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Iron Heritage Festival Trips Danville, Pennsylvania 7/20/2013

by Chris Guenzler

Dave and I arose in Mifflinville and after packing, made our usual stop at McDonald's where I had my regular hot cakes and sausage. From here we drove back to Berwick still looking for the station.

Milepost 179. With no luck in Berwick we drove west to Bloomsburg but found something of interest.

The Deadwood Flats station just east of Bloomsburg. This station was part of the Carroll Park & Western excursion Railroad which is now closed.

In Bloomsburg we found the old Reading Railroad station built in 1910. From here we went to Danville to find where to park for our train trip, soon found the train and parked in the lot.

View of our train in Danville.

Some background information

What is the Iron Heritage Festival? Danville citizens love their heritage and the stories of how the Danville-Riverside area grew and prospered. The Iron Heritage Festival celebrates this rich history and traditions of our community. The Iron Age, 1829 through 1950, and Danville are truly synonymous. In 1829, the first iron foundry was established in Danville to manufacture wagon boxes, plowshares, irons and griddles. In 1839-1840 Iron Ore started to be mined locally and in 1840 the first Anthracite furnace to efficiently produce iron was opened in Danville. On Octotber 8, 1845, the first T-rail in America was rolled out at the Montour Iron Works, the largest iron manufacturing plant in the United States. The T-rail made it possible for Pennsylvania and America to become the leader in the industrial revolution. This festival is a celebration of America's ingenuity and foresight and is of interest for all of our Nation's citizens!

The Danville Area, in the scenic, beautiful Susquehanna Valley forged the beginning of the United States Industrial Revolution. America's railroads moved people, natural resources and finished goods, due to Danville's manufacturing of the T-rail.

In 1999 a few local historians decided to celebrate the iron heritage of Danville. The first year a small amount of people met in Danville's 'Canal Park' and celebrated the history and the people of the era. From this one-day event, the Iron Heritage Festival has become one of the largest historic festivals in Central Pennsylvania. The Iron Heritage Festival, with activities encompassing all of the Danville area, is celebrated the third weekend of July every year.

In 2002 the committee began "Heritage Christmas". The second weekend of December citizens and visitors of Danville can take train rides with Santa, enjoy carriage rides and tour local historic buildings. Other area organizations and Danville's Chamber of Commerce join the festivities with their own activities also. We hope this website explains not only why we celebrate the IHF but also tells you of our ancestors who help shaped our home, state and nation, of the past Iron Heritage Festivals and of the activities and festivities available to you in the upcoming IHF. Our group of volunteers who form the steering committee work quite hard all year long to bring the best edu-tainment to central Pennsylvania, but we could not do it without the wonderful sponsors who contribute to help make this the best festival throughout the area.

Our Train

Our train for today had North Shore 1946, Pennsylvania Railroad 1776 Tiadaghton Elm Parlor Car, Pennsylvania Railroad 1962 Endless Mountain, Pennsylvania Railroad Caboose 478044 and North Shore 1940.

North Shore Railroad SW1500 1946, ex. Norfolk Southern 2336, nee Southern Railway 2336 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1969.

North Shore Railroad parlour car 1776 "Tiadaghton Elm", ex. Amtrak, nee Great Northern coach 11xx built by Pullman-Standard in 1947 and painted in Pennsylvania Railroad colors.

North Shore Railroad coach 1962 "Endless Mountain", ex. Delaware, Lackawanna and Western coach built by Pullman in 1925 as painted in Pennsylvania Railroad colors.

Pennsylvania Railroad caboose 478044 built by the railroad in 1951.

North Shore Railroad SW1500 1940, ex. Norfolk Southern 2317, nee Southern Railway 2317 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1968.

The west end of our train. We joined the line to board and once on, took the far west seats in "Endless Mountain".

The Trip to Bloomsburg 7/20/2013

The ticket for the trip to Bloomsburg.

This device had a steam train running on it every 15 seconds.

The interior of coach 1962 "Endless Mountain".

People buying a last minute ticket to ride.

The trips departed from the Danville Middle School.

