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The Wilmington Chapter NRHS Official Newsletter
Internet Edition


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Ron Cleaves

It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of long time Chapter Member and former Secretary and Vice President Ron Cleaves at age 61 after a long illness on September 2, 2012. Ron had always been very active in the Chapter for over 30 years attending almost every meeting until his illness struck. He could always be seen on Chapter Trips, Outings, and other activities. He is remembered for his especially sharp memory for dates. Whenever there was a question about a Chapter Trip, no matter how many years ago, Ron could instantly answer with the exact date or place, details about the trip and the equipment, and usually the weather that day, too! His passing is a great loss for the Chapter - he will be missed.


The September meeting of the Wilmington chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society was call to order at 7pm by President Mike Burkhart. Secretary Dan Frederick did not read the no minutes from the previous month's non-meeting. Photographer Mike Burkhart reported on last month's tour of the Wilmington & Western's semi-finished new office building. Dave Warner's Treasurer's Report for July through September was approved as read.

National Director Steve Barry's last report for the second time in his career included plans for the Board of Directors "conference" in Claymont, Delaware. Since Board Members can no longer also be Chapter Representatives, we didn't have one. Chapter Member Tom Posatko volunteered to be our Chapter Representative until our normal elections can be held. Chapter Member Len Arcus once again "volunteered" to chair the Election Committee with the help of Bruce Barry and Allen Tweddle.

It was reported that Ron Cleaves had passed away recently at his home after a long illness. The Chapter will be making a donation to Hospice of Delaware in his honor.

Trip Director Steve Barry reported that there would be trip aboard the Black River & Western in conjunction with the Board of Directors meeting on October 19th. which Chapter Members can also ride (after getting there on their own). First choice for seats on the bus naturally go to the Directors, but if there is room, Chapter Members might be able to ride the bus. He also reported on the Christmas Lights Trolley Trip on Dec. 8 and the Twentieth Annual Super Saturday Trolley Trip on Feb. 2. See "Schedule Notes" in this newsletter for more details. Chapter Members are encouraged to contact Steve directly by e-mail for special Chapter Member discounts on these trips. If you wish to order any tickets via mail, make checks payable to Wilmington Chapter NRHS and send to Wilmington Chapter NRHS, c/o Steve Barry, 117 High Street, Newton, NJ 07860. Please include an e-mail address for your confirmation. Confirmations are sent out approximately two weeks before a trip.

The evening's computer projected program was presented by Allen Tweedle with old-fashioned, vinyl recording sound effects! He had scanned prints from the William Finley collection of Pennsylvania Railroad historic photographs. As a clerk and special photographer for the PRR, Mr. Finley had opportunities to capture rare equipment in both routine and special settings. Among the images of rare equipment that we saw this evening were 1938 passenger cars from The Congressional, a twin unit diner (which according to Allen's father had 110 bolts holding the diaphragm between cars), comparisons of the Q1 and Q2 locomotives arrangements (and a discussion of their history), S1 and S2 locos, K5's , streamlined K4's , K2's , plus H-10's ,C-1's, an O-1, P-5's. We saw R-1's #4800, #4899, and the solid-framed #4499. There was even a GG-1 with friction bearing journals and a DD-2. We could compare the E2B, E3B, and E3C and an A-5 before time ran out. Those present were treated to a huge assortment of rare and historic images, some great conversation, and some surprising facts and stories. Allen promised to return in January with more rare images.


Just an invitation to all Chapter Members as the weather cools and the leaves turn colors, to come to a Chapter Meeting for some great railroading images and general camaraderie and to sign up for various Chapter Trips and Outings for great experiences and photographs. Also, don't forget to sign up for the Annual Holiday Dinner and remember that guests are always welcomed at all events.


Covering 27 station stops on the 1,300-mile Texas Eagle route, the podcast includes 103 points of interest on history, attractions and natural features. Each item runs for up to three minutes and topics range from the farmlands of Illinois to the history of St. Louis in Missouri to the Chisholm Trail of Central Texas. Interested passengers should download the podcast prior to boarding the train.

For Amtrak passengers continuing on beyond San Antonio and towards Los Angeles, the Sunset Limited podcast can also be downloaded. It also highlights places of interest. "We are excited to be providing our passengers with another tool to enhance their travel experience," said Harris M. Cohen, Project Manager of Customer Solutions for Amtrak. "With this second addition to what will become a library of podcasts, passengers can now experience a self-guided tour of two of America's most historic railroad journeys, the Texas Eagle and Sunset Limited."

The Texas Eagle podcast is the result of a desire to enhance the Trails & Rails program - an innovative partnership between Amtrak and the National Park Service through which National Park Service Rangers and volunteers board trains and give interactive presentations on the history, cultural background and current attractions of the regions seen from the train.

"The National Park Service Trails and Rails Program is pleased to be a partner on the production of the podcasts," said David Vela, Regional Director, National Park Service, Free audio tour educates passengers about route's history, stops and other highlights between Chicago and San Antonio Southeast Region. "The podcast will provide travelers with a valuable tool that will help enhance their understanding and experiences as they travel through some of our nation's special places."

"We deeply value our unique partnership with the National Park Service Trails and Rails Program and Amtrak," said Gary D. Ellis, PhD, head of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences of Texas A&M University and AgriLife Extension Service. "Through our partnership, Aggies gain unparalleled learning experiences in real-world learning about heritage interpretation.

"The podcast points of interest were researched and written by National Park Service staff as well as students and faculty of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, at the direction of Amtrak. The team from Texas A&M included 60 undergraduate and three graduate students, all studying the use of natural resources for recreation and tourism.

The Texas Eagle podcast is an MP3 file and is also available by RSS feed or through iTunes®. In addition, a downloadable printed version is available for the hearing impaired, educators or any others who prefer a printed copy by contacting Texas A&M.

Amtrak®: Amtrak is America's Railroad®, the nation's intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. A record 30.2 million passengers traveled on Amtrak in FY 2011 on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Amtrak operates intercity trains in partnership with 15 states and contracts with 13 commuter rail agencies to provide a variety of services. Enjoy the journey® at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Join us on and follow us at

Trails & Rails Program, National Park Service, Trails & Rails is an innovative partnership program between the National Park Service and Amtrak. This program provides rail passengers with educational opportunities that foster an appreciation of a selected region's natural and cultural heritage. It promotes National Park Service areas and provides a value-added service to encourage train ridership. It also renews the long tradition of associating railroads with National Parks. For more detailed information on the various Trails & Rails programs, please visit

Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University The goals of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences (RPTS) are to generate and disseminate new and existing knowledge concerning the development, management, and sustainable use of natural resources for recreation and tourism. This is achieved through an integration of research-based approaches to undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education that includes the social and policy sciences and natural resource management disciplines. The Department offers undergraduate and graduate RPTS degrees with emphasis in park and recreation administration, natural resource management and policy analysis, and tourism resources development. For more information, please log onto[AMTRAK Press Release via Ed Mayover]

Checked Baggage: Each passenger can check up to 4 bags - 2 free of charge and 2 for $20 per bag - each bag not to exceed 50 lbs. (23kg), 75 linear inches (length + width + height). [from AMTRAK website]

The test areas between approximately Perryville, Md. - Wilmington, Del. (21.3 miles) and Trenton - New Brunswick, N.J. (22.9 miles) currently have a maximum speed limit of 135 mph. The test areas between approximately Westerly - Cranston, R.I. (29.2 miles) and South Attleboro - Readville, Mass. (27.8 miles) currently have a maximum speed limit of 150 mph. The same areas were used for similar high-speed tests before the introduction of Acela service.

The initial test run is in New Jersey where Amtrak is presently advancing design, engineering and other pre-construction activities for a $450 million project funded by the federal high-speed rail program. The project includes upgrading track, electrical power, signal systems and overhead catenary wires to improve reliability for Amtrak and commuter rail service, and is necessary to permit regular train operations at the faster speeds. Some construction activity is anticipated in 2013, but the project will ramp up dramatically thereafter to be completed in 2017. [AMTRAK Press Release via Ed Mayover]

The state will provide:


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.

