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United Railway Historical Society
Lehigh Valley F7's

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During the early months of 1995 there was a great buzz around two URHS F7's that were being restored. The buzz reached its high point when the restored F's led their first fan trip on the New Jersey Transit system, the date is May 20, 1995 and Chris and Vince were there.

The train started its day by leaving Hoboken and heading towards the first stop at Kingsland. The station at Kingsland is unique as it was built over the tracks with the platforms below, the line is ex Erie and the locomotives are ex CNW.

The next stop for the train was at the Passaic station where the train was posed with the old depot. The engines look great with their fresh paint jobs and the bright blue sky behind them.

Here is the Lehigh Valley 576 framed with the branches of a tree. The engine is ex Chicago & Northwestern 4073C and was purchased by the CNW in July of 1949. The EMD builder's number is 8551 and its EMD 567B engine can produce 1500 horsepower.

The train made its way to Ridgewood where it took a lunch break. The locomotives and train were posed just north of the station and it made for a great photo with the F's in the foreground and the beautiful in the background.

The Lehigh Valley 578 was not photographed much on the trip because it was always facing the coaches but this photo was taken at Ridgewood as evidenced by the sign. The 578 was build as the Chicago & Northwestern 4087C and was built by EMD in December of 1949 with a builder's number of 10151. It was purchased by New Jersey Transit in 1983 and was retired in 1985 and donated to the URHS in 1991. The URHS leased the 578 to Metro North in 1991 on the condition that when returned it would be in good running shape and have a new paint job. The locomotive was overhauled and given the Lehigh Valley cornell red before heading back to the URHS.

During the lunch break at Ridgewood the locomotives were dedicated as member of the URHS fleet. Here is a photo of the smashing of the champagne over the coupler of the locomotives.

A close up of the nose of the 576 as it idles at Ridgewood. The 576 shared the same adventure as the 578, it was purchased in 1983 as the 417 and retired in 1985. Donated to the URHS in 1991 and worked for a while for Metro North on the Hudson line, it was then restored to the shape that it is in now.

After lunch the train headed south and down the Bergen County line, here is train is seen stopped at the Glen Rock station. The F's are framed with an old signal at MP 10.4 and that great sky in the background, the light blue sky is a great contrast from the bright red F's.

The train headed west out towards Hackettstown on NJT's newly restored line. The train ran right up to the end of NJT's trackage at MP 60.1, at MP 60 Conrail takes control of the line. Here are the F's from the embankment next to the track.

A ground shot of the F's with the sky in the background again. The weather really made this a great day, it was sunny all day leading for some great shots of the F's in bright weather.

Here are the F's with the train stopped for the final photo stop on the last day at Mt. Olive. The budd car behind the 576 and 578 is the New Jersey railroads 5450. The car was built in 1947 for the New York Central as a Tavern lounge and was used on its most important passenger trains. The car was supposed to be rebuilt to NJT's main inspection car but the money was never there and it was retired in 1985 and donated to the URHS in 1991. The car underwent a complete restoration and serves as the food and souvenir car on the URHS trips.

The highlight of all the great photo stops on the trip was the time spent at the Mt. Olive industrial park. The area has great fountains and the locomotives and train are parked right next to them to facilitate great shops. It was truly a great day for photographing the F's and this fountains shot illustrates that.

The final shot of the day was taken with the whole train and all of the fountains, what a great view it was. After the photo stop the train headed back to Hoboken where it arrived a head of schedule.

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