So why come to Ely in the winter? Bottom Line? Steam locomotive 93 looks good on an 85-degree day in August but wait till you see it on a zero degree-day in February. Billowing white clouds of steam plus plumes of black & gray smoke towering above the canyons and valleys. Snow? Weather on the high desert is capricious! It can range from blizzard conditions to cobalt blue skies sometimes within minutes. In the past we've experienced every type of meteorological conditions that wintertime Ely experiences, including shirtsleeve weather. But regardless of the weather, the show goes on.
The Narrow Gauge Railroad Time Forgot...Nestled in the hills of south central Pennsylvania is a railroad that time has left behind. When you visit the East Broad Top Railroad today, you will ride behind an authentic steam locomotive pulling wooden cars over a scenic five-mile route that is part of the original main line. But you will also find much more: A ghost railroad, shut down over 50 years ago, but never abandoned. Sitting quietly ever since, the East Broad Top Railroad is a slice of history that, unlike many other small lines, was never torn up. Now, the same rails that at once saw steam engines hauling trains of coal rust quietly in the forest. In Rockhill Furnace, the shops, originally built in the nineteenth century and fully equipped to maintain the railroad, its locomotives and rolling stock, wait for the skilled workers who will never return. In this time capsule of American Industrial History, you can still find work started over a half century ago waiting patiently for the skilled hands, long gone, to return to the lathes, drills and forges.
Maine's Wiscasset, Waterville, and Farmington Railway was a two-foot gauge common carrier railroad that operated from 1894 until 1933. The line ran from Wiscasset in the south, to Albion and Winslow in the north, never making it to either Waterville or Farmington. The Museum is located at the site of the old Sheepscot station in Alna, with mainline track running north from Cross Road, on the original roadbed.
Travel back through time aboard the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad with the 1916 Baldwin 2-8-0 “Mountain Thunder”. You’ll climb through the spectacular scenery of the Allegheny Mountains in restored early 20th century rolling stock on a stunning 32 mile round trip between Cumberland and Frostburg. More than three hundred years of American history are tied together by a ribbon of steel that thrills riders of all ages.
A 45-minute train ride will take you through some of the most beautiful, peaceful and productive Pennsylvania Dutch Countryside, with a stop in Paradise, PA. From this unique vantage point, you'll see Amish farmers working in their fields, Amish children playing nearby; livestock grazing and farm produce waiting to be harvested. You'll come to appreciate why so many people choose to live in Lancaster County, PA and raise their children here.
Winslow Junction Train Derailment, Winslow, New Jersey: on the West Jersey and Seashore's Line near the Winslow Tower, at 12:30am, a derailment of Train 33, the Owl, when the shore bound train going 90 miles per hour, sped through an open switch at Winslow Junction. Four passengers, the engineer, fireman and conductor were killed, 65 were injured. Blame was fixed on the switchman in the tower and the Owl's engineer. This crash is memorialized with a sign at Winslow Junction, which reports the date incorrectly as July 21, 1922, and refers to the train as the 'Midnight Flyer'. It appears from reports in the New York Times dated from July 3 - July 8 1922, that 'Midnight Flier' was a nickname for this particular route/time.
Pere Marquette #1225's blueprints were the prototype for the locomotive image, and its sounds were used in the 2004 computer animated film “The Polar Express”. The film was based on the Caldecott Medal winning book of the same name. The children's book was written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, who grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and as a child attended every home football game at Michigan State, next to which this steam engine was on static display. He recalls playing on this engine many times as a child saying, "I remember that train on campus, I can't believe it's the same train! I climbed on that train. I actually stood on it.” Appropriately enough, the locomotive's road number is the date of Christmas, 12/25.
Shifting sands have revealed a piece of history on the ocean beach of Cape May, NJ. More than 100 feet of rusted, weathered, and preserved railroad track suddenly appeared along Sunset Beach last week.
In the early 1900's the tracks led to the Cape May Sand Co., but shifting sand from storms covered them up decades ago. According to historians, the last time these railroad tracks were exposed was back in the 1935.
The sand-mining operation began in 1905 and operated into the 1930s. Old pictures show steam shovels being used to dig up beach and dune sand. It was dumped into open train cars and hauled to an outdoor sorting facility nearby and then to a six-story, clapboard-sided wash house to sift out the seashells. The processed sand was then sent to glass factories. Old piling and piping are also showing up on the beach; part of the intake and outfall piping.
In a few of the photos a sunken ship can be seen, it is the concrete-constructed S.S. Atlantus. Launched in 1918, during a 1926 violent storm it slipped its mooring and plunged bow-first into the sand. Several attempts were made to free the transport ship, but none were successful.
