Posted Thursday, September 22nd, 2016


nj-dot-4253-e-8-restored-2013New Jersey’s largest collection of railroad locomotives, passenger cars, and freight cars, numbering more then 60 pieces, is open to the public one day a year — and it will be this Sunday, Sept. 25,  from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Boonton.

This unusual museum, located just minutes from Route 287, at 104 Morris Ave, Boonton. is owned by the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey.

The Railroad festival is being held on the same day as the annual Boonton Day Street Fair, just a short distance away, so it’s a perfect two-for-one Sunday even combination.  Parking for the railroad event is free at the Upper Plane Street municipal parking lot, adjacent to Main Street, and a free shuttle bus making several trips an hour will take you to Museum for free.

urhs-festival-2015-sept-20-in-boonton-frank-reilly-photo-13This event offers a rare, family-friendly opportunity to explore, admire, photograph, and go inside of numerous historic train cars and locomotives to learn about their fascinating connection to New Jersey.  Admission donation is $5 for adults and $3 for children, ages 3-11.

In addition to the trains on display, there will be a large flea market of vintage railroad and transportation books at bargain prices, railroad tee shirts, caps, lapel pins, mugs, artifacts, and photos.  You’ll also be able to talk with retired and active railroad employees from many of New Jersey’s railroads, a rare opportunity.

Climb aboard the fully restored observation lounge car from the world famous 20th Century Limited train that ran between New York City and Chicago, or the plush tavern – lounge car of the New England States Limited, or one of several railroad cabooses and old NJ Public Service trolley car #13 from Newark.

us-army-hospital-car-boonton-nj-aug-6-2016-frank-reilly-photoStep aboard the exclusive parlor car from the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR’s Millionaire’s Express that was built in 1912 and ran through 1984 between Gladstone, Stirling, Summit, and Hoboken.  It was for the very wealthy such as Malcolm Forbes and other aristocrats.  Only they were permitted to ride in this magnificent railcar with its inlaid mahogany walls that is being fully restored in Boonton for operation on the Whippany Railway Museum in Whippany.

At 11 a.m and 1 p.m., there will be special free one-hour walking guided tours conducted, focusing on the heritage, preservation, and restoration of each locomotive and rail car.

Hot food will be available and there will be live music, much of it railroad themed.  Exhibits will be provided by various railroad history organizations and there will be vintage trucks, buses, and military vehicles on display.

urhs-open-house-2009-may-23-cnj-1178If you’re a Boy Scout, earn a railroad patch by attending. Scouts will experience New Jersey railroad history while exploring the state’s largest railroad collection.  Those who complete the requirements (which will be available on-site) will receive a special edition commemorative caboose patch.  Participating Scouts will need $5 for this patch event and must wear closed-toe shoes to safely explore the rail equipment.  This is open to any and all Scouts and leaders that attend the event!

For more on the Railroad Festival, visit: Also, don’t forget Boonton Day.