Posts Tagged ‘Steamtown National Historic Site’

Alco PA Arrives in Scranton

May 21, 2023

An Alco PA painted in a Nickel Plate Road “bluebird” livery arrived at its new home in Pennsylvania last Friday.

The former Santa Fe and Delaware & Hudson unit was ferried across the country from Oregon to Pennsylvania by BNSF, Montana Rail Link, and Norfolk Southern.

A report on the website of Railfan & Railroad magazine said No. 190 was delivered to an NS yard in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and was then picked up by its new owner, Genesee Valley Transportation’s Delaware-Lackawanna.

The PA is to be displayed through June at Steamtown National Historic Site.

Steamtown to Display Alco PA-1

May 17, 2023

An Alco PA1 painted in the Nickel Plate Road “bluebird” livery will be displayed at Steamtown National Historic Site.

The locomotive is in the process of being moved from its former home in Oregon to Pennsylvania-based Genesee Valley Transportation.

The locomotive, built by Alco in 1948 for the Santa Fe, never worked for the NKP but is painted in a NKP livery.

It passed through Cleveland on Monday evening. A photo of that passage can be viewed on the website of Trains magazine at

The Steamtown display will begin with the arrival of the PA and continue for an unspecified period of time.

However, a report on the Trains website said the display is likely to end sometime in June when the locomotive is moved to GVT’s Von Storch Locomotive Shop in Scranton.

GVT said it will inspect the PA with an eye toward restoring it to operating condition.

Trains reported that as of Tuesday the PA was in Bison Yard in Buffalo, New York, but was expected to move eastward to Binghampton, New York, that evening. An NS local was expected to deliver the PA to Scranton from Binghamton.

The PA is expected to be used by GVT in mainline office-car and excursion service.

Steamtown Buildings Closed Due to Lack of Heat

November 21, 2022

Some buildings at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania, have been closed due to lack of heat.

The issue was described as due to a mechanical failure of the boiler system that park staff are seeking to address. The National Park Service The park said the building will be closed until heat can be restored.

The closures will not affect Santa Train and North Pole Limited excursion trains, which will operate as scheduled.

Affected buildings include the visitor center, theater, history museum, and technology museum. The roundhouse, railroad yard, and grounds remain open. Also closed is the Electric City Trolley Station and Museum.

Portable restrooms have been brought to the park because there is no public access to heated restrooms or running water.

Steamtown to Resume Public Excursions

April 18, 2022

Steamtown National Historic Site will resume public excursions on May 14.

In a news release, the National Park Service said the initial outings will be 30-minute trips. Longer excursions are set to resume on May 28.

The short trips will operate on Saturdays and Sundays, departing at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 per person with children age 5 and younger riding free.

The excursions are subject to the availability of staff to operate them.

Tickets must be purchased at the park on the day of visit and must be paid for with a credit card.

However, advance ticket sales are available for the longer excursions. Those go on sale on April 19 at 10 a.m.

Longer trips that have been scheduled for this operating season include a trip to Jessup, Pennsylvania, on May 28 to visit a festival. Other excursions are scheduled for June 12 and 18, July 16, 23, and 31, and Aug. 18 and 28.

Autumn-themed excursions are set for Sept. 24, and Oct. 1, 8, 22 and 29 with tickets going on sale on July 15.

More information on Steamtown is available at

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.”