Steamtown National Historic Site (NHS) announces the winning name in its Railfest 2018 “Name the Train” contest for visitors ages 6 and under.
Eric Shulde, of Browndale, likes the name “Chugga” for the sound the Baldwin Locomotive Works 0-6-0 steam switching locomotive makes when carrying passengers on the “Scranton Limited” short train rides throughout the park. The name “Chugga” will be used for No. 26 until Railfest 2019.
Several dozen youngsters offered their choice of names during Railfest 2018, the park’s annual Labor Day Weekend celebration of all things railroading. This year’s theme was “Railroading and Coal: A Labor of Love,” in recognition of the 250th anniversary of anthracite coal use, the natural resource that spurred the growth of northeastern Pennsylvania.
A panel of the three Steamtown NHS employees with the longest park tenure, Preservation Specialist John Melliand, Supervisory Park Ranger John Mucha, and Trainmaster Willard Sturdevant, with a combined service of roughly 100 years at Steamtown NHS, reviewed the entries and were in agreement that “Chugga” best fit BLW No. 26’s personality. Eric received a certificate, tickets for his family to ride behind “Chugga” on the “Scranton Limited” and several of the site’s collectable trading cards showcasing some of the park’s locomotives and rolling stock.
“Chugga” was built in 1929 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works at its massive locomotive building complex south of Philadelphia and used in its own railroad yard. Although small by steam locomotive standards, it can carry nearly seven tons of coal and 1,750 gallons of water in its tender to produce 29,375 pounds of tractive effort to perform work in the rail yard.
“Chugga” will continue to lead “Scranton Limited” yard shuttles most Fridays through Sundays, from now through Veterans Day weekend. The train pulls out of the Steamtown NHS museum complex at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. to explore the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad yard in downtown Scranton. Tickets to ride are $5 per person for ages 6 and above.
Located in downtown Scranton, Pa., Steamtown NHS is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. General park information is available by phoning 570-340-5206 during regular business hours, or by visiting the park website anytime.