Steamtown Superintendent Chugging Along

SCRANTON -- The woman credited with bringing steam back to Steamtown is hanging up her conductor's hat.

The superintendent of Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton is moving on to a new job with the National Park Service.

"It`s an exciting time to be moving up, but also sad to be leaving the park," Superintendent Debbie Conway said.

Conway is taking a job at the National Park Service's regional office in Philadelphia.

When she arrived in Scranton, Steamtown wasn't living up to its name.

"When I arrived four years ago, Steamtown was steamless, which was really sad and depressing. So, we`ve worked really hard to focus on our locomotive restoration, on getting steam back," she added.

The Baldwin 26 engine started running in 2016, and Conway told Newswatch 16 plans are in place to eventually have three working steam engines on the site.

"Having active and live steam programs really does draw people in," Conway said.

A lot's changed in her tenure. Last year, Steamtown eliminated its entrance fee. Now it only charges for train excursions. Conway said it has helped make the site more accessible to local families.

"We have definitely seen an increase in our ridership, and an increase in our park visitation," Conway said.

From afar, Conway will oversee the site's next big project. There are plans to connect its land to the nearby Lackawanna Heritage Valley Trail.


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