Liberty Historic Railway
Liberty State Park
- The first public meeting for the Liberty State Park Circulator Cost-Benefit Analysis was held on Thursday, 24 January between 4:30 PM and 8 PM at City Hall, 280 Grove Street, Jersey City, NJ. There was an open house during which the public could view displays and talk to members of the Sam Schwartz Engineering project team. A formal presentation was made followed by a question and answer session. Four board members and several supporters were present. Unfortunately, strong opposition to any track in the park was voiced by Friends of Liberty State Park. Progress with the study can be viewed on their website: http://www.lsptransitstudy.com
- On 6 January Liberty Historic Railway rescued an historic, 35 foot, SEALAND intermodal container from the Liberty Humaine Society, across Jersey City Boulevard from Liberty Science Center. It was moved to the Friends of NJ Transportation Heritage Center storage yard at the Pump House in Phillipsburg. This compliments the SEATRAIN container rescued by LHRy and used for storage at the URHS Boonton Yard.
- Just before Christmas the NJ DEP Parks entered into an agreement with the NJ Department of Corrections for 100 prisoners to provide debris removal in Liberty State Park for four hours each weekday. Significant progress has already been made on removal of Hurricane Sandy debris and vegetation from under the Train Sheds.
- Founding Liberty Historic Railway director, Tom Gallo, has resigned to focus on work required following the devastation of hurricane Sandy in his local town. We thank Tom for his contributions to LHRy and are sorry to lose his valued input as a former Central RR of NJ employee and President of the Central RR of NJ Veteran Employees Association. His replacement on the board will be Jack May of Montclair, NJ, a retired career worker in data processing, rising to the role of VP & Chief Information Officer of a direct marketing firm. He is a rail transit advocate for the NJ Association of Rail Passengers and past coordinator of foreign trips for the Electric Railroaders Association. In addition, we are adding two new LHRy directors: David E. Koenig of Maplewood, an architectural historian and former Principal Historic Preservation Specialist for NJ Transit, with past experience specializing in transportation and FEMA Procedures, as well as a seasonal employee and volunteer archivist at Liberty State Park; and George LaPierre of Rahway, NJ, a Digital / Optical Trainer for Fuji Film, NA.
- A Christmas and Holiday Greeting Card Exhibit with vintage, historic & contemporary railway, trolley, canal, maritime, and transportation related views will be on display at the Berkeley Heights Public Library during the month of December. The library is located at 290 Plainfield Avenue, two blocks south of the NJ Transit Gladstone Branch station in town. For hours of operation call 908-464-9333. The exhibit was assembled by Liberty Historic Railway Chairman, and local resident, Bill McKelvey.
- The Winter 2012 issue (Vol. 13, No. 4) of Classic Trains magazine contains an 8 page article, Fantrip, 1953-style (Morgan and Hastings ride a CNJ fantrip) about the May 17th excursion which began and ended at the Central RR of NJ, Jersey City Terminal Train Shed. Two of the photos in the article were taken under the Shed. In the color photo at the bottom left of page 71, the boy peering down into his Kodak Brownie box camera to capture historic view of Jersey Central Lines steam locomotive No. 810 on the bank of the Rockaway River in Dover is the 13-year old future Chairman of Liberty Historic Railway.
- On 29 and 30 October Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic event on record, struck New Jersey / New York Harbor with a storm surge of 13.88 feet, the highest ever recorded. The wind driven waves blew in doors and windows on the north, east and south sides of the first floor of the Central RR of NJ Terminal and blew them out on the west side. Contents were inundated by four feet of water inside the building and the surge and wave action destroyed furniture, exhibits and contents. Fortunately, the Train Shed suffered no additional damage. However, there was much infrastructure damage around the Park. Views of the damage were posted to the Liberty State Park website:www.libertystatepark.org The northern end of the Park is now open again, but the Terminal as well as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island will be closed to visitors until further notice. Damaged and unsafe areas within the Park are cordoned off. This event will not deter Liberty Historic Railway from our pursuit of stabilization and restoration of the Train Shed as well as the provision of a trolley shuttle between the Terminal and Liberty Science Center / Hudson Bergen Light Rail station.
- In September two vintage Public Service Railway trolley controllers (electrical accelerator mechanisms) were donated to Liberty Historic Railway by Michael Tamroco. They had been acquired by Benjamin J. Brennan, Jr. from the PS Roseville Carhouse at14th Street and Main Street on the Newark / East Orange border in the 1950's.
- The City of Jersey City is exploring potential improvements to public transportation that serves destinations in and near Liberty State Park with consultant Sam Schwartz Engineering. We sincerely thank all of you who responded to the survey, which received far more responses than was expected. The results have been tabulated and are posted on the study website. Look for the upcoming announcement of a public meeting on the study in January, 2013. Check their website; www.lsptransitstudy.com
- LHRy, working with the Liberty State Park Historian has completed and installed a series of six historic, interpretive, photo panels for the CRR of NJ Jersey City Terminal. Each holds two to four photos focusing on the Train Shed, mounted in vintage wooden railway window frames. The panels have been installed in pairs on the gates to tracks 2/3, 4/5, and 6/7 on the northwest side of the concourse. Note: When viewing the panel at track 4, turn around and face NYC. Framed by an opening in the Terminal brick wall you will see the site formerly occupied by the original twin World Trade Center buildings and to the left, the new World Trade Center spire, nearing completion. Unfortunately, after only about a month on display each panel was immersed in sea water of the Hurricane Sandy storm surge which rose four feet above the level of the concourse floor. Note: They been removed for restoration, but will be replaced in the future.
- On Sunday, 29 July 2012, Liberty Historic Railway performed an automobile license plate survey in the main ferry parking lot. The results, tabulated by state below show the wide-ranging origin of visitors (excludes the approximately 50% which were NJ);
AZ-1; CA-5; CO-1; CT-5; DC-2; DE-1; FL-11; GA-5; IL-8; IN-5; KY-1; MA-14; MD-25; ME-3; MI-6; MN-1; MO-4; NC-10; NH-2; NM-1; NY-66; OH-10; OK-1; PA-32; TN-4; TX-5; VA-20; CONSUL (US Dept. of State) 1; CANADA: AB-1; ON-7; PQ-10; TOTAL NON-NJ = 268
- Liberty Historic Railway submitted a 2012 Transportation Enhancement Grant Application for $1,000,000 to stabilize the perimeter of the CRR of NJ, Jersey City Terminal, Train Shed with endorsement and support from Hudson County; Jersey City; Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce; Roebling Chapter, Society for Industrial Archeology; and Central RR Co. of New Jersey Historical Society.
- LHRy had an information table with exhibits and free literature to educate and update the public at the most successful fifth annual City of Water Day Festival at the CRR of NJ Jersey City Terminal on Saturday, 14 July. The event is hosted by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance - check their website for the date of the 2013 event which includes free boat rides and other activities at both Liberty State Park and Governors Island.
- Norfolk Southern Corp. (RR) has completed a series of 20 new locomotives painted in heritage railroad schemes. Among them is No. 1071, an EMD SD70ACe, in the brilliant Jersey Central Lines orange and blue colors. It was built and painted in the EMD Muncie, IN plant.
- On Sunday, 10 June, Liberty Historic Railway hosted an open public meeting in the C RR of NJ, Jersey City Terminal, Blue Comet Room. Presentations were made and exhibits and free literature were available to educate and update stakeholders and other interested persons on the iniatives of LHRy. In the afternoon we had a tours of the facility by former employees of the CRR of NJ to learn about the historic activities which took place in the various areas. Approximately 50 attended and the proceedings were videotaped for the historic record.
- LHRy submitted the CRR of NJ, Jersey City Terminal, Train Shed to the New Jersey Historic Trust 2012 Capital Needs Survey / Preservation Grant Program. We indicated that the Pre-Construction Phase / Stabilization of the structure cost estimate was $24 million, and the full restoration estimate was $92 million. Updated costs were provided by Curtis & Ginsberg Architects.
- We had an information table with exhibits and free literature to educate and update the public at the Earth Day Festival at the CRR of NJ Jersey City Terminal.
- A nomination for the C RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal Train Shed was submitted to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Eleven Most Endangered Structures” list. We were not successful, but will resubmit for 2013.
- A nomination for the C RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal Train Shed was submitted to Preservation New Jersey’s “Ten Most Endangered Historic Places in NJ for 2012” and was selected / added to their list.
- LHRy assisted the Jersey City Division of Planning in obtaining a $200,000 grant through North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority for a Liberty State Park Transportation Circulator Cost-Benefit Analysis which was supported by NJ DEP Parks. Subsequently, Sam Schwartz Engineering was chosen as the consultant.
- NJ DEP - Parks gave LHRy permission to proceed with the funding of a $21,000 contract with Curtis & Ginsberg Architects, to update their 2000 Restoration Study of the C RR of NJ Jersey City Terminal Train Shed. That study has been completed and is posted on our website.
- LHRy had an information table with exhibits and free literature to educate and update the public at the annual City of Water Day Festival at the CRR of NJ Jersey City Terminal. The event was hosted by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (LHRy is a member).
- An agreement was signed between United Railroad Historical Society, Star Trak, Inc., and Bill McKelvey to construct a shop and storage building at the URHS Boonton Yard, funded through LHRy in exchange for work to be done by Star Trak on equipment owned by or to be donated to LHRy.
- A 45 ton General Electric, diesel-electric locomotive, to be donated to LHRy, was acquired.
- Donations in excess of $100,000 have been received by LHRy from individuals and from sales at various meetings and shows.
- LHRy has rehabilitated and repainted a mail and baggage cart at the CRR of NJ Jersey City Terminal. It is currently on display inside the main waiting room of the Terminal.
- Caps with Liberty Historic Railway of New Jersey logo resembling the Central Railroad of New Jersey Statue of Liberty logo are for sale @ $20 each.
- Promotional rack cards, literature, post cards of the Terminal & book marks are being disseminated by LHRy at various meetings and shows.
- LHRy was given ownership rights to the Lisbon trolley by the Friends of the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center. It had been built by the John Stephenson Co. in1906 at Elizabeth for export; served in Lisbon until retirement in 1996; and was purchased and returned to the US in 1997. The car has subsequently been covered with tarps to protect it from weather deterioration.
Last updated February 6, 2013 © 2010 – 2013