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


    National Historic Site Pennsylvania

Handcar Experience

Three children ride on a yellow pump car with a man wearing period overalls and hat.

This pump car (also called a hand car or section car) was used by section gangs to maintain track during the steam era.  You can ride on this car at Steamtown.

NPS Photo, Ken Ganz

Get a feel for track work in the old days on a hand powered work car from the early 1900s. These 'hand' or 'pump' cars allowed track workers to get to inspect or maintain their assigned portions of railroad's right-of-way.

Program takes place in the Turntable Plaza, just beyond the Visitor Center. Included in the Park Entrance Fee.

Weather-permitting; this is an outdoor program.

Did You Know?

A cup of water expands to 1,600 times its volume when boiled, changing from a liquid to a gas!

When boiled, a cup of water creates about 1,600 cups of steam! When the resulting steam is contained in a vessel such as a steam locomotive boiler, it can create up to 300 pounds per square inch of pressure. Learn more about steam locomotives at Steamtown National Historic Site! More...