Easter Bunny to Visit Hawthorne Station

On Saturday April 8th the Easter Bunny will be hopping his way to the historic Hawthorne Train Station, located at 80 Royal Avenue beginning at 11am and staying to greet children, take a picture with them and give each one a gift until 3pm. The bunny will be joined by other costumed characters that are sure to put a smile on every kids face.

During the visit children will be able to take part in an egg and spoon race, watch and play with the toy trains and play bean bag toss. Everyone is invited to look around the station at all of the historic displays, watch a train video or two, view the operating train layout and see a real railroad motorcar, that was once used by railroads to inspect and repair the track.

A suggested donation of $5 is requested to help preserve the train station which was renovated by the Volunteer Railroaders Association in 2011. The group leases and maintains the building and grounds and relays on projects like this one to help fund their efforts. They have started a special committee to help maintain and preserve the station and invite anyone who is interested to join them in this effort.

So why not gather up the kids and Grandparents and come on down to Hawthorne Station on April 8th and join in the fun. Be sure to bring your cameras to record the memories. Please visit www.vratrips.org or https://www.facebook.com/VolunteerRailroaders for more information.

Santa to Visit Hawthorne Train Station

Mark your calendars for November 26th to visit with Santa Claus. This is the day Santa will be visiting the historic Hawthorne Train Station. The Volunteer Railroaders Association has announced that Santa will be stopping by the station between 10am and 2pm and would like to visit with all the good little girls and boys in town. Each child can have their pictures taken with Santa, tell him what they would like for Christmas and each will receive a candy cane. In addition Santa has invited a one of his elves to come with him and a few surprise cartoon characters as well.

The Volunteer Railroaders will have the station and the area outside the building completely decorated for the holiday season and will have lots of railroad artifacts and historical items on display for everyone to enjoy. They will even have a Thomas train layout set up for the kids to enjoy. There is no cost to attend, although donations are greatly appreciated.

Everyone is encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy with them to donate to the Toys for Tots program, which helps makes the holiday season a happy one for needy children in our area. Everyone who brings a toy will be entered into a drawing for a very special prize. If you prefer, you can bring a toy on December 3rd between 10am and 10:45am when the very special Toys for Tots Train visits the station. Santa and his Marine escorts will be on hand to accept your donations while the train is at the station.

So grab the kids or grandkids and head on down to the station between 10am and 2pm for what is sure to be a fun experience. The station is located at 80 Royal Ave in Hawthorne. For more information please call the VRA at 973-238-0555 and leave a message.

Operation Toy Train rolls again in 2016

It’s that time of year again!!! Operation Toy Train rolls again in 2016. Join us for our 8th year at familiar locations and even a new one this year!

See the schedule below and visit https://www.facebook.com/OperationToyTrain/ for updates.

Saturday, December 3 – NYS&W Railway
Sunday, December 4 – M&NJ Railway
Saturday, December 10 – M&E Railway
Sunday, December 11 – Kuiken Brothers Lumber – Route 10 E, Succasunna, NJ




Birding Motorcar trips out of Cape May

Just announced, special Birding Motorcar trips out of Cape May station October 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th & 16th, 22nd, 23rd and 29th. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children under 12. First trip each day at 8 am then every hour on the hour until 2 pm. Trip lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Regular sight seeing with historical narration trips are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Trip lasts 45 minutes.

For tickets or more information call 973-238-0555 and leaving a message for a call back or just come to Cape May station starting at 7:30 am on the day of the trip. On line ticketing coming soon. Minimum passenger height restriction of 36″ for all trips.

See flyer below for more details. Click images to enlarge.


These trips are being operated by the CMSL for the benefit of The Volunteer Railroader Association Inc. Please come out and join us these weekends this fall.

The Volunteer Railroader Association Inc. is not affiliated with Cape May Welcome Center. These rides are not part of the daily operations that take place at the Cape May Welcome Center.

Cape May Seashore Lines Intracoastal Waterway Limited photos

Photos of the Cape May Seashore Lines public motorcar trip on Sunday, September 18th 2016.
Trips departed the Cape May station every hour on the hour starting at 10 am with the last departure at 3 pm.

Each trip lasted approximately 40 minutes and brought the passengers out to the Intracoastal Waterway and back. Narration about the area, the railroad and the wildlife was be provided.

















