"An Amazing Excursion" By Bob Janssen

On Saturday, October 13, 1956, I got up at 5:30 AM and took the 6:12 AM 19 bus from Carney and transferred to a 13 bus on North Avenue and rode over to Charles Street. I walked down to Penn Station and purchased a half-rate ticket to Philadelphia. I then read until the Morning Keystone came at 7:41 AM. I found Frank Tosh and Howard Spies in a lower level seat near the front of the train. I sat with Frank. Howard got off at 30th Street. We reached Philadelphia at 9:17 AM and walked down to the Robert Morris Hotel, but they had no available rooms.

After Don Flayhart arrived from the National Limited and checked in, he went with us to the Adelphia Hotel where we were able to get a nice double room. Our room even had a TV (remember,this was 1956!). Then the three of us shopped around downtown for phonograph records, greeting cards and old postcards. Frank looked up Henry Mercur in Lit Brothers right after we had lunch in Dewey's.

Then, Frank was going to check out the Brill photo collection, so Don and I checked bus schedules and decided to take the EI to Frankford and rode the Route 66 trolley coach to City Line. At the loop, a Neibauer bus was loading for Trenton; so we took it and rode up through Bristol and Levittown. We walked around downtown Trenton and went in the Capitol. It was a beautiful sunny Fall day, we next took a Trenton Transit "T" bus to the Pennsylvania Station and sat around for about 50 minutes until the 4:59 PM Clocker left for Philadelphia.

We got to 30TH Street station at 6:36 PM and took the subway to 13th Street and met Frank at Reading Terminal. Then we all ate in the Horn & Hardart's at 15th & Market. Frank then went out to Henry Mercur's home while Don and I went to the Keystone Post Card Collector's exhibition in the Benjamin Franklin Hotel. We chatted with some of the collectors and bought a few post cards from Samuel Hoffman. We then returned to our rooms and I got to bed at 10:45 PM.

We arose at 7:00 AM on Sunday morning, checked out, and had breakfast in a little restaurant on 12th Street across from Reading Terminal. Then we checked our bags in the Terminal and boarded the Philadelphia Chapter, NRHS special train. Frank and I took seats across from Don Flayhart and John Eicker. Later, Joe Maloney and his two boys and Ed Wilsey joined us. I noted that NRHS Chairman Edward and Mrs. Hooper were also aboard.

The train consisted of two Reading Fairbanks-Morse TrainMasters, 13 coaches, a diner and a baggage car. We pulled out at 7:45 AM, EST and went up the Bethlehem Branch to Bethlehem, where 200 more passengers from the Lehigh Valley Chapter's sales boarded, making a total of 750 aboard. We went over the Central of New Jersey to Easton, the Pennsylvania Railroad to Belvidere, and then up the Lehigh & Hudson River to Maybrook, NY, arriving 20 minutes late at 12:50 PM.

at Maybrook, New York, in the former New Haven yard

 

We had eaten lunches purchased from Union News men aboard the train. I led Frank, Don and John out of the railroad yards through some bushes and past some barking dogs, to a back street and came out just as my Aunt Betty and Uncle Dick drove by looking for us. They took us to a supermarket where we purchased some food for supper, visited the fire department, and left us at the railroad YMCA.

Our special left at 2:00 PM EST and came over the New Haven, Erie, Lehigh & New England, New York, Susquehanna & Western and Reading, reaching Philadelphia about 30 minutes late at 8:15 PM. I don't think that was too bad considering the extensive itinerary and number of carriers involved and experiences on other fantrips. Don and John got off at North Broad Street, but Frank and I had to get our bags so we stayed on back to Reading Terminal, which we reached at 8:15 PM.

After Frank and I picked up our bags, we took the subway to 30th Street Station and made the 8:36 PM Sunday-only train with a few minutes to spare and were surprised to find Don and John in the first coach. So, we hadn't lost any time in going for our bags. I slept until we reached Baltimore at 10:00 PM. It was chilly out. I just missed a #13 bus and had a long wait until the next one. Then I had another long wait for a #19 bus and reached home at 11 :45 PM

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(While some of the riders' names may be unfamiliar, Don Flayhart, who passed away in March, 2016, was a long-time Chapter member, and Joe Maloney is NRHS Vice President today. It should be mentioned that Bob Janssen was a longtime Baltimore & Ohio Railroad employee. -RLEjr)

 

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