Our first motorcar trip of the year is fast approaching, on the weekend of May 21st and 22nd. Last year some attendees asked for a spring run. The trip this year is as early as we could get, as the NARCOA schedule filled up quickly with competing trips. This year we start with something old and something new. This year marks, I believe, the eleventh year in a row we have run over the NYS&W Southern Division. That’s “something old;” now for the “something new.” This year we are starting from Sparta, NJ and heading west to Warwick. In years past we had to stop a few miles east of Warwick due to the track being under the control of Norfolk Southern west of that point. Last year that changed, and the railroad was leased to the Middletown & New Jersey. Even more advantageous is that Frank Eichenlaub, one of the pilots on our trips over the NYS&W, became General Manager of the M&NJ. Frank was gracious enough to ask his boss if we could run over the rail and they agreed. Thank you Frank!
This year we will be starting from Sparta, NJ on Saturday, and running railroad west through Warwick up to Sugar Loaf, NY. The Town of Sugar Loaf is having their spring festival that weekend and our group will be one of the attractions. Our attendees will be having lunch in Sugar Loaf. After our lunch break we will head north to Hudson Junction, the point at which the NYS&W and M&NJ meet Metro North’s Port Jervis Branch, the former Erie Graham Line. We will turn at that point and return south getting to Sparta by the end of the day. On Sunday we will run from Sparta to Hawthorne, where the dedication ceremony for the completed NYS&W Hawthorne station will be held. A barbecue lunch is planned for all attendees and the station will be open for tours and photos. After lunch we will again return to Sparta where we will go home tired but happy from such a great weekend.
As in years past, we are looking for flaggers to lead our group and stop traffic at crossings along the way. If you volunteer one day, you get to ride the other. So come on out and run your car or go for a ride! If you would like to help with flagging one or both days please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also coming up are our annual trip over the NYS&W Syracuse Branch on July 23rd and 24th starting from Cortland, NY both days. Later in the fall, on October 15th, we will be running over the Stourbridge Railroad out of Honesdale, PA. Finally, on October 16th we will be running on new track again – the Middletown & New Jersey’s Walden and Montgomery Branches out of Campbell Hall, NY. These branch lines have never been open to us before so this should be another fun and new experience.