Posts Tagged ‘Scranton Pennsylvania’

Study Projects Benefits of Scranton Rail Route

March 25, 2023

A study released this week provided a favorable outlook for a proposed new Amtrak route between New York City and Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The study projected the route would create $84 million in economic activity, provide $20 million in benefits to passengers, and create $7 million in society benefit from such things as diverting traffic from highways, reducing highway collisions and cutting air pollution. Ridership was projected at 470,000 passengers per year.

The study was overseen by Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority and took two years to complete.

The study assumed that the route would host three roundtrips per day with a travel time of two hours, 50 minutes between endpoints.

Intermediate stations would be located at Mt. Pocono, East Stroudsburg, Blairstown, Dover, Morristown, Montclair, and Newark.

Infrastructure improvements that are needed to bring the service to fruition includes upgrading existing track in Pennsylvania between Scranton and the Delaware Water Gap; and restoring 20 miles of track on the “Lackawanna Cutoff” between the Delaware Water Gap and Andover, New Jersey.

Existing rails used by New Jersey Transit and Amtrak would be used between Andover and New York.

The service could potentially begin in 2028 pending completion of design work, construction and funding agreements.

Officials have said they plan to seek federal funding to cover up to 80 percent of the construction costs.

Track improvements are expected to cost between $100 million and $175 million, while acquisition of rolling stock and locomotives has been put at between $70 million to $90 million.

The New York-Scranton route last had passenger rail service in 1970.

Pa. to Provide Funding for NYC-Scranton Passenger Route

November 3, 2022

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has agreed to provide $3.7 million for track work to make possible Amtrak service between New York and Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The funding will come from a redevelopment capital program and be awarded to the Monroe County Industrial Development Authority.

The state’s contribution is half of the cost of installing 43,000 new crossties on a 40-mile stretch of the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad.

The track work will enable the trains to operate at higher speeds than are permitted now.

The route also will use track owned by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit.

A news report noted that the state plans to pursue a federal grant to provide the remainder of the funding needed for infrastructure work needed on the route before Amtrak can begin service.

Amtrak has proposed serving the New York-Scranton route with as many as three daily roundtrips.

No timeline has been released for when the track and other infrastructure work will be completed and revenue service will commence.

Steamtown’s Big Boy Goes on Static Display

May 6, 2021

A Union Pacific Big Boy locomotive has returned to static display following a two-year cosmetic restoration at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The museum is home to 4-8-8-4 No. 4012 and has located it near the park entrance.

The display site highlights the engine’s articulation because it is on a section of curved track.

No. 4012 is one of 25 Big Boys built UP between 1941 and 1944 and used primarily in Wyoming and Utah.

Eight Big Boys has survived and are at museums throughout the Southwest, Midwest, and West. No. 4014 was restored by UP to operating condition in 2019.

The restoration of No. 4012 included replacement of rusted parts, remediation of hazardous materials, and repainting the locomotive to UP specifications.

There is a timer-controlled illumination of the headlight, numberboards, and marker lights.

In conjunction with National Train Day on May 8 Steamtown plans to display Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 759, Grand Trunk Western 4-8-2 No. 6039, and Groveton Paper Works 2-4-2T No. 7.

Steam Saturday: A Hudson on the ex-New York Central

February 6, 2021

During Steamtown’s Grand Opening celebration in July 1995 I photographed Canadian Pacific 4-6-4 No. 2816, which had been part of the Steamtown collection since the 1960s.

Years earlier I had seen CP Royal Hudson’s 2839 and 2860. I always regretted never having a chance to see the famous New York Central Hudsons.

If I did see any I would have been 1 or 2 years old, and obviously would not remember.

However, in September 1998, the Canadian Pacific purchased the 2816 from Steamtown in order to restore it to operation by a team headed by Doyle McCormack.

In May 2004 the restored 2816 pulled the railroad’s Trans Canadian Steam Express across Canada from Vancouver to Montreal.

On its return west on June 13, 2004, the train crossed into the United States at Buffalo, New York, for a routing on CSX to Chicago.

This meant that from Buffalo to Greenwich this was the former New York Central home to its famous Hudsons.

