Author Archives: Mike Ruane

Train Rides at New Freedom Fest

Stewartstown Speeder Specials!
Departing from the New Freedom Fest, September 16, 2017
Want to feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, while riding down the rails?
Come aboard the Stewartstown Railroad’s Speeder Specials!
Leaving New Freedom every 20 minutes, ride out about a mile and back on our Railroad Motorcars
All ages welcome! Tickets $5.00, children under 3 ride free.

Stewartstown Railroad and Ma & Pa to Offer Combo Tickets

The Ma & Pa Railroad Heritage Village and the Stewartstown Railroad are joining forces this summer to celebrate the heritage of short line railroads in southeastern York County.   Starting on Sunday, July 9th, they will offer a reduced price combination ticket to visit and ride the trains at both railroads. Combination tickets purchased at either railroad will be honored at the other on any open day through Labor Day.

The Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad, affectionately known as the Ma & Pa, began life as the narrow gauge Peach Bottom Railroad that connected York to Delta in the mid-1870s.  The Stewartstown Railroad, often called “the farmer’s railroad” was constructed from New Freedom to Stewartstown in 1885.  Before automobiles and paved roads, railroads like these were essential lifelines in rural areas.  They were built with the enthusiastic backing of local people who bought railroad stock and often donated right of way to satisfy their longing for reliable transportation and access to broader markets for their agricultural products.

Today, the Stewartstown Railroad and the Ma & Pa Heritage Village are preserving the history of these short line railroads for a new generation.

The 130-year-old Stewartstown Railroad operates under its original corporate charter and its original line is intact.  The historic station at Stewartstown is open to visitors and excursion trains are run over a portion of the line as volunteers continue work to rehabilitate additional track. New Freedom Special run the entire length of the line, from Stewartstown to New Freedom and return, once a month.

The Ma & Pa Heritage Village at Muddy Creek Forks is a museum that interprets the role of the railroad in life a century ago.  Motorcar excursion trains run a 5.4 mile round trip through the scenic Muddy Creek Valley on the original Ma & Pa main line, and costumed docents welcome visitors to the A. M. Grove General Store, Muddy Creek Forks Roller Mills, grain elevator, and exhibits about the railroad and village. Two special events, the museum’s first ever Early American Auto Day on Sunday, July 16, and its popular World War II Encampment, Saturday, August 26, and Sunday, August 27, are among the days on which the combination tickets can be used.

“We’re very excited to be able to work with the Ma &Pa on this” said Dave Williamson, President of the Stewartstown Railroad. “York County has a rich railroad heritage, and we’re glad to be a part of it.”

According to Ma and Pa President Craig Sansonetti, “We look forward to being a part of this joint celebration. The Ma & Pa and the Stewartstown Railroad served the people of southern York County for more than a hundred years. An event like this gives them a good opportunity to ride our rail lines once again.”

Short Line Heritage combination tickets will sell for just $16 for adults and $14 for children at the railroad stations in Stewartstown and Muddy Creek Forks. Tickets are good for train rides at both sites.  The Ma & Pa Heritage Village will be open from 1:00 to 5:00 PM every Sunday through Labor Day plus some special days. A full schedule is available at www.MaAndPaRailroad.com. For the operating schedule of the Stewartstown Railroad visit www.StewartstownRailroadCo.com.

FRIENDS FORMER PRR FLATCAR ARRIVED IN STEWARTSTOWN ON VALENTINE’S DAY 2017

The Friends of the Stewartstown Railroad, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization, is pleased to announce it has received a piece of Pennsylvania Railroad history: former PRR flatcar #473822 donated to the Friends organization by Norfolk Southern Corporation.

The former PRR flatcar is now stored in the Stewartstown Railroad Company’s yard in Stewartstown. It was moved via highway transport by Gordon’s, our local automotive service center, on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 as planned. It had been stored in Columbia, PA for many years.

We thank Norfolk Southern Corporation for their generosity in donating the car to our organization. The Friends plans to convert the flatcar into an open-air observation car for use in the Stewartstown Railroad’s excursion program.

