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the Morristown & Erie in New Jersey. While the Tri-State’s unit would re-

main on the M&E, the ARHS moved its locomotive over to Reading, Pa., at the old Reading Company shop complex. The unit was moved inside the shop and with the help of some Reading Company Technical & Historical society members and the donated guts from retired Read- ing & Northern CF7 No. 2649, the 46 was made complete again. With the old Reading shops about to

be sold, the unit was moved to the Upper Merion & Plymouth, where further work was done to make No. 46 operational. It emerged as CNJ No. 56 and moved to Jim Thorpe, Pa. Tri-State’s unit was leased to ARHS and shipped to Jim Thorpe, where it became CNJ No. 57. Former Boston & Maine F7B No. 4268B was acquired by ARHS and backdated to take on the appearance of an CNJ F3B. Though the B-unit is not operational, the A-B-A set made an impressive sight working passenger specials out of Jim Thorpe for many years. By late 1993, the CNJ trio made their

way south and were placed into storage on the SRNJ at Winslow Junction. The plan was for the two A units to move to the Winchester & Western in Bridgeton, N.J., for needed wheel work. In the fall of 1995, the two A-units were

leased to the SRNJ and were moved over to the Salem Division. For an all-too- brief time from the fall of 1995 until the fall of 1996, the CNJ F3s went to work on the Salem Branch before the “O&W” 728 arrived to help out. Either working with the “Rock Island” 727 or making solo runs together, the CNJ Fs were again making a living hauling freight. The SRNJ used the CNJ F3s until the fall of 1996, when they went to the W&W for the wheel work, then returned to Jim Thorpe. During 1997 and 1998, the SRNJ used

the 727 and 728 together quite a bit on the Salem branch. Even after the turn

of the century, it was quite common to see one of the F’s working with the 100. SRNJ picked up P&W U18B 1801, and it was assigned to the Salem Branch for awhile and even made a couple trips with one of the Fs and the 100. In 2009, issues with the county led

to the SRNJ giving up operation on the Salem Branch, and the company was re- placed by U.S. Rail. The F-units and the 100 were moved over to Winslow Junc- tion; the 100 was placed into service and the F-units were placed into stor- age, where they remain in 2015. SRNJ resumed operation of the Salem Branch in 2012, and the 100 was shipped back over to Salem, placed into service, and remains there in 2015. Traffic has dropped on the Salem Branch, however. First, Mannington Mills stopped using the railroad a cou- ple of years ago and then Anchor Glass went out of business. Both of these large shippers were located in Salem and now, SRNJ trains only operate as needed. It is hard to believe it’s been almost

20 years since the CNJ F3s returned to freight service on the SRNJ. On a branch line in southern New Jersey, within a couple hours of some of the most popu- lated areas of railfans in the country, the last operation of an F3 in freight service happened with few witnesses.

Postscript The CNJ F3s didn’t linger long in

South Jersey. After being used briefly on the Salem branch in 1996, they returned to Jim Thorpe, while the B-unit remained on the SRNJ at Winslow Junction. Af- ter years of tourist train service, they were moved to Scranton. In 2010, both A-units were repainted into Delaware, Lackawanna & Western’s freight col- ors of gray with a narrow maroon band. The Tri-State’s CNJ 57 is now “DL&W” No. 663 while the ARHS CNJ 56 is now “DL&W” 664. The ARHS B-unit has also

made the trip to Scranton where it also emerged in Lackawanna paint. The Alcos that worked the Salem

branch for Pioneer were also long-lived. The 56 and the 7804 both moved up to Michigan where they went to work on the Michigan Southern. Used for awhile then stored, the 7804 was finally cut up for scrap in December 2011. The West Jersey 56 became PREX 101, and was repainted black and used on the Michi- gan Southern. Stored for awhile in Mich- igan, it was sold to the George’s Creek Railway, where it was repainted into a bright red and silver paint scheme. It now works the paper mill at Luke, Md. The other RS3, No. 7803, was painted Pioneer black and yellow and renum- bered PREX 203. As of 2011, it was in storage at the Pioneer shops at La Harpe, Ill. Also in storage at La Harpe is RS3m 102, lettered for the Pioneer Industri- al Railroad. This is the old Wabash & Grande River 93, nee-West Jersey 7802 The two privately owned RS3ms from

the WJSL went over to the Cape May Seashore Lines. The West Jersey 92 was purchased by A.C. Macrie and was renumbered to CMSL 8481 before the move off the Salem Branch. Today this unit is in stored on the CMSL at Tuck- ahoe, N.J., still in faded CR blue paint. The other RS3m, WJSL 93, was purchase by Ed Roan and was renumbered CMSL 1548; it led the special West Jersey CMSL move off the Salem Branch. After a period of storage on the CMSL, it was later moved over to the SRNJ at Winslow Junction. It was later sold to an equipment dealer in Canada and was sold to the Canada Starch Company in Cardinal, Ont. After being used in the mid-2000s as NJ 1548, it was scrapped.

John Petko is a Philadelphia-based photographer who has been taking rail- road images since the early 1970s.

While at first glance this looks like a Rock Island freight train somewhere out on the prairie, it’s really the Southern Railroad of New Jersey approach- ing Salem,N.J. SRNJ 727 and 728 hauled six covered hoppers and one box car on a beautiful February 8, 1997. While the era of matched sets of vintage Alcos and F-units has passed, it provided a colorful diversion for photographers following the South Jersey shortline scene.


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