New Hope and Ivyland Railroad
|New Hope and Ivyland Railroad|
New Hope Station
|Locale||Bucks County, Pennsylvania|
|Dates of operation||1966–present|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Headquarters||New Hope, Pennsylvania|
|New Hope and Ivyland Railroad|
NHRR is involved in the import and export of raw materials and manufactured products. Freight customers range from national chemical companies to consumer product manufacturers. NHRR interchanges with Pennsylvania Northeastern Railroad in Warminster, which in turn interchanges with CSX Transportation in Lansdale. NHRR's primary customers are based in Warminster; CRC Industries and Double H Plastics are served on a weekly basis.
Heritage operations utilize steam and diesel locomotives, and depart from either New Hope or Lahaska. The typical NHRR excursion usually consists of one First Class parlor car, one coach car and in the summer through to October, an open-air observation car. The makeup of the consist is changed from time to time as operations require. The regular NHRR excursion is 45 minutes long with trains running every hour on the hour between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM (5:00 PM on weekends) during the summer months.
In addition to New Hope-Lahaska service, NHRR also operates Easter, fall foliage, Halloween and Santa trains. NHIR occasionally operates as far as Warminster — a distance of 32 miles (51 km) — to connect with SEPTA's Warminster Line. Yearly trains to Lansdale have started as an as a special on the NHRR. They occur every August.
The NHRR also offers a host of special excursions throughout its operating season. On weekends between May and October, the NHRR operates wine and cheese tasting trains dubbed the Grapevine Express. On select weekends, the railroad runs its Evening Star Dinner Train between New Hope and Buckingham Valley.
The NHRR was originally known as the New Hope Branch of the Reading Company (RDG), which leased the North Pennsylvania Railroad, of which it was a part. The railroad ran as far as Hartsville Station (near Bristol Road) until March 29, 1891, when the line was extended to the long-desired terminal of New Hope, Pennsylvania.
A decade after June 1952, when Hatboro-New Hope passenger service terminated, the RDG's financial situation was precarious. Looking to rid themselves of unprofitable branch lines via abandonment, a group of train buffs and businessmen led by Philadelphia attorney Kenneth Souser — established as Steam Trains, Inc. — were seeking to operate steam trains on a for-profit basis. Steam Trains, Inc. became organized as the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad, and on June 20, 1966, the 16.7 mile line was sold for $200,000.
Steam Trains, Inc. started their operations on a high note, often in an extravagant fashion. The company leased freight locomotives from the RDG, and used only hired labor to operate their excursions. The "air rights" over the Southern portion of the line from Ivyland to just North of Almshouse Road, were sold to the former Philadelphia Electric Company (now Exelon) in order to stay solvent. Steam Trains, Inc. declared bankruptcy on June 5, 1970. Operations continued under a court appointed trustee.
The Bucks County Industrial Development Corporation (BCIDC) purchased the trackage from the Steam Trains, Inc. in early 1974 to "preserve rail service through the center of Bucks County." The county selected McHugh Brothers Heavy Hauling, Inc. to operate freight service over the line via a lease agreement. McHugh Brothers continued hauling freight with Edward L. McHugh as president until his departure in 1989. By the summer of 1976, the railroad receive state funding to rehabilitate crumbling infrastructure that sorely needed fixing. By August 1977, volunteers from the Buckingham Valley Trolley Association [BVTA] (now the Electric City Trolley Museum Association) were operating state-sponsored passenger service connecting the touristy town of New Hope with SEPTA/Conrail commuter trains at Warminster. Bucks County had made a wise investment, as both passenger and freight service flourished during the 1970s once track upgrades were made. Finally, on June 30, 1979, the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad finally emerged from its decade-long bankruptcy.
Beginning July 3, 1980, volunteers of the New Hope Steam Railway (NHSR) resumed weekend excursion service after the BVTA decided to end it. The NHSR ran trains under a lease agreement with the BCIDC until 1990, when the line and its equipment were once again in a state of decay and disrepair. The McHugh Bros. operated the NHRR until 1989 when their lease ended and the Morristown & Erie was contracted to operate the railroad. The BCIDC sold the line outright to the for-profit Bucks County Railroad Preservation and Restoration Corporation (BCRP&RC) in 1990, who slowly began to rebuild the railroad to its current state of good repair. BCRP&RC is the official corporate structure, doing business as the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad.
