Posts Tagged ‘excursion trains’

Pa. Excursion Trip Set for May 18

February 17, 2017

Three organizations are teaming up to offer a rare mileage excursion over the Pennsylvania Railroad and Reading Railroad’s Shamokin Valley Branch.

PennsylvaniaThe May 18 trip will cover a 27-mile branch that is the third oldest railroad in the United States, having been chartered as the Danville & Pottsville Railroad in 1826.

The train will include a Pullman car, baggage car, three restored coaches and a PRR N8 cabin car.

The tracks are now used by the North Shore Railroad, which is operated by the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority.

The train will depart from Sunbury, Pennsylvania, with bus transportation provided to the boarding site from Camp Hill, Wyomissing and Lancaster.

Tickets are $89 per person for those departing from one of the bus locations and $45 for those driving to Sunbury on their own.

The fare includes a bag lunch. Other sandwiches and drinks will be available for purchase on the train.

This trip is subject to cancellation due to insufficient and/or late registration.

Tickets can be purchased by sending a check made payable to the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society.

Send payments to Iron Ore Special, 1624 Suzanne Drive, West Chester, PA 19380-1573. Registration and payment are due by April 10,

For further information send a email query to ironorespecial@gmail.com.

Trip sponsors are the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society, the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society, and the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

Chasing a 1984 Passenger Excursion

February 3, 2017
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Eastbound crossing the Chessie System (now R.J. Corman) track east of Brewster yard.

Here is something a little bit different. This is from an excursion 32 years ago. I don’t know if this is a Norfolk Southern excursion or perhaps Orrville Railroad Heritage Society excursion. It may have been ORHS’ first excursion. It began in Orrville or Brewster, but I photographed it from Brewster to Zanesville. These photos were taken on what is now mostly the Ohio Central as the train ran southbound on Oct. 6, 1984.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

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Southbound under the Route 93 bridge in Dundee.

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The power has cut off in Zanesville.

In Search of Keystone State Steam: 1

November 1, 2016

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First in a series

Over the Columbus Day weekend, Ed and Ursula Ribinskas drove to Pennsylvania in search of steam.

The highlight of the trip would be seeing Reading Blue Mountain & Northern No. 425, a 4-6-2 Pacific-type steam locomotive build by Baldwin in January 1928.

The 425 departs from the R&N headquarters city of Port Clinton, Pennsylvania, and takes passengers on a two-hour trip to Jim Thorpe, where it lays over for three hours.

The locomotive was built in Pennsylvania for the Gulf, Mobile & Northern, later renamed Gulf, Mobile & Ohio.

Retired in 1950, No. 425 had a series of owners until it was purchased by Andrew J. Muller Jr., to pull excursion trains on the RBM&N.

Muller later painted the locomotive dark blue, in part because the Reading once had a dark blue steamer of its own.

The 425 was out of service between 1997 and 2008 during which time it underwent restoration. It also underwent repairs in 2011 and 2012.

Ed and Ursula chased the 425 on one of its trips, getting it at Zehners, Haucks, Atlas, Nesquehoning and the Pennsylvania Route 93 tunnel.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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Hoosier Southern Leasing Passenger Cars

August 9, 2016

The Hoosier Southern Railroad is preparing to offer excursion train service using passenger cars that it has leased from the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

IndianaThe excursion being sponsored by Scenic Lincoln Way, a non-profit tourism advocacy group based in southern Indiana.

The cars involved are coach No. 664, Fort Oglethorpe, a former Central of Georgia car; coach No. 663, a former Central of Georgia car; and No. 543, a St. Louis Car built for Southern Railway express service in 1943.

The cars have been idle since the Tennessee tourist railroad suspended its 2016 season earlier this year.

The 25-mile Hoosier Southern is based in Tell City, Indiana, and owned by the Perry County Port Authority.

ITM Excursion Trains Still Not Operating

July 1, 2016

The Indiana Transportation Museum has yet to launch its summer excursion train schedule, continuing to be mired in the aftermath of a dispute between the museum’s current administration and group of seven volunteers who have filed various complaints about alleged improprieties in operations and finances.

The museum, based in Noblesville, runs excursions on a 37-mile former Nickel Plate Road route that is owned by the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority.

Indiana Transportation MuseumAside from weekend trips, the ITM also operates shuttle trains to the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis in August.

An online report by Trains magazine said the museum is still awaiting permission from the port authority to use its tracks.

ITM chairman Jeffrey Kehler told Trains that the museum has completed all paperwork required by the authority and hopes to get approval to resume excursions no later than July 11, which is when the port authority’s board will next meet.

Port authority executive director Rhonda Klopfenstein said her agency is still reviewing information provided by the museum as to the condition of the railroad and ITM’s operating plans.

In the meantime, the Indiana attorney general’s office is looking into the complaints filed by the volunteers and the Federal Railroad Administration said it is reviewing the museum’s operations. However, an FRA spokesperson said the FRA’s inquiry is not an investigation.

Kehler in a statement issued in June termed the allegations made by the volunteers as false.

The volunteers in turn have characterized Kehler’s statement as false and misleading. They have also claimed that their dismissal was illegal and contrary to the museum’s own rules.

ITM suspended excursion operations in March and it is not clear how soon it could get back into operation once it receives the go ahead from the port authority.

Kehler told Trains that museum workers were unable to undertake the annual spring weed spraying, brush removal and spot track repairs.

Not being able to operate excursions has cost the museum ticket revenue, which it needs to survive. Kehler acknowledged that the dispute has damaged the museum’s reputation.

The museum is also facing the prospect that the FRA might reclassify it from a tourist-train operator to a short-haul passenger railroad. That change would impose on the museum more comprehensive rules and regulations.

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.