PHILLIPSBURG RAILROAD HISTORIANS
A 501c3 NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION
We've added a new video made in 2009 shortly after the passing of George Michener Hart.
Three former employees of George relate stories and paint a pretty colorful image of the man. Remembering George
Ron Luckock's newest video in his history series of the Lehigh River Valley is now available here.
Ron discusses the history of Easton PA and how it influenced his construction of that section of his O scale layout.
It's been a couple of years since we rolled out Caboose 18 after restoration. Click here
for the story.
If you missed the history of the PRRH first decades they can be seen here.
1990-2020 PRRH CELEBRATES 30 YEARS
Part 3 - 2010 to 2019
2010- C&S Extended - 1502 Brought to Property - 20 Year Celebration
- In February exterior security lighting was installed on the carshop.
- With the completion in 2009 of the first phase of the C&S bypass track, riders who exited the train at the carshop had to walk over the old C&S mainline track, this created a possible tripping hazard. To reduce the risk of injury, boards were attached to the old mainline track at that location.
- June 8th saw the double ended 1502 engine moved from the firehouse to our museum site for rehabilitation and future use.
- With lease in hand from NJ Transit we began to grade the right of way for phase one of the westward expansion of the C&S. This expansion extended the track from the front of the museum building to the parking lot of the O'Donnell apartments. By the end of the summer the track was extended most of the way westward along our parking area.
- The Mack Mobile Museum visited our site for the first time during our July 3rd open house due to the efforts of members Bob and Cheryl Daumer. The interior is packed with pictures and artifacts tracing the history of Mack Trucks.
- PRRH chief mechanical officer Glenn Terminelli had our newly acquired GE 25 ton engine running by the end of the summer. The engine sat unused for several years prior to being moved to our site.
- In September Mayor Wyant came to help us celebrate our 20th anniversary. The C&S traversed the newly laid section of track west of the museum building for the first time with passengers. We had an extra special treat when Jim Linfield of Michigan brought the shell of the first engine (# 1500) Henry Becker built for use on the farm.
- Lehigh and Hudson River caboose #18 goes into the carshop in December for a planned roof replacement.
2011- Standard Gauge Work - Dairy Donation - Phillipsburg 150
- Work continues on the western expansion of the Centerville and Southwestern.
- Jim Linfield returns with C&S engine # 1500 and runs it on our rails.
The frame and mechanical parts were original but the body was in poor shape so Jim decided it would be easier to build a new one. He enjoyed building the body so much that he built a second one and painted in his personal livery.
- A tall switch stand was rehabilitated and installed on the turnout leading to the south track of the carshop. Prior to this the switch was spiked closed.
- Our collection of Becker memorabilia grows in the form of a donation of milk cans, bottles, boxes and caps. The collection belonged to the father of Jim Cahill, who at one time worked delivering milk for the Becker Dairy Farm.
- We operated a special open house on June 4th in conjunction with the 150th Anniversary of the Town of Phillipsburg. There was a parade to celebrate this milestone, fire companies from far and wide sent equipment to help celebrate.
- Volunteers working on the Lehigh and Hudson River caboose #18 discover that most of the wood on the car is rotted. Even the floor is unsafe to walk on in many spots. After discussing the problem with our Board of Directors it was decided to go ahead with a full restoration of the car.
2012- Western Expansion Complete - New Eastern Expansion Begins - Pocket Sign
- In May the C&S western expansion is completed to the O'Donnell Apartments property line.
- A new project to further extend the eastern end of the Centerville and Southwestern Mainline begins. The line will now extend to near the foundation of the old CNJ Yard office.
- Members Glenn Terminelli, Bob Marinelli and Pat Graham finish work on C&S engine 1502. It is now ready to return to service.
- Our Oral History with Mike Bednar and Jerry Hoare premiers at the September Members Meeting. It can be seen here.
- A new sign was attached on the coal pockets next to our boarding platform in October. The large sign is visible from South Main Street and Shappell Park. We greatly appreciate the assistance given to us by the Delaware Joint Toll Bridge Commission in the form of 2 bucket trucks and the manpower to operate them.
- A standard gauge RR crossing flasher is installed near our loading platform next to the coal pockets. It is positioned so that it can be seen from Shappell Park.
2013- Museum work - Flasher Functional - 1502 Pulls Again!
- During the spring the museum wiring was replaced and a tongue and groove ceiling was installed. Prior to this the roof rafters were exposed resulting in temperature extremes in the building. Insulation was installed in the ceiling to help keep the heat down in the blazing summer sun. Track lights, fans and 3 flush mount lights that were originally in CNJ passenger coaches were also installed.
- The platform area standard gauge crossing flasher that was installed in 2012 was wired and the lights became functional with the help of a flasher mechanism designed by member Jay Schweitzer.
- Double ended C&S engine 1502 was put into passenger service for our Old Fashioned Autumn open house that coincides with the Town of Phillipsburg activities in Shappell Park. This was the first time that both train sets were in operation.
