Fall Steam Festival

Trains, Tractors & Traditions!

September 27-28, 2024
9:30am – 4pm

Free Admission!*

The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum’s Fall Steam Festival: Trains, Tractors & Traditions, is an event to relive some of the most fondly remembered aspects of historic Americana; steam machines, base ball, and hotdogs. With the help of the Iron Horses of the Erie Railroad vintage base ball club, guests to this event can watch base ball played as it was in the old days, in empty fields, with little more equipment than what you and your friends could sling over your shoulders. There will be a food vendor present to sell hotdogs and other fare to guests while they enjoy the ball games.

Apart from base ball, various steam tractor operators will be present to showcase their machines, including a shingle mill and other belt-driven implements. All of this will be framed with the museum’s own steam locomotive which will give rides on the museum grounds to guests throughout the event. This special event will prove to be a fun and exciting experience for those who want to get a taste of the classic, Norman Rockwell era of American leisure and life.

Participating Teams are:

The Iron Horses of the Erie Railroad: Dayton, OH

The Spiegel Grove Squires: Fremont, OH

The Akron Black Stockings: Akron, OH

Note: Base ball games are on Saturday only and yes, base ball is correct.

*The grounds showcasing the tractors, implements, and base ball games are free access during this event.  Train rides are $5 per person for each ride and tours are regular tour prices.

All aboard! We invite you to step back in time and delve into the captivating world of steam power. Today, we extend an exclusive invitation to an immersive, educational journey like no other, only at the Age of Steam Roundhouse: the Ferroequinologist Tour.

An Introduction to the Ferroequinologist Tours

Our Ferroequinologist Tour takes you on an exclusive three-hour journey around the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum. Unlike regular tours, here, you get a closer inspection of our unique collection of steam locomotives and are guided through areas of the complex that are not accessible to the normal tour groups. 

Discover our Tour Highlights

Our Ferroequinologist Tour offers an extended three-hour exploration into the heart of steam locomotive history and engineering. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Steam Locomotives: Explore our extensive collection of steam locomotives. Each engine has its own story, from its construction and unique features to the role it played in history. Discover the evolution of steam locomotive design and technology through the years. We will even allow participating guests up into the cab of one of our steam locomotives to tell them about the various valves, knobs, levers, and other devices that allow the crew to operate it.
  • Restoration Shop: Get an inside look at where the magic happens in our industrious Restoration Shop. Here, locomotives and rail cars are carefully restored to their former glory. Learn about the restoration process, from disassembly and repair to painting and testing.
  • Turntable: Take a spin on our 115 ft. turntable. Understand how this crucial piece of railroad infrastructure was used to maneuver locomotives and how it’s preserved as a functional artifact today.
  • Machine Shop: Take a walk through our Machine Shop, where parts are fabricated and machinery is maintained. This behind-the-scenes look reveals how blending old and new technologies keeps our collection in working order.
  • Store House: Lastly, our Store House is overflowing with wonders. It houses an array of items that support the roundhouse operations and preserve its history.

This journey through the Age of Steam Roundhouse is not just about observing these marvels; it’s an educational experience that offers a glimpse into the mechanics that maintained these iron giants. You’ll understand the engineering feats, labor, and advancements that powered these locomotives and played a crucial role in shaping the modern world.

Vital Tour Logistics

To ensure that every participant gets the most out of our tour, we have implemented several important guidelines to maintain the quality of the experience. Here’s what you need to know about the tour logistics:

  • Limited Group Size: Each tour is exclusive, consisting of one guide, one assistant, and only a limited number of attendees. This small group format ensures a personal and in-depth experience for everyone involved.
  • Pre-Booking Required: All spots on the tour must be booked in advance. We do this to manage group sizes effectively and provide the best experience for our guests. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate walk-ins.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Given the nature of the tour, which involves considerable walking and standing, we advise all participants to wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. This ensures you can navigate the roundhouse and its surroundings without any discomfort or injury.
  • Arrive Prepared: We encourage our guests to come prepared for the weather. Different portions of the tour will be conducted indoors and outdoors, regardless of the weather (unless it is deemed hazardous to be outside), and we urge all of our guests to plan for any potentially inclement weather. 

By adhering to these guidelines, we aim to provide an intimate, engaging, and unforgettable tour experience. We will take you up close with the wonders of steam locomotion and the rich industrial heritage preserved at the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum.

Who Should Attend?

