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Michael Bezilla: "The Central Railroad of Pennsylvania"
The Central Railroad of Pennsylvania was a short railroad of 27.3 miles built to connect Bellefonte, Pennsylvania with the Beech Creek Railroad (part of the New York Central) at Mill Hall, Pennsylvania. Sustained by shipments from the Bellefonte iron industry, the abandonment of the iron furnaces there led to its demise in 1918.
Mike is a railroad historian and author, with several books to his credit, including Rails to Penn State and Branch Line Empires.
Jerry Britton: "The Midland Route: What Might Have Been -- Unrealized Expansion Plans of the BFC and the H&BTM"
When Jerry needed a way to interchange more cars with his PRR Middle Division model railroad, he created a proto-freelance bridge route through central Pennsylvania that leveraged existing short lines and fit into the geography. He was pleasantly surprised to later learn that the exact route had been considered by the Bellefonte Central and the Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain! Some Kishacoquillas Valley content to boot!
Jerry is a Pennsylvania Railroad historian who models the Lewistown area in HO scale. He is the owner of the Bellefonte Central, Kishacoquillas Valley, and H&BTM FaceBook pages, but is best known for his pennsyrr.com web site.
Dan Cupper: "Covering the Revival of the East Broad Top, 2020-2023"
Dan is a railroad historian, author of numerous books, and columnist. He has worked for Norfolk Southern as both a conductor and engineer. As a contributor for Trains News Wire and Trains Magazine, he's written extensively about East Broad Top's restoration by the EBT Foundation, Inc. He attended the February 14, 2020, announcement of the sale to the Foundation, and has ridden a ballast train, covered the first revenue passenger movement in 2021, and accompanied the contractors who conducted a drone survey to scope out the condition of EBT's two tunnels.
John G. "Jerry" Hartzler: "The Ol' Hook & Eye: A History of the Kishacoquillas Valley Railroad"
Jerry is the author of The Ol' Hook & Eye: A History of the Kishacoquillas Valley Railroad.
Matthew Hurst: "A Look at Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Operations"
Matthew is a Pennsylvania Railroad and Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain historian who plans to model the H&BTM and its connection with the PRR at Huntingdon in HO scale. He is a co-moderator of the H&BTM FaceBook page.
Vagel Keller: "Merchant Pig Iron Blast Furnaces"
Alan Maples: TBD (Everett Railroad and restoration)
Alan is the president of the Everett Railroad Company.
Ron Morgan: "Broad Top Area Coal Mining"
Ron is president of the Broad Top Area Coal Miners Museum.
Peter Muto: "Operations at The Gyp"
An exploration of the operations of the huge limestone industry on the Bellefonte Central.
George Pierson: "The Tuscarora Valley Railroad: The Life, Death and Modeling of a classic Pennsylvania Narrow Gauge"
The Tuscarora Valley RR was originally completed in 1895 to serve mining and lumbering interests but also became a way of life in Juniata County. The mining did not pan out; the lumbering and general agricultural needs of Juniata County kept the TV going until paved highways and the Depression killed the line in 1934. The TV had a wonderful quirky collection of engines and rolling stock and in many ways typified the country narrow gauge pike so common across Pennsylvania. The history of the TV will be covered, followed by a look at the possibilities for modeling railroads in central PA.
George has been interested in Pennsylvania shortlines and narrow gauge pikes for 40 years. He models the Tuscarora Valley RR in HOn3 and authored the book on the history of the line, Tommy Varner’s Red Rooster, as well as a number of related articles in the railroad history and modeling press. George lives outside of Chicago. He retired from teaching seven years ago and is happily engaged on a second career as a professional model-builder.
John Pogue: "Modeling the Bellefonte Central and Pennsylvania Railroads in the 1950s"
John has a long-standing interest in the history and operations of the Bellefonte Central and PRR Bellefonte Branch going back to days of railfanning trips to Bellefonte while in college at Penn State. His interest in railroading was initiated by his father who was a PRR employee and held management positions with several railcar manufacturers. He models in HO scale.
Lee Rainey: "'The Standard Railroad of the World' meets 'The Most Modern Narrow Gauge'! It happened – in Mount Union, Pennsylvania."
For many years, Mount Union was the largest shipping point on the Pennsylvania Railroad’s fabled Middle Division, due largely to the traffic generated by the narrow-gauge East Broad Top Railroad. Coal, brick, lumber, leather, textiles, furniture, feed and flour, grain and fresh vegetables, petroleum products, chemicals, sand and stone, and merchandise for the local grocers all passed in and out of Mount Union on a daily basis. That created a remarkable modelworthy prototype setting showcased in this clinic through period photos and extensive research. You’ll also see the track plan for the Mount Union S/Sn3 switching layout now in operation in Lee's basement.
Lee has researched the East Broad Top Railroad for over sixty years. He co-authored the definitive EBT history, and has published dozens of articles on the railroad and its traffic.
Jonathan Smith: "Three Years Reaching Step One: Reopening the East Broad Top Railroad"
Jonathan’s passion for railroad preservation began at a young age with the tracks of the world-famous Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad steps away from his childhood home. He took full advantage and began volunteering for the railroad at the age of 10, eventually joining their full-time staff in a variety of capacities including event coordinating, ticketing, and train operations as a Brakeman and Fireman. Jonathan attended the Metropolitan State University of Denver for Travel and Tourism Management with a concentration in Leisure Travel Marketing, while also gaining luxury service experience at the prestigious Ritz Carlton Hotel Company. He furthered his railroad career as a Stationmaster at the Georgetown Loop Railroad before moving to Pennsylvania in 2020 to join the EBT Foundation in the restoration of the East Broad Top Railroad National Historic Landmark as the Director of Sales and Marketing.