01-29-2011, 08:16 AM
Old School HAMBer
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: West Chester, Pa
Re: Vintage shots from days gone by!
The pictures of the old steam shovel reminded me of these locomotive shots I have
The founder of Blount Seafood Corporation, F. Nelson Blount, was a collector of steam locomotive
equipment. He bought a railroad so he could be an engineer.
In 1963 Blount moved his Steamtown U.S.A. steam locomotive collection to a new site
(Steamtown was moved several times before). This latest location was a the former site of a
proposed Rutland yard in Riverside, near Bellows Falls, VT. Tracks fanning out from a turntable
provided an excellent place to display his collection of steam. Regular excursions were run
between Riverside and Chester.
Tragedy struck in 1967 when Nelson Blount was killed when his private plane crashed into a
tree in Marlborough, NH. Nelson was only 49. This event took a lot of steam out of Steamtown.
Most of the operational steam locomotives were either sold or fell into disrepair. Then, in 1970,
Vermont passed air quality regulations which prohibited steam operations. Diesel locomotives
were then used on Steamtown excursions, however, ridership fell dramatically. Despite the air
quality regulations, the Steamtown Foundation again began operating with a steam locomotive.
By 1983, Steamtown again had many (six) operating steam locomotives.
Despite the resurrection of steam locomotives, Steamtown was in financial trouble.
It was determined that the main problem was its location -- isolated from any major population
center. In 1984, Steamtown was moved to Scranton, PA. Still losing money, the Steamtown
Foundation went bankrupt in 1986.
Congress created the Steamtown National Historic Site and the National Park Service acquired
Congress created Steamtown National Historic Site in 1986 to interpret the story of main line
steam railroading between 1850 and 1950. The park now occupies about forty acres in Scranton, Pa
These shots were taken in the summer of '75 in Bellows Falls, VT.
You can see the poor condition the site was in. I believe the former site is currently listed in
the Vermont hazardous sites list.
Talk about massive amounts of horsepower!!
The first shot is my Dad taken in front of one of the locomotives - he is over 6 feet tall!