The Ferroequinologist Tour is perfect for railroad enthusiasts and lovers of history and industrial heritage. The Ferroequinologist Tour is tailored for the informed enthusiast eager to deepen their knowledge and experience.

Book Your Tickets Today!

Ready for an enlightening journey to the past? Advanced bookings are necessary, so purchase your tickets today. Limited slots are available, so we encourage you to book soon. Your journey into the fascinating world of steam engineering awaits! The echoes of the steam age call out: are you ready to ride the rails of the past?

The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum’s unique Yard Tours allow guests to view many of the pieces of railroad equipment in the museum collection that are normally not accessible to our standard, walking tours. Along with this prospect, guests on our Yard Tours can look forward to viewing the equipment from within a moving passenger car. For the yard portion of the tour, a diesel locomotive will transport guests around in one of our historic passenger cars, with a guide on board to explain the history of the equipment outside. The second portion of the tour the consist will be positioned on the museum’s turntable so guests can disembark and be led along the radial tracks around the turntable. The radial tracks house many of the museum’s diesel locomotives along with other select pieces of equipment. We invite you to participate in this unique experience at the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum and hope to see you on the tour!

*Note: This tour involves a portion that is outdoors and some walking on crushed stone. Please plan accordingly.

 Tickets are limited and may be purchased only online prior to the event.

Available Dates

14 September 2024

Rekindling the Majesty: An Invitation to Relive the Golden Era of Steam at Age of Steam Roundhouse

A cacophony of laughter, chatter, and the distant rumble of an approaching engine fills the air as ladies in their elegant dresses and gentlemen in their robust top hats eagerly await the arrival of the marvel of the age — the steam train. Amidst the billowing clouds of steam, a mighty locomotive emerges, a force of power and beauty that truly captures the essence of the transformative period we now fondly remember as the Golden Era of Steam.

Here at Age of Steam Roundhouse, we invite you on a voyage of discovery to explore the fascinating ways steam trains transformed the travel landscape and shaped the course of history.

Birth of the Golden Era

The Golden Era of Steam was a tapestry of innovation and inspiration, woven together by the sheer determination and artistry of trailblazing inventors, engineers, and designers. Join us as we marvel at their accomplishments and trace the footsteps of these resolute pioneers:

  • George Stephenson, The father of modern rail travel, bequeathed the extraordinary gift of the first successful steam-powered locomotive. A bona fide artist of iron and steam, Stephenson transformed our world with his relentless drive for progress and perfection.
  • Isambard Kingdom Brunel: Imbuing rail travel with an artistic flair, Brunel’s vision and architectural prowess transformed the humble train journey into a grand experience. His unmistakable mastery of form and function exemplified the true essence of the Golden Era of Steam.

The culture and excitement that revolved around these illustrious inventors and their steam-powered marvels gave birth to the Golden Era, a resplendent epoch defined by:

  • Boundless Curiosity: As word of these new mechanical marvels spread, the public became enraptured by the seemingly endless possibilities of steam locomotion, garnering an insatiable appetite for discovery and exploration.
  • Innovation and Pursuit of Perfection: From the earliest locomotives to the magnificent steam engines that ushered in the peak of the Golden Era, each advancement was driven by the relentless pursuit of superior engineering and design.
  • Unity and Cultural Growth: The triumphs of steam locomotion transcended geographic and social barriers, fortifying connections and fostering growth within our world—a priceless gift that continues to echo throughout history.

As we revel in the storied past of the Golden Era of Steam, let us pay homage to the remarkable inventors and engineers whose tireless dedication and passion forged the splendid tapestry of our shared heritage.

Influence on Travel

When the walls of stations first echoed with the resonant chimes of arriving steam trains, it signaled the dawn of a refulgent era in transportation. The cast of this wondrous drama were the stately steam locomotives, fueled by fire and brimming with unparalleled power. As they ripped through the scenes of languid landscapes, they stirred an insatiable yearning for exploration and connection within the audience.

