NOTE: The Lite Version is our electronic version which is available for free from this web site.  It has limited content but gives you a taste of what is offered in our Full Version.

The Full Version is our printed newsletter which is mailed to you.  It contains everything in the Lite Version along with many other reprinted pages from other NRHS newsletters, railroad publications, and flyers that contain photographs, drawings, and maps.  The full version is just another benefit of joining our chapter. 

The Wilmington Chapter NRHS Official Newsletter
Internet Edition


Back To Wilmington Chapter Web Site


If our normal "THIRD THURSDAY" NRHS meeting is canceled due to inclement weather, it will be postponed and held on the FOURTH THURSDAY.

If it must again be canceled, it will NOT be rescheduled. We will simply wait for the next month's normal "third Thursday" meeting. If the weather looks bad or is predicted to be bad, you may telephone the Claymont Community Center to see if it will be open that evening for our meeting.

Chapter Holiday Banquet set for Dec. 9

The Wilmington Chapter's annual holiday banquet is set for 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 at Maximillian's Tavern & Restaurant, 3001 Naamans Creek Road in Upper Chichester, Pa. The cost for the buffet dinner is $22, payable in cash or check.

We need to submit a head count to the restaurant by Friday, Nov. 30. Please sign up on the sheet during the October or November meetings or drop a line with your name and number of guests to Chapter President Mike Burkhart at or call 610-833-2338.

As in years past, Steve Barry will give a presentation on his 2012 travels. Come celebrate the end of the year with fellow chapter members. We hope to see you there.


The museum then put No. 261 up for sale for $225,000, and found a taker in a California businessman who hoped to buy the engine and have the Friends overhaul and operate it. That deal fell through in March 2010. The museum then offered to sell 261 directly to the Friends, which finalized the purchase in May 2010.

The rebuilding effort then went into high gear. Parts were stripped off the engine, and in July 2010 a crane lifted the 227,000-pound boiler off the driving wheels, which were shipped out for quartering and to have the tires turned. Various appliances were rebuilt, an ultrasound inspection of the boiler was conducted, and staybolts replaced as needed. In December 2011 the locomotive got its wheels back, and in July 2012 it passed a hydrostatic boiler test, paving the way for final reassembly and fire up.

At 6:41 a.m. on Sept. 29, a fire was lit in the boiler of the 1944 Alco for the first time since 2008. All day the crew of Friends employees and volunteers conducted static testing of various systems, tested the boiler under pressure, and set the safety valves. Finally, at 6:14 p.m., Friends of the 261 Chief Operating Officer Steve Sandberg pulled the throttle, and the locomotive moved again, making several runs back and forth on yard tracks outside the Friends shop to check 261 new spring rigging and side rod bearings.

There are no plans for No. 261 to pull public trips in 2012, but Sandberg said the organization hopes to operate an excursion with the locomotive in the spring of 2013. The Friends is also operating two diesel-powered fund-raising excursions on Oct. 13-14 from Minneapolis to Superior, Wis., and Minneapolis to Winona and La Crescent, Minn. For more information go to (Trains NewsWire via Baltimore Chapter's Interchange via Ed Thornton)

At 20 years he is like the local, he stops at every station.

At 30 years he is like the special, he stops only at the large towns.

At 40 years he is like the express, he stops at the big cities only.

At 50 years he is like the old locomotive, he stops often to water.

At 60 years he doesn't leave any more...he remains in the yard.

At 70 years he is in the scrap yard not good for anything with most of his usable parts gone.

(Piedmont Flyer NewsWire via Baltimore Chapter's Interchange via Ed Thornton)

The three new tracks and platform, which were removed more than 35 years ago, were reestablished to serve the increasing train travel demand, which today surpasses that of World War II. Ridership on Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner, the second busiest corridor in the nation, has increased significantly in the last 10 years. Los Angeles Union Station is the nation's fifth busiest train station serving more than two million Amtrak and Metrolink passengers annually. New station tracks 13 and 14 and platform 7 will augment the existing tracks 3-12 which currently serve Amtrak national trains, Amtrak California's the Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink service. Track 15 will be used as storage. The project's design maintained the stations historic architectural style and includes north and south stairways and accessible ramps that connect to the main passenger tunnel. Other enhancements include a new electronic passenger information system and energy efficient lighting renovations to the existing platform canopy. The new track construction, which was managed by Metrolink, began in May 2011 and was complete in September 2012. The $23.5 million project was funded with $20.5 million in Proposition 1B, $2,656,000 in federal funds and $344,000 in local funds. [AMTRAK Press Release via Ed Mayover]

