Posts Tagged ‘National Park Service’

Steamtown Expanding Services

June 23, 2021

Steamtown National Historic Site is increasing visitor services starting this week when it implements summer hours of operation.

Starting June 26 the park will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The theater will show the 18-minute film Steel and Steam. The film following one man’s railroading career to illustrate the major changes in railroading in the early 20th century.

On July 7 the Steamtown History Museum will reopen, including a Railway Post Office car and an Erie Railroad business car.

Steamtown to Expand Access on July 8

July 7, 2020

Steamtown National Historic Site will expand public access on July 8. Access had been limited due to a COVID-19 pandemic stay home order issued by the state of Pennsylvania.

The park grounds, roundhouse, steam locomotive cutaway exhibit, and outdoor locomotive and rolling stock static exhibits will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

The park store will be open Wednesday through Sunday. Other exhibits remain closed and train rides are not being offered.

For more information, visit the Steamtown website.

Steamtown Excursions Canceled Through September

June 10, 2020

Steamtown National Historic Site has cancelled all scheduled excursions through Sept. 30 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Park Service said the decision reflected the lead time needed to perform maintenance on equipment that could not be completed this spring.

In a statement, the Park Service also said there remain “concerns about the practicality of implementing CDC, state, and local guidelines regarding COVID-19 mitigation.”

Steamtown Cancels Events Through Early July

April 4, 2020

The Railfest event that had been scheduled at Steamtown National Historic Site has been cancelled .

The event had been set for the weekend of June 13-14 at the park in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Steamtown also has canceled all excursions that were scheduled to operate through July 4.

A news release issued by the National Park Service said the staff will need eight to 12 weeks to meet Federal Railroad Administration regulations for operations once a reopening date is determined.

Tourist Railroads Shut Down, CVNP Trails Still Open

March 19, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to a host of closings, including tourist railroads and the Steamtown National Historic Site.

Steamtown said it will be closed until further notice but did provide a link on its website for a virtual visit.

Among the tourist operations that have suspended operations are the Nevada Northern Railway, Durango & Silverton, and the Aurora Winter Train of the Alaska Railroad.

Florida intercity passenger rail service Brightline said it will reduce service but is still offering 18 weekday trains and 14 weekend trains, while maintaining hourly service during commuter rush-hour periods.

Closer to Northeast Ohio, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has suspended operations into April.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park has closed its Boston Mill Visitor Center, but a notice on the park’s website indicates that trails and restrooms remain open.

All park programs scheduled in the coming days have been canceled.

Also closed are operations of the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park including the Trail Mix store in Peninsula, the Hines Hill campus and the Happy Days Lodge.

The closures, which will extend for the next eight weeks, include cultural arts events, performances, lectures and privately hosted events. Operations at the Environmental Education Center and Stanford House are also suspended.

Steamtown Gets Firebox for B&M 3713

October 24, 2019

Steamtown National Historic Site said this week that it has taken delivery of a new firebox that will be installed in Boston & Maine 4-6-2 No. 3713.

The firebox was built by the Strasburg Rail Road for about $148,600. It took a year to construct.

The National Park Service said restoration of No. 3713 to operating condition will cost $1.5 million.

Half of that funding is coming from the federal government and the other half is being raised by Project 3713, a nonprofit support group.

When the 3713 will be able operate will hinge on funding and staffing.

No. 3713 was one of five Pacific-type locomotives built in 1934 for the B&M by Lima for passenger service.

Retired 1956, the 3713 was purchased by F. Nelson Blount for his Steamtown collection.

Steamtown to Cosmetically Restore its Big Boy

October 3, 2019

A former Union Pacific Big Boy locomotive on static display at Steamtown National Historic Site has been removed for restoration, but don’t too excited.

The 4-8-8-4 will undergo a cosmetic restoration and will not be pulling trains in the East.

No. 4012 is one of eight Big Boys that have been preserved and the only one on display in the eastern United States.

Steamtown said park visitors will not have access to No. 4012 during its restoration process.

