27th August 1994

United Railway Historical Society of New Jersey
Farewell to the U34CH

Locos Used EL 4172 & EL 4176 (both: GE model U34CH)
Stock Used NJT passenger stock


Loco(s) Route
4176 (2) New York Hoboken - (via Bergen Tunnel) - Meadows - Newark Broad Street - Orange - Summit - P & D Jn - Madison - Morristown - Morris Plains - Denville - Dover
4172 (3) Dover - Denville - Boonton - Mountain View - Little Falls - Upper Montclair - Rowe Street-Bloomfield - Arlington - DB Jn - (via Bergen Tunnel) - New York Hoboken
4176 (2) New York Hoboken - (via Bergen Tunnel) - West Secaucus - Passaic - Ridgewood - Ramsey - Suffern (4)
4172 (3) Suffern - Ramsey -  Ridgewood - Garfield - Rutherford - Pascack Jn
4176 (2) Pascack Jn - North Hackensack - Hillsdale - Nanuet - Spring Valley
4172 (3) Spring Valley - Nanuet - Hillsdale - Pascack Jn - Harmon Cove - (via Bergen Tunnel) - New York Hoboken

Notes :
(1) This tour was a farewell to the General Electric model U34CH of which there were only 33 built (32 between 1970 & 1973 for the operator Erie Lackawana which ran a passenger service for New Jersey DoT and one, which was converted in 1978 from U30C no. CNW 934, for New York MTA).
(2) EL 4172 on rear.
(3) EL 4176 on rear.
(4) Believed train reversed at Suffern and did not go all the way to Port Jervis (confirmation anyone?).

EL 4176 leading the train at Hillsdale, NJ (photo: John Eric Durant)

EL 4172 brings up the rear at Hillsdale, NJ (photo: John Eric Durant)

Source : John Eric Durant

Tour Review
(from John Eric Durant)

The excursion ran over the former Erie Lackawanna Lines in New Jersey where the U34CH's ran in revenue service. The locomotives used were NJT 4172 which was repainted in the "bluebird" scheme that it operated in to the end of revenue service and NJT 4176 which was repainted in the "disco stripe" scheme that it was repainted into after NJTransit assumed operation of all commuter train service in the state of New Jersey. The locomotives looked great on their last day of service and they ran one locomotive on each end of the train in a "push me, pull you" fashion. It gave a photographers a rare opportunity to photograph a U34CH (4172) on the east end of the train as the U34CH's generally were on the west end of the train with a cab car on the east end to keep smoke and noise away from the waiting room of Hoboken Terminal.

The excursion started at Hoboken, NJ and ran over the M&E (Morris and Essex line) to Dover, NJ. It then returned to Denville and travelled east on the Boonton Line back to Hoboken. Then the trip went west over the Main Line to at least Suffern, NY. I do not believe they went all the way Port Jervis, NY. They then went east on the main line to Ridgewood, NJ and then went on the Bergen County Line to east of Rutherford, NJ to Pascack Junction where they then travelled the Pasckack Line (Former NJ & NY RR) to Spring Valley, NY and then returned to Pascack Junction to return to Hoboken via the Bergen County Line.

All in all a very long day for the riders and for yours truly. The URHS did not publish their itinerary in order to discourage train chasers and an article in a local railfan magazine made it seem like they were going to do the excursion the the reverse order so I sat at lovely Hillsdale, NJ for most of the day to get my photographs.

John Eric Durant

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