40 years and counting

40th Anniversary Convention  

June 18-23, 2018  

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You are cordially invited to attend the...
40th Anniversary celebration!
The following is a list of some of the events being
considered for the 2018 convention in Strasburg, PA,
celebrating 40 years of Havin’ Fun Runnin’ Trains!
Final plans are still in the making as the BTO goes
to press, and are subject to change.
Complete details, Early-Bird Registration Form and
final schedule will be in the Winter issue... stay tuned!


The Colebrookdale Railroad started building the railroad line between Boyertown, PA and Pottstown, PA, in 1865 and trains started running in 1869. The Colebrookdale Railroad was leased by the Reading Railroad who operated the line until 1976, when it became a part of Conrail. Conrail planned to abandon the line, but the state of Pennsylvania acquired the line and hired operators. In March 2001, Berks County acquired the line for $155,000 to keep it active. The Colebrookdale Spur was abandoned by the East Penn Railroad in 2008. The Berks County Redevelopment Authority reactivated the line, with the Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad appointed to operate the line beginning in October 2010. In 2011, a tourist railroad was proposed to operate on the line. The Colebrookdale Railroad began regular tourist service on October 18, 2014.


Colebrookdale Railroad


Chartered in 1885 by local interests, the line provided freight and passenger service from the small communities of the Deer Creek Valley to the Northern Central Railway at New Freedom for its first eighty-seven years of existence. Known as the “farmer’s railroad,” its traffic base was largely agricultural in nature, supplanted by a number of small manufacturing firms. Unlike many railroads of its kind which succumbed to the combined effects of the Great Depression and improved highways, the Stewartstown Railroad survived primarily by switching from steam to gasoline motive power. Despite a dwindling traffic
base, a loyal group of shippers, enabled it to outlast its only connection, the mighty Pennsylvania Railroad. Today, the Stewartstown Railroad remains intact, both physically and in its corporate structure. It is, in fact, the only railroad in York County,
and quite possibly in the Commonwealth, to retain its original corporate structure and its original right-of-way completely intact
throughout its entire existence.


Stewartstown Railroad


The Northern Central Railway (NCRY) was a Class I Railroad connecting Baltimore, Maryland with Sunbury, Pennsylvania, along the Susquehanna River. Completed in 1858, the line came under the control of the later Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in 1861. For eleven decades the Northern Central operated as a subsidiary of the PRR until much of its Maryland trackage was washed out by Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The southern part in Pennsylvania is now the York County Heritage Rail Trail which connects to a similar hike/bike trail in Northern Maryland down to Baltimore. Only the trackage around Baltimore remains in rail service. During the Civil War, the Pennsylvania Railroad controlled Northern Central served as a major transportation route for supplies, food, clothing, and materiel, as well as troops heading to the South from Camp Curtin and other Northern military training stations. In 2013, Steam into History, Inc. began operations between New Freedom and Hanover Junction, operating a Kloke Locomotive Works replica of a Civil War-era 4-4-0 American type steam locomotive.


The Northern Central Railroad


The Wilmington & Western Railroad was chartered in 1867 to move goods between the mills along the Red Clay Creek and the Port of Wilmington, and officially opened for freight and passenger service on October 19, 1872. Three passenger trains and a mixed freight train operated six days a week on nearly 20 miles of track between downtown Wilmington, Del., and Landenberg, Pa. Much of the line ran through the Red Clay Valley, bustling in the late 19th Century with farms, small villages and water-powered mills. In the 1880s, the line was purchased by the Baltimore & Philadelphia Railroad (B&P), a subsidiary of the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O). Today, the Wilmington & Western Railroad continues to operate regular steam- and diesel-powered tourist trains on our full 10 miles of track between Greenbank and Hockessin.


Wilmington & Western Railroad


Other events also under consideration include..
• Strasburg Railroad welcome dinner
• Lunch and tour of the National Christmas Center
• Harley Davidson factory tour
• Gettysburg Battlefield bus tour

• Joe Hylva Trivia Contest
• Al Lentz modeling contest
• Raffles
• Special door prize for all registered members
• “Build-your-own-railroad” contest
• Farewell Banquet featuring Amish-inspired dishes
and more!

Accommodations at the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn at a special BTOC rate of only $129 per night (breakfast smorgasbord included). Call the Inn directly at 800-537-2535 for reservations  and mention the BTOC for this special room rate.

No matter how much Bill Gates may claim otherwise, he missed the Internet, like a barreling freight train that he didn't hear or see coming. - Jim Clark


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