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Ma & Pa Railroad flood damage costs $170,000

LOWER CHANCEFORD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad in Southern York County was one of the many places hit from this summer's flooding. Now the historic York County railroad is using an annual Christmas tradition to get back on track.

Inside the A.M. Grove Store in the Village of Muddy Creek Forks you'll find a telephone room, post office, and a ticket window. Built in 1899, it was one of the largest general stores in Eastern York County. You wouldn't need a time machine to see what it looked like 100 years ago.

"When people come to Muddy Creek Forks, as they come down the hill, they're coming into a village where everything that they see was here in 1917," Craig Sansonetti, President of the Ma & Pa Railroad Preservation Society, said. "And the general appearance really hasn't changed at all."

The Ma & Pa Railroad was a short line that ran between York and Baltimore.  Along it's route were 50 stations in a 78 mile railroad. It was very central to life at the time.

"Ya know, I often think that our children today know more about the Colonial Period, than they do about what life was like for their great-grandparents," Sansonetti said.

But on August 31st, the Ma & Pa railroad Heritage Village was hit hard with 10 inches of rain in less than two hours. Leaving behind a muddy basement, destroyed bridges, and 700 feet of track pushed to the side.

"Well when something like that happens you look at it and you say, 'what are we going to do'?" Jean Sansonetti, said.

Fast forward three months, they are still flooded with problems. The cost to fix it all? $170,000.

"Our focus then has always been, since the flood, has been how are we going to raise the money that we need," Jean said.

Each year, the Ma & Pa Railroad Preservation Society hosts a program called Christmas City Express. It features a dramatic reading of a Christmas story, crafts, antique trains, and a night time ride. The profits this year will be devoted to flood repair. They're hoping to get their organization, and trains, back on track.

"I've been involved in this for more than 30 years," Sansonetti said. "It's something that means a great deal to me, certainly my hope is that we can build the institutional strength in this museum that it's going to go on long after I'm gone."

For information on dates and how to get tickets to the Christmas City Express program, click here.

 

To donate visit their Gofundme page.

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