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40th Anni. Convention
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cordially invited to attend the...
40th Anniversary celebration!
The following is a list of some of the events
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.
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
and quite possibly in the Commonwealth, to retain its original
corporate structure and its original right-of-way completely
throughout its entire existence.
The Northern Central Railway (NCRY) was a Class I
Railroad connecting Baltimore, Maryland with Sunbury,
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
• Special door prize for all registered members
• “Build-your-own-railroad” contest
• Farewell Banquet featuring Amish-inspired dishes
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.