2014- Brick Platform - Temporary Pedestrian Crossing
- With funds provided by a grant from the Phillipsburg Neighborhood Revitalization Program, work began on upgrading our C&S boarding platform. This work was done by member Sean Graham assisted by members of his Boy Scout Troop and members of PRRH as part of his community service to earn his Eagle Scout Badge. This was a large undertaking and took most of the summer to complete. During the construction riders of the C&S boarded in front of the museum.
- The extension of the standard gauge display track past the C&S boarding area made it necessary to construct a crossover for the ease and safety of our guests. A work party was held on November 29th to construct a temporary ramp prior to our annual December Santa Train.
2015- Retro Clock - Display Track Build-Out - Caboose 18 Work Continues
- Member Tom Rose recreates the clock that was displayed above the Centerville and Southwestern ticket booth while still on the Becker Dairy Farm in Roseland. It is installed for our June open house.
- In August the C&S ticket booth gets some minor repairs and a new coat of paint.
- Work continued on extending the display track to its planned terminus. In October the last ties and rails were laid and a DL&W bumper post was temporarily set in place to prevent guests from walking inside the gauge.
- Caboose 18 work continues in the carshop. All the rotting wood has been removed. New diamond plate for the platforms has been welded to the car frame and the reconstruction of the cupola is complete.
2016- Bumper returns - Wood for the Hack - A Safe - More Brick
- Our friends at McWayne Pipe in Phillipsburg took our ex-DL&W bumper post to their facility, sand blasted it, applied a special epoxy base coat, then a coat of paint. Upon its return it was set in place and permanently attached to the display track.
- In February the lumber for caboose 18 was delivered. When we acquired the caboose it had plywood siding. For our restoration the team decided to return it to its "as delivered" tongue and groove appearance.
- In April member Jay Schweitzer donated a railroad agents safe for display in our museum. The safe was used in the Lehigh and New England freight office in Bangor PA.
- In the spring work began on a permanent crossover to the C&S platform. Brick was brought in and a ramp built from the walkway up to the level of the wood crossover. Brick was also used to extend the C&S platform about an additional 10 feet.
2017- Vagrants - Tie Replacement - 18 Not Quite There Yet
- 2017 started off on a sour note when Lehigh and Hudson River Caboose 16 was set ablaze by vagrants. Nearly all the wood parts were burned off the caboose.
- All of the ties utilized to build our standard gauge railroad came to us used. The initial group were pulled up by PRRH members from the Ingersoll-Rand plant railroad and others from the abandoned Easton and Northern Branch of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Age was taking its toll on many of the ties. Because of the large number of ties that needed replacement our Board of Directors determined the best course of action was to have them replaced by an outside contractor. The replacement ties came from a swap we did with excess rail we didn't need. This work was completed in 2 days in April.
- Hopes were running high that caboose 18 could be completed by the end of 2017. Most of the wood was in place and painted but the devil is in the details and the detail work took a hell of a lot more time than originally expected. Work on the caboose carried into 2018.
2018- Trolley departs - Flanger Goes Undercover - Caboose 18 Big Reveal
- In January we said goodbye to Trolley 2651. Much of the restoration work had been completed and now it needed a facility with overhead trolley wire so it could stretch it's legs a bit. We greatly appreciate all the help members of the North Jersey Electric Railway Historical Society have given us over the years including their participation in so many of our open house events.
- Our Flanger is thought to be one of the oldest pieces of rolling stock in New Jersey. Its construction is mainly of wood. With the fate of caboose 16 in mind we were pleased to be able to move the flanger into the carshop. It will be the next restoration after the finishing touches are done to L&HR caboose 18.
- L&HR caboose 18 went into the carshop in December of 2010 for what was thought to be a quick roof repair. The condition of the car was far worse than originally thought. Eight years, thousands of man hours and $14,000 dollars later it was finally ready. The hand lettering was completed just in time for our September Open House. For the full story click here.
2019- Track Panels - Crossover Completed - New Sign - CNJ Signals
- In anticipation of a further westward expansion, 35 C&S track panels were repositioned in April from the north side of the NS Lehigh Line to our parking lot on the south side of the line. This move was made possible with the cooperation of member Andy George and his machinery. Each panel will be inspected and ties replaced as needed. If New Jersey Transit approves our request to traverse under the black bridge on their property, the Centerville and Southwestern will then continue on city property westward towards the Bel-Del line and loop back around near the old LVRR signal bridge. The city is behind our plan and has facilitated the contact with New Jersey Transit for this approval. Members of NJT engineering department have visited our site to discuss our plans.
- In May the final piece of the display track crossover was completed making it easy for people with disabilities or baby carriages to access the C&S loading platform.
- In June member Asa Frantz began a project to erect a frame and removable sign to be displayed in the parking lot and visible from South Main Street. This was done as an Eagle Scout Project. Members of his scout troop and PRRH members also helped.
- Over the summer member Ed Ott painted the metal frame of the L&HR flatcar. Ed also gave CNJ caboose 91197 a fresh coat of paint and new lettering with stencils made by member Carl Pierson.
- After years of discussion with NS, member Ernie Smith arranged to have 2 derelict CNJ signals moved from the former CNJ right of way in Freemansburg and donated to PRRH. Ernie will be working on rehabilitating them for future display. We would like to thank Norfolk Southern for the donation of these artifacts and the labor to move them.
Page last updated 11-09-20