The 1980s were an exciting time in the development of the railroads and for railroad preservation. The railroad lines in Pennsylvania seemed to benefit the most from this railroad revival. With so many miles of little-used railroad lines, the opportunities for railroad preservation were huge. Railroad museums were benefiting from the excitement with new and sometimes expanded operations. Some of the short lines even began to resemble museums, by regularly running steam locomotives. Upstart short line railroad Blue Mountain & Reading RR operated on a short 13-mile segment of Pennsylvania RR trackage. While the freight business grew, the railroad put 4-6-2 no 425 and later 4-8-4 no 2102 to use hauling tourist trains in season. They also worked with Conrail to run special excursions on various portions of the eastern railroad's network. To keep the trains running on schedule, two former PRR E8 locomotives, restored to the Pennsy's 5-stripe livery worked many of the trips Steamtown USA, a tourist operation of the Steamtown Foundation, relocated from Bellows Falls, VT to Scranton, PA in 1984. Steam and diesel locomotives ran on an ever-expanding amount of trackage of the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad in the Pocono Mountains. Nearly every year saw a different look to the trains and different mileage or variety of destinations. Although this volume focuses primarily on the Blue Mountain & Reading and Steamtown USA, brief scenes of Strasburg's PRR 1223 & 7002 doubleheader on the former PRR mainline and Rail Tours' CNJ 1554 are also featured in this program.
Narration and subtitles. Color; Approximately 50 minutes run time.