Daveler hon­ored; ex­cur­sion train high­lights Founders Day in Lans­dale

North Penn Life - - Front Page - By Dan Sokil dsokil@jour­nal­reg­is­ter.com

win broth­ers Cae­den and Caleb Shan­non had never seen, or heard, any­thing quite like the sur­prise present they got for their sec­ond birthday Satur­day.

And as the New Hope & Ivy­land Rail­road’s Founders Day Ex­cur­sion Train rolled into Lans­dale shortly af­ter 11 a.m. Satur­day with an ear­split­ting blast of its train horn, the twins re­acted a lit­tle dif­fer­ently, ac­cord­ing to their mom, Christina.

“Caleb was a lit­tle bit scared, but Cae­den was wav­ing to the con­duc­tor and he waved back,” she said.

The twins both wore match­ing train con­duc­tor hats and over­alls and their par­ents, Christina and Colin of Lans­dale, and grand­par­ents, Kathy and Dave Shan­non, were just a few of the hun­dreds of vis­i­tors who came to down­town Lans­dale for the bor­ough’s sec­ond an­nual Founders Day fes­tiv­i­ties.

“We come here for the farm­ers mar­ket ev­ery week, so we’ve been plan­ning this since the be­gin­ning of WKH VuPPHr. 7KLV wDV GHfiNLWHOy D sur­prise, they had no idea what they were go­ing to see to­day,” Christina said.

Am­a­teur pho­tog­ra­phers crowded the side­walks along the train sta­tion’s plat­forms, while riders on three sep­a­rate ex­cur­sions be­tween Lans­dale and Soud­er­ton stood in line to ride the spe­cial train — in­clud­ing Tom Ryales, of Lans­dale, with his sons, 6-year-old Pey­ton and 3-year-old Lo­gan.

“My wife was over at the farm­ers mar­ket and some­body said, ‘Would you like free tick­ets to ride the train?’ I used to ride to Philly from Ambler all the time, and hope­fully these guys love it too,” Ryales said, as his sons waved at the train back­ing into the plat­form.

Rail fans from sev­eral gen­er­a­tions came to town Satur­day, not only to ride the trains, but for sev­eral other at­trac­tions un­der the day’s theme of “A Town on Track.”

Dis­plays of model trains were shown at sev­eral bor­ough fa­cil­i­ties, which were open for pub­lic tours, and SEPTA dis­played a pair of sta­teof-the-art Sil­ver­liner V pas­sen­ger cars for rail fans young and old to ex­plore throughout the day — a nod to the re­gion’s past and its ori­gins as an im­por­tant rail junc­ture, as well as a hint of its fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to SEPTA Deputy Gen­eral Man­ager Jef­frey Knuep­pel.

“The rail­road plays a piv­otal part in build­ing a strong foun­da­tion for this vi­tal community, dat­ing back more than a cen­tury from our rail an­ces­tor the North Penn­syl­va­nia Rail­road to the new tran­sit ser­vices pro­vided to­day by SEPTA,” Knuep­pel said.

The town it­self drew its name from Philip Lans­dale Fox, a rail sur­veyor for that orig­i­nal line con­nect­ing Philadel­phia and the Le­high Val­ley, and Knuep­pel said the town’s “ideal lo­ca­tion” for com­merce be­tween the two ar­eas has never been more ev­i­dent.

“His­tory is just a dusty book on a shelf if you don’t take the lessons that you learn from the past and use them to cre­ate a vi­sion for the fu­ture. SEPTA sees the same po­ten­tial that Philip Lans­dale Fox rec­og­nized in the bor­ough,” he said, and has in­vested in sta­tion im­prove­ments and added to its flHHW RI rROOLNJ VWRFN that serve the town.

One area group in par­tic­u­lar was glad to see the two work­ing to­gether — mem­bers of the Read­ing Rail­road Her­itage Mu­seum handed out in­for­ma­tion on their mu­seum in Ham­burg and ef­forts to pre­serve the ac­tual equip­ment that ran on Lans­dale’s rails be­fore its bank­ruptcy in the mid-1970s.

“We were formed in 1976 af­ter the breakup into Con­rail, and we still have pre­served about 70 pieces of Read­ing equip­ment: lo­co­mo­tives, rail cars and a few other things,” said Read­ing Mu­seum board mem- ber Greg Goodridge.

“We’re try­ing to raise aware­ness of who we are and what we do, and since most of our ac­tiv­i­ties are in Berks and Schuylkill coun­ties we’d like to build more of a pres­ence in this area,” he said.

One of those long­time Read­ing Rail­road riders, state Rep. Bob God­shall, R-53, said he was glad to see a rail con­nec­tion re­stored, if only for a day, be­tween Lans­dale and Soud­er­ton be­cause it brought back mem­o­ries of his ear­li­est rail rides.

