• Bellefonte Historical Railroad (PA)

  • General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.
General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.

Moderators: rob216, Miketherailfan

  by bwparker1
I have created this post for anyone with questions on the Bellefonte Historical Railroad. We operate two Budd RDC-1's over ex-PRR trackage in Centre, Blair and Clinton counties in Pennsylvania. Volunteers always welcome.

Brooks W. Parker
Treasurer, Bellefonte Railroad

  by bwparker1
Bellefonte railroad receives loaner cars
By Jennifer Thomas

BELLEFONTE -- The Bellefonte Historic Railroad plans to resume weekend trips by the end of August, according to a member of the railroad society.

It just won't be with its own cars, said Brian Roslund, vice president of the organization.

"It's time to try something different," he said.

After nearly 20 months of delays to get its railroad cars back in operation -- the result of an inability to meet Federal Railroad Administration guidelines with its rail diesel cars and financial difficulties -- a fellow railroad association has come to the group's aid, Roslund said.

The Central New York chapter of the National Railway Historical Society in Syracuse, N.Y., has agreed to lease two EX-Long Island Coaches, built by the Pullman Corp. in 1955, and a 1950s diesel-era locomotive to the Bellefonte group, Roslund said.

"As soon as they arrive in Bellefonte, they'll be ready to roll," he said.

This will be the first time that the Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society will operate a conventional passenger railroad, complete with locomotive and cars.

Jeff Hagan, a member of the Central New York chapter, who also serves as chief mechanical officer for the Bellefonte group, said that equipment needs a few tweaks and a final inspection by the Federal Railroad Administration before it can be transported to Bellefonte. He expects that to happen in the next several weeks.

"We want to have it so its running and ready to use as soon as it gets to Bellefonte," he said.

The equipment is being loaned without charge, in exchange for Bellefonte providing it a safe home, Hagan said.

"Where we store the equipment there's a lot of vandalism problems," he said.

"In order to save the equipment, we're trying to get it out of the area temporarily."

He said one concern is that the locomotive engine the group plans to loan might not match up with the requirements of North Shore Railroad, whose tracks are used by the Bellefonte society.

"It was designed for something slightly different than we intend to do," Hagan said, adding that if that one doesn't work out, both groups are keeping feelers out for other options.

"We are coming back bigger and better than ever," Roslund said, adding that the new railroad coaches have a seating capacity for more than 100 passengers per car. "Without them, this wouldn't be possible."

Bellefonte's own rail diesel cars have 88 seats each and are still sidelined by federal guidelines concerning window glass and emergency-exit windows.

Cost estimates to replace the glass in the passenger cars and driver's cab were $51,000. Otherwise, Roslund said, the group would need a federal waiver to begin operation. The railroad society applied for the waiver and began a fundraising effort in hopes of being back in operation by year's end, he said.

The assistance from the Central New York chapter means the railroad can operate on weekends as soon as the loaner cars arrive, and work toward replacing the glass in Bellefonte's own cars as the funds become available.

"This is great news for the railroad and it's great news for Bellefonte," Roslund said.

He said the railroad society hopes to reintroduce ride-and-dine promotions in the near future and increase trips during the fall foliage season.

The fundraiser is still ongoing. For information, visit http://www.bellefontetrain.com.

  by gp80mac
Being September 1st,

Did you guys at Bellefonte ever get that loner equipment?


  by metman499
They weren't running last weekend when I was up there. No sign of any equipment aside from the RDCs either.

  by bwparker1
They (BHRS) have not run since December 2004, and have still not run.

check their webiste for the latest.


None of the promised cars ever materialized.
  by bwparker1

2007 April 12 update: The big news is the BHRS will sponsor excursion train service on June 16, the same date as the Bellefonte Cruise car show. Jeff Pontius (Vice President North Shore Railroad Systems) will bring his open-window, circa 1940's, passenger train for four 1.5-hour passenger runs from the Bellefonte Train Station to Pleasant Gap. This train consists of passenger cars (painted Tuscan Red) built by Pullman Standard Co; a pullman car which seats 30 in the dining room; a restored baggage car; and a PR N-8 caboose - all pulled by a Nittany & Bald Eagle Railroad Diesel locomotive.

