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Three Stops In Pennsylvania / Franklin Park, Illinois Hot Spot

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Program 120
Three Stops In Pennsylvania / Franklin Park, Illinois Hot Spot

The state Pennsylvania is rich with railroading history. From high speed electric powered trains to operating steam locomotives operated by museums, Pennsylvania has it all.

The first stop is Scranton and the Steamtown National Historic Site, operated by the National Park Service. This beautiful madern facility offers a working turntable, historical displays, and a two-hour, 26 mile round trip excursion to nearby Moscow PA, pulled by a live steam locomotive.

Next is the Strasburg Railroad and the neighboring Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. The Strasburg is a 4.5 mile shortline that was one of the first stretches of track constructed in the state. The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania contains the most complete collection of rolling stock and locomotives from the Pennsylvania Railroad, the one-time "Standard Of The World".

Finally, we spend a little time at Cornwells Heights, a suburban stop north of Philadelphia on Amtrak's busy Northeast Corridor. Stand back as Amtrak's Metroliners whistle past at a ballast scorching 100+ mph.

Videotaped in June of 1998.

Just east of downtown Franklin Park, Illinois is a busy junction point between the Wisconsin Central, Canadian Pacific, and Indiana Harbor Belt. Throw in a ample supply of Metra commuter trains and you've got the making for one good Hot Spot.

Videotaped in October, 1998.

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The National Park Service now operates Steamtown, located at Scranton, Pennsylvania. Steamtown boast several operating locomotives as well as a functional turntable and a well-equipped shop.

This little 0-6-0 was constructed by the Baldwin Locomotive Works and was the plant switcher.

The switcher takes a spin on the turntable before heading out to the coach yards.

Steamtown is very visitor friendly. The public areas we saw were spotless.

The 4.5 mile Strasburg Railroad connects East Strasburg to Paradise, Pennsylvania. Ex-Norfolk and Western Class M 4-8-0 was handling the train on the day we were there. The Strasburg also stables a 2-10-0 for use during peak periods.

Located across the street from the Strasburg is the Railroad Museum Of Pennsylvania. Inside the beautiful facility are some of the most famous locomotives from the Pennsylvania Railroad along with other eastern railroads.

All of the locomotives inside the Museum building have undergone meticulous cosmetic restoration. Steam, diesel and electric locomotives all share space inside the Museum. There is also a generous amount of vintage rolling stock on display as well.

Amtrak's 1975 era E60CH's still survive on the corridor, although they are limited to 90 mph. Class leader #600 pulls toward Trenton, New Jersey after stopping at Cornwells Heights.

The speed of these trains is evident in this screen capture, even with the use of a high shutter speed on the video camera (1/250).

Cornwells Heights sports a four track mainline. The outer tracks are rated for 100 mph top speed, while the inner tracks are good for 120 mph.

The CP line through Franklin Park is a good place to see Metra's unique, ex-Milwaukee Road F40C locomotives.

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