• A&A Miscellany

  • All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad
All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by hotairmenair
I am a HUGE Arcade & Attica fan. Despite never having visited the railroad (I hope to in the near future), I've personally collected many photos and information in years past at train shows and by doing research in various archives. I love the classic tourist railroads from the 1960s, and the A&A, in my opinion, ranks right up there at the top of my list (after Strasburg, of course)!

I've come to learn that every short line railroad has a resident fan who does nothing else but specialize in documenting their local favorite railroad--taking photos of all of the special moves, typical workaday shots, collecting ephemera, saving old papers, collecting old photos at train shows, etc. Does the A&A have a such a person, and if so, how can I contact them? I've seen Ken Kraemer's name credited to many older A&A images, know of Pat Connor's research efforts and Ed Lewis's book, etc.

So here's my long list of A&A questions for the faithful. If any of you can provide answers, I'd be eternally grateful:

1. Does David Copeland still work for the A&A? Where is he now?
2. Why were 2 of the eight DL&W coaches scrapped (one in '85 and the other in '97)?
3. Whatever happened to the two wooden cabooses and the snowplow?
4. Does the sand tower still stand?
5. Did the A&A ever take the NYO&W private car for any runs down the line, or was it always stationary? When did it arrive at Arcade?
6. Is the siding at Java Center ever used?
7. When did #14 last operate? Why is its tender used on #18, and why is it jacked up? Is #18's tender still on the property and what condition is it in?
8. Does the A&A ever run a stockholder's special? When is the annual meeting held?
9. Does anybody have the A&A 7" 45 rpm audio record released by Mobile Fidelity Productions in the early 1970s? If so, any way I could obtain an audio tape copy? I can talk about it offline.
10. When PRR doddlebug #4666 was stored on the property in the late 60's did it ever operate on the A&A?
11. Besides Manly Hakes, did the A&A have any other steam engineers? Who did the steam loco repairs? Is Brad Mapes still employed on the A&A?
12. How is #18's rebuild progressing? I read somewhere that Linda, the General Mgr., commented that the A&A was low on funds and didn't seem too optimistic that it would be running anytime soon. Who is doing the work?
13. Is Richard Reisdorf still President? Is he the reason why the railroad is still running (i.e. lifeline provided by Reisdorf Mill freight business)?
14. When did Ed Lewis depart the A&A?
15. Who selected #14, #18 and the DL&W coaches back in the 60's? Was there one person who made all of the equipment purchasing decisions?
16. Do the A&A's original business records still exist?
17. Have any Employee Timetables (other than No. 1 from 1995) been issued? Or rule books? (Ed Lewis told me that the last A&A rule book was issued in 1917)
18. Is the Friends of the A&A still an active organization? Do they have a newsletter? Can anybody join?
19. Does the A&A operate by train orders and timetable? Do the engineers have a master log of all moves and operations on the railroad?
20. How did the orange and black paint scheme originate?
21. Are all of the A&A personnel paid employees or part volunteer?

My apologies if I've posted too many questions. Hopefully it will elicit some interesting responses from the A&A faithful.

all the best,
Kurt B.
(Archivist, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg)

  by jgallaway81
1) I Can't comment on any one person's employement status, however I beleive that for the last several years, Mr. Copeland has operated trains on the Titusville & Oil Creek RR, though I may be mistaken on the specific road.

2) One main consideration is that without major siding extensions (major in the eyes of the A&A, that is) a passenger train can only use six cars, and the gondola. With the six cars and gon, the train has roughly one foot of spotting room at either station.

3) One caboose is owned by a local business man, and the plow is still in use for snow removal efforts. (when the diesel's plow is insufficient.)

4) The sand house does still stand, but is in very poor condition.

5) The car used to sit on the west leg of the wye, on the other side of main street. As far as I know it was never used in excursion service.

6) The siding at Java Center has been out of service for several years, with the switches torn out, and will remain that way for the forseeable future.

