Posts Tagged ‘excursion trains’

Steamtown Releases 2016 Excursion Schedule

May 4, 2016

Steamtown National Historic Site has announced its 2016 excursion schedule.

Reservations are available by calling 570-340-5204 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Online ticket sales are not available. Descriptions of the trips are as follows.

Park serviceJune 25: Delaware Water Gap. “Join us for the Founder’s Day celebration including restaurants, shops, historic displays, a car show, and a historic program about the resorts in and around this small town. Departs at 9 a.m. and returns at approximately 5 p.m.”

July 30: East Stroudsburg. “Get a taste of the history of the mighty DL&W Railroad with tours of the historic East Stroudsburg tower. Enjoy the hospitality of East Stroudsburg with food and music. Departs at 9 a.m. and returns at 5 p.m.”

Aug. 20: Carbondale. “Tickets for the Heritage Explorer Train, sponsored by the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, can be purchased at any branch of the Lackawanna County Library System. For more information about the train, contact the Carbondale Public Library at 570-282-4281. Departs Steamtown at 10 a.m.”

Oct. 8: East Stroudsburg. “View spectacular fall colors on this trip over the Pocono Plateau for East Stroudsburg’s Fall Foliage Festival and Fireman’s Picnic. Departs at 9 a.m. and returns at 5 p.m.”

Oct. 16: Delaware Water Gap. “An all-day excursion to the old resort town of Delaware Water Gap includes fall activities and a tour of this historic town. Departs at 9 a.m. and returns at approximately 5 p.m.”

New River Train Excursions Set

April 19, 2016

Four excursions of the New River Train have been set for 2016. Operated by the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, the train will travel from Huntington to Hinton, West Virginia, and return over the former Chespeake & Ohio mainline.

West VirginiaNow owned by CSX, the C&O mainline traverses the New River Gorge. The train will have coaches, lounge cars, dome cars and a business car on the rear, all pulled by Amtrak locomotives.

Trains will operate on Oct. 15, 16, 22 and 23 and include a layover in Hinton.

Tickets are $149 for adult coach, $99 for child coach, $179 for heritage, $269 for premium, $319 for dome car and $550 for the business car.

To purchase tickets or obtain information call 866-639-7487 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Or visit http://www.newrivertrain.com

The New River Train is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

October Fall Foliage Excursions Set in Michigan

September 23, 2015

The Steam Railroading Institute of Owosso, Michigan, will offer three fall foliage trips next month.

The trips include Cadillac to Boyne Falls on Oct. 3, Petoskey to Fife Lake on Oct. 10 and an hour-long trip near Cadillac on Oct. 17. The latter is being run in conjunction with an excursion from Mt. Pleasant to Cadillac that day that is already sold out. There will also be an hour-long countryside trip out of Fife Lake.

All trains will offer snacks, beverages and a limited selection of adult beverages for purchase.

The Boyne Falls trip coincides with that city’s annual Harvest Festival. A shuttle will also be available for those wishing to attend Boyne Mountain’s Skitoberfest.

Tickets for the all-day trips are $79 for coach seating and $39 for economy seating plus a processing fee. Tickets for the Cadillac and Fife Lake countryside trip are $20 plus a processing fee.

To purchase tickets online:  www.michigansteamtrain.com or call 989-399-7589.

Sept. 20 Excursions to Cross Quincy High Bridge

September 12, 2015

The Cincinnati Railway Company will operate two public excursions on Sept. 20 from Lima to Quincy on the Indiana & Ohio Railroad.

The highlight of the trips over tracks of the former Detroit, Toledo & Ironton will be crossing the Quincy High Bridge over the Great Miami River.

Trains will depart Lincoln Park in Lima at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The trip sponsor is the Allen County Historical Society, which reports that all tickets for the excursions have been sold.

In a Facebook posting, the Cincinnati Railway group said it is leasing two locomotives from Norfolk Southern for the trips, No. 7136 (a GP60) and No. 3170 (an SD40).

The trains will stop just short of the diamonds with CSX in Quincy.

Steamtown Sets 2 Trips to Delaware Water Gap

May 23, 2015

Steamtown National Historic Site has announced that it will operate two-diesel powered excursions between Scranton and Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, on June 27 and Oct. 18. Trains will depart at 9 a.m. and return around 5 p.m.

The June 27 trip is being held in conjunction with Founder’s Day in Delaware Water Gap. The town will have a car show and a historic program about the resorts in and around the town.

The Oct. 18 trip includes fall activities and tours of the town.

The excursions will use former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western tracks over the Pocono Summit.
For more information, go to www.nps.gov/stea.

N&W 611 Excursion Train Consist Announced

April 30, 2015

The consist that Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 will pull on May 30 will have 18 coaches and first class cars representing an array of railroad heritages.

The manifest will include cars from eight railroads, including Norfolk & Western, Great Northern, New York Central, Chesapeake & Ohio, Southern Railway, Florida East Coast, Seaboard Air Line and the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The front half of the train will have eight Tuscan-red Norfolk Southern coaches rebuilt in the past four years for excursion service.

