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Historic Colebrookdale Railroad comes back to life

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 10:17:40 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2014 04:54:06 PM CDT

A historic railroad was reborn across Berks and Montgomery counties Wednesday morning.

BOYERTOWN, Pa. -

A historic railroad was reborn across Berks and Montgomery counties Wednesday morning.

Lawmakers and other local officials joined honorary guests for a special preview ride on the Colebrookdale Railroad as it traveled from Boyertown to Pottstown, along the "secret valley."

"This is a milestone for us," said Nathaniel Guest, president of the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust.

Guest, with the help of hundreds of volunteers and millions in grant and donation dollars, managed to get the project on track and revive the Civil War-era line. Come next year, tourist and rail freight service trains will be running once again, he said.

"It's an area of scenic beauty, great history and great culture," Guest said. "A ride on the Colebrookdale Railroad will include not only great scenery but the educational component, of the great history of the railroad."

Parts of the train are more than 100-years-old and newly restored. Further restoration could begin as soon as this week.

"It's absolutely incredible. It's beginning to take shape and it helps me understand the potential that this has for this community," said Commissioner Christian Leinbach, R-Berks County.

The railroad will be open to the public for a preview season this October. The full season is expected to begin in October 2015.

Officials said they expect the railroad to bring new jobs, millions of dollars in economic impact and thousands of visitors annually.

Additionally, Guest said a new train station will be built in Boyertown, the result of having recently secured a $200,000 grant.

"There's a great, brilliant future ahead for Pottstown and Boyertown," said Guest.

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