Perils of Pauline
In 1914, a segment of the classic silent film The Perils of Pauline was filmed on the tracks used by the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad today. The particular part was on the north side of the 1891 built Ingham Creek trestle bridge, notably one of NHRR's highest bridges on the whole line. The site has also been dubbed "Pauline's Trestle" because of the bridge's association to the silent movie.
Stations and trackage
The NHRR is a single-track railroad with passing sidings at Lahaska, Buckingham Valley, Wycombe and Ivyland. Only Wycombe and Lahaska have their run-around tracks cleared because Lahaska is used for daily excursion trips so that locomotives can uncouple and head back to New Hope on the opposing side of the train, and dinner trains usually head to Wycombe to give patrons a better view of the line beyond Lahaska. The same idea applies to Lahaska; the locomotive uncoupled from one side of the train and couples to the other side then reversing back to New Hope. All other sidetracks, run-arounds, passing sidings, and sidings are primarily used for the storage of maintenance rail cars, out-of-service passenger cars and freight cars. At Buckingham Valley, the railroad's small fleet of historic freight cars is stored, along with any borrowed maintenance equipment, and number of former Long Island Railroad commuter coaches stored in case they are ever needed. An additional stub siding still exists at Wycombe, formerly the team track for offloading less-than-carload shipments to local businesses. It has been used for decades to store the remains of a number of coaches from earlier days of passenger operation, including a former Belfast & Moosehead Lake wooden baggage car still stenciled for the New Hope Steam Railway, for which there are no plans for restoration.
The stations along the NHRR were:
- New Hope (32 West Bridge Street in downtown New Hope. Located about 100 feet north of its original location and in use as NHRR ticket office.)
- Huffnagle/Hood(in Solebury Township)
- Reeder (on Reeder Road in Solebury Township)
- Lahaska (Current station built by NH&I RR in the 1990s on Street Road in Buckingham Township. The original Reading Company station, built to the same design as the Wycombe station, was moved less than a mile away for use as a private home in the 1950s and has since had its distinctive "Witches Hat" removed during a renovation.)
- Bycot (on Holicong Road in Buckingham Township, a small recent building exists there)
- Buckingham Valley built by The Reading Company "Iron Side" in the late 19th century. Original structure demolished in 1953. The current station was moved from the Pickering Branch near Phoenixville, PA in the 1970s. The station is located on Upper Mountain Road just off of PA 413 in Buckingham Township)
- Montessori School (located south of Creek Road)
- Wycombe (on Township Line Road in Buckingham Township)
- Rushland (on Rushland Road in Wrightstown Township) Only surviving original station on the New Hope branch to lack a "Witches Hat" style telegraph office. Freight station built from converted Reading 40-foot wooden boxcar # 13914 still stands as well.)
- Grenoble (on Grenoble Road in Northampton Township)
- Traymore (at Creek Road and Mearns Road in Warwick Township)
- Ivyland (where Ivyland Road becomes Wilson Avenue at Greeley Avenue in Ivyland, station building reportedly still stands in an unknown location )
- Bonair (approximately where the current Warminster train station is located)
- Indented stations no longer exist
Locomotives used in the excursion passenger service is usually provided by steam locomotive #40, a 2-8-0 1925 Baldwin wheel arrangement. #40 (ex-Cliffside Railroad) is supplemented by diesel powered locomotives primarily for freight operations. The current active diesel roster consists of EMD GP30 #2198 (ex-PRR), GE C30-7 #7087 (ex-CSX), and EMD SD40-2 #5577 (ex-Canadian Pacific).
