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Steam in Pennyslvania

Discussion in 'International Heritage Railways/Tramways' started by ADB968008, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Member Account Suspended

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    Here's some pictures from Steamtown in Scranton, PA.
    This place really felt like driving through the wilderness to get to :), very nice forest mountain drive though with the Autumn colours.

    The collection at Scranton is very interesting, whilst the PA RR musuem focused on PA railroads (correctly so), this one was more focused on the collections of several lines, plus a number of Canadian locomotives.

    Insteam was Canadian National 2-8-2 3254, the running here was different to the other lines in that the location is based on a shed, yard, works and station.
    The loco therefore pulls out of the shed into the yard area, and sets back through the yard to the viaduct at the west end.
    From there it switches tracks again, goes forwards once more this time onto the mainline up quite some gradient past the old railroad workshops (and the Mall on the opposite side) upto to the station (which is now a Radisson hotel).
    After pulling through the station it changes lines and precedes in reverse back to the viaduct, forwards again through the yard and finally reverses back to the shed.
    The ride takes around 30 minutes, but does give a combination of yard, works, shed and a gradient, so is certainly different to a regular railroad line.
    (Its great for yard / shed photo oppourtunties and there is a long footbridge running the entire length of the yard and crosses over the mainline to the mall, giving a great overview of the whole site and operations around it).

    S1610002.JPG S1610010.JPG IMG_7793.JPG IMG_7725.JPG IMG_7707.JPG

    S1610053.JPG S1610056.JPG S1610069.JPG
    Everything is open to mooch about the shed, yard, sidings the lot..(no orange jackets or fencing here)
    The feel was a bit like a BR 1980's open day with locos and stock arranged on display all over the place, including a pair of Reading FP7's and 2124, a local and very popular locomotive 4-6-4.

    IMG_7702.JPG IMG_7786.JPG S1610048.JPG

    and of course Union Pacific Big Boy 4012... my what a big fire box you have..
    IMG_7814.JPG IMG_7820.JPG

    An SD9 did some shunting and rearrange locos as well as turning some Lackawanna F3's to face the entrance.

    IMG_7831.JPG
    Of interest was this Canadian 4-6-4 tank engine, apparently the only 4-6-4T preserved in America (certainlly big tank engines is not something ive seen commonly referrred to in the US), this particular one was built for commuter operations around Montreal and must be of interest to Canadian railfans ?

    IMG_7811.JPG

    Next summer should see Canadian Pacific 2317 return to steam.

    IMG_7763.jpg
     
  2. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie New Member

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    Lovely set of shots, if and when I get back to the states Steamtown is definitely on the agenda! I remember reading about those 4-6-4Ts in Western Rail Trail and taking an interest in them as something different. There's one at Exporail too I believe.

    Also nice to see a Jubilee over there too. :D
     
  3. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Member Account Suspended

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    Also of note was the Tramways musuem at Scranton.
    This is located at the western end of the site by the entrance to the Steamtown park.
    They have a small collection of trolleys (around 6 or so) on display in the museum.
    They have a great amount of detail on different types of power for trams (3rd rail over head etc) with displays of components and how the electric is generated and transferred to a car. A great amount of technical detail.
    There is also a good introductory video about the history of the development of tramways to their decline.
    The local tram system to scranton even carried coal wagons behind their cars !
    The ride is around 45 minutes long, though I didnt do it.

    IMG_7824.JPG IMG_7825.JPG IMG_7827.JPG IMG_7829.JPG
     
  4. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Member Account Suspended

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    For those interested to give this a go, below is a road map of the route using google.
    I am sure many people visit New York, the whole journey could be done in just 8 hours total driving time from NY.
    (I did the whole journey in 3 days, though for work reasons used a different route), I am sure others could do it in a more sedate pace,
    The directions below I put starting from Newark Airport on Thursday evening and returning in time for my flight on Sunday evening.

    Newark Liberty International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport - Google Maps

    Although I ran out of time, and I have been here back in 2005, on the return to Newark from Scranton, you could stop at Whippany railroad musuem (Point G on this map), It only has intermittent operation.

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?saddr...TGG8tfFN7Tzsw&oq=Whippany+rail&mra=ls&t=m&z=9
     
  5. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Member Account Suspended

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    Final food for thought...

