Steamtown Visit in July

My girlfriend, her brother and I are planning a brief road trip this summer and one of our stops will be a day in Scranton to visit Steamtown.  This will likely be Monday, July 23rd.  Having never been to the area does anybody have recommendations on what to do, see, eat, etc... at Steamtown and around Scranton?  My girlfriend and her brother aren't really train enthusiasts, though she does enjoy learning about the historical side of things.

Thanks in advance.

Original Post

Other train related attractions include the Trolley Museum near Steamtown and Grzyboski's store not far away. Scranton Hobby is within walking distance of Steamtown. Other attractions include the Lackawanna Coal Mine in Scranton. I think a history buff would find this interesting. 

Pete

 

Some practical advice I would offer would be as follows:

(a.) drive right into the parking garage that is right next to the Steamtown acerage. You will be able to walk from the 2nd Floor of the attached mall to go right out onto a pedestrian bridge that reaches directly into the train yard. Plenty of food places are in the mall for snacking.

(b.) you can enter the whole Steamtown yard via the pedestrian bridge which ends in the RRyard with a gradual sloped walkway that will take you down to the ground right near the Big Boy that is featured outside there. The bridge affords you broad perspective on the whole exhibit and provides a view directly down onto passing trains under it, on occasion. (However, don't make the mistake of standing there, looking downward, when a steam engine passes beneath you - what a hot face-full I got  !!!)

Using the pedestrian bridge is how I accessed and explored the place, which required less walking than entering from street-level, a few years ago. My suggested plan for approaching the exhibit tries to give your companions a bit of a break on the distances to be walked.

FrankM

Moonson posted:

Some practical advice I would offer would be as follows:

(a.) drive right into the parking garage that is right next to the Steamtown acerage. You will be able to walk from the 2nd Floor of the attached mall to go right out onto a pedestrian bridge that reaches directly into the train yard. Plenty of food places are in the mall for snacking.

(b.) you can enter the whole Steamtown yard via the pedestrian bridge which ends in the RRyard with a gradual sloped walkway that will take you down to the ground right near the Big Boy that is featured outside there. The bridge affords you broad perspective on the whole exhibit and provides a view directly down onto passing trains under it, on occasion. (However, don't make the mistake of standing there, looking downward, when a steam engine passes beneath you - what a hot face-full I got  !!!)

Using the pedestrian bridge is how I accessed and explored the place, which required less walking than entering from street-level, a few years ago. My suggested plan for approaching the exhibit tries to give your companions a bit of a break on the distances to be walked.

FrankM

Some changes to Scranton since Frank M (Monsoon's) last visit:  The new Marketplace at Steamtown now charges for parking.  Enter Steamtown via Lackawanna Ave.  350 Cliff St is the GPS address you will need to get to the parking lot.  There is also a bus station near Steamtown's entrance, so it isn't as obvious as it once was.  You can still access the pedestrian ramp from the Steamtown parking lot.

For train operations, don't expect any to take place on a Monday.  For 2018, the Scranton Limited trains run Wednesday through Sunday.  You might catch freight movements, which can be really cool, but not scheduled.  The non-railfan typically likes Steamtown due to the fact that the exhibits deal with history, work, travel, construction, and explanation of machinery in simple language.  There are plenty of trains to keep the rail enthusiasts happy.  You might want to stop in at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, which is the former train station.  It is beautiful inside.  You can also get a bite to eat along with an adult beverage alongside the tracks.  If you like Irish pub style restaurants, Scranton will be your type of town.  There is also a vegan restaurant.  

There are railroad yards for the Delaware-Lackawanna, Norfolk Southern, Reading & Northern and Luzerne & Susquehanna nearby, in addition to the Trolley Works where restoration of the trolleys takes place, and the Erie Lackawanna Dining Car Preservation Society.  Trains are everywhere, but not all locations welcome tourists.  

If you want more info, you can PM me. There are plenty of Scranton-based people here on OGR who can add to the things you might find interesting. There is no RailRiders baseball game on Monday, July 23, so that is out.

Have breakfast or lunch at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel.  It was the Lackawanna Railroad station and main offices for the railroad.  There are a lot of original tile and other bits that give you some idea of how it used to be.

Dan

Wow, thanks for the info guys.  There’s a lot more going on than I thought but I sounds like it’ll be fun for all of us.

Tim, I’ll definitely be sending you a message later on with a couple questions.  Your information was especially helpful as far as local places to visit outside the museum.

Not much going on rail-wise on a Monday, but there is no admission fee for Steamtown and it's still worth exploring the roundhouse and grounds for a couple hours.  There are plenty of picnic benches if the weather is nice on the day of your visit.  

I highly recommend the Lackawanna County Coal Mine Tour - it's affordable and a really unique experience.  The tour itself takes about an hour and the mine stays at 53 degrees all year, making for a nice break on a hot July day.  

There are plenty of nearby restaurants, depending on what you are looking for.  The Radisson, which was already mentioned, is a popular spot, as well as Cooper's Seafood House.  

J Daddy posted:

The best was watching all the steam /diesel engines coming in for the day and getting turned on the turntable.

I believe the only working engine is the 0-6-0 Baldwin demonstrator locomotive.

