Representatives of the Carbon Schuylkill Industrial Development Corporation (CSIDC) visited the No. 9 Mine & Museum in Lansford to present a donation to help complete the setup and installation of a small steam engine, its cars, and tracks which have been donated to the museum.
The railroad equipment was originally located in the Mt. Bethel area and was owned by two brothers who had bought the train for their personal use on their property.
After one brother and then eventually the other brother passed away, their nephew Jim Turcic took over their property but did not want to keep the railroad, so he donated it to the No. 9 Mine & Museum.
Turcic also wants to memorialize his late father, uncle, and two cousins through the donation of the train to the museum.
The steam engine is a "Donkey" engine of the type used in the lumber and rock quarry industries.
The engine has a vertical steam tube boiler with 44 vertical tubes which is located on a separate car and it can also be run on compressed air.
The engine, steam boiler car, all the small cars, and over 500 feet of rails were all given free of charge and most of the necessary transportation was also donated by various individuals.
So far, some track has already been installed with the bulk of the work on the cars and rail line having been done by museum members Dave Kutcha and Brian Timony.
Kutcha said that the donation from the CSIDC is going to be a big help because they need a lot of funding for things such as railroad ties and equipment needed to operate the railroad.
When completed, the project will be operating as a little steam train ride for adults as well a children with a trip length back and forth of about mile.
In the hope of having the train running by next summer, the museum is looking for donations and a few volunteers during the week or on weekends to help put in ties, lay track, and complete as much work on it as possible before winter sets in.
Anyone interested in donating to or volunteering to help out with the No. 9 Mine & Museum's rail project can call Dave Kutcha at the museum at (570) 645-7074 or in the evening at (570) 645-3652.