Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania short lines’

EBT Owner Wants to Sell Operation

October 2, 2017

The owner of the East Broad Top in Pennsylvania is looking to sell the 33-mile railroad, which has been idle for five years.

Owner Joe Kovalchick is seeking someone, some group or an agency to buy railroad.

“I want to keep it together,” he said. “It’s important to maintain that.”

Kovalchick said he has had offers from would-be buyers who want the line’s locomotives, but has spurned those because he doesn’t want to sell the East Broad Top in piecemeal fashion. Thus far, no one has offered to buy the entire railroad.

A few private runs have occurred on the railroad since steam excursions ended in 2011.

Gas-electric car M-1 and one of the carrier’s center-cab diesels have made runs for the annual Friends of the East Broad Top October gathering. Several EBT motor cars have made shorter trips.

Lee Rainey, head of the EBT friends group, said volunteers have continued to preserve and stabilize buildings on the line.

“Major stabilization work was begun and is about half done on the freight house,” he said. “Built in 1884, the freight house was in very precarious condition.”

The East Broad Top Preservation Association operated the railroad for two years and sought to raise $8 million to buy it.

However, the group has only been able to acquire the standard gauge former Conrail connection in Mount Union, Pennsylvania, and about four miles of the East Broad Top south to Aughwick.

The standard gauge trackage is being used for rail car storage. The EBTPA also is seeking to develop the Mount Union interchange yard into a linear park.

All of the EBT’s six steam locomotives are in need of overhauls to meet federal regulations. The track would also need extensive rebuilding.

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R&N Will Chop Down 3 Used GP38-2s

September 28, 2017

Three high-hood GP38-2s recently acquired by the Pennsylvania-based Reading & Northern are slated to eventually be transformed into low short hood units.

The locomotives were acquired from Norfolk Southern and were built for the Southern Railway.

Carrying NS roster numbers 5139, 5184, and 5256, they will become RBMN Nos. 2010, 2011, and 2012.
R&N CEO and owner Andrew M. Muller Jr. said the diesels will not receive the railroad’s green and yellow colors until they are given chopped noses and reconfigured for short hood-forward operation.

Until that occurs, the locomotives will continue to wear black paint with the NS markings painted over.

Muller said it is customary on the R&N to have low-nose locomotives lead mainline freights. The GP38-2s will be assigned to yard and branchline duties until they are rebuilt.

The units will join four other ex-NS units on the R&N roster. Last year the R&N acquired four ex-Southern EMD MP15 locomotives.

The R&N motive power roster includes six GP30s of Santa Fe heritage that R&N classifies as GP39RN units. The active locomotive roster also includes 38 diesels, one 4-6-2 steam locomotive, and three Budd Rail Diesel Cars. The all-EMD diesel fleet ranges from 800 hp SW8 switchers to 3,500 hp SD50 freight units.

Pa. Short Line Move Draws Opposition

May 9, 2017

NIMBY opposition has arisen to a plan by a Pennsylvania short-line railroad to move its interchange point with Norfolk Southern.

The 6-5-mile Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad now interchanges with NS in Middletown, but wants to move that to Hummelstown.

Most of the opposition has centered on how the additional rail traffic will affect a major highway crossing just outside the town. Others are concerns about hazardous materials being shipped through the region.

More than 50 people attended a public meeting held recently to hear more information about the plan.

M&H officials said moving the interchange point would mean better service for its customers, all of which are in Middletown.

Railroad officials said the train to Hummelstown will operate two to three times a week and consist of a locomotive and three or four cars.

The M&H uses a former Reading branch line and also operates a tourist train during the summer.

Pa. Short Line to Offer Rare Mileage Trips

March 11, 2017

A Pennsylvania short line railroad will be offering rare mileage excursions on June 10 over former Reading Company track.

The Union County Industrial Railroad is offering the excursions as part of a bicentennial celebration in Milton, Pennsylvania.

The trips will depart from the ConAgra Brands facility in Milton and travel toward New Columbia,  crossing the Susquehanna River en route. It will be the first public passenger service over the route since 1964.

Tickets are $10 and available only at the Milton Borough Hall at 2 Filbert Street. Sales begin April 10 and end on April 28 being sold on a first come, first served basis.

The Union County line is an affiliate of the North Shore Railroad.

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.

R&N Posts 16% Carload Gain in 2016

February 3, 2017

Pennsylvania-based short line Reading & Northern posted a 16 percent increase in carload traffic for 2016, handling almost 20,000 carloads.

PennsylvaniaTourist operations accommodated more than 100,000 passengers, the second time in the railroad’s history that it has topped six figures.

In a statement, the R&N said that during 2016 it “had more employees, more track, more locomotives, more freight cars, more facilities and more customers than at any point in its history.”

R&N added 10 miles of new track and acquired the Humboldt Industrial Park in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, with more than three miles of new track construction.

In maintenance of way efforts, R&N installed more than 15,000 ties, replaced more than 20,000 linear feet of rail and built a dozen new turnouts.

The locomotive fleet increased by 20 percent with the acquisition of six four-axle locomotives. The freight car fleet grew 16 percent to 1,179 cars, an increase of 162.

More than a dozen new customers have come on line, most with the Humboldt acquisition, and 21 new employees joined the railroad, bringing the staff to more than 200.

Pa. Short-Line RR Reopens After Being Flooded

October 25, 2016

The Nittany & Bald Eagle short-line railroad in central Pennsylvania is back in operation after being knocked out of service last week due to flooding.

PennsylvaniaSome sections of track were washed out, but have since been repaired by railroad crews.

The storm flooded sections of Bellefonte, Milesburg and Howard after more than seven inches of rain fell in three hours.

Less than 3,000 feet of track was damaged by the flooding, which occurred at low points, near culverts and in Bellefonte Yard.

Crews were working on Monday to repair track so that slow orders could be removed.

No railroad rolling stock or equipment was damaged in the flooding.

The N&BE operates between Tyrone and Lock Haven and has a branch to Bellefonte, Pleasant Gap and Lemont. It has 87.3 miles of track.

Group Gets Grant to Rebuild CNJ No. 113

August 18, 2016

The Railway Restoration Project 113 has received a $5,000 grant from the John H. Emery Railway Trust that will be used to pay for running gear work on Central Railroad of New Jersey  No. 113

PennsylvaniaThe 0-6-0 operates on Pennsylvania short line Reading & Northern, but will be ferried to Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania, this winter for wheel, axle and side rod work.

Built in 1923 by Alco, the 113 has been restored to operating condition by volunteers.

It is slated to operate on Sept. 24 for Schuylkill Haven Borough Day and lead a series of holiday excursions on Dec. 4 and 18 out of Minersville, Pennsylvania.

NE Pa. Authority Extends Lease of Short Line

May 29, 2015

The Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority has voted unanimously to approve a five-year extension of the lease with a short line operator.

The Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad will continue to operate over 90 miles of track in Lackawanna, Wayne, Monroe, and Northampton counties in northeast Pennsylvania.

Delaware-Lackawanna is a subsidiary of GVT Rail and serves more than 25 customers. It employs 30 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The railroad has a motive power fleet of Alco locomotives and in 2014 it posted a 12.4 percent increase in carloads compared over 2013 levels. Railroad officials expect to add four new customers in 2015.