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


    National Historic Site Pennsylvania

Living History Program: Coal, Ash and Sand

Three workers in a railroad yard.  Historic Photo.

Keeping a railroad yard operating fell on the shoulders of workers who did everything from shovel cinders to preparing locomotives for the days work.  Find out more about historic railroad yard operations on the Coal, Ash and Sand living history program.

Library of Congress, FSA

Step back in time with Yard Worker Charles Merkel to learn a bit of what it was like to work in the Scranton Yards for the Lackawanna Railroad in the early 1900s.

Tour begins at the red sign "Living History Begins Here" in the Turntable Area between the Visitor Center and the Technology Museum. Included in the Park Entrance Fee.

Possible weather warning. This is an outdoor walking program.

Did You Know?

A fireman moves coal forward in the coal bunker of a steam locomotive to make the coal easier to use.

A large hard-working steam locomotive can use up to 6 tons of coal in about an hour. The fireman (the one who shovels the coal) might shovel 200 pounds of coal a minute! This is why railroads helped design mechanical stokers. Learn more about railroad jobs at Steamtown NHS in Scranton, PA. More...