Well, my boss was asking me about this very subject, and I figured I would inquire here for hopefully a good load of information. He is looking for a nice steam ride through hills and mountains which here in NJ is not all that easy.

I know of only a few places west of here, Strasburg in PA, and the Shays that run in WV. Anyone know of quite a few more?

Original Post
Dave NYC Hudson PRR K4 posted:

Well, my boss was asking me about this very subject, and I figured I would inquire here for hopefully a good load of information. He is looking for a nice steam ride through hills and mountains which here in NJ is not all that easy.

I know of only a few places west of here, Strasburg in PA, and the Shays that run in WV. Anyone know of quite a few more?

There really are no more "steam excursions" in the U.S. any more, since the policy changes made by the latest CEO of Amtrak. However, there are a number of Tourist Railroads in the eastern states that are pretty much all steam powered, such as Strasburg Rail Road, the Valley RR (in Connecticut), Cass, and the New Hope & Iveyland. There are other smaller steam operators in the eastern states, but I can not remember all the names.

You didn't mention how far your boss would travel.  Look at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Details at www<dot>tvrail<dot>com.  Their Hiwassee Loop and Copper Hill Special diesel excursions out of Etowah, TN venture through the Cherokee National Forest for the hills and mountain experience and during the coming fall color season, are spectacular.   It's hard to beat the steam excursions behind 630 and 4501 out of Grand Junction depot to the TVRM shops in East Chattanooga as well as runs to Chickamauga GA and Summerville GA.  

Lots of main line action as well with Norfolk Southern tracks next to Grand Junction and the DeButts Yard downtown.  Lots of railroad stuff in Southeast Tennessee.

😁 So far, so good. I didn't want to limit where, so I figured NA is a nice patch of land(and I know I want to travel and hop a ride somewhere as well). I know that there is a lot more about, but as hot water said, can't remember them all. Washington State I believe has a few out that way, some logging ones like the Cass IIRC. It is hard to remember the ones I saw on that PBS special about 10 or so years ago. I do recall that there is a really nice one in Canada, I think in Saskatchewan where you go to a cookout for lunch. That I believe was an all day trip as lunch was at least a good hour and change let alone the trip to and fro.

Dave NYC Hudson PRR K4 posted:

Well, my boss was asking me about this very subject, and I figured I would inquire here for hopefully a good load of information. He is looking for a nice steam ride through hills and mountains which here in NJ is not all that easy.

I know of only a few places west of here, Strasburg in PA, and the Shays that run in WV. Anyone know of quite a few more?

In a few short weeks there's something coming up in Ohio, if your boss is willing to travel. NKP 765 is pulling excursions through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park between Cleveland and Akron. I rode the train last year, and didn't regret it one bit. Great train ride! I believe tix are still available.

Nick

Part-time Ferroequinologist

Pennsy Productions - Bringing you the best railroads of the Midwest

“It’s a good thing to let another generation know what a steam locomotive is.” - W. Graham Claytor, Jr.

FJI posted:

In Oct ,there. Is a one (and only?) steam excursion behind the big boy but it is in Calif. through the desert. 

First, the upcoming "excursion" behind #4014 in October, will be the second time 4014 has pulled an "excursion", the first being eastbound out of Ogden, Utah with that fund raising trip for the UP Museum. 

Second, the "excursion" out of the LA area, will also be a fund raiser trip for the museum that gave-up the 4014 to the UP in trade for a diesel, a caboose, and a boxcar, with the promise of a future fund raising trip behind 4014. The "cheap seats" are $700 for coach, with the top of the line "party in the business car" for only $15,000! 

Dave NYC Hudson PRR K4 posted:

Well, my boss was asking me about this very subject, and I figured I would inquire here for hopefully a good load of information. He is looking for a nice steam ride through hills and mountains which here in NJ is not all that easy.

I know of only a few places west of here, Strasburg in PA, and the Shays that run in WV. Anyone know of quite a few more?

Check with Black River & Western. It may not be a ride through the mountains but it will be steam over some hills.

Well, the all day excursions such as Norfolk Southern are over, as well as most Amtrak hosted excursions, but there are many tourist railroads and even regional freight railroads that have steam and diesel excursions. Iowa Interstate had several steam excursions this summer with a diesel at the rear. Reading and Northern though has mountains, tunnels, and high bridges. On the route from Reading to Jim Thorpe and the route from Pittston/Penobscot. That would be the closest long steam excursion to NJ, but there’s also the steam train at Phillipsburg with the Chinese built 2-8-2, and #60 at Black River in Flemington. Valley RR in Essex, CT has steam and a riverboat ride. In the late 90’s NYS&W with 142 and NJT with C&O 614 used to have all day excursions in NJ from North Bergen and Hoboken but those ended.

If you want local and a short trip, then visit either the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad (just across the state line in New Hope, PA) or the Black River & Western RR in Ringoes, NJ.  Both will give you about an hour long trip.  NH&I has a bit of a hill to climb, while Black River is kinda flat.  I'm not sure if the steam at Phillipsburg, NJ is running at the moment or not.

If you're looking for a day-long trip, the best bet is the Reading & Northern Railroad, which is running some trips from North Reading, PA to Jim Thorpe during October on two weekends.  There are very decent hills to climb in both directions, and a good lunchtime layover at the very touristy Jim Thorpe.

