• Gettysburg Scenic Railroad for Sale or Lease

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by Jason W
The newest edition of Railpace has a big advertisement for the Gettysburg Scenic Railway stating that the line is for sale or lease to a "accredited operator". The ad features one of the F units painted back into the C&NW "4oo" scheme sitting in front of the Gettysburg station. Anyone know why the line is being sold? Didn't someone just buy this line just a few years ago?

Is the Gettysburg just a scenic tourist line or does it handle freight as well? Is the line to Carlisle still in place or has it been physically removed? Thanks for any replies.

In other news, anyone want to go into the rail business with me? I've got $2,500 dollars to drop on this line right now, who is in?
  by Matt Langworthy
Yes, the Gettysburg Scenic has only been around for a few years. It operates both freight and passenger excursions. However, operating a RR of any type requires alot of capital. Please don't take this the wrong way, but $2500 and good intentinos won't run a RR. Consider this quote from a Steamtown website:

One of the recent trends in American railroading has been the bankruptcy and collapse of a number of major railroad systems, the Reading among them, and the practice of entirely new small firms of private entrepreneurs, often railroad enthusiasts at heart, purchasing abandoned but not yet dismantled sections of main or branch lines and placing them back into revenue service using diesel-electric locomotives, in many cases hauling diesel-powered passenger excursions and, in some cases, acquiring steam locomotives and operating summer steam passenger excursions.

Believe me, I'd love to be able to do the same thing (with another shortline) but here's reality: purchasing just the track alone can cost in excess of $100,000 per mile, diesels in good condition can cost in excess of $50,000, railroad cars can run in the thousands, etc. And that doesn't even include such things as labor costs, property taxes, maintenance and so on. With some lines, the local or state gov't owns the tracks but there are still lease fees and contract negotitations involved with them.

Homestly, the best you thing you can do is volunteer your time and money to an excursion or group close to home (e.g. A&A, WNYHRS, Medina RR Museum, etc.), and go from there. Good luck! :wink:

P.S. The ironic thing about the Gettysburg is that that diesels from the previous operator are now at the Knox & Kane, which may be up for sale soon, too...