Passenger excursions typically consist of 3-4 former RDG coaches built between 1913 and 1927; total NHRR passenger car count is 24, 9 of which are currently in service. The only locomotives owned by the corporate structure of the NHRR are #40 and #1533. All diesels are owned by a privately held company (Rail Power Inc.) and leased to the operation. Rail Power Inc. is owned by three NHRR employees and also owns subsidiary Pennsylvania Northeastern's locomotives.
Italicized indicates no longer owned by the NHRR
|Number||Heritage & Wheel Configuration||Notes||Picture|
|No. 7||Former Virginia Blue Railway, Ex U.S. ARMY, 0-6-0||Built by Lima in 1942, One of #9's sisters, Scrapped in 1976, privately owned, never owned by the NHRR/Steam Trains Inc, several components retained for use on #9 (driving wheels, running gear, driving boxes, throttle, air compressor and reverser)|
|No. 9||Former Virginia Blue Railway, Ex U.S. ARMY, 0-6-0||Built by ALCO in 1942 (C/N 70402), Was used as backup power to 40 in the early 1970s but was the NHRR's only running steam locomotive between 1977 and 1980. Out of service since 1981, sold in 2009 to SMS Rail Lines.|
|No. 40||Former Cliffside Railroad, Ex Lancaster & Chester, 2-8-0||Active, Built 1925 by Baldwin Locomotive Works (C/N 58824) for L&C, bought by NHIR in 1962. It was infrequently used due to NHIR's favor of #1533, until that locomotive's withdrawal from service in 1975. After #9 was removed from service in 1981, NHSR's main source of motive power between 1981 and 1986 was #40. Out of service between 1987 and 1990, returned to service in 1991.|
|No. 148||Former Whippany River, Ex Florida East Coast, 4-6-2||Never owned by NHRR. Was under restoration work for private owner. Currently in Colorado, awaiting restoration and operation on the D&RGW's Creede Branch.|
|No. 565||Former Black River & Western, Ex Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, 2-6-0||Never owned by NHRR. Was at New Hope for a rebuild that was never completed, Moved to Scranton, PA in 1983, Now part of Steamtown NHS collection.|
|No. 614||Former Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, 4-8-4||Owned by Ross Rowland. Was at New Hope for rebuild in 1995 to 1996 for Iron Horse Enterprises' Erie Limited excursions on NJ Transit's Port Jervis Line. 614 continues to use NHRR's reporting marks.|
|No. 1533||Former Canadian National, Ex Canadian Northern, 4-6-0||Out of Service since 1975, Built 1911 by Montreal Locomotive Works (C/N 49878) as Canadian Northern #264, renumbered by Canadian Northern in 1912 to #1325, included in Canadian National merger in 1923, renumbered to #1533 in June 1956, purchased by Steam Trains Inc. in 1962. Was the NHRR's main locomotive between 1966 and 1974 and last ran in December 1975. Tender stored on deadline at New Hope, locomotive stored behind New Hope enginehouse|
|No. 3028||Former Nacionales de México, 4-8-4||Built in 1946 by ALCO (C/N 74383). Stored, leased by NHRR in 1997, has never run on NHRR tracks, both tender and engine currently connected and stored on deadline.|
|Model & Number||Heritage||Notes||Picture|
|ALCo RS-1 #57||Former Washington Terminal Company #57||Privately owned. Transferred to Black River & Western 1970's, sold in mid 1990s to private owner, who moved it to EPRY (East Penn Railway) for storage. Currently stored in Quakertown out-of-service in EPRY paint.|
