains Magazine and the new Railpace which took up most of the time to Midway and we landed 25 minutes early. Once off the plane at Gate B12, I made the short walk to B20 to wait for my next flight to Albany.

Southwest Airlines Flight 4733 6/11/2015

This flight from Midway would take Robin and I to Albany. We took off after waiting in line for nine planes. Robin chose the seat next to me and and we talked most of the way as the clouds were below us. It was another smooth flight.

The Drive to White Plains 6/11/2015

At Albany, we retrieved our checked luggage before going to Hertz Rental Car where we received our car for the entire driving trip. I put Robin on the contract so he could drive then took New York 152 east from the airport to Interstate 87, south to Interstate 90 east to US 9 south.

We found an 0-4-0 steam engine "Little Kenny" in front of a farm house in Kinderhook. It appears to be a scrap dealer and/or a plant dealer. It has a plate in the cab which states that it was North Hudson Frontier Town No 4. I believe that this was a much loved western park nearby. It is a much rebuilt Plymouth D class loco. We took US 9 to NY 203 East into Chatham where we stopped at Chatham Union Station for pictures.

Chatham Union Station built for the Boston and Albany Railroad in 1887.

The plaque on the door of Chatham Union Station.

A view of Chatham. From here we returned to New York 203 then went south on the Taconic State Parkway, taking that south to New York 82 East to New York 199 East to US 44 South to Wassaic where stopped.

Metro North 226, the power for a train to Grand Central Terminal tomorrow. From here we drove to Dover Plains where we checked into the Foothills Motel for two nights. We went to Subway for dinner before I worked on this story before calling it a night.

6/12/2015 Robin and I arose at 5:00 AM and after preparing for our day, drove to the Metro North station in Wassaic.

Robin in Wassaic after we had paid $3.65 for 16 hours of parking.

Metro North trains waiting for their run to Grand Central Terminal.

Wassaic on this early morning.

A Metro North train came dead-heading into Wassaic from the south and it turned out this would be our train to Grand Central Terminal this morning.

Our train pulled into Wassaic for our trip to Grand Central Terminal.

Finishing New Jersery Transit 6/12/2015

Robin and I boarded the Metro North train which would be new mileage for me until I reached Wakefield. The train stopped at Ten Mile River, Dover Plains, Harlem Valley/Wingdale, Pawling, Patterson, Southeast, Brewster, Purdy's, Chappaqua, North White Plains and White Plains. We then ran express, bypassing Hartsdale, Scarsdale, Crestwood, Tuckahoe, Bronxville, Fleetwood, Mount Vernon, Wakefield, Woodlawn, Williams Bridge, Botanical Garden, Fordham, 183rd Street, Tremont, Claremont Park, Morrisania and Melrose. We stopped at Harlem/125 Street before arriving at Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

Our train at Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

Interior of Grand Central Terminal. I left Robin here, bought a Metro Card and filled it to cover all my subway/PATH routes then took the subway from Grand Central on the 1 Line then walked to 6th Avenue/33rd Street where I went to the PATH station. I used my Metro Card to board PATH at 33rd Street for Hoboken where the train stopped at 24th Street, 13th Street, 9th Street and Christopher Street before going under the Hudson River and into Hoboken.

PATH at Hoboken. I next bought my tickets to Hackettstown, Summit and Gladstone from the ticket agent but he did not sell me the back to Hoboken segment.

My train to Hackettstown. I boarded the train and it left Hoboken stopping at East Orange, Brick Church, Orange, Highland Avenue, Mountain Avenue, South Orange, Maplewood, Millburn, Short Hills, Summit, Chatham, Madison, Covenant Station, Morristown, Morris Plains, Mount Tabor, Denville and into Dover where my new mileage started. We then stopped at Mount Arlington, Lake Hopatcong and Netcong.