A Civil War re-enactment was occuring during this year's Iron Horse Festival.

The train crossed this creek leaving town.

The view along our train.

This old house looked impressive on this Saturday morning.

The Danville Water Plant.

We had a train chaser following our train this morning.

The very beautiful Susquehanna River as seen from a gap in the trees.

A green pond along our route with the grade of the former Reading Railroad on the other side.

Taking a curve.

Two views of those Endless Mountains here in Pennsylvania.

A view along the train.

The Susquehanna River from a gap of the trees.

A view along the train.

The corn was growing tall and healthy this year.

Another pond along our route this morning.

You could see the grade of the former Reading Railroad most of the way along our route.

The former Reading Railroad crossed over our route outside of Bloomsburg and up on the old grade was Conrail caboose 22139, nee Reading 94100 built by International Car in 1970, part of the Whistle Stop Caboose Motel in Catawissa.

The train ran by the Rupert Covered Bridge known as the Rupert Bridge 56 built in 1847.

The old Reading Railroad bridge over the Fishing Creek.

A view as we neared our turnback point.

This was a far as we went. I was a little disappointed that we did not get into Bloomsburg on this trip. If you sell me a ticket to Bloomsburg, then please take me all the way there.

The train ran back past Rupert Bridge 56.

The Catawissa Railroad Company cabooses, part of the Whistle Stop Caboose Motel. This is Lehigh Valley caboose 95046 built in 1945.

There is plenty of interesting geology here in Pennsylvania.

The Susquehanna River from a gap of the trees on our return trip to Danville.

A picture showing the restoration of this car.

The old house as we returned to Danville.

The Iron Hose Festival was in full swing when we returned and upon arrival in Danville, I detrained and enjoyed a barbecue chicken lunch put on by the local Boy Scout Troop. After that it was time to get back into line to board our next train to Northumberland.

The Trip to Northumberland

This train would be packed and Dave and I sat together in the seat I used on the eastbound trip.

We left as people were playing tennis out in the very hot sun on this day in Pennsylvania.

My ticket for the trip to Northumberland.

The beautiful and wide Susquehanna River as seen from a gap of the trees.

The view alongside our train.

The Susquehanna River.

This little one did not like the train horn at all.

The car of a fellow mileage collector doing some train chasing.

There is a large gap in those trees on that mountain.

View along the train.

This is as far as we went towards Northumberland. I will not repeat what I said earlier in the story but felt the same way. Well at least I did get plenty of new mileage today on that part of the North Shore Railroad that we we rode.

Our engine crew walked from the west end of the train to the east end of the train.

The train passed a large tank farm on the north side of the train on the return trip.

A big barn on the return trip.

More of that interesting Pennsylvania geology for me to enjoy.

The cumulonimbus clouds were growing tall on this afternoon over the Endless Mountains.

This is where they store and work on their passenger car fleet.

A view of North Shore SW1500 1946 that most people never take or see.

Coming back into Danville, I spotted a tank on display. We returned to the station.

This sign was inside "Endless Mountain" before I detrained.

Another view of North Shore SW1500 1946.

The view of our train waiting for the next trip.

View of the top of one of those towering cumulonimbus clouds floating around the sky this afternoon. We headed for Ringoes, New Jersey but at a red signal I had a picture to take.

First Iron Rails in Pennsylvania Historical Marker. Eight blocks east, we stopped again.

The old Reading Railroad freight house in Danville built in 1876 as the Philadelphia and Reading Centennial station for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It was moved to Danville in 1881 and now houses a carpet store.

From here we left Danville for good and headed for Ringoes, stopping at the Sheets Service Station in Miffinville with lightning flashes off to the north. As we climbed the Pocono Mountains, we hit some of the heaviest rain I had ever been in. Dave was down to 40 MPH and I suggested he turn on the emergency flashers to make us more visible, which he did and other drivers did the same. Good safe driving by Dave took us through not one, but two, showers that powered the storms. We came off the Poconos then drove down to Easton where the sunshine returned then crossed the Delaware River into New Jersey where we would pick up the next part of this story.