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Everett RR to Martinsburg, Pa

Adventurers in the Appalachia

My First trip on the Southwest Chief going to the 2018 NRHS Convention in Cumberland, Maryland

Chapter Twenty-three

 Everett RR trip to Martinsburg, PA

Over night on the Capitol Limited to Chicago

 August 11, 2018



Robin Bowers

Text and Photos by Author

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent.

Comments are appreciated

    At 6:00am, Chris awoke me to start my day. I proceeded downstairs for my last meal here at the hotel as this is our final day of 2018 NRHS convention. This evening we will be heading west and home. After three weeks on the road, it was time to look towards home. Back in our room I finished packing my bags and took them down to the front desk to be put in storage which we would reclaim later before the Amtrak train arrives this evening. After checking out, I walked outside to the waiting buses and boarded for the one-hour to the Everett Railroad at Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania.

Number 11 2-6-0.

Everett Railroad History

The Everett Railroad is a short-line railroad that operates ex-Pennsylvania Railroad trackage in the Hollidaysburg area of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It runs freight trains over two separate lines, one from Brooks Mill and Sproul, and the other, owned by the Morrison's Cove Railroad, from Roaring Spring to Curryville and Martinsburg. The affiliated Hollidaysburg and Roaring Spring Railroad, which the Everett Railroad operates both under contract and via trackage rights, connects the two segments to each other and to the Norfolk Southern Railway in Hollidaysburg. The Everett Railroad name refers to its former location near Everett, abandoned in 1982.

The Everett Railroad was incorporated in April 1954 to take over a portion of the Huntingdon and Broad Top Mountain Railroad and Coal Company near Everett, which was abandoned in May. The line, which extended north from the end of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Mt. Dallas Branch at Mount Dallas to a point near Tatesville, parallel to PA Route 26, had been constructed from 1859 to 1863 by the Bedford Railroad, which was merged into the H&BT in 1864. Conrail discontinued service on the then-Mt. Dallas Secondary in October 1982, severing the Everett Railroad's ties to the outside world and forcing its abandonment.

The company was revived in May 1984, when it acquired a part of Conrail's Bedford Secondary between Brooks Mill and Sproul. Completed in 1910 by the Bedford and Hollidaysburg Railroad, a predecessor of the Pennsylvania Railroad, this line had connected to the Mt. Dallas Secondary near Bedford until 1982. A second line, the Morrison's Cove Secondary from Roaring Spring to Curryville, along with a short branch into Martinsburg, was acquired by the Morrison's Cove Railroad, organized by local shippers, in mid-1982. The shippers initially contracted with the Allegheny Southern Railway, which operated the line from September 1982 to the end of 1984, but on January 1, 1985 the Everett Railroad took over operations. This line had been constructed by the Pennsylvania Railroad itself in 1871. Conrail continued to operate the remainder of the Morrison's Cove Secondary, from Roaring Spring through Brooks Mill to Hollidaysburg, until Alan W. Maples, owner of the Everett Railroad, organized the Hollidaysburg and Roaring Spring Railroad and bought the line in March 1995. Simultaneously, the Everett Railroad acquired trackage rights to Hollidaysburg, and began operating the H&RS under contract.

Everett Railroad 2-6-0 11

Construction of number 11

Steam locomotive number 11 was constructed in 1920 by the Cooke Works of the American Locomotive Company in Paterson, New Jersey. It is a "2-6-0" or "Mogul" type and was one of 54 engines of four different wheel arrangements built between 1920 and 1925 intended for export to Cuba and use in that country's sugar cane fields. Building locomotives for stock was not common practice and fluctuations in world sugar markets post World War I unexpectedly reduced demand for these engines, leaving a number of them unsold on the factory floor. Alco turned to the domestic short line railroad market but it was not until 1923 that the tiny Narragansett Pier Railroad in Peace Dale, Rhode Island, purchased the engine, assigned it number "11", and put it to work on their eight and a half mile railroad.

Revenue Service

Through its working career at both the NP Railroad and the B&H Railroad, engine 11 was a living symbol of the great American tradition of small independent railroads connecting local communities with the national rail network. Weighing a mere 55 1/2 tons, its modest proportions were typical of light short line locomotives all across the country in the age of steam power.

