SCRANTON — Steamtown National Historic Site will host Railfest 2016 on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3 and 4. 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 on both days of the event.
The park will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for each day of the event. Railfest 2016 activities will get underway at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, when Park Superintendent Debbie Conway will present a special Opening Ceremony at the Turntable Plaza.
Tentative planned exhibitors include the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad; DL&W Railroad, with painted F3 diesel locomotives (Anthracite and Tri-State Railroad Historical Societies); Hi-Rail and Trackmobile displays; Mid Atlantic Motorcars Association’s Speeders and Motorcars; Mt. Washington Cog Railway Locomotive No. 1, “Old Peppersass” 150th Anniversary display; National Museum of Industrial History steam exhibit and steam calliope and O-gauge and N-gauge Model Train displays.
Planned special programs include caboose rides, Lehigh Valley No. 353 Business Car tours, live musical entertainment, Scranton Limited short train rides, special machine shop demonstrations, turntable demonstrations and Union Pacific No. 4012 “Big Boy” cab tours.
There will be excursions to Moscow on each event day. Each trip will operate 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 five and younger accompanied by an adult require a “no-charge” ticket.
The park will resume regular daily hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Labor Day. 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” short train rides are $5 per person, all ages 6 and older. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
More information about Railfest 2016 is available at nps.gov/stea.
Other event partners include Lackawanna County’s Electric City Trolley Museum, which will offer an expanded schedule of trolley rides along a portion of the former Laurel Line. The Anthracite Heritage Museum is also planning special programs daily at the Scranton Iron Furnace State Park. Remember to bring along your appetite for great Italian food and treats as La Festa Italiana takes place at Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton. The County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) will provide free trolley bus service between Steamtown NHS, the Scranton Iron Furnace State Park and La Festa during the park’s operating hours on both days.
For more information on the Trolley Museum, call 570-963-6590. For information about the Scranton Iron Furnace State Park site and programs, call 570-963-4804. For information on La Festa Italiana, visit lafestaitaliana.org.