2018 ARHS Convention: 70th Anniversary of EMD F3 Units!

September 8-9, 2018
Steamtown National Historic Site

350 Cliff St, Scranton, PA 18503

2018 represents the 70th anniversary of the ARHS- and Tri-State-owned EMD F3 units. Our 2018 convention will present a unique experience to ride behind, see, and tour these units in a chartered excursion from Steamtown to Tobyhanna and return, with photo stops. Our goal will be to use the complete A-B-A consist on the excursion, scheduled for Saturday. A barbecue dinner on the Steamtown property will follow the excursion.

21185912059_c1a1739743_zOn Sunday, we have arranged to use Steamtown’s auditorium for presentations. Topics include a report on the status of the ARHS, the history of the ARHS/Tri-State F3s, a CNJ veteran speaking on his career with the CNJ, an overview of the railroad photography of Donald Furler, and other surprises. Tours of the F3 units are available following the presentations.

Please join us for this weekend of exciting events.
Space is limited to first-come, first-served, so register early to guarantee your attendance!


EMD F3 Units 70TH Anniversary Celebration Excursion
(8:00 am–4:30 pm)

  • Special excursion from Scranton to Tobyhanna behind the F3 units; includes photography opportunities.
  • Excursion departs at 8:00 am and returns ~4:30 pm
  • For photo stops, participants must be able to disembark and walk on uneven ground. Hiking shoes and long pants are required.

Evening BBQ Dinner (6:00 pm–8:00 pm)


Presentations (9:00 am–4:15 pm)

  • Business meeting at 9:00 am
  • Presentations at 10:15 am, 11:30 am, 2:00 pm, and 3:15 pm
  • Presentations by Richard Jahn, Alan Furler, Bill Strassner, Ralph Shelhamer

F3 Unit Tours (4:30 pm–6:30 pm)

  • Closed-toed shoes and long pants are required.

Download the registration form: Color | Black & White

Check out our Facebook event here.


Please note, since we are holding the meeting on Steamtown’s site, the ARHS does not have hotel rooms reserved for attendees. However, below are a few local hotels attendees could use for lodging if interested: Hilton Scranton Conference Center, 100 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503 (570.343.3000); Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel Scranton, 700 Lackawanna Ave, Scranton, PA (570.342.8300); The Colonnade, 401 Jefferson Ave, Scranton, PA 18510 (570.342.6114); Four Points by Sheraton, 300 Meadow Ave, Scranton, PA (570.344.9811)

Excursion Disclaimer: At the present time, we plan on having the full A-B-A consist of F3 units pulling our excursion, with the A-units operable. There is a remote chance the B-unit will be operable as well. However, despite our best efforts, the units are 70 years old and maintenance issues can arise, limiting or preventing their use. In the event the units are not available for the excursion, substitute equipment will be used. If substitute equipment is not available, refunds for the excursion will be issued.

ARHS Restoration Report

In 2010 the ARHS was invited to bring their F3 locomotives to Steamtown NHS.

This was mutually beneficial to both parties- the ARHS restoration volunteers gained access to great shop facilities in Scranton in order to make work on the locomotives quicker and easier. In return, Steamtown gained the use of steam-era locomotives to help the park during a time of locomotive shortages.

Since the A-B-A set of F units arrived in Scranton in worn Jersey Central colors, the ARHS and Tri-State NRHS decided to repaint them into the DL&W freight scheme. The ARHS F3 became DL&W 664 and the Tri-State-owned F3 became DL&W 663. The pair became a regular on long distance Steamtown excursions in 2012 and 2013. In 2014 the B unit (DLW 664B) was painted to match the two A units. The entire set made the journey to a grand cab unit gathering, Streamliners at Spencer, held at Spencer, NC in May 2014. Unfortunately, 663 developed mechanical problems early in 2014 and the B unit was not yet operational. So 664 carried on by itself during the rest of 2014 and 2015. Early in 2015 (when it was cold) we worked on the only unit which was indoors, Alco FA2 596, which came up from New Jersey in 2012 along with the B unit to Scranton. Cleaning and rust stabilization was done at that time.

Once it warmed up we moved to get 663 back in service. We spent most of the summer on this endeavor and were not successful. A rebuilt main generator and air compressor were reinstalled in late summer along with new connecting rod bearings in the prime mover. We are still looking for an air compressor coupling which has proved difficult to find.

Thanks to our members contributions with our “Complete the B unit” fundraising we have made progress toward making the 664B operational. Norfolk Southern donated some electrical parts and several ARHS volunteers have worked many hours to complete the new wiring. Various mechanical work was still in progress as well. 664B is inside this winter so work can continue.

Also this winter off-season 664 will receive some maintenance to help reduce oil leaks and radiator leaks. 664 should be ready to go for the 2016 season and if the coupling can be found 663 will join it once again. With some luck we also hope to try to start the B unit in the summer of 2016.

2015 Convention – Our 40th Anniversary!

The organizers of the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society’s 40th Anniversary Convention would like to thank all of those that attended this past weekend. We saw old friends and made new ones and it was our hope all had a good experience. Our Friday night’s activities started with a delicious BBQ and ended with a successful night photo session with the best weather we could have asked for. Saturday included 4 interesting and diverse programs. The Scranton Hilton took very good care of us with their amphitheater room for the programs and morning and afternoon snacks that surpassed everyone’s expectations. The vendors were interesting and we thank those who specifically supported the ARHS’s table. At the Saturday banquet the Editor of Classic Trains, Robert McGonigal, gave a brief talk on the beginnings of Kalmbach Publishing and presented a program on Man’s Railroad Accomplishments – Tunnels, Terminals, and Bridges.

We do apologize for not getting up on the website that Sunday’s Excursion was cancelled. We will do better next time.

It means a lot to our organizers and Board of Directors that the over 100 attendees took the weekend to share railroad history and join in the camaraderie.