Join us as we vividly recreate that magical leap into comfortable, rapid, and accessible travel brought about by steam locomotives:

  • Unprecedented Speed: The arrival of steam trains abolished the long, arduous hours of travel by horse and carriage or by foot, galvanizing the advent of swift and dependable transportation. It was a revolution that whittled journeys from days to hours, snipping the strands of time elegantly — a boon that enthralled the public.
  • Access to Remote Locations: The reach of steam locomotives pushed the boundaries of accessibility, unlocking the gates to regions uncharted or barely touched. It gifted the populace new territories, the distant and remote now conveniently within their grasp.
  • Splendid Comfort: Stripy awnings shading cozy cabins resplendent in plush velvets and gleaming wooden accents offered luxurious comfort of an unprecedented degree. The cradle of gas lamps casting a warm glow and courteous stewards attending to every need painted an opulent fact of travel that was grand and soothing.

One must also romanticize the beauty of the experience that these steam trains script — an enjoyable escapade that transcended the mere act of transportation:

  • Admiring Artistry and Engineering: The Golden Era of Steam was characterized not only by explosive advancements in speed and access but also by the extraordinary display of ornate detailing and superior engineering that festooned the rolling stock. Each train ride was an invitation to adore the aesthetics and appreciate the ingenious designs that sheathed the power within.
  • Forging New Connections: The trains were not just vessels of physical travel; they were the axes on which the globe began shrinking. New relations were born, new friendships forged, and novel perspectives were shared across the rolling landscapes these locomotives traversed, knitting together the tapestry of a united society.

As we step back in time to revisit this transformational era, let us unwind the clock’s hands and re-experience the grandeur and marvel of the Golden Age of Steam, captured artfully in the unforgettable sojourns aboard the magnificent locomotives.

The Mechanisms

To bask in the full radiance of the Golden Era of Steam, one must cast their gaze upon the harmonious complexities within the hulking iron heart of the steam locomotive. Considered the crown jewel of the engineering prowess of that time, these magnificent mechanical marvels contained within them a rhythm and melody that was entirely their own.

The nucleus of the steam-pumping giant resided in the fire-tube boiler—a bubbling symphony of boiling water and searing fire, summoning forth the kinetic energy that would guide the locomotives on their predestined paths. The pistons served as the train’s steadfast drums, resonating through the engine with their resonant beats, commanding the valves and drivers that flexed and constricted with an almost living grace. The result was a dance, a unique symphony of sounds that played the defining anthem of the era.

The elemental orchestra within the engine – the roaring fire, fed by the musky aroma of coal, the seductive hiss of steam escaping into the ether, and the vibrant percussion of pistons in motion – was a spectacle to behold. The union of fire, water, and iron caroled an unforgettable ode to physics and engineering, a testament to the harmonious relationship between man and machine. Soak in it, dear friend, for this was the grand sonata of the Golden Era of Steam, an unparalleled portrayal of elegance and efficiency rarely replicated in the feats of modern engineering.

Cultural Impact

The rise of steam locomotives had an indelible effect on the cultural landscape. As cities and towns grew up around the railway lines, so too did the collective imagination of the era. The steam train became a symbol of power, motion, and possibility that captured the attention of artists, writers, and musicians alike.

From the romantic prose of Thomas Hardy, who found poetry in the lore of the railway, to Agatha Christie, who crafted the iconic mystery of The Orient Express, the steam train was woven into the fabric of their art. Even the great composer Johann Strauss II paid homage to the majesty of these iron wonders through his “Transcontinental Express Waltz.”

The Golden Era’s Decline

Alas, even the most beautiful seasons must end. The charming era of steam wore on, ultimately yielding to the unstoppable march of progress. As diesel and electric locomotives claimed their place on the tracks, the steam train was slowly relegated to memory.

But in that melancholic farewell, a new era of nostalgia was born, and our love for the magic of steam has never waned. To this day, steam trains hold a beloved place in our history, an ideal that represents the passion, ingenuity, and romance that defined their age.

In Conclusion

As we indulge in our nostalgic reflections on the grandeur of steam-electric travel, let us remember the beauty and craftsmanship that defined the Golden Era of Steam. We invite you to experience the magic for yourself. Make haste and journey with us to Age of Steam Roundhouse, and allow these mighty iron steeds to transport you on a voyage filled with awe and wonder.

End this grand expedition by sharing your thoughts, memories, and experiences of the golden era of steam in the comments section below. Recollect, reminisce and reignite the passion that fosters our love for these majestic locomotives.

Visit our other exhibits, dive deeper into individual aspects of Steam history with our past blog posts, or book your tickets at our reservation page to be a part of the enchanting Age of Steam Roundhouse experience.

