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PRR Observation Car on Rear of C&O 614 Excursion - Howells, NY

This PRR observation car graced the rear of the NJ Transit excursion powered at C&O 614 at Howells, NY. Howells was for a number of years the point of which the original Erie mainline through downtown Middletown, NY joined the Graham line, a freight cutoff including Moodna Viaduct and Otisville Tunnel constructed late to ease grades for Erie freights. I believe the old main line survived into Conrail years but vanished under Conrail. I suspect the switch ties under the observation car are the remnants of that route, which was the route of Erie and EL passenger trains while it existed. Back in the 1940's there were 4 tracks here, 2 for the Graham line and 2 for the Erie's old main line, which climbed over the top of the hill at Otisville while the Graham line tunneled under the town. That portion of the old main line was gone much earlier than the longer section through Middletown and Goshen.
<BR><BR>Using the darker car in the middle of the block on NJ Transit coaches as a marker, I come up with about 20 cars in this train, which the 614 will have to haul back up the grade from Port Jervis to return the patrons aboard to Hoboken. That's quite an impressive performance by an equally impressive machine.
<BR>Even though the drumhead on the observation reads 'Iron Horse Rambles' I have not found any indication that this excursion was related to the earlier Iron Horse Rambles organization.

Photographed by Warren Beckwith, June, 1997.
Added to the photo archive by Warren Beckwith, September 17, 2021.
Railroad: New Jersey Transit.

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