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Questions answered for Paul

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  • Gino And Kelly DiCarlo
    There s a college student from Gloversville who is a big FJG fan and his name is Aaron. He actually corrected some details on my web-page and I appreciated
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 19, 1999
      There's a college student from Gloversville who is a big FJG fan and his
      name is Aaron. He actually corrected some details on my web-page and
      I appreciated it. Paul asked some questions the other day that I knew
      Aaron would be able to answer. I'll post it below. When Aaron returns
      to school in September, he will become a full time member of this list,
      for now, any questions that I can't answer, I'll forward them to him so
      we can post it to the list. This is from Aaron...

      In response to Mr. Paul Charland's questions:

      (1) I don't think I have any information on the tonnage ratings.

      (2) The "orange" caboose, FJ&G #3, arrived on FJ&G property in the summer
      of 1958. It was purchased from the Delaware and Hudson. It's a wooden
      caboose and it bares exact resemblance to many other D&H wooden cabooses
      from the first half of the 1900s.

      As I said, #3 was purchased in the summer of 1958. Keep in mind that the
      FJ&G sold its other two cabooses in 1958. Caboose #1 was sold in May 1958,
      while Caboose #2 was sold and left Gloversville on October 2, 1958.

      On July 17, 1958, an eyewitness account says that the "new" caboose, #3, was
      in Gloversville and FJ&G shop men were cleaning it up and repainting it
      inside and out.

      Caboose #3 was painted solid orange with black details and lettering on the
      outside, and a white on top/green on bottom arrangement on the inside walls.
      The interior contained a closet, several seats, a pot-belly stove, a sink of
      some sort, and a coal cabinet for the stove coal. The lettering of the
      caboose read "FONDA JOHNSTOWN GLOVERSVILLE" (no commas or 'and') and was
      given the number 3.

      The caboose was in use in its new paint scheme by August 20, 1958.

      The car was used for years. The next eyewitness account I have is from
      Thanksgiving, 1974, the first Thanksgiving after Delaware Otsego ownership.
      A report says that the caboose was sitting boarded up near the Gloversville
      freight house.

      By Thanksgiving 1977, the caboose was painted silver and was inside the shop

      The car was moved from Gloversville to another Delaware Otsego operation,
      the Lackawaxen and Stourbridge (LASB) in Pennsylvania. One of the local
      towns on the LASB wanted to use the caboose as part of a centennial
      celebration of some kind.

      At any rate, the car was moved to Pennsylvania, used in the celebration, and
      then was moved to a static display on Main Street in Honesdale,
      Pennsylvania. It sat there until around 1992, when a prominent businessman
      in Honesdale moved the car to his property outside town. It still sits on
      this businessman's property today.

      In early 1997, I was involved with a small group of historians, political
      leaders, and railfans in Gloversville who wanted to move caboose #3 back to
      Fulton Street to sit next to the boxcar museum. We looked briefly into
      retrieving the car, but it needed some fixing-up, and the travel from
      Honesdale, Pa. to Gloversville would be extremely difficult for an old
      wooden caboose. The car could not move by rail; it would have to be
      trucked. Also, the businessman in Honesdale was asking a rather high price
      for the car and the City of Gloversville didn't have the money for the
      caboose purchase and cost of transportation.

      Hope this answers your questions on the caboose.

      (3) This could best be answered by an observer of railroad operations at
      the time. I'd guess, however, that the train simply came into Fonda, picked
      up whatever was in the yard, and went back up the line. The New York
      Central used to switch Fonda rather regularly and it's quite possible that
      they set out FJ&G's cars. Jim Shaughnessy's article in the March, 1959
      issue of Trains magazine contains operations information and it mentions no
      use of a switcher in Fonda. I can't seem to find any other source which
      mentions an FJ&G crew assigned specifically to switching Fonda around the
      1950s. I think they just ran down the line, picked up the cars, and ran
      back up to Gloversville.

      When operations settled to a one-train-per-day basis in the '60s and '70s,
      one crew simply switched Fonda briefly and then went up the line.

      (4) The smokestacks on the two Alco switchers, #20 and #21, were initially
      identical. Both units had a design which we will discuss as follows:

      [Hood of unit, box, taper, cylinder.]

      In the mid- or late- 1970s, the cylinder part of #20's stack was either
      removed or rusted off. That left #20 with the [hood of unit, box, taper]

      #21 always had the [box] before the [taper] and I'm guessing your referral
      of #21 without the [box] is erroneous. The pictures which show it without
      the [box] were probably taken at a low angle and therefore probably don't
      show the whole stack. I have photos of both engines which show a full stack
      with [hood of unit, box, taper, cylinder] configuration. I have photos of
      #21 from the late 1940s to when it was shipped off the property, and it
      always had the entire stack configuration in my photos.

      Keep in mind that both diesels left the FJ&G from time to time. I have seen
      photos of the two units at the D&H's Colonie Diesel Shops in the early
      1970s, before the DO ownership. I also know that the units left the FJ&G
      and subsequently came back quite a few times during the DO years. They
      finally left the FJ&G in late December, 1981, never to return again.

      Hope this answers your questions.

      Very best regards,
      Aaron Keller
      Past President, FJ&G Railroad Historical Society
      Contributing Editor and Columnist, Railpace Newsmagazine
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