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Ding Hoy, feather merchants and fellow adventurers. It's been a while since I've updated you on my travels so after a couple of recent trips, I thought I'd do a report. Susie had a class in Gettysburg and I went along as we were going to participate in the Civil War Remembrance Day ceremonies. While she was in class, I did some railfanning. We went to Florida for Thanksgiving and while there, we rode a really great dinner train. I've added a look at Minersville, PA plus some recent stuff from Canada.

On to the pictures

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I started out by going to the Gettysburg & Northern enginehouse to see what was going on. I used to work there and I wanted to see if they had survived my "driving". They did, BTW. An ex-IC GP 9 or 10 or?, lettered for parent Pioneer Rail Corp., was the power for the day I had worked the excursion train and had read that they had later shut it down. No fault on mine though, no riders. Taking to the GM, they have restarted it and seems to be more successful than when I worked there. The 1001 left Gettysburg light to go to Apsers to start its day of switching local industries.
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As I headed back to Gettysburg, the CSX local showed up with a road slug set spliced by a ...
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SD 50 then.. another road slug set. Only CSX could field a bunch of motors like this. I'm glad I wasn't the engineer. If they run like they look, the  sound of alarm bells going off would provide musical accompaniment for the run
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They stopped to set off and pick up some cars from the Gettysburg & Northern. I wanted to get ahead of the train for a decent shot but the sun angles sucked... so I went north to Gardner and found the G&N switching the local mill.
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I took a couple of shots of the motor as it headed south after picking up an empty hopper. The partially restored ex Reading station in Gardner.
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The local heads south, the station is directly behind me. To me, this is the archetypal picture of a short line railroad, An old but serviceable motor hauling an empty back to the interchange. This is the yard at Biglerville which is in a bowl. This was fun to switch as you have to place skates and set hand brakes.
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After switching at Biglerville, the  local departs past the ex-Reading station. The local is nearly back to Gettysburg, about to cross Route 30. The old Civil War era station is being magnificently restored. Abraham Lincoln arrived here to deliver his famous address.
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On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we went to Eustis, Florida to ride the Inland Lakes Railway dinner train. We stopped at Mt. Dora to look around and found this passenger equipment stored at the end of the track. The cars belong to the SAM Short Line Railway and are being stored by the Inland Lakes. On the way, I saw track leading to Mt Dora that was clearly out of service.  The track to the right of the cars is out of service. One of the cars was from MARC and the far right one above in the background is ex-Southern Railway.
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This is the Inland Lakes' station in Mt. Dora at the end of one of their two routes. The restored Mt. Dora station which is now an office. The arrival and departure board at the station. I don't know if the trains are accurate but it does look good.
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This is "Herbie", an ex U.S. Army 45 tonner, which pulls the excursion train between Eustis and Mt. Dora. Herbie is leaving with its ex MARC car for the last run of the  day. This ex IC Geep 10 is the power for the dinner train. It was painted only a few days before our visit. Another one is on its way to replace Herbie.
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The station is in the lobby of the Grand Magnolia Hotel which is being restored. The coach came from the NYC and was not being used the day we rode. The diner is ex Seaboard Air Line and could very well have operated over this route. The baggage car which has the head end power generator is an ex AT&SF car. The route was once a main line as the curves are super elevated for speed.
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The interior of the diner is in excellent condition and there was starched white linen on the tables with fresh cut flowers in the vases. The galley and our chef. The food is cooked on board from a pre-ordered menu and was very, very good. The service was first class as well. The interior of the NYC coach.
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I had read that the ex Reading station in Minersville, PA was being restored and that they had a steam engine as well. On the way back from Virginia in December, we stopped to check it out. It appears to partially restored but close up still needs some work. The track is owned by the Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern but based on the appearance of the track, I don't think they come here very often.
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A shot of the back of the station and the caboose. Note that the station is curved to match the track The engine is an ex CNJ 0-6-0 built by American Locomotive Works in 1923. I think it will be some time before this little puffer belly will be down by the station early in the morning with a fire in its belly. The builder's plate on the 113. The other plaque states that the engine is owned by Minersville.
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They own a caboose lettered for the Lycoming & Reading but the initials on the truck side frame tells the story. There are a couple of old coaches on siding across from the station.
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These ex C&O? passenger cars were used about 10 years ago for excursions but I don't think that they moved in a long, long time. The track on the west side of the station, on which the engine and caboose sit, at one time went to at least this factory and maybe further to some mines.
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On the way out of town, we saw this and had to stop for a couple of pictures. BTW, the "mule" is really a plastic "horse". Back home, saw this VIA train leaving Ottawa for Toronto. BTW, the weather here sucks, like Chicago with many, many cloudy days.
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The weatherguesser forecast a sunny day so I went to Bedell, about 30 miles south of Ottawa, which is on the CP's Montreal - Toronto main. Track work a few miles east caused a big back up so I saw three trains in about 20 minutes. As you can see, stacks are common but the the train in the center pictures shows an "Expressway" service train that runs between Montreal and Toronto on an expedited schedule. This is the only train on the CP which will handle trailers as it serves truckers in this 400 mile corridor so the  ability to move trailers TOFC style is a requirement.  Of course, by the time I got to Bedell, the clouds came in. The weather idiots don't do any better here than they do in the States.
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The Ottawa Central operates over a VIA line to reach a lumber yard on the east side of suburban Ottawa. Normally, they run at night to avoid VIA trains but on this day they went out in the afternoon. They must have had it in for the conductor as he had to ride the corner of the center beam flat for at least 7 or 8 miles back to Wakeley Yard. It was really cold that day with a strong wind. Not my idea of fun. They do have a caboose but I guess it was punishment time. Yes, this is the same crossing as in the VIA train shot.

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The dashed line on the map is the Inland Lakes Railway which is shown as abandoned but, of course, is not. They plan to operate to the end of track near Orlando so as to attract more riders. This would be a ride only train as the dinner train is tied to Eustis because of financial support.