The Story of the Morris County Central Railroad

MCC Herald

The story of the Whippany Railway Museum began many years ago when the Morris County Central Railroad (MCC) first opened to the public on May 9, 1965 at Whippany, NJ.
MCC 5-9-65 2
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MCC 385 5-9-65DW1  On that exciting day a half-century ago, former Southern Railway steam locomotive No. 385 departed Whippany for Morristown, NJ with the MCC's first trainload of over 400 passengers. At the end of the day over 1,500 people had traveled on a nostalgic trip into railroading's colorful past. For the next 15 years until it ceased operations in 1980, the MCC would carry on this excellent tradition, leaving memories for untold hundreds of thousands of visitors that would last a lifetime.
The Morris County Central was founded by a New Jersey aerospace technician, the late, Earle H. Gil, Sr. of Parsippany. His idea of running steam excursion trains was formed in the late-1950's when conventional steam railroad operations were fading fast. Gil hoped that a financially successful heritage railroad would justify the great expense involved in keeping one of these magnificent machines alive. MCC 5-9-65 19 large
MCC 4039 1966 Having acquired No. 385 in 1963 from the 16-mile long Virginia Blue Ridge Railway (VBR) in rural Piney River, VA, the MCC ran an outstanding operation through the woodlands of suburban New Jersey. In 1966, Gil acquired another VBR steam locomotive, No. 4039 a former US Army 0-6-0 switcher that was soon added to the MCC's roster of vintage steam-era equipment.
Threatened by development of the property alongside the Whippany Station, the Morris County Central RR saved the Whippany Freight House from demolition in June 1967 by having it moved across four sets of tracks to a site opposite the station building. Originally used by our predecessor organization, Morris County Central Railroad Museum, this classic railroad freight house is now the headquarters of the Whippany Railway Museum. FH 6-5-1967
 

MCC Museum building June 1971 SPH  MCC 385 June 1965
MCC 385 4039 1966  MCC 4039 385 Whippany 11-1966

WRyM Summer Brochure 10 Train SPH  The Morris County Central was a fine example of what a conscientious group was able to accomplish, with moderate resources and good taste in the preservation of operating steam. It proved that trains, steam locomotives and haunting whistles continue to linger in the minds of the American public.
Fifty years on, the Whippany Railway Museum continues the tradition and proves that it is indeed possible to have a quality operation through much hard work by its dedicated group of volunteers, and the tremendous support of the visiting public. Crew WRyM 281 crew w-385 7-10-2011 

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MCC Drumhead Color



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The Whippany Railway Museum is a member of the Association of Tourist Railroads & Railway Museums
and the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey.
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Whippany Railway Museum
P.O. Box 16
Whippany, NJ 07981-0016
(973) 887-8177
E-mail: info@whippanyrailwaymuseum.net

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