Take a Tour through the Age of Steam Roundhouse

Where the echoes of clanking metal and the hisses of steam once reigned, now lies a nostalgic sanctuary of bygone days—the Age of Steam Roundhouse. A haven for history enthusiasts, train zealots, and curious onlookers alike, it’s a time capsule where the ardor of the steam era continues to live, breathe, and enthrall.

It is where the enchanting stories of iron stallions, forged in the crucibles of historical breakthroughs, are remembered and retold. These locomotives were not merely modes of transportation but veritable agents of change, accelerants of progress, and catalysts for the American Dream.

An Immersive Encounter with Artifacts of the Steam Era

Each step within the Age of Steam Roundhouse cradles an intimate dance with time. Embarking on this tour, you’d be privy to a panorama that unfurls the grandeur of steam-engine history and the dedicated craftsmanship that went into each piece. Our Roundhouse proudly presents:

  • A Majestic Line-up: Dozens of steam giants, each embodying a unique narrative, stand resolute in their steel and iron vitality. Every locomotive, from the compact switch engine to the imposing ‘Northern’ type, narrates a story intricately woven with our shared heritage.
  • A Showcase of Craftsmanship: Every component of these railway marvels has been restored, preserving authenticity. Each rivet bears testament to the assembly expertise of yesteryears. Every wheel churned miles of track under its weight, and each slider mirrored the rhythmic melody of travel.
  • The Power of Preservation: Feel the aged heaviness of old timber, softened by years but robust. Notice the gentle defiance of rust, an echo of a stalwart struggle against time. This is where industry meets preservation, and history can breathe again.
  • Memories Carved in Steel: With its cozy gloom, the Roundhouse holds in its bosom tales waiting to be told. Stand amongst these mechanically astute, nostalgically rich giants, and immerse yourself into their life’s chapters that have now become pivotal episodes of our industrial past.
  • An Interactive Journey: As you traverse through the Roundhouse, the information provided will illuminate the specifics of steam-powered travel. Each locomotive’s heritage, mechanism, and contributions to the era are laid bare for intrigue, offering a profound understanding of machinery and historical context that increased the Age of Steam.

Embarking on a timeless journey with the Age of Steam Roundhouse isn’t merely observing historic machinery; it’s an homage to the hardy hands that built them and a salute to the genius minds that conceived them. A step in here warrants a pause, a respectful silence, for you are treading on hallowed grounds of history, an era that fuelled progress and boasts of an indomitable spirit.

Highlighted Locomotives

Among the amplifying echoes of history, certain warriors of steel stand out, their stories resounding louder than the others. Full of vigor and resilience, the whistles of their glory days beckon you for a closer look.

Visitor Information

Planning a visit to the Age of Steam Roundhouse is akin to crafting your time-traveling odyssey. Our passionate guides eagerly await your arrival, anticipating a chance to enchant you with tales of historical intrigue, technical wizardry, and heartwarming anecdotes of these formidable steel titans.

Step back in time and explore the Age of Steam Roundhouse alongside our versed interpreters as they guide you through an enchanting and authentic 20th-century realm. Immerse yourself in the sights, rattle your senses with the sounds, and inhale the rich, history-laden aroma that permeates this hallowed abode. Unearth the hidden mysteries of steam locomotives, relive the illustrious days of the railroad, and forge a personal connection with the pulsating heart of the American industrial heritage.

As the seasons unfurl from April to November 18th, the Roundhouse opens its doors on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Choose from tour times—10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 2:00 PM—to partake in these mesmerizing journeys.

*Note: Tickets may be purchased online or at the ticket counter. Only online tickets are guaranteed for the selected date and time. 

Commemorating the Titans of Steam

The Age of Steam Roundhouse, steeped in the aura of the past, reverberates with the heartbeat of progress. Beyond the robust exteriors of these locomotives, their resilience and indomitable spirit continue to inspire and warm our hearts.

If the rich, almost-tangible air of nostalgia grazing your skin is any indication, visiting the Age of Steam Roundhouse is not merely a stroll down memory lane. It is about celebrating an era of monumental human endeavor. It’s about acknowledging the steam engine for its role in erecting the world as we know it.

We cordially invite you to take a step back in time, reminisce, and marvel at the giants of yesteryears that moved nations and carved the future, puff by puff, mile by mile.

An Emotive Voyage into the Past

A billowing plume of smoke, the impassioned chug of a locomotive, and the echoing whistle that punctures the tranquility of the landscape—these are not mere symbols or sounds of a