Illinois has become a national leader in passenger rail expansion. Total ridership on Amtrak's four Illinois routes has grown nearly 75% over the past six years, rising to more than 2.1 million passengers last year. Ridership on today's Chicago-St. Louis Lincoln Service alone has doubled in that time period, despite relatively slow speeds and aging equipment. When completed, trains traveling from Chicago to St. Louis will reach top speeds matching those of trains now traveling between Chicago and Detroit, the fastest passenger trains in North America outside of the East Coast.

The day's demonstration began at the soon-to-be renovated Joliet Union Station and ended at Normal's brand new multi-modal train station, where transportation officials highlighted the modern upgrades, accommodations and benefits Amtrak travelers will experience first-hand in the near future. Before it was complete, the new Normal station and promise of 110-mph service had attracted more than $200 million in private investments to its downtown area, an example of how rail investment attracts economic growth. Future rail investments along the Chicago to St. Louis corridor will spur economic activity across Illinois in Springfield, Dwight, Pontiac, Lincoln, Carlinville, Alton and Joliet where new or newly-renovated stations are under development or in the planning stages. [AMTRAK Press Release via Ed Mayover]

The celebration took place at Pittsburgh's SouthSide Works, where the $13 million J&L Tunnel project will soon become the latest Phase One project to increase the vertical clearance on CSX rail lines to accommodate trains carrying double-stack intermodal containers. Phase One, creating double-stack rail access between CSX's state-of-the-art intermodal terminal in Northwest Ohio, and its new modern intermodal terminal in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, is scheduled to be completed by spring 2013, and will enable more freight to move through the region on the same number of trains.

The J&L Tunnel clearance project, an upgrade to a tunnel built in the 1880s that runs directly through the SouthSide Works complex, will help alleviate pressure on regional highways and lower the cost of doing business in the Pittsburgh region by improving access to intermodal freight shipping options.

The J&L Tunnel upgrade and other National Gateway projects are funded through contributions by CSX and the federal government, as well as a $35 million Pennsylvania Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) Grant. The State of Ohio is also contributing $30 million to this first phase of clearance work.

As one of the nation's largest transportation projects, National Gateway will create more than 50,000 jobs over a 30-year period, including more than 9,000 jobs for Pennsylvania. When completed in 2015, to coincide with the expansion of the Panama Canal, which is expected to increase traffic through East Coast ports, the National Gateway will provide more than $1.6 billion in public benefits to Pennsylvania in the route's first 30 years of operations by decreasing fuel consumption, lowering emissions, improving safety, reducing highway maintenance costs and saving shipping costs. [CSX press release via Ed Mayover]

A Metro-North Railroad spokeswoman told the newspaper a 45-minute delay in May occurred when a squirrel caused a transformer to short out. Cole said other problems have been caused by pigeons and raccoons. [via Dan Frederick]

Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society (M&PRPS) - In its protest statement, SRC indicates that it has previously shipped cars and material for M&PRPS, and that M&PRPS also opposes the Estate's adverse abandonment application. On August 17, 2011, M&PRPS submitted a letter of opposition asserting that its right-of-way is not connected to the national rail network and that, therefore, SRC "has been a key asset in transporting full-size historic rail equipment" to its facility. M&PRPS concludes that it would like to keep SRC's Line available as an "option for future rail deliveries of this type."

Although M&PRPS suggests that it has used SRC in the past, it fails to indicate when and in what quantities. M&PRPS does not dispute that the Line has been out of service since 1992, and does not indicate a present need for, or a present commitment to, rail service by SRC. It merely states that the SRC's Line is needed as an "option" for future rail deliveries. However, there is no evidence to indicate that M&PRPS will actually utilize the Line in the future. Based upon the record, M&PRPS has made no commitments for rail shipments, and its desire to keep SRC's Line available as an "option" for rail deliveries does not demonstrate that freight traffic will actually materialize in the future.

Internet Factory, Inc. (IFI) - Although not mentioned in SRC's protest statement, IFI filed a letter in opposition to the Estate's adverse abandonment application on August 22, 2011. IFI asserts that it plans to complete a 10+ year project in which it would acquire, recycle, and refurbish old locomotives, using proprietary green technology, and then resell or lease them. IFI states that it plans to establish its base operations in Southern York County along the SRC Line "within the next few years." Based upon the company's projections, IFI states that it anticipates shipping 12 carloads of scrap metal per year, receiving 10 carloads of parts and supplies from various railroad vendors per year, and receiving/shipping five locomotives per year, depending on demand. IFI asserts that shipping costs alone, to send and receive parts by rail, including locomotives, engines, traction motors, batteries, wheels, and truck assemblies, would significantly increase if these parts had to be moved by tractor-trailer, as special permits, escorts, and other drastic measures would be required. Therefore, IFI submits that rail service is very essential to its project's needs. IFI acknowledges that SRC has some obstacles to overcome. However, it concludes that, combined with its projected traffic, and that from other shippers, sufficient demand exists for freight rail traffic.

Even though SRC has not identified IFI as a potential shipper, we will still review its letter of opposition to determine whether there is the potential for future rail traffic over the Line. According to IFI, it hopes to establish its base operations along the SRC Line within the next few years, and anticipates shipping or receiving as many as 22 carloads of traffic and five locomotives per year (i.e., 27 revenue movements).

VICE CHAIRMAN MULVEY, commenting: Adverse abandonments are among the more difficult matters that come before the Board. In these cases, the Board must decide whether to end a rail carrier's right to provide service over its line—against that carrier's wishes. The Board carefully considers whether there is convincing evidence of a present or future public need for rail service over the line. The Board's inquiry typically turns to whether there is a realistic possibility for future freight rail traffic. In this case, I agree with the Decision's conclusion that renewed rail service is unlikely given the line's inoperable physical status, the lack of traffic over the last 20 years, and the absence of a realistic chance for future traffic.

In adverse abandonment cases, the Board has gone to great lengths to give the benefit of the doubt to the rail carrier's expectations for future traffic. For example, in Norfolk Southern Railway—Adverse Abandonment—St. Joseph County, Ind., AB 290 (Sub-No. 286) (STB served Feb. 14, 2008), the Board denied an adverse abandonment, despite a statement from the shipper on the line that it did not intend to use rail. Although I ultimately disagreed with the Board's decision in St. Joseph County (because I believe the Board erred in finding that there was a potential for future traffic given the shipper's statements), I am comfortable that the Board has given the benefit of the doubt to SRC in this case.[43] Weighing all of the facts, the Board has determined that there are simply too many obstacles to the resumption of rail service, including, but certainly not limited to, the carrier's inability to proffer anything other than speculative future business possibilities.I also believe that there is a public interest in ensuring that SRC does not use the Board's auspices as a shield against the repayment of a legitimately incurred debt. The RTP directs the Board to regulate in such a manner to foster sound economic conditions in transportation and encourage efficient management of railroads.

COMMISSIONER BEGEMAN, dissenting: I disagree with the Board's decision to grant the adverse abandonment that would require the dissolution of the Stewartstown Railroad Company's (SRC) rail line in York County, Pa.

The record shows that a number of parties are opposed to the Board granting an adverse abandonment here. The record also shows that several potential shippers have expressed interest in obtaining freight rail service from SRC, while others consider even the possibility of rail service to be an important factor in promoting the area's community and economic development efforts. In fact, the only party that has weighed in to support abandonment is the applicant itself, which is seeking to fill the coffers of an estate's beneficiary—a matter that the Board should not have a role in one way or the other, let alone be the overarching policy objective that it appears to be in this decision.

I do not read, nor can I interpret, the rail transportation policy in 49 U.S.C. § 10101 or any other parts of the Board's governing statute to allow it to force a rail line abandonment over the clear objections of the carrier, local government officials, potential shippers, and other interested parties when there isn't an overriding and compelling public purpose for which the line in question is needed. Yet this adverse abandonment has little to do with the public good, but instead serves only private interests. [via Ed Thornton]$file/41966.pdf

The VIA Rail equipment being provided includes ten coach cars and two dome cars. From Nov. 20 - 27, the Canadian equipment will be used on the New York state supported Adirondack service operating between Albany-Rensselaer and Montreal. This will allow some Amtrak equipment used on that route to be reassigned adding about 300 seats to trains operating on the Northeast Corridor during the holiday travel period and will result in an additional 60 seats being available on the Adirondack service. VIA Rail and Amtrak have a long-standing partnership and jointly transport passengers across the U.S. - Canadian border, facilitating train transfers between New York and Toronto, New York and Montreal, and Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, B.C.

Thanksgiving is the busiest travel period of the year for Amtrak and America's Railroad® is prepared to accommodate additional passengers with extra trains scheduled in the Northeast Corridor, the Chicago hub, the Pacific Northwest and in California. Amtrak will use every available passenger rail car in its fleet and will operate its special holiday schedule in the Northeast as repairs have been made following Hurricane Sandy. [Amtrak press release via Ed Mayover]


Notices, announcements, schedules, etc. are provided here as a service to the members. The Chapter has no affiliation with any commercial operation, museum, or tourist line.

Until Dec. 30, 2012 ROLE OF RRs in PA During the CIVIL WAR at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg Railroads were a key to the successes of both the Union and Confederacy during the Civil War supplying Armies with munitions & food, transporting troops, prisoners & communications, the Civil War was first war in which railroads were a major factor.

Until April 19, 2013 Frank Furness: Working on the Railroads Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 546-3181, Free and open to the public

Until May 30, 2015 Civil War 150th Anniversary: The War Came By Train@ B&O RR Museum in Baltimore. Monday - Saturday (10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.), Sunday (11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) Between April 19, 1861 (The Baltimore Riot of 1861) and April 21, 1865 (Lincoln's funeral train leaving Baltimore for Illinois), the B&O stood witness and participant in the greatest conflict the U.S. has ever faced and changed the course of American history. The War Came By Train serves as the B&O Railroad Museum's primary attraction for the five year commemoration of the War's sesquicentennial. The National Landmark Roundhouse will exhibit the largest assemblage of Civil War railroad equipment in the world featuring locomotives and rail cars that served during the war, significant military and personal artifacts that will change annually to portray each year of the war (some artifacts never before on public display), and a narrated train ride to the original site of Camp Carroll, the largest Union encampment in Baltimore.

November 2012 - January or February 2013 Model Railroad Club Open Houses "Green Sheet" from Holiday Season Model Railroad Open Houses - November 2012 through February 2013available at includes the following clubs:
Abington Lines Model Railroad Club
Burlington County Model Railroad Club
Coopersburg Area Society of Model Engineers (CASME)
Chelten Hills Model Railroad Club
GA TSME Model Railroad Club
Keystone N-Trak
Logan Model Engineers
Royersford Modular Model Railroaders
Schuylkill Valley Model Railroad Club
Saint Alban's Railroad Fellowship (StARR)
Black Diamond Society of Model Engineers (BDSME)

also individually noted:

December 8, 2018 Wilmington Chapter's Christmas Lights Trolley Trip Leaves from Elmwood at 5 PM Come out for an evening of riding streetcars and get into the holiday spirit. Our PCC-2 will have its halls decked for this four-hour trip. Stops will be made to photograph our streetcar with colorful backgrounds. Fare for this trip is $45. You can get a combination ticket for this trip and Super Saturday Streetcar Special XX for $85 (a $10 savings; expires October 30, 2012). SPE+CIAL: Want to come for a ride but you aren't into photography? We're offering a ride-only ticket for $25. Enjoy the city while staying warm in the streetcar! (Ride-only tickets not eligible for combo savings). Visit to order tickets or to get more information. Paying by mail? Make checks payable to "Wilmington Chapter NRHS" and send to: Wilmington Chapter NRHS c/o Steve Barry 117 High Street Newton, NJ 07860

Sunday, December 9, 2012 Wilmington Chapter's Annual Holiday Dinner 5 PM at Maximillians's Restaurant and Tavern in Upper Chichester, Pa. Cost is $20 per person and as is tradition Steve Barry will present a year in review. Sign-up for the banquet at Chapter Meetings through November. You can also sign up by contacting Chapter President Mike Burkhart at or at (610) 833-2338

Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013 Hamburg Dutch Train Meet 9 AM-1:00 PM, Hamburg Fire Co. Field House, Pine St. Hamburg, PA

February 2, 2013 TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY !! Super Saturday Streetcar Special XX Join us for the 20th running of this Wilmington Chapter tradition. Our chartered PCC-2 will depart Callowhill Depot at 10:00 (Malvern Loop at 10:15) for a five-hour tour including all of Route 15 (with the new loop) and our usual eclectic mix of regular service and diversion trackage. The fare for this trip is $50. A combination ticket for this trip and the Christmas Lights charter is available for $85 (save $10; expires October 30, 2012). Visit to order tickets or to get more information. Paying by mail? Make checks payable to "Wilmington Chapter NRHS" and send to: Wilmington Chapter NRHS c/o Steve Barry 117 High Street Newton, NJ 07860

Saturday & Sunday, Feb. 2-3, 2013 Great Scale Train Show Sat. 9AM-4PM, Sun 10AM-4PM, $9, State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD

Sunday, March 17, 2013 Gilbertsville Toy Train Show 8:30 AM-1:30 PM, Gilbertsville Fire House, 1454 E. Philadelphia Ave. Gilbertsville, PA admission $3

Sunday, April 7, 2013 Leesport Farmers Market Train Meet 9 AM-2 PM, Reading Company Technical & Historical Society, Farmers Market, Leesport, PA admission $4

Saturday & Sunday, April 13-14, 2013 Great Scale Train Show Sat. 9AM-4PM, Sun 10AM-4PM, $9, State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD

Sunday, June 2, 2013 Hamburg Dutch Train Meet 9 AM-1:00 PM, Hamburg Fire Co. Field House, Pine St. Hamburg, PA

Saturday & Sunday, June 22-23, 2013 Great Scale Train Show Sat. 9AM-4PM, Sun 10AM-4PM, $9, State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD

Sunday, July 28, 2013 Hamburg Dutch Train Meet 9 AM-1:00 PM, Hamburg Fire Co. Field House, Pine St. Hamburg, PA

Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013 Gilbertsville Toy Train Show 8:30 AM-1:30 PM, Gilbertsville Fire House, 1454 E. Philadelphia Ave. Gilbertsville, PA admission $3

Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 26-27, 2013 Great Scale Train Show Sat. 9AM-4PM, Sun 10AM-4PM, $9, State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD


Saturday Dec. 8, 2012 5 PM Chapter Trolley Trip Christmas Lights Trolley Trip

Sunday Dec. 9, 2012 5 PM Annual Holiday Dinner in lieu of normal monthly meeting program by Steve Barry

Thursday Jan. 17, 2013 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by a Allen Tweedle. Program entitled "William Finley Collection Images - Part 2"

Saturday Feb. 2, 2013 10 AM Chapter Trolley Trip Super Saturday Streetcar Special XX

Thursday Feb. 21, 2013 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by a Frank Ferguson

Thursday March 21, 2013 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by a Frank Ferguson

Thursday April 18, 2013 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by a Unknown Personage

The Wilmington Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) meets at 7:00 PM on the third Thursday of each month [except August & December] in the Darley Room at the Claymont Community Center on Green Street in Claymont, Delaware. Visitors are always welcome. Admission to regular meetings is free. Check out our Website (thanks to Russ Fox) at:

The Transfer Table is published six to ten times per year as the newsletter of the Wilmington Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Items in this publication do not represent the official position of either Officers or Members of the Wilmington Chapter or the Editor of this publication.

Permission to reprint articles and news items appearing herein is granted to NRHS Chapters and other newsletters provided appropriate credit is given.

Contributions are always welcome and should be sent to the editor at or send to: P.O. Box 1136, Hockessin, DE 19707-5136.

Deadline for entries is the 25th of the month.

Chapter Officers
President: Mike Burkhart
Vice President:  Dave Watterson
Treasurer: Dave Warner
Secretary: Dan Frederick
National Director & Trip Director: vacant
Temporary Chapter Rep. Tom Posatko
Trip Director Steve Barry
Editor: Greg Ajamian
Web Master: Russ Fox

Back To Wilmington Chapter Web Site