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Thread: L&HR Phillipsburg Turn (NE-3) March 31, 1976

  1. #1
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    Aug 2009
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    Default L&HR Phillipsburg Turn (NE-3) March 31, 1976

    With only a few hours before the Northeast's railroad scene changes forever as we knew it. The Lehigh & Hudson River's last formal train NE-3 better known as the "Phillipsburg Turn" will do its final run with engineer Jim Rader at the throttle. After receiving their Form 19 authorization to leave Warwick, the fog will increase in the NJ Highlands area. When they return, Jim & his crew will be employees of Conrail. The scene will never be the same again & 116 years of the L&HR will cease to exist. I was lucky to have witness this last run with my friend Bob (He had a license, I was only 13) from Hamburg, NJ to the old Sparta Jct (LHR-NYSW). So I tried to recapture that evening of the great L&HR V4.0 Route.

    Locos & Rolling Stock: BLW, BLW/ZT, T-S Downloads & Private.
    Route: Richard Shirey's L&HR V4.0

    For the last time, L&HR's P'burg Turn (NE-3) awaiting it Form 19 authorization in Warwick, NY for its final ride.

    Crossing Wawayanda Creek in Warwick,NY.

    Crossing Baird's Lane in Warwick, NY

    This is where actually my friend Bob & I started railfanning this last run that night. On the northbound side of the Route 23 overpass in Hamburg, NJ. About 15 minutes before NE-3 crossed this point, the fog drew in quite heavy & would get even more dense as the night went on.

    The deferred maintenance roadbed & track worked to out advantage in our pursuit that night. We got to catch NE-3 passing the NJ Zinc facilities in Ogdensburg-Franklin in just a few minutes after Hamburg. The tracks in this area at the time were 10-15 MPH but most trains never went above 8MPH until they passed West Franklin.

    With just moving about 150 yards to the side of the County Route 631 (North Church Road) overpass. We caught NE-3 passing the old Franklin Station. By this time, the fog was getting real dense.

    We got in just enough time to catch NE-3 cross Stone Hill Road in Ogdensburg before she picked up speed at West Franklin.

    Sparta Jct.,the old embargoed interchange with the NYSW. By now the visibility was about a 1/4 mile & getting worse. I could still remember the deafening silence the low ceiling created. With 2 Alcos & you couldn't hear them until you were a furlong from them. I stood with Bob on what once was the Susie-Q's roadbed near the diamond. Last time this interchange had action was when the Morris County Central moved their operations to Newfoundland on the embargoed part of the NYSW north of Butler in the winter of 1973-74. This would be our last stop of the chase due to the fog.

    Engineer Jim Rador gave us a blast of the Century's horn as it past us standing trackside. With only a few hours remaining of March 31, 1976, I began to think what tomorrow would be. When the NE-3's caboose vanished into the fog heading towards P'burg. I wondered what Conrail would save & abandon. My favorite roads incorporated into it seen major abandonments. The EL's west end & DL&W cut-off & the southern tier seeing far less traffic. The CNJ tracks into Bayonne & Jersey City, the Newark Bay Bridge, Southern Division south of Lakehurst to Vineland-Bridgeton & the Barnegat & Seashore Branches. The L&HR south of the new Sparta Jct. to Phillipsburg. And over 55% of the PRSL. At least for me until I seen how things went, the NYSW stood as an island in a soon to be sea of Conrail blue.



    ENJOY.
    - Mark -

  2. #2

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    Outstanding!

  3. #3

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    I love this. History comes alive . . .
    Your story is so much richer than only screenshots (I enjoy those too, of course).
    Christopher

  4. #4
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    Thanks everyone . The L&HR v4.0 is one of those routes you love to revisit & I did last night. Right as I started to sit and run NE-3. My friend Bob who I mentioned in the screenshots called from Wyoming. We talked how coming back after that night, the trip from Sparta Jct. to Garfield should have taken about an hour. But with the fog it took us 3 hours.

    So I figured I was in hot water already being 13 and out past 1AM on a school night (It was a Thursday going into a Friday). We headed for Croxton to see the 1st foreign power come in. About 3:30AM the first arrived with some PC U-Boats & Geeps and a Reading SD unit. Then we knew things would be different. And I wasn't grounded too bad. I was grounded for Easter weekend that was still 2 weeks off. He didn't ground me for the upcoming weekend because he knew with the change to Conrail, it was important to me.
    - Mark -

  5. #5
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    Hi Mark, I'm glad you enjoy the route and I hope most locations in the route resemble their prototypes. I never knew the prototype L&HR, I grew West of Pittsburgh, PA but became aware of the route in the 1970's through a magazine article on the railroad. I was immediately fascinated with the "Bridge Line to New England", a small independent road trying to say afloat while surrounded by much larger roads. All while using ALCO C420's in a catchy paint scheme. While building the L&HR in MSTS I tried to learn as much about the railroad as possible, using the Morning Sun Book and various magazines from different historical societies along with Google Earth.

    After releasing the L&HR in the diesel era, I tried my hand at back dating the route to when steam locomotives ruled the rails and the railroad still had not replaced the semaphore signals with the color light signals. After releasing the 1940's L&HR I became interested in the Rail Works / Dovetail Games Train Simulator. I'm not as active on the forums as I once was, but I'm glad people are still getting enjoyment from the "Bridge Line to New England"

    Cheers,
    Rich S.

    Rich S.

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    The L&HR was great to learn on, thanks Rich!

    Paul :-)

  7. #7
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    Where is this route available at?

  8. #8
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    Right here in the library.

    Paul :-)

  9. #9
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    Hi Folks,

    While I'm partial to the steam version - Rich's LHR is fantastic and the inspiration for much of my work. I can't count the number of hours I've spent modeling, modifying, and running his route... Thanks Rich !

    Regards,
    Scott

  10. #10
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    Hi Paul and Scott, Thank you both for your contributions to the L&HR.

    Paul, the activities you created for the route really made the route come alive. Plus you created the signature Warwick Passenger station, leaving no doubt in the viewers eye that they are indeed in Warwick.

    Scott, The steam locomotives you created for the 1940's L&HR really brought that version to life.

    I still enjoy running both versions of the route now using Open Rails and I'm glad folks here at Train-sim are still enjoying the route as well.

    Rich S.

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