Steamtown National Historic Site – Scranton, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Steamtown National Historic Site

Scranton, Pennsylvania



Steamtown NHS occupies about 40 acres of the Scranton railroad yard of the former Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, one of the earliest rail lines in northeastern Pennsylvania. At the heart of the park is the large collection of standard-gauge steam locomotives and freight and passenger cars.

The locomotives range in size from a tiny industrial switcher engine built in 1937 by the H.K. Porter Company for the Bullard Company, to a huge Union Pacific “Big Boy” built in 1941 by the American Locomotive Company (Alco). The oldest locomotive is a freight engine built by American Locomotive Company in 1903 for the Chicago Union Transfer Railway Company.

Steamtown National Historic Site offers world-class museum facilities which tell the story of steam railroading. Both the nuts-and-bolts side and the personal side are shown at the Park.

When Steamtown was created, the National Park Service decided to use the existing portions of the Roundhouse (dating from 1902, 1917 and 1937) as a part of the Museum Complex, while adding a Visitor Center, Theater, Technology Museum and History Museum.

Inside the History Museum, there is a timeline of railroading, from the earliest days of rails to the 1980s, with a special focus on anthracite coal mining and DL&W President William Truesdale. Another feature of the History Museum is the Life on the Railroad exhibit which focuses on the people who kept the railroad running, the railroad stations exhibit, and a Railway Post Office car and Business car.

The Roundhouse has been adaptively rehabilitated to allow Steamtown’s mechanics to care for the locomotives with light-duty maintenance and repairs.

The Technology Museum includes a sectioned steam locomotive, a caboose and a boxcar, and exhibits covering technical aspects of railroading such as Making and Using Steam, Signals, Disasters, Railroad Jargon, Architecture, Maintenance of Way, and others.

The combination of a working railroad yard and a world-class railroad museum gives visitors a chance to do more than just step back in time. Visitors to Steamtown can step back in time with an understanding that is unique in America.

Know Before You Go

3 minutes west from downtown Scranton, PA. 150 S. Washington Ave., Scranton, PA 18503

Community Contributors
Added by

Make an Edit Add Photos
  • NPS Steamtown website and brochure