Doing some research for something unrelated, and thumbing through old magazines the date is actually September 24, 1980. The power was the 1800, DO Thrall all-door boxcar 29007 with a generator in it, CACV 4 Otsego Lake (the coach that's now by the Wotrendyke Station) and CACV 5 Great Sacandaga (the ex CB&Q vista dome.) As an aside, according to the article the big fanfare trip was on October 31st, but the consist was different and the order of the cars does not correspond with the provided picture here.
From the Jan-Feb 1981 Block Line which describes the background of the picture: "The return trip did not begin until 3:00PM because the Butler Fire Department had to be called to refill the water tanks on the heavy-weight obs."
Also of interest for you Otto.."From Little Ferry to North Hawthorne, the front platform was occupied by a number of people including Hal Carstens of Railfan and Railroad Magazine. At North Hawthorne most of the riders left the front walkway for the comfort of the passenger cars. All but Hal Carstens! He remained on the front of the 1800 for the entire westbound leg of the trip."
As far as the people, yes that's Joe Senchyshyn. The middle one I'm not sure about. Not sure if "Bruce VanWyckem" is somebody assuming its Bruce Van Wyk that was CMO of the NYSWTHS but that is not him if the case.