Steamtown at Bellows Falls, Vermont in 1978

In September 1955 F. Nelson Blount bought the narrow gauge Edaville Railroad which began his activity of displaying and operating steam locomotives. In 1956 the Boston & Maine Railroad donated locomotive number 1455 to the Edaville. This was the first standard gauge locomotive to be placed into Mr. Blount's collection. This acquisition started his passion for collecting more standard gauge railroad stock. He began acquiring standard gauge steam equipment from all over the United States and later from all over the world. There was no practical way to get the equipment to South Carver as no standard gauge tracks were nearby, thus requiring they be moved by flatbed trucks. In December 1960 Mr. Blount purchased the terminal facilities of the B&M in Walpole, New Hampshire, across the Connecticut River from Bellows Falls, Vermont. In 1961 Mr Blount approached New Hampshire state officials about the creation of a railroad museum and an operating excursion train to accompany the museum. Mr Blount offered to donate some of his collection of steam equipment to the museum. In 1961, anxious to start running an excursion train, Mr Blount approached the Claremont & Concord Railroad to use 13 miles of their trackage between Bradford and Sunapee, NH. The first train ran in July pulled by No. 47, a 4-6-6T steam locomotive built in 1912 for the Canadian National Railways. Number 47 pulled 4 wooden passenger cars and a fire-control car that day. In August an ICC inspector shutdown the operation of locomotive No. 47. A leased Claremont & Concord diesel locomotive was used to pull the excursion train for the remainder of the year. In early 1962 Mr. Blount had corrected the issues raised by the ICC and No. 47 was back in service. While there was proposed support from NH to help fund the creation of the Steamtown Museum there was also opposition to using state funds. In February 1963 NH turned thumbs down on the state owning the Steamtown Museum and funding was withdrawn. Still, excursion trains ran in New Hampshire in 1963 between North Walpole and Westmoreland. In 1963 Mr Blount set up the Steamtown Foundation for the Preservation of Steam and Railroad Americana and donated 20 steam engines and other steam equipment to the foundation. In May of 1963, after the Rutland Railroad shutdown operation in Vermont, the state of Vermont purchased 180 miles of the Rutland tracks. Mr. Blount bid for trackage rights between Bellows Falls and Ludlow and in 1964 Steamtown moved from New Hampshire to Bellows Falls, Vermont. Early in the morning on May 28, 1964 Blount's equipment was moved from New Hampshire to Bellows Falls. Steamtown began running excursion trains in Vermont that summer. Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 No. 1293 was used to pull excursion trains in September and October of 1964. For a more complete story about F. Nelson Blount look for the book "The Man From Steamtown" by James R. Adair.

Steamtown is now part of the US National Park Service and a National Historic Site at it current location in Scranton PA. Steamtown has left Vermont but the Green Mountain Railroad operates excursion trains between Bellows Falls and Chester as Steamtown had done.

In 1978 I visited Steamtown in Bellows Falls, Vermont. This was the perfect way for a ferroequinologist and ALCOholic to spend a day with a camera. Click on a picture to enlarge it and learn more about it.

In August 2006 I visited the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Click here to see the photographs I took. A few of the locomotives I photographed in both Vermont and Pennsylvania: Reading 2124, Grand Trunk Western 6038, UP Big Boy 4012. I also shot the CNJ Bucyrus crane in Vermont and Pennsylvania.

Reading Company 2124
Reading 2124

Union Pacific 737
Union Pacific 737
Canadian Pacific Railway 2816
Canadian Pacific 2816

Canadian Pacific 2929
Canadian Pacific 2929

Grand Trunk Western 6039
Grand Trunk Western 6039
Illinois Central 2-6-0
Illinois Central 3719
a pair of small steam locomotives
A pair of small engines
Maine Central 501
Maine Central 501
Meadow River Lumber No. 1 gears
Meadow River Lumber Company
Meadow River Lumber No. 1
Meadow River Lumber Company
MRLC Shay-geared locomotive
Meadow River Lumber Company
London and Southwest British
London & SouthWestern 53
Bucyrus-Erie crane
Bucyrus crane

Union Pacific Big Boy 4012 nose
UP "Big Boy" 4012

Union Pacific  Big Boy tender
UP "Big Boy" 7 axle tender
Union Pacific 4012 Big Boy Profile
UP 4012 4-8-8-4
turntable at Steamtown
Locos 'round the turntable
Looking at the turntable from a locomotive cab
Looking out at the turntable
Green Mountain Railroad 303 ALCO S4
Green Mountain 303
GMRC caboose
Green Mountain caboose
Steamtown 1293 steaming and smoking
Steamtown No. 1293
Steamtown 1293 at Chester
Steamtown No. 1293
coupling up at Chester
Coupling the loco to coach
Steamtown 1293 at Bellows Falls
Steamtown No. 1293
Central New Jersey  coach 1006
Central New Jersey coach 1006
Lehigh New England  caboose 580
LNE caboose 580
Louisville and Nashville RPO 1100
Louisville & Nashville RPO
lookin' out the back door
Locomotive headlight peering into a coach

VistaDome Views Home
Steamtown 2006 Photographs
©2006 John Simakauskas