Friends of the Stewartstown Railroad, Inc. Selected as a Recipient of a $5,000 Match-Grant from the 2021 NRHS Railway Heritage Grant Program

Dedicated volunteers and board members from the Friends of the Stewartstown Railroad, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, received great news this past week. For more than 3 years, they have been working hard to restore Former Reading Company Coach #1158 back into its near-original appearance to serve as a demonstration commuter-car showcasing inter-urban passenger service in the 1920’s. Coach restorations, especially of this size, require a lot of time, money, skill, materials, and some luck! President and Project Manager Dave Watson states: “When I was informed that we were selected to receive a $5,000 match grant from the 2021 NRHS Railway Heritage Grant program, I was absolutely ecstatic! We are so close to being able to complete the outside portion of the coach restoration. Receiving these funds will help us reach this important milestone!” The funds from this grant will be used to finish remaining body work, prepare surfaces, prime, and paint the outside of the coach.

The Friends of the Stewartstown Railroad, Inc. would like to thank the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) for awarding a $5,000 Railway Heritage Grant to our organization. Additionally, we would like to extend our appreciation to the Baltimore Chapter of the NRHS for writing a letter of support to accompany our grant application.

Donations toward this project are always welcomed and appreciated. If you would like to send in a donation toward the Coach 1158 restoration project, please click here to donate using PayPal. Or checks can be mailed to: Friends of the Stewartstown Railroad, Inc., C/O Coach 1158 Restoration Fund, PO Box 456, Stewartstown, PA 17363. Please be sure to notate Coach 1158 Restoration on your check. We sincerely say thank you to all our members, friends, and supporters that have helped make this project a reality.


The Friends Receive a $1,000 grant from the Kathleen E. Thornton Educational Trust

We are pleased to announce that we have received a $1,000 grant from the Kathleen E. Thornton Educational Trust. These funds will be used to continue restoration work on the Friends’ former Reading Company coach #1158. We sincerely thank the Kathleen E. Thornton Educational Trust for their generous grant. We encourage anyone with an interest in passenger coach preservation and restoration to join in on this project.  Stay tuned for updates as we continue to restore coach 1158 into her former Reading Railroad glory.

2021 Annual Meeting Notice

Notice is hereby given that The Friends of the Stewartstown Railroad, Inc. will be holding an annual meeting on Saturday, June 12 at 9:30AM. The purpose of this meeting is to review yearly results and hold elections for officers and directors of the organization. Members in good standing that are interested in running for President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, or one of five Director-At-Large positions should submit their wishes to be placed on the ballot to Dave Watson at Submissions must be received no later than Saturday, May 8 at 9PM. Thank you.

Coach and Track Workday Announcements for July 2020

For Coach 1158 Workdays
We will be working Thursday (July 2), Friday (July 3), and Sunday (July 5) this week starting at 930 AM. A great deal has been accomplished so far. Here’s an update and where you can help.
(1) Window Sill welding Repair / Body Patches: Jim, Aaron, and myself have been working on repairing missing window tracks and sills so windows can open / close properly and we keep the water out. So far, 5 windows have been completed with 35 more to go. We are also repairing holes in the lower coach body. We set a new record this past Sunday fixing an 11″ by 4″ hole. Aaron walked up with no previous welding experience and graduated from Jim’s welding class on the same day. We are willing to teach and work with anyone that wants to learn.
(2) The 3 Luggage Racks: these have been needle-scaled and primed, I ended up with paint drips in a few places, so they need to be sanded off. A few small touch-ups are needed.
(3) Priming and Painting the Coach Interior: Several of us over the past few weeks have been needle scaling, sanding, wire brushing and smoothing the interior walls + arm rests. One end wall plus the station-side interior wall above and below the windows are ready for primer and paint. We are looking for painters to prime and paint these surfaces. All materials are on site needed to prime. The paint is ready for pick up and will be here in a few days. I plan to needle-scale the bank-side interior wall next week.
(4) Roof work: David Collison dropped by this past Saturday and installed about 25 more button head screws in the rivet holes. There are still 60 left to go. Finishing this step is the key to moving on to the next which is preparing the roof surfaces, primer, and paint. A major goal/milestone we should complete this summer. Anyone that is willing to stand on the ladder can work on installing the button head screws.
(5) Window installation: The wood trims need sanded, primed and painted. The windows need to be properly installed along with the sill and jamb pieces replaced as needed. We have been placing replacement windows as we can find where they fit. Each window seems to need minor adjustment to adjust for fit.
There’s a lot of work to be done. Come on out and give us a hand.
From the track department:
The Wednesday night work crew will be out on Wednesday night, July 1. We will continue with tree cutting of branches hitting the train so that we can get the blue caboose up to the end of the Class I track without trees hitting it or the loco, IF we do not get that done on June 24 evening.
If we do not need to cut branches, we will probably go out to the end of Class I track and continue spiking ties that were previously installed, or there are 6 ties needing installed at the curve in front of the water cistern.
There is always plenty to do, often hard to decide what to do, but we always pick something needed and important, get it done, then move in to the next item on the list!!
Help is always needed and welcome, please come out and help move us forward down the track!!
Looking ahead, the July work weekend will be Saturday and Sunday July 11 and 12. We will be continuing tie work towards the picnic grove, or tamping and raising low joints and swales in the track, depending on what gets done during the June Work Weekend. There is always lot’s to do, we have been making good progress this year with 1/3 of our planned tie replacement already fine and more truckloads of ties scheduled for delivery in June. Come out and give us a hand and help accelerate our progress!!