2011-10-06 / Local & State

Group Hopes To Get Civil War-Era Train Rolling

YORK, Pa. (AP) – A replica of a Civil War-era train could be rolling through central Pennsylvania in time for the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg, if members of a York County nonprofit have their way.

Steam into History Inc. says the project will combine the history of the Northern Central Railway and the Civil War in York County.

Co- chair Bill Simpson tells the York Daily Record (http://bit.ly/o23lsr) that he sees the train drawing railroad buffs and history enthusiasts from far and wide to the area.

Backers point out that President Abraham Lincoln traveled on a train through the county to deliver the Gettysburg Address, and two years later, his funeral train chugged along the same Northern Central Railway.

Board member Reed Anderson said a $2 million locomotive is being built in Illinois, and the next step is to design and build railroad coaches to be as authentic as possible while meeting today’s design standards, such as requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Steam into History also plans to build two turntables – one near New Freedom and one near Hanover Junction – and an engine house in New Freedom, and repair of the track running between them that is part of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park.

Simpson says the nonprofit agency has received “very generous” private donations but declined to say how much money has been raised.

In 1862, union raiders captured a locomotive in Big Shanty, now Kennesaw, Ga., and were chased and caught by Confederates who used three different locomotives, according to The Southern Museum's website. The City of Kennesaw plans to host a ceremony to commemorate the event in April 2012, according to the site.

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