• Erie Canal Village near Rome, NY, and Railstar Corporation?

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by bwparker1
They own the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad in Maine and a quick google search turns up that they have been buying rail equipment from Historical Groups and other Rail related assets. Anyone know anything about this outfit and/or owner?

Last edited by bwparker1 on Fri Jul 23, 2004 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by Otto Vondrak
This sounds like a question for the New England Forum?


  by bwparker1

They bought this village somewhere near Rome, NY so I thought maybe someone would have heard of the operation. They have a 315 area code for there phone number.

.......When Railstar buys the village, the revamping of a train operation will be central. The entire length of track, over a half-mile, will be cleared so the entire line can be used. The trip would be over four miles long, Trottier has said, lasting between 20 and 25 minutes. There will be track rehabilitation. While the steam locomotive there now will be used, it needs repairs, Trottier said. This season, he said, a different train will be used while the existing train in renovated. The village was opened in 1973 as a collection of buildings and artifacts meant to educate and celebrate the birth of the Erie Canal, with the first shovel of dirt scooped from the ground in Rome. The canal opened in 1825.

In 1992, the Rome Historical Society took up the challenge of managing the site. The group battled through financial problems resulting from the effort. It managed the site until the village closed for the winter at the end of 1996. Unlocked Legends, which operates the Herkimer Diamond Mines, started managing the site in 1997 when its president Renee Scialdo-Shevat entered into an agreement with the city. The group's contract ended last year. Last year, about 8,100 people visited the village. There were about 4,500 students that attended spring school tours, about 1,000 people at the Halloween festivities, about 600 Rome school fourth-graders for the fall program and about 2,000 visitors from motor coach tours and general admission, according to Milewski......

  by NYSW3614
HOLY CRAP!!! That'd be great! First I visited the engine was OOS. Its a 2-6-2? Second time it was running and I loved it! Third time the engine and some passenger cars were parked by the station, with some of the track pulled up. I vowed never to go back, I was that upset. It was a loop to loop operation. 2' guage? I think the engine used to operate at the State Fair in Syracuse before coming to the Erie Canal Museum. Anyone know more??

  by Otto Vondrak
That explains it. It's a minature railway. Got the impression this was standard guage rail line or something.

  by bwparker1
FWIW, they (Railstar) must be well run to be chosen to operate this with no equipment to start with!

Railstar chosen to run Georgetown Loop line

DENVER, Colo. – Railstar Corp. of Cape Vincent, N.Y. has been selected by the state of Colorado to operate the Colorado Historical Society’s (CHS) Georgetown Loop Historic Railroad beginning with the 2005 operating season. The current operator, Georgetown Loop Railroad, Inc., which is running the line until October 3, the end of the 2004 season, had a contractual impasse between it and the CHS. Georgetown Loop Railroad, Inc. owns the five locomotives and about 50 pieces of rolling stock currently on the line.

According to a story in the Denver Post, Mark Greksa, co-owner of Georgetown Loop Railroad Inc., said his company would not make its equipment available to the new operator and that the locomotives and rolling stock would go to either a railroad museum or another location where he could continue to grow his business.

"This equipment is our children, and after the way we've been treated by the historical society, no way, never," Greksa said to the Post, adding that his team's negotiations with the CHS broke down after they were unable to agree on $100,000 in expenses.

When contacted by Trains magazine, Ron Trottier, vice president and general manager of Railstar, said the subject of new rolling stock to operate the line was not open for public discussion yet, but he did say that his company and the CHS were looking into equipment currently in park settings either owned by the Society or capable of being leased for operation.

"We think it [the railway] has been a very well-run operation, and we don’t tend to move that around much," said Trottier. Railstar’s contract is for 10 years with a 10-year renewable option. "We’re in it for the long haul," he said.

The Georgetown park, which has been operating for three decades, re-creates 3.5 miles of the 1877 narrow-gauge line that originally provided freight and passenger service to silver mining camps between Denver and Silver Plume, Colo. In an effort to reach the mines, railroads including the Colorado Central began construction to Golden, Colo., with the intention of extending to the mining town of Leadville. This line never reached that goal, settling for providing freight and passenger service to the mining camps around Silver Plume. The Georgetown line was abandoned in 1939.

