Tri-State is happy to announce that after nearly a year of planning a genuine Lackawanna m.u. motorcar is coming home to New Jersey. Working with the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum and BDP Holdings LLC, Tri-State will oversee the professional restoration of Lackawanna m.u. motorcar 2628 to be ultimately installed as a defining feature of Lackawanna Plaza, a community-oriented redevelopment project based around the Montclair Terminal, now owned by BDP Holdings LLC.
In a plan developed and orchestrated by Tri-State Railway Historical Society, Inc., David Placek, Managing Partner of BDP Holdings, will fund its restoration and display it at the newly developed Lackawanna Plaza, at the former Montclair Terminal where the original car once served commuters for more than 50 years.
“We feel so grateful to have had a significant piece of history – DL&W 2628 – in our collection for nearly four decades,” said Otto M. Vondrak, President of the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum. “We are deeply appreciative of our partners at the Tri-State Railway Historical Society for their collaboration in restoring and returning DL&W 2628 to New Jersey and providing the best possible setting for historic interpretation, and to the team at BDP Holdings for making the transportation and restoration possible.”
Once restored, DL&W 2628 will be placed in the former DL&W terminal in Montclair, N.J., which was closed in 1981 and repurposed as a retail center. The car will be displayed on “Track 1” where it most often operated in service. BDP Holdings, will fund the cost of professional restoration inside and out to be completed in the Morristown & Erie Railway shop in Morristown, NJ. The railcar will be restored to its historic appearance under the supervision of Tri-State Railway Historical Society, Inc.
“DL&W 2628 is, perhaps, the best surviving example of a Lackawanna motorcar” said Richard King, President of Tri-State Railway Historical Society, Inc. King explained that, while many trailer cars survive, many of the original motorcars do not since the Federal Railroad Administration requires they be maintained as locomotives. As a static exhibit, DL&W 2628 will be made nearly original as possible.
“Dave Placek is the right person in the right place at the right time for all the right reasons,” says Mike Del Vecchio, Director and long-time past president of the Tri-State Railway Historical Society, Inc., who is the project leader, history consultant and coordinator for Tri-State. “The 2628 was the last car on the last train to leave Hoboken for Gladstone on the last night of service. In nearly 40 years none of the surviving “Edison Electrics” have been restored as such, Del Vecchio added. “We hope to install the restored car in 2024 in time to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the retirement of this grand and famous fleet.”
“Bringing the restored DL&W 2628 to Lackawanna Plaza is going to take the project to a whole new level,” said David Placek, Managing Partner of BDP Holdings. “Lackawanna Plaza – in additional to being home to the township’s largest food market, a wealth of affordable housing, and environmentally-friendly buildings and landscaping – will be a place where people can go back in time as they climb aboard DL&W 2628. I want to thank everyone at the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum and Tri-State Railway Historical Society for helping us bring this amazing piece of history back to the Montclair community.”
While it’s been nearly 40 years since these cars operated, none of the motorcars have been restored as such. To preserve a piece in context is the goal of every preservationist, and to have one at an original station where it operated, and so close to Edison’s home and laboratory, is quite appropriate.
Special thanks to the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum for their work over and above the call to make this move possible. Daily Express arranged for the trucking and rigging.
-via Press Release