By Railfan & Railroad Staff
PASSAIC, N.J. — A New Jersey-group that gatherers toys for children during the holidays has acquired 13 historic rail cars and hopes to put some of them on display at a new rail museum in Port Jervis, N.Y.
Operation Toy Train has operated in southern New York and northern New Jersey during the first two weekends of December since 2009 collecting donated toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation that are given to underprivileged children (Due to COVID-19, the train will not run in 2020). Over the years, the group has acquired a number of cars for its train, including a former Atlantic Coast Line baggage car, three boxcars and two cabooses. This week, it announced that it had accepted a donation of 13 additional cars, including some with historic connections to the region. The cars were owned by Passaic Street Properties, a local property developer.
Among the cars donated to the group are three former Erie Railroad cabooses and a former Baltimore & Ohio caboose. A few pieces of equipment that do not meet the needs of Operation Toy Train or the Port Jervis museum will be made available to other non-profits.
Since Operation Toy Train’s equipment sits unused most of the year, the group wants to turn it into the core collection at the proposed Port Jervis Transportation Museum. The former Erie yard there features a turntable and some privately-owned equipment, including an E-unit and an RS-3. In August, the city council gave its approval for the plan. The group is now negotiating a lease with the city. If everything goes to plan, equipment will arrive in Port Jervis in 2021 and it will be open to the public next summer.