eee Yiiii! I knew I have been away, but not for so long. 2 long years have passed since my most recent post on Steamtown, and no mention of what has happened.
The big news, as has been posted in other threads, is that Baldwin no. 26 has returned to active service on the rails of Scranton. This began on April 17, 2016, during National Park Week, and she has run many trips through the railroad yard, including the extended trips just outside of Scranton's downtown to reach the Nay Aug Gorge. Baldwin no. 26 also made a successful run from Carbondale, PA, 15 miles away by rail, to Scranton for the annual Christmas In a Small Town Santa Train. On this trip, Santa Claus visits 6 different communities to spread the Christmas cheer. The final stop was the Steamtown National Historic Site. Over 2,000 people attended this free event.
In 2017, Baldwin no. 26 began the season with the weekend-only Caboose Experience train on a short section of track outside the turntable area, and some Scranton Limited trains on weekdays. This was due to contract negotiations with the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad getting bogged down in some details, and not being resolved until mid July. This led to some low sales for the excursions. The good news, motive-power wise, is that the two F3s had a few outings together over the summer months. While F3 no 664 was the only F operating since a failure of the compressor and generator hit 663 in 2013, the repairs were completed by late Spring, and no. 663 began to run on some of the Limited's to break in for the season. Only a few trips were made with the AA set, since 664 was developing some wiring and some relay problems due to overheating. So, Steamtown had to rely on Delaware-Lackawanna diesels to make it through most of the year. Both F3s look to be in good shape for 2018, and may even be teamed up the the F7B unit while hitting the road.
2014 was a good year for Nickel Plate Road no. 514, as she was the main power, and sometimes hauled excursions with 664. A federal grant allowing for upgrading the prime mover and other repeating problems finally came to the Park in late 2014, so work began on buying replacement or refurbished parts. Other motive power issues delayed this locomotive from being completed, but it may be this summer, 2018, when she returns to the excursion world. Another favorite piece is returning.
Other new (?) locomotives have shown up in Steamtown's limits, with the arrival of SW1 no. 26, now renumbered 1901. This unit originally operated at the Richmond, VA, passenger terminal of the Atlantic Coast Line and Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac RR. Disassembly and repair came to a stop in 2016, but it will kick back in when other projects clear out of the shop. Another smaller diesel to show up is New York, Ontario & Western GE 44-ton switcher no. 105. The Ontario & Western Railway Historical Society recently purchased it, and their volunteers are making progress to get her back in working order, for 2018 or 19.
Boston & Maine 4-6-2 no. 3713 is making steady progress with a grant that came in finally in 2017. Fabrication of new tender, and cab is under way, and the drive wheels are being repaired at the Strasburg Rail Road. locomotive shop. One axle is to be replaced, also. The 4-wheeled pilot truck of the steam engine is getting some axle work, to fit in the roller bearing box assembly. Work will begin soon on the steam powered booster motor sometime in 2018, too. Not everything is falling into place easily, but many parts of the engine are finally getting the attention she deserves.
I'm sure there is more to report. Our 2018 season begins on April 21, so catch up with us as you can.