Boyertown, PA – Stepping through a rock-strewn railyard in Boyertown, families lined up to board the historic train that made its unofficial debut on the Colebrookdale line Saturday.
Beginning with a 10:30 a.m. departure for the first train, hayrides on the “Secret Valley Line” offered by the Colebrookdale Railroad drew in patrons of all kinds.
They were treated to a two-hour ride in a train used in 1869 through a valley of scenic fall foliage and other natural and historic attractions, travelling from Boyertown to Pottstown through Colebrookdale and Douglass (Berks) townships. Throughout the ride, historical narration was provided by train workers to give context to the sights along the way.
The line follows the Ironstone and Manatawny creeks and passes by the village of Pine Forge.
BOYERTOWN, PA — Progress on the revitalization of the Colebrookdale Railroad these days means more than pulling refurbished passenger cars along the picturesque 9-mile track on the shores of Manatawny Creek.
These days progress is being measured in cars and engines acquired, being fixed up and put into service.
And Wednesday marked another milestone on the railroad’s journey to full service when Executive Director Nathaniel Guest announced last week’s awarding of a $200,000 grant to begin construction of “railroad station infrastructure right here in Boyertown.”
The announcement came after the train — pulling cars packed with more than 70 federal and state legislators, county commissioners and municipal officials of all stripes — arrived at the downtown yard to the applause of a crowd that had gathered to welcome it.
The Colebrookdale Railroad will benefit from $1.4 million in funding made possible by a PennDOT grant aimed at repairing and upgrading the line’s rails, equipment and infrastructure.
“Seventy percent of the funding was provided by the state and we had to raise the other 30 percent,” said Nathaniel Guest, president of the non-profit Colebrookdale Railroad Restoration Trust, which oversees the line.
The non-profit group has a for-profit subsidiary, Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad, which oversees the freight traffic and was the recipient of the grant.
After three years of stable operating expenses, and positive returns for investors in 2013, the owner of National Penn bank said this week it is cutting staff and consolidating nine branch locations.
“The consistency of our financial performance with such a strong return on assets is a tribute to the efforts of our entire team,” National Penn President and CEO Scott V. Fainor said in a statement.
The brick-red caboose rolled into town, the relic greeting its new home as its wheels ground to a halt on the rails.
“Welcome to Boyertown!” announced Nathaniel Guest, president of the Colebrookdale Preservation Trust, who was decked out in a traditional railroad conductor’s uniform.
The 20 or so passengers who took the hourlong scenic excursion Friday afternoon applauded and then gathered their things.
The recently renovated caboose had just completed its inaugural run from Pottstown to Boyertown on the Colebrookdale Railroad, an almost 9-mile stretch of track that connects the two communities.
BOYERTOWN, PA — A relic from the golden age of Pennsylvania’s railroading past is coming home.
Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) cabin car (known as a “caboose” on other railroads) #477768 was built in Altoona in 1941.
For the last six years, members of the Rivanna Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) have been restoring it at a location in Virginia, far from the car’s home.
Now it is being donated to the non-profit Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust in Boyertown. There it will be maintained and kept in operation on The Secret Valley Line tourist trains that will begin running on the eight mile track between Boyertown and Pottstown in the fall of 2014.
The 43rd annual Belsnickel Craft Show, presenting approximately 140 local and regional juried artisans, will be held on Friday, Nov. 29, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Nov. 30, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. All crafts for sale are handmade by artisans in the show and are not commercially manufactured or imported.
Among the traditional crafts on display will be woodworking and woodcarving, pottery, baskets, tin, papier-mache folk art, dolls and doll clothing, women’s and children’s clothing, silver and gold jewelry, quilts and quilted items, dried flowers, tole painting, weaving, scherenschnitte (paper cutting), clay sculpture, fraktur, Santas, stained glass, punched-tin art, wooden toys and Christmas items.
The children of our youth program and several volunteers had a hand in tending the earth and growing veggies. Earlier this summer, they diligently worked to build the stand to bring the “fruits of their labor” to your table!!
On September 7th the kids and volunteers will staff the Produce Stand to sell fresh produce, herbs, local peaches and other healthy goodies, each Saturday morning from 9:30 AM – 12 noon, through September 28th, 2013.
In addition, we will have information regarding organic gardening and other resources to find out more about our local CSAs and organic grocery stores. Lastly, the public can learn more about what they can do to ensure every family has access to healthier food options in our area.
