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 Post subject: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Restor
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:03 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:26 pm
Posts: 59
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!


Attachments:
File comment: Railbus in Erie livery
Erie.jpg
Erie.jpg [ 31.05 KiB | Viewed 5105 times ]
File comment: Railbus on the New Hope and Ivy
NH+I.jpg
NH+I.jpg [ 100.3 KiB | Viewed 5105 times ]
File comment: Railbus as of January, 2014
Railbus on Wye.jpg
Railbus on Wye.jpg [ 79.51 KiB | Viewed 5105 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:02 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:05 pm
Posts: 329
Location: Philadelphia, Pa
Did it ever run on the NH&I. As many times as I've been there since the 1970s, I've never seen it.


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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1477
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
The 1st photo looks like at Railways to Yesterday on the East Broad Top Railroad & Coal Company in Pennsylvania.
The 2nd looks like on the Buckingham Lumber Co. siding at Buckingham Valley, Pa, probably operating during a Railfan Weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:26 pm
Posts: 59
Steve -
I never rode on it myself, but we've heard from people who said that they did. One of our members even talked to the McHugh brothers.
Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:12 am
Posts: 484
Location: Somewhere off the coast of New England
Steve Singer wrote:
Did it ever run on the NH&I. As many times as I've been there since the 1970s, I've never seen it.

I was thinking the same thing. A Kalamazoo railbus is something I would have noticed. The green color on the frame makes me think it might have actually been a piece of McHugh Bros equipment and not used on the tourist line per se but in the construction and equipment leasing operations.

Moving to the Walkersville Southern 20 years ago puts it in the early 90s and this is consistent with the departure of the McHughs as operators and the sale of the line by the county. Much of the McHugh kept its NH&I markings for some time after they left the railroad.

I recall seeing a hi-rail boom truck lettered for the NH&I working on the MBTA Blue Line near Logan Airport in the early ninetys and a quick inquiry indicated that it was McHugh equipment, not the railroad's.

GME


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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:46 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:52 pm
Posts: 522
Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota
mruanejr wrote:
The Stewartstown Railroad has acquired an ex-Erie, ex-New Hope and Ivy railbus.


While I certainly laud the fact that this group of stalwarts have saved this interesting and unique piece of rolling stock, I question calling it a "railbus." That puts it into the class of rolling stock akin to the "Mickey Dinks" on the Narragansett Pier Railroad, the rail buses on the Arlington & Fairfax or the Mack railbuses operated by several railroads, including the New Haven RR.

Call it what you will, the vehicle in question is a gang railcar used to transport track workers to & from the job site. It was not designed for passenger carriage as a railbus was.

Thanks!

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Jim Vaitkunas
Minnesota Streetcar Museum
www.trolleyride.org


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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:01 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
Posts: 1025
Maybe it should be called a "Rail mini-bus". This is to a full-scale railbus (e.g. a Cal Western "Skunk") as a 15-passenger van is to a TDH-4801.

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Southern California


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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8822
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
While I will readily agree that attempting to promote this thing as an "Erie railbus" is an abject travesty of false marketing, especially when a real Erie doodlebug still languishes at the Ohio Railway Museum, a few "railbuses" this small did, indeed, see legitimate revenue service in the 1920s and 1930s here and there. I've no doubt that the real-life Stewartstown Railroad might have tried to use such a critter in that era to maintain connections to the PRR trains at New Freedom if they could have sourced one cheap, at least until the local "jitney" got better seats. This "bus" is perfectly in keeping with the "Toonerville Trolley" aspect of the line's existence and operation.

That "car," however, is perhaps the most sterling example of "some work required." I seem to recall the problem they had with this at the WS is that it looked way too far "gone" for anyone to develop the desire to work on.


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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5291
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
a real Erie doodlebug still languishes at the Ohio Railway Museum


Certainly don't mean to hijack this thread, but since the subject apparently is Erie railbuses, what about that one at the Ohio Railway Museum? I thought some group had acquired it. Yes or no?

