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Tourist Railroads and Museums >> Steamtown >> Steamtown 2011 Excursions
(Message started by: 565fan on Jan 7th, 2011, 11:01pm)

Title: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Jan 7th, 2011, 11:01pm
Still nothing on the website  ::)   I wonder if the Ice Harvest train riders will get an early copy of the schedule?  

This is the latest for the release of a schedule since 2004.  At that time there was an insurance crisis in the nation, and there were property issues / Trackage rights to be ironed out which held back the release.

No idea what the hold-up is this year.  If someone hears or sees the website updated, then please post the link here.  Enjoy.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by bigjim4life on Jan 16th, 2011, 7:38pm
Schedule is posted online:  http://www.nps.gov/stea/planyourvisit/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&PageID=296111

Among interesting items of note:  There are two excursions to the Water Gap - one to Water Gap itself, and one to E. Stroudsburg - both both excursions will be pulled by the Reading FP7's, neither by steam.  Hmm...

One of the Moscow excursions and three of the Tobyhanna excursions are also pulled by the FP7's.  Which means that the other three out of 6 Tobyhanna excursions are steam trips.'

Also, why a lack of September excursions?

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by Brian Tusin on Jan 17th, 2011, 10:19am
This is a big disapointment.  I really did want to ride the excursion to the Water Gap this year, but there is no point if it is not being pulled by the 3254.  

Brian

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by Max Hamberger on Jan 17th, 2011, 10:43am
I am a little disappointed as well as we were planning to chase the Founder's Day excursion, since we will not be able to make Railfest this year due to college. On the brighter side, there always is the Tobyhanna excursion in July...

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by restore_RV15 on Jan 17th, 2011, 6:15pm
Steamtown has probably realized they need to save 3254 as much as they can, although I don't know why they wouldn't use her for at least one of the long ones.  Ah well, here's hopin' that 26 gets finished soon and 113 comes to Steamtown

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by bigjim4life on Mar 10th, 2011, 11:12am
Has anyone else noticed (or is it just me) that looking at the Steamtown schedule, they took away the first trip to the Water Gap?  The only trip that way they have now is the E. Stroudsburg dedication trip later in the year.  Why did they take the first one away?  Anyone?

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by mike_tillger on Mar 10th, 2011, 5:46pm
The Railroad needs to make repairs to the bridge over the Broadhead Creek, which also happens to fall under an Interstate 81 bridge which crosses both the creek and the railroad. I heard that excessive salt corrosion from the highway bridge above is the reason for the accelerated corrosion of the bridge beams. This bridge is East of East Stroudsburg, so only trips past their are on hold. The project engineers recommended no trains should cross the bridge until repairs are made. The DL has been giving service to their only customer east of there using a trackmobile, and all the other interchange happens on the west end of the railroad around Scranton for now.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by Ashley_John on Mar 10th, 2011, 11:04pm

on 03/10/11 at 17:46:19, mike_tillger wrote:
The Railroad needs to make repairs to the bridge over the Broadhead Creek, which also happens to fall under an Interstate 81 bridge which crosses both the creek and the railroad.


A minor correction Mike, that would be I-80, not I-81.

John

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by mike_tillger on Mar 11th, 2011, 4:42am
Thank you John, too many days and miles on I81, the bridge is definitely on I80.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by rwk on Mar 16th, 2011, 3:34am
Steamtown is really cutting back on excursions. There doesn't seem to be any excursions before mid July. Also, half are diesel powered. No steam past Tobyhanna this year. The DWG one was probably canceled because of the bridge problem past E Stroudsburg.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Mar 31st, 2011, 9:15pm
A recent addition to the excursion schedule will be a train trip from Steamtown to Nicholson and Hop Bottom on May 28. Time for departure is 1:00 PM.  Motive Power is expected to be the Reading FP7s, when they get approval from the Canadian Pacific Railway.  This will be a return to the Nicholson area after a year off.

