Railfest 2011 at Steamtown NHS
Contact: Mark Brennan, 570-340-5244
Scranton, Pa. - Steamtown National Historic Site, downtown Scranton, is the place to create family memories on Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4 of Labor Day weekend, as the National Park Service joins with several partners to host "Railfest 2011." This year's event theme is "A Celebration of Railroading. "Railfest 2011 will help commemorate four milestone anniversaries:
-Behind-the-scenes tours of the restored Mattes Street Tower and the cavernous Office Storage Complex
Planned exhibitors include:
-The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority
The American Red Cross will also take part in the celebration with a special blood drive. According to Red Cross representative Shannon Ludwig, "Summer has always been one of the most difficult times for blood donations, and this season has been no different. In fact it has worsened since our region has experienced some of the most extreme weather conditions since January 1st. Cold, snow, ice, rain, floods, tornadoes, humidity and heat waves have slowed donor turn out at blood drives. Even with the national appeal for blood which began in July, donations have not increased to a point in which we are comfortable with. Blood levels still remain at critically low conditions. The need for blood is constant. The need for blood is now." The Red Cross Blood Drive will be held on Saturday, September 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The actual blood donation takes about 15 minutes. Individuals interested in donating blood can make advance reservations by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. Walk ups are also welcome. As a special incentive to increase the areas blood supplies, the park will waive the Entrance Fee for all donors.
There will be an excursion to Moscow, Pennsylvania on each day, with ''photo run-bys" during each trip. Saturday's excursion will be powered by historic diesel-powered passenger locomotives; Sunday's train ride will feature our Canadian National #3254 steam locomotive. The trips will depart the Steamtown Boarding Platform at 1:00 p.m. each day with a planned return to Scranton at approximately 3:30 p.m. Excursion fares are $24 for adults 16 to 61, $22 for seniors 62 and older, and $17 for children ages 6-15. Children 5 and younger require a "no-charge" ticket.
- NPS -
Did You Know?
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.