Look for the Produce and Information Stand in front of the gardens at 423 Chestnut Street in Pottstown, (you canʼt miss us)!!
Priced right for you, all of the proceeds from the produce stand will enable MOSAIC to continue to develop workshops and other fun, educational activities for young and old alike; while educating individuals in food justice and security. All the while, the young farmers will be learning sales skills, marketing and public relations.
Now, for a special thanks to our sponsor: Global Advanced Metals of Boyertown, for their generous donation and support. Global Advanced Metals processes a metal called “tantalum,” found in Australia. Their core values of safety, health and environmental excellence guide the work that they do and dovetails nicely with our healthy outlook too!!
Local honey will be available for purchase as well. The garden has its own bee hive for pollination, tended by Lee Mauger.
Laura Washington, Gardens Manager
The Boyertown School Board has hired a new superintendent whose experience with building projects should help the district as it prepares to renovate and expand the high school, officials said Thursday.
Dr. Richard Faidley, 44, who has spent the last two years as superintendent of the Derry Township School District in Dauphin County, was hired by an 8-0 vote on Tuesday. His salary was set at $165,000.
The board chose Faidley partly because he’s a strong leader and has construction knowledge, said board President Gwen W. Semmens.
Plans for a tourist excursion railroad on the eight-mile Colebrookdale line between Pottstown and Boyertown are moving forward and picking up support, most recently from a team of 40-or-so volunteers to got together to do a clean-up along the route.
Last weekend, the volunteers, led by the Pottstown Roller Derby Rockstars and folks in Montgomery County’s ARD program performing court-ordered community service, picked up trash along the right of way.
Berks County Subway provided lunch for all volunteers, and the Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation provided water.
J.P. Mascaro & Sons provided two dumpsters.
The Boyertown School Board was so close.
After a monthslong superintendent search, the board had selected a candidate and agreed on a contract.
The last step was his appointment, which at one point was expected to take place Tuesday.
But to begin Tuesday’s meeting, board President Gwen W. Semmens made this announcement instead:
“We had a potential candidate who withdrew at the very last moment. We’ll be looking for new candidates.”
Walnut Woods of Boyertown
Saturday, March 23, 11am-4pm
35 North Walnut Street, Boyertown
Arts and crafts vendors wanted. Direct sales vendors wanted (home party vendors). No fee. Please provide you own table. Spots will be 6 feet. Please call to reserve your spot. Spots are limited.
Contact Jessica at 610-367-6616
The commissioners reviewed a preliminary budget drawn up by the managers of both jurisdictions and unanimously agreed at their Feb. 19 meeting to move ahead in discussions with Boyertown borough officials.
With an estimated budget of nearly $2 million, the commissioners discussed ways of combining staff and appropriating costs, including how to fund pension plans. A meeting with pension representatives from both Boyertown and Colebrookdale is scheduled for March 28.
The Pottstown Area Police Athletic League
Presents the 5th Annual
Beef & Beverage
Saturday, February 23, 7pm – 11pm
Boyertown Orioles, 101 S. Washington Street, Boyertown
Gift Basket Raffles 50/50 Raffle Limited Tickets for Sale $25.00
Call PAL Office at 610-327-0527
After approving a $1.5 million budget without a tax increase, Boyertown Borough Council endorsed a 9.35 percent water rate hike Wednesday in hopes that it will offset a $100,000 decline in commercial and industrial water revenues.
The 6-0 budget vote maintains the current property tax rate of 5.14 mills, leaving the annual tax bill for a property assessed at $100,000 at $514.
By raising water rates, the borough council hopes to generate an additional $150,000 in revenue, with the extra $50,000 acting as a cushion against rising expenses and preventing more rate hikes in the near future.
Council hopes to have the new rates take effect in the first quarter of 2013 and will vote in February to authorize them if the water authority approves them next month.
At a recent Colebrookdale commissioners meeting, Township Manager Cindy Conrad said Boyertown has approached the township about holding merger talks for the second time in two years and the third time in the past decade.
The board agreed to renew the discussion, with President Todd M. Gamler noting that it doesn’t cost anything to talk.
The police forces have historically worked together. Because the township nearly surrounds Boyertown, Colebrookdale officers often have to drive through the borough on the way to calls.