Locomotive returns to Juniata Valley to lead train excursions

LEWISTOWN – Residents of the Juniata River Valley may remember the steam locomotive that passed through this past August on its way to Harrisburg.

That same locomotive, the 1944 era Nickel Plate No. 765, from the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, will head-up three train excursions leaving from the Lewistown Junction Station each morning during the upcoming holiday for a trip to the Horseshoe Curve, a stop in Altoona to visit the Railroaders Memorial Museum, returning to the junction in late afternoon. These steam powered rail trips, where 700 passengers each day will be riding in vintage rail cars, sold out in record time.

A concerted effort of emergency service personnel from Granville Township and Lewistown police departments, Junction Fire Co., Mifflin County Fire Police, Fame EMS, Pennsylvania State Police, Norfolk Southern Police and Downtown Lewistown Inc., representing the Fort Wayne interests, have been meeting to discuss logistics for the weekend. Members advise persons to be aware of the increased activity this will bring during the busy holiday weekend.

Police advise motorists to expect traffic congestion in the areas of the train station and roads leading to the Helen Street area each morning beginning at 6 a.m. and lasting until 10 a.m. or so with similar congestion in late afternoon on its return. Members said that due to the restrictive parking and circulation arrangements at the station, motorists should avoid the area entirely during the weekend stating that only ticketed passengers, persons dropping off individuals, Amtrak passengers, or residents of the Junction will be permitted near the train station.

Those who wish to take pictures or view the steam locomotive are encouraged to park in Lewistown and walk to the station area.