Then will come two Watauga Valley National Railway Historical Society coaches, one an N&W-painted car.

Following those will be six first-class cars, including a full-length ex-Great Northern dome, two standard domes and ex-Seaboard Air Line lounge Hollywood Beach.

Three original N&W cars, including Watauga coach No. 539 in original lettering and colors and NS 28 and 29 in NS lettering and colors, will be in the consist.

Former New York Central tavern-lounge No. 43, and Southern Railway sleeper-lounge Crescent Harbor are among the first class cars.

The tool car that the 611 carried on excursions from 1982 to 1994, the Roanoke Chapter’s Norfolk & Western mail-storage car No. 1407 and a merchandise car, Paul Revere, will round out the consist.

Preston Claytor of the Virginia Museum of Transportation, which owns the 611, said that five suites will be available for four people – three drawing rooms on the Crescent Harbor and two on the Hollywood Beach with the partition removed.

Excursion tickets went on sale Monday to donors of more than $611 to the restoration effort. Public sales begin May 6 at www.fireup611.org.

The streamlined 1950 Roanoke-built Class J is nearing completion of its restoration at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, N.C.

Painting of the locomotive began this week, and it should be attached to its tender soon. The 611 will return to its home in Roanoke, Va., on May 30.

Everett RR Expansion to Benefit Excursions

January 30, 2015

The Everett Railroad is planning a $1 million expansion that will benefit its excursion train service.

The railroad is expanding along Loop Road near Hollidaysburg, Pa. Plans are to build structures for public excursions.

The Everett is a 23-mile Class III railroad serving Blair County. Its uses former Pennsylvania Railroad tracks passing through Duncansville, Hollidaysburg, Roaring Spring, Martinsburg and Claysburg. It connects with the Norfolk Southern.

The company website says that the excursions pass by “the farmlands of Morrisons Cove, historic Roaring Spring, and along the banks of the Juniata River.”

Excursions operate throughout the year and include fall foliage specials and Santa trains. The trains are pulled by one or more of the three diesel locomotives that are used in regular freight service.

Coaches include three former Delaware Lackawanna & Western multiple-unit cars owned by the Horseshoe Curve Chapter of the National Railway Historic Society.

Major commodities handled in freight service include grain and feed ingredients, pulp, paper, lumber, industrial raw materials and manufactured goods.

Excusions From Lima to Run on Sept. 28

September 21, 2014

The Allen County Museum is sponsoring a series of excursions on Sept. 28 between Lima and Jackson Center. The diesel-powered trains will depart at 10 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. from Lincoln Park in Lima and travel on a 42-mile roundtrip.

Tickets are $35 for adults and $20 for children under age 12. The consist of the train will include two locomotives and four coaches. The train will be able to accommodate 325 people.

Tickets may be purchased at the Allen County Museum or at trackside on the day of the excursion. For further information, go to:

http://www.allencountymuseum.org/ACM2/Ridin_the_Rails.html

Glenwillow-Kent Excursion Set for July 5

June 10, 2014

The Midwest Railway Preservation Society is sponsoring an excursion on Saturday, July 5 from Glenwillow to Kent and return over the Wheeling & Lake Erie.

Tickets are $50 for an open window coach, $60 for an air-conditioned coach and $70 for a seat in the Mount Baxter car.

The 40-mile roundtrip will depart Glenwillow at 9 a.m. and arrive at the former Erie passenger station in Kent at about noon.

Passengers will have a three-hour layover during which they time may attend the annual Kent Heritage Festival.

The return trip is expected to depart Kent at 3 p.m. and arrive back in Glenwillow at 6 p.m.

The trip will traverse the Tinkers Creek and upper Cuyahoga River watersheds.

The train will be pulled by Cleveland Commercial Railway locomotives operated by a CCR crew.

Tickets may be ordered by calling 216-781-3629 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets may also be ordered online at http://www.midwestrailway.org.

Crossing Tulip Trestle on the Indiana Rail Road

May 20, 2014
The excursion train is about ready for boarding.

The excursion train is about ready for boarding.

Last Friday I had the opportunity to ride a VIP train to the famed Tulip Trestle on the Indiana Rail Road. The bridge is 2,295 feet in length and 157 feet above the ground at its highest point, making it one of the largest such railroad structures in the United States.

INRD operated the train for Indiana University Press, which used the occasion to honor its authors, friends and the contributions of recent retirees from the Press.

The guest of honor was the founding series editor for the Railroads Past and Present series, George M. Smerk.

I was invited because IU Press has published two of my books and I’ve reviewed manuscripts and proposals for the Press.

Smerk is a retired professor at Indiana University who has been a tireless advocate of rail transportation. He continues to be a co-editor of the railroad book series and to write a column for Railfan and Railroad on mass transit topics.

H. Roger Grant, a history professor at Clemson University as well as a long-time Akron Railroad Club member, recently was named as co-editor of the railroad book series.

Grant, a former professor at the University of Akron, has published numerous railroad history books.

