Watercolor… Central New Jersey ALCO RS-3 #1554. The Jersey Central began operations in 1836 as the Elizabethtown & Somerville… and merged with the Somerville & Easton in 1849 to become the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey (CNJ). By 1852 the line reached Phillipsburg, NJ picking up anthracite coal trains from the Lehigh Valley Railroad (LV)… and by 1887 the CNJ extended into Mauch Chunck, PA on track built for it by the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company. In 1944 the CNJ changed it’s name to the Jersey Central Lines and adopted a silhouette of the “Statue of Liberty” as a part of it’s logo. At it’s zenith the Jersey Central had trackage throughout New Jersey, from New York City and Philadelphia to Atlantic City… and deep into the northern anthracite coal regions, as far as Scranton, Pennsylvania.
CNJ #1554 went to Conrail (CR) in 1976, renumbered as #5383, then was saved from the scrapyard in 1977 by the Black River & Western tourist railroad (BRW). 1554 later went on to pull excursions through the Lehigh Gorge at Jim Thorpe with the Carbon & Schuylkill… then the Blue Mountain & Reading (RBMN)… and eventually was acquired and extensively restored in 2009 by the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad (DL)… which also gave her a fresh coat of Jersey Central heritage livery. I observed this locomotive operating out of the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania… in early June of 2014 and again in September of 2018.