Posts Tagged ‘Age of Steam Roundhouse’

Age of Steam to Resume Tours on June 18

June 5, 2020

The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum announced on Friday that it will reopen for public tours on June 18.

Tickets will go on sale next week and must be purchased in advance at the museum’s website.

The announcement also said that no walk-in visitors will be allowed and other rules have been implemented in consultation with the Ohio Department of Health.

This includes limiting tour sizes to no more than eight people. Visitors will be required to wait in their vehicles or on the parking lot until 10 minutes before tour time.

All visitors and staff will be expected to adhere to social distancing requirements as determined by the State of Ohio.

Although museum staff must wear masks at all times when interacting with visitors, mask wearing by visitors is encouraged but not required.

Cleaning protocols have been institutes for public areas, including restrooms and the gift shop with a deep cleaning conducted once a week by an outside professional cleaning service.

Upon completion of their tour, visitors are advised against re-entering the depot building unless there is a need to use the restroom facilities. This should be done one at a time.

The museum said it will reschedule cancelled special tour programs for later this summer.

Age of Steam Roundhouse Adding to Website

May 1, 2020

The Age of Steam Roundhouse remains closed, but the staff has been adding new material to its website, including postings to its collection page.

In an email blast, the roundhouse said the additions include images and information on equipment other than the locomotives in the collection.

Museum Historian John B. Corns has written some detailed posts about items in the collection.

Also being added is video content, 360 degree views, and more on various social media platforms.

The collection page can be found at

Drink Beer and See Steam Locomotives at AOS

March 5, 2020

The Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek is now selling tickets for its Iron & Ales event on April 18.

Participants can sample craft beers brewed by Hoodletown in Dover and Lockport in Bolivar while touring the roundhouse and listening to music provided by Ohio folk artisst Hey Mavis.

AOS staff will be on hand to discuss the history and collection of the roundhouse.

The restoration back shop will not be open for this event. All funds raised from this event will be used to support AOS operations.

Tickets are $50 and only 250 will be sold. The event hours are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Repair Work Continues on B&LE No. 643

February 3, 2020

In an update posted to its website the Age of Steam Roundhouse said it continues to study how to move former Bessemer & Lake Erie No. 643 from its current location in Pennsylvania to Sugarcreek.

AOS said winter weather and the holidays slowed the movement of the locomotive’s running gear and boiler.

The update said staff continue to work with local and state authorities for use of highways but the use of railroad flat cars is also being evaluated.

“Labor and cost are driving factors in this decision making,” the update said.

AOS staff also have inspected the tender of the 643 and made some repairs.

This included removing from the coal bunker and stoker auger system old coal, scaled rust and other debris.

Workers painted the tender with a rust preventive primer and finish coated with gloss black.

Upper elements of the tender that were removed to lower the height for road travel have been put back into place.

The brakeman’s cabin was repaired during the removal process. Workers removed rusted rusted areas in the well area in which it sits.

The cabin was repainted and then was re-bolted to the tender deck.

The eight washout plugs in the bottom of the tender cistern were removed and the water compartment is currently having scale removed. Workings are also flushing out of loose scale and flaked rust.

The update said the tender journals looked very well maintained but were cleaned and oiled.

Eventually, the tender body will be sandblasted to grey metal and repainted with high quality industrial paint.

AOS Has 2 EMD Switchers For Sale

January 28, 2020

Two EMD switchers that once worked on the Grand River Railway are up for sale by the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum.

The EMD SW1200 switchers are being sold in an auction for which bidding ends on April 1.

The reserve price is $90,000 per unit.

The museum, which was founded by the late Jerry J. Jacobson, said it will use the proceeds from the sale to fund its restoration work on its collection, which primarily is steam locomotives.

Nos. 1202 and 1205 are stored serviceable at the roundhouse in Sugar Creek.

Before coming to AOS, they were used by a Pennsylvania short-line railroad, the Aliquippa & Southern. A&S was part of the Ohio Central System that Jacobson once owned.

The units were leased by AOS to the Grand River where they wore a Baltimore & Ohio inspired livery.

AOS said in announcing the auction that it will continue to own diesel locomotives, including eight Alcos, two Fairbanks-Morse switchers, a General Electric 25-ton switcher, and 11 EMDs.

No. 1202 was built by EMD in 1954 whereas No. 1205 was built in 1955.

The auction announcement posted on the AOS website said the museum will on occasion “refine” its collection by adding or selling locomotives and rolling stock.

The explanation indicated that some items were not used by railroad during the “age of steam” while others are redundant to the collection or are in poor condition.

Additional information about the auction can be found at:

Porterfield to Speak at AOS Program in January

December 20, 2019

Railroad dining car historian Jim Porterfield will speak about the history and recipes of America’s golden age of railroad cuisine on Jan. 15 at the Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek.

The presentation will begin at 6 p.m. and feature slides and items on display, including menus and the five items you will likely find in a home kitchen that originated in a dining car.

Porterfield is the author of Dining By Rail: The History and Recipes of America’s Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine, which described how railroad dining practices evolved into restaurants on wheels.

The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a book signing.

AOS to Hold Knowledgeable Railfan-Oriented Tours

November 20, 2019

The Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek is now selling tickets for two tours in 2020 that are oriented toward knowledgeable railfans.

The ferroequinologist tours will be conducted on April 25, May 30 and June 27 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Tickets are $75 per person and the tour is limited to 20 participants.

It is described as an extended three-hour guided tour of the roundhouse complex, including the restoration shop, machine shop, store house and turntable.

The tour will provide an in-depth review of the technical aspects of steam locomotives, including their design and mechanics.

Other topics to be covered during the tour include industrial heritage, railroad history and roundhouse architecture.

The blue flag tour will be conducted on April 24 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Tickets are $175 per person and include a box lunch and special gift.

