15 August 2017
Grosmont Yorkshire England United Kingdom - A leading visitor attraction has been given a huge cash boost, after receiving £4.6 million ($7,479,670.64 million) of National Lottery funding for a major sustainability project to secure its future.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) has won support from the National Lottery for its £9.2million sustainability project, called Yorkshire's Magnificent Journey.
The announcement comes after seven train carriages at the heritage railway in Pickering were vandalised overnight between 22 and 23 Jul 2017.
Windows were smashed and the carriages were severely damaged inside.
The aim of Yorkshire's Magnificent Journey is to boost investment in the infrastructure and the activities of the railway to help ensure that it can continue to operate successfully for the next 50 years.
John Glen, Minister for Arts, Heritage, and Tourism, said, "The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is part of this country's rich railway heritage and this £4.6 million investment, thanks to National Lottery players, will help preserve it for generations to come."
To deliver the investment programme, the NYMR must raise matching funds of £4.6 million.
With generous member bequests and the attraction expecting to secure more grants, the NYMR will need to raise about £2.5 million from members, passengers, and the public over the next five years.
Carrying around 350,000 passengers every year, the attraction says keeping 18 miles of railway with more than 30 bridges through the countryside of the North York Moors in top condition is a continuing challenge for the NYMR trustees.
NYMR trust chairman, John Bailey, said, "Fifty years ago our founders had the vision and determination to re-open the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Today we face a challenge of similar scale. We are extremely grateful for the support from the National Lottery. With its backing, we can plan confidently both the implementation of essential projects and our appeal for the balance of funds required. This should ensure that 50 years hence, people will still be learning from and enjoying the experience of steam across the Moors."
The railway runs from Pickering to Whitby via the North York Moors National Park.
See and learn more about the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in this OKthePK article.
16 August 2017
Denmark - Atkins is assisting Danish State Railways (DSB) with the procurement of approximately 30 new electrically powered locomotives for hauling double-deck trains.
The objective is to obtain standardized locomotives, which provide a more reliable and eco-friendly rail service for Danish passengers.
Atkins is working with its partners Vestergard Consulting and TUV Rheinland to provide advice throughout the entire process, until 2020.
We are responsible for the planning, functional specification, tendering, procurement, testing, and commissioning of the new locomotives.
We have also supported the development of the business case validating the acquisition of the new locomotives and identifying target routes.
The functional specification for the procurement includes technical requirements and maintenance requirements.
During the first phase, a market analysis was conducted and an operation concept, maintenance strategy, and Reliability-Accessibility-Maintainability (RAM) requirements were prepared.
Furthermore, we are designing a robust evaluation model to enable the procurement process to meet the requirements of the commissioning authorities, with particular emphasis on safety approvals.
14 August 2017
Kennesaw Georgia USA - "The General" is best known for its role in the Great Locomotive Chase of the Civil War, also known as Andrews' Raid.
The steam locomotive was assembled in Paterson, New Jerssy, in 1855 and sailed down the coast, where it was commissioned to transport passengers and freight between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
During the Civil War, with the exception of hauling more military goods than before, The General's purpose did not change.
"In fact, that's how Andrews and the raiders were able to board it that day," said Dustin Klein, archivist and registrar at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, where The General is housed.
"It was actually pulling several passenger cars for people traveling between Atlanta and Chattanooga and the various towns in between."
On 12 Apr 1862 James Andrews, a Union spy posing as a Confederate smuggler, boarded The General in Marietta, along with 20 others in a Union raid to disrupt Confederate supply lines.
Knowing that rail lines were an important means of transporting supplies and troops, Andrews had hatched a plan to steal The General and destroy rails and bridges along the way to Chattanooga, said Klein.
The destruction of railroads to Chattanooga, a major rail hub, would deal a major blow to the Confederates and allow Union forces to capture the city.
The operation didn't go according to plan.
"As they made their way to Marietta, a couple of them actually ended up stumbling into a Confederate encampment and got basically impressed into Confederate service," said Klein.
"Of the 22 men who actually make it to Marietta, two oversleep the day of the raid, so now you're down to 20, and they've just started on their journey."
While Andrews and his raiders boarded and stole The General from its conductor, William Fuller, various snags, including several days of rain, had delayed their arrival by a day.
The raid was meant to take place simultaneously with a Union attack on Huntsville, Alabama.
The attack occurred, and the Confederates then guessed that Chattanooga was next.
They responded by sending more trains than normal out of Chattanooga the next day, clogging the railway south toward Atlanta.
On 12 Apr 1862, said Klein, the raiders now in control of The General faced traffic and more delays.
Fuller caught up with The General.
The combination of Fuller's pursuit and the water-logged railroad bridges meant that the raiders didn't have time to pry up tracks, burn bridges, or refuel.
The 87 mile chase ended when The General ran out of fuel and was abandoned north of Ringgold, just 18 miles short of Chattanooga.
Andrews and his raiders were captured.
"James Andrews, along with several other raiders were hanged as spies, but the remainder either escaped on their own or were exchanged in a prisoner exchange," said Klein.
