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Colebrookdale Railroad acquires a second steam locomotive

By | March 29, 2021

Addition of former Rio Grande Scenic 2-8-0 comes as railroad says it will start steam program this year

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Colebrookdale Railroad Logo

Colebrookdale Railroad LogoBOYERTOWN, Pa. — In cooperation with the Maguire Family Foundation, tourist line Colebrookdale Railroad announced on March 27 that it has acquired former Rio Grande Scenic Railroad 2-8-0 No. 18. The engine was built for the Lake Superior & Ishpeming in Upper Michigan by Alco (Pittsburgh) in 1910. The acquisition comes after the railroad said earlier in the week it planned to launch a steam program this year, and is seeking funds to support the effort.

The 95-ton locomotive was purchased through equipment dealer Ozark Mountain Railcar, which is handling the liquidation of locomotives and rolling stock from the bankrupt Iowa Pacific Holdings. The locomotive, which has a year to go before its boiler requires a 1,472-day inspection, will be shipped to Pennsylvania from Alamosa, Colo. on a flatcar. No. 18 will join Grand Trunk Western 4-6-2 No. 5030, purchased in February from the City of Jackson, Mich., where it had been on display since the 1950s [see “Digest: Massachusetts governor signs transportation bill …,” Trains News Wire, Jan. 18, 2021]. That locomotive will require extensive restoration work to be returned to operating condition.

Nathaniel Guest is executive director of Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust, the non-profit group restoring and operating the railroad between Pottstown and Boyertown, Pa. In a press release announcing plans for the steam program, Guest said, “This has been a VERY difficult year.  There are opportunities for amazing things ahead, steam included, but we will need the help of our donors and volunteers.” More information on the railroad’s team plans is available here. — Wayne Laepple and Trains staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Colebrookdale Railroad acquires a second steam locomotive

  1. I had the opportunity to ride behind the 18 over LaVeta Pass in an open vestibule. Quite the experience going through tunnels only feet from the tender of the loco. Having attended college in da Yoopee and married to a yooper, I am happy to hear the ex-LS&I loco may have a future.

  2. I also rode behind this engine over LaVeta pass and listening to her BARK as she climbed that grade was a memorable experience. Glad to know she’s gong to a good home.

  3. My Pennsylvania tourist train riding scorecard:

    Strasburg (5 times over my soon to be 60 years, last time in summer 2019)
    Steamtown down to Moscow in 2003
    WK&S in 2007 (as well as chasing the WK&S in my car in 2010)
    and
    Middletown & Hummelstown in 2009

    Of those four only the M&H was behind diesel.

    Props to the Colebrookdale for going steam, but that aside, is the Colebrookdale worth it?

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