Tickets for this train and the rest of the 2011 season will be available for purchase on Saturday, April 16.  

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Apr 9th, 2011, 4:05pm
And it seems like the feared Government closure hasn't taken place.  It doesn't mean that all is happy in Washington, but it does mean that Steamtown is on track to open tickets for sale.  On Schedule, April 16th.  
With the Nicholson, East Stroudsburg and Holiday trains going on sale at the same time,  it will be a bit of a madhouse.  If you plan to buy tickets over the phone, just call and leave a message.  The sales people will call you back.  If you keep calling, the lines will be blocked, and you will be called back several times after the sale is processed. The sales will be in order of when the calls are made.  

The only shortcut to this method is to go to the ticket window, between 9 and 4. You can still purchase them in person, if you find one train or another to be irresistible.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by Brian Tusin on Apr 9th, 2011, 6:20pm
Another one of Steamtown's excursions I would like to go on this year, but not with diesels pulling the train.  It really is sad to see their excursion schedule this year.   Does anyone know why they are not using the 3254 on the long excursions?   I have not got an answer from Steamtown when I emailed them.

Brian

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on May 24th, 2011, 10:24am
Update on the excursion schedule.  Reading Co. no 903 is in need of some spring work, but either parts or mechanic schedule won't allow this until June.  As a result, 3254 will lead the train to Nicholson this coming Saturday.  It will be part of the "Railroads and the Military... and Unbreakable Bond" weekend, taking place this Memorial Day weekend.  Nickel Plate 514 will be on the Scranton Limited schedule.  

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by bigjim4life on May 24th, 2011, 1:08pm
SO NOT FAIR!!   >:( Why do I have to be in Kansas City for work this coming weekend?  I would totally be there with my cameras.  I hope plenty of railfans are out there taking videos and photos!

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by The_Former_Fireman on May 24th, 2011, 3:21pm
Jim,

No worries, the 844 will be in KC while you're there:

http://www.up.com/aboutup/special_trains/steam/details.shtml

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by bigjim4life on May 24th, 2011, 7:23pm

on 05/24/11 at 15:21:54, The_Former_Fireman wrote:
Jim,

No worries, the 844 will be in KC while you're there:

http://www.up.com/aboutup/special_trains/steam/details.shtml


Except the office is open daily from 7:30 (the latest i can show up) until 7 pm or so - so I can't really get out to see it arrive/leave/on display.  Then again - the Union Station lines are outside, aren't they?  Meh.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by Max Hamberger on May 24th, 2011, 11:13pm
Between having to hold down a job and gas being what it is, I won't be able to attend. Man, holding down an adult lifestyle really bites sometimes. No matter, I'm confident I can catch '54 on an excursion SOMETIME before August 18th...

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by rwk on May 25th, 2011, 1:21am
Why does the Nicholson trip always sell out? The last one two years ago sold out in two days a month and a half before the trip! That excursion is longer than Moscow, correct? As long as Tobyhanna or shorter? I thought they used to go to Kingsley north of the viaduct between 1989 and 1992 while the Moscow line was out of service for repairs? Now it's going to be steam and I wish I could have gone on it as I never rode that excursion only toward Moscow and beyond. But, I'm more interested in the Bethlehem to Steamtown excursion on Sept. 3 as I live just west of Allentown, PA. Bennett Levin's Juniata Terminal PRR E8's are going to be powering it. Now, that trip better not be $5,000.00 or even $500.00. Because Bennett Levin's trips are known to be very expensive. But, this is not a 4 day trip, just an 80 some mile each way excursion.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by rwk on May 25th, 2011, 3:29pm
Another thing, why do the regular excursions that go past Moscow only go as far as Tobyhanna and not to Pocono Summit like they did in 1987? And why doesn't the Viaduct excursion go as far as Kingsley like it did between 1989 and 1992? Because the passing siding was moved south? Would they ever be able to go to Binghamton again?

