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No more steam powered excursions?
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   Author  Topic: No more steam powered excursions?  (Read 893 times)
EJW425
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No more steam powered excursions?
 
« on: Jan 10th, 2013, 8:50am »
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I know 3254 won't be back for awhile, the only steam engine that will be running soon will be #26... Since she is a 0-6-0, does that mean no more steam powered excursion from steamtown for awhile? All I can see 26 doing is doing yard runs.. The only other steam engine I could see be running again is BM 3713?

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montclaire
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Re: No more steam powered excursions?
 
« Reply #1 on: Jan 10th, 2013, 11:32pm »
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Well, #26 can't run on the main, but she does satisfy the mission statement of the park to have working steam on site.  The excursions were always only a bonus.  There is always the chance of "visiting steam," and there are a few options if the details could be worked out.  
 
3713 is years out from completion; this is not a criticism, just a reality.  For the most part they have the money, and bits and pieces are being fabricated and installed as they come in, but these things do take their time.  The most important aspect is that 3713 is being restored correctly, by knowledgeable people, and in a responsible manner.  
 
There are a few years left on 3254 before her big rebuild, and there is a chance to do some patch work and limp her along rather than waste the flue time, but if that does not include Moscow runs, then it's time to pull the plug and put the time and money into a mainliner.  
 
Thoughts?  


« Last Edit: Jan 11th, 2013, 12:04am by montclaire » Logged
VaPennsyFan
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Re: No more steam powered excursions?
 
« Reply #2 on: Jan 11th, 2013, 2:12pm »
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If I were in charge of Steamtown and it were up to me, I'd consider trying to purchase the former Reading 2100 off the groud out in the Northwest that currently owns her but isn't doing anything with her.  I know that she was converted to oil, and that didn't work particularly well, but she's operable and I would think could be easily converted back to coal.  The advantages would be twofold.  First, you'd get an operable engine right away to hold you over until either the 3713 is done or you decide what to do about your Candian steamers.  Secondly, it would give you an operable mainline engine that is actually representative of the region in which the museum now operates.  Nelson Blount's collection was great for Vermont, where he originally had it, but moving it to Pennsylvania - while great from the standpoint of keeping the collection together - wasn't so good as far as relevance.  Of course, the Big Boy and a couple other pieces are regional oddballs anyway.
 
Jon


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montclaire
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Re: No more steam powered excursions?
 
« Reply #3 on: Jan 11th, 2013, 7:31pm »
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Why would they purchase 2100 when they already have a T1 on the premises?  2100 is NOT ready to run and would be a nightmare to convert back to coal.  She has been damaged extensively by her conversion to oil plus she is on the wrong coast.  The biggest issue with any T1 at Steamtown is their size - too big for their own good.  
 
Your best and only hope would be the nearby Reading and Northern 2102 owned by Andy Mueller - keep buying tickets to see 425 in action and you might get your wish...


« Last Edit: Jan 11th, 2013, 7:36pm by montclaire » Logged
koasterkidd
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Re: No more steam powered excursions?
 
« Reply #4 on: Jan 12th, 2013, 4:59pm »
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How about we all wait until Steamtown releases either a schedule or a statement on the issue. Considering we (meaning most of us that don't volunteer or don't work at SNHS) don't have a say in any of this, I say that we just wait and see what they will do.

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montclaire
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Re: No more steam powered excursions?
 
« Reply #5 on: Jan 13th, 2013, 1:01pm »
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Barring any visiting steam, that is indeed the situation.  The only thing that may be in question is if 3254 will be mothballed immediately, or if they will spend the coin to keep her operable in a very limited fashion.  Mainline steam is out of the question.  The good news is that, supposedly, 2317 has gotten the nod for a rebuild.  If they will finish 26 first, or split the already small and taxed shop crew and work on both at the same time, I don't know.  That will probably also play into whether or not 3254 gets a couple more years of yard time.  The park's mission is not mainline excursions, it's to provide a steam experience on the grounds.

« Last Edit: Jan 13th, 2013, 1:03pm by montclaire » Logged
koasterkidd
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Re: No more steam powered excursions?
 
« Reply #6 on: Jan 13th, 2013, 7:41pm »
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on Jan 13th, 2013, 1:01pm, montclaire wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The park's mission is not mainline excursions, it's to provide a steam experience on the grounds.

 
Not even that. The park's mission is to educate the public about the history of the railroads that built our country.


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montclaire
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Re: No more steam powered excursions?
 
« Reply #7 on: Jan 13th, 2013, 8:17pm »
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From 2008:
 
"Joanne Blacoe, an NPS public affairs officer in Philadelphia who participated in the development of Steamtown’s comprehensive interpretive plan five years ago, said the historic site was founded to tell the story of steam railroading in the United States — not to run excursions.
 
Excursions can be part of it, she said, but the priority is giving the public an authentic steam experience — on the site."


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one87th
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Re: No more steam powered excursions?
 
« Reply #8 on: Jan 14th, 2013, 10:17pm »
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I've read somewhere (I believe it was Trains magazine) that the steam excursions are a double-edged sword for Steamtown. They attract people but take them away from the core museum experience itself. In other words, people come and ride the train while ignoring the museum.
 
