Railfest 2015 rolls into Steamtown National Historic Site Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5-6
From a press release:
The Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton plans to host Railfest 2015 at the park on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5-6, of Labor Day weekend. The National Park Service site works with numerous partners to present this annual end-of-summer event, which is a celebration of railroading that features visiting railroad equipment displays, special shop demonstrations and, of course, train rides on both days of the event.
A special visitor, Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s 2-8-4 “Berkshire-type” steam locomotive, former Nickel Plate Road #765 will lead an all-day excursion to Delaware Water Gap on Saturday. NKP #765 and Steamtown’s sister-engine, NKP #759, will appear as static displays inside the park on Sunday. Tickets for the special Saturday excursion will be available online only at fortwaynerailroad.org. Additionally, while not part of the official Railfest events, a special all-day steam excursion, featuring NKP #765, will depart for East Stroudsburg on Labor Day (Monday), Sept. 7 at 9 a.m. with online ticketing only, available at fortwaynerailroad.org.
The park will open early at 8 a.m. on Saturday, with Railfest 2015 activities getting underway at 9 a.m. when Park Superintendent Debbie Conway will present a special opening ceremony at the Turntable Plaza.
Planned exhibitors tentatively include:
- Anthracite Hi-Railers O-gauge Model Train display
- Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad
- DL&W Railroad-painted F3 diesel locomotives (Anthracite and Tri-State Railroad Historical Societies)
- Hi-Rail and Trackmobile displays
- Mid Atlantic Motorcars Assoc. “Speeders and Motorcars”
- National Museum of Industrial History steam exhibit and steam calliope
- Norfolk Southern
Planned special programs include:
- Live “big band” performances by Ron Leas’ Band (Saturday only)
- Caboose rides
- Lehigh Valley #353 Business Car tours
- Special Machine Shop demonstrations
- Turntable demonstrations
- “Scranton Limited” short train rides on Saturday
- “Nay Aug Gorge Limited” short train rides on Sunday
- Union Pacific #4012 “Big Boy” Cab tours
There will be excursions to Moscow, Pennsylvania on each day. Each trip will operate with historic diesel locomotives. The excursions will depart the Steamtown Boarding Platform at 12:30 p.m., with a planned return to Scranton at approximately 3 p.m. Excursion fares are $24 for adults 16 to 61, $22 for seniors 62 and older, and $17 for children ages 6-15 and include the park’s daily entrance fee. Children 5 and younger accompanied by an adult require a “no-charge” ticket. Phone 570-340-5204 daily, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., for Steamtown excursion tickets.
The park will resume regular daily hours, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. on Sunday. All Railfest activities and programs are included in the park’s $7 daily entrance fee for visitors age 16 and older. Fares to ride either the “Scranton Limited” or “Nay Aug Limited” short train rides are $5 per person, all ages 6 and older. All children must be accompanied by an adult. More information about Railfest 2015 is available at nps.gov/stea.
Other event partners include Lackawanna County’s Electric City Trolley Museum, which will offer an expanded schedule of trolley rides along a portion of the former Laurel Line. The Anthracite Heritage Museum is also planning special programs daily at the Scranton Iron Furnaces State Park, and remember to bring along your appetite for great Italian food and treats as La Festa Italiana takes place at Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton. The County of Lackawanna Transit System will provide free trolley bus service between Steamtown NHS, the Scranton Iron Furnaces State Park, and La Festa during the park’s operating hours on both days. For more information on the Trolley Museum, call 570-963-6590. For information about the Scranton Iron Furnaces State Park site and programs, call 570-963-4804. Information on La Festa Italiana is available at lafestaitaliana.org.
Located in downtown Scranton, Steamtown NHS is open daily from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. From I-81, follow exit 185 (Central Scranton Expressway), then follow the brown and white signs to the park entrance at Lackawanna and Cliff Avenues (GPS: N 41.41, W 75.67). General park information is available by phoning 570-340-5200 during regular business hours or by visiting the park website.