March 31, 2001

News Release

Contact: Joel Salomon, President, Rockhill Trolley Museum, 610-437-0448, jdstrolley@enter.net

 

Rockhill Trolley Museum Blacklog Narrows track extension news

The Rockhill Trolley Museum, operated by Railways To Yesterday Inc., is progressing with their plans to construct 2,900 feet of new track for their demonstration trolley line. This major expansion will take the track nearly to the state Route 522 crossing, where a two-track terminal will be constructed. This terminal station was recently named Blacklog Narrows.

Museum volunteers have been working throughout the winter making design and construction drawings for the work to be done. There are many details which need to be planned for the project, especially for the two-track terminal at Blacklog Narrows. This terminal must be built in accordance with the plans for the Route 522 relocation project in that area and museum volunteers have been working with officials from PADOT to keep the track project from conflicting with the highway plans.

Museum volunteers have also been gathering and preparing materials for use in the project. Over 380 rail joint bars, which are used to hold the lengths of rails together, have been prepared for use. Over 2,000 tie plates, which are used to support the rails on the wooden crossties, are being sorted and cleaned where necessary to ready them for use. Three truckloads of rail have been delivered to the site and are stacked and ready for use. The steel track materials have been provided by the Kovalchick Corporation and we thank them very much for their support.

Other materials have been purchased by the museum for the track extension project. Wooden line poles have been delivered and will be installed shortly. Volunteers have also been gathering and preparing materials which will be used in the overhead trolley wire construction after the track is constructed.

The museum has engaged several local contractors to assist the volunteers with specialized work. The Museum is using funds from contributions to have this work done. B&M Construction of Three Springs has been performing grading, installing cross drains, and doing ditching work along the right of way. Tom’s Tree Service of Robertsdale has removed many trees which would have been unsafe for volunteers to remove because a power line is situated on the south side of right-of-way. Allegheny Line Service of Centre Hall, PA has been engaged to auger the pole holes and then plant the poles used to support the overhead trolley wire which is needed to operate trolleys. Once all preparations to the right-of-way are finished, track construction will be done by Reese Railroad Contractors of Mercersburg, PA

Museum volunteers will be responsible for all overhead trolley wire construction after the track is built. They will also be responsible for building the second track of the terminal at Blacklog Narrows. This will involve a custom-built piece of track material called a frog, which is being fabricated in the museum’s Buehler Shop by volunteers. The need for the custom-built trackwork arises from the limited space available at the Blacklog Narrows site.

This entire project is being funded, in part, by a number of generous contributions by its members. However, additional donations to the Museum’s track extension fund are welcome to help offset construction costs. The total cost for this track construction project is estimated at $140,000. The Museum plans to have the track in service for Fall Spectacular, scheduled for October, 2001.

The Museum offers rides on trolleys built between the years 1904 and 1947 on weekends and holidays throughout the summer and fall. In addition, tours of the rolling stock collection are offered. A snowsweeper trolley, now over 100 years old, is on display as are many other trolleys in the 24-car collection. The Museum features trolleys, which are in operating condition from Johnstown, York, Scranton and Philadelphia. Trolleys from Harrisburg and the Harrisburg West Shore, and additional Scranton, Johnstown and Philadelphia trolleys are also in the collection awaiting restoration work to return them to service.

For more information, or to contribute to the project, please write to:

Railways To Yesterday Inc.
P.O. Box 1601
Allentown PA 18105.

The Museum is a non-profit organization and is registered with the Pennsylvania Charitable Organizations Commission. Donations are fully deductible under the IRS code 501(c)(3). Membership in the museum is offered to anyone interested in trolleys and their preservation.

For more information about the Rockhill Trolley Museum, please write to the above address or visit the museum’s website at www.rockhilltrolley.org