Coach 1341 Restoration:
Former Reading Company coach 1341 (class PBm) is the first on the list of (four) passenger coaches to be overhauled. Starting on the interior, we have received a donation of seat bottoms and backs from nearby Strasburg Rail Road, and we are in the process of replacing the old, worn out seats currently in our car, which are a PERFECT fit!. And while the seats and backs are out, the mechanism’s are being cleaned (40 some years’ worth of stuff),repaired and lubricated. The green seats seen below are some of the replacements from Strasburg coach 58- Huber Leath. Although we did not get a whole coach worth, we can replace the worst of the ripped up, worn out seats, planning on obtaining green fabric and recovering the remaining old seats.
We are also looking into replacement tiles for the floor, and will have to repair the ceiling where the roof has leaked. One of the major items is window sash replacement. As of this writing, we have eleven new, oak sashes primed, and waiting for the old glass to be installed in them. As far as the exterior goes, there is a pressing need to get the roof completely sealed, so we can complete the interior restoration without it getting ruined in a few months. There is also some body work on the steel sides to be done, and the concrete floor needs to be repaired where water has infiltrated it. One of the most important things will be to go over the running gear and brakes to make sure it’s safe for passenger service. Perhaps in a few months, this coach can finally wear the name “STEWARTSTOWN” on it’s letterboard, as we begin excursions over the line again.
Crew Chief: James Kuhlman
Return Mighty Mo to Service:
Mighty Mo, a 1943 Plymouth ML-8, is currently undergoing maintenance necessary to return it to service. Known as #9, Mighty Mo was the “work horse” for many years on the Stewartstown Railroad running freight. For now, she’ll be pulling out passenger coaches and cabooses later this year when we begin running full-sized train equipment again. Mighty Mo needs the rest of it’s radiator cores tested and soldered to prevent anti-freeze leaks as well as a chain repair, and brake-rigging hooked back up. Once these repairs are complete, she’ll be back on the road and in service.
Class 1 Track Crew:
Many ties need to be changed in order to get our track up to FRA Class 1 Standards. Roughly 1 in 4 ties needs to be good, especially at joints and centers. Hundreds of ties have already been replaced with many more to go. Our track crew is fortunate enough to have a backhoe, air spiker, and tie crane to assist with rehabilitation efforts. If you like to work on track, enjoy the outdoors, and are looking to get some exercise come join us. We aren’t just limited to changing ties, we also replace joint bars, cut brush, and tighten bolts.
Crew Chief: John von Briesen
Stewartstown Railbus Restoration:
The Stewartstown Railroad has acquired an ex-Erie, ex-New Hope and Ivy railbus. Believed to have originally been built for the Erie Railroad in the 1930’s, the railbus was moved to the Stewartstown property in late January, 2014, from the Walkersville Southern Railroad. Immediate plans include photographing and cataloging the railbus, and then developing a restoration plan.
The Railbus as it exists now is comprised of the wheeled frame, engine, transmission and dashboard/control panel. Side panels and doors are currently stored separately. The roof was destroyed over twenty years ago during a move to the Walkersville Southern, and will need to be rebuilt from scratch.
Photos seem to show that the railbus, which is powered by a Chevrolet ‘Stovebolt’ 6-cylinder engine with a three speed manual transmission, originally sat twelve passengers. The railbus appears to have been manufactured by the Kalamazoo Railway Supply company, though that is not certain. Pictures of the railbus can be found at the Stewartstown Railroad’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/stewartstownrailroad
We’d love to hear from anyone with any information that may help us determine the history and origins of this unique railcar. If you have any information regarding this railbus, or would like to volunteer on the railroad or assist in our restoration efforts, please contact the Stewartstown Railroad.
We look forward to restoring this unique piece of railroading history to its former glory. Be sure to watch for updates in the future!