November 17, 2003
The Monday Nov 17 trip was not a complete success, but we got a lot of help from Al Elliott which helped the day go better.
After picking up the trailer at Ringoes and hooking it to Al’s truck we went north. We set on at a power plant about 4 miles north of Milford and mowed south. Just below Milford the rotary struck a high rail lying between the rails. On further inspection we found several things wrong with the mower deck, not necessarily a result of that incident.
It took an hour to repair enough to continue. After lunch below Milford we went back north with the best repair we could do, but it only lasted several miles. Continuing with the sickle bar only, we got back to the power plant. (from Dick Ray)
October 23, 2003
I wanted to thank everyone who came out and helped us clear the BR&W’s line in Easton, PA. The machines worked well and we got all the work done. The brush hog is now in Ringoes and we will be setting up a time to go down there and do some work in Flemington and then down to Lambertville. The guys who came out were Dick Ray, Pete Stagg, Joe Weber, Scott Samuel, Chris Vitz and myself from the VRA and Bud and Mike O’Toole from the BR&W. Also there was Bill McKelvey from the Friends of the NJ Transportation Heritage Center. Again we worked together as a great team and made the day a success and have opened another door at another railroad. Good work guys!!! (from KC)
September 6, 2003
We put brackets on the A5 that Pete made for us that carries the rails for the turntable. We now need a second set as one rail will be on each side. This day we carried both rails on the same side. Dick got a new belt for the rotary which we put on. We mowed south and got as far as Langlitz Road which we didn’t cross. A few hundred feet north of there we found a spot to turn the car and we did that with no real problem.
We crossed Ford Lea with out a problem and crossed Orange County 1 at Westown OK, but the weeds were taller then a man and the mower had difficulty. The new belt was loose and kept coming off so we put the old one with a bad gouge in it back on and it ran OK. Had to make multiple passes. The sickle bar ran OK but we must have damaged the first two teeth which had to be readjusted several times. The going was really hard for both machines. We let the jungle grow too long this year. I gave Chris a break on running the sickle bar and he ran the car while Dick was walking behind lopping and clearing the sickle bar when it got clogged. That is when the bees got him. (Chris, my arms are sore today from wrestling with the sickle bar.)
It is going to be a rough run for the motor cars when they come down from Middletown for the meet in October. I can’t see then getting past the Waterloo Road crossing. Where will the cars be turned? Back up to Langlitz Road and turn on the pavement? There is good visibility there and not much traffic. Just a thought.
I hope the bee bites are better today Dick and Chris. (from Charley R)
August 8, 2003
The VRA is pleased to announce the return of their popular NYS&W trip plus an extra day to go along with the weekend on the Middletown and New Jersey Railroad out of Middletown, NY. This is a very fitting addition to our NYS&W trip as it will cover tracks that were once part of the NYS&W and in fact were the rails that were the NY in the NYS&W. This is also the line that the VRA has been working on for many years to reopen and keep open for motor car usage on the lower 8 miles or so. The M&NJ gave up running all but 1 mile of the RR last year and now we take care of about 12 miles. This run will be over rails that in some places have not felt the wheel of train in over 30 years, and has 7 crossings paved over, but was once part of a through route to the Great Lakes. Due to track condition and the paved over crossings we must limit the size of the cars to those able to be man handled by their operators and crew and caution everyone that even with all the work we have done, there a places along the way that you may encounter low hanging trees and brush as well as uneven track, wide or tight gauge and missing ties. So for a little adventure, why not add a day to your weekend and join us as we take a ride on the M&NJ. I have attached 2 flyers that you can fill out and send back or e-mail back if you are using your credit card.
Hope you can join us,
July 29, 2003
On July 29, Dick Ray, Charlie Roselius, Larry Ten Hoeve, and myself cut some more brush up on the M&NJ. The weather was beautiful. We arrived at the car barn at 8 am and did some minor work to get the brush cutter ready. We left started mowing right around 9 am. Heading north and using both the sickle bar and rotary mower we had no problems, other than the thick grass and weeds growing in the farm field south of Slate Hill.
We reached Slate Hill around 10:30 and decided to continue north until 11 am. We were able to continue mowing north all the way to Janie’s (McBride Road?) We turned the car just north of the crossing using our portable turntable.
Right at the appointed 11:00 am time we were already heading south. At Slate Hill we ran into a little snag with out rotary mower, but with some ingenuity and luck got it running again. The farm field was tough on the return trip too but we managed to get through it. About halfway between Lime Kiln Road and Johnson the A-5 decided to overheat. We figure it must be some of the cuttings that got passed our screens and got caught in the radiator are impeding the flow. After a few minutes that engine had cooled enough to continue back to the barn. We got back to Johnson exactly at 1 pm.
This was by far our best day of mowing, we cut about six miles total without any mechanical breakdowns. (From Chris V)
July 15 th, 2003
On Sunday afternoon Will, Bill Kenley (who I once worked with long ago and have not seen since!), and I mowed from Ford Lea Road to Lime Kiln Road with both mowers. The system is working better all the time. We do have some minor improvements and one repair to make before the next trip.
The briars are coming back at Lime Kiln Road and need some hedge trimmer work. Not surprising since we have done nothing up there in more than a year. A few hour’s work would hold them off for another year. I would like to invent a holder for one of the trimmers so that briars could be cut well back using the A5 platform. (From Dick Ray)
July 12, 2003
After lots of hard work and negotiations, The Volunteer Railroaders Association is proud to announce the return of their popular run over the NYS&W’s southern division on October 4 th and 5 th, 2003. The trip will cover over 150 main and branch line miles round trip over the 2 days. Participants will travel over the highest point on rails in New Jersey, enjoy the quiet of early fall in the mountains and an optional BBQ lunch one day and then get within miles of NYC and the hustle and bustle that go along with it and sit down for an optional deli lunch along the busy CSXT River Line the other. We are still working on the exact route but please be assured we will add another twist to this years run. And of course our now famous flaggers will be out there ahead of us to help keep us safe and moving. This is a NARCOA insured event and NARCOA rules apply. Trip fee for both days is $120.00, yes we had to raise our price a little to cover additional costs from the NYS&W railroad. To sign-up to receive a registration packet (available in a few weeks) or for more info please e-mail us at email@example.com
March 24, 2003
May 7 th we will host a NARCOA meet on the Stourbridge Line out of Honesdale, PA. This will be the first trip on this railroad in more than 10 years. It is a very scenic line and follows the Lackawaxen River all the way. We will start in Honesdale, PA and follow a relaxed schedule down to Lackawaxen, on the Delaware River. There will be food and restrooms available, and there are two attractions planned; an opportunity to view and walk on the Roebling Bridge, the oldest existing wire suspension bridge in North America, that once carried the Delaware & Hudson Canal over the Delaware River, and an opportunity to visit the Zane Grey (Father of the Western Novel) Museum.
After lunch, we will go back up to Honesdale and be off the rails early enough that most will be able to get home easily. The round trip mileage is 50 miles. A forty (40) car limit will apply.
The price is $50 with proceeds going to support the NJ Transportation Heritage Center and other historic railroad preservation projects. NARCOA insurance is required. NARCOA Rules will apply and all cars will be inspected. There are no other organizations to join. Applications must be received by May 3, 2003. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more.