• An engineer inspects the running gear of a steam locomotive at Steamtown NHS


    National Historic Site Pennsylvania

For Kids

Steamtown NHS offers two Junior Ranger programs - one for children ages 6-8, the other for ages 9-12 - that may enhance your visit! The programs are designed to be completed using Park resources during a site visit. Programs are available at the Visitor Center at no charge.

Unable to visit our park? Challenge yourself to "Explore, Learn and Protect" our National Parks by becoming a WebRanger online. This site also features a "Railroad Connections" component that kids of all ages may enjoy!

Also, our Children's Discovery Center, is open on most weekend days, and features "hands-on" child-friendly learning arm .

high school students wearing white hardhats discuss railroad equipment with one of steamtown's mechanics.
RailCamp participants learn how to inspect a freight car from W. Sturdevant, one of Steamtown's Preservation Specialists.
NPS Photo
NRHS has suspended the 2013 season of RailCamp.

Each summer, Steamtown NHS partners with the National Railway Historical Society to present RailCamp at the Park. This one-week summer program for high school students introduces them to modern railroading, historic preservation and operations, and interpretation of railroad history, and will hopefully be offered in 2014. Click to learn more about RailCamp or phone the NRHS at 813-632-2183.

Did You Know?

USS Olympia

Many railroads, particularly Eastern roads, used anthracite coal for locomotive fuel during the early steam era. During World War I, the US Navy and the Allied Forces used anthracite coal to power the steam boilers of warships such as Admiral Dewey's USS Olympia, which is berthed at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Burning anthracite resulted in low-smoke emissions from steamship boilers and gave the Allies a strategic opportunity to close-in on the enemy in a battle. With anthracite coal diverted to the war effort, locomotive builders adapted to using bituminous coal in their future designs.