On your next Steam Into History excursion, not only will you be overwhelmed by Northern Central Railway Locomotive #17’s brilliant bells and whistles echoing down the line, but you will be thrilled by her bright red steel wheels rolling and pumping their way up the tracks. The 1860’s locomotive is an exact replica of those used at the time, hauling rolling stock and passengers all across early America. This style of engine is more commonly known as a “4-4-0”, referring to its particular wheel scheme, 4 large leading wheels on two axles, 4 large powered and coupled driving wheels on two axles, and 0 trailing wheels used behind those front eight. York #17 is similar to other 4-4-0 engines such at ‘The General’ and ‘The Leviathon’, and it was built from scratch by David Kloke of Kloke Locomotive Works, LLC. in Chicago, Ill.
York’s locomotive was unveiled in June of 2013, after a long 10 years of dreaming, planning, and building. Late founder and visionary Bill Simpson and longtime friend and Steam Into History President D. Reed Anderson worked closely on the breakthrough engine’s production and the railroad project’s development. After it’s first two years of operations, York #17 continues to carry thousands of passengers in awe, as they travel back in time on the historical 10 mile New Freedom to Hanover Junction route, just as President Lincoln did to deliver his famous Gettysburg address in 1863. The new #17 locomotive, a true design masterpiece, is sure to carry history and railroad enthusiasts delightfully into the future, as it continues to grow for many years to come- just as they had dreamed it would, 10 years ago.