Oct. 18-21, 2012 NRHS National Fall 2012 Conference = Claymont, DE - Oct. 19 - registration and rail event Oct. 20 - registration and meetings Oct. 21 - registration and meetings, Crowne Plaza Wilmington North - Claymont DE

October 19-21, 2012 NRHS's Fall National Director's Mtg. in Claymont, DE

Friday, October 19, 2012 Trip on the Black River & Western - Ringoes, NJ

Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012 FAREWELL TO THE FAYETTE CENTRAL RAILROAD Freight traffic has sharply increased on the FM&P since the Fayette Central Railroad started operating excursion trains in May of 2006. It has become increasingly difficult to obtain track time to operate in the past two years. We are now down to Saturday only operation in 2012, having in the past, being able to run on Sundays with weekday charters as well. Most of the freight traffic is a direct result of the Marcellus Shale well industry. The Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad (the freight operator on the FM&P) has done a terrific job in marketing their services to this industry. We understand that their primary goal is profitability. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of money to be made in the tourist railroad business (at least in this area). So, it is with regret, that we will not be able to operate after the 2012 season. Since the closing of the Fayette Central Railroad was announced earlier this year, we have had numerous requests to operate a "farewell" excursion. This is it! Night photo session Saturday October 20, Rare mileage trip Sunday October 21, Beeson Blvd. street running, Uniontown south to Smithfield (as far as possible), Uniontown north to the Youghiogheny River Bridge and Greene Junction, train will consist of open window coaches, P&LE bay window caboose and our B&O Alco S2 locomotive, Photo stops and runbys, Trip is limited to 100 people Saturday Night Photo Session: $25.00, Sunday Rare Mileage Trip: $75.00, Combination Ticket: $95.00E-mail reservations to: or call: 724-963-9704 A special thanks to the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad for their cooperation in suspending freight operations on this date to allow this trip.

Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 27-28, 2012 Great Scale Train Show 9AM-4PM, $9, State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD

Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 3-4, 2012 TRAINS & TROOPS at RR Mus. of PA, Strasburg

Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 3-4 N.C. Transportation Museum & Watauga Valley RR Historical Society & Museum Autumn Train Excursion Autumn Train Excursions will travel to Appomattox, Va. Saturday, Nov. 3 and Toccoa, Ga. Sunday, Nov. 4. These excursions are a rare opportunity to take a daylight train trip on vintage rail cars through beautiful countryside during the autumn leaf-peeping season. Tickets for the museum's Autumn Train Excursions typically sell out and some options are already unavailable. Those wishing to purchase are urged to act quickly. These one-day trips are fundraisers for both organizations. The Virginia Autumn Special will depart from Spencer, N.C., with additional passenger pick-up at the Greensboro Amtrak Station. The train will travel through the northern portion of the North Carolina Piedmont before crossing into central Virginia. Passengers will be treated to spectacular views as the train crests the White Oak Mountain and crosses the Dan and Roanoke Rivers on its way to Lynchburg, where it will turn east toward Appomattox. Passengers will disembark at the restored Appomattox Station, once a stop for the South Side Railroad in the late 1800s and now home to the Appomattox Visitor Information Center. This charming small town holds claim to one of the most significant moments in U.S. history - he surrender of General Robert E. Lee to end the Civil War and reunited a divided nation. The Georgia Autumn Special will depart from Spencer, N.C., with additional passenger pick up at the Spartanburg Amtrak Station before traversing what was once Southern Railway's main line, running from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, Ga. Passengers will enjoy the gala fall colors of Carolinas' rolling foothills, before crossing the 100-foot Seneca River trestle spanning Lake Hartwell to arrive at Toccoa. Nestled into the foothills of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, the historic town will be bustling with activity during the 30th annual Harvest Festival. Passengers will have approximately three hours to enjoy the festival, which features handmade, handcrafted and home-grown items from more than 200 vendors, as well as delicious regional foods, great entertainment on two stages, children and youth activities, buggy rides and much more. Tourist Class features the convenience and comforts of modern Amtrak cars. Each car has a center aisle with two adjustable seats and a wide window on each side. This seating area provides convenient access to the Souvenir and Cafe cars. Tourist class seating is $150 per person. Deluxe Coach Class passenger cars feature spacious seating with adjustable seat backs and leg rests, as well as large windows for better viewing. Lunch will be served in vintage lounge and dining cars. Light snacks and beverages are also provided. Deluxe Coach Class seating is $185 per person. This option is already sold out for our Appomattox trip. Premium First Class passengers will be seated in restored, vintage lounge or parlor cars. Each car is configured differently with a variety of seating options. Compartment seating is also available for small groups (only available with phone orders. Fare includes continental breakfast, newspapers, light snacks and dinner. Premium first Class seating is $260 per person Compartment seating is also available for groups of two, three or four at a reduced price. Compartment seating is only available with phone orders. Featuring two levels, Dome cars offer the best views of the passing scenery. Windows stretch across the walls and ceiling on the second level, providing a panoramic view of the entire ride. Tickets include a continental breakfast and newspapers on the journey plus dinner on the return trip served in vintage lounge and dining cars. Dome tickets are $295 per person. This option is already sold out for our Appomattox trip. For information: Mark Brown 704-636-2889 ext. 240, North Carolina Transportation Museum or visit on-line:

Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 PRR Lecture at Hagley Museum and Library - 7 PM Dr. Albert Churella, "The Unique Railroad of the World: Why the Pennsylvania Railroad was Different from all of the Others," Reservations are requested, 302-658-2400 Wilmington, Delaware,  November 2012, Hagley Museum and Library welcomes Dr. Albert Churella, Southern Polytechnic State University, on November 15, to speak about the Pennsylvania Railroad. His lecture, "The Unique Railroad of the World: Why the Pennsylvania Railroad was Different from all of the Others," will begin at 7 p.m. in the Soda House auditorium. The lecture will mark publication of Dr. Churella's book, The Pennsylvania Railroad, Volume 1: Building an Empire, 1846-1917. The lecture is free. Please use Hagley's Buck Road entrance. Reservations are requested, 302-658-2400.

"Albert Churella's book is based on exhaustive research at Hagley and other libraries," says Dr. Roger Horowitz, associate director at the Hagley's Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society, "It is certain to become the authoritative history of the Pennsylvania Railroad."

The Pennsylvania Railroad, Volume 1: Building an Empire, 1846-1917 will be part of a multi-volume account from the University of Pennsylvania Press. The book opens with the development of the Main Line of Public Works in the 1820s that foreshadowed the establishment of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1846. Churella then charts the railroad's growth over the next fifty years through the Civil War, industrial expansion, and labor unrest, as well as competition with rival railroads and disputes with such figures as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. The volume closes at the threshold of American involvement in World War I. Copies will be available for purchase at the lecture. Dr. Albert J. Churella is associate professor in the Social and International Studies Department at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia. His first book, From Steam to Diesel: Managerial Customs and Organizational Capabilities in the Twentieth-Century American Locomotive Industry (1998) was a finalist for the George W. Hilton award in railway history. Churella is completing the first of a two-volume history of the Pennsylvania Railroad, with extensive treatment of the business, technological, labor, public policy, ethnic, and gender issues related to that company. He has also published numerous other articles and book reviews, and has presented papers at conferences in the United States and Europe.

About the Library
Hagley Library is the nation's leading business history library, archives, and research center. Current holdings comprise 37,000 linear feet in the Manuscripts and Archives Department, 290,000 printed volumes in the Imprints Department, 2 million visual items in the Pictorial Department, and more than 300,000 digital images and pages in the Digital Archives Department. Hagley's Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society organizes conferences, research seminars, and a public lecture series; it also operates a research grants-in-aid program.

Hagley Museum and Library
Hagley Museum and Library collects, preserves, and interprets the unfolding history of American enterprise. For more information, call (302) 658-2400 weekdays or visit

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

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


Thursday Oct. 18, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Mike Burkhart

Thursday Nov. 21, 2012 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by Frank Ferguson

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 Member or Guest

Thursday March 21, 2013 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by a Member or Guest

Thursday April 18, 2013 7 PM Chapter Meeting program by a Member or Guest

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

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