Warm and muggy Saturdays are great for ice cream - and when combined with a steam-powered locomotive, it's even better! A few times a year, such as Saturday, July 15, 2017, the Everett Railroad in Hollidaysburg, PA will host an Ice Cream Special - using their 2-6-0 #11 Alco-built locomotive to power trains past their normal run-around stop at Brookes Mills and to the former Pennsylvania Railroad depot at Roaring Spring, PA. There, the passengers can enjoy a scoop of ice cream at the original PRR depot, built in 1906, while the train goes to a nearby siding so the engine can run around the train for the return trip. Numerous new angles are seen here in this video - and I hope you enjoy this look at Summer Steam and Ice Cream from the Everett Railroad!!
Friday, July 21, 2017 was a rather historic day for the town of Honesdale, PA - as a series of steam-powered excursions ran on The Stourbridge Line for the first time since 1979. The motive power for this particular set of trips was Viscose Company 0-4-0 #6, which pulled an impressive set of cars out and back on five hour-long excursions each day of the weekend. The diminutive tank engine, sporting "The Stourbridge Line" and Lion magnets (in honor the first steam locomotive to operate in the US, the Stourbridge Lion) pulled two cabooses, four passenger cars, and the "presidential car", the Wellsboro, by itself on each run. This day marked the official "Return of Steam" to Honesdale and The Stourbridge Line. Enjoy this footage from both onboard and trackside!
Over Labor Day weekend in 2017, the Allentown and Auburn Railroad operated one of the only two remaining operational Pennsylvania Railroad "doodlebugs" for a series of weekend trips between Kutztown and Topton, PA. Built by the Brill Company in 1930, this self-propelled railcar served various PRR mainlines and branch lines throughout their system, hauling passengers and small quantities of freight in the baggage area of the car. The exterior of the car still could use some TLC, but it runs just fine for the A&A's rural line, providing a classic look of what she would have been doing in her career.
What makes the operation of this doodlebug more interesting is that the A&A runs on a former Reading Railroad branch line. So, in this case, we have a Pennsy Doodlebug in Reading Territory. Enjoy!
The family-owned private Bucksgahuda & Western Railroad, in St. Mary's PA, is open twice a year - the third Sunday of August and September every year. The August open house is called "Railroader's Day", and I was there on August 20, 2017 for my second visit.
The two-foot narrow-gauge railroad owns two active steam locomotives - "Peter", a home-made two-truck Shay locomotive, built in the 1960's, is the first locomotive you'll see in action - along the "St. Mary's and Southwestern" branch of the railroad - extending out into the nearby woods, and past their own wye trackage as well.
The second locomotive is "Otto" - an 0-4-0 Henschel steam locomotive - built in Germany and imported here. Otto is seen doing some very impressive work along the grades of the loop through the woods. After a steep downhill descent, which requires hand brakes to be used on all of the cars, Otto puts on a show climbing back up the hill, through the various curves and grades on the way back up to the station area.
Even though this little railroad is only open to the public for two days per year, it's one that you can't miss. I highly recommend a visit when it is open on the third Sunday of every August/September!