In the top photo above and the first one below, No. 2816 is on stactic dislay at Steamtown in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on July 1, 1995.

The third photo was made as the train cruised westbound at Westfield, New York

The next three images were made during  a service stop at Conneaut.

Word was the service stop was initially scheduled for Ashtabula, but Doyle McCormack, a Conneaut native, was running the locomotive and must have made some suggestion to change the service stop to Conneaut which happened to be his boyhood hometown.

Next up the train is at Schaaf Road in Cleveland on the former Big Four following by an image made in Grafton.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Steamtown Stops Charging Admission

November 17, 2017

Steamtown National Historic site has ceased charging admission.

The park in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has scrapped its fee of $7 a day for those 16 and older after a National Park Service study concluded that visitation would increase and costs would diminish by not collecting admissions.

The museum will continue to charge $5 for the short train rides that it offers and longer excursions to destinations outside the park will continue to have a fee.

Fees may also be charged for special exhibits and the annual Railfest. Park Superintendent Debbie Conway said the fees for Railfest have not yet been determined.

Steamtown Sets Summer, Fall Excursions

July 21, 2017

Steamtown National Historic Site has announced its slate of summer and autumn excursions, the first of which will run on July 22.

Among the destinations are the Pennsylvania cities of Moscow, Tobyhanna, Gouldsboro, Cresco, East Stroudsburg, and Delaware Water Gap Township.

The calendar also included Railfest 2017 on Sept. 2 and 3 with train rides to Moscow on both days.

All excursions include light snacks and refreshments and some excursions will feature local music and entertainment options.

The park will continue to offer shorter Scranton Limited  train rides that operate daily except Sunday.

Those depart four times a day from the museum’s main area for a trip through the rail yards of the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad in Scranton.

Shorter excursions are typically pulled by Baldwin Locomotive Works 0-6-0 No. 26, while longer excursions are assigned Delaware, Lackawanna & Western cab units.

The entrance fee to Steamtown is $7 for adults. Children ages 15 and under when accompanied by an adult receive free admission.

Railroading as it Once Was: Erie Lackawanna Winter View in Scranton Felt Like a Railroad

January 5, 2017
Even on a dull day a fresh-painted Erie Lackawanna unit stood out. This is Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the winter of 1975. Typical of a locomotive service area back then, oil and sand were all over. White snow didn’t stay white very long. Goodies abound with not only the shiny Geep but other GP-7s, an Alco C-425, and transfer caboose T-14. Places like this just reeked railroad with the sights, sounds, and smells of an everyday working railroad. I feel blessed to have been able to visit places like this on the EL back then, to experience the “real deal.”

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Steamtown Plans Holiday Trains

October 6, 2016

Holiday trains will be operated by Steamtown National Historic Site and the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Railroad Historical Society.

Park serviceThe diesel-powered trains will run Nov. 25 through the 27 from Scranton to Moscow, Pennsylvania.

There will be five round-trip excursions named the Holiday Express. All trips will feature a visit from Santa Claus and other holiday-themed festivities.

Tickets will go on Oct. 11 at 9 a.m.

Railroading as it Once Was: EL and PC Soulmates

September 28, 2016

EL geep and PC unit

Here is another one from an October 1976 visit that I made to Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Erie Lackawanna units are no strangers to this former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western shop, but that Penn Central (ex New York Central) GP35 is there courtesy of the Conrail merger a few months earlier. Those non-dynamic braking GP7s looked sharp in the Erie Lackawanna colors with those silver spark arrestors topping it off.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Waiting in the Weeds in Scranton to be Rescued, Sold or Scrapped

September 16, 2016

EL 7091

An October 1976 trip to Scranton, Pennsylvania, yielded this photo of some stored former Erie Lackawanna F units.

Although the new Conrail was only a few months old, many former EL units had already been renumbered.

Unused junkers tucked away on some weed-infested siding didn’t rate the attention active units did, so here they sat still “untouched.”

Some of these units would get put back into service and renumbered into the Conrail system, but from what I can see the 7091 got shipped off to Altoona in ‘77 and never ran again.

She more than likely went to the scrapper proudly carrying the EL diamond on her nose.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee