Posts Tagged ‘National Park Service’

Amtrak Promoting Kids Travel to National Parks

June 15, 2017

Amtrak is working with the U.S. Department of the Interior to try to boost attendance at national parks and cultural attractions by extending its 75 percent discount to fourth-graders, with the purchase of one regular adult fare.

The discounted fare will be available through Aug. 31 for travel through Sept. 3.

The fares are being offered as part of the government’s Every Kid in a Park program. Families are invited to visit the Every Kid in a Park website to obtain a pass for free entry for them and their families to more than 2,000 federally-managed lands and waters nationwide.

In a news release, Amtrak said it offers service to or near more than 260 national park lands, monuments and historic sites

These include the national parks of Glacier, Grand Canyon and Yosemite.  Amtrak and the National Park Service also work together as part of the Trails and Rails program.

The reduced fares for children require making reservations a minimum of three days before travel. Seats are limited and the offer is valid on all Amtrak trains except Acela Express and Auto Train. Terms and conditions apply.

Teen Steamtown Volunteer Wins NPS Award

May 4, 2017

A teen volunteer at Steamtown National Historical Site has won the George and Helen Hartzog Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service from the National Park Service.

Aiden Schafer was honored for his work, which included 800 hours of service during the past two years.

Steamtown officials described Schafer as a “go-to guy” for many at the park even though he is still in high school.

Acting Northeast Regional Director Joshua Laird said that last year 63,900 volunteers contributed 1,470,300 hours of service in the region and that without them, many projects would not be completed.

“When a volunteer-in-parks  agree to share their talents, skills and interests with the National Park Service, they are paying the organization one of the highest compliments possible by offering a most valued possession — their time,” Laird said in a news release.

Free Steamtown Admission on April 22-23

April 20, 2017

The National Park Service is offering free admission to Steamtown National Historic Site on April 22 and 23 to celebrate the 101st anniversary of the national park system.

The Park Service said free admission also will be offered on Sept. 30 for National Public Lands Day and Nov. 11-12 for the Veteran’s Day weekend.

Steamtown plans to have Baldwin Locomotive Works 0-6-0 No. 26 fired up for the April event and offer short train rides around the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western rail yard for $5. Locomotive No. 26 returned to regular service in 2016.

Steamtown to Have 10 Free Days in 2017

December 8, 2016

Steamtown National Historical Site will offer free admission on 10 days in 2017.

Park serviceThe dates are Jan. 16; Feb. 20; April 15, 16, 22 and 23; Aug. 25; Sept. 30; and Nov. 11 and 12. The park said that the free admission days coincide with federal holidays and the National Park Week in April.

The free admission does not include train rides or excursions, but does allow admission to the visitor center and museum facilities. Admission is normally $7 per person.

Steamtown said it typically hosts 90,000 people a year.

Steamtown to Have Free Day Nov. 11

November 2, 2016

Steamtown National Historic Site will offer free admission to all on Nov. 11 in honor of Veteran’s Day.

Park serviceThe fee-free weekend will include complimentary admission to the grounds, museum complex exhibits, and scheduled walking tours.

However train rides and other amenity fees will continue to be collected.

Active duty service members will be able to receive a free annual park pass that provides access to all federal lands, including national parks and wildlife refuges.

The Scranton Limited will offer 30-minute train rides inside the park boundaries on Saturdays through Nov. 19 and the Nay Aug Limited will offer trips every Sunday through Nov. 27.

Steamtown to Have 10 Fall Excursions

September 16, 2016

Steamtown National Historical Site has announced it will sponsor 10 diesel-powered foliage excursions. They include:

Park service• Round-trip excursions from Steamtown to Gouldsboro on Oct. 1 and 29. Train leaves at 11 a.m. and returns at 3 p.m. on both days.

• Round-trip excursions from Steamtown to Moscow on Oct. 2, 10, 15 and 22. The four round-trip excursions will depart at 12:30 p.m. and return at 3 p.m.

• East Stroudsburg excursion on Oct. 8 to the borough’s annual Fall Foliage Festival and fireman’s picnic. The round-trip excursion departs Steamtown at 9 a.m. and returns at 5 p.m.

• Tobyhanna Station excursion on Oct. 9 will depart Steamtown at 11 a.m. and return at 3 p.m.

• An excursion to the Delaware Water Gap Station will take place on Oct. 16. It will depart Steamtown at 9 a.m. and return at 5 p.m.

• Round-trip excursion from Steamtown to Cresco on Oct. 23 featuring live entertainment and light refreshments.

The 30-minute Scranton Limited excursions will operate during weekends in September and October on the grounds of Steamtown.

Tickets for the foliage trips go on sale on Sept. 23. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/stea

Taking the Farkas Challenge: A Second Life for the B&O Valley Line at Howard Street in Akron

July 4, 2016

 

Farkas Bowler

Few who ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad from or into Akron Northside station probably are aware of the history of the site.

The Valley Line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad once had a station and freight house here. Some in the 19th century Akron thought the Howard Street station was too far from downtown, so they successfully lobbied for the construction of another station on Market Street.

