BELLEFONTE, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society (BHRS) has announced that they’ll be welcoming a Budd Rail Diesel Car (RDC) to their tracks.
The RDC will be welcomed back home at the Bellefonte Train Station on Friday, October 27 at 3:15 p.m. The first excursion of the train will take place Saturday, October 28, and Sunday October 29. You can learn more on the Bellefonte Historical Railroad website.
“We hope to revitalize passenger excursions here in Bellefonte in a number of ways,” President of BHRS Dan Durachko said. “We’re going to start small and work our way up as the community demands and we’ll see what we can do for the future. The future holds great promise now that we have this piece of equipment back in service.”
The BHRS acquired the first piece of the rolling stock, an RDC – 1#9167, in 1984. The self-powered, rail diesel car came to the BHRS after a long career that began in 1953 as part of the New York, New Haven & Hartford railroad.
In 2014, the RDC needed major mechanical work. It went by truck to Columbia, Pennsylvania where Rail Mechanical Services, Inc, completed the repairs.
Volunteers from the BHRS took the motors off; the batteries were removed, and all the fluids were drained before the transport. It was originally slated to be an 18-month project but due to the unavailability of parts, the pandemic and an accident in the rail yard; it took longer than what was originally expected.
In 2023, the RDC made its way back to the BHRS and a team of volunteers organized themselves to address medical and cosmetic concerns. This year the RDC will be seventy years old. Forty of those years were part of the BHRS fleet.
The Bellefonte Railroad was an important part in the transportation system in Central Pennsylvania. The Bald Eagle Branch was the busiest mainline single track in the U.S. in the 1940’s with the recording of 47 trains per day and was the first to test for Centralized Traffic Control signaling apparatus.