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New Jersey Herald - September 6, 1962 issue
Article Subsections

Rail Link Group Working on Capitalization Plans

Sussex--Plans for capitalization and financing the restoration of the 10 mile railroad link between Augusta and Sussex Borough were pushed Tuesday at a meeting of the committee sponsoring the project at the Farmers National Bank. The rail line was abandoned last fall by the Lehigh and New England Railroad and a group of local businessmen has launched a plan to reinstate it and operate the line in conjunction with the Erie Lackawanna Railroad.

Lawrence Willson, chairman of the board of directors of the Farmers National Bank and attorney with offices in New York, is spearheading the drive. He has outlined a plan under which the rail line can be restored to operating condition for a maximum of $286,000, and the group will ask local banks to subscribe to the first mortgage bonds for the major part of the cost. County residents will be asked to buy upwards of $100,000 in common stock in the venture.

Pick Company Name

Willson said Tuesday that the committee working on the plan had agreed to establish a corporation to be called Sussex County Railway, Inc., and this week will consult with state officials and investing companies on capitalization details and incorporation. At the same time, he said he has received renewed assurances of cooperation from the spokesman for the salvage companies which bought the rails and track equipment from the Lehigh and New England.

A new element entered the picture this week, according to Willson, when William Whitehead, president of the Black River and Western Railroad, met with the committee and proposed an agreement under which the Black River concern could use the line for amusement and sight-seeing purposes. The Whitehead company owns old-style railroad rolling stock, was balked in its effort to start operations in the Chester area, and then turned to Sussex County in search of a rail line on which to operate the amusement business.

Study Agreement

Willson said his committee has the proposed agreement with the Black River company under advisement. It would involve a yearly rental arrangement which would add to the income of Sussex County Railway, he said.

Under the restoration plan as previously outlined, the Augusta-Sussex link would tie in with the Erie Lackawanna at Augusta and freight would be hauled over the line by the Erie Lackawanna. This tie-in with the Erie Lackawanna, Willson has insisted, will prolong the operating life of the EL and thus benefit the whole county.