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Steam into History in York County

steam into historyA replica of a Civil War-era train will serve as a rolling history museum.  Steam Into History, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, will combine the history of the Northern Central Railway and the Civil War in York County and is expected to be on track for the 150th anniversary of the Confederate invasion of York and the Battle of Gettysburg in 2013.  To learn more click here.

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A big honor for all of us here at WPMT.  The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters recognized FOX3 today in Dauphin County for some of its recent promotional work.

During the PAB luncheon at Hershey Hotel, the association awarded our station for its outstanding television public service announcement for a campaign we did titled, “Steam into History” in New Freedom, York County.

One person is injured after an excursion train hits a car in southern York County.  It happened at about 11:06 Thursday morning on the tracks crossing a private driveway off Baltimore Street near Pleasant Valley Road, Glen Rock.  Southern Regional Police say over grown shrubbery apparently obscured the line of sight of the 66 year old car driver attempting to cross the tracks.

The Steam into History train at the time of the collision was traveling approximately 10 miles per hour from Glen Rock to New Freedom.  The conductor on the backward moving train spotted the car at the last second and immediately applied the emergency brakes.  The foot peg of a railroad car caught the hood on the  passenger side of the car and dragged it a few feet.  The train came to a complete stop in about 100 feet.

Police say the unidentified woman driver was taken to York Hospital for treatment of a knee injury.  No one aboard the train was injured.

Steam into History says it plans additional safety procedures with the use of  flaggers along its track that crosses private driveways.  County crews will also be cutting back trees and shrubbery to improve sight distance.

Local News

York County commemorates Civil War

The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War is about more than just the Battle of Gettysburg. That’s the message officials in York County are hoping to spread to residents and tourists.

From downtown York, to the burning of the Columbia-Wrightsville bridge and more. “We have really extensive history and the events that happened in York County really set the stage for Gettysburg.  When you think about the Confederate Troops not making it over the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge, having to return, and then troops in Hanover. Everything kind of set the stage here for the gathering in Gettysburg,” said Joan Mummert, President of York County Heritage Trust.

Thursday the Confederate Army peacefully invaded Central Market in Downtown York to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania and the occupation of York on July 27, 1863. The York Heritage Trust planned ‘Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s’ mock invasion into the market. “I have taken possession of this town by the authority of the Confederate Government,” said a re-enactor portraying ‘Lt. Gen. Early’ in front of a crowd at the market.

“I took a day off work and brought the kids,” said Jane Sweitzer, who lives in York County. “I really never thought about it before that York was involved in the civil war. We were always at Gettysburg and always interested in that and it’s just interesting to find out that York had a history in it too.”

The York County Heritage Trust is preparing to unveil their new exhibit “The Fiery Trial, York County’s Civil War Experience” to coincide with the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and the impact it had in York County.

“We think that we might get a lot of local people and some tourists as well who want to avoid the things that are happening at Gettysburg; the crowds. We expect things will be a little quieter,” said Mummert.

“We really tried to put York County’s stories from individuals and events on the national stage,” said Dan Roe, with York County Heritage Trust. “[From] artifacts, weapons from the period, and uniforms. We also utilized our archives; bibles, books, letters, for instance a local civil war general is highlighted throughout the exhibit as well,” said Roe.

The Exhibit is at the York County Historical Society Museum, 250 East Market Street in York. Opening day on Saturday, admission is free. Sunday admission is half price. The exhibit runs through the end of 2015.

Thursday afternoon Mayor Kim Bracey read a Proclamation commemorating the invasion at City Hall. There is a lot more planned. For a schedule of upcoming events in York County click here

For more information on the York County Heritage Trust exhibit click here


More than 500 people gathered to watch the Hanover Junction Train Station host the the re-enactment of the Civil War era but the train didn’t make it.

The event was being celebrated in light of the 150th anniversary of the raid on the station during the Civil War Era. The event was put together by the Friends of the Heritage Rail Trail Corridor and the York County Department of Parks and Recreation. They teamed up with Steam into History Inc. to include a train in the reenactment but the train broke down on the way there after having mechanical problems.

Besides the train not making it to the Hanover junction, the confederates still carried on with their invasion. Giving people in the community a sense of what happened during the Civil War time period and how the station was raided. Attendees at the event were still happy to see the re-enactment of the raid despite the absence of the train.

The event kicked of at noon this afternoon and lasted to about 4pm.

Local News

Steam Into History

A piece of history up and running in York County.  The steam into history train serves as a rolling history museum of Civil War and the Northern Central Railway.  Re-enactors fill the train giving riders a glimpse of the past.  The number 17 train began operation just in time for the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

A piece of history arrives in southern York county. The York #17 steam locomotive made its way to new freedom after a 600 mile trek from Illinois. This is all in preparation for the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg later this summer.

10 years of preparation and construction all leads up to this.

“It’s finally coming to fruition,” says locomotive constructor, David Kloke.

The grand arrival of a rebuilt 1864 steam locomotive.

“The reaction in New Freedom and along the railroad line has been really, really good,” says Chief Operating Officer, Bob Gotwols.

It’s a big deal for people in New Freedom, especially those who have been tracking the building process from the start.

“Every now and then we’d go check online to see what was going on with the train, it was being put on the chastity, the wheels were being constructed,” says train enthusiast, Robin Spielberg.

The interesting thing about this locomotive is everything down to the paint on the outside to the mechanics on the inside strongly resemble the exact train Lincoln rode 150 years ago.

“We’ve had a lot of people do research into what a locomotive train looked like in the 1800s,” says Gotwols.

David Kloke says the $2.5 million dollar train is strikingly similar despite only being able to look at black and white photos.

“Hollywood likes to portray them as dirty and black and they were never like that,” says Kloke.

Steam Into History officials are highly anticipating this Thursday when the engine is fired up.

“We`re looking forward to running a lot of trains up and down the track and educating folks on the history of york county,” says Gotwols.

Rides on the locomotive will be open to the public and will travel from New Freedom to Hanover Junction. It starts on June 2nd and runs into December.

This beautiful video of test runs of York Engine #17 happened on April 15 and 16th. This 4-4-0 gauge steam locomotive will be coming to York County this summer for the public to enjoy. Riders will be able take a historic ride on the Northern Central Railroad from New Freedom, PA to Hanover Junction. To find out more about Steam Engine York #17 and its place in York County History go to So until York #17 arrives in New Freedom, please enjoy this video.

A replica of a Civil War-era train will serve as a rolling history museum when it opens in time for the 150th anniversary of the Confederate invasion of York and the Battle of Gettysburg in 2013.

Go to to learn more

Local News

History rolls into York County

A bit of history is coming back to life in York County.The nonprofit group called ” Steam into History” is gearing up to run a replica of the Civil War- era train along the Northern Central Railway in New Freedom.

The steam engine “York No. 17″ will be tested in Illinois next week, it will then be delivered to York County.The train should running by June 1st, 2013 and set to give its first tour.

The mission is to share stories that people may not know about when it comes to this railroad and its 150 years of history.  The grand opening celebration will be held June 21st until 23rd.