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This is all about the Jersey Central which, of course, includes the Blue Comet, from pre-war to now, and can also include photos and videos of model and real trains.

I will start us off with this video showing  Jersey Central freight and passenger trains making runs this morning on my layout:

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Here, a Jersey Central "New York Clocker" from Allentown is approaching 'Edgewater' on the Baltimore & New York a few years back.  There were several of these trains by that name in a CNJ timetable listed in the May 1954  "Official Guide of the Railways". Westbound runs to Allentown were the "Raritan Clockers."

CNJ1546

S. Islander

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  • CNJ1546: Modified Weaver RS-3. Train was: CNJ express box, baggage/coach combine and two coaches (All Nation kits).9on A, v

I recently bought this Lionel CNJ illuminated caboose fro my LHS:

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With my long and narrow layout with 031 curves and reverse loops on the ends of the 2 main lines, I tend to prefer traditional  (as opposed to scale) train cars and caboose so I can run longer trains.  IMO, the size, style and colors of this CNJ caboose is ideal for my layout.

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  • 20210516_095029

Artie, thank you for sharing that lovely photo of your granddaughters and the info about the Blue Comet and CNJ.

I have strong ties to NJ, which is part of the appeal for me of the CNJ, and everything about NJ, for that matter.

I had very enjoyable visits during my childhood with my late aunt and uncle, who lived in beautiful home on a 5 acre estate in Pennington, NJ, and I usually spent 2 weeks during summer vacations visiting them with my mother at their beach home on Long Beach Island (LBI).

Coincidentally, long before I met my wife, who is originally from the Troy, NY area, she also had family get togethers for 1 week every August at LBI. We literally criss-crossed every summer during our childhoods for 20 years, and never met until a cousin of mine (who was a co-worker of my wife at the time) introduced us in 1977.

Since 1978 my wife and I have had family reunions for 1 week every August at LBI, where we rent a home. Other relatives rent other homes in LBI, and we gather every day on the beach in a group of 50 or more of us.

Arnold

My favorite road is the CNJ.  Always making do with so little.  I love the 1947 promotional film "The Big Little Railroad".   My first trip to NYC was on the CNJ from Little Silver to Newark om 1975 where we switched to the Penn Central under the rules of the Aldene plan.  I wouldn't have known any difference then, but power was a big brute of a GP40P which is a stretched out GP40 with a larger frame, a flat faced long hood, and SD45 style radiators.  I spent many years with them track side in 4 paint schemes growing up.  The coaches were still the steel coaches from the Blue Comet era with operable windows.  While seeing my first GG1 in Newark was the big memory, being on the CNJ is the one that really means more.

My grandfather on my mother's side was a semi regular commuter to NYC as a Westinghouse employee who often got called up to Bell Labs when they were short.  He hated Bell Labs as they were the degreed engineers and let all the non-degreed people know it.  Knowing my grandfather though, he likely ran circles around them when he was working there.  His mind was always thinking and he shared wonderful stories of his rail commuting days.  He was also not a fan of the PRR who also ran trains down the shore on the NY&LB.   He told me the PRR trains were always dirty while the CNJ took time to keep their trains clean.  This paid off the night he decided to take the train after the "Broker" when it derailed in Woodbridge.  He also was on the train the night the Matawan trestle burned in 1955.  Anyone who knows central NJ remembers all the agricultural roads that crossed back and forth across the state.  He told me how an adventurous crew used those agricultural roads that evening to get around Matawan Creek.  He got home many hours late, but he did get home.

As a result, I have been modeling the CNJ in one form or another since I repainted my first locomotive at 12.  I still have those juvenile attempts at custom painting from my HO days.  I later went on to collect most of the Bev-Bel Athearn CNJ cars, modify a Mantua B&O presidential Pacific into a CNJ Pacific, and repaint Varney cabooses for the CNJ.  Later I would move on to collect CNJ in N and 3 rail O before settling on doing the NY&LB in 2 rail O.  That layout has yet to come to fruition, but the ideas and the equipment to make it happen has finally started to fall into place.  A few photos although my CNJ is much more extensive than this:

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I still need to get good photos of my Sunset GP7Ps which are outstanding.  I also have a dozen All-Nation cars that need to be either fixed, repainted, or built for my CNJ passenger car fleet.  I'm in the process of converting a MTH Pacific to two rail as well.  All good projects for another day. 

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Glad to hear it Tom!

I missed out on MTH's many runs of the CNJ camelback, shame on me... So, I am very eager to get Lionel's Legacy camelback (ordered it from "Feels Like Home" in Newton).

Bryce

Ah, nice purchase! Hope it comes through soon. I still need to get over to FLH.

I mistyped before….my Camelback is a PS2/3 volt version. Still a keeper! I love the detail this engine has…

Tom

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