Posts Tagged ‘Steamtown National Historic Site’

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’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 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.

A Man and His Steam Locomotives

June 21, 2020

Ed Ribinskas has been passionate about steam locomotives since he can remember. Chasing steam has been a major theme in the remembrances that he has written for this site in recent weeks.

In this post, we pull together some images of Ed with steam locomotives that were created during recent trips in his quest for steam motive power, whether it was operational or on static display.

Ed is show with two steam locomotives that played a role in his railfanning activities during times past.

In the middle photo he is shown fulfilling a dream by being able to sit in the engineer’s seat of Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 when it was at a Pennsylvania museum last year.

That experience also included blowing the whistle of the Northern type engine built in Roanoke, Virginia, and which later became the centerpiece of the Norfolk Southern steam program when it still operated.

In the top photo, Ed greets Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 759, a Berkshire type locomotive now in the collection of Steamtown National Historic Site.

It is known for having pulled the Golden Spike Centennial excursion train in 1969 and for pulling other public excursions until it was retired in 1977.

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.

North Pole Limited to Run at Steamtown

December 5, 2019

The North Pole Limited will be operating between Dec. 8 and 15 at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Trains will depart four times a day between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. for an hour-long holiday themed excursion behind Baldwin steam locomotive No. 26.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 2 to 12. Pre-registration is required. Free parking is available on site.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://theironhorsesociety.com/santa/

Rover Winning Name for Steamtown Locomotive

November 13, 2019

The winner of a locomotive naming contest conducted by Steamtown National Historic Site is Rover.

That name will be applied to a Baldwin Locomotive Works 0-6-0 switcher that the museum uses to pull its Scranton Limited excursion train on short trips on select days.

The winning entry was submitted by 3-year-old Gracee Straut, of Old Forge, Pennsylvania.

The contest was limited to contestant age 6 and younger.

The Rover name will be used through the 2020 railroad operating season.

In a news release, Steamtown said several dozen youngsters offered names during Railfest 2019, the park’s annual celebration of railroads.

This year’s themes commemorated the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad  and the 60th anniversary of the first Reading Company’s Iron Horse Rambles that operated in eastern and central Pennsylvania.

The winner was chosen by a panel of three Steamtown employees with the longest park tenure: Preservation Specialist John Melliand, Supervisory Park Ranger John Mucha, and Trainmaster Willard Sturdevant.

Steamtown said the judges thought Rover best fit the personality of BLW No. 26.

Gracee received a certificate, tickets for her family to ride behind Rover on the Scranton Limited, and several of the site’s collectable trading cards showcasing some of the park’s locomotives and rolling stock.

No. 26 was built in 1929 at Baldwin’s assembly plant south of Philadelphia and was used by the builder in its own railroad yard.

It can carry nearly seven tons of coal and 1,750 gallons of water. It is capable of producing 29,375 pounds of tractive effort.