Wednesday, September 09, 2015

I've Seen The Train a Comin'

On a beautiful Labor Day which was anything but laborious, a gathering of train affection ados and others filled the grounds adjacent to The Historic Dansbury Depot in East Stroudsburg, PA (known as The Miller Park) on Monday September 7th to await the arrival of a Nickel Plate Road (NKP) #765 steam powered locomotive as part of The Steamtown National Historic Site and the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society Summer Steam Excursions. Those who rode the train from Scranton, PA to the depot were greeted with a variety of vendors, delicious foods, and music.

I was lucky enough to arrive at the depot just minutes before the train did. The spectacle of the huge locomotive and its long line of cars overwhelmed the senses through the sheer massiveness of it all. Excitement was shared by all onlookers as the iron horse galloped along the tracks until changing its pace into a slowed strut as it came closer to the station. The stillness of the machine was echoed within the heart of the gathering as they thoughtfully eyed the mechanical details of the engine and the elegance of the passenger cars that could be seen through the windows that populated each segment of the train before it left to continue on its journey until its return to pick up its departing passengers.

As I mentioned earlier, the passengers of the excursion were greeted by an abundance of merchants who eagerly introduced themselves and their offerings to them. They included Diane Chandler who represents Pink Zebra Sprinkles and Our Heart's Desire, the Soap Muffin, Metaphysically Speaking, and the Stroudsburg High School Class of 2016 These and other merchants inspired a great number of ooo and ahhs from those who came from lands afar to partake of their wares.

Music also met the passengers who were fortunate enough to depart the train. This afternoon of delights included the sounds of Woodrow who consists of Brian Bramcamp on Guitar and vocals and Theresa Ratcliff on vocals. Together, their renditions of favorite tunes were enhanced by their interpretive renderings of them. They were followed upon the stage by guitarist Katie Rubino who delighted the audience with her stylings of familiar tunes along with some original compositions she shared with a rare poetic phrasing exposing even further the depths of her talents. Katie was followed by Brian Wallie whose well recognized songs were interrupted by the return of the locomotive which lured the majority of the audience to its mythic attractions.

Again the engine and its compartments' exterior were visually explored by those who hoped to glimpse a memorable aspect of the train they might have missed the first time around. It was a short time afterwards did the locomotive depart leaving those who stayed behind to enjoy the remainder of Mr. Wally's performance as well as partaking opportunities to explore other attractions of the day. These included viewing the works of Dave Sandt of Pocono Fine Art Photography within the depot and to partake of their delicious Sundaes that were made there. It was also a good opportunity to learn how the station operated during its early days by visiting the depot's train tower while The East Stroudsburg Railroad Tower Society gave tours. As was the entirety of the day, these endeavors proved to be as enjoyable as they were enlightening. You'll find more photographs taken during the event in The I've Seen The Train a Comin' Gallery at

The Eastburg Community Alliance (ECA) was established over 30 years ago by local leaders and business owners and is funded through a combination of local grants, direct fund raising, memberships, and local contributions. In addition to their special events like the arrival of the Nickel Plate Road (NKP) #765 steam powered locomotive, the Eastburg Community Alliance presents a number of events to delight and entertain the overall community. These include their Fall Oktoberfest scheduled to take place on Saturday October 10th and a Winter Holiday Celebration which is scheduled to take place Saturday December 12th at the Historic Dansbury Depot in East Stroudsburg, PA. You’ll be able to learn more about The Eastburg Community Alliance by visiting their Facebook Page at or their Website at

The Nickel Plate Road no. 765 is a 2-8-4 “Berkshire” type steam locomotive built in 1944 by the Lima Locomotive Works in Lima, OH. The engine operated fast, heavy freight and passenger trains until its retirement in 1958. Following a restoration in 1979 and after a major overhaul in 2005, 765 operates in public exhibition and passenger excursion train service. It is owned and maintained by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc (FWRHS) and is listed as no. 96001010 on the National Register of Historic Places. You can learn more about the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc (FWRHS) and Nickel Plate Road no. 765 by exploring their Website at

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

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