LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston resident Terry R. Zuckerman recently donated a new miniature locomotive to the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange. As part of a program to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death on April 18, the Zuckerman family of Livingston and the Ralph Errington Estate donated the new engine that the Zoo agreed to dub the “Errington Express.” The event included attendance by County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo and the Zoological Society of New Jersey

When Ralph W. Errington, a close friend of Zuckerman’s, passed away in 2013, he left his estate to charity. According to Zuckerman, Errington and a group of business people bought a railroad in Western Pennsylvania in 1984 and Errington had collected model trains ever since. Zuckerman, who is now one of the co-trustees of the Ralph Errington Estate, said Errington’s interest in trains and the charity’s mission to help children inspired him to donate the locomotive in his friend’s name as the Errington Express.

“I’m one of the co-trustees of the charity, so we’re looking for things to donate money to,” Zuckerman said. “I was over at the Turtle Back Zoo with my wife, my daughter and her two children and we went to the train. They were saying that trains will fall apart and that they’re having trouble getting parts because they’re so old, and I said, ‘hey, the perfect thing.’”

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Before the Zuckerman family exited the train that day, the head of the Zoological Society was waiting for them. After a long walk around the 52-year-old Turtle Back Zoo, Zuckerman’s enthusiasm about helping the children and supporting Errington’s hobby encouraged him to agree to donate a train to the Zoological Society. 

The Zoological Society of New Jersey’s purpose is to promote the general welfare of the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, to stimulate the public's interest in the growth, improvement, and development of the Zoo through education and research, to support fund-raising events to help in the financing of new facilities, purchase of equipment, and acquisition of animals, to encourage membership in the Society by persons interested in the promotion of the physical and aesthetic qualities of the Zoo and to stimulate the public interest in the development and enjoyment of animals everywhere. The fundraising arm of the Turtle Back Zoo, the nonprofit corporation uses money raised to expand the Zoo’s animal collection and existing exhibits.

“What we’ve been looking for are ways of donating money to help children,” Zuckerman said. “We’re helping out the Township of West Orange and sending a lot of kids the Zoological schools.”

Zuckerman, a retired lawyer who began a practice in Kenilworth in 1978, also has plans to donate a bus for senior citizens in Kenilworth in the name of Errington Express, and money for a new Errington Express ambulance as well.