Hello VRA Members,
As you are all aware, this has been a very slow time for the VRA. The group has seen a
severe decline in participation, which has snow-balled into fewer events. With limited
volunteers, there are a handful of people trying to get everything accomplished, and that
handful can only take on so much. The Executive Committee has been wracking our
brains to try to come up with things to increase interest and involvement in the group
again, but WE NEED YOUR HELP!
This organization has been one of the most successful and prolific groups in NJ for
many years. We have made significant contributions to the restoration of equipment as
well as the preservation of our NJ railroad history since our creation in the early 1990’s.
We need to find ways for this to continue.
Below is a blurb about the NYS&W Boxcar #402 in Boonton. The VRA has decided to
restore this artifact for various reasons, but with one big goal in mind: Regaining the
involvement of our members. The loss of our motorcar trips took a toll on our
members in a lot of ways. We had hoped that a project involving full size equipment
would interest some of our members who weren’t as thrilled with staffing Santa and
Easter trains. Not everyone enjoys the same aspects of our hobby, so diversity in our
focus is sorely needed.
I am making the following request to ALL VRA Members – SEND US YOUR IDEAS!
The entire board’s email addresses are at the bottom of this newsletter. My personal
phone number is 862-763-0508 – if you don’t email then please call me! Leave me a
voicemail if I cannot answer. We need any idea, no matter how big, small, far-fetched
or crazy it may sound. Think out of the box! Reach out any way you would like to, but
please reach out to us!
As we move into 2016, let’s ALL make this a rebuilding year for our organization.
I look forward to hearing from you!
The VRA has chosen to continue something it has been doing for quite a few years
now, to support the efforts of the United Railroad Historical Society. Also, in relation
to our NYS&W Hawthorne Station home, we have decided to adopt the NYS&W #402
boxcar, owned by the URHS, and located in their Boonton Restoration Yard. With this
project, we continue our long tradition of seeing restoration projects take hold and see
through to the end. Work parties will be scheduled and held in Boonton and emails will
go out anytime a work session is held. So come out to Boonton for a work session and
have some fun with your fellow VRA members!
As many of you are already aware, NJ Transit has drastically increased the costs to charter a train. Add to that the costs of toys and giveaways, costumes (either rental or purchase as ours are tired to say the least), food for the volunteers, ticketing costs, advertising, etc. and we come out of it with very little profit. As was mentioned above, the lack of interest from our volunteers makes staffing the train extremely difficult as well. With all these things considered, we have decided not to run a Santa train this year and revisit the costs for Easter. This does not mean we are sitting idle however! Currently, we are looking into hosting a Pancake Breakfast – location and time to be determined soon. Keep an eye on the Yahoo group as well as the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/VolunteerRailroaders) for upcoming information!
Saturday, December 5 th (Times to be Announced)
Hawthorne’s annual Santa parade which ends at the Library. We will have the station open as a Toys for Tots collection site, with snacks available.
Saturday, December 12 th – NYS&W Run
Times will be released shortly. We’ve had to rearrange some dates, but the train will stop in Hawthorne that morning!
Dec. 5 th – M&E Flanders, Dover, Rockaway, etc.
Dec, 6 th – Kuiken Bros. Lumber, Succasunna
Dec. 13 th – M&NJ Warwick to Walden