The only working STEAM engine! They do have operational diesels, however.

 

Hot Water posted:
J Daddy posted:

The best was watching all the steam /diesel engines coming in for the day and getting turned on the turntable.

I believe the only working engine is the 0-6-0 Baldwin demonstrator locomotive.

The only working STEAM engine! They do have operational diesels, however.

 

Sad too, because they have plenty of steam engines sitting about...

TCA Number 16-71884

Trains operating would have been a nice touch, but I work on steam locomotives every day so it's not a deal breaker to just visit the museum on an off day.

Thanks for all the recommendations, I'll definitely be considering a few things mentioned depending on how much time we spend in town.  We're all fans of "The Office" TV show, so I'm sure we'll look for a couple spots mentioned in that show as well as dining options.

The local craft beer brewery is Susquehanna Brewing Co.  www.sbcbeer.com.
I highly recommend their summer shandy, 'Shady Spot', which I found very refreshing after riding/chasing NKP765 back during Steamtown Railfest 2015.
SBC products can be found in many restaurants/bars in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.

I also found motels/hotels were cheaper in Wilkes-Barre, about 15-20 minutes from Steamtown.

J Daddy posted:

The best was watching all the steam /diesel engines coming in for the day and getting turned on the turntable.

I believe the only working engine is the 0-6-0 Baldwin demonstrator locomotive.

Related image

 

 

I am surprised that MTH has not Painted one up like this and offered it with Ps3! 

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

Borden Tunnel posted:

The local craft beer brewery is Susquehanna Brewing Co.  www.sbcbeer.com.
I highly recommend their summer shandy, 'Shady Spot', which I found very refreshing after riding/chasing NKP765 back during Steamtown Railfest 2015.
SBC products can be found in many restaurants/bars in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.

I also found motels/hotels were cheaper in Wilkes-Barre, about 15-20 minutes from Steamtown.

I was going to mention SBC but not the best choice if you are driving - their factory tour is a local favorite but expect to be fairly well inebriated by the time you leave.  The Backyard Ale House downtown has an extensive craft beer list including many on tap that you won't usually find and a good selection of pub food.  

If you are able to modify your plans at all, I'd really recommend getting a room on a Friday night and seeing what Scranton has to offer.  Not only would you be able to get the most from Steamtown and the Electric City Trolley Museum (there is a trip to Tobyhanna on 7/21), but the downtown is very safe and there are several restaurants, bars and coffee shops that are worth exploring.  Most special events are clustered on the first Friday evening of every month including gallery showings, live performances, etc.  

Steamtown is historic site, maintained by the U.S National Park Service/ Dept of Interior.  There are fees for entry, or the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is accepted no fee charged.

There is a reduced charge Seniors Pass. At one time a lifetime seniors pass was available for the application, that has changed recently.   Enjoy the parks they are yours. 

 

A couple of events, there is a Turntable demonstration, usually very early in the morning.   Most areas of the yard and museum are available to the public.  The shop areas are by guided tour only. scheduled twice a day.   Check the NPS Steamtown website, plan your visit, enjoy the day. 

Mike CT. 

Mike CT posted:

Steamtown is historic site, maintained by the U.S National Park Service/ Dept of Interior.  There are fees for entry, or the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is accepted no fee charged.

Tim can clarify but I know they went fee free last year.  I am 99% sure they still are.  There are charges for the yard shuttle or the excursions but there is no general admission fee AFAIK.  

Mike CT posted:

Steamtown is historic site, maintained by the U.S National Park Service/ Dept of Interior.  There are fees for entry, or the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is accepted no fee charged.


 

From Steamtown's website:

Fees & Passes

Our Visitor Center, Museum and grounds are free to enter. Although we do not collect an entrance fee, we do sell annual National Park passes that provide access into parks that do charge entrance fees. America the Beautiful Park passes are also available online.

2018 Train Fees

All excursion tickets must be prepaid. Some of our train rides are wheelchair accessible. Please call 570-340-5200 for details.

Rusty

Thanks for the information everybody.  I've definitely got a lot to sort through as far as ideas go.I wish we had a little more time off to visit everything in the area, but I suppose we'll have to make another trip.  We'll definitely be checking out some of the restaurants and such that have been pointed out.  Sadly our scheduled days off limit us to visiting Sunday night through Monday as there are a couple stops further east we plan to make.
Montclaire posted:
POTRZBE posted:

A blast from the past is Coney Island Lunch right next door to Scranton Hobby

Coney is usually closed on Mondays.  Monday is just about the worst day of the week to visit Scranton.  Haha

Sadly that's the only day we could fit in our schedule, but I'm sure we'll enjoy our stay.

I reserved a room for a couple nights at the Scranton Radisson in the old train station, so that should be a nice experience.  We'll be heading for PA on Sunday, and departing Tuesday morning for New York and then New Jersey for the other portions of our brief trip.

I missed seeing a few posts in this thread until I thought to look back on it today.  Thanks to everybody that suggested places to visit while in town.  I appreciate the ideas.

Add Reply

Likes (2)
AZGARYAlan Mancus


OGR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 218, Hilliard, OH 43026 330-757-3020
www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×