Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania tourist railroads’

Pa. Tourist Railroads Offering Joint Ticketing

July 17, 2017

Two Pennsylvania tourist line railroads are offering discounted combination tickets for passengers who ride both lines during the summer.

The participating railroads are the Ma & Pa Railroad Heritage Village and the Stewartstown Railroad, both based in York County and a 20-minute drive apart.

The joint tickets are being issued to commemorate the heritage of both railroads, a practice that was once common in the Northeast.

The Maryland & Pennsylvania dates to 1870 and once connected York with Baltimore. The Stewartstown Railroad, known as “the farmers railroad,” was built in 1885 between Stewartstown and New Freedom.

The railroads noted in a statement that both carriers were in their early years backed by local residents who saw them as a lifeline to a wider world.

The Stewartstown continues to operate from its namesake city over a portion of its original 7.4-mile line.

Volunteers on a monthly basis operate track cars run over the line to New Freedom.

The Ma & Pa is based at Muddy Creek Forks and offers motorcar excursions over 5.4 miles of the original Ma & Pa main line.

Docents in period costumes offer tours of the A.M. Grove General Store, the roller mills, grain elevator, and exhibits about the railroad and its region.

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Ed Journeys to the Everett Railroad Again

May 31, 2017

Owen (left) and Karl pose with Everett No. 11 in Holidaysburg, Pennsylvania.

On May 20, Akron Railroad Club member Ed Ribinskas along with his brother-in-law Karl and his son Owen (Ed’s nephew) did an all-day trip to railfan in Pennsylvania. Today’s installment focuses on their visit to the Everett Railroad where they chased and photographed two trips.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

The first of three images made of the train in Hollidaysburg.

 

Switching at Brooks Mills

At West Loop Road

Nearing Monastery Road.

Crossing Pennsylvania Route 36 north of Roaring Spring.

At Roaring Spring.

 

June Rail Excursion Set in Pennsylvania

April 27, 2017

The Lehigh & New England Railroad Preservation Society is hosting a June train ride, lunch, and slide show at the Pennsylvania-based Allentown & Auburn Railroad.

The society will show off its L&NE Alco S2 No. 611 during the event, which will begin at 9 a.m. with a train ride from Kutztown to Topton.

The train will stop en route for a picnic lunch. After the train ride there will be several slideshows about the L&NE with memorabilia also on display.

Tickets are $35 with the proceeds going toward restoration of No. 611.

Reading & Northern Building New Station

January 19, 2017

The Reading & Northern will build a new passenger station near the Reading, Pennsylvania, city limits.

PennsylvaniaThe $2 million project also will include construction of a siding from the main line, a water tank and a home for Canadian Pacific 225, a 4-6-0 formerly owned by the late George M. Hart. The 225 will be displayed at the site.

The R&N acquired the property for the station in 2016 for $895,000. It is located along Pennsylvania Route 61 in Muhlenberg Township north of a connection with Norfolk Southern.

To prepare the site, a closed strip mall and restaurant on the property were razed.

The new station will feature a Victorian era design and simulate a station known as the Outer Station that was located closer to central Reading.

That station was constructed in 1874 and located within a wye of lines branching off to Allentown, Pottsville, Harrisburg and Philadelphia.

The Outer Station, which had division offices, closed in 1969 and was destroyed by fire in 1978.

The railroad also had a passenger station in downtown Reading on Franklin Street.

The R&N said that it will begin offering scheduled Saturday passengers trains between the new station and Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, on Memorial Day, using former Reading rail diesel cars.

The route of the service will be ex-Reading rails from from Reading to Hauck on the Catawissa Branch and then over the former Jersey Central Nesquehoning Valley Branch to Jim Thorpe. The trip will be 60 miles one way.

R&N Adds Locomotives, Hopper Cars

November 9, 2016

To accommodate new business, the Pennsylvania-based Reading & Northern Railroad has purchased new locomotives.

PennsylvaniaThe R&N said in a news release that it acquired six locomotives from a recent Norfolk Southern auction, which included four EMD MP15 locomotives and two EMD GP39RNs.