We boarded the four-car train in Bloomington at a crossing on the IU campus. All of the cars were of Santa Fe heritage and still look much the same as they did in their Santa Fe days.

Included in the consist was Santa Fe business car No. 56, which is now owned by Thomas G. Hoback and his wife. Hoback, the president and CEO of the INRD, was one of the railroad’s founders in 1986.

Also in the consist was ex-Santa Fe lounge car 1389 and coach 2820. Both had their original interiors although No. 2820 now has former Amtrak coach seats.

The train traveled 20 miles west to Tulip Trestle, located in Greene County near Solsberry. It was built in 1905-1906 by the Indianapolis Southern with funding from the Illinois Central Railroad. The IC took over the Indianapolis Southern in 1911.

The route, which linked Indianapolis and Effingham, Ill., was known as the “hi and dry” because of its many bridges and fills.

Hoback, a former coal marketing executive at the IC, was part of an investor group that purchased 110 miles of the line in 1986 from the Illinois Central Gulf.

The primary purpose of the line was to haul coal to a power plant in Indianapolis, but the route had and continues to have some merchandise freight.

The IU Press excursion ambled along at a leisurely pace as passengers feasted on cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

I positioned myself on the observation platform of AT&SF No. 56. The train had a locomotive at each end, which kept me from getting the view and images I had hoped to get from the rear of No. 56 as the train crossed Tulip Trestle. Nonetheless, the view still was spectacular and the hospitality was first rate.

Soon we were crossing the Tulip Trestle, a structure that I had seen once from the ground and it located in a remote location. It spans a broad valley that includes Richland Creek.

There has been at least one public excursion over the trestle during INRD ownership. That trip was pulled by Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 587. Some have ridden across the trestle on the annual Santa Claus trains operated by INRD.

After crossing the trestle, the train halted, the head-end crew changed ends and it was back across again. On the second crossing of the trestle, I stood at an open Dutch door.

All too soon we were back in Bloomington. It had been an impressive trip that I was fortunate to have been invited to ride.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

George Smerk (center to the right of the man with the white striped shirt) enjoys the excursion to Tulip Trestle aboard Santa Fe lounge car 1389.

George Smerk (center to the right of the man with the white striped shirt) enjoys the excursion to Tulip Trestle aboard Santa Fe lounge car 1389.

Rolling along through the Southern Indiana countryside, which can be rugged in these parts.

Rolling along through the Southern Indiana countryside, which can be rugged in these parts.

Approaching Tulip Trestle from the east end. At the time of its construction, it was the third largest bridge of its type in the world.

Approaching Tulip Trestle from the east end. At the time of its construction, it was the third largest bridge of its type in the world.

The panoramic view. Tulip trestle cost $246,504 to build in the early 20th century. The laborers were paid 30 cents an hour. A number of them were killed during construction, but no definitive number has been identified.

The panoramic view. Tulip trestle cost $246,504 to build in the early 20th century. The laborers were paid 30 cents an hour. A number of them were killed during construction, but no definitive number has been identified.

Yes, it's a long ways down, 157 feet at one point. The view was taken from the observation platform of Santa Fe No. 56.

Yes, it’s a long ways down, 157 feet at one point. The view was taken from the observation platform of Santa Fe No. 56.

You can see through the ties in this image of the ditch lights of GP38 No. 3803 and Santa Fe No. 56.

You can see through the ties in this image of the ditch lights of GP38 No. 3803 and Santa Fe No. 56.

Crossing Richland Creek. Look carefully and you'll see a reflecting of the footing and tower on the side of Santa Fe 56, which gives the illusion of seeing a complete support tower.

Crossing Richland Creek. Look carefully and you’ll see a reflection of the footing and tower on the side of Santa Fe 56, which gives the illusion of seeing a complete support tower.

The west end of the trestle is in sight. The bridge does not have a walkway at track level, but that hasn't stopped some from walking out onto it.

The west end of the trestle is in sight. The bridge does not have a walkway at track level, but that hasn’t stopped some from walking out onto it.

Looking out onto the trestle from the west side from the observation platform of Santa Fe No. 56. Some sources say the bridge is 2,307 feet in length.

Looking out onto the trestle from the west side from the observation platform of Santa Fe No. 56. Some sources say the bridge is 2,307 feet in length.

A ground-level view at the west end on the fireman's side out toward the trestle.

A ground-level view at the west end on the fireman’s side out toward the trestle.

Late afternoon lighting casts shadows on the north side of the trestle. The structure has 38 upright steel structures, most of which are in pairs.

Late afternoon lighting casts shadows on the north side of the trestle. The structure has 38 upright steel structures, most of which are in pairs.

Aside from the installation of two 45-sections in 1916, Tulip Trestle is "as built" in 1906.

Aside from the installation of two 45-sections in 1916, Tulip Trestle is “as built” in 1906.

High-level eats on the trestle.

High-level eats on the trestle.

A passenger views the valley from the lounge car as the excursion train crosses back over Tulip Trestle en route back to Bloomington.

A passenger views the valley from the lounge car as the excursion train crosses back over Tulip Trestle en route back to Bloomington.

 


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