Preservation and Restoration

The Bath & Hammondsport Railroad retired number 11 in 1949 in favor of diesel power and the engine, an object of some sentimental attachment, was carefully stored in the railroad's enginehouse until sold in 1955 to Dr. Stanley A. Groman for his "Rail City" museum in Sandy Pond, NY. Dr. Groman was a pioneer railroad preservationist and for many years the locomotive operated on his mile long circle of track near the shore of Lake Ontario. But the eventual construction of interstate highways siphoned visitors away and Rail City, like many roadside attractions of the 1950s, withered and eventually closed. Around 1977 engine 11 was sold to another collector, Dr. John P. Miller who had earlier purchased the Narragansett Pier Railroad. Thus it was that the locomotive returned to the enginehouse at Peace Dale, Rhode Island. Some disassembly and inspection work was done but Dr. Miller never completed the overhaul and number 11 was sold again, in 1981, to the Middletown & New Jersey Railroad of Middletown, NY. Pierre Rasmussen, president of the M&NJ, was a fan of steam engines and thought number 11 would be an ideal addition to his short line. The locomotive was stored inside the M&NJ enginehouse, protected from the weather, but no further repairs were ever done. With sale of the railroad pending following Pierre Rasmussen's death in 2004, ownership of number 11 transferred to James Wright, a business partner in the M&NJ. Wright, in turn, sold the engine to Alan Maples, president of the Everett Railroad, in 2006.

# 11 getting ready to move to the next track to hook up to the passenger cars which consisted of Everett Railroad 2-6-0 11, combine 23, coaches 103, 105 and 104. All coaches are former Erie-Lackawanna.

MP 8.3.  Everett Railroad's Excursion Train Station.

The station was built in 2015 to resemble a typical Pennsylvania Railroad depot of the area. The station features a ticket counter and gift shop, waiting room and restroom facilities.

Today's cars for our ride.

MP 8.7.   Heading east from the train station are the last of the many railroad shops once located in Hollidaysburg.

    This complex includes the 1955 Samuel Rae Car Shops, renamed the Hollidaysburg Car Shop by Conrail. Tens of thousands of freight cars were built in Hollidaysburg over the years. Parts of the complex are still used for car repairs and scrapping. Bob Alkire was the winner of the first cab ride aboard Everett 11 today and really enjoyed his ride between Hollidaysburg and our first photo spot, Kladder.


Map courtesy of Barton Jennings from his book "Everett Railroad: History Through the Miles" part of his series; History Through the Miles. I used his notes in this report. 


    MP 12.2 Kladder - Just to the east is the Saint Bernardine Monastery, operated by the Franciscan Friars TOR (Third Order Regular). The history of the monastery states that the "Monastery building was erected and dedicated to St. Bernardine of Siena to honor ... it is said ... the patron saint of the Minister General's delegate, Fr. Bernardine Russo, who had proved a wise and friendly advisor to the friars. It was a proud occasion for the friars of the new Province when, in the summer of 1928, Bishop McCort, in the presence of a large crowd of clergy and laity, blessed and laid the cornerstone of the Monastery building. The first class of candidates was accepted on October 17, 1929." The history of the monastery mentions the railroad several times as a means of travel and a source for moving supplies and goods produced on their farm.

Little is known about the name, except that the family of Daniel Kladder once lived in this general area and that there a Kladder Cemetery nearby.

Train getting ready for our runby after we detrained.

Photographers getting ready for our first runby.

We then went east toward Rodman where we detrained for another runby.

MP 16.0 Rodman is located in McKee Gap and is named for the old Rodman Furnace  that once stood nearby. Our runby site was in front of the Roaring Spring Quarry which has a conveyor system that brings the rock in from the quarry. Reports are that the rock is seldom shipped off the railroad due to the many sources of rock in the area, but it makes great ballast for the railroad.

MP 17.0 Appvion - The large Appvion paper mill is currently the largest customer of the Everett Railroad. The railroad delivers chemicals and plastics to the mill and ships out coated paper.

    MP 18.9 Smith Transport provides various types of transportation services, as well as warehousing services. This is a recognized transload partner with the Everett Railroad, providing temperature-controlled storage, racked space. distribution services, 12 rail doors and 50 truck doors.

Pennsylvania countryside dotted with impressive farms.