The tour is limited to 25 participants who must be at least 18 years of age. The tour is limited to 25 attendees.

Led by Chief Mechanical Officer Tim Sposato, the tour is described as an immersive experience that includes behind-the-scenes access and a hands-on experience.

Participants will meet the roundhouse team that maintains and restores the steam locomotives in the AOS collection.

They also will have the opportunity to assist with the prepping and firing of the HeritageRail Award winning Morehead & North Fork No. 12 steam locomotive.

The tour also provides a look at the current projects underway in the roundhouse and shops.

AOS Reports on Recent Work at the Roundhouse

November 14, 2019

The Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek recently released its fall report on what the shop forces have been up to in the past few months. Here are some of the highlights.

Open-window coaches Nos. 3659, 4979 and 5010 were sold in October and will be moving to their new owners during November. The report did not say who bought the coaches.

Former Canadian National/VIA Rail Canada combine No. 9300 has had its old roof replaced with a new rubber/fiber one.

The car had been built as a coach by Canadian Car & Foundry in 1954 but later converted buy CN into a 52-seat combine.

Former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie wreck train diner White Castle also received a rubber/fiber roof. This car had been built in 1918 by Pullman as open-section sleeper Aukland. It ended its career in wreck train service.

Tool car 5012 (Conneaut) is slated to receive a rubber/fiber roof. The former Wabash RPO/coach was built in 1920.

Boiler work on former McCloud River Railroad 2-8-2 No. 19 is nearing completion.

The work includes installing washout plugs, boiler studs, water glass fittings, globe valves and other components.

No. 19 is due for a hydrostatic test and its front tender truck is being reassembled, which includes installation of the newly reprofiled wheel sets.

Former Morehead & North Fork 0-6-0 No. 12 was in steam during the annual Swiss Festival in Sugarcreek this fall.

No. 12 was moved to the recently renovated former Wheeling & Lake Erie depot in Sugarcreek for the festival, which marks the cultural heritage of the village’s founders.

AOS also had displays, information and souvenir items at the depot.

Accompanying No. 12 was former Wheeling & Lake Erie steel caboose No. 0222.

The tender from former Bessemer & Lake Erie 2-10-4 No. 643 arrived at the roundhouse on Oct. 18 and was lifted off its big Buckeye six-wheel trucks and devoid of everything removable to reduce weigh.

The 49-foot long tender traveled to Sugarcreek from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, on a highway trailer that had to see-saw around sharp street corners.

Doubled-headed highway trucks were used to get the tender up the steep ramp to Pennsylvania Route 51 at the start of the journey.

Work continues in McKees Rocks to separate No. 643’s boiler and piping from its massive frame, cylinders and driving wheels.

The parts that have been removed from the steam locomotive have been catalogued and moved to Sugarcreek by truck.

Thus far there have been four truck loads of parts that have made the trip.

AOS Roundhouse Winter Events to Include Expanded Museum Store Hours, Speakers, Santa Claus Visit

November 12, 2019

The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum in Sugarcreek has announced a slate of activities for the winter, including holiday shopping hours, model train layout displays, a speaker series and a visit with Santa.

In a news release, AOS said its store will be open for special holiday shopping hours on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. between Nov. 21 and Dec. 20 except for the week of Thanksgiving when the store will be closed on Nov. 28 and 29.

Division 1 Mid-Central Region National Model Railroad Association (The Akron-Canton-Youngstown Division) will have an operating model railroad layout on display in the store during the holiday shopping season.

Among the speakers appearing during the monthly winter speaker series will be architect Ted Goodman, who designed the roundhouse.

He will speak about the design process and construction of the roundhouse on Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. at the Age of Steam Roundhouse Depot.

There is no admission charge for the event, but attendees should pre-register via the AOS website.

As for Santa, he’ll be appearing at the roundhouse on Dec. 14 from noon to 2 p.m.

Visitors should bring their own cameras or phones to create photographs.

There will also be an opportunity to make a take-home Christmas ornament to remember the visit.

Pictures with Santa are $5 per child and an additional $5 if they wish to make an ornament. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the AOS website or on-site on the day of the event.

For more information on all of the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum’s activities, including the 2020 public tour season, visit

Ex-B&LE Steam Locomotive Move to AOS Underway

September 27, 2019

The move of former Bessemer & Lake Erie 2-10-4 No. 643 to the Age of Steam Roundhouse began recently with the arrival of a trailers loaded with parts from the locomotive.

In a news release, AOS said the parts were removed from the locomotive, which has sat for several years in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, and catalogued, tagged and photographed.

Among the parts that have been removed and documented have been both sand domes, two air compressors, air tanks, lubricators, piping and a smoke box door.

The news release said AOS personnel have been pleasantly surprised that most nuts and bolts were removed after applying plenty of penetrating oil. However, some parts had to be heated or removed with a torch.

Directing the disassembly work was Tim Sposato, AOS’s chief mechanical officer, and Michael Venezia, project manager for the transport of No. 643

AOS staff have been meeting with city officials, crane operators and heavy-haul trucking companies to conduct route studies in preparation for moving the 643.

Because the weight of the locomotive might damage underground utilities, it might be necessary to move the locomotive’s frame, driving wheels and running gear by rail on a multi-axle flat car.

Current plans call for moving the tender, boiler and all removed component parts by truck.

A film crew has been documenting the move of the 643 and plans to create a documentary to be shown at the roundhouse.

They are using drone cameras during the heavy lifting, loading and movement phases of the project.

The documentary program will feature video of the locomotive being taken apart, moved and reassembled.

It will also include historic film and interviews. AOS is seeking information and stories from those who worked with No. 643 during the past 30 years.

If you have stories and photos to share, contact AOS through its website at