Keystone State Railroad
Steam Railroad Park
Historical, Educational, Science, Technology, Engineering, Math
Train ride inside the park, historical displays
Southwest Pennsylvania - Ohio/West Va./Va./Md. Region
Get to know The officers - President, Vice President, and Treasurer
We are in the primary stages of establishing a live steam railroad park, and trains you can go for a ride in the park!! We plan to model a wide range of historical trains, as well as more recent hardware and rolling stock, to include goods transportation, passenger transportation, and a variety of industries.
We are also considering to have antique tractors and other industry displays and demonstrations, picnic areas, and maybe even a concert area for live performances.
We have donor businesses willing to sponsor the train park. Simply click on the banner to be directed to their web site, buy what you want, and the sponsors will donate 2% to 10% of the sale to the park. There will not be any additional fees to you. The more you buy, the more will be donated.
Walmart - Shop online
We can get Amazon to be a sponsor, but we need to have a sufficient number of people each month to make purchases before Amazon would sponsor Keystone State Railroad Park. If you are considering making purchases on Amazon, let us know please. Click Email to let us know.
We are negotiating with many businesses in the region go become sponsors. If you know a business or individual that would want to become a sponsor, let us know. E-MAIL
Download a PDF file to print and read at a later time, or to give to friends and businesses. Give copies to friends, and to business owners and executives that would be interested in becoming sponsors (give us a little time to prepare this document. we are volunteers and put in a lot of time already. We would be interested in volunteers to help in a few specific tasks. Let us know if you are interested.) E-MAIL
Come talk to us on FACEBOOK
Why we need donors and sponsors
There have been a few private parks in the Southwest Pa region and other parks open to the public were about 3 to 4 hour drive from Greensburg Pa. As development of the region continues, in the future it could be more and more difficult to establish a 150 to 400 acre park; The time clock keeps ticking.
Funds in the $50,000 to $100,000 would be a great start!! I can see that this project could cost in the neighborhood of $7,000,000 or so, without being overboard on elaborate spending. An anonymous company will match funds for services (welding, machining, lathe) up to $200,000 over the next 5 years, and double funds match in the next 6 months for services ($50,000. donations would get us $100,000 in services calculated at about half of the machine shop average rates), so Donating now is important to get started, and to get as much as possible for the dollar.
This project began in 2005, but the economy collapse shelved the probability of getting sponsors and donations. We also had two properties that sounded promising north of Greensburg. After doing a lot of research, we found they both had right-of-way issues, and we are not willing to risk the disputes, because someone could come along at any time and tear up acres of track because they have the rights to do so. Now we are looking for another location to set up as a permanent home for the steam park and interactive museum.
Expenses and proposed budget.
Why establish an independent park??
A Live Steam Railroad Park is in the preliminary stages of being established. There have been many private railroads closed and dismantled over the last 10 years. This happened because the owner passed away, and the property and hardware went into an estate with multiple inheritors, and since it can be difficult for any two people to agree in the color of grass, the estate was sold, along with the rail, rolling stock, and locomotives. Another factor for a private park is that setting up on state, county, or city parks, there are a lot of restrictive rules and do's and don'ts.
Why is the gauge only 7.5 inch??
To operate a full scale railroad is very expensive. Even big railroads have difficulty in having operational locomotives and rolling stock because of the cost. Though not cheap, this scale, which is 1.5/1.6 inch to the foot (1/8 scale or slightly larger) and 7.5 inch gauge is much more affordable. Even full size railroads can have difficulties to keep steam locomotives operating, let alone a park for a track layout. A very nice layout can be achieved on 50 acres, but 200 or 300 acres would be even better. A full size railroad would need to have a much larger layout.
Here are a few links to YouTube so you can see a few locomotives in action.
We Proudly Support United States Armed Forces and Law Enforcement!!
How it will be established??
The park will be an independent organization, and the members will be another independent organization. Members will have indefinite lease of the park. The park will be owned as an independent organization, and can not be sold unless the membership organization agrees to the sale so no one or group of park executives can lose ownership, and the membership for the lease can not sell for any reason. This will insure long term establishment of the park, and no outside influence can be asserted. The park will be primarily 7.5 inch gauge, 1.5"/1.6"/2"/2.5"-narrow-gauge scale; plenty large enough to take a dozen/dozens of adults and children for a ride!! If there is enough interest, 4 3/4 and/or 3 1/2 inch gauge will be established also.
Using public property comes with many restrictions and regulations. As an independent organization, generally the only regulations will be for insurance purposes. The park will be open to the public (days and times to be established) so everyone can enjoy the experience. Standard business procedures would be to open as soon as possible, whether the park is ready or not. I have seen business spend twice what they should have because it was hastily constructed, and many things had to be dismantled and redone, frustrating owners and customers alike, to the point of closing the business before it had the chance to become properly established. It is early spring of 2018, and target date for open to the public will be spring or summer of 2020 or 2021. As is any railroad, it is capital intensive and procedure demanding, to have a good operational facility. We are considering using the plastic-wood ties, but would like to make the investment into molds to make reinforced concrete ties. plastic-wood will hold up for 10 to 20 years, but reinforced concrete ties can last for 75 to 100 years. There are other long term features we are considering as well. It all comes down to the donors and the volunteers to assemble the track and supporting equipment, but first, we need donors to provide the funds so we can establish a well designed and assembled park. The park can be a facility that is low maintenance (relatively speaking) to last for dozens of decades to come. My philosophy is "If we can't find time to do it right the first time, when do we find the time to do it right the second time??"
