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Fantrip for GP40FH-2 and other "endangered" species

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Good morning,


Made a visit to see the lineup at Bay Head yard this morning. GP40FH-2 #4141 was lined up with four GP40PH-2's (including the 4219, formerly #4148 of Secaucus Wreck notoriety) and an F40PH-2. While NJ Transit has been slow to integrate new equipment to the Coast Line and will probably keep some of the older equipment around a while longer due to budget constraints (or at least wishing to make the "appearance" of frugality) the GP40FH's are definitely an endangered species. With several of the units converted to switching duty and others leased off as far away as Canada, as of a few months ago only 4138-4139 and 4141-4142 remained active. Currently, it appears that only 4141-4142 are still servicable.


Spoke to a friend of mine from my railroad museum days and inquired about the feasibility of running some type of fan trip/gathering. We explored a few options, from a "Saturday Special" doubleheader up and down the NJCL to an austere "pay as you go" round trip from Bay Head to Long Branch for under $20 with NJ Transit needing to do little more than agree to provide one of the units on the head end of a specified weekend shuttle train.


First question is, would there be much interest for such a fan trip? ( I believe the GP40FH's are significant as they were good examples of former freight engines reincarnated as improvised passenger units for a total lifespan of some 40 busy years, originally brought in primarily to kill off the last of the venerable E8A streaminers.) Certainly similar (even bare bones) fan trips could be scheduled for the original ex-CNJ GP40P's as well as the F40PH's....all one time "common" units (and not particularly welcome ones) that have nevertheless endured in decades of dependable service.


If there is sufficient interest to put together some type of fantrip, I have a few persons of contact at NJT to see if we can get the ball rolling.



Rick Zitarosa

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I have a lot on my plate at the moment, but if i can afford it i'll go. I hardly ever see those units, and i've never ridden past belmar, so i'll see if i'm available.


I have official word that all of the oldest geeps will be gone by 2011, with most of them being pulled from active service this year. Once the new dual mode locos come in, the older cats will likely go next after that, with the dual modes replacing most of the old units totally, probably a few more will be put into work duty before also taken totally off line.


So, this trip would need to take place before june i'd suggest, as this is the beginning of the end for all of the older equipment.


- A

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Since I live split ways between Red Bank and Matawan, I'd like to join. I wanna get some videos of this cruising down the coast. This will be my first Commuter Rail fantrip. Some Comet Is are still laying around. Maybe we can borrow those as cars.

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Am I interested yes, but NJT is not fan friendly with trips...Someone wanted to do a farewell for the Comet I's and it didn't get past NJT -_- and those cars deserve a farewell. The excuse was the cost of insurance. If you can get over that insurance hurdle though this could work and would be pretty sweet.

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About the "best shot" would be to use regular (i.e. "indigenous, in service") passenger cars on an established route and simply see if NJT can make the motive power commitment. If it's a weekend trip, for instance, then you would be using regular-scheduled service and all you would want is maybe a "group rate." Insurance would not be an issue (though access beyond normal public viewing locations undoubtedly WOULD be an issue and the chances of a photo runby equally remote.)


My personal favorite ambition would be to run a consist down the old Southern Division to Lakehurst...chances of which are surely "slim to none."


NJT has run hot/cold with fantrips in the past. (It has been said that in the 80's and 90's, the mindset at NJT HQ would tend to at least consider anything "Erie" or "Lackawanna" while CNJ/PRR/PC would sometimes raise a question of " why would you be interested in THAT???") However, they did do wonderful farewell commemoration runs for the GG-1's and the E8's, though their subsequent "re-re-numbering" of the Ex-CNJ GP40=P's in the early 1990's was an annoyance (they wanted the numbers of the first five rebuilds to consecutively reflect that they still retained their dual-control stands.)



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4141 has been showing up lately on the 2:16 out of Hoboken on the NJCL, I don't know if it did this today but that is what its regular assignment has been. Just go out and photograph it guys!


I agree with you as well Kaback9. NJ Transit WILL NOT BOTHER with any special locomotive excursions especially one with a locomotive that NJ Transit uses right now for regular commuter service. Plus remember NJT still has MNCR 4900-4905 still working out of Hoboken for West Of Hudson Service.


I would rather see NJ Transit SW1500 #502 pull an excursion train from Hoboken to Bay Head.:)


By the way NJ Transit train 2303 leaves Hoboken Terminal at 2:13 pm ot 2:16.B)



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