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Scranton's Ice Train and Electrifying Attractions

Updated on July 15, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years of successful experience in medicine, psychology, STEM courses, and aerospace education (CAP).

Five historic locomotives in a roundhouse.
Five historic locomotives in a roundhouse. | Source

Trains and Ice in Pennsylvania

The Steamtown National Historic Site preserves the tradition of operating a magnificent steam locomotive to pull a tourist train each winter, when the majority of other tourist rail lines do not operate at all. This is quite a fun ride to enjoy!

The Ice Train in the film below was pulled by locomotive Canadian National #3254 until its retirement for refurbishing in 2012. Today, the trip is called the Ice Harvest Excursion and celebrates the days before refrigeration when local farmers harvested blocks of ice from ice houses on their properties and sent the ice to market. A train trip also celebrates Christmas with a Polar Express or Santa's tour.

The ride's facility was constructed in the early 1990s on the site of the former DL & W rail yard in downtown Scranton PA, a hub of rail transportation near Back Mountain and Wilkes-Barre, hence the Scranton nickname of Steamtown.

At a Steamtown railway exhibit in Scranton.
At a Steamtown railway exhibit in Scranton. | Source

The Annual Ice Train Run

A
Steamtown National Historic Site:
Steamtown National Historic Site, Lackawanna Avenue, Scranton, PA, USA

get directions

Steamtown National Historic Site
Steamtown National Historic Site | Source

Endless Mountains

The Endless Mountains Heritage Site in northeastern Pennsylvania is a part of the Appalachian Mountain range and set in a picturesque region where Native Americans have lived for many generations. A sense of history and beauty fills this region of the United States.

A
Back Mountain PA:
Back Mountain, PA, USA

get directions

B
Endless Mountains:
Endless Mountains, Mehoopany, PA 18629, USA

get directions

Endless Beauty in Northeast Pennsylvania

Back Mountain is a suburb of Scranton PA that is near dozens of travel attractions and places of historic interest. Whether for vacation, relocation, or retirement. Back Mountain provides a relaxing atmosphere of small town life in the mountains of Pennsylvania, right beside a larger city and all its inviting attractions.

The local mountains are the Endless Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania, actually part of the Appalachians and set in a picturesque region where Native Americans lived for many generations and named the local landmarks. This is the Endless Mountains Heritage Region.

The Endless Mountains
The Endless Mountains | Source

The Iroquois Confederation and Susquehannock Nation cared for the land, but largely moved away with the colonization by whites after the end of the French and Indian War.

Indigenous place names remain, however, along with installations preserving their culture and crafts. In addition, Amish and Mennonite families still work the regional farms and provide some interesting tours. Forested areas provide outdoor recreation as well.

Travel and Tourism

The city of Back Mountain participates in ongoing historic preservation and tourism developments that have resulted in an over-40% increase in average household income from 2000 - 2010.

Recognized by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as the fastest growing city in the state, its residents are employed largely in construction, healthcare, and tourism related businesses that are growing in popularity.

Waterfront properties and green spaces for recreation and residential use are also a large draw. These water ways include the Susquehanna River, Harveys Lake, Huntsville Reservoir, Huntsville Golf Club, Lackawanna State Forest, Slocum State Park, the Pocono Mountains and other landmarks.

Scranton, Nicknamed the Electric City

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Electric City Trolley MuseumOld electric trolley in Scranton, in front of an old five and dime store.Radisson Hotel, former DL&W train depot in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Electric City Trolley Museum
Electric City Trolley Museum | Source
Old electric trolley in Scranton, in front of an old five and dime store.
Old electric trolley in Scranton, in front of an old five and dime store. | Source
Radisson Hotel, former DL&W train depot in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Radisson Hotel, former DL&W train depot in Scranton, Pennsylvania. | Source
Source
Source

The railroads of Scranton enjoyed the first electric lights in the city. During the first week of December 1880, electric lights were switched on at the Dickson Locomotive Works.The second business to have the lights encompassed the area's steel mills. The local YMCA and a theater followed.

Scranton, The Electric City

Photographer and Author: Alyssa Amori

Published in 2007, this book contains over 100 full color images of the City of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The photographer Alyssa Amori is a long-time resident of Scranton and loves her hometown. Through her creative lens during a six-month timeline, she recorded the historic architecture, parks, celebrations, and people of Scranton to share with others.

