SCRANTON – Steamtown National Historic Site plans to host Railfest 2015 Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5 and 6 at the park. 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 train rides.
A special visitor, Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s 2-8-4 “Berkshire-type” steam locomotive, former Nickel Plate Road (NKP) #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, Sept. 6.
Tickets for the 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 at 9 a.m. on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. Online ticketing only is available at the same website.
The park will open early at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5, 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.
Tentatively planned exhibitors 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 and Norfolk Southern.
Planned special programs include Live “Big Band” performances by Ron Leas’ Band on Saturday, 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 and Union Pacific #4012 “Big Boy” Cab tours.
Each day’s activities will include excursions to Moscow 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 age 5 and younger accompanied by an adult require a “no-charge” ticket.
The park will resume regular daily hours of 9 a.m. to 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.