|ALCo RSC-2 #1513||Former BITY, Ex FPL, Exx NCR, Exxx SAL||Built 1949 by ALCO, Sold to Danbury Railway Museum.|
|BLW DS44-1000 #100 and #101||Former Copper Range RR||Built 4/1947, purchased by McHugh Bros as the main power for freight service. Occasionally borrowed by SEPTA as backup power. Scrapped sometime after 1983.|
|BLW DS44-1000 #302||Former PC, Ex PRR||Built 4/1949, purchased along with #100 and 101. Sold to SMS Rail Services in the 1980s, is now fully restored to its as-built appearance and is used there in active freight service with its original colors and number, #9069.|
|GE 45 Ton 390||Former American Bridge Company||Moved to Tyburn in 1990.|
|BLW VO-660 #395||Former Warner Co. #11||Purchased by McHugh before 1983, retired with DS44-1000 fleet, currently awaiting disposition at SMS Rail Services.|
|U30B No. 401||Former Conrail, Ex PC, Exx NYC||Purchased by McHugh in 1984. Moved to Tyburn Railroad in 1990.|
|BLW AS-16 No. 542||Former RDG||Never owned by the NHIR. Borrowed for a short time during McHugh Bros. ownership in the 1970s.|
|C30-7 No. 531||Former UP||Restored by the NHIR. Was used as freight power and seldom passenger service. Sold to Ohio Central with CSXT 7064 in 2007. Sold to Progress Rail Service in 2010 along with 7064. Moved to Waycross, GA. Presumably scrapped in 2011.|
|GP-30 No. 2198||Former CR, Ex PC, Exx PRR||Active, primarily used for passenger, sees freight and maintenance service occasionally.|
|SD40-2 No. 5577||Former CP||Active, wears faded red CP livery, usually stays in Ivyland/Warminster for freight service, bought in 2007 to replace 531 and 7064. Built 1972 by GMD, occasionally sees service on PNRR as well.|
|GP9rm No. 7010||Former CN||Active, originally built as CN GP9 4327, rebuilt as GP9rm in 1985, retired by CN in 2011, built 1959 by GMD.|
|C30-7 No. 7064||Former CSXT, Ex L&N||Restored by the NHIR. Was used as freight power and seldom passenger service. Was used as a source of parts for 7087 and 531. Sold to Ohio Central with UP 531 in 2007. Sold to Progress Rail Service in 2010 along with 531. Currently in service in Brazil.|
|C30-7 No. 7087||Former CSXT, Ex SBD||Active, primarily used as backup for 2198 in passenger service or for maintenance work, sees freight service occasionally.|
|C39-8 No. 8202||Former NS, Ex CR||Sold to MMA, wore faded blue CR livery with NSSX text, was used for passenger service including the October 2011 Fall Foliage Warminster Trip and frequent ballast service use after Hurricane Irene.|
|C39-8 No. 8207||Former NS, Ex CR||Sold to MMA, wore faded blue CR livery with NSSX text, never ran on NHRR tracks, was stored at Wycombe turn-around track.|
|C39-8 No. 8208||Former NS, Ex CR||Sold to MMA, wore NS livery with NSSX text, never ran on NHRR tracks, was stored at New Hope Station sidetrack|
|C39-8 No. 8211||Former NS, Ex CR||Transferred to PNRR, wears NS livery with NSSX text, was used for passenger service including the May 2011 Willow Grove Tri-Centennial Trip and a Dining Charter in August 2012|
|C39-8 No. 8212||Former NS, Ex CR||Transferred to PNRR, wears faded blue CR livery with NSSX text, was stored at New Hope for sometime|
|SW-1 No. 9423||Former AMTK 739, Ex PC 9423, Exx PRR 9423||Repainted into PRR livery in 1988, Repainted Blue 1993.
Privately owned by AF Railways Inc., during its entire tenure on the NHRR. Transferred by owner to storage at SMS Rail Services in New Jersey.
