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Today my railroad 'The BIG Little o-gauge' received 2 new Dash-8s from Pat's Trains. WOW!

They were inspected upon delivery by CRR-NJ Road Foreman of Engines Arturo Jonesburg of Elizabeth, NJ a very good best  friend of mine in real life who regrettably passed a few years ago.

And before I post the photos. here is the back story...

Once upon a time...In the mid-1970's, before CONRAIL, the JERSEY CENTRAL/CRR-NJ ordered 2 DASH-7 locomotives from GE. In the turmoil of the beginning of CONRAIL, this order for 2 DASH-7s was somehow forgotten and never cancelled. Rather than loose an opportunity for much-needed locomotives, power short CONRAIL allowed the production of these 2 DASH-7s to continue, but since GE no longer made DASH-7's, the DASH-8 version was built instead in the same paint specifications of the original JERSEY CENTRAL/CRR-NJ order! Delivered as JERSEY CENTRAL/CRR-NJ #4001 and #4002 in green and yellow, these 2 DASH-8's made their maiden trip from the GE plant in Erie, PA into CR freight service in the NY Metro area. Only 1 round trip as trains JH-7/HJ-4 from the former CNJ yard at Elizabethport, NJ to Allentown, PA and return was ever made to satisfy Equipment Trust Bank obligations and upon return the #4001-#4002 were immediately repainted and renumbered into the CR blue paint scheme at the former CRR-NJ locomotive shops at Elizabethport. No photos of these green and yellow Dash 8's are known to exist. NOTE: When originally ordered from GE, these 2 locomotives were to be dedicated to the CENTRAL RR CO. OF NEW JERSEY VETERAN EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION, America's oldest railroad veteran association...and still in operation in 2022 even though the CRRNJ itself ceased to exist as a railroad in 1976 !

IMG_20240525_110309_hdr OGR-1IMG_20240525_110321_hdr OGR-2IMG_20240525_110401_hdr [1) OGR-3

Check out photo #2 with the CNJ Vets dedication.

These locomotives are marked up for today's mainline freight to Allentown, PA.

Thanks Pat's Trains for these 2 great horses!

Walter, former CNJ (retired)


Images (3)
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  • IMG_20240525_110321_hdr OGR-2
  • IMG_20240525_110401_hdr (1) OGR-3
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I believe Walter is explaining the back story of how these fantasy schemed locomotives came to his layout.  It is a great story, no question, but not the actual history of the CNJ.

CNJ's last order for new motive power was the GP40Ps of 1969 and they were financed mostly by the state of NJ for commuter service.  CNJ did intend to purchase GP38s for freight service, but instead had to rely on hand-me-down SD40s from parent road, the B&O in 1968 instead.  The last new freight locomotives the CNJ purchased were SD35s in 1965.

My back stories on why certain equipment is on my roster is not nearly as detailed or informed as Walter's.  I simply go with an "it could have happened" mentality on equipment that either pre or postdates the modeling period I'm following which is already very broad when it comes to my future NY&LB layout!

I need to up my game on backstories, but I don't have the actual 1st hand history of these railroads like Walter and so many other forum members do.

Last edited by GG1 4877

Loved your story, Walter!  As a life-long fan of the CNJ (and the short lived “CRP”), I often think of these “what-if” scenarios.  It would have been really cool if they survived long enough to see more modern diesels!  

One what-if I never stop thinking about is what if my grandfather, a long-time employee of the CNJ in engine service, didn’t pass away in 1968 at the age of 58 when I was only two.  I have no memories of him, but my parents told me I rode in the cab with him a few times.  Wish we had more time together…and more cab rides!

I can’t wait for Pat’s special-run MTH Premier CNJ SD35’s to arrive!

Last edited by CNJ #1601

I to am a CNJ fan. My Grandfather ran down the NY&LB. My parents built a house in Brick, on one Sunday evening I got to ride in cab with him back to the Communipaw yards from the Bay Head loop, I cherish those memories. My parents, long gone, told me I rode in cab of steamer with him but though I remember CNJ & PRR steamers coming into Pt Pleasant Beach station, I have no recollection of that experience.

A few years ago I was fortunate to operate 475 at Strasburg, all the time I was in the cab I was thinking of him.

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