The Tri-State Railway Historical Society and Operation Toy Train of New York have partnered to acquire former Hoboken Manufacturers Railroad locomotive No. 700 and Middletown & New Jersey Railroad locomotive No. 2 for historic preservation. These locomotives are the last remaining examples of historic rail equipment from the heydays of their respective railroads.
Both are 44-ton diesel-electric locomotives constructed in 1947 by General Electric’s factory in Erie, Pennsylvania. Middletown & New Jersey No. 2 was originally built as American Cyanamid No. 5 in February of that year, and went to work at American Cyanamid’s Calco Chemical Division in Bridgewater, New Jersey. In 1963, the engine was acquired secondhand by the Middletown & New Jersey Railroad to supplement the railroad’s original 44-ton locomotive (No. 1). The new locomotive was renumbered as M&NJ No. 2 and operated along the entire 15-mile Middletown & New Jersey line,
Just eight months after M&NJ No. 2 rolled off the production line, Hoboken Manufacturers Railroad No. 700 rolled out of the General Electric plant in October of 1947. It went to work for its new owner. It operated for the Hoboken Manufacturers Railroad and its successor, the Hoboken Shore Railroad, until the latter railroad’s closure in 1976. It passed through a variety of owners until it was acquired by the Tyburn Railroad in Morrisville, Pennsylvania and became that railroad’s No. 400. The Tyburn Railroad was acquired by Regional Rail in 2011, placing both of these 44-ton locomotives under the same owner. The former HMRR No. 700 is the sole remaining piece of rail equipment from the Hoboken Manufacturers Railroad.
M&NJ No. 2 will join the display of Operation Toy Train of New York’s rail equipment at the new Port Jervis Transportation History Center in Port Jervis, New York, while the HMRR No. 700 will be added to the Tri-State Railway Historical Society’s railroad collection at the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey’s restoration and storage facility in Boonton, New Jersey. Both engines are slated for full mechanical and cosmetic restorations once they have been trucked to their respective new homes.
The two organizations have launched a joint campaign, called Operation 88, to fundraise $15,000 to complete the project. These funds will be used to cover the remaining transportation costs, mechanical upgrades, and repainting the locomotives into their historic liveries. Funding for the acquisition and initial transportation costs was secured from Liberty Historic Railway, Inc., a New Jersey-based non-profit that has funded numerous preservation efforts in years past, as well as contributions from private donors. To learn more about the project and to donate to the restorations of both locomotives, visit www.Operation88.org
-via Press Release