Posts Tagged ‘Railroad museums’

Pa. Trolley Museum Sets Annual Meet

May 30, 2018

The Pennsylvania Trolly Museum will be conducting its annual Western Pennsylvania Trolley Meet on June 1-3.

Admission each day is $10 per person although a three-day pass can be purchased for $25.

Throughout the meet, cars from various transit companies and agencies will be in operation and on display.

A night photo shoot will be held on Saturday night and coordinated by Steve Barry, editor of Railfan & Railroad magazine.

There will also be model railway vendors, traction memorabilia dealers, presentations, demonstrations, a model contest, and hourly door prizes.

The museum is located at 1 Museum Road in Washington, Pennsylvania. Further information is available at  patrolley.org

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Remember the Nickel Plate

May 2, 2018

Railroad museums exist to keep alive memories of the past as well as to show what it looked like.

Given that Bellevue was a major point on the Nickel Plate Road, it is not surprising that the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum seeks to illuminate that railroad’s heritage.

During a visit to Bellevue earlier this year I noticed that the museum has recently repainted a caboose in NKP markings.

I imagine that at one time having radio communications capability was seen as a major technological advance.

NORM Gets Grant for Substation

March 30, 2018

A former Shaker Rapid car runs on the NORM demonstration track last summer.

A San Diego Foundation has awarded a $110,000 grant to the Northern Ohio Railway Museum that will be used to build an electric substation .

The grant came from the 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation, which awards grants to trolley museums throughout the United States.

The substation will enable NORM to draw power for its overhead trolley wire system from Ohio Edison.

Currently, the museum is using gas generator to create electricity to power its trolley line, which is expected to be expanded this year. The generator, though, is limited in how much power it can provide and that limits how many cars can operate on the line at one time.

An existing maintenance building will be extended to house the new substation building, which will in part convert AC power to DC.

NORM, which is based near Chippewa Lake and Seville, hopes to have the substation operating in advance of the beginning of its operating season in May.

The museum has three buildings that house its collection of trolley, interurban and rapid transit cars, most of which once operated in Northeast Ohio. It is open on Saturdays between May and October.

Remember Trolleyville?

January 7, 2018

Pittsburgh Railways No. 4145 at Trolleyville USA during its heyday.

Remember Trolleyville USA,which was located in Olmsted Township on Cleveland’s west side? Also known as the Gerald E. Brookins Museum of Electric Railways, Trolleyville USA closed in 2005.

The collection of 31 cars was moved to Dock 32 at the Port of Cleveland near the Great Lakes Science Center and Cleveland Browns Stadium.

It operated there as the Lake Shore Electric Museum. The Akron Railroad Club had an outing there once.

That lakefront museum lasted until 2009 when the collection was sold at auction and scattered among 10 railway museums including the Northern Ohio Railway Museum near Chippewa Lake.

Here are six photos from the Trolleyville collection when it was still located in Olmsted Township. All were made on Aug. 24, 1996.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Centerville, Albia & Southern No. 101

Centerville, Albia & Southern No. 101.

Chicago Aurora and Elgin No. 460

Columbia Park and Southwestern No. 19 (CP&S was the museum’s name for its line.)

Cleveland Railways Nos. 1225 and 1218

ITM Being Evicted from Noblesville Home

December 28, 2017

The Indiana Transportation Museum is being evicted by the City of Noblesville from its site in Forest Park after its lease expires next March.

The city has cited its discontent with the manner in which the museum has maintained the property, which the city says needs to undergo an environmental cleanup.

In response Museum Chairman John McNichols said the eviction is a ploy by the city to bankrupt the museum, seize its equipment and then give it to a new operator of an excursion service that is expected to begin next year.

Saying that conditions at the museum are no worse than at an auto garage, McNichols claims the city is banking on the fact that moving the railroad equipment at the museum will be too expensive to do by truck.

City spokesman Robert Harrington disputed McNichols claims, saying the city wants the site cleared out as soon as possible so environmental cleanup can begin.

“We don’t want anything. We want remediation to begin so we can see what is safe to go there,” Herrington said.

ITM has been housed in Forest Park since 1965 and until 2016 operated excursion trains on a former Nickel Plate Branch line through Noblesville that once extended between Indianapolis and Michigan, City, Indiana.

Much of that branch has since been abandoned, but the tracks between Indianapolis and Atlanta, Indiana, are now owned by the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority.

The Authority, which is controlled in part by the cities of Noblesville and Fishers, refused to allow ITM to operate over the tracks in 2016, citing safety concerns.

Earlier this year, city officials in Fishers announced plans to remove the track between Noblesville and Indianapolis and convert it into a hiking and biking trail.

The Port Authority later selected the Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad to operate excursion trains between Noblesville and Arcadia.

Noblesville officials also requested an inspection of the museum grounds by state environmental officials in response to complaints about leaking oil drums.