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on May 25th, 2011, 5:01pm
I make no promises on where a train will go in the future, but during the present, a train will go where the host railroad allows.  
The trains heading north on the Canadian Pacific system go to the Hop Bottom siding, approximately 22 miles or so.  When the Steamtown trains went to Kingsley, there was a station standing there.  The Harford Historical Society sold cookies and other items there.  This station collapsed from a big snow storm in 2005 and was torn down afterward.  There is no place in Kingsley to go now.  
It's a similar situation in Pocono Summit.  The station is not occupied, so why go there?  At least in Tobyhanna, the Pocono Mountains Chapter is able to host a trainload of people.  Nothing but a chainlink fence and an out of service station (for 24 years) will greet them. If an occupant takes over in P.S., that could change.
I make no comment on any Bethlehem to Scranton train until tickets are announced for sale.  

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by mike_nepa on Jun 4th, 2011, 7:49am
Maybe someday the Pocono Summit station will be rented by someone. A few years ago I was able to go inside with Jim Finan (DL railroad) to photograph the inside of the station for a potential tenant. The inside of the station is really nice. The wood work is really something to see.

Glad to see they were able to do the run to the viaduct this year. The line is busy now so it was good to see they were able to do it.

Mike

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by restore_RV15 on Jun 4th, 2011, 3:47pm
I heard somewhere that the Pocono Summit station is tied up in litigation.  Some guy put a lot of money into fixing it up with the understanding that Steamtown would run excursions to it.  For reasons I don't know, probably having to do with a lack of a runaround track at Pocono Summit, Steamtown decided to not run excursions there anymore, and the guy sued for expenses.  But I don't really know for sure.  Hopefully someone on here can clarify

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by mike_nepa on Jun 7th, 2011, 4:26pm
Jim mentioned something about it but seemed like it wasn't a big deal. (that was a few years ago) There was a Steamtown schedule posted on the station (picture is from 2006)

There is no runaround track at the station.

Mike



on 06/04/11 at 15:47:34, restore_RV15 wrote:
I heard somewhere that the Pocono Summit station is tied up in litigation. Some guy put a lot of money into fixing it up with the understanding that Steamtown would run excursions to it. For reasons I don't know, probably having to do with a lack of a runaround track at Pocono Summit, Steamtown decided to not run excursions there anymore, and the guy sued for expenses. But I don't really know for sure. Hopefully someone on here can clarify


Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by restore_RV15 on Jun 7th, 2011, 9:48pm
I knew there was no runaround there (at least anymore), but I believe that excursion schedule is old.  They used to run there in 80s

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Jun 8th, 2011, 12:34pm
Yes the schedule is old (and dirty now) .  I was hung in 1987, the only year that trains went to and departed from Pocono Summit.  It was a double-ended operation where one train left from Scranton, another departed Pocono Summit.  At Moscow they would swap cars, allowing passengers to go the full length of the trip or the "half trip." Steam was only based in Scranton, so the Pocono end didn't have as big of a draw.  The problems began when the steam engine didn't leave Scranton, making for a diesel trip from any point.  With the chance to ride behind steam taken away, the crowds diminished.
That was the last year of Steamtown USA operations.  

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Jul 6th, 2011, 10:36pm
This coming Saturday, July 9th will be the first steam excursion to Moscow for 2011.  
Is anyone here planning to ride or chase?  Post any comments or photos here.

BTW, this excursion will be led by CN 3254.  The rumors of a diesel only season will be proven wrong on all Moscow trains.  Most of the Tobyhanna trips will have 3254 on the outbound portion.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by montclaire on Jul 8th, 2011, 2:55pm
I won't be able to ride, but I will be going to the Moscow station for a hotdog and a soda and to support the restoration of 3713. I invite anyone else to do the same. I don't know how long the station is staffed but I would say at least 1130a-1230p.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by Andyt293 on Jul 15th, 2011, 6:27pm
Thinking of going on the excursion tomorrow and as usual the Steamtown website is horrible.  Every time I click on more information, I get an error message.

