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SCRANTON, PA – Steamtown National Historic Site, downtown Scranton, is the place to be this Labor Day weekend, September 5 and 6, as the National Park Service joins with several area partners to host "Railfest 2009". This year's event theme is "The 1940s." During this era, the United States, and the railroads that moved the country, transitioned from the lingering effects of the Great Depression, through the war years, and into a post-war economic recovery that saw the birth of the Baby Boom generation. Railroads transitioned from steam to diesel locomotives, and new automotive technologies forced railroads to become primarily freight haulers. Railfest 2009 will showcase several features identified with that era.
The fun begins on Saturday, September 5 at 10:00 a.m. with an Opening Ceremony with special event Grand Marshal Joseph Boardman, President and CEO of Amtrak. Amtrak, the Canadian Pacific Railway and Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad are planning to provide equipment displays. Planned programs include:
- Union Pacific #4012 "Big Boy" locomotive cab tours
- Railway Post Office presentations
- Behind-the-scenes Tours
- "Big Band" performances
- Locomotive Shops will be open for self-guided tours
Planned exhibitors include:
- The Center for Rail Photography and Art
- Historic Central Railroad of New Jersey and Norfolk-Southern locomotives
- Ohio Supply Co. FL-9 locomotive
- Dietrich Theater Radio Players will perform old-time radio comedy sketches
- Model train displays
There will be steam-powered excursions on both days to Moscow, Pennsylvania, with ‘photo run-bys” during each trip. The excursions 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 $21 for adults 17 to 61, $19 for seniors 62 and older, and $15 for children ages 6-16. Children 5 and younger require a "no-charge" ticket.
The U.S. Postal Service will provide a special stamp cancellation on both days. Other event partners include the Lackawanna County Trolley Museum, which will offer an expanded schedule for trolley rides along a portion of the former Laurel Line. And remember to bring along your hunger for great Italian food and treats as La Festa Italiana takes place at Courthouse Square in the downtown area. For more information on the Lackawanna County Trolley Museum, phone direct (570) 963-6590; information on La Festa Italiana is available at www.lafestaitaliana.org.
Located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Steamtown NHS is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. From I-81, follow exit 185 (Central Scranton Expressway); then, follow the signs to the main entrance at Lackawanna and Cliff Avenues. Train excursion reservations may be made by phoning (570) 340-5204 daily, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Generalpark information is available by phoning (570) 340-5200 during regular business hours, or by visiting the Park website, www.nps.gov/stea anytime!
- NPS -