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:38 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
Posts: 1025
Do we know what vintage that Chevy "mill" is? Having owned 1941, '52, '53 and '59 Chevys with straight-sixes (and my dad had a 1929 and a 1937), it looks like "old home".

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Southern California


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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:44 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:51 pm
Posts: 136
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Sandy might be repeating himself, or at least rhyming:

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4207&hilit=brookville+speeder+bus

...but he is right, there is much more work there than you think. But it can be done, given enough time/shop space/manpower.

http://www.blrhs.org/brookville_railcar.htm

- take lots of photos now, and at EVERY step of the disassembly
- start looking for your specialists (motor, transmission, carpentry, sheet metal) now
- make sure you have secure storage for the parts, and label each one
- be patient and flexible, but set realistic (multi-year) thresholds, unless you can spend 40hrs a week on it.
- Good Luck!

Nick


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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1477
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
On NH&I, it was listed as a 12 Passenger Fairmount Rail Motor Coach.
A while ago, I posted a link to an on-line photo of it in the 1950s on
the Erie in Pennsylvania.


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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:20 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8822
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Not to hijack this thread further, but this does raise the interesting philosophical/public-relations question as to exactly what happens if/when someone shows up at a "historic railroad" operation, expecting a "train ride," and is pointed instead to something like this.

There are indeed precedents for such operations: Wanamaker, Kempton & Southern proudly marketed in the 1970s and 1980s "The Berksey," a big Fairmount speeder with a home-built "trolley body" atop it for off-season rides; the Strasburg for a while (still?) offered winter rides on the LO&S wooden-bodied doodlebug; and some operations focused entirely on speeder runs.

When I show up at a place not even expecting a ride of any sort and I get one (someone shows up with a speeder at a station open house, for example, or I show up when nothing's running and they pull out a loco, freight train, or maintenance car to give me a ride), of course I'm delighted. If I show up expecting a slick, professional operation, and I'm told to park on the grass and ride a noisy speeder, I may be easy-going, but the spousal unit and her flock or family may well read me the Riot Act on the way home. (Well, not *mine*--she's used to this weirdness by now.) And I don't even want to think what happens if Mr. Sue-Everyone-For-Complete-ADA-Access Railfan shows up, as I fear he will.....


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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2226
wherever the origin Stewartstown found a very curious vehicle to use and certainly can run some mini-trips with it while they continue working on other things, not bad guys.

Perhaps they can figure out a trailer car for some added capacity.


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 Post subject: Re: Stewartstown Railroad Acquires ex-Erie Railbus, plans Re
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:32 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2226
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Not to hijack this thread further, but this does raise the interesting philosophical/public-relations question as to exactly what happens if/when someone shows up at a "historic railroad" operation, expecting a "train ride," and is pointed instead to something like this.

There are indeed precedents for such operations: Wanamaker, Kempton & Southern proudly marketed in the 1970s and 1980s "The Berksey," a big Fairmount speeder with a home-built "trolley body" atop it for off-season rides; the Strasburg for a while (still?) offered winter rides on the LO&S wooden-bodied doodlebug; and some operations focused entirely on speeder runs.

When I show up at a place not even expecting a ride of any sort and I get one (someone shows up with a speeder at a station open house, for example, or I show up when nothing's running and they pull out a loco, freight train, or maintenance car to give me a ride), of course I'm delighted. If I show up expecting a slick, professional operation, and I'm told to park on the grass and ride a noisy speeder, I may be easy-going, but the spousal unit and her flock or family may well read me the Riot Act on the way home. (Well, not *mine*--she's used to this weirdness by now.) And I don't even want to think what happens if Mr. Sue-Everyone-For-Complete-ADA-Access Railfan shows up, as I fear he will.....


your looking at false advertising, bub.

If they promoted "UP BIG BOY COMING" then get a rail bus...sure

Their not going to do that. They have equipment there restoration in progress as well as the railcar, the rail car may give them a quicker up to operating and hauling passengers.
Its all a work in progress, I think its a good idea.


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