Although just 2 miles separate Georgetown and Silver Plume, the elevation difference is over 600 feet. The original railroad twisted and turned to gain the elevation, including a spiral on which it crossed over itself on the Devil's Gate Viaduct, 300 feet long and almost 100 feet high. Today's operation takes place on a re-laid portion of the original railroad, and crosses a reconstructed Devil's Gate bridge over Clear Creek and the track below. The Park includes nearly 1,000 acres, 12 buildings and bridges, and 4.5 miles of track.

"We are looking forward to competing against a company we helped create," Greska said to the Post. His company also operates the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, a 12-mile standard-gauge, diesel-powered tourist train operation from Canon City, Colo. to the Royal Gorge on former Union Pacific track previously part of the Denver & Rio Grande Western.

Railstar currently operates the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad in Maine, and owns and operates the Erie Canal Village Historic Park and Museum in Rome, N.Y., which includes a 2-foot narrow gauge steam railway.

  by SRS125
I have been to that village many years ago vary intresting place to go to if your in the area do offer a canal boat ride pulled by draft horses as well.

  by scottychaos
even though its 2' gauge, it appears that its NOT a "minature railroad"! :P
not one of those amusement-park type trains..
its a FULL size railroad that happens to be 2' gauge!
like the maine 2-footers..

found this picture, that says its the engine for the village:
"from Long Island, NY and Frontier Town, Lake George, NY, to Erie Canal Village, Rome, NY"



cool! a 2' railroad in New York state!
(I never heard of it either until now!)

but now here is a photo of a different engine!

so is that first link, with the 0-4-0, wrong?
or are both engines there??

  by SRS125
I rember the black locomotive scotty. Last time I was at the part the track was over grown with trees and weeds and that locomotive was in disrepair and heavley weathered well.

The 2-6-2 shown in the picture of the Rome & Fort Bull RR tourist railroad was originally used by a private line called the New York Northern RR. In the late 1960's this 15- inch gauge operation ran on the late Edward J. Nolan's farm. Ed Nolan built the live steamer in his own machine shop along with a diesel that following the general lines of a GE U-boat. Guests rode on benches in a scale model gon. From the picture it appears that additional gons were built. (When I visited the Nolans I saw only one scale model freight car.) I still have an annual pass that Nolan gave me.

I'd be interested to know where the diesel is if it still exists. It too was a little gem.

  by scottychaos
so no one knows if that 0-4-0 is actually at the village or not?
anyone live close by that can go do a reconnaissance mission? ;)
and we also dont seem to be sure if the railroad is 15" gauge or 24" gauge..


  by CRHauf

This does not really answer your question, but this website (scroll down a little) offers a little more detail on the operation and equipment.


Until later,

  by scottychaos
CRHauf wrote:Scot,

This does not really answer your question, but this website (scroll down a little) offers a little more detail on the operation and equipment.


Until later,
thanks Chris,
good link!
and actually, it does answer my questions!
the 24" gauge 0-4-0 IS actually running in Rome! :)
and its a real 1:1 scale 2-foot railroad..not an "amusement park" type rtrain..very cool!

  by Brian57
My wife and I went to Erie Canal Village in Rome, New York yesterday for our anniversary. I am happy to report that the two foot gauge rail line is alive and well and extremely cool! The 0-4-0T runs like a swiss watch and we rode on a newly built combine behind the engine (after our engineer wiped the soot from the benches). The other car in the consist was a vintage passenger car (I believe it's the one described in the link above). The trip is about 25 minutes long. It's a loop to loop operation. The tracks are laid on the heel path of the canal (the side opposite the towpath).

There had been a break in the canal bank which drained the canal, so the boat wasn't operating, but it should be back in service next year. The boat is pulled by mules that have draft horse heritage.

The station that serves this little line was the actual station from McConnelsville NY just a few miles away. Like all the buildings in the village (except for one or two) it was dismantled from its original site, trucked to the village, and reassembled.

The village is closed for the season now, but will open next spring. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in history/transportation. Also located in Rome, is Fort Stanwix which is a full-scale reconstruction of a Revolutionary War fort that withstood a lengthy siege by the British Army in 1777.