I just finished updating the Steam by State Page with general updates for 2019 Schedules.
It's never too early to plan this year's train watching and chasing vacations and I wanted to give a heads up to some news for 2019 -
In Skagway Alaska, White Pass & Yukon #73 should be returning to operation in mid-season of 2019. The White Pass & Yukon Route was purchased in 2018 by the Carnival Corporation, and it's possible that we will see Locomotive #69 steamed up for the first time in a few years as well.
In Niles California, the Niles Canyon Railway will host visiting steam locomotive the "Skookum" #7, a unique 2-4-4-2 articulated steam locomotive that was recently restored in Oregon. The Skookum will operate several weekends at Niles Canyon during the 2019 Season. On select days, the Skookum will be joined by the Niles Canyon 2-6-6-2T #4, meaning the rare chance to see TWO articulated steam locomotives working under steam.
Also in California, Railtown 1897 in Jamestown California is nearing completion on the Sierra Railway #28, a Baldwin 2-8-0 Built in 1922 for the Sierra Railway making it a locomotive that is historically accurate for the former Sierra Railway roundhouse and rails of Railtown 1897 State Park.
Moving to Narrow Gauge Country....
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is hosting visiting steam locomotive Southern Pacific #18, an oil fired 4-6-0 built by Baldwin in 1911. The #18 will be pulling a select number of regularly scheduled Cascade Canyon Winter trains, as well as participating in special Photo Excursions. This will most likely be the only time you will ever see #18 in Durango, so see it while you can!
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is still hosting the visiting D&RGW #315, a 2-8-0 narrow gauge steam locomotive built by Baldwin in 1895. This locomotive is expected to operate on a select few special events in 2019.
Georgetown Loop Scenic Railroad should welcome back steam locomotive #40, a 2-8-0 narrow gauge steam locomotive built by Baldwin in 1920. This locomotive has recently been at the Colorado Railroad Museum. It is also probable that Shay #5 will leave Georgetown Loop and head back to her home at the Midwestern Central in Iowa, which means Georgetown Loop #12 will most likely be returning to Georgetown as well.
Jumping over towards the East Coast -
Essex Steam Train in Essex, Connecticut finished the full restoration of ALCO 2-8-0 #97 in 2018, bringing their roster of operational steam locomotives up to 3.
The Star Barn Village in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania is the new home for Kloke Locomotives 4-4-0 #63 the "Leviathan" completed in 2009. The Star Barn Village is a Wedding and Event Venue with many historic structures including it's namesake 1877 built "Star Barn." The Star Barn property includes historic 1832 era Railroad Right of Way. The Village hosts a number of public events and in April 2019 there will be a Lincoln Funeral Train Re-enactment featuring the Leviathan Locomotive and a replica of the Lincoln Funeral Train Car.
In the Midwest -
Illinois Railway Museum in Union Illinois finished up the full restoration of Shay #5 in 2018. It will be a treat to see this logging locomotive operating again in the 2019 Season.
The Midwest Central Railroad in Mt. Pleasant Iowa will say good-bye to Georgetown Loop #12, which was visiting as part of a trade with Shay #9. No announcements have been made, but I think it's quite possible we will see Shay #9 operating at the 2019 Threshers Reunion.
In Flint Michigan at the Huckleberry Railroad, 2018 saw the completion of a total restoration on Steam Locomotive #152, a narrow gauge 4-6-0 built by Baldwin in 1920 for use in Alaska. The Huckleberry Railroad did an incredible job on this restoration and it will be a treat to see her operate in 2019 along with D&RGW 2-8-2 #464.
In Ohio, the Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek, Ohio, has announced that 2019 will feature public tours of the roundhouse on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from May - October. This is the first time regularly scheduled public tours have been available at this fantastic fully operational steam locomotive roundhouse facility.
And finally in Cass, West Virginia, The Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad will be celebrating 2 major accomplishments in 2019. The return to steam of Climax #9, built by Climax Locomotive Works in 1919. This locomotive has been under restoration at the Cass shops for many years. 2019 will also see the re-opening of the Cass - Durbin portion of the former C&O Greenbrier Line. This will be the first time trains have traveled on this right of way since the 1980's. The Durbin and Greenbrier Valley will be hosting a Rail Heritage Weekend in September of 2019 and will feature special excursions and photo events.