Author Topic: America's Newest Steam Locomotive: York 17  (Read 6397 times)

Kevin Madore

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America's Newest Steam Locomotive: York 17
« on: August 09, 2013, 01:38:21 PM »
Early last month, I was fortunate to be able to spend 3 days observing, riding and photographing the new "Steam into History" (SIH) operation in New Freedom, PA. This new tourist railroad is operating a brand new, 4-4-0 American Standard, built by the Kloke Locomotive Works in Elgin, IL. The new locomotive is designed to look like an 1860s-era wood-burner, and is loosely based on the design drawings developed by O'Connor Engineering back in the late 1970s for the two engines that firm built for the Park Service's Golden Spike National Historic Site. The "York 17" as she is called, is really an oil-burner with air brakes, and all of the other appliances that the FRA now requires.

The new "York 17" runs on a roughly 10-mile stretch of rehabbed track that was historically part of the Northern Central Railway. The excursions operate out of New Freedom and make a round-trip to Hanover Junction, currently using replica coaches leased from another operation. SIH expects to begin taking delivery of some replica coaches of their own beginning this month.

Obviously, the main attraction of this new operation is the beautiful new engine. Quite simply, there is no other tourist railroad with anything like it. An additional draw is the restored depot/museum at Hanover Junction and the rich history of the place. Abraham Lincoln is said to have stopped there on his way to Gettysburg in November of 1863, and the group has Matthew Brady photos that purport to show the man himself standing on the platform. What struck me was just how sharp Brady's photos were. If the bearded gentleman on the platform isn't Old Abe, he could fool me.

Here is a small photo album of shots that I took during those three days.

http://www.railpictures.net/album/1287/

Click on the thumbnail images for full-screen views. Check out the link that I put on the Hanover Junction shot to see some of the Brady pics. The guy did some amazing work.


/Kevin


Steve Smith

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Re: America's Newest Steam Locomotive: York 17
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 02:59:42 PM »
GEORGEOUS, Kevin. Thank you!

Ira Schreiber

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Re: America's Newest Steam Locomotive: York 17
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 04:55:22 PM »
Wonderful photos.
Thanks for sharing.
Ira

Stephen Hussar

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Re: America's Newest Steam Locomotive: York 17
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 04:58:25 PM »
Gorgeous, Kevin!

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: America's Newest Steam Locomotive: York 17
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 09:14:45 PM »
Hi Kevin, nice photos!  Makes me wish I still lived 10 miles from New Freedom.  I used to work that part of the Northern Central when George Hart had a contract for the Stewartstown RR to operate freight and passenger trains from the state line to York.  That was in the 1980's and the Hanover Jct depot looked like it would collapse.  We never dreamed that something as beautiful as the York would be burnishing the rails.  The fellows behind SIH have done a great job.   Just wait until you see the 1863 era coaches that are being built.  That will be some train.

Thanks for the post,

Stewart

Andre Anderson

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Re: America's Newest Steam Locomotive: York 17
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2013, 09:18:16 PM »
Greetings,

Just a question, have they gotten the York back up and running and what was the problem with her anyway?

Andre Anderson
Portland Oregon

Kevin Madore

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Re: America's Newest Steam Locomotive: York 17
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2013, 05:37:45 AM »
Yes, the York has been running for the last week or two.  The issues that SIH has had over the past couple of months have been relatively minor.  They are trying to be cautious with a new (and very expensive) locomotive.  Best to call ahead if you plan to visit.  As with any steam operation, things can happen.  The machine may be new, but the technology surely isn't.

/Kevin