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Tour of the Line


The railroad station at Netcong, New Jersey was festooned with patriotic bunting in preparation for the nation's bi-centennial. Across the tracks from the station was the converted freight depot which had been converted into the museum of the Sussex County Railroad. An air horn blast in the distance alerted the handful of excursionists. They quickly exited the museum and crossed the tracks to the boarding platform.

The black, RS-3 diesel locomotive trundled into view a few moments later. It was returning from the morning trip to Newton. It parked its pair of coaches along the concrete platform of the brick passenger station. After the engine unhooked from them and pulled forward, Joey, the youthful, dark-haired guide/conductor came down the steps of the rear coach and helped passengers onto the platform.

Joey was young, but had a commanding voice. "Everyone please stay behind the yellow line on the platform, for your own safety," he called. The handful of passengers waiting to board, as well as those who just detrained, obeyed immediately, keeping a respectful distance from the coaches
Joey walked down the platform to the end of the train and looked on with some pride as the locomotive moved alongside the coaches to reach the other end of the train. He had assisted in painting the yellow letters reading 'SUSSEX COUNTY RAILROAD' on the long hood of the engine. For a moment, his attention was drawn away by the arrival of the silver limousine in the parking lot. The chauffeur opened the door and a lone, well-dressed man stepped out, a wooden walking stick with a shiny brass knob in his hand.

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