Durango was founded by the Denver & Rio Grande Railway in 1879. The railroad arrived in Durango on August 5, 1881 and construction on the line to Silverton began in the fall of the same year. By July of 1882, the tracks to Silverton were completed, and the train began hauling both freight and passengers. The line was constructed to haul silver & gold ore from the San Juan Mountains, but passengers soon realized it was the view that was truly precious. This historic train has been in continuous operation for 127 years, carrying passengers behind vintage steam locomotives and rolling stock indigenous to the line. Relive the sights and sounds of yesteryear for a spectacular journey on board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
1003 Operations, LLP. maintains SOO LINE 1003 in an operable condition in accord with FRA regulations. A considerable effort is required to keep the engine at this level of repair. Volunteers and professionals cooperate in dealing with the complex tasks that need to be performed to keep a steam locomotive running well and safely. This work enables the locomotive to operate on mainline rails hauling trains of various kinds and making appearances in a variety of public events. SOO LINE 1003 allows children and adults of all ages the opportunity to witness the sights, sounds, and smells of the steam era of railroading. The locomotive becomes a live EXAMPLE reminding EVERYONE of the history and importance of rail transport in this nation.........in an era when railroads seem less woven into our lives THAN IN EARLIER DAYS.
Built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush, the White Pass & Yukon narrow gauge railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, a designation shared with the Panama Canal, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. The WP&YR climbs almost 3000 feet in just 20 miles and features steep grades of up to 3.9%, cliff-hanging turns of 16 degrees, two tunnels and numerous bridges and trestles. The steel cantilever bridge was the tallest of its kind in the world when it was constructed in 1901. White Pass & Yukon Route became a fully integrated transportation company operating docks, trains, stage coaches, sleighs, buses, paddlewheelers, trucks, ships, airplanes, hotels and pipelines. It provided the essential infrastructure servicing the freight and passenger requirements of Yukon's population and mining industry. The WP&YR suspended operations in 1982 when Yukon's mining industry collapsed due to low mineral prices. The railway was reopened in 1988 as a seasonal tourism operation and served 37,000 passengers. Today, the WP&YR is Alaska's most popular shore excursion carrying over 450,000 passengers during the May to September tourism season operating on the first 67.5 miles (Skagway, Alaska to Carcross, Yukon) of the original 110 mile line.
With a solid freight business in hand and a growing passenger operation underway, Andy Muller decided to begin the renovation of his steam engine, No. 425. At the end of 2007, No. 425 was back in service. In 2008, No. 425 will take thousands of guests on steam excursion trips throughout our operating territory.
Relive the golden age of railroads and discover a Colorado few get to see. Rio Grande Scenic Railroad’s steam engine rides through breathtaking mountain valleys and passes on hundreds of miles of historic rail. Today, more than 100 years later, the same standard gauge rails are still in use, carrying both freight and passengers over La Veta Pass on the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad and the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad.
When planning a summer visit to northeast Oregon, be sure to add the Sumpter Valley Railroad to your travel itinerary. History comes to life aboard the vintage trains as you travel through the heart of gold country in the scenic Sumpter Valley. Running between McEwen and the historic mining town of Sumpter, it’s a guarantee that the whole family will enjoy this relaxing trip back in time without having to leave the comfort of the present.
Steam into History, Inc. built and operates a steam train to chronicle the role York County, PA., played in Civil War history and to promote the area as a tourist destination. The William H. Simpson #17 is a faithful replica of the Civil War steam locomotive that carried Abraham Lincoln to deliver his now famous Gettysburg Address. These same tracks carried Lincoln's funeral train two years later. You can now ride on our newly built 1860s replica steam locomotive with newly built coaches that just arrived at the end of September 2013.
If the Rio Grande Southern Railroad had ever been a profitable endeavor with the changing economy of its fledgling days, the “Galloping Goose” might never have been “hatched” to accommodate travel by rail in the remote and isolated regions of far southwestern Colorado. The railroad was conceived and built in 1890-91 by the unflappable “Pathfinder of the San Juans,” Otto Mears. The RGS’s early revenues came mainly from the numerous silver and gold mines near Telluride, Ophir and Rico. Hauling hundreds of tons of precious metal ores and hundreds of passengers in and out of the area made the financial condition of the railroad extraordinarily strong for its first two and one-half years! However, the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act caused the Silver Panic of 1893, and silver prices plummeted. As a result, many silver mines were closed, people fled the area by the thousands, and the railroad slipped into its first receivership that same year.