• "Official" STEAMTOWN Thread

  • General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.
General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.

Moderators: Miketherailfan, rob216

  by loekie
I am thinking about visiting Steamtown around the holidays this year. I've looked around the internet and cannot confirm if the yard area is open to the public; I am interested in seeing the LIRR Rotary and snapping some photos up close.

I am thinking that the yard area is probably not open to the public to just walk around but perhaps someone can confirm if the rotary can be viewed from any of the public spaces.

Thanks in advance for any info!
  by Ken W2KB
While it has been a couple of years since I have last visited, I was never challenged when walking in the yard area, and I don't recall any signs indicating that it is prohibited. Entering the shops unescorted is prohibited as I recall. Someone else may be able to provide more specific info. Take a look at: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Steamtown" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... n,+PA&z=21 which has good resolution on zooms to help plan your visit. A quick call to the museum staff might be in order.
  by toolmaker
I just finished reading a great article in Trains about The Age of Steam, Inside America's Newest Roundhouse, Trains magazine, Feb-2013. Private money and management has out done Steamtown in much less time. I am very disappointed in how the money is used to keep 1 steam locomotive running. If it wasn't for the volunteers the place would be a ghost town. I see more local excitement following the DL operations on Yahoo.
  by ricebrianrice
Does anyone have an update on Baldwin #26
Earlier this summer there was talk about it being steamed up late summer

  by lexon
No idea if anyone comes here anymore.
I was at Steamtown a few days ago. Major restoration going on. No steam running. TT being rebuilt. They are getting ready for Steamfest 2014 sometime in July.

Google steamtown for more info.

  by tellu_whut
Steamtown's RailFest for 2014 is August 30 and 31. Minor repairs to the turntable have become major engineering issues. The pedestal of the table is either bent or cracked, and is being replaced. The concrete is beginning to fail, and contractors are cutting through it to find where it is still in good condition. This work may be finished by the fall. With no turntable, the focus of RailFest location is shifting to the railroad yard for this season.
  by RiverMP21
If you are planning on being in Scranton for Railfest this year, the Erie Lackawanna Dining Car Preservation Society will be hosting a Dinner on the Diner Event on Saturday, August 30, 2014 onboard DL&W "Phoebe Snow" Diner 469. Featuring food from City Cafe of Scranton, enjoy a delicious meal in the unique setting of a 1949-vintage Budd dining car. Proceeds from the dinner will go towards the continued restoration and operation of the car.

For more information, visit the ELDCPS website at http://www.eldcps.org/pages/events.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by tellu_whut
Regardless of how this thread began, with tales of doom, and accusations of larceny, Steamtown is still plugging away, and the park has made it through another operating season. From April 18 through this coming Saturday, F3 664 has led almost every Scranton Limited and Nay Aug Gorge Limited train on weekends, and every single day in July and August. The only times another locomotive ran this train was during RailFest, when CNJ RS3 1554 led the way. This is an old thread, so a lot of newly restored locomotives have come on line, and Scranton is a very interesting rail preservation hub.
Each of the excursions this year had a Delaware-Lackawanna ALCO on the point, so it was a chaser's paradise. Nearly every destination had a different mix of power.
For RailFest, the D-L took the EMC switcher off display, and in a few weeks had her up and running for the first time since 2001 or so. She led the Caboose Experience trains during the RailFest. RailFest also saw a gathering of track vehicles as the Mid Atlantic Motor Car club brought about a dozen powered vehicles, and you could ride all day if you so chose. Two musical stages in the park and steam engines including a calliope operated off air power for both days of the fest.
Shop machinery ran for anyone who requested it. All you had to do was ask and wait for one machine to shut down before another was started up.
Baldwin 26 was open for inspection. Many people jumped at the chance to get in the cab.
The big steam star for the year was Nickel Plate Road 765, visiting as part of the Norfolk Southern 21st Century steam program. She made two runs over the Pocono Mountain line of the DL&W, one time going to Delaware Water Gap, and another to East Stroudsburg. She spent about 2 weeks in Scranton.
Very popular Santa trains were run to Moscow in conjunction with the Erie Lackawanna Dining Car Preservation Society's cars, D-L locos and the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Railway Historical Society.
The year ended up with Baldwin 26 finally under real steam on December 10. Everything is falling into place to get the park back where it belongs. Live steam on most days in the railroad yard, and eventually steam on the mainline.
  by highgreen215
With a little luck B&M 3713 MAY be running before I die.
  by tellu_whut
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.
  by tellu_whut
I suppose it is time for another update on Steamtown. The current government shutdown, which has been going on since December 22, has messed a lot of plans for 2019, but we still can catch up and be ready by April 20 if the shutdown ends soon.

Baldwin 26 needs her annual inspection, and will get some crank-pin work done before she returns to service. If the pin work is pushed off to next season, that is no big deal. She still runs like a dream.

Boston & Maine 3713 is expecting the return of her drive wheels and axles, the tender tank and the repair of her steam booster pretty soon. They might actually be complete by now, if not for the shutdown.
A newly fabricated replacement cab showed up in the loco shop last summer, just before Railfest 2018. Many of the grab irons , rain gutters and some other pieces are now added to the new cab. It has been quite a popular item to see while on the locomotive shop tours. Her turbo superheater pump, sent out 3 years ago to be repaired, is finally in the works to be completed. Another big piece of this steam engine puzzle is that a contract was let to the Strasburg Rail Road to create a new firebox. I don't have a word on when this will be complete, but work on the flanging of the steel is already underway.

Nickel Plate Road GP9 no. 514 is well on her way to returning to service this season, and may happen just in time for National Park Week, slated for April 20-29.
The F3 locomotives are always getting some part of a repair when not operating, and they have actually run the ABA set once in 2018. The B unit has turned over, but has not run with the As as of yet. This coming year might be the time the trio, or an AB set actually run on an excursion.
  by steam1246
It's interesting that Railpace Newsmagazine editor Tom Nemeth penned a rather critical editorial titled WHITHER STEAMTOWN in Railpace's June 2019 issue. That editorial included a partial listing of many issues facing Steamtown NHS in running mainline steam excursions; the editorial concluded that the mainline steam excursions need to be privtatized. Am wondering why there has been no reaction here nor any of the other preservation forums--and even in National publications like TRAINS Magazine and Railfan & Railroad Magazine--on Mr. Nemeth's proposal?
  by tellu_whut
Steam1246, I think the lack of response or outrage is more due to the fact that online Forums are a dying form of communication. Ten - fifteen years ago, they were great, and if you waited a day or two, you could get a good response to a question. Then, the arguments started, and people seeking information moved on to other, more instant forms of communication, such as Facebook.

Also, since we all know Tom Nemeth well enough, his editorial does not mean that he hates Steamtown. He has ridden and chased, and been part of Steamtown events after the editorial came out. The big frustration is or was in the process of S-Town, as a federal agency, negotiating with a quais-public organization, the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Rail Authority, and the for profit Delaware Lackawanna Railroad over access to the tracks for excursions. Each organization has its priorities, and they have to somehow see where the others are coming from. The National Park Service prefers a 5-year plan over a year by year agreement. It makes it easier to promote trains in advance when you have an agreement. I don't think private enterprise will do much more than raise prices, and run the equipment into the ground.
  by jbvb
I've been donating to Project 3713 for several years, and I was encouraged by the 2019 reports. But the website has only been updated in May 2021 since then.