Boarding is at 10:00; 12:00; 14:00 (2:00 pm); and 16:00 (4:00 pm). Note that boarding will be half an hour before departure. Tickets (adults & children) are $10 each; children 2 & under and sitting on an adult lap are free) are available at the Train Station. Please send a check made out to the Bellefonte Historical Train Society, indicating how many tickets you want, departure time, and include a self-addressed, stamped, return-addressed envelope. Send ticket orders to the BHRS; The Train Station; 320 W. High Street; Bellefonte, PA 16823. Phone reservations (814 355-2917) made during the week prior to June 16 will be held at the Train Station but must be picked up one hour before departure.

There will also be a book-signing by co-authors, Michael Bezilla and Jack Rudnicki, Rails to Penn State, the Story of the Bellefonte Central, at the Train Station from 2-4. This excellent history of railroading in central PA is now available at local bookstores and copies will be available at the signing. Below is a photo of the passenger train (courtesy of Jeff Pontius):

  by Otto Vondrak
"The Bellefonte Historical Railroad plans to operate the Bellefonte Branch Line with one hour round trip train rides to the fish hatchery in Pleasant Gap and return. Departures are scheduled for weekends during the summer and fall as soon as our cars are upgraded to meet Federal regulations."

So what happened?


  by bwparker1
Old equipment that would not qualify for an FRA Waiver...

The all-volunteer group that is in charge has been completely overhauled, which is great, but it probably should have been done about 5 years ago. Nonetheless, I hope they can make a go of it.


  by bwparker1
NSHR Passenger Train

All aboard historic train in Bellefonte

BELLEFONTE -- A shiny six-car train pulled around a curve and into the
town station Wednesday morning, before a horn blast announced its
arrival and an official yelled "All aboard."...


New book delves into railroad history
Note: Bezilla and Rudnicki will be doing a book signing from 2-4 PM at
the Train Station in Bellefonte this Saturday.

They are also giving a presentation at the PSU Library that houses the
BCRR collection on July 12th at 3:30 PM. -BWP

In 1986, after Michael Bezilla and Jack Rudnicki had started working
on a book about the history of the Bellefonte Central Railroad,
Rudnicki put in a call to the Chicago-area company that built the two
diesel locomotives belonging to Bellefonte Central.


  by Yarnell-hick
Another run is scheduled for October 20th courtesy Jeff Pontius. Two short hops to Pleasant Gap and one out on the mainline to Tyrone. The Tyrone trip is being billed as not particularly child friendly due to the length of the trip and the fact that riders shall not be allowed to disembark at the turnaround point for a leg stretch. The current schedule and any changes will be listed in a timely fashion on the website - www.bellefontetrain.com. Ticket sales slated to begin August 15th. All aboard!!! :-D
  by Yarnell-hick
This year we're running to Tyrone again on October 25th. There will be a run to Pleasant Gap as well on that day. Stop by and enjoy the ride. BHRS is still alive and kicking and making slow progress toward resuming operations. Note Santa Express train runs are also scheduled for December. Bring the kids!!!
  by Yarnell-hick
Otto Vondrak wrote:Still using the Budd cars?
Not at this time. One is ready to go - now FRA compliant - but we have no certified, up-to-date operators at this moment in time. This is another hosted run using cars belonging to Jeff Pontius of North Shore. Without his generosity we'd almost surely be in very dire straits. It' s been a long, slow road to recovery and we're not there yet but can see the light at the end of the tunnel finally. With luck and persistence we'll be operating again sometime next year.

For clarity, we will be running our Budd RDC-1's (#'s 9153 and 9167) once we resume operations again. Thanks for asking.