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The First 'Numero Uno'

The First 'Numero Uno'
By Jeff Jargosch (c) 2013

New Jersey Southern Railroad #24, later became CRR of NJ #502.
Collection of Jeff Jargosch.

In late 1897 the real estate and legal fireworks had finally settled, and it was time to get some trains running. The New York & New Orange Railroad had eager customers to serve.

Dump carts and scrapers were used on the roadbed, and materials such as gravel ballast, wooden cross-ties, and 60 lbs. iron rails began to accumulate in Aldene.

The Central Railroad of New Jersey had been in place since before the Civil War and was the starting point for the new line. The Central Railroad would be the principle connection to the outside world.

The New Orange gang would need to move all these varied supplies along with the track workers. This meant a locomotive would be needed. Turning to the Central Railroad for a piece of motive power, a suitable machine was found. The CRR of NJ had some older power it was willing to lease. On their Southern Division were some still serviceable 4-4-0 wheel types that were beginning to prove too light for their oyster and sand trains.

An antique "American," number 502 was selected.

The locomotive was shopped and moved to Aldene to be turned over to the construction gang. Likely a few flat or gondola cars were in the deal and work to New Orange was begun.

At the end of the construction the old 4-4-0 was returned to the CRR of NJ and was shortly after scrapped. The fledgling railroad began to acquire its own motive power.

CRR of NJ #502.
Collection of Jeff Jargosch.


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