    Each line had a unique offering when it came to the passenger experience; Strasburg had presidential class, which was a saloon with a bar / open tables... very upscale.. the car even had a coal fired boiler in the carriage to keep everyone warm, whilst New Hope and Ivyland had a veranda car as well as 1st class, and Scranton was the only line with a baggage car in the formation.

    Strasburg, New Hope and Lehigh Gorge lines had "open" carriages with no glass so you can get very close to the action and sound.
    Each line had a running commentary on the outward portion (and was somewhat quieter on the return)

    Some comment was mentioned earlier about "feel" of the railroads and whether they were corporate or preservation.
    below is 4 pictures of the interior of the economy / standard / second class carriages of each of the railroads..

    Anyone care to guess which coach belongs to which line.. and which one is the "commerical" one compare to the preserved lines :)

    A.JPG B.JPG C.JPG D.JPG
     
  6. SG-Canada

    SG-Canada New Member

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    4-6-4T No 49 is at Exporail and is in much nicer condition than 47 at Steamtown. As for the Jub, it would be nice if a Canadian museum had the funds to repatriate either or both of those locomotives, as they don't fit Steamtowns core remit as a US National Historic Site and both are mouldering there. As for the Jub, i thought it had been moved to their off-site storage, i don't recall seeing it around on my last visit to Steamtown, though that was probably 5 years ago now so my memories could be right and it could have been brought back.
     
  7. odc

    odc New Member

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    Unfortunatly 47 and 2929 suffer from "not invented here" syndrome. Sham as they are both very special locos. The tank, which was in working order into the 1970s, would be better for the regular site trains and the larger engines could then do more main line runs than they do.
     
  8. SG-Canada

    SG-Canada New Member

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    In theory, Steamtown is supposed to have their Baldwin 0-6-0 for the shuttling around the yard, though it was in the midst of an overhaul the first time i went to Steamtown in 2000, and i don't think it's ever gotten particularly close to being finished said overhaul in the intervening 12 years....

    One of the problems Steamtown has, is that NPS Employees, the restoration shop workers can be pulled off to deal with other crisis in the park system, on top of any budgetary problems they have in terms of funding the work.

    It's a shame, as the K4 Restoration and the Boston & Maine 3713 have dragged on (both were in progress in 2000 when i first went there), though i understand that 3713 restoration is now using more outside contractors through the outside group that partnered with the NPS for the restoration to get work done. Based on their website, they've almost rebuilt the firebox in situ: index

    As for 2929, 30 Years is a long time to sit outside unloved... CPR 2929 I wonder what some people on here would say if say 60010 had been stored outside and was heading home looking like that after 45 years as opposed to what they have said considering the pretty decent shape she is actually in all things considered?
     
  9. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Member Account Suspended

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    heres a couple of pictures of 3713.. cab and tender. Didnt find a boiler anywhere though.

    IMG_7742.jpg IMG_7722.jpg
    also one more of 2929..great picture of it above.. shames its disintigrated a little, it still looks a very impressive engine and 4-4-4 makes for an interesting wheel arrangement. Agreed it and the 4-6-4t look a little too precious to be left outside.

    IMG_7723.JPG
     
  10. garth manor

    garth manor New Member

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    I first visited Steamtown back in 92 courtesy of the Hoover free flights, drove up from NY in a day via some of the photo locations on the Hudson, lovely fall day then snowstorm as checked into motel in Wilkes-Barre, heavy rain on the saturday and I recall shooting from that long footbridge and ducking back into the Great Trains store in the mall between shots -a mall store chain long gone but did illustrate the popularity of railroading amongst the public there. The little Baldwin switcher ran shuttle to the roundhouse whilst 2 canadians ran trips out to Moscow, the deadlines were extensive and featured a few gems now gone - for the better mainly, the progress has been painful but at least its still there. I can recall numerous steam operations in the area that I sampled now gone, the original idea was to assist regeneration of the post industrial Scranton/Wilkes-B cities taking advantage of the unfortunate availability of some of the B/Falls roster, the Park Service came around 95, pork barrel politics, this has brought the federal budget and all its problems on board, when the gates of Yellowstone and Yosemite are under threat there's nothing spare for steam. There was a determined effort to swop non relevant equipment off the roster, the Baldwin was an exchange arrival for example, the stock from Canada was saved by Blount at a time when plenty was around, about 100 locos were preserved after steam ceased in 1960, some were only 8 years old and offered instant start up so to speak, in the USA by 1950 steam was down to 60% traffic, as a generality this was freight as passenger went EMD, less useful for heritage use, so without Blount survivors from north of the border would have been far less.
    Streetcars and interurbans conveyed plenty of freight economically along their extensive systems which was a reason why the emerging road transport lobby sought to close them down, their rights of way going under highway expansion.
     
