At Levow Law, we believe that innovations in transportation played a major role in building the United States into the economic powerhouse it is today. If you’re a history buff or you just love trains and transportation, a visit to the Whippany Railway Museum in Hanover, NJ is a must. Here, you can learn all about the early days of our country’s railway system by viewing and interacting with a variety of original and replica buildings and pieces of equipment. Some of the favorite aspects of this museum among our staff of Parsippany DUI lawyers include:
Morristown & Erie Railroad Whippany Freight House
The former Freight House of the Morristown and Erie Railroad is located across the tracks from the passenger depot, and functions as the main headquarters of the Whippany Railway Museum. Today, the Freight House is virtually in the same condition it was back when it was constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, with just a few minor changes.
This Freight House was first conceived of in 1904 when the Railroad began negotiations with a local building company called Hopler & Grimes. The structure is 18 by 60 feet and was in service for over 60 years. This structure is rich with history and practically any type of good you can imagine has passed through here, including milk, produce, bricks, lumber, and other industrial and household goods.
Pennsylvania Railroad Standard Watch Box
In the early days of the railroad industry, watch boxes were situated at grade crossings and manually operated by watchmen. These boxes would eventually become obsolete in favor of automatic crossing gates in the mid-20th century, but you can get up close and personal with a replica of one of the original watch boxes from the Pennsylvania Railroad here at the Whippany Railway Museum.
Crossing Watchmen would lift the gates and use a stop sign for controlling traffic at railroad crossings. They would also inspect the trains for defects, report engineers who failed to use their whistles or ring their bells at the crossing and keep the crossing area clear of snow and other debris that could present potential dangers.
Pennsylvania Railroad Standard Scale House
At Whippany Railway Museum, you can find a replica of a scale house from around the year 1905. These scale houses were usually located in the areas surrounding railroad yards and junctions and were used to weight loaded freight cars upon their exits. Other scale houses were also located at places where bulk shipments were loaded, such as breweries, grain elevators, and coal yards. The scale was located underneath the track, which passed right in front of the scale house.
Pennsylvania Railroad Standard Telephone Booth
Early railroads had telephone booths, which were situated in locations where locomotive engineers and conductors needed to talk with dispatchers and block controllers. The Museum features a replica of a Pennsylvania Railroad telephone booth which is based on a booth from 1909.
The Whippanong Valley Railroad
Located in the main exhibit area of the Museum Building, the Whippanong Valley Railroad is an O-gauge model railroad and one of the most popular attractions at the museum. Visitors can watch as model passenger trains and long freights traverse the rails. The landscape is modeled after North Jersey and features a railyard and station area modeled after the Morriston & Erie facility in Whippany, including a fieldstone depot, water tank, and freight house.