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NRHS 2018 Convention Everett Railroad



by Chris Guenzler



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

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 enginehousel 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.

Today

At present, engine 11 is stored at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad in Ridgeley, West Virginia. It is undergoing repairs as time and resources permit. There is no deadline or schedule for completion of the work and the engine is not available for public inspection. The engine was then overhauled by Everett Railroad in 2015 and was put into excursion service then after.

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