Passenger Rolling Stock
|Type & Number||Heritage||Notes||Picture|
|RPO/Mail Car No. 72||Former WCRL, Ex CNJ||Out Of Service, has NHSR text on its side, used as storage on deadline at New Hope, Once used as the gift shop and ticket office, One of two CNJ rolling stock owned by NHRR.|
|Baggage Car No. 100||Former BR&W, Ex B&MLRR, Exx B&A, Exxx DLW||Out Of Service, originally used as ticket office and Gift Shop at New Hope Station in 1980s, has NHSR lettering on its side, stored at Wycombe. The only wooden passenger car in the NHRR's fleet. Collapsed mid summer 2014.|
|Coach No. 983||Former CNJ||Out of Service, stored at Wycombe, Retains its original Mahogany Interior. One of two CNJ rolling stock owned by NHRR, From Valley Forge Scenic Railroad.|
|Baggage/Open Air No. 1096||Former AMTK, Ex ATSF||Active, originally a baggage car during Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and Amtrak service but converted by Iron Horse Enterprises for main line excursion service. Traded to NHRR as partial payment for work done to ex C&O 614.|
|Coach No. 1113||Former RDG||Out of Service, Class PBn, 76 seats, last used in 1979, Built 1925, stored at Wycombe, From Valley Forge Scenic Railroad.|
|Coach No. 1127||Former RDG||Active, 84 seats, Class PBn, Built 1924, equipped in 1930's with Taylor flexible-type (MU) trucks. This was the test car for the Reading Company for these, then "new", trucks, Renumbered #11 under NHSR operation, From Valley Forge Scenic Railroad, saw use on the Reading Rambles.|
|Coach No. 1133||Former CNJ||From Valley Forge Scenic Railroad, Owned by outright by VFSR volunteer group, Moved to Whippany Toonerville in mid 1970s, Sold to Conway Scenic Railroad|
|Parlor/Dining Car No. 1202||Former RDG||Active, Class PBn, Built 1922, originally an 84 seat coach but converted by NHRR in 1990s into a Parlor/Dining Car, Renumbered #16 under NHSR operation, From Valley Forge Scenic Railroad, typically used only when 1430 is unavailable.|
|Coach No. 1220||Former RDG||Active, 84 seats, Class PBn, Built 1922, currently used only when more passenger cars are needed, wore Reading livery until 2008, Renumbered #11 under NHSR operation, From Valley Forge Scenic Railroad.|
|Open Air Car No. 1366||Former RDG||Out Of Service, Class PB1, Built 1918, originally 76 seat coach but converted by NHRR in 1970 into an Open Air Car, last used in 1979, stored at Wycombe.|
|Coach No. 1424||Former RDG||Active, Class PBh, Built 1913, 76 seats, named "Joseph R. Turner" in 1990s after stockholder, Renumbered #13 under NHSR operation, Retains original Mahogany Interior, saw use on the Reading Rambles.|
|Parlor/Dining Car No. 1430||Former RDG||Active, Class PBh, Built 1913, originally 76 seat coach but converted by NHRR in the early 1970s into a Parlor/Dining Car, Renumbered #14 under NHSR operation, Retains original Mahogany Interior. Named "Donald L. Hammond" in 2013 after NHRR's Chairman Of The Board.|
|Coach No. 1505||Former RDG||Active, Class PBh, Built 1916, 75 seats, Renumbered #15 under NHSR operation, Retains original Mahogany Inerior.|
|Open Air Observation Car No. 1525||Former RDG||Active, Class PBr, Built 1927, originally 76 seat coach, former Air Conditioned semi-streamlined car, converted in 1967 by NHRR into a two-thirds open and one-third closed coach with open platforms on each end, Out of Service by NHSR in 1979, stored at Wycombe until 2010 when NHRR rebuilt it as a full length open air/observation car.|
|Coach No. 1536||Former RDG||Out of Service, Class PBr, Built 1927, 74 seats, last used in 1969 stored at Wycombe,
former Reading "Air Conditioned" Coach.
