An abandoned boxcar has made its way to a new home between downtown Shippensburg and Shippensburg University.
“All aboard Shippensburg Station spring of 2018!” Allen Dieterich-Ward, Cumberland Valley Rail Trail Council, Board of Directors, Associate Professor of History, Shippensburg University, said.
The Cumberland Valley Rail Trail Council, Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation and Shippensburg University came together with the Shippensburg Township and Dave’s Trucking of Chambersburg to move the 1950s boxcar to the CVRT Shippensburg Trailhead right between downtown and the university.
“We are going to rehab it. We’re going to power wash it, scrape it, paint it, and it’s going to look beautiful,” Steve Oldt, Supervisor Chairman, Shippensburg Township, said.
With tracks placed underneath the boxcar and railroad artifacts inside, the boxcar transforms into a museum commemorating the rail industry in Shippensburg and an event stop.
“This is going to be the centerpiece of a multi-use performance and heritage space that we are calling the Shippensburg station,” Dieterich-Ward said.
Between the restroom and comfort station, a performance space across the street and a deck connecting to the box car, officials hope the station brings the university and rest of the community closer together.
“It’s another community stop and allows us a lot of opportunity to do a lot of wonderful things here,” Oldt said.
“We’re really looking forward to creating something that is not just important for us, the students here and our community members. It’s something that really important for our whole central Pennsylvania region,” Dieterich-Ward said.
Shippensburg University students are also involved in the project — from history students to communication students making a documentary.
Officials hope to have the project complete in time for the first annual Trail Festival in April.