Can anyone fill me in on the schedule?  I know the train leaves at 11 am but does the train make any stops?  Is there food available on the train?  Can we bring food and drinks on the train?

Any information would be appreciated,

Thanks

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Jul 26th, 2011, 11:28pm
Hi AndyT.  Sorry for the delay in answering.  The easiest way to find answers is to use the phone number for tickets.  Toll free it's (888) 693-9391, ext. 5204
Normally, the train runs directly to it's destination.  However, for that trip on the 16th, there was an hour layover in Gouldsboro, about 5 miles shy of Tobyhanna.  No food is served aboard the train, but the destination stations usually provide some light refreshment. Food is allowed on the train, but in personal sized containers.  Huge stadium coolers are too big when the train is full.  

This is the policy on most trains.  If a meal is included, it would be announced in the schedule.  We have done that, but the last time was for the debut excursion to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, in 2003.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Jul 26th, 2011, 11:49pm
hahaha
It seems as though Railfan.net has a sense of humor.  It took the last 8 of the toll free area code, and made a smiley out of it.  For the number above, it is 888 before you hit the 693 exchange.  Happy calling!

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Jul 27th, 2011, 12:44am
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6141/5979936079_6b4db57f28_z.jpg
Here are the F3s posed in Gouldsboro.  I worked on the train that day, so G-boro is the only place I had a chance to take shots of the train.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6003/5979936453_db26a0f41b_z.jpg
The station in the background.  I think there were as many people out to greet the train as there were to ride.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6002/5979936827_5cafeb01c8_z.jpg
The weather was perfect for a ride, a chase or a photo.  The clouds added so much to this and other shots.  I look forward to the next run with the F3s or the FP7s, but this is one for the books.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Jul 27th, 2011, 2:12pm
On the ARHS facebook page, it was mentioned that 664 and 663 will once again make the run to Tobyhanna this coming Saturday, July 30.  There will be no scheduled stop at Gouldsboro.  Have a great weekend.  If you chase, don't forget to post photos.   8)

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Sep 11th, 2011, 11:18pm
The excursion season is on hiatus for the remainder of September, but there are plenty of trains planned for October.  Every Saturday and Sunday will feature a trip to one point of the Poconos or another.  Saturday, October 15 will be the day-long run to East Stroudsburg, PA with diesel power.  There will be a re-dedication of the East Stroudsburg station on the North Side of the tracks on that date.  

October 2, 22, 23 and 30 will be trains to Tobyhanna.  Plan on them being diesel trips also.  Steam still reigns supreme on the Moscow runs.

A chartered special will hit the rails on Sunday, October 2.  The Erie Lackawanna Historical Society will have the C425s lead the Erie Lackawanna Dining Car Society's trio of Comet I cars and the Nickel Plate Sleeper on a train to East Stroudsburg.  This is a chaser's special.  It leaves Scranton at 8 AM.

Also, expect the return of the Ice Harvest train on Saturday, January 14, 2012.  Steam will return to Tobyhanna for this festive run to the top of the Poconos.  Tickets will go on sale in early October. Regular Tobyhanna prices apply.
See you trackside.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by restore_RV15 on Sep 12th, 2011, 1:10am
It's a shame the society couldnt use the F3s for that run

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by Brian Tusin on Sep 12th, 2011, 5:47pm
I called Steamtown to order a ticket for the October 2nd trip. They said the 3254 will be pulling the trip to Tobbyhanna, and the F3's will pull it back to Scranton.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by rquidone on Sep 28th, 2011, 5:07pm
NOTE: All Tonyhanna excursions for October with CN#3254 are beging substuted for Diesel Power!!!
But, the Ice Train in January should be powered by CN#3254!! Tickets for the Ice Train go on sale in October!! For more info go to http://www.nps.gov/stea/index


Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by Brian Tusin on Sep 28th, 2011, 9:20pm
If this is true I am not even going to bother to go to Steamtown. If I wanted to ride behind a diesel I will go to the Cuyahoga Valley Railroad which is 40 minutes from me not 5.5 hours! I am glad this was just a side trip to my trip to the New Jersey Live Steamers for the 50th anniversary meet. I am going to call them in the morning and ask for a refund, and they call it Steamtown!! I did just now take a look at the schedule, and it is listed as diesels. The only way I will go back to Steamtown is if they refund my ticket. Luckily I did ride behind the 765 last weekend so I did get my steam fix.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by Brian Tusin on Sep 29th, 2011, 9:51am
Well I called Steamtown this morning and they did give me a refund.  It is nice to know there are doing the right thing.  They said they are calling everyone who bought tickets to let them know the change and offer them a refund.  I was really looking forward to visiting and riding the trip, but to me there is no point if it is not being pulled by steam.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Oct 3rd, 2011, 11:54pm
This upcoming weekend is Moscow weekend!  On Saturday, Oct 8, there will be two trains, one to ride and one to chase, LOL.  11 AM is the normal train to Moscow, and there will be a chartered train at 2 PM.  Both will have the same consist of 3254 and the 6 coaches.
Sunday will just have the 11 AM steam train to Moscow.  This is not only Columbus Day weekend, but also Steamtown Marathon weekend.  One of the busiest weekends of the year.

The following weekend is when the Lackawanna F3s return to the rails.  Saturday's train to East Stroudsburg leaves Scranton at 9 AM.  This will be the first run of these beauties on the Eastern slope of the Pocono Plateau, and no running backwards :D
Sunday sees the F3s on a Tobyhanna run, leaving Scranton at 11 AM  Steam will remain in the yard those days.

Post any and all photos here!

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by mikehanes on Oct 15th, 2011, 5:57am
Very happy to see they were able to do the run to the viaduct this year. Thanks for giving this information .I think  line is busy now so it was good to see how they were able to do it.
-------------------------------------
Steamtown (http://www.steamtown.com.au)

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Oct 26th, 2011, 12:03am
This is it, boys and girls... The season finale for 2011 of train excursions out of Scranton.  Saturday, Oct 29 will be a steam trip to Moscow, PA, and Sunday, Oct 30 is the diesel train to Tobyhanna.  I'm not sure if 514 will lead the Tobyhanna trip, or the Lackawanna F3s.  Last weekend had 514 running Long Hood Forward on both trips to Tobyhanna.
Here are some shots I took on the gloomier of the two days.  Saturday's train featured a stop at the Gouldsboro station.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6050/6280296561_9f60da116c_z.jpg
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6032/6280297155_33f14388b4_z.jpg
A 1950s GM (EMD) loco meets a 1930s Ford
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6216/6280298129_426ce9e464_z.jpg
514 comes to a halt at PA route 423 in Tobyhanna
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6100/6280298663_fe7a01bbe9_z.jpg
Besides the turn of the Century stations still standing, and the 1915 era tower, there are other relics still in use on this rail line.  
;D
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6095/6280816378_c869757be8_z.jpg

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Oct 31st, 2011, 10:24pm
Did anyone photograph either of the October 29 or 30 excursions in the snow?  I heard it was "blizzard-like" conditions in Moscow on Saturday.
Sunday's excursion utilized 3254 and 514 on the Tobyhanna run.  3254 to allow the steam heat on the Eastbound journey, but she ran home separately ahead of the excursion.  This delayed arrival in Scranton for the passengers.  This alone was an inconvenience, but since the crews were dedicated to the excursion, there was no one to work the Scranton Limited, and no staff to lead the shop tours.  
Not the best way to end a season.

Title: Re: Steamtown 2011 Excursions
Post by 565fan on Nov 21st, 2011, 10:38pm
The Holiday Express trains kick off this weekend, with departures at 11 AM on Friday and Saturday, and then the following Saturday.  Anyone going out to chase? Or does it depend on the weather?

Either way, have a Happy Thanksgiving.  8)



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