|Coach No. 1542||Former RDG||Out of Service, Class PBr, Built 1927,74 seats, last used in 1969, stored at Grenoble, former "Air Conditioned" Coach, heavily vandalized, flipped on its side by vandals in mid-2010, still retains semi-streamlined skirting.|
|Pullman Parlor Car No. 2004||Former LIRR, Ex NYC, Exx Pullman Company||Out of Service, built 1914 as lot 4329, plan 2417A Parlor-Buffet, originally named "Andrico," was a part of the Empire State Limited in NYC years, was a Club Car named "Syossett" in LIRR years, stored on deadline at New Hope.|
|Coach No. 2804||Former LIRR||Out of Service, Class P72, stored at Buckingham.|
|Coach No. 2805||Former LIRR||Out Of Service, Class P72, stored at Buckingham.|
|Coach No. 2816||Former LIRR||Out Of Service, Class P72, painted in NH&I livery, stored at Buckingham|
|Coach No. 2817||Former LIRR||Repurposed, Class P72, painted in NH&I livery, interior converted into 3D maze for 2014 Halloween season.|
|Coach No. 2820||Former LIRR||Out Of service, Class P72, stored at Buckingham|
|Coach No. 2826||Former LIRR||Out Of Service, Class P72, stored at Buckingham|
|Coach No. 2834||Former LIRR||Out Of Service, Class P72, painted in NH&I livery, stored at Buckingham|
|Coach No. 4907||Former BR&W, Ex CN||Active, Built 1919, constructed as 14 section "Colonist Sleeper" car, originally CN 2877, has composite construction; wood frame and steel skin.|
|Electric Motor Cab Car No. 9125||Former SEPTA, Ex RDG||Out Of Service, electric multiple unit in RDG days, became a work train cab car when owned by SEPTA, wears rusty SEPTA livery, stored awaiting restoration into dining car in New Hope, currently utilized as a wood shop.|
|Dining Car 800301||Former American Orient Express, Ex Alaska Railroad, Exx Union Pacific||Awaiting refurbishment, built 1949, from Greenbriar Presidential Express, named "Crater Lake," Former American Orient Express "Zurich," originally ran as part of the City of Los Angeles and City of Portland passenger trains as UP 5004.|
|Business Car "Sherlock Holmes"||Former Soo Line||Owned by NHRR Founder Kenneth Souser, built 1909, fate unknown.|
Freight Rolling Stock
|Type & Number||Heritage||Notes||Picture|
|Boxcar No. 4435||Former LNE||Used as storage space in New Hope, lacks trucks|
|Boxcar No. 8570||Former LNE||Used as storage space in New Hope, lacks trucks|
|Boxcar No. 9005||Former LNE||USRA Steel 40 foot, used as storage space in New Hope, lack trucks|
|Boxcar No. 9811||Former NYSW||40s Frame, PS-1, stored at New Hope,
no longer sees active use
|Hopper Car No. 303||Former CR, Ex PRR||Wears white NHRR livery, open/exposed bin, designated for ballast service, kept in good shape, built 1955.|
|Flatcar No. 480047||Former PRR, Ex IHB||Wears PRR lettering, steel frame, wooden platform, used to haul railroad ties and other supplies, acquired from Indiana Harbor Belt|
|Dump Car No. 53033||Former CN||Wears faded chipped CN livery, used to haul ballast and other minerals, built 1957.|
|Tanker Car No. 3752||Former UTLX||Built by Union Tank Car Co., UTLX, 3 dome tanker|
|Flatcar No. 38009||Former US Army||4 truck tank carrier, built 1951|
|Tanker Car No. 55926||Former UTLX||Built in 1913, Unique due to the platform at the top of the ladder|
|No. 102||Former N&B, Ex LNE||Out of Service, wooden, was stored at Buckingham for a long time before being brought to New Hope on 2 November 2012. This caboose has had wall paneling and flooring replaced and is still in the process of restoration.|
|No. 103||Former N&B, Ex LNE||Restoration, wooden, was stored on deadline at New Hope until 2005 when NHIR ripped of its paneling to begin restoration of the car, as of 2013, it has had a new cupola fabricated and new wood siding is starting to be put on.|
|No. 339 (Closet Squirrel)||Former CR, Ex EL||Owned by Mc.Hugh Bros. Sold to EPRY|
|No. 98627||Former RDG||Owned by New Hope Steam Railway Inc. Sold to PJRL|
- "Reporting Mark Search". Railinc. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
- Pawson, John R. (1979). Delaware Valley Rails: The Railroads and Rail Transit Lines of the Philadelphia Area. Willow Grove, Pennsylvania: John R. Pawson. pp. 115–117. ISBN 0-9602080-0-3.
- Balkin, Marc (2007). Ride the New Hope Line!. Mark I Videos.
- New Hope and Ivyland Railroad. "History." Accessed 2011-01-22.