Middletown & New Jersey Railway Historical Society

Dedicated to Preserving the Heritage of the Middletown Unionville & Water Gap, Middletown & Unionville, Middletown & New Jersey and Other Area Railways

Today On The MNJ


On August 23rd Mike Joyce reported ties were being replaced near the top of the Branch, on the south side of Mud Mills Road. On August 29th, Mike wrote “Still putting ties in almost to the south side of Mud Mills crossing; M&NJ, NYS&W and NS trucks.”

     The Epoch Times reported in an article by Cara Ding on June 1st, updated June 6th, that a planned “$200 million Amazon warehouse in the town of Wawayanda was awarded more than $10 million in tax exemptions by the Orange County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA)”. The breakdown was $9.5 million of exemptions in sales taxes and $1.1 million in state mortgage recording taxes. Amazon cited competition for the 925,000 square foot warehouse, which will employ 150 full-time people, from New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. This would be the company’s third facility in Orange County. A similar warehouse in Montgomery is several miles distant from rail but probably receives containers and trailers that have been delivered to North Jersey TOFC/COFC yards via piggyback and double-stack trains.

     A glance at the M&NJ website revealed a job opportunity for a certified engineer/conductor. We received word in mid-October that the Amazon warehouse project at McBride Road had been canceled.   

In early October, we received the following communication, pertaining to the announcement below.

“We are unable to comment on the feasibility of the project or the financial projection. The project schedule is not specified and is dependent on fund raising.”  Perhaps the museum will receive some grants over the years.


     The Railroad Museum of New England is pleased to announce a fundraising campaign to restore Baldwin steam locomotive #103 to active service. #103, a 2-6-2 “Prairie” type originally built for service in Alabama, has been part of the RMNE collection since 1986. #103 was one of the first heritage steam locomotives to operate in the northeast, during the years 1962 to 1975. She’s been dormant for almost 50 years.

     Our museum will utilize the #103 restoration project and return to operation as a catalyst to encourage volunteerism, museum membership, become a community ambassador, and teach a new generation about these amazing machines. The sensory experience that a steam locomotive invokes is unique and awe-inspiring. RMNE will create new partnerships in preservation to bring this historic piece of Americana back to life.

     Almost 100 years since it left the factory in Philadelphia, and 50 years since it last operated, #103 is ready for restoration.  It is time to hear her whistle echo off the Litchfield Hills and through the Naugatuck River Valley.

     In February 2020, #103 was evaluated by a team of experienced steam locomotive restorers during a week inside the Thomaston Shop. During its 50-year service life, #103 never received a complete overhaul. The locomotive is in good condition overall, and this will be the most extensive work it has had since 1925. It will need repairs to boiler and firebox, cylinders and driving gear, wheels and axles. The tender will be completely rebuilt, and the locomotive will burn liquid fuel instead of coal.

     The preliminary restoration plan calls for work to start on the smaller parts of 103, at the Thomaston Shop, and major work will start once major goals are reached in the fundraising campaign. Boiler repairs will be done off-site by Maine Locomotive & Machine, an experienced locomotive boiler contractor, with RMNE volunteers assisting. Frame, cylinders and wheels will be worked on at Thomaston and at Western Maryland Scenic Railroad shops, with contractor and volunteer participation. The tender work will be done at Thomaston. Financial goals are $375,000 for the entire project; the major disassembly of the locomotive would not be done until the $175,000 mark is reached, when the boiler work would start.

     Make a donation. Help bring steam back to the Naugatuck River Valley! Donations can be made by check to The Railroad Museum of New England and mailed to RMNE P.O. Box 400 Thomaston, CT 06787