"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Steamtown: Scranton, PA

Trains, trains, trains. If you like 'em, this is a great place.  I think trains are OK, mostly for potential photographic images they offer that are so different from the subjects we usually see - landscapes and such. So that's what you'll see in this post. 

Yesterday we visited Steamtown National Historic Site in the heart of Scranton, PA. It was creatively built around one of the few railroad roundhouses remaining in the US. The architecture also offered some interesting photo material. 

A selection of engines are displayed around the turntable at the center of the roundhouse. The old brick roundhouse itself has been supplemented by a reflective glass and red metal structure you see in these three photos. This steam engine was painted and polished to such a shine that you could see the museum buildings in it.

The turntable consists of a bridge that rotates on a single circular track around the edge of a large circle, allowing the engines to be brought into the house and aimed into different slots or bays to be worked on, and other engines moved out to get reattached to a train. This picture is looking over the bridge that rotates inside the turntable.

This is the single track around the edge of the turntable, that the bridge rides on. It was an ingenious system.

In addition to the turntable, there are displays inside the buildings about history and steam technology. (This would be a great place for a steampunk party.)  There are lots of opportunities to get up close to the locomotives and their various parts.

This is the back of a water/coal car.

The inside of the garages is very dark and moody, lighted just enough to allow you to see and still maintain a kind of Victorian ambiance.

A trench under the trains so they can be worked on from underneath. Just like Jiffy Lube!

Looking over the tops of the pufferbellies all in a row. (Who remembers the pufferbelly song?)

Back outside again, visitors are welcome to carefully walk around a train yard to get close to a collection of engines and cars from various eras. This was one of my favorites, with its patina of old paint and rust - like Thomas the Tank Engine neglected in a time warp.

It has lots of colorful features.

Rusted railroad spikes and other metal objects just laying around the train yard. 

In addition to the roundhouse, the museum and the train yard, the park is connected by an overhead metal walkway that provides an ariel view of the whole place, and also leads over to the Steamtown Mall. Interesting juxtaposition that benefits the park and retail Scranton. 

This was one of the few sunny days we've had in awhile. The rains around here have flooded some areas, and all the river levels are very high. The place we were going to stop next was flooded out so our reservations there were cancelled. Instead we'll stay here in Sidney NY at the Tall Pines Campground for another day.  We're right on the Unadilla River here, and we've been watching it rise, hoping for the best.  

Next, on to our friends' home in Monterey, Massachusetts where we will park our rig for more than three weeks, and store it for the first time in two years!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Want to leave a comment?