On June 24 th & 25th our Volunteer Railroaders opened the Y2K season by helping the URHS operate 4 round trips from Earle Naval Weapons Station to pier 3 at Leonardo, NJ. This was the first time the Navy has opened its tracks to the public since 1981. It gave us a chance to meet some of our friends from the URHS and fellow car hosts from the 614 trips. It was also the first time 8 restored URHS Heritage coaches made a public appearance together.There were 2 trips each day with 2 photo stops along the way and a chance for photos while the train was on the pier. The best trick was done by Frank Etzel, the man in charge of the photo lines. He timed a static photo stop on Sunday morning by the NJ Transit Coast Line underpass. This enabled photographers to get a picture of the Naval train with a NJ Transit train overhead. Many happy railfans that day. The worst time was the last trip when our time on the pier was cut short because we had to be off the pier before the USS Nassau docked. We could see the ship approaching as we were trying to get everybody on board as quickly as possible. The worst problem: people wandering out to the ends of the piers. We tried to sweep them back but some people still got left behind and had to take a Navy bus back to Earle. At the end of the last trip, all the volunteers gathered at the head of the train for a group photo. You can see a copy of the photo in our photo gallery. A good time was had by all. Many thanks to all those who helped.
VRA helps with URHS Earle NWS trips