Steam engine locomotives

The Bellwood-Antis Historical Society has announced that the May monthly meeting and program of the group has been changed for the month due to the upcoming Memorial Day Holiday. Normally the historical group conducts their program and meeting on the fourth Monday of the month.

This then has resulted in the May meeting of the B-A Historical Society to move the date of the meeting and the program to Monday, May 20. The time and location of the meeting will remain the same. The group will again be meeting at 7 p.m. at the Bellwood-Antis Township Public Library which is located along Main Street in Bellwood.

After a brief business meeting which will begin promptly at 7 p.m. David Kurtz, president of the historical society, will turn the meeting over to Andy Smith who will be presenting the program that evening.

Andy Smith is a life long resident of Tyrone and as a young boy fell in love with trains. This even resulted in him working at the Norfolk Southern Car shop for a period of time prior to the downsizing of that work force. Until today trains remain a very big hobby of Smith. Smith’s program will be both a narrative and a video presentation dealing with the tail end of the steam engine locomotives.

“The steam engine locomotives really were phased out around the later part of 1955 when the locomotives were starting to go toward diesel power,” Smith stated.

A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid. The steam engine uses the force produced by steam pressure to push a piston back and forth inside a cylinder. This pushing force is then transformed, by a connecting rod and flywheel, into rotational force in order to work.

Smith also indicated, “During the video there will be a great deal of footage of Bellwood, Tyrone and the Altoona railroad yard along with Horseshoe Curve and Gallitzin. The last steam locomotive operated in late 1957,” Smith said in sharing information.

Smith is no stranger to historical societies as he is currently the vice president of the Tyrone Historical Society.

The B-A Historical Society meetings are always open to the general public and there is never a charge to attend these educational programs and presentations. In addition, the historical society is alway open and welcomes new members. Membership information can be obtained that evening at the meeting and program.

Chuck Banas can be reached at


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