Some of the wonderful photos she presents in this unforgettable book include:

  1. Roger Clemens at a Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Yankees event,
  2. Everhart Museum
  3. Lackawanna County Courthouse
  4. Lake Scranton.
  5. St. Patrick's Day Parade
  6. Scranton Cultural Center
  7. Steamtown National Historic Site
  8. The Mall at Historic Steamtown

Ms. Amori thinks much about American servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as those serving in other ports of call far from home. She wants to see the book sent to anyone serving elsewhere that is from the Scranton area.

The book is designed with providing the troops a look homeward in mind. Ms. Amori is looking for individuals or groups that can provide addresses and/or donations for printing and mailing books to American troops (email damori3@comcast.net).

Weekend Travel Planning in Eastern Pennsylvania

  • Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge

If you want to adopt or visit animals, near Back Mountain in Dallas PA is an animal refuge that is a haven for animals of all types, even fish. Blue Chip Farms does not euthanize its rescued animals. Even if sick or old, they are cared for here.

Its 35 acres are home to dogs, cats, horses, potbelly pigs, and other large and small animals. Fish ponds are filled with rescue fish, but some live indoors in aquariums. A pet hospital, dog park, and horse trails are all in the works. Visit at 974 Lockville Road Dallas, PA 18612.

A
Back Mountain:
Back Mountain, PA, USA

get directions

B
Blue Chips Farm Animal Refuge:
974 Lockville Road, Dallas, PA 18612, USA

get directions

This refuge is surrounded by several State Game Perserves.

  • Fiber Festival in Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Endless Mountains Fiber Festival comes to the Harford Fairgrounds during the first weekend after Labor Day each year. Vendors, demonstrations, and displays will include anything to do with natural fibers and the animals and plants that produce them. Located at Harford Fair Grounds; 485 Fair Hill Rd in New Milford PA 18834.
  • Scranton Steam Town Museum (video below)

The Dunder-Mifflin Office

The long-running television series "The Office", an adaptation of a BBC series in the UK, is still popular in Scranton. Real paper products from the fictional company are available at the NBC Store in the city at 120 Wyoming Ave, Scranton, PA 18503. The store is delighted to have visitors to help them reminisce about the characters and storylines in this series.

NBC struck a deal with Quill.com to exclusively sell the branded paper (Dunder-Mifflin).

— Kacj Moore, Buzzfeed; November 2011
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Convention for "The Office" at the mall.Banner at the Steamtown MallDunder Mifflin copy paper, made in Pennsylvania by Quill Corporation.
Convention for "The Office" at the mall.
Convention for "The Office" at the mall. | Source
Banner at the Steamtown Mall
Banner at the Steamtown Mall | Source
Dunder Mifflin copy paper, made in Pennsylvania by Quill Corporation.
Dunder Mifflin copy paper, made in Pennsylvania by Quill Corporation.

Real Paper Companies to Visit Near Scranton

A
Pennsylvania Paper & Supply Company:
215 Vine St, Scranton, PA 18503, USA

get directions

B
American Janitor and Paper Supply:
1101 Sanderson Ave, Scranton, PA 18509, USA

get directions

C
The Office at the NBC Store in Scranton:
120 Wyoming Ave, Scranton, PA 18503, USA

get directions

Local Colleges and Universities

Local schools offer visitor's tours, a number of festivals, musical productions, concerts, and community events that welcome residents and out-of-towners.

Each school offers tours of its campus for visitors and those interested in attending.

  • Luzerne County Community College
  • King College
  • Misericordia University in Dallas at Misericordia.edu/ Undergraduate, Graduate and Professional training, including Medical.
  • Penn State Wilkes-Barre in Lehman at wb.psu.edu/ Includes an observatory.
  • Wilkes University

Sources

  • Azzarelli, M. Scranton Through Time. America Through Time; 2015.
  • Crosby, D. The Lackawanna Railroad in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Arcadia Publishing; 2014.
  • Kashuba, C.A. Scranton. A Brief History of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The History Press; 2009.

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS

Please Share Your Comments and Additions

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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a wonderfur video and 'train journey' I enjoyed reading about it. Great hub.

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