Cape May Intracoastal Waterway Limited motorcar trips

We are happy to announce that the Cape May Seashore Lines public motorcar trips will start to run this Sunday September 18th, 2016. These speeder rides will also operate Saturday Sep. 24, 2016. Trips depart the Cape May station every hour on the hour starting at 10am with the last departure at 3pm. Come on out on Sunday and enjoy the ride.
cape-may-seashore-lines-public-motorcar-trips-01-16-sep-2016-kc-smith cape-may-seashore-lines-public-motorcar-trips-02-16-sep-2016-kc-smith
Each trip lasts approximately 40 minutes and brings you out to the Intracoastal Waterway and back. The ride take passengers out through tidal areas rich with wildlife including bald eagles. Narration about the area, the railroad and the wildlife will be provided.

Tickets will be available on the platform at the Cape May station starting at 9:30 am. The pricing for the trips will be $5 for children and $10 for adults. There is a minimum height requirement of 36″ to ride the train.

The Cape May Railroad station is located in the Cape May Welcome Center, 609 Lafayette Street, Cape May, NJ 08204

These trips are being operated by the CMSL for the benefit of The Volunteer Railroader Association Inc. Please come out and join us this Saturday and watch for additional dates this fall.

The Volunteer Railroader Association Inc. is not affiliated with Cape May Welcome Center. These rides are not part of the daily operations that take place at the Cape May Welcome Center.

BR&W Steam Photo Freight and Night Photo June 25th

The Volunteer Railroaders Association in conjunction with the Black River Railroad Historic Trust is proud to announce a special photographer’s Photo Freight on Saturday, June 25th featuring the Black River & Western #60. The #60 is a 2-8-0 Consolidation and is New Jersey’s oldest operating steam locomotive. The train will be made up of passenger equipment, freight cars, and even a caboose. At least 7 photo run-bys will be staged along the route between Three Bridges and Ringoes, which will give everyone the chance to get some great pictures.

The day will start at 2:30 pm in Flemington where participants will meet to find out all the details for the day. When the last regularly scheduled train of the day arrives, it will head for Three Bridges instead of turning back for Ringoes. Due to “excepted track” we will not be able to board the train for this leg of the trip, but instead, we will follow the train and be given the chance to take some very rare photos of the #60 and her train.

After a few photo run-bys, the train will return to Flemington where passengers will board for a round trip to the end of in-service track at Boss Road in Ringoes. Along the route the train will stop a number of times for more photo run-bys, some at locations not accessible to the public. When completed passengers will reboard the train for a non-stop run back to Flemington and then head out for dinner on their own.

As darkness arrives a Night Photo session will take place for up to 30 photographers in and around the Ringoes yard and station. A variety of scenes will be set up featuring the #60 and other equipment operating on the BRW.

Train Ride Tickets

Passengers can choose to ride in coach for $40, Club Car for $60 or for a select few you can ride in the Caboose for $50. The night photo session is limited to only 30 participants and can be purchased for $25. A special combination ticket is being offered in coach for $55, Caboose for $65 and Club Car class for $75, each a $10 savings.

Tickets can be purchased here or by calling 973-238-0555 and leaving a message. Be sure to buy your tickets early as there a very limited quantity available and are sure to sell fast.

This event is being run as a fundraiser for the VRA and to help raise funds needed for the BRW to return service to the line to Lambertville. You are encouraged to visitwww.blackriverrailroad.com for more information and to donate directly to this effort.

BRW Night Photo tickets

We have 2 options for pricing, the first is as a combo if you purchased a ticket to the Photo Freight ($15), the other is if you want just the Night Photo session ($25).

Confirmation Number


Please note

If you intend on purchasing the Combo Photo Freight ($15) above: please put the confirmation number from your ticket purchase in the ‘Confirmation Number’ box (above). This will allow us to prove that you made a train purchase and are thus eligible for the discount.

Notable VRA trips

Notable VRA trips:

  1993   Tri-State Railway Historical Society & SVA trip on the NYS&W to Baird’s Farm.
  1997   VRA sponsor a “Fall Foliage” trip on the NYS&W from Hawthorne to Baird’s Farm.

Naval Weapons Station – Earle. Ran 4 trains…on a 3 mile pier at the annual Sum­mer­fest. A special thanks goes to the VRA for assembling their experienced crew members
  2005   Honesdale Railroad excursion – about 40 motorcars to Honesdale to Lackawaxen.