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 Post subject: New Freedom train coming soon NOT associated with AFT
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:52 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

Everytime I saw the subject line I got tickled with my memory connecting the Stewartstown Railroad that runs between Stewartstown and New Freedom Pennsylvania.

The line was an interesting short line covered in MR(?) c1970. It was closed off to the outside world when Hurricane Agnes(?) hit the area and made the Penn Central line close but not abandoned. PC did not have the funds to reopen its ex-PRR line.

I seem to recall that the ex-PRR line has been reopened and there was a move to reopen the Stewartstown.

Anyone know of any information about this short line?

Thanks.

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: New Freedom train coming soon NOT associated with AFT
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:07 pm 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 611
Location: Bucks County, PA
Absolutely!

http://www.stewartstownrailroadco.com/

The short version - after the line went into bankruptcy, it was nearly abandoned...I'll let one of their news articles tell the story from September of 2013:

"The problem started five years ago, when President George Hart passed on and the railroad found that instead of the debt being forgiven as they had been assured it would be, the estate aggressively pursued collection of the entire amount owed. While fighting a rearguard legal action with the Surface Transportation Board, the company struggled to find ways of raising the funds to retire the debt. Under Hart’s administration, the company had ceased running trains in 2004 and the poor condition of the rail line prevented operation and generating an income, making conventional loans impractical. Efforts were made to find a buyer who would operate the line but were unsuccessful. In the end, a combination of loans from private individuals and sales of stock were assembled to raise the funds, which were turned over to the estate last week. The estate filed for the withdrawal of its abandonment petition earlier this week."

The railroad currently offers speeder rides, either a mile or so out, or occasionally all the way from Stewartstown to New Freedom. They also offer rides behind "Mighty Mo", their Plymouth engine, and two cabooses, a mile-plus to their current end-of-Class 1 trackage. They are also getting very close to finishing up refurbishing/restoring one of their passenger cars, to accommodate more people and raise more funds.

They do have volunteer "work weekends" and "work weeks", where help is needed with restoring tracks further - the goal, obviously, is to get all the way back to New Freedom - plus work on other coaches and the like.

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