Good luck,
Kevin

Hot Water posted:
FJI posted:

In Oct ,there. Is a one (and only?) steam excursion behind the big boy but it is in Calif. through the desert. 

First, the upcoming "excursion" behind #4014 in October, will be the second time 4014 has pulled an "excursion", the first being eastbound out of Ogden, Utah with that fund raising trip for the UP Museum. 

Second, the "excursion" out of the LA area, will also be a fund raiser trip for the museum that gave-up the 4014 to the UP in trade for a diesel, a caboose, and a boxcar, with the promise of a future fund raising trip behind 4014. The "cheap seats" are $700 for coach, with the top of the line "party in the business car" for only $15,000! 

Actually Jack, there was also the July 5th one-way excursion from Omaha, NE to Boone, IA to benefit the UP Museum in Council Bluffs.

PAUL ROMANO posted:
Dave NYC Hudson PRR K4 posted:

Well, my boss was asking me about this very subject, and I figured I would inquire here for hopefully a good load of information. He is looking for a nice steam ride through hills and mountains which here in NJ is not all that easy.

I know of only a few places west of here, Strasburg in PA, and the Shays that run in WV. Anyone know of quite a few more?

Check with Black River & Western. It may not be a ride through the mountains but it will be steam over some hills.

I am not more than five minutes away from the BR&W which I see regularly. I haven't been on the tracks since last year. I did say something to the boss about them and he sort of "bah'd" at it. Mind you he isn't a sheep, but he said he was looking for something more which I told him about Steamtown. I did mention to him that the only thing that was a run was out to Moscow from Scranton, and that was under Diesel power. Baldwin 26 was only doing short runs which I knew he wouldn't be looking forward to. I also wasn't sure if Steamtown had other trips out and about that he would be interested in as I only really knew about Labor Day weekend.

When I get home tonight I will get a list complied that I will give him tomorrow to see what he says.

One thing I wish I did get a chance to have done was to get behind 765 when Rich Melvin was still operating out on there. Alas there was too much stuff going on my end which made it impossible for me to get out there. I'll get around the country some day for sure, definitely starting a list. 🙂

I think our best bet for steam powered excursions on the east coast in 2019 are on the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad. They are running steam power on October 12, 13, 19 and 20th. I plan on riding the first weekend of trips.  Here is a link to their website where you can buy tickets: Fall Foliage Steam Excursions Departing Reading Outer Station

 

N&W ~ J 611

OGR Forum Member since June 2001 

J 611 posted:

I think our best bet for steam powered excursions on the east coast in 2019 are on the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad. They are running steam power on October 12, 13, 19 and 20th. I plan on riding the first weekend of trips.  Here is a link to their website where you can buy tickets: Fall Foliage Steam Excursions Departing Reading Outer Station

 

I am really going to have to put this on my list. Real question is as always time. As I get closer to October I'll definitely know if I'm able to get out there.

Dave NYC Hudson PRR K4 posted:
 

One thing I wish I did get a chance to have done was to get behind 765 when Rich Melvin was still operating out on there. Alas there was too much stuff going on my end which made it impossible for me to get out there. I'll get around the country some day for sure, definitely starting a list. 🙂

Every person that I've encountered in Fort Wayne that is associated with the 765 has been very polite, helpful, and a joy to spend time with.  There are lots of good reasons to still ride behind the 765 or take pictures of her.

Hot Water posted:
FJI posted:

In Oct ,there. Is a one (and only?) steam excursion behind the big boy but it is in Calif. through the desert. 

First, the upcoming "excursion" behind #4014 in October, will be the second time 4014 has pulled an "excursion", the first being eastbound out of Ogden, Utah with that fund raising trip for the UP Museum. 

Second, the "excursion" out of the LA area, will also be a fund raiser trip for the museum that gave-up the 4014 to the UP in trade for a diesel, a caboose, and a boxcar, with the promise of a future fund raising trip behind 4014. The "cheap seats" are $700 for coach, with the top of the line "party in the business car" for only $15,000! 

Today, in California, lunch costs $700 and some dinners go for 15K.....so no one out there will even notice.  

J 611 posted:

I think our best bet for steam powered excursions on the east coast in 2019 are on the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad. They are running steam power on October 12, 13, 19 and 20th. I plan on riding the first weekend of trips.  Here is a link to their website where you can buy tickets: Fall Foliage Steam Excursions Departing Reading Outer Station

 

Thanks for the Fall Foliage heads up! This is one I'd like to try this year.

Also, the N&W J-class 4-8-4 at Strasburg! 

David

VintageClassics posted:
J 611 posted:

I think our best bet for steam powered excursions on the east coast in 2019 are on the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad. They are running steam power on October 12, 13, 19 and 20th. I plan on riding the first weekend of trips.  Here is a link to their website where you can buy tickets: Fall Foliage Steam Excursions Departing Reading Outer Station

 

Thanks for the Fall Foliage heads up! This is one I'd like to try this year.

Also, the N&W J-class 4-8-4 at Strasburg! 

David

No problem! I'm looking forward to it as I have never been to this railroad. In looking at the videos posted here and on youtube of the 425 she looks to be a really neat and LOUD locomotive. Plus the train has coaches with opening windows which are quickly becoming a thing of the past. The thing I love most about steam excursions is the ability to hear, see and smell the locomotive. 

N&W ~ J 611

OGR Forum Member since June 2001 

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