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


    National Historic Site Pennsylvania

Railroad Yards, Then and Now

A black and white photo from 1951 showing the sand drying tower with railroad tank cars and period automobiles.

The historic sand drying tower (Sand Tower) was used by the railroad to store and dry sand.  The sand helped give locomotives more traction.  This is one of the buildings you will be able to see (and compare with the historic photo) on the Railroad Yards, Then and Now walking tour.


Join a Park Ranger or a Volunteer for a before-and-after look at the former maintenance and repair yards for the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (this is NOT a "Shop Tour").

Departs from the Visitor Center. Included in the Park Entrance Fee.

Did You Know?

Three steam locomotives are visible in the doors of a roundhouse.

Roundhouses were essential to steam railroading. Most steam locomotives required servicing about 150 to 200 miles when they were new. Find out more about what goes on in the Roundhouse at Steamtown National Historic Site. More...