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Memories from 1965

J McEachen

In 1965, I had a computer job in NYC, but I was also committed to leading the Leonia, NJ, troop to Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco in Blairstown, NJ, for a week. I left a message at the office Monday that I had gotten badly sunburned over the weekend. Thursday morning I drove to Andover and caught the Sussex train to Netcong, then the (old) Boonton line to Hoboken and into the office.

I remember well sitting in that little Andover shed waiting, with my car parked nearby. The stop was just a wooden shed with a bench along the rear wall, and I was afraid the train wouldn't come, but it did.

As it happened, it was cloudy all week and I could not get even a slight tan much less a burn at No-Be. I took the train back that evening. I always marveled at the Sussex line tunnel through the Lackawanna Cutoff, and the highway tunnel nearby.

My father remembers the milk trains with tank cars that went along the Sussex branch, collecting farmers' milk or getting it to a dairy. It was my only foray on the DL&W off the M&E line, and I marveled at the high speed, straight tracks of the Boonton line which, I hear, has been altered since 1965.

I only wish my father or I had pictures of a Borden milk car; my only memories are of stainless steel, unpainted exteriors, black lettering, but I don't know where those memories are from.

I used to get chills when I drove through that tunnel under the "cutoff", with the rail line next to us. The cutoff was indeed an impressive creation. I will be there when service starts again. Of course by then I will get senior discounts.

But that trip from Andover to Hoboken, with a look at Netcong and a fast trip down the original Boonton (freight) line make for (increasingly fuzzy) good memories.