Part of the USA Today Network

Railcar Historical Background Archives

Chapter 11 of my historically accurate novel Railcar Gold starts tomorrow.  This chapter centers upon the time George S. Billmeyer attended College at Princeton, NJ.  George S. Billmeyer is the oldest son of Charles Billmeyer, a founder of the York railcar manufacturer Billmeyer & Small.  George Billmeyer eventually becomes President

After posting Why is the Steam Into History locomotive named York #17 ?  three months ago, I’ve had a few queries from readers with questions like: Is this really the type of locomotive that pulled Lincoln’s train to Gettysburg?  Is this really the type of locomotive that pulled Lincoln’s Funeral Train? 

The location next to marker ‘6’ on this 1908 Topographic Map is named Billmeyer.  This name has a direct relationship to Charles Billmeyer, one of the founders of the rail car manufacturer Billmeyer & Small in York, PA.  The location is still noted as ‘Billmeyer’ on current maps, such as

Where does Rail Car Manufacturing fall within The Rise of Industrial York?  I ask this question during my presentations on 19th Century Railway Car Builders of York.  There is no doubt rail car building was one of the earliest industrial industries in York.  These 19th Century manufacturers shipped rail car

This drawing of The York Car Works of Billmeyer & Small appears as part of a full-page-408 ad in Asher & Adams’ New Columbian Railroad Atlas of 1879.  The view is as if one were hovering over the railroad station, or currently hovering over Sovereign Bank Stadium, and looking southeast.

General William J. Palmer and his associates incorporated their vision of a grand western railroad, The Denver & Rio Grande, on October 27, 1870.  After General Palmer announced in a speech on February 17, 1871 his intention to build his railroad as the countries first narrow gauge railway, many other