Volunteers from the Friends of the Stewartstown Railroad take on various restoration projects around the railroad, from coach restoration, to open-air car building, and tie replacement just to name a few.
Project #1: Open-Air Observation Car Conversion
Crew Chiefs: John von Briesen and Larry Morgan
Getting the Car Ready for Service (Updated 4-15-18)
With the carpentry phase completed, the Friends’ open-air excursion car crew is now painting the wood. The chosen color scheme will be similar to that of the Stewartstown station colors: sky-blue ceiling with brown sides and a creme trim. A silver, corrugated roof was installed by a contractor to reflect sunlight as well as keep water out. Miles Weaver is fabricating a set of stairs and the seats will soon be installed. The seating was positioned down the center of the car, allowing for passengers to have a generous viewing angle as the car travels down the track. A single-car air brake test will be scheduled within the next few weeks. It is anticipated that the car will be ready for it’s maiden-voyage in July 2018. Stay tuned! Periodic updates can be found on our Facebook Page.
The Carpentry Phase has been completed.
As December 2017 came to a close, a volunteer crew lead by John von Briesen framed the passenger compartment of the Friends’ open-air excursion car. Miles Weaver fabricated steel supports to reinforce the frame. Larry, Russ, John B. and Dave Baur cut several pieces of lumber. Together, this crew assembled nearly 40% of the car. Work continued into January 2018 weekly as the weather and temperature allowed.
October 1, 2017 Progress Photo (Courtesy of Bill Larduskey)
Work began in Summer 2017 on the Open-air Excursion Car Project
Friends’ Members hit the ground running starting in summer 2017 on the Friends’ former PRR flatcar. One of the first major obstacles was the steel decking welded to the frame by Conrail. The welding was rather thick and well-done, leaving conventional tools such as cut-off discs not a feasible option for removal. Thankfully, one of our neighbors, a towing and salvage company, was kind enough to donate their time and expertise to remove it with rather large torches. With the steel deck out of the way the first official workday was scheduled in July 2017. Cleaning, grinding, and priming began and pretty well continued thru late August. Painting of the car followed, and should completed by mid-October. We chose a gloss-black oil-based paint as the “foundation” of the car.
How this project Began
The Friends’ received a tip from Friends’ Member Mr. Dave Williamson back in early 2017. He had been following what appeared to be a long-since forgotten flatcar in Columbia, Pennsylvania. After submitting an inquiry, we had been informed a short-time later that the Friends’ had received a donation from Norfolk Southern Corporation! We had 60 days to remove a piece of Pennsylvania Railroad history: former PRR flatcar #473822. We thank Norfolk Southern Corporation for this generous gift. The flatcar, formerly located in Columbia, Pennsylvania, not far from Stewartstown, was moved to Stewartstown by highway on February 14, 2017. Gordon’s Towing, Inc. of Stewartsown, PA., was very QUICK, CAREFUL, and PROFESSIONAL in moving the car for us. It now sits on the “wye” track in Stewartstown where volunteers are working on its conversion into an open-air observation car.
Your generosity makes a difference
Fundraising efforts to keep this project moving forward are on-going. Donations can be made with a credit card thru PayPal below, or by mailing a check or money order payable to the Friends of the Stewartstown Railroad to P.O. Box 456, Stewartstown, PA 17363-0456. Please be sure to notate on your check or money order ‘flatcar fund’ to ensure that it goes toward this project.
Thank you for supporting this project!
Project #2: Coach 1158 Restoration
Crew Chiefs: Matt Mundis and Richard Raubenstine
Update coming soon.
Project #3: Coach 1341 Metal Roof Restoration
Crew Chief: Richard Raubenstine
Update coming soon.
For Stewartstown Railroad Company workdays, please visit this page for their most current work schedule.