West Chester Railroad Volunteer Chases Trains in Her New Book  

Author Beth Anne Keates with her new book.
Image via Bill Rettew, The Daily Local News.
Author Beth Anne Keates with her new book.

Historian, Betsy Ross reenactor, train chaser, and now author Beth Anne Keates says her father inspired her passion for locomotives. Her first book, Union Pacific Railroad Heritage is dedicated to him, writes Bill Rettew for The Daily Local News.  

A volunteer at West Chester Railroad, Keates’ released her 128-page coffee table book, co-authored with Kenneth C. Springirth, after chasing the “Big Boy” engine for over 50 miles. 

Big Boy had not operated for half a century, and is one of seven of its kind left in the country. Keates followed this rare locomotive from La Platte, Nebraska to Ogden, Utah. Her husband took photographs which are featured on the cover and rear of the book.  

With 72-inch wheels, it’s the largest articulated engine in the entire world, and the only one running.  

“We are keeping history alive by memorializing the history of trains nationwide,” said Keates.

The train enthusiast has ridden trains all over the country.  

“I love the pounding of the drive wheels as it goes by,” she said. “You’re watching the pistons go up and down and the flywheel — watching that huge lever — and listening to it roar by.” 

Keates’s book is now available for purchase.  

Read more about this historian’s debut book on the The Daily Local News.  

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