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New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Trip June 19, 2010



by Chris Guenzler



I got up at 8:00 AM and left the Skyview Plaza Hotel and took Interstate 95 north through Philly to PA 513 and stopped at MacDonalds for breakfast. I then took 532 east to PA 431 north to PA 232 East to PA 29 into New Hope and turned left on Bridge Street and turned into their parking lot. Now let's take a look around.





The Delaware River Tow Canal for a time past.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad GP-30 2198.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad C-30-7 7087.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Coach 1127.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Baggage 1096.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Coach 1202.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Coach 1505.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Coach 1220.





National Railroad of Mexico 4-8-4 3028 under restoration.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Baggage.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Coach.





A tender in the brush.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Steam Engine ex Canadian National 1533.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad tender 602.





NDeM Cab 3028.





SEPTA 9125.





View of New Hope & Ivyland Railroad shop area. Now let's look at the cars they will use for our train today.





The rear of our train.





The brand new and making its first run today the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad open air car 1525.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Coach 1424 Joseph R Turner.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Parlor Car 1430.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Coach 4907.





The New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Station in New Hope, PA.





Baggage Cart at the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad Station.





New Hope & Ivyland Railroad GP-30 2198.





Our train is ready to leave New Hope for Lahaska.





I was the first person to board the brand new Open Air Car on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad.

A Brief History

Incorporated in 1962, as Steam Trains, Inc. by a group of Philadelphia area railroad enthusiasts and businessmen. This private venture searched for local trackage and acquired vintage railroad equipment in order to start their own tourist railroad. After investigating a number of area railroad rights-of-way, in 1966 the group obtained the northern 16.7 miles of the Reading Railroad's New Hope Branch in Central Buck County for a price of $200,000. Using a former Canadian National Steam locomotive and seven steel suburban passenger coaches, the new for-profit company was named the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad in honor of the villages at either end of the railroad. Steam passenger service began on August 6, 1966 between New Hope and the Buckingham Valley. The New Hope & Ivyland Railroad ran one of the last steam powered mixed freight trains east of the Mississippi River. The all steam tradition was broken in 1971, when the railroad bought their own diesel, an RS-1 from the Washington Terminal. Within five years due to extravagant spending and burgeoning debt had plunged the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad into insolvency. After selling off real estate to Philadelphia Electric, the destitute New Hope & Ivyland Railroad filed for Section 77 Bankruptcy in 1971. In 1972 the railroad was operated by non paid volunteers. When the Bucks County Industrial Development Corporation acqiured the railroad in 1974 to preserve rail service in the center of Bucks County. They selected the McHugh Brothers Heavy Haulings, Inc. as the railroad freight operator until 1989. Passenger and freight service flourished during the 1970's and on June 30, 1979 the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad was finally released from a decade of bankruptcy. Beginning on July 3, 1980 volunteers of the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad resumed the weekend excursion service after the previous operators decided to end it. The New Hope & Ivyland Railroad ran under a lease agreement with the Bucks County Industrial Development Corporation until 1990, when considerable decay of the railroad's equipment and properties convinced the Bucks County Industrial Development Corporation to sell the railroad to the present owners. Since then the Bucks County Railroad and Preservation Corporation has embarked on a $2 million dollar effort to completely restore the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad to its turn of the century ambience. The Victorian New Hope Station, freight house and boarding platforms were refurbished, the tracks were rebuilt and steam passenger service resumed in 1991 using 2-8-0 Number 40 and five vintage passenger coaches. Already hundreds of thousands of passengers have ridden the hourly train to Lahaska and return plus other specialty trains since 1991.

Our trip



We left New Hope for Lahaska.





Ingham Run.





The bridge across Ingham Run.





Looking back at New Hope.





Our train takes a curve.





Looking back.





Looking ahead.





The bridge across Ingham Run.





Looking back at grade crossing.





View of the new open air car.





Two views looking back.





Two views looking ahead.





The view behind.





The train takes another curve.





Views looking back.





The train curving ahead.





This building was used as a station for the Underground Railroad.





A view behind.





Views from both sides of the train.





Looking back as we neared Lahaska.





The train has arrived at Lahaska.





Looking back at Lahaska.





The GP-30 2198 ran around the train at Lahaska and took us back to New Hope. I relaxed and enjoyed the wonderful view on both side out of the open air car. The train returned me to New Hope and I thanked everyone for the fantastic trip on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad. I left for my next train ride.



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