Water fountains celebrate me finally getting the miles to Hackettstown. We ran to Mount Olive and I finally made it to Hackettstown where I detrained for pictures and bought my Gladstone to Hoboken ticket from the New Jersey Transit ticket machine.

My train at Hackettstown.

A Norfolk Southern local at Hackettstown. I took the train back to Summit and did not have long to wait from my train to Gladstone.

My train leaves Summit.

I boarded this train for Gladstone. This entire trip will be new mileage for me. We departed Summit stopping at New Providence, Murray Hill, Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Stirling, Millington, Lyons, Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack and I finally arrived in Gladstone, at which point I had completed riding every mile of New Jersey Transit. I detrained for a few pictures.

My train at Gladstone.

I have ridden every place on this New Jersey Transit Map .

The conductor took my picture to commeorate this occasion.

My train in Gladstone.

The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western station in Gladstone, built in 1891.

My train back to Hoboken. I reboarded the same train for the trip back to Hoboken, a very happy train rider. PATH took me to 33rd Street and the subway to Grand Central where I met Robin. We both took the train north to Wassaic, riding in the Quiet Car which ended a great day of train riding for me and a great day for Robin's first trip to New York City. We went to Subway for dinner before returning to the motel for the night.

6/13/2015 Robin and I slept in until 5:45 AM and I put the corrections into the story from Elizabeth before we departed the Foothills Motel for the last time. We went to McDonald's for a hot cakes & sausage breakfast then from Dover Plains, took New York 343 to US 44 into Poughkeepsie so Robin could see Marist Collge to see the school his nephew who lives in Hawai'i will be attending. We also saw a marathon taking place the drove across the Hudson River and found the road to our first stop of the day.

Walkway over the Hudson River 6/13/2015

I was most surprised to find this Pennsylvania Railroad N5 caboose, built by the railroad in 1926, on display here.

Here is where you start your walk across the Hudson.

The bad news was a 10K Run was going to take place and the bridge would not be open until 8:30 which did not make me happy so I sat on a rock. First I heard a CSX train which we could not take a picture and then the 8:10 AM Amtrak which we could not photograph either.

The last runner finally went by us. It was really windy here as a tree on the east side of the walk way came down then the musician's tent blew over. Finally at 8:20 AM Robin and I walked out onto the bridge only to get some pictures and not walk across it had we been here any other day of the year.

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park

The Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park is a linear walkway spanning the Hudson River. At 212 feet tall and 1.28 miles long, it is the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. The park is managed and maintained by NYS Parks' Taconic Region. Walkway State Park officially opened to the public on Saturday, October 3, 2009. The Walkway State Park is open year-round, weather conditions permitting (closed in the event of lightning or ice).

We started our walk out onto the bridge.

Robin on the Walkway across the Hudson. Now the view from the Walkway across the Hudson.

What a fantastic view you get from the Walkway across the Hudson.

The walkway view looking east.

Looking at the bridge that we had driven across the Hudson River this morning.

We started to head back to the car under threatening skies and windy conditions.

A nice series about the bridge on this display board.

Walking back to the car via the caboose. We left the Walkway across the Hudson and headed to Kingston for a brief stop at the Trolley Museum of New York where I had tried to arrange a visit but the details did not work out.

Brooklyn and Queens Transit PCC car 1000 built by Clark Equipment in 1936 through the fence.

New York Subway Car 825 built by American Car and Foundry Company in 1932. It ran for over 40 years serving various subway lines in New York City. In 1974, car 825 was repainted into a silver and blue paint scheme used on the New York City Transit Authority at the time. It was also re-numbered 1677 and retired from passenger service in early 1977.

United States Army 65 ton switcher 9 built by Whitcomb Locomotive Company in 1943 as 7980. It remained stateside and later served the Johnstown and Stoney Creek Railroad, the South Brooklyn Railway, the New York City Transit Authority (as 20000) and the Staten Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority.

This board was out in front of the museum. From Kingston we took New York 82 West to our next stop in Phoenicia.