The railroad has also acquired more than 150 used steel hopper cars to handle an increase in its anthracite coal business. The R&N now has a fleet of 1,179 freight cars.

Even the passenger business at the railroad is on the rise, with ridership on its tourist trains 15 percent ahead of last year’s patron patronage of 100,000.

R&N said it has installed 15,000 crossties, 10,000 feet of new rail, and built about 10,000 feet of new sidings. Almost 90 miles of track has also been re-surfaced this year.

In Search of Keystone State Steam: Part 2

November 3, 2016

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Second of a series.

Eastern Pennsylvania is known for its anthracite coal. Often called hard coal, anthracite is known for its sub-metallic luster, high carbon content, lack of impurities, and having the highest calorific content of all types of coal except graphite.

The mining of anthracite in Pennsylvania is not what it used to be, but it is still mined and there remains a relatively stable market for it.

In Ashland, Pennsylvania, the Pioneer Tunnel Coal mine takes visitors inside a horizontal drift mine that extend 1,800 feet into the side of the Mahanoy Mountain.

Today passengers can ride on a three-quarter mile ride around Mahanoy Mountain behind the Henry Clay, an 0-4-0 tank engine that was built in 1927 by the Vulcan Works.

A highlight of that trip is viewing the remains of the strip mines, but the journey ends at the Pioneer Tunnel, which is open to visitors.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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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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CNJ Steam Locomotive to Pull Easter Trips

February 19, 2016

Railway Restoration Project 113 plans to offer steam-powered Eastern trains in eastern Pennsylvanian on March 19 over the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern.

PennsylvaniaThe trains will be pulled by former Central Railroad of New Jersey 0-6-0 No. 113 and will depart from the Minersville Station at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The route of the train will be southward through Marlin, Westwood Junction, Cressona, and Schuylkill Haven over track once owned by the Reading Company.

No. 113 was built by Alco in 1923 and is one of just two CNJ steam locomotives to survive.

The Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Corporation bought the engine in 1953 and operated it at the company’s Locust Summit, Pennsylvania, coal breaker until 1960.

After several years of neglect, No. 113 was acquired by Robert E. Kimmel Sr. of Minersville.

His son Robert Jr. led a 12-year restoration project that cost about $600,000.

No. 113 is one of the few standard gauge locomotives in the United States that burns anthracite coal.

For more information about the trips visit http://www.rrproject113.org/#!Easter-Trains-coming-March-19th/c12hj/569d9a9c0cf2dd2c1662236b

Pa. Railroad Acquires ex-B&LE F7A

February 19, 2016

A former Bessemer & Lake Erie EMD F7A has been acquired by the Stourbridge Line tourist railroad in Pennsylvania.

B&LE logo 1No. 725 last operated on the Coe Rail dinner train in Michigan and is currently stored in Lansing, Michigan.

It currently wears a paint scheme similar to that used by the Erie Lackawanna.

Built in February 1953 as B&LE 725A, it was one of 28 F7As that were delivered to the Bessemer between 1950 and 1953. Some of the units are still operating on short line and tourist railroads.

The Stourbridge Line is operated by the Delaware, Lackawaxen & Stourbridge Railroad.

Owner Tom Myles said on his company’s Facebook page that he is soliciting suggestions for a livery for No. 725.

Ex-PRR Diesel Arrives on Pa. Excursion Railroad

January 23, 2016

Northeast Pennsylvania officials this week welcomed the arrival of the first locomotive to be owned by the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust. The locomotive is former Pennsylvania Railroad GP10 No. 7236.

The Colebrookdale Trust plans to use the locomotive for excursions between Memorial Park in Pottstown and Boyertown.

PRRAlthough the Trust has leased another locomotive, it said the arrival of No. 7236 will enable its volunteers to operate the excursions.

The 7236 last worked at a lime plant in northwestern Ohio and is currently painted gray with red stripes on each end.

Trust President Nathaniel Guest said his group is seeking sponsors and volunteers to paint and letter the locomotive.

“It really is a landmark day for us to be able to stand on our own two feet,” Guest told the Reading Eagle.