However, the National Park Service said it will provide occasional updates on the progress of the restoration on the park’s website and through social media outlets.

The restoration is expected to take several months and no completion date has been announced.

Attendance Up 8.5% This Year at Steamtown

August 29, 2019

Steamtown National Historic Site has seen an 8.5 percent boost in attendance this year the National Park Service said recently.

Located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the park between January and July hosted more than 61,400 visitors.

That compares with 56,567 for the same period in 2018.

Visitation at Steamtown was 104,000 in 2017, the first time it exceeded the 100,000 visitation mark in five years, and 97,950 in 2018.

The attendance high water mark came in 1995 when more than 200,000 people came. That year also coincided with the park’s grand opening.

William Fischer, chief of visitor services and resource management at Steamtown, said a number of factors are driving the increase in visitors, including interest in the restoration of Union Pacific’s Big Boy steam locomotive and the 50th anniversary of the driving of the golden spike.

Fischer said some visitors want to see Steamtown’s own Big Boy No. 4012, a stable mate of the recently restored 4-8-8-4 No. 4014.

“I have noted an increase in requests for information about our ‘Big Boy,’” Fischer said.

In related news, the Park Service said more than 38,000 people visited Golden Spike National Historic Park in Utah during the three days in May when the golden spike anniversary was observed.

Officials said that was nearly four times larger than the number of people who come to during the course of a normal month.

Visitation at the Utah site has since returned to closer to normal with more than 11,000 visitors in July.

Nonetheless, the Park Service said visitation to the Golden Spike site has increased 12 percent this year compared with 2018.

Leslie Crossland, superintendent of Golden Spike, said it can be difficult to determine exactly what causes spikes in visitation because visitation can vary wildly from year to year.

Steamtown Head Moving to Another Post

August 16, 2018

The head of Steamtown National Historic Site is leaving for another position with the National Park Service.

Debbie Conway, who once worked in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, said she has accepted a position as deputy regional director for the Park Service’s Northeast Region and will step down at Steamtown on Oct. 1.

“This is a great opportunity professionally for me and a position in which I think I can have some positive influence for the region,” Conway told her staff in an email message.

Conway has been at Steamtown for four years. An acting superintendent will be appointed to replace her.

NPS Curtails Trails and Rails Program

March 22, 2018

The Trails and Rails volunteer program of the National Park Service has been canceled on five Amtrak trains and will operate on a reduced schedule on three others.

The cutbacks followed an Amtrak decision to cease offering complimentary food and overnight lodging expense payments for the volunteers.

Trains losing the programs include City of New Orleans, New Orleans-Greenwood, Mississippi; Sunset Limited, New Orleans-Beaumont, Texas; California Zephyr, Denver-Grand Junction, Colorado; Texas Eagle, Fort Worth-San Antonio, Texas; Maple Leaf , Albany/Rensselaer-Utica, New York.

An abbreviated version of the program will be offered on the Empire Builder: Seattle-Wenatchee, Washington; Crescent, Atlanta-Birmingham, Alabama; and the Southwest Chief: La Junta, Colorado-Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Unaffected by the cutbacks are Trails and Rails programs aboard the following trains: New York-Washington; (Northeast Regional); New York-Albany/Rensselaer, New York (Adirondack, Empire Service); Saratoga Springs-Westport, New York (Adirondack); Chicago-St. Louis (Lincoln Service and Texas Eagle); Chicago-Niles, Michigan. (Wolverine Service and Blue Water); Seattle-Portland, Oregon (Coast Starlight); Santa Barbara-San Jose, California. (Coast Starlight and Pacific Surfliner); Washington-Cumberland, Maryland (Capitol Limited); Los Angeles-San Diego (Pacific Surfliner); Oklahoma City-Fort Worth, Texas. (Heartland Flyer).

Some programs operate daily between May and Labor Day, although most have specific days of operation and café car lecturers won’t be on every departure or every segment.

A listing of the dates that the programs are offered can be found at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/amtraktrailsandrails/trains.htm