Donations are now being accepted to fund this project. Donations can be made online at:
https://www.gofundme.com/kth6v-prr-flatcar-restoration-fund
or directly to the Friends through its website
www.stewartstownfriends.org
or by check or money order payable to the Friends of the Stewartstown Railroad, Inc., and mailed to the Friends at P.O. Box 456, Stewartstown, PA 17363-0456.

We will also need volunteers to help paint the frame and build the open-air car. No special skills are necessary, though carpenters (or those who are handy with power tools) are certainly needed. Please contact the crew leader at 717-654-3626 for more information.

PRR Flatcar #473822 is a model F30A built in the PRR Pitcairn shops, May, 1934.

 

Saturday, December 17 Santa Train Weather Update:

Saturday Santa Train Weather Update:
We’re planning on running our Santa Trains today. We’re already at the station, cleaning, shoveling, making sure we have a safe, fun experience for our passengers and guests.
We may be running late on our schedule, especially on our earlier trains, but we’ll do our best to make sure everyone who has paid for or wants a ride, can ride with Santa today.
Hope too see you here later!

Additional SANTA TRAIN Rides just added!

December – Additional SANTA TRAIN Runs Just Added: 11:30 & 12:30!

Due to the increased demand of our Santa Trains, we are now offering SIX trains per operating day. Along with our two cabooses, we are expecting to increase our ridership capacity with the return of our renovated coach for the ultimate in comfort ride. Don’t miss out. Please bring your entire family for a memorable ride with Santa that your child will always remember!

All tickets are priced at $8/9/10: Child/Senior/Adult

Saturday, December 3rd: Santa Train (Caboose and Locomotive) – 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:15, 3:00, 3;45

Sunday, December 4th: Santa Train (Caboose and Locomotive) – 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:15, 3:00, 3;45

Saturday, December 10th: Santa Train (Caboose and Locomotive) – 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:15, 3:00, 3;45

Sunday, December 11th: Santa Train (Caboose and Locomotive) – 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:15, 3:00, 3;45

Saturday, December 17th: Santa Train (Caboose and Locomotive) – 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:15, 3:00, 3;45

Sunday, December 18th: Santa Train (Caboose and Locomotive) – 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:15, 3:00, 3;45

Additional Halloween Run Just Added

We had two Halloween Runs scheduled for Saturday, October 29th, at 5:30 and 6:30, but due to Popular demand, we’re adding a third run at 7:30!

This is a family friendly haunt – not too frightening, and our Ghouls, Zombies, and Ghosts are not that scary.

Prices: Adults $10 / Seniors (65 and older) $9 / Children (12 and under) $8

Fall Foliage Rides, Halloween Runs, and Passenger Coach Restoration

As the temperatures start dropping and the days become shorter, it’s that perfect time of year to ride on the Stewartstown Fall Foliage run. Every Saturday and Sunday afternoon in the month of October we’ll be offering rides down our line and back, through the woods and along Deer Creek, taking you places where you’ll never get in your car or bike. See the awesome colors of autumn and smell Fall in the air. Full schedules and pricing can be found here.

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But, don’t forget, come the end of October it’s Halloween, and Stewartstown  Railroad is transformed. Something eerie happens along the track on the days close to Halloween….Zombies have been  reported being seen, and strange creatures have been known to lurk close by. Come and see for yourself! We’ll have two rides, on the evening of Saturday, October 29th, at 5:30 and 6:30 in the evening.

Finally, we are having a Work Weekend from Friday October 7th through Sunday October 9th. This month we’ll be focusing on completing the restoration of our Coach 1341. We’ll be replacing the seats, reinstalling luggage racks, touching up paint, and in general, getting the Coach ready for service. Can you come out and help? If you can use a hammer, a screwdriver, or even a broom, you can help get our nearly 100 year-old car back in service.

coach-before

October is going to be a busy month on the Stewartstown Railroad – we hope to see you there!