• Williams Grove Railroad & PRR #643

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

Moderator: bwparker1

  by liftedjeep
Despite the 100° heat today (7/20), I ventured out to Williams Grove, PA (just west of Harrisburg) to see #643 in action. #643 is a B4a (0-6-0) built in Altoona in 1901.

A bit of history on #643:

"The Central Iron and Steel Company in Harrisburg, PA purchased the 643 from the PRR. For the next 40 odd years she worked day in and day out for Central, and it’s successor company, Phoenix Iron and Steel. While 643 was at Central she was not without changes. The first of which was that 643 was renumbered to become their #5. Also at some unknown point the smaller original tender that she was built with was replaced with a larger, welded one. In 1945 #5 received a new replacement boiler at the H.K. Porter Company. The original 1901 boiler was of the Belpaire type favored by the PRR. The new boiler put on in 1945 by Porter is of the more common radial stay style. It is also believed that the new boiler is slightly larger then the original. The steel mill closed in 1959 and it looked as though the end was near for 643. But luck favored her, and in 1961 she was purchased by the Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association and moved to her new home."

The excursions began today at 9am. I arrived shortly afterwards, and gave chase along #643's less than a mile in length track.

#643 in action:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=5163346

Excursion train with PRR N5 caboose trailing:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=5163344

Video I shot of the excursion train at the Williams Grove Railroad crossing:


$5 got you a ride behind #643. How could I say no!?!?


From Southern New Jersey, a two hour drive out & two hours back. Definitely worth the trip in my opinion!