Minersville, 15 August 2016 -- Railway Restoration Project 113 gratefully announces receipt of a $5000 grant from the John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust. The donation will support ongoing restoration of steam locomotive number 113, built in 1923 and now the only full-size anthracite-burning locomotive operating in North America.
“Our volunteers have put more than 60,000 hours into getting the locomotive running,” says Bob Kimmel, Project 113's president, “and we would not have made much progress without our generous sponsors and individual contributors. We are very thankful that the Emery Trust recognizes what we have done and what we continue to do to: Starting from scratch twenty years ago, we turned number 113 from a hundred tons of rusty steel into a fully-functional transportation machine that demonstrates how steam powered the Industrial Age.”
Project 113 will use the Emery Trust's contribution to buy materials for renewal of the locomotive's running gear, i.e. the driving wheels, axles, and siderods. Work will include replacement of numerous brass bearings and rehabilitation of the engine's brake hardware.
Number 113 will travel to Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton this winter, and the work will take place there starting in January 2017 with the cooperation and involvement of the National Park Service's mechanics, working alongside Project 113 volunteers.
With the cooperation of partner railroad Reading & Northern, number 113 powers passenger excursions from Minersville a few times each year, offering affordable, family-friendly opportunities to experience train travel. Santa trains this year will operate on two December Sundays, the 4th and 18th, with tickets available from Project 113 at the station, 113 East Sunbury Street in Minersville. Number 113 will also attend Schuylkill Haven's Borough Day on Saturday, the 24th of September, with guests welcome into the engine cab to blow the whistle.
John Emery, a native of Chicago and a lover of the classic passenger train era in America, created the John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust to support projects that preserve and re-create the passenger trains of the 1920’s though the 1950’s. The Trust operates as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) foundation under the Internal Revenue Code, with grant decisions made by a three-person advisory committee based on criteria established by Mr. Emery, focusing on organizations that offer the general public an opportunity to ride historically-significant equipment over historic rail lines. For more information, visit EmeryRailHeritageTrust.com.