7) 14 last operated in '88 according to video I have. 18's tender is the one out of service in front of the shops. It's water capacity was taken into question when 14 went out of service. 18's tender exists, as nothing more then a pile of scrap metal, I'm affraid. Before I departed Arcade for HBG, PA, there were plans of ressurecting 18's tender for use as a canteen for extended exursions, however that idea never went past the sounding board since the tracks north of Curriers are FRA excepted, and such prohibits the operation of passenger service.

8) The stockholders specials were discontinued in the mid-late 70's I beleive. The current annual meeting is held in May and is obviously open to all shareholders.

9) You can occassionally see these on eBay. When I see one, I intend to try to obtain one for my personal collection. I'll let you know then.

10) You are the first person to acknowledge the doodlebug. I won a picture on eBay, solely for curiosity's sake, trying to find info on it. Thanks for teh owner & number!

11) Engineers: Manly Hakes (Late), Dave Copeland, Brad Mapes, Sean Hepner. Previous to my service (98-02) Ed King was also an engineer. I presume there were others, but don't know of them personally.

12) Bit By Bit. 18 has returned from the dead. Last I hear, the firebox work was done, including the welding in of new flues. Cab has been restored, and now its just plumbing and test runs. Though from a restoration point of view, her running gear needs a lot of work, but the engine is safe for operation on our railroad. Just don't expect us running 40mph on the NS main anytime soon ;-)

13) Yes, Mr. Reisdorf is currently president of the Board of Directors. Though I can't comment on the financial investments, I can say that at this time, the Reisdorf Bros. feed mill is the A&A's sole freight customer.

14)I do not know the date, however, I beleive he is currently GM of the Aberdeen & Rockfish in NC, and based on articles in RailwayAge & Progressive Railroading, I'd say he is doing an excellent job there.

15) As far as I can tell, then-Pres. Richard Cartwright sellected the equipment, presumable with the approval of the major stockholders at that time. Ironically, 14 and 18 were last resort engines. both were far outside the weight limits the A&A management imposed in their search. MANY engines and leads were explored. most had been scrapped by the time the A&A inquired, or were so far gone they declined to tender an offer.

16) Um... care to clarify?

17) A new rule book is in development in compliance with the latest Federal Railroad Administration regulations and orders.

18) Yes, No, and Yes.

19) The Arcade & Attica railroad is a 'Rule 93' carrier, operating one train at a time, at restricted speed. Car movement records are kept for interchange information.

20) My best information say that at the time, the black & orange were the colors of Arcade Central School, which has been absorbed and become the Arcade elementary school of the Pioneer Central District.

21) All are paid for insurance and liability reasons

  by Benjamin Maggi
Thanks for the information. Sure is great to have someone with inside knowledge. Sure wish that there were more customers for freight revenue, but who knows. Maybe now that some "politics" are going to change, maybe we will have another economic boom! CANNOT wait for #18 to get out there again!

  by jgallaway81
Ben, I'm afraid to disapoint you, but as far as I see it, until the State of New York decides to keep its fat fingers out of the peoples' pocket books, the economy is gonna continue on a downward slide... no, plummet. When they realize that 'tax & spend' isn't the answer, maybe we will have a chance.

As an individual, back in 2002, when the state senate voted in the largest increases in state taxes in America's history, and pataki vetoed it, and the senate had the balls to get up enough votes to override his veto... thats when I left.

From the day I decided to leave until I moved into my apt in Harrisburg, was but five weeks. And I had a job that paid double what I made at the local auto-parts mfgr and the Arcade & Attica railroad combined.

Once in HBG, I volunteered on the Middletown and Hummelstown, and was a member of the 'SteamTeam' which restored ex-CN E10-a 2-6-0 #91 to service.

  by WNYP431
I suppose, of course, this is the same "fat-fingered" State of New York that just dumped a few MILLION into the railroad?

  by RussNelson
WNYP431 wrote:I suppose, of course, this is the same "fat-fingered" State of New York that just dumped a few MILLION into the railroad?
Now you understand why people support high taxation: take three million, give two million back, and they call that good.