Saturday, July 5, 2014

America's Newest Steam Engine

On our way home from Gettysburg we visited the Northern Central Railroad in New Freedom Pa. The Steam Into History organization has a large section of the original tracks of this road. Originally laid as a double track railroad in the 1850's, only one track still exists while the rest of the road bed is used as a bike/walking trail. There is no fence or guard rails between the trains and the bikers. I asked the engineer about this and was told that on rare occasions someone gets close but not normally. Sometimes folks will even race the train. At a 10 mile an hour speed limit, the train seldom wins. The star of this railroad is one of the newest steam locomotives built in the US. The York 17

This locomotive is less than two years old. Built by the Kloke Locomotive Works in Elgin Il., it was their second locomotive. For the train buffs, rail fans, and techies it is an "American 4-4-0" design, oil fired boiler, and weighs in at just 88,000 pounds (a mere 44 tons), a real light weight as locomotives go. The rest of the specs are:
16" x 24"
Driving Wheels
50" outside diameter
Boiler Pressure
160 lbs
156, 2" diameter
Engine & Tender Length
Engine & Tender Weight
88,000 lbs
Tender Tank Capacity
2,000 gallons
To get a closer look at this beauty as it was being built click here

On our visit we took a ride and were both educated, entertained, and met some characters on board.

So why is this such a historic railroad and train????? In 1863 the Civil War was still raging. The Battle of Gettysburg had been fought in this area just a few month earlier. A memorial ceremony was being planned on the Gettysburg battle field to honor those that had given their lives for this cause. President Abraham Lincoln had been invited to say a few words. Amazingly he was not the main speaker, but his words, known as the Gettysburg Address, have lived on in history.
To travel to and from Washington DC to Gettysburg he took a train very similar to this one, and traveled on these same tracks. Unfortunately a short time later Lincoln would again ride these rails, but this time would be to his final resting place in Illinois.

And while you're there, after you stop at the Pizza place for lunch, walk down to the New Freedom Station and visit the Railroad Museum. You won't be sorry.



Anonymous said...

What a beauty!

It turns out I missed a chance to go by lokomotive just two weeks ago, I didn't read the commercials that came by mail until the day after the event :-) That would have been something to write about!

I hope You had a fun 4th of July!

Sandra said...

i had no idea they still build these old beauties and this one is a winner..

L. D. said...

This is such a neat posting about the new train. I am so glad they made it in the USA. Our Boone Scenic Valley Railroad organization, north of us in Boone, Iowa bought a regular size engine from China. They shipped it here as I guess no one makes new steam engines full size. Enjoyed your post.

Ludwig Keck said...

Thank you for this delightful story. It makes me feel good all over knowing that there are people dedicated to recreating such marvels.

William Kendall said...

It's a beautiful engine!

A Quiet Corner said...

If only we were so well preserved!...:)JP

Emma Springfield said...

It is so beautiful. Trains helped to expand the borders of our country.

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Ah, when trains were trains...

DeniseinVA said...

An absolute beauty! what a fun ride this must have been.

Ginnie said...

Thanks for the history lesson Grenville. Between the pictures and the text I felt like I was there.

Elaine said...

Fantastic! I know you had a field day!

Anvilcloud said...

Who knew that they build new, old trains? They didn't have pizza then though. :)

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