Steamtown National Historic Site

25 April 2007 Visit

On our way to NAMES 2007 we stopped in Scranton Pennsylvania to visit the Steamtown National Historic Site.  Steamtown is located at the yard of the Delaware, Lackawana & Western Railroad in eastern Pennsylvania. 

The weather was marginal with a huge storm coming in from the west and we were fortunate to conclude our visit before the rain started.  From Scranton I had wanted to head up into New York state to visit the Glenn Curtis Museum in Hammondsport but my wife was worried about the weather and we headed west on Interstate 80 to Clarion where we stayed overnight.  The storm passed during the night and the rest of our trip was in nice weather for the most part.

I know next to nothing about steam locomotives so there may be many errors on this page.  I will put in a n email to Steamtown and ask if someone there can review this page and send me corrected information.  In the meantime feel free to contact me with anything you may know that will make this page more accurate.

Steatown_3.jpg (133377 bytes) L to R Eddie Moose, Miss Taffy, Roy Bear and Errol Groff.  There is some debate who is the biggest fool in the group.  My vote goes to Roy Bear.  T Groff photo.

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DSC00890x.JPG (131244 bytes)  Layout of the Steamtown yard. 

DSC00891x.JPG (117779 bytes)  In the central courtyard of the museum is a small collection of smaller locos.

DSC00892x.JPG (160560 bytes)  We toured the yard with this park ranger.  He carried with him a collection of maps and pictures that let him clearly explain how the yard worked in the years gone by.

DSC00893x.JPG (97200 bytes)  This is one of the exhibit buildings.  Made to resemble the roundhouse that once stood on this site.

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DSC00895x.JPG (171852 bytes)  DSC00896x.JPG (143725 bytes)  DSC00897x.JPG (194455 bytes)  Our guide told us that this area of the yard would have looked much like this when the yard was an active part of the railroad.  Almost nothing was discarded by the railroad.  Old parts were stored in this yard to be rebuilt when feasible or to be transported a few hundred yards down the line to be melted in the yard foundry and recast into new parts.

DSC00898x.JPG (184401 bytes)  This building was once part of the rail yard. It housed the foundry and other shops.  It is now part of the defense giant General Dynamics and produces parts of naval munitions. Pretend that you didn't see the photo as I was not supposed to photograph beyond the fence but I did want to include a picture of the crane.

DSC00899x.JPG (105198 bytes)  Behind our guide is the Gas House which produced coal gas for use in the yard.

DSC00902x.JPG (192762 bytes)  Yes, this is a concrete pad with a faint ring on it.  So?  Scattered through out the yard were about eighteen of these pads which supported tall tanks of water which were fed by another very large tank positioned a distance away at a much higher elevation.  The height differential provided natural pressure which enabled the engine's water tank to be filled very rapidly through a large diameter hose. 

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Steamtown_2.jpg (135276 bytes)  Terri Groff photo

DSC00904x.JPG (127005 bytes)  This silo had a capacity of 90 train cars of sand.  The sand was used to fill the sand domes on the locomotives and from there it could be fed to the rail to provide traction in slippery conditions.  The silo had steam lines running through it to dry the sand and keep if from freezing in the winter.

DSC00905x.JPG (52129 bytes)  The curved roof on this maintenance shed is the original shape.

DSC00906x.JPG (127930 bytes)Thank goodness we don't need this sort of snow removal equipment these days

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DSC00912x.JPG (86083 bytes)  A casting pattern.  This was in a glass case which is why it looks odd

DSC00914x.JPG (143167 bytes)  My wife Terri next to a diesel engine from a locomotive

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Union Pacific "Big Boy"

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DSC00933x.JPG (119234 bytes)  Roy Bear gets fitted with a Steamtown T shirt

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Steamtown_1.jpg (158888 bytes)  Not often you get to stick your head into a locomotive boiler  T. Groff photo

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DSC00967x.JPG (119018 bytes)  DSC00937xx.JPG (118702 bytes)  These castings were in the machine shop and if  I understood the answer to my question correctly they are similar to the pieces in the cutaway locomotive.  See the blue arrow in the right had photo.

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Steamtown_4.jpg (104727 bytes)  This Ranger was trailing our tour group to heard stragglers.  That would be me! T. Groff photo

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