What started out as a trip to the annual Car Show at the Monmouth County Park Fairgrounds, due to weather related damage from the day before, that closed the Park, became instead a trip to New Hope Pa, where I got to see, what I refer to as an old friend. The “old friend” in this instance, is a Steam Locomotive, built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia Pa, in 1925, a 2-8-0 Consolidation type, number 40, and the mainstay of the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad’s steam tourist train. Though I’ve visited the Railroad a number of times over the years, it always seemed that when I was at the Railroad, number 40 was down for some type of maintenance, and one of the Railroad’s vintage Diesels was pulling the excursion train. This time, for the first time in nearly 40 years, number 40 was up and running, and I had the pleasure of riding behind this old friend of mine, something I hadn’t been able to do since I was 10 years old, due to the fact that when I had gotten down to New Hope Pa, number 40 was out of commission, awaiting some kind of maintenance work. On the not so positive side, the Delaware Canal, on which my Wife and I had ridden on one of the Mule Barges that were there for the tourists, was bone dry, plus overgrown with weeds. Apparently, about 10 years ago, the Canal had been drained for repair work that never happened, due to a dispute over whose responsibility it was to pay for the work. What a shame, a once living piece of history, reduced to a weed infested hole in the ground. The rest of New Hope Pa though looked as good as did my old friend number 40, and overall, our trip a pleasant one.

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