    MP 20.1 Peck.  Peck was the name of an important family in Duncansville, near Hollidaysburg. Today, it is the location of the Renaissance Nutrition feed-mill. "Ren Nut" is the common name for the facility. The firm is a "full-service vitamin and mineral premix company," making customized feed primarily for the local dairy and livestock industry but it also makes feed for swine, sheep, goat, equine and poultry markets. The railroad serves this mill on a regular basis, especially delivering citrus products to be mixed with the feeds.

MP 21.1 Cargill feed mill.

The farm in back center is actually part of Cowan Equipment, a used farming equipment dealership that specializes in older and historic equipment.

MP 22.2  Martinsburg. Old high school on left.

New modern high school.

We came to Martinsburg junction which is a wye which will allow the engine to be turned for the trip back to Hollidaysburg. This is as far as our train went.

Up close and personal with # 11 all the way back to Hollidaysburg. So now we will have a second chance to see things along the route.

Mill at Cargill.

Altoona is a short drive from here.

Ren Nut in Peck.

Smith Transport.

Homes in Roaring Spring.

At Roaring Spring Station only the photographers were allowed to detrain for the photo runby.

I walked across the street to get my photos.

After the runby, the rest of the passengers detrained at the station platform for a box lunch. As traveling makes you hungry, everyone queued up for their lunch of choice as there was a variety of main entrees and for dessert was the best ice cream by a county mile.

After a quick thirty minutes the conductor said let's go and with everyone back on board we left at 1:00pm for the last leg of this trip on the last trip of 2018 NRHS Convention.

Quarry and site of a runby.

Cars in the rail yard at Hollidaysburg.


    After returning to our starting place, everyone headed for the buses and the return to the hotel. I would like to thank the NRHS for the convention work here in Cumberland including John Goodman, Chairman, Skip Waters, Dan Meyer and Dawn Holmberg, Steve Siegrist, Steve Barry and Bob and Elizabeth for their excellent service and for making this convention a major success. A big plus was the ability to take Amtrak to the hotel's door. Absolutely no airplanes involved in this trip or harmed. After returning to the hotel, we waited in the hotel lobby, as we were room-less, for our train this evening. It was decided that the four of us would have a last supper together before going our separate ways tomorrow. The local eatery Crabby Pig was chosen and we walked the couple of blocks to it. The convention banquet is tonight and the others refused to eat the great Amtrak airline-like meals that were offered courtesy of the airline taxi pilot in charge at headquarters.

On the way to the Crabby Pig we passed by the Western Maryland Railroad Station. After a good and merry diner we then walked backed to the hotel and got our luggage out of baggage check. Then we walked across the main line to the Amtrak station.

The CSX helper going back to the yard.

The Capitol Limited on approach to the Cumberland Station.

    The Capitol Limited #29 came into the Cumberland station and first stop was for the engineer change. The conductor scanned everyone's tickets who were waiting to board the train in Cumberland. The second stop was for the first sleeper. We all were on the third stop and we had roomette 4 and the Alkires had Bedroom D. Our sleeping car attendant was Leroy.

     Being a curious guy and usually open to try something new, I made my way to the cafe car to partake in Amtrak's first class dinner offering tonight. For tonight's choice I chose the short ribs. I rarely see short ribs on a menu, so when I do I like to try them. Basically this new meal system is a first cousin to the box lunches we have on conventions. The cafe attendant removed the dinner box from the refrigerator, separated the hot items from the cold and placed them in the oven to warm up. I was then presented with both in the box with each item wrapped separated in plastic. It was a festival of plastic with the packaging, tableware and dishes. I think civilization took a step backwards when we stopped washing dishes and reusing them. One of the unique experience of riding on a long distance train trip is the community seating and dining in the dining car. If you are a single you never dine alone, they place four at a table with possibility of four strangers dining together and striking up interesting conversations and with your food hot from the kitchen. Tonight I was the sole diner in the cafe car although I enjoyed the ribs and the sides. Plus with the meal you get an alcohol beverage included so I had a cocktail with dinner. The attendant knew that there was two in our room so he said I could have a drink to take back for Chris. And as Chris doesn't partake, I had a second drink, thanks Chris for the cocktail.      

    Afterwards we all met in the lounge car for the ride over Sand Patch and beyond. Leroy had made up the room and I called it quits after Connellsville and retired to our roomette for a night on the rails. The morning will find us traveling through the Midwest on our way to Chicago.

Thanks for reading.
Text and Photos by Author

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent.

Comments appreciated at ....