WE BELIEVE in the power of our communities to use the treasures of their past to secure a better future. WE BELIEVE the best route forward for our region is along the iron path of the Colebrookdale Railroad. WE BELIEVE a new day is dawning for the Secret Valley Line and people of Berks and Montgomery Counties.
WE'RE ABOUT TO CHANGE THINGS. It will provide jobs and a much-needed economic boost. The Colebrookdale Railroad Tourist Railroad Project connects two counties, two boroughs, and thousands of people along a right-of-way with a storied past and vast potential for the future. Bringing 20,000-30,000 new visitors annually to the region, the Project will catalyze the good work the citizens in Pottstown, Boyertown, and Beyond have done over the past three decades to build local business, to preserve local heritage and culture, and to make Southeastern Pennsylvania a place worth investing in, working in, and calling home.
RESPONDING TO A REGIONAL NEED. The Colebrookdale Railroad responds to an opportunity gap for marketing and tourism development identified by a recent study by the Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape Initiative.
A PROJECT TO TRANSFORM THE REGION. 30,000 new visitors to Pottstown and Boyertown each year; $8M economic impact at start up and $1M annually thereafter; 200 new jobs. This is the promise of the Colebrookdale in Our Communities. With the support of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Borough of Pottstown, the Borough of Boyertown, the Berks Mont Business Association, and the Redevelopment Authority of Berks County, the Trust commissioned Stone Consulting to complete an Implementation Plan and Economic Impact Analysis for a tourist railroad on the Colebrookdale. See a summary of the results here.
CAPITALIZING ON A NATIONALLY-SIGNIFICANT STORY The Railroad connects the earliest ironmaking sites in Pennsylvania and among the earliest in the nation. The Colebrookdale is a core corridor within the only region in the United States where visitors can explore iron industry vestiges from its 18th century infancy, observe 19th century technological innovations and industrial expansion, and learn about 20th century international steel markets - all within a radius of 35 miles from the Pottstown and Boyertown stations. Unspoiled by time, the Colebrookdale's Secret Valley looks much the same today as it would to the iron-willed pioneers of three centuries ago. Learn more about the Iron Heritage of the Secret Valley Line.
GET INVOLVED. Check out photos and Like us on our Facebook page. Read more about the project on the About Us page and send us a note if you'd like to volunteer! Send in a letter of support and we'll post it on this site.
HISTORY AND PROMISE--FURTHER EXPLORATION. A Virtual Tour of the Colebrookdale: Watch a short video on the history of the Colebrookdale Railroad here. Prospectus: Find out more about the proposal for a tourist railroad on the Colebrookdale Line here. Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust Brochure: Download here. Highway Tour of the Colebrookdale Railroad: Find a guide to seeing selected bridges and crossings by automobile here. The Trust assumes no responsibility for you nor is this document meant to induce you to take a tour of the line. Never, ever trespass on railroad property.
LETTERS OF SUPPORT. The following organizations have expressed their support of this project: the Borough of Pottstown; the Borough of Boyertown; the Pottstown School District; the Pottstown Metropolitan Regional Planning Commission; the Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area; the Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape Initiative; the Boyertown Musuem of Historic Vehicles; the Reading Company Technical and Historical Society; the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau; Pottstown Downtown Improvement District ; Cole's Tobacco; the Greater Reading Convention and Visitors Bureau, TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce, Robert Evans, LLC, Lewis Environmental, Gretchen Lea Interior Design, Durango's Saloon, and Clothes to Home.
Download and submit your own letter of support here.
This is the official website of the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to establishing an on-going tourist passenger operation on the Colebrookdale Railroad. The Trust will assist the line's designated operator, the Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad, and the line's owner, Berks County, to restore and enhance this remarkable resource for the benefit of the people of Southeastern Pennsylvania now and into the future.
The heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future. Post a comment below and tell us your idea for the Colebrookdale Railroad!