“I can’t tell you how many times we took that train from Soud­er­ton all the way down to North Broad Street, and then walked over to Shibe Park,” to see Phillies games at the old ball­park, God­shall said.

“I re­ally am glad you’re run­ning that thing back to Soud­er­ton, and I’m do­ing my best, I’d love to get that line go­ing all the way up to

AOOHn­tRwn OLNH Lt usHG tR,” he said.

State Sen. Robert 0Hn­sFh, R-24, HFhRHG those themes and said the bor­ough’s cen­tral loFatLRn Ln thH FRunty was PatFhHG by Lts strRnJ ORFaO OHaGHr­shLS — Pany of whom were on hand to NLFN RII thH IHstLvLtLHs.

“7RGay, OLNH sR PuFh RI thH rHst RI PHnnsyO­vanLa, yRu’rH Ln sRPHwhat RI a tran­sLtLRn MRb-wLsH, but yRu’rH stLOO a vHry strRnJ anG rR­bust HFRnRPy anG a great eco­nomic part­ner IRr thH FRunty,” hH saLG.

Men­sch and God­shall aOsR haG NLnG wRrGs IRr a life­long bor­ough res­i­dent re­ceiv­ing a unique honor SaturGay: Fire Mar­shal anG ORnJtLPH firH ChLHI -ay DavHOHr rHFHLvHG thH first-HvHr Lan­sGaOH LLIH­time Achieve­ment Award SrHsHn­tHG by DLsFRvHr Lan­sGaOH, thH bRrRuJhIunGHG nRnSrR­fit that RrJanLzHG thH Gay’s HvHnts.

SJt. DHan 0LOOHr, a Lan­sGaOH SROLFH RI­fiFHr anG IHOORw firH FhLHI IRr 7RwaPHnFLn’s firH FRPSany, rHaG a bLRJraShy RI Daveler and de­scribed how he first bHFaPH Ln­vROvHG wLth the Fair­mount Fire Com­pany as a 14-yHar-ROG first aLG as­sis­tant for its am­bu­lance unLt, bHIRrH MRLnLnJ thH FRPSany as a firH­fiJhtHr when he turned 18 in Fe­bru­ary 1957.

“WhLOH hH’s bHHn Ln FharJH RI Pany RI thH OarJHst firHs anG HPHrJHnFy LnFLGHnts Ln thH bor­ough of Lans­dale and throughout the com­munLty, thRsH LnFLGHnts havH be­come less and less freTuHnt RvHr thH yHars bHFausH hLs GLOLJHnt wRrN as firH Par­shaO, but PRrH LPSRr­tan­tOy as an HGuFa­tor to all of us in the comPunLty abRut thH GanJHrs anG rLsNs as­sRFLatHG wLth firH,” 0LOOHr saLG.

DavHOHr was naPHG firH chief of the Fair­mount FRPSany Ln -an­uary 1967 and served in that ca­pacLty un­tLO -an­uary 2011. HH has also acted as bor­ough fire mar­shaO sLnFH 1974 and helped found what Ls nRw thH 0Rn­tJRPHry CRunty FLrH 7raLnLnJ AFaGHPy, aORnJ wLth sHveral long­time busi­nesses Ln thH bRrRuJh: DavrR In­struPHnts, DavrR OStLFaO anG DuIIy’s PHt StRrH, among oth­ers.

“-ay DavHOHr Ls thH LFRnLF Lan­sGaOH Pan. YRu Fan harGOy havH a GLsFussLRn abRut Rur tRwn, Rr GLsFuss anythLnJ that JRHs Rn Ln Rur tRwn, whHrH -ay hasn’t SOayHG a Sart,” hH said.

DavHOHr thanNHG bRrRuJh FRunFLO, thH staII RI sev­eral de­part­ments and aOO RI thH SROLFH anG firH­fiJhtHrs hH’s sHrvHG wLth throughout that ca­reer for thHLr hHOS Ln PaNLnJ thH bor­ough a safe place to OLvH, wRrN anG SOay.

“I’P GHHSOy hRnRrHG, tR say thH OHast, but RnH thLnJ I NnRw anG HvHryRnH HOsH hHrH shRuOG NnRw Ls that I GLG nRt GR thLs by PysHOI,” he said.

FLvH SROLFH FhLHIs, GRzHns RI SROLFH RI­fiFHrs, staII from the bor­ough’s pub­lic wRrNs, code enIRrFHPHnt, and elec­tric de­part­ments aOO rHFHLvHG thanNs Ln DavHOHr’s rHParNs, as GLG thH vROun­tHHr firH­fiJhtHrs of the Fair­mount comSany anG Sast anG SrHsHnt bor­ough coun­cils.

“I GLG nRt GR thLs Py­self. I’ve had a tremen­dous amount of help and a tremen­dous amount of suSSRrt RvHr thH yHars,” he said.

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