The Monticello Railway Museum has purchased 47 acres of farmland on the east edge of the museum. It will be reserved for future development and as a buffer zone. In the meantime it will be leased to a local farmer, creating an additional income source.
Substantial rehab, a new exhibit, an enhanced data link, and expanded displays are highlights of Harris Tower Railroad Museum, run by the Harrisburg Chapter NRHS. During the past winter, the tower received 40 restored windows.The interior was power-washed, one bathroom was upgraded with period-appropriate fixtures, the second floor was repainted, and replica lighting fixtures were installed. The tower’s electro-pneumatic switching machine—now computer driven— will shortly have its covers sand blasted and re-painted. A member of the Morse Telegraph Club donated an antique telegraph set, which visitors can operate to experience the sounds of old-time railroading. Monitoring of modern railroad operation is possible due to a new satellite data link mounted on an adjacent building and connected to the tower by underground cable. This new device airs radio chatter by Norfolk Southern Railroad crews as their trains pass Harris Tower. Two track layout display monitors give visual indications of train movements. On the tower’s ground floor, three new display cases show off recently-acquired memorabilia pertinent to the structure’s history.
The Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum is building a new replica open platform coach. It will duplicate Wiscasset & Quebec coach #3 (Jackson & Sharp 1894).
Market Street Railway announces the return of ex-Philadelphia PCC #1060 from a complete overhaul by Brockville Equipment Company. This is the third of 16 cars is the current rehab contract. Originally the contract included the rehab of three of the San Francisco double-ended PCCs for use on the E Line, which requires double enders. Now a deal has been negotiated with Shore Line Trolley Museum to acquire ex-Philadelphia Suburban Red Arrow double ended PCCs #18 and 21 and rehab them first. Being broad gauge cars, they will be placed on standard gauge trucks provided by San Francisco Muni.
More San Diego U2 light rail cars (Siemens/Duewag 1981) are headed for museums. The latest are 1008 and 1003 to Orange Empire Railway Museum.
The Timber heritage Association has faced some major hurdles in its quest to occupy and restored the Hammond Lumber Company Samoa roundhouse and shops complex in Eureka, California. For several years they were in a month to month lease that could be cancelled. Eventually they purchased the site from the harbor authority, but the deal was contingent on a complete environmental evaluation and brownfield cleanup. The evaluation with its 645-page report is now complete. The next step is to secure the permit to do the cleanup, estimated to cost $80,000-90,000.
The Kentucky Railway Museum is completing the installation of a turntable.
The Reading & Northern has opened its new Reading Outer Station. From there it has initiated a new weekend passenger service to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania using RDC cars. The trip takes about two hours each way.