Towrail Railfan Group - Lancester County, Pa.

Welcome to TOWRAIL's web site!
"What the heck is a TOWRAIL?", I'm sure you're probably asking.  TOWRAIL was founded by a handful of  people who worked together at the same company and discovered they all had a similar interest... watching and photographing present-day railroading operations.  This is known as "Railfanning" to those who enjoy this kind of activity.   In 1988, Mel Agne, Troy Frey, Barth Bailey, and Phil Devries worked together as service technicians at "The Office Works Computer Center" in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Along with another co-worker, Glenn Herr, they discussed their interests and past experiences as railroad "buffs", and decided it would be a great idea to get together on a regular basis and railfan as a large group rather than individually, as many had done previously.   So they formed an informal little railfan club and named it TOWRAIL, an anacronym for The Office Works RAILfan Club.  The first group field trip was taken in October 1998, and was attended by Mel, Troy, Glenn, and Troy's railfanning friend, Rick Gantz.  That first trip was so successful that many more trips followed over the next 12 years, with six trips per year being the norm.  Generally, 4 day trips and 2 weekend trips were scheduled at the beginning of each year at a planning meeting , and club meetings were held between each trip for everyone to show their slides and videos of the previous trip. 

Membership in the club slowly grew to include as many as 12 members, and with friends and guests, it became not uncommon for the club to have railfanning trips attended by up to 15 people in one large group.  Logistically, it was sometimes a challenge moving that many people around quickly from one photo stop to another, so walkie-talkies, CB Radios, and now currently HAM Radios, were used by the members for communications, enabling them to spread out or break up into smaller groups to cover more gound and more photo oportunities. 

As the years past, the original members began moving on to other places of employment, and The Office Works Computer Center was swallowed up in multiple corporate mergers, until there was no longer any connection between club members and the company.  But the TOWRAIL name lives on; it had been the club name for so long that no one wanted to change it, so a new anacronym was needed.  Now when members are trackside wearing their club T-shirts and other railfans ask what TOWRAIL is, they are told that "Trains On Weekends Really Add Interest to Life!"   That sounds fairly reasonable, don't you think?
History by Troy Frey.

2000 Trips:
03/18/00 "March Magnolia Madness" Trip