Now the question is how many families (I'm not concerned with die-hard railfans here, but only the general public and families who account for the majority of Steamtown's attendance) will make the trip to Scranton after finding out that no steam-powered excursions are offered? Will no excursions result in the benefit of more visits to the core museum complex, or result in fewer people traveling to it?
 
I offer two examples for thought:
 
1. The Stasburg Railroad and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania are both located in Strasburg. The majority of the public goes there to ride the steam excursions, and I'm sure the museum benefits tremendously from the spillover of attendees who ride the train, then head over to the museum. How much would the museum's attendance decline if there were no steam trains running accross the street at Strasburg?
 
2. The East Broad Top did not run any excursion steam trains in 2012. The shops buildings were still available for guided tours by appointment. How many people do you think decided not make the trip to Orbisonia that year because the trains were not running, despite the fact that they could tour the shops?
 
One final thought. Back in the late 1980s, shortly after Steamtown moved to Scranton and before the museum was open, there was a period when they did not have any operating steam locomotives and used diesels on the excursions instead (Lackawanna SD24, anyone?). I believe that also hurt their attendance. Why travel to STEAMtown, when all you get to experience is a ride behind a diesel?
 
How important do YOU feel the mainline steam excursions are to Steamtown?


« Last Edit: Jan 14th, 2013, 10:21pm by one87th » Logged
montclaire
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Re: No more steam powered excursions?
 
« Reply #9 on: Jan 15th, 2013, 9:31am »
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I think the effect is two fold; not only do you lose revenue from those who would rather a steam excursion, but you also lose the almost priceless aspect of free advertisement when people see a steam loco on the rails.  It may cause them to do a little research and find out who is running the excursions, or for the locals who already know, remind them to reserve their fall foliage or santa train tickets.  
 
Now, that being said, I think that steam on site is probably most important.  In fact, a small steamer that might allow visitors to get more up close and personal (ie trap rock 43), may be even better.  If the roundhouse complex is bustling with any form of steam, and they can make it more "hands on," I think people would be more inclined to accept that the excursion is diesel powered.  That does make it, in many ways, much more of a total railroading experience.  
 
This is all just a brief period of lacking that we find ourselves in as we will soon have three operable steam locos at the park's disposal, so good days are indeed coming.  I think for the few years that this may not be the case, the park should focus on new and longer excursions using the historic diesels - rare mileage trips (can they still go to Kingsley?) will help to bring the numbers back up.  And I for one hope that they stay, even after steam has returned in earnest.  
 
This is all assuming that they do not strike a deal with Andy Mueller and his 425, or the CNJ 113 group, or any other local loco to fill the gap.  


« Last Edit: Jan 15th, 2013, 10:13am by montclaire » Logged
toptrain
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Re: No more steam powered excursions?
 
« Reply #10 on: Feb 7th, 2013, 11:09am »
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*** It is kind of embarrassing for the park system that runs " Steamtown ", that from time to time there are no steam locomotives available for excursion runs.  Maybe they need a hinged sign that at times can be swung down saying " Dieseltown "
toptrain


« Last Edit: Jul 30th, 2013, 1:12pm by toptrain » Logged

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koasterkidd
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Re: No more steam powered excursions?
 
« Reply #11 on: Feb 8th, 2013, 8:12am »
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Here's my two cents. "Dieseltown," as many people use for negative criticism against the park, would never work. The first flaw in this is that the name of F. Nelson Blount's collection IS Steamtown, hence the name of the National Historic Site. Next, do you all realize that Steamtown only owns 2 locomotives They own 514 and the Wabash switcher, they lease the F-units, and they actually help relieve the pressure of ALWAYS using steam. Yes, it is nice, but steam locomotives still have a tendency to do what they want, therefore they are harder to maintain. Next, the Scranton Limited DOES count as an excursion, so if 26 is out and about this year, the Site will be fine. There's also the occasional "curveball" that they might throw, including brand new events, and etc. Who knows? You might see her go on the Carbondale Line for the first time in many years. Heck, you might even see 765 out here (the FWRHS is interested, that's all I'm saying)! You guys always seem to underestimate Steamtown, and for those who don't, then I fully respect you.

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montclaire
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Re: No more steam powered excursions?
 
« Reply #12 on: Feb 11th, 2013, 11:42pm »
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I would be very surprised to see 765 in Steamtown.  If she does make it, the real show will be behind the scenes; the 765 crew has no problem expressing public contempt for the operations at SNHS.  Undeserved, in my opinion, but it is a recipe for disaster.

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axle17921
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Re: No more steam powered excursions?
 
« Reply #13 on: Sep 25th, 2013, 10:30pm »
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In my opinion they should just forget about rebuilding any canadian locomotives, these engines have had there day and served steamtown well, but focus should be american locomotives.  They will have a large enough road engine in operation when the 3713 is done.  They should consider the 790 or the Lackawanna engine for rebuild not one of those d*** canadian engines.  The Mountain they have is nice but I think it would be too large for them.  A smaller engine would be more logical.  the Maine Central RR No. 519 would even be nice but not a canadian.

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