Old 09-24-2018, 08:35 PM   #1
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Default Possible US trip

Hi Chaps.
I'm just musing at the moment, but I am considering travelling from the UK to the US in the spring for a flying visit. This would be my first time in the US.

Ever since I first became interested in railways as a child in the mid 1950s, I have been fascinated by the UP Big Boy locos. (They were still working in those days).
I suppose seeing one (and photographing it) is on my "Bucket list".

I am a steam fan and since it's relatively easy and inexpensive to fly from Manchester to NY, I am wondering about a few days where I would: Drive from EWR to Baltimore for the B&O museum; Then on to Strasburg for the Museum at Pennsylvania; Finally going to Scranton, to Steamtown to see the monster; Back to EWR for the flight home.

I have a few questions:
1. Does this sound feasible over 4 days?
2. Are these museums worth visiting?
3. What are the photo possibilities at these museums? (I would have a fisheye, a 16-35 and a 24-70 with me).
4. Is the area that the Baltimore museum is sited safe?
5. Would I be able to meet up with any of you guys during such a trip?

Last edited by willig; 09-25-2018 at 05:54 AM.
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:59 PM   #2
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Sounds quite doable. I'd highly consider riding Amtrak south away from the NYC and grab a rental elsewhere. The traffic is terrible (aka much slower to drive), and the rentals will be cheaper down south. All 3 museums have pretty good collections and would be worth your time. The area around the B&O museum isn't bad during the daytime. Enjoy, and roll on before dark. Strasburg is an easy spend a day location, with the museum and the railroad. Scranton the same.

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Old 09-25-2018, 11:16 AM   #3
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I would consider looking into a direct flight from Manchester to Philadelphia instead of NYC, if the price is comparable. from PHL, you are about 90 minutes from the B&O museum, 90 minutes from Strasburg, and two hours from Scranton. Make sure that you leave the airport with some US cash, as there are tolls going to both Baltimore and Scranton, and I am not sure if they are geared to accept credit cards - haven't travelled either route in several years.
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:56 AM   #4
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Definitely doable!

I second flying into Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A possibility - if you are up to max your sights, would be:

Day one:
Morning - Amtrak's Northeast Corridor midway to Baltimore for sights by the Susquehanna River Bridge - wanna get out of Philly to avoid traffic. Then on to the B&O Museum - morning shots are OK in the yard but not spectacular - focus instead on equipment in the museum. Head back to Havre de Grace /Perrryville for sunset shots and /or - head over towards Strasburg. Another option - if a weekend, head towards Wilmington, DE to catch the Wilmington and Western Railroad in the AM, and Strasburg in the PM.

Day two:
1/2 day at the W&W, half day at Strasburg - lots to see, not much time.
Full day at Strasburg Rail Road with a mid-day visit to the RR Museum of PA.
Head towards Scranton.

Day three:
Steamtown - 0-6-0 No. 26 runs and tour the museum and grounds.
Head back to Philly.

Other possibilities for a full day might include a visit to the New Hope and Ivyland (check schedule) in the AM, and a visit to the Black River and Western PM. Might even work a visit along Amtrak's NEC super AM or late PM.

From Baltimore - a ride to New Freedom, PA is an option, too - if you have any interest in seeing a "new" 4-4-0 in operation.

Don't forget the obligatory cheese steak in Philadelphia!

Keep us posted on the date(s) - maybe you'll find yourself a tour guide.

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Old 09-26-2018, 10:19 PM   #5
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The other thing to consider is that UP is planning (hoping?) to have their Big Boy 4014 running for the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike. While UP territory is a little farther west than you're planning to go ... the chance to see or even ride an operating Big Boy? I'm thinking about trekking down from Canada for that opportunity!

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Old 01-06-2019, 11:34 PM   #6
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Default If you happen to make it out west to Denver....

Let me know and I can guide you to some great spots for viewing and photographing trains along the Colorado Front Range.

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