That inspection, conducted by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Environmental Protection Agency, found a host of environmental and health hazards, including PCBs and several rail cars believed to contain asbestos.

The city contends that museum officials have listed 1,064 items for waste containment and disposal.

“The ITM has not shown good stewardship with the resources entrusted to them for more than 50 years,” said Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear said in a statement. “The City of Noblesville is taking these proactive measures now to protect our residents and our heritage, to ensure Forest Park is cleaned up and to bring the trains back to our community with a new operator.”

ITM earlier this year signed an agreement to house at least some of its collection in Logansport, Indiana

Logansport Mayor David Kitchell wants ITM to make the Cass County city its permanent home.

“I talked to Mayor Ditslear about giving the ITM some extra time to move their assets if they need it,” Kitchell said. “We have about three sites that [the museum] could move into here.”

ITM has about $3 million in equipment, including eight locomotives, box cars and historical artifacts. About 30,000 people visit the museum each year.

Steamtown Stops Charging Admission

November 17, 2017

Steamtown National Historic site has ceased charging admission.

The park in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has scrapped its fee of $7 a day for those 16 and older after a National Park Service study concluded that visitation would increase and costs would diminish by not collecting admissions.

The museum will continue to charge $5 for the short train rides that it offers and longer excursions to destinations outside the park will continue to have a fee.

Fees may also be charged for special exhibits and the annual Railfest. Park Superintendent Debbie Conway said the fees for Railfest have not yet been determined.

Ed’s Trip to Pennsylvania (Part 3)

September 23, 2017

Sunday morning found us back in downtown Altoona, Pennsylvania, to get a few more images of Norfolk Southern and Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian as they passed Alto Tower.

We ate breakfast and attended church that morning and also made a visit to the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum.

At the museum we saw the ex-Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 and the Pennsy K4 1361 before heading home to Ohio.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Easier than Trying to Herd Cats

July 26, 2017

Since former Chesapeake & Ohio No. 8272 showed up at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North Pennsylvania, wearing its sparkling new Chessie System livery, I’ve managed to photograph it three times in about a month’s time.

First I got it during a night photo shoot, then in less than favorable lighting conditions en route home from a day on the Arcade & Attica, and finally on a recent late Sunday afternoon in the best lighting of all.

And I almost missed that. I was with a group of guys from the Cleveland-based Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts who were doing a double museum tour.

The first stop was in Conneaut and then it was on to North East.

CSX had been dead while we were in Conneaut. It finally sprang to life shortly after we reached North East, putting through town a steady flow of three westbound intermodal trains and five consecutive eastbounds.

There was a work gang in New York State and it was single-track east of North East.

After the fifth eastbound passed by, we decided to head out to Bort Road, which is, surprisingly, a good place to photograph in late day.

As we were ready to move on I remembered we had yet to photograph No. 8272. We soon remedied that while the light was still good.

Having only photographed two Chessie System locomotives in my life, I’m going to be all over the 8272 even if it isn’t going anywhere.

As seen from the front porch of New York Central No. 2500, which is mid July was still lettered for the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie and numbered 2800.

Getting down low. For some reason I like having the locomotive off kilter.

Looking the kitty right in the eyes. Real cats don’t like it when you do that but this Chessie doesn’t mind.

ITM Plans to Move to Logansport

July 16, 2017

The Indiana Transportation Museum is moving to another city. The museum said last week that it has reached an agreement with the mayor of Logansport to set up shop there.

ITM is currently located in Noblesville in the far reaches of suburban Indianapolis.

No date was set for the move, which appears to be have been prompted in part by the museum’s on-going battle to be able to use a former Nickel Plate Road branch line that some want to convert into a hiking and biking trail.

Logansport was a hub city for the Pennsylvania Railroad with several lines radiating from it.

“Our mission preserves the great legacy of railroading tracks perfectly with Logansport’s history as an early Hoosier rail center,” ITM Board Chair John McNichols said in a statement. “Together we can not only preserve our shared history, but find ways to expand the vision of historic railroads in Indiana. The Logansport museum will be an expansion of our state-wide vision.”

For several years ITM has hosted excursion train service on the former NKP line, which at one time ran from Indianapolis to Michigan City.

The remnants of the line between Indianapolis and Tipton, Indiana, are owned by the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority, which has refused to allow ITM to use the line, citing safety concerns and the lack of adequate maintenance.

Harris Tower Gets Additions, Makeover

April 29, 2017

The Harris Tower Railroad Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, will have a slightly new look when it reopens on May 27.

The structure has been rehabilitated and expanded displays created.

The Harrisburg Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, which owns the tower, has restored 40 windows, power-washed the interior, upgraded one bathroom with period-appropriate fixtures, re-painted the second floor, and installed replica lighting fixtures. The tower’s electro-pneumatic switching machine is to have its covers sand blasted and re-painted.

On the tower’s ground floor are three new display cases showing recently-acquired memorabilia pertinent to the structure’s history.

The museum is open on Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. There is no admission charge.