RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
Todd's Railfan Guide to
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GPS Coordinates: 41.410730, -75.671329
350 Cliff Street
ZIP Code: 18503
Access by train/transit:
None other than bus
Steamtown is a national park, and sits on 62 acres of the former Delaware, Lackawanna and Western railroad yard in downtown Scranton.
Steamtown assembled what was left of a superb collection assembled by F. Nelson Blount in the 50's and 60's. The Steamtown Foundation was formed by him in 1964. In 1984, he moved the collection to Scranton with help from the town in return what was expected to be a huge draw for the area that never materialized. After two years, he was facing bankruptcy.
In 1986, the Congress appropriated $8 million dollars of pork barrel money to develop the attraction, and formerly took over the operations in 1995. They then dumped another $66 million into the project, which many railfans are critical of the U.S. Governments handling and operation of the museum (at one time, they would not allow the trolley museum to run trolleys over several hundred feet of Steamtown's track because the management are, well, you know what I'm going to say, and it isn't nice (can't we all get along for the betterment of US?).
They do have nice displays, which one would expect after spending millions. Most of the roundhouse has been rebuilt, so it is not original, although sections from 1902 and 1937 do remain.
Blount had sold off a good portion of his collection to pay off debtors. So the government got what was (mostly) leftover and not as good as what was sold off. How they wound up with NKP 759 is a mystery, but I'm glad they have it, for it is one of my favorites having photographed it many, many times when it ran around the Baltimore and Harrisburg area in the 70's.
Since taking over the collection, they have sold off additional Blount pieces in trade for acquiring engines more representative of the area. except for UP's Big Boy #4012..... Hope they keep that one, for it is truly one amazing engine!
Low visitor attendance and the costly removal of asbestos (gee, no surprise there) has spurred talk about privatizing Steamtown.... anyone have a few spare dollars they want to contribute so I can buy the thing? :-)Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:
From the Steamtown Website:
From Philadelphia: Proceed north on I-476 (PA Turnpike, Northeast Extension) to exit 115. Take I-81 north to exit 185. At first traffic light turn left on Lackawanna Avenue. Continue on Lackawanna Avenue past the mall and turn left on Cliff Street.
From Baltimore and other points south: Proceed north to Harrisburg and onto I-81. Take I-81 north to exit 185. At first traffic light turn left on Lackawanna Avenue. Continue on Lackawanna Avenue past the mall and turn left on Cliff Street.
From Pittsburgh and other points west: Proceed east on I-80 to I-81 north to exit 185. At the first traffic light turn left on Lackawanna Avenue. Continue on Lackawanna Avenue past the mall and turn left on Cliff Street.
From NYC, NJ, Pocono Mountains and points east: Proceed west on either I-80 or I-84. At intersection with I-380, proceed north. At intersection with I-81, proceed south to exit 185. At the first traffic light turn left on Lackawanna Avenue. Continue on Lackawanna Avenue past the mall and turn left on Cliff Street.
From Binghamton, NY and north: Proceed south on I-81 to exit 185. At the first traffic light turn left on Lackawanna Avenue. Continue on Lackawanna Avenue past the mall and turn left on Cliff Street.
UP Big Boy #4012
Info booth by the parking lot
First impressions inside the main entrance
Sitting "way" outside
At the roundhouse
In the roundhouse
General inside shots
My favorite Steam Engine, NKP #759
I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an expert. My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page. This is something I have fun with while trying to help others. My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find of the subject in one convenient place. There are plenty of other good websites to help me in this effort, and they are listed in the links section on my indexa page, or as needed on individual pages. Please do not write to me about something that may be incorrect, and then hound the heck out of me if I do not respond to you in the manner you would like. I operate on the "Golden Rule Principle", and if you are not familiar with it, please acquaint yourself with how to treat people by reading Mathew 7:12 (among others, the principle exists in almost every religion). If you contact me (like some do, hi Paul) and try to make it a "non-fun" thing and start with the name calling, your name will go into my spambox list! :-)
Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them. For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names. Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations. I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area. Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them. Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature. While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a
thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only
get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented. Take
along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still
better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts
out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their
state maps do not have the railroads on them. If you can find em,
I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and
concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where
tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.
Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.
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last Modified: 14 Jun 2015