Charles P. Caldes, raised in Ridgefield, New Jersey, has written extensively about the abandoned railroads of New Jersey. He is a member of the Bergen-Rockland and the West Jersey chapters of the National Railway Historical Society. For Caldes, exploring the state's many abandoned rights-of-way is a lifelong task of enjoyment.
Steam to Diesel in New Jersey:: Revised Editionby Charles P. Caldes
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At the end of World War II, the nation's railroads were eager to replace their abundance of war-weary steam locomotives with sleek new diesel engines. From Cape May to Bayonne, New Jersey's tracks were soon humming with diesels while the old steamers were nudged onto the scrap tracks of the Central New Jersey, the Erie, and the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroads, among others. Powering a commuter train to Dover or a sand train to Millville's Wheaton glass plant, the diesels instantly proved their worth, praised by railroad employees for their ease of running and maintenance. In an era when most clothes were dried outside, the public accepted the new lack of trackside coal ash with gusto. Steam to Diesel in New Jersey presents the mixed era of late-steam and early-diesel power on the big and small railroads of New Jersey, from the mid-1940s to the end of the 1950s. From the Baldwins to the Alcos, the steam-spewing Behemoths to the smooth-running RS series, this engaging collection of vintage photographs remembers a time filled with wonder and change. With nearly two hundred images, Steam to Diesel in New Jersey showcases the departing steam engines and the emerging diesels that ushered in a new period of railroad history.
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