"The men who were involved in the chase, the Union raiders, the soldiers, they were actually among the first recipients ever of the Medal of Honor, which was a newly made award during the Civil War."
The General was retired in 1890 and displayed in Vinings, said Klein.
It was later purchased, restored, and exhibited at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.
The locomotive was then displayed in Chattanooga.
In the late 1960s, the state of Georgia won ownership after a court battle with the city of Chattanooga.
In 1972, The General was moved to Kennesaw.
15 August 2017
Bangkok Thailand - A Baht19.5 billion project to procure 100 new diesel-electric locomotives will be submitted to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) board this September.
SRT deputy director Thanongsak Pongprasert said that while the government agency has 140 diesel-electric locomotives at present, only around 50-60 percent of them are fully operational.
According to him, the new locomotives will replace decommissioned ones.
He added that the project aims to provide extra locomotives to keep up with several double-track projects set to be completed over the next few years, including the track from Jira in Nakhon Ratchasima to Khon Kaen and the route connecting Khlong Sip Kao in Chachoengsao to Kaeng Khoi in Saraburi.
The proposed plan calls for 50 locomotives to be bought via e-auctions, valued at Baht6.5 billion, Mr. Thanongsak said.
If the auctions get under way within this year, he said, the locomotives can be manufactured and delivered within two years.
The remaining 50 locomotives will be leased with the rental expected to be around Baht13 billion, said Mr. Thanongsak.
He added that the rental period of these locomotives will be 15 years, with a possible expansion of five more years if the lessor is privately owned.
These locomotives can operate for 25-30 years and the rent will amount to Baht50,000 each per day.
The auctioning process will commence once the project has been approved by the SRT board, the Ministry of Transport (MOT), and the cabinet.
He said another project to acquire 186 air-conditioned diesel trams has also been proposed to the MOT.
A report from the SRT stated that the project will cost around Baht13 billion, and the trams will be used for operations over 300-400 kilometre routes.
15 August 2017
Madeley Shropshire England United Kingdom - Discover how the Victorians harnessed steam to power their engines and other machines on Saturday, 19 Aug 2017, and Sunday, 20 Aug 2017, when Blists Hill Victorian Town, near Ironbridge will be in steam.
The weekend will provide a rare chance to get up close and personal with an eclectic collection of Victorian steam powered machines, all of which will be in their full working splendour.
The steam weekend is being held as part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust's 50th anniversary celebrations.
The town's replica of Trevithick's 1802 "Coalbrookdale" locomotive will be running.
The original is believed to be the world's first steam locomotive.
Other Museum engines in steam will include "Billy", a fantastic 1903 Wallis & Steevens road roller, the Merry Weather fire pump, and the Fielding oil engine, as well as portable and ploughing engines.
The impressive Blists Hill Ironworks steam hammer will also be in operation as well as the two ironworks engines, sometimes known as "The Woods Engine". This large forge mill engine features a 27 tonne fly wheel.
In addition, there will be a variety of special guest engines, both large and small, around the Town throughout the weekend.
This includes narrow gauge steam locomotive, number 85, owned by the Welshpool & Llanfair Railway (W&L).
The locomotive was one of a fleet of thirty-two 2-6-2T tank engines made for export to the Sierra Leone Railway by the Hunslett Engine Company of Leeds.
Although it was built in 1954, the design dates to 1898 and so is in keeping with the late Victorian setting of Blists Hill.
W&L 85 narrowly escaped scrapping in 1975 when the railway closed but was repatriated from West Africa by the W&L where it entered traffic in 1978.
It is currently touring the country as a static exhibit before returning to the W&L for major repairs.
16 August 2017
Sandown New Hampshire USA - A piece of history will be brought back to life and will roll through Sandown this weekend.
The Sandown Historical Society will be hosting a steam engine demonstration this Saturday at the Sandown Depot, from 10:00 to 14:00 with free food and drinks.
The 5 foot exact replica of a Mogul, or 2-6-0 steam locomotive, named for the wheel arrangement on the steam engine, will be firing up to show local residents and train enthusiasts just how the old locomotive would have run.
Greg Morrisette and Bob Mitchell, two members of the Sandown Historical Society and the Waushakum Live Steamers, a club that promotes interest in, and knowledge of, steam locomotion, are hosting the event.
"The models are important so people have the chance to get up close and see these locomotives," said Morrisette.
"It's the past of machines before we had technology and fancy robots and cars. It was all put together by hand with lots and lots of labor and hard work. Even the model really shows an appreciation of what went into them."
This demonstration is part of a larger effort to grow awareness of the rich railroad history that lives inside of Sandown.
The Nashua & Rochester Railroad, which became the Boston & Maine Railroad, came to Sandown in 1874 and ran train service until 1934.
The Sandown Historical Society & Museum was founded in 1977 to restore the train depot and to preserve its history.
"The historical society wanted to restore the train station to commemorate and embrace the railroad history in Sandown," said Jim Weber, vice president of the Sandown Historical Society.
Weber, a career Navy veteran and current resident of Phippsburg, Maine, grew up in Sandown and was involved with the historical society from a very young age.
His grandparents were two of the original founding members of the society.
