Welcome To Steamtown!…

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June 18 was my 1-year anniversary of living here in Scranton and having had this site since January 1st of this year, it seemed only proper (if not poetic) that I do a commentary on the Steamtown National Historical Site….

Steamtown occupies about 40 acres of the Scranton railroad yard of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, one of the earliest rail lines in northeastern Pennsylvania. At the heart of the park is the large collection of standard-gauge steam locomotives and freight and passenger cars that New England seafood processor F. Nelson Blount assembled in the 1950s and 60s. In 1984, 17 years after Blount’s untimely death, the Steamtown Foundation for the Preservation of Steam and Railroad Americana, Inc., brought the collection to Scranton, where it occupied the former DL&W yard. When Steamtown National Historic Site was created, the yard and the collection became part of the National Park System.

The Steamtown Collection consists of locomotives, freight cars, passenger cars, and maintenance-of-way equipment from several historic railroads. The locomotives range in size from a tiny industrial switcher engine built in 1937 by the H.K. Porter Company for the Bullard Company, to a huge Union Pacific Big Boy built in 1941 by the American Locomotive Company (Alco). The oldest locomotive is a freight engine built by Alco in 1903 for the Chicago Union Transfer Railway Company.

Steamtown National Historic Site preserves and interprets the legacy of steam-era railroading. Experience this era through tours of the railroad yards and the buildings. Ride in a restored railroad car or a caboose. Watch Living History characters depict life in the era of steam. Lectures in the theater and the film Steel and Steam highlight related subjects and provide glimpses into railroading’s past.

The park includes the following points of interest:

Visitor Center: Begin your visit here for orientation to the park, its facilities and its attractions.

History Museum Exhibits here highlight the people and the history of steam railroading in the United States and include displays on early railroads, life on the railroad and the relationship between the railroad and labor, business and government. A timeline presents key moments in the history of railroading and the DL&W from the early 19th to the mid-20th centruy.

Roundhouse: This remaining portion of the 1902/1937 roundhouse has been rehabilitated and is used to store, maintain and display engines from the Steamtown collection. A raised walkway affords opportunities to view work in progress on the locomotives.

Turntable: The 90-foot-long turntable, used for turning engines toward the roundhouse, is the type used here after 1900.

1902 Roundhouse Scection: This three-bay portion remains from the second roundhouse, built on this site in 1902.

Technology Museum: This museum offers a look at the technological changes and advances in railroads through the years. Included are exhibits on steam locomotive design, railroad architecture, track design and engineering, signals, communication, and railroad safety. A model of the DL&W’s Scranton yard is located on the second floor.

Tours and Excursions: Park rangers offer tours of the site roundhouse and locomotive repair shops. On certain days, rail excursions are offered, including a main line train ride to one of several destinations. Check at the visitor center for schedules. Fees are charged for visiting the site, excursions and certain other programs.

For Your Safety: Remember that Steamtown is a working railroad site, so please  be careful. Look out for moving trains and other vehicles at all times.

For More Information:
Steamtown National Historic Site
150 South Washington Avenue
Scranton, Pa 18503-2018
888-693-9391
www.nps.gov/stea

Steamtown National Historic Site

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Author:Railfan AC

AC is a U.S. Air Force Veteran, a long haul trucker, a transportation enthusiast and a lifelong lover of trains. AC's mission is to travel America documenting American railroading in the 21st century while educating those who want to know about the importance the railroads play in our daily lives including, but not limited to, the movement of goods, services and more.

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