The depot didn’t last long, perhaps because it was a stub-end facility that required backup moves. Perhaps Akronites just got used to using Howard Street station.

B&O passenger service to Howard Street station ended in January 1963 and the station was razed.

That might have been the end of the story, but for the decision of the Cuyahoga Valley Line to begin bringing passengers into Akron and taking them by bus to Quaker Square.

For several years, the passengers disembarked at a vacant lot. Then the CVL became the beneficiary of money flowing from the National Park Service, which purchased the Valley Line after CSX abandoned it in 1985. The Park Service was helping to preserve CVL service,

In time the CVL renamed itself the CVSR and began developing stations that have the appearance of a railroad station even if they are minimalist structures.

The vacant lot where B&O’s Howard Street Station had stood soon sported a new station with an expansive paved parking lot.

That resurrection was about having a second life.  The Valley Line got a second life by providing transportation to and within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The involvement of the Park Service brought the CVL a second life for it didn’t operate in 1986 and 1987 after the Valley Line was abandoned.

The site of Howard Street station received a second life and became Ohio’s busiest railroad stations in terms of passengers handled annually.

Steam motive power on the Valley Line also has received a second life. In the early years, CVL trains were pulled by a former Grand Trunk Western steam engine.

But that ended after the 1990 season and it would be 17 years before a steam locomotive whistle again echoed through the Cuyahoga Valley.

In recent years, former Nickel Plate Road No. 765 has been a regular visitor to the CVSR and thousands have ridden behind it and/or come out to watch it.

Not every railroad line in Akron has been able to enjoy a second life, but in the case of the Valley Line at Howard Street it has bounced back from the dead quite nicely and its future is assured.

This image of the NKP 765 arriving at Northside station in September 2010 was made from the Y bridge before the fencing was added. It is my nomination from the collection of Akron Railroad Club member Peter Bowler for the Farkas Challenge.

Article by Craig Sanders, Photograph by Craig Sanders

Steamtown To Offer Free Admission

March 31, 2016

As part of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania will offer free admission.

Park serviceThe 100th anniversary celebration will take place the week of April 16-24. A dedication ceremony on April 17 at 11 a.m. will feature restored Baldwin 0-6-0 No. 26. The locomotive was returned to steam last December.

Built in 1929, No. 26 served the Jackson Iron & Steel Company. Steamtown acquired the 0-6-0 in January 1990. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 17.

No. 26 will pull trips of the Scranton Limited between 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on April 17. The fare will be $5 per person.

Steamtown to have 16 Free Days in 2016

December 4, 2015

Steamtown National Historic Site will offer free admission on 16 days in 2016 as part of the 100 anniversary of the National Park Service and the 30th anniversary of Steamtown. Those dates will include:

  • January 18 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
  • April 16-24 (National Park Week)
  • August 25-28  (National Park Service Birthday Weekend)
  • September 24 (National Public Lands Day)
  • November 11 (Veterans Day)

The entrance fee at Steamtown is $7 per person with children 16 and younger admitted free when accompanied by an adults

The free admission will not include train rides or excursions.

However, on free admission days, visitors will have access to the park visitor center and museum complex, which features history, roundhouse, and technology museums, plus a digital theater that presents the park’s 18-minute movie Steel and Steam.

Visitors will also be able to take advantage of all staff and/or volunteer led walking tours. Steamtown had more than 84,000 visitors in 2014.

The site is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except between Jan. 2 and March when winter hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Aug. 25 Eyed for Steam to Return to Steamtown

July 7, 2015

A Baldwin-built 0-6-0 steam locomotive is expected to begin operating at Steamtown National Historic Site by Aug. 25.

Once No. 26 is fully operational it will pull the park’s yard shuttles.

The date that service is expected to begin will coincide with the 99th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service.

No. 26 will be the first steam locomotive to operate at Steamtown since 2012.

The rebuilt locomotive passed a full-scale pressure test last December and Federal Railroad Administration inspectors allowed Steamtown to operate the Baldwin after another trial in the spring.

The locomotive, which will have a green livery, still must complete shakedown runs in the Steamtown yard.

Supervising exhibit specialist Barbara Klobucar said Steamtown discovered that olive drab green was the locomotive’s original color.

No. 26 was built by Baldwin in 1929 and used as a switcher at Baldwin’s Eddystone Plant until it was sold in 1948 to Jackson Iron & Steel of Jackson, Ohio.

There it switched cars at the plant and to interchanges with the Baltimore & Ohio and the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton railroads.

Sold in 1979 to a private owner, it remained in Jackson until June 1983, when it moved to Grand Rapids, Ohio.

Then it transferred to the Mad River & NKP Museum in Bellevue where it sat until 1986 when it was acquired by the former Steamtown Foundation in trade for Canadian National 4-6-0 No. 1551. It arrived in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the home of Steamtown, in January 1990.

“All of the railfans are just champing at the bit,” Dawn Mach, Steamtown assistant superintendent, said of the long-awaited return of the engine to service. “People are excited, especially since we are starting to wrap up the work.”