A list of costs to prepare to lay track, CLICK HERE. As time goes on, an account of any funds will be presented, as well as projected costs for additional hardware and park costs.
What will be included in the features??
Every reasonable effort will be made to include historic railroad features. The features will be modeled to represent or to be scale modeling of historic railroad features. If this means pulling out the panloaders/scrapers, excavators, and bulldozers, then the park will lease or buy (we are also conversing a number of heavy machinery manufacturers to have excation machinery donated) the needed excavation machinery to move mountains in order to model specific features. Other features will also include turntables, roundhouses, switchbacks at high grade angles to model for SW Pa logging and mining operations, bridges, viaducts, classification yards with humps (which was pioneered in Youngwood classification yard), and other classic railroad features. To appreciate what we have today, we need to understand the history and technologies (or sometimes the lack of) that was and is available, in the early days of railroads through present. Railroads not only made long distance travel safer and easier, but it united the East Coast to the West Coast to become the great nation we are today.
Organization to establish the park.
The park will be an incorporated 501 - C - 3 Non-profit. This will help insure the park will survive the organization officers. The park will then have an indefinite lease to club members, who own a variety of locomotives and rolling stock. The park will also, over time, build a variety of locomotives and rolling stock.
Donors will be appreciated and rewarded, either private donors or business donors. To see the donor amount and benefits, click on the Adobe pdf files to view and/or make copies, or go to site pages with frames for amounts and benefits to copy and paste to word processor app, or to print to file or paper of your choice. These are basic benefits, and can be changed to improve donor and park benefits.
Individual Donors CLICK HERE for a PDF file, or INDIVIDUAL DONORS site page
Business Donors CLICK HERE for a PDF file, or BUSINESS DONORS site page
An anonymous company pledged to match donations for services value up to $200,000 over the next 5 years, at discount rates. To build a steam locomotive, there will be machining needed, welding needed, and other technical skills and tools needed, so if the Steam Park buys the materials, the anonymous company will do machining, welding, and other technical services. And since some that own their own locomotives are trades men and women, it is easily calculated that the services done at a reasonable value, and will be done professionally with quality standards. It is difficult to find someone to take the time to properly weld a boiler at a reasonable rate that doesn't leak; for this steam park, problem is solved. The founder, Jeff, also has an extensive background in machinery manufacture and repair, as well as heavy machinery operation (earth movers) and building trades knowledge and skills. We plan to purchase good used equipment, or lease the proper equipment needed to prepare the right-of-ways and terrain, and provide a work shop to maintain the MOW equipment as well as the locomotives and rolling stock.
Since this will be a 501 (C)(3), operating costs will be kept to a minimum. Donation amounts will be posted and/or be made known, and the funds will be shown where they went. Only if donors request to be identified for the amounts donated, will be made public, though donors of large amounts can view the list of donors and amounts. Most of the park workers will be volunteers helping to keep operating costs down. Most of the documents will be prepared and organized (some documentation has to be done by a tax accountant due to the complexity of the laws) so that a CPA could prepare the spreadsheets in the shortest amount time on a quarterly basis, so everything is prepared for the end of the year, for filing tax forms which also will be done by an accountant. This will simplify the operation and keep operating costs as low as possible while keeping high level of documentation. Since tax laws change year to year, the laws that pertain to the organization will be confirmed in advance and implemented to the advantage of the park. This will help to comply with current laws, and simplify the process in the event of a tax audit.
What activities will be available at the park?
The park will be open to qualified club members to use any time. The park will be open to honorary members whenever a supervising club member is available. The park will be open to the public on specified dates and times. This will be normal park operation. In addition to normal park operation, when supervising or qualified park members are available, the park can be open for private parties, picnics, birthdays, special event celebrations, holidays, special night runs, fall foliage events, and other events. We will setup as soon as practical, pavilions for picnics, and as time goes on, make accommodations for travel trailers and recreation vehicles for those that travel a distance to enjoy the parks features and facilities.
Our goal is to establish a free standing steam railroad park that will be for historical and educational purposes, as well as to show the old technologies and present some of the new technologies of railroad transportation in United States of America, that will stand over decades and centuries. This can introduce the younger generations, as well as all generations, to STEM - Sciences, Technologies, Engineering, and Math. We will also attempt to obtain full scale railroad hardware, rolling stock, and locomotives for educational and historic purposes.
Would you like to help by designing a color scheme or providing some audio files to narrate aspects of railroads?? Go to the Audio Narration page, or the Color Scheme page to find out more.