David » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:16 am
That's a much better idea. Good central NJ location with great highway access for visitors. It would give Toms River and Ocean County a nice tourist destination. But it would take TONS of money. The old CIBA spur ends just north of Route 37, so there is no track in the facility. Everything would have to be built, probably to FRA Class 2. You'll need some way of turning engines / trains. To run excursions to Woodmansie you would have to rebuild the south leg of the Lakehurst wye (including the bridge) and pay Conrail to rehab the TRIT. Pay Clayton / NJSL to put in a run-around in Woodmansie. (you can't reverse 13 mile to Lakehurst to turn) Pay Conrail for trackage rights. Pay trackage rights to Clayton/NJSL. (Tony would love that) To go to Red Bank, you have the same issues with Conrail and NJDOT/NJT. (poor track, rights) Turning in Red Bank could be done in the NJT yard by stopping in the yard and run-around and backing into the station. I would run 2 trainsets, one from CIBA and one from Red Bank. Get station rights from NJT in Red Bank or build one there on west (south) track. You could run from Red Bank to the museum and back making it a rail destination giving access from any NJT and even Amtrak at NYP. (think Grand Canyon Railway until Amtrak dropped Williams as a stop) The issues with a Red Bank interchange with NJT is high-level platforms may not work with vintage equipment and NJT may hate the whole idea, but they would benefit from fares on the Coast Line to make up for some lost parking spaces. Another problem is would NJT let you store a train in their MoW yard. I don't know of any rail museum that has train to museum door access. Just change trains in Red Bank from NJT. You may need sidings in Lakehurst and Farmingdale. I would make sure the one in Lakewood is usable.
I have no idea what it would cost to set up an operating company or perhaps pay NJSL crew to run your vintage excursion equipment. They're gonna need a rail-fan billionaire to make a HUGE grant to the museum!
On another thought, what if the museum was a combined effort of the URHS, Whippany RR Museum, Tuckahoe RR Museum, Black River, NJ Transportation Museum(Pine Creek RR) and the Bel-Del showcasing all of NJ's fallen flags? Perhaps it could get 501c3 status? The excursion trains would be a separate entity based at CIBA as a tourist line. If NJSL was to co-operate in the operating company, they could benefit from the shops at CIBA for fuel and minor servicing for their Woodmansie operations. Fuel for diesel engines could be interchanged with Conrail at Lakehurst and pumped from the tank cars directly into the engines.
David thanks for making my brain work today!