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


    National Historic Site Pennsylvania


A yellow handcar in operation with 3 visitors aboard.

Handcars were also known as "pump" cars for the physical action needed to operate this equipment. The handcar was primarily used by railroad Maintenance of Way personnel to transport men or equipment to a work site.

News Releases and Newsletters

News or Press Releases offer information about upcoming scheduled and special events, new exhibits or displays or other park highlights. Click on News Releases for these documents and, because our releases always appear online first, on that page you can register for our RSS feed to keep in-the-know!

We're in the process of revamping our semi-annual newsletter that highlights Park events. Click on Park Newspaper to see archived back issues.

As part of our commitment to the NPS "Call to Action," our blueprint for the future of our parks, we've "Gone Green" and no longer offer print copies of our newsletters - but you may download a printer friendly copy (OR! Save a tree, read it online and forward the page link to a friend!!)

Did You Know?

A ring of flame envelopes a steam locomotive drive wheel as a tire is heated so it can be placed on the wheel.

Though made of steel, the tires on a steam locomotive wear out. A new tire is cut slightly too small and then it is heated until it expands. After workers slide it onto the wheel, the tire shrinks as it cools and is locked into place. Learn more about steam locomotive maintenance at Steamtown NHS. More...