  11. jvliet

    jvliet New Member

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    Update on the East Broad Top RR situation....

    The East Broad Top Railroad in central Pennsylvania USA is looking for a new owner. Included in the sale are 25 miles of 3ft narrow-gauge track, 5 miles of which have been recently operated and the other 20 miles are in place but severely overgrown, six large Mikado narrow-gauge steam locomotives, one of which is currently operable, a gas-electric car, a diesel, many coaches, numerous freight cars, roundhouse, maintenance shops, large station building, etc. – a complete train set! Very historic – this is the oldest (1872) surviving narrow-gauge track in the USA. Available for approx. $8 million US. The owner wants to sell as a complete set to someone who will return the RR to operation rather than part out the rolling stock, facilities and property.

    This would take a considerable additional investment to get fully operational – perhaps $100K initially to resume limited operation in 2018, then $500K to refurbish each additional steam locomotive, and perhaps $200K to $400K per mile to rebuild the inoperative track. It is located in a rural area in the Appalachian mountains with no nearby cities to draw on, but within a day’s drive of many million residents of Washington DC, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. With sufficient up-front investment and full promotion it ought to be able to operate profitably as a tourist railroad.

    See related news story: http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2017/09/29-east-broad-top-update

    Background on the East Broad Top RR at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Broad_Top_Railroad_and_Coal_Company
     
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  12. wcmlbls1846

    wcmlbls1846 Member

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    Afraid I have only just found this thread but I visited a number of the Pennsylvania locations in 2010 including Strasburg and the museum, East Broad Top, New Hope and Scranton so maybe my photos are still of interest. They include Steamtown in the 1970s when it was still in Vermont with Schools Repton and M7 0-4-4T 53, also East Broad Top in the 70s.

    https://andrewstransport.smugmug.com/UStrains

    Cheers

    Andrew N
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  13. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Thanks Andrew. Particularly nice to see the EBT before all the problems of recent years. Here's to hoping the folks there can get the line up & running again.
     
  14. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    Another potential steam line is the Colebrookdale Railroad in Boyertown.
    A group there have aquired a USATC 0-6-0T (USA tank in other words) for restoration and eventual operation on the line.

    The local transportation museum there is well worth a visit if anyone happens to be in the area.....
     
  15. Tim Light

    Tim Light Member

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    Also worth a visit are:

    Wilmington and Western - typical US preserved line. Nice motive power, usually steam, with authentic carriages and a decent run. Only down side, as with most US lines, is the commentary.

    B&O museum in Baltimore - a really good static museum based in and around an original roundhouse. Lots of locos, mostly B&O and C&O. Well worth a visit.
     
  16. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    If you like "new build" steam (and rolling stock), there is also the Steam into History operation out of New Freedom, PA, as well.....

    14-1679.jpg

    Saw it in 2014 (as shown above at the Hanover end of the line) but didn't ride on it at the time.

    You can also add the occasional steam special on the Reading & Northern out of Reading, PA, with their 1928 Baldwin built 4-6-2.
     
  17. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    There is supposed to be a "major announcement" concerning the future of the East Broad Top narrow gauge line today at 11.00 Eastern time (16.00 here..).
    The line has been in non-operational "limbo" since 2013 and the last trains for the general public ran in December 2011.
    Hopefully it'll mean that scenes like this can be seen again...
    10-1484.jpg
     
  18. mdewell

    mdewell Member

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    For those who want to find out more about this railroad, see https://febt.org/
     
  19. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020 at 4:07 PM
  20. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Excellent news; the new owners have announced that they are going to start overhauling the steam locos.
     
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