The blue and gold Springfield Eastern locomotive pairs nicely with a very merry Delaware County Historical Society freight car complete with a smiling Santa on the side.
Paired with a miniature replica of the Delaware County Historical Society Museum, Library & Research Center all bedecked for the winter holidays with a decorated tree peeking through the right hand window and a tiny Santa to pluck on its roof and the holiday spirit can be accessed, no matter what time of year.
These items are part of more than 200 belonging to the Newtown Square Pennsylvania Railroad Museum and have been on loan to the historical society.
They were built – by hand – over a quarter of a century by Chris Yocum. A few started as plastic or metal bodies that were detailed but most of them were constructed from raw materials such as balsa or bass wood, cardboard, 3 X 5 cards and brass wire. Wheels were made from wood dowel.
There were some purchased parts on the trains such as air horns, couples and grab-irons, as well as commercially available decals for decorative purposes.
During construction, he relied on plans published in books and magazines for specifications of measurements and shape.
All of the trains were built to “HO” scale, which is 1/87th of the actual thing.
Although Yocum began his craft as a Pennsylvania Railroad fan, he expanded to include models from dozens of railroads, including one Canadian and one Mexican locomotive.
In the larger collection, there are also four Baldwin-built locomotives like the ones built at the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Eddystone. Baldwin trains were known for being a duplex drive locomotive and for being the largest and longest lived steam trains in North America.
During its tenure, the Baldwin Locomotive Works made steam trains for the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and other railroads in England, France, India, Haiti and Egypt.
To see the ones on display at Delaware County Historical Society Museum, Library & Research Center, come visit! The museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; 1 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The museum’s telephone number is 610-872-0502. Parking is free on the society lot behind the building or across the street in the municipal lot.
Membership in the Delaware County Historical Society ranges from $10 for students, $27 for individuals to $250 at the patron level. It includes free admission to the society’s Chester museum and library at 408 Avenue of the States, the society newsletter and preferred reservations and discounts for lectures and events. To join, please visit www.padelcohistory.org or call 610-359-0832.
Even Santa has his own train at the Delaware County Historical Society!