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Sussex Register - January 7, 1869 issue
First Train to Lafayette

The first train upon the Branchville branch of the Sussex Railroad extension passed over the road on New Year's day. Arrangements had been made to accommodate a much larger number of passengers than availed themselves of the opportunity to participate in the celebration of the opening of the new road, but owing to the furious storm which prevailed at the time, not more than one hundred of our citizens, among them two ladies, appeared at the depot at the hour announced for starting. In consequence of the heavy snow drifts along the line, the train was a full hour in reaching its destination, where it was received by a large crowd of residents of the village, eager to witness the culmination of an enterprise which was to mark an important epoch in the history of the locality. Without more ceremony than was necessary in a driving storm and huge snow banks, the guests repaired to the Anderson Hotel, where a bounteous dinner was in waiting, which was as speedily as possible served to the hungry expectants. The appetites of the mass having been satisfied, the more interested of the assemblage gravitated toward the parlor, where were congregated the master-spirits of the enterprise. There being no fixed programme, impromptu speeches were demanded from a number of those known to be in sympathy with railroad projects in this section. Mr. V. M. Drake gave a long and interesting account of the progress of the various through lines of travel now making our continent, and the connection of our local roads therewith. Col. Robert Hamilton spoke of the prospects of the new road pecuniarily, and predicted that it would prove a profitable investment to the stockholders, inasmuch as the local freightage would yield a revenue sufficient to cover working expenses. Joseph Coult, Esq., spoke of the importance of the road to the section thro' which it passes, as well as to the county at large, and urged the combined co-operation of all living upon the route to further the enterprise, as their interest and prosperity were identical with that of the road. Thos. Kays, Esq., appeared in response to calls, but before he had fairly commenced, the hour for the departure of the train was announced, and the crowd dispersed for the station. The excursion is to be repeated on some more favorable day, when the train will run over an additional three miles of track completed in the direction of Franklin.

It is expected that by the opening of Spring, by which time the road will be open to Branchville and Franklin, the rolling stock now being manufactured will be completed, when daily passenger trains will be run. In the meantime, arrangements are being completed to transport heavy freight, such as coal, lumber, etc. over the road as far as completed, which will be a great convenience to those living along the line.