While his grandfather has since passed away, Weber's grandmother, 94, follows his involvement with the society with admiration and pride.
As the years tick on, a need for preserving the history of locomotives has never been more necessary.
Unfortunately, Morrisette said that there are very few running steam locomotives in existence today.
"They're disappearing really quick," said Morrisette.
"People have to scrap them for the money because the time and effort to save them is so intensive."
He said that often times people don't realize, or don't think about, the integral role the steam engine played in history.
"This is what built the country," said Morrisette.
"This is how railroads started, the steam locomotive."
The model demonstration on Saturday helps paint a picture of the past for those living in Sandown today.
But not only did the historical society want to uphold the history, Weber said, but the original members had dreams of expanding the society beyond the town lines, much like the expansive ground the train tracks themselves travelled.
"The goal was to someday increase awareness and to get involved with different train people, because people who are really into trains are really into trains," he joked.
"They dreamed of expanding and getting other railroad historical societies interested in Sandown."
Fulfilling this growth and building awareness, just as his grandparents began, has remained such a passion for Weber that he now drives more than two hours to Sandown from Maine a couple times every month.
But not too long ago, the Sandown Historical Society was at a crossroads and the depot was in danger of being sold to a private owner and most likely destroyed.
"I thought that would be tragic... I cannot let that happen," said Jon Wells, current president of the Sandown Historical Society and a 30 year veteran as a locomotive engineer on the former Boston & Maine Railroad.
Wells immediately joined the society and has worked to not only save the depot, but help foster the original notion of expansion.
He said the society continually works to involve folks, beyond just Sandown residents, who have a "massive, undying love for the railroad."
Saturday's collaboration with Waushakum Live Steamers, bringing the beauty of a steam engine to people who otherwise might have no idea of history, demonstrates different opportunities brought to Sandown through expanding past town lines.
Wells said that a lot of people became members of the society because they "want to help preserve the history of the line."
Today, the historical society has over 40 members, hailing from New Hampshire, to Maine, even to Canada.
"Once people see the station they fall in love with it and want to get the word out," he added.
The society receives funding from donors and several fundraising opportunities, such as car washes, selling T-shirts at train shows, and more.
Weber said they emphasize fun while fulfilling their mission to preserve the history of the railroad and educate people today.
"We're active, we got things going on, we're busy," said Weber.
"If you want to be a part of something up and coming and growing, we're the place to be."
14 August 2017
Blowing Rock North Carolina USA - It's almost time for the most special Railroad Heritage Weekend yet at Tweetsie Railroad.
On 26-27 Aug 2017 history buffs and train enthusiasts will come together for a weekend-long event to celebrate the rich history of Tweetsie Railroad and the 100th birthday of locomotive number 12, fondly known as "Tweetsie".
Throughout the weekend "Tweetsie" will pull an 1870's vintage coach on non-stop trips around the mountain to recreate historic trains from the narrow gauge East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad.
Meanwhile, the number 190 locomotive will pull a separate train on a Wild West adventure.
Sunday morning is the only day each year when Tweetsie Railroad has a doubleheader as locomotives 12 and 190 combine to pull the train.
Railroad Heritage Weekend will also include special exhibits, demonstrations, and tours of the park's unique on-site locomotive repair shop.
Tweetsie Railroad's rich history begins in 1866 when the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC) was created.
This line provided service from Johnson City, Tennessee, to the iron mines at Cranberry, North Carolina.
The tracks were later extended to Boone, North Carolina, and the ET&WNC added passenger service and logging hauls.
Most of the tracks to Boone were destroyed by a flood in 1940, but the railroad's only surviving steam locomotive, Engine 12, was purchased by Tweetsie Railroad in 1956.
Just one year later on 4 Jul 1957 North Carolina's first theme park opened.
Engine 12 was built 100 years ago, in 1917, and is now part of the National Historic Register.
Tweetsie Railroad purchased its second locomotive in 1960 from Alaska's White Pass & Yukon Route.
Engine 190 was rebuilt and began operating at the theme park along with number 12.
The two coal-fired steam locomotives now take thousands of Tweetsie Railroad visitors on a Wild West adventure each season.
During Railroad Heritage Weekend, visitors will have the rare opportunity to visit the original Tweetsie Railroad Locomotive Shop, where Engines 12 and 190 are carefully maintained for daily use.
The Shop has become one of the few places in the country that restores, rebuilds, and creates impossible-to-find parts for steam-powered locomotives.
There is even a giant space large enough to house an entire engine and tender, where the meticulous mechanics restore locomotives to operate better-than-new.
Railroad Heritage Weekend will also celebrate Blue Ridge Mountain culture that has survived through centuries of change.
The Cherokee dancers and Tsa-La-Gi Touring Program will present shows at 11:00, 13:00, and 15:00 on Saturday, 26 Aug 2017.
The Memorabilia Room will also be open so visitors can see real historic artifacts from the ET&WNC and North Carolina's first theme park.
All Railroad Heritage Weekend activities are included in Tweetsie Railroad's regular daily admission, with the exception of the special 1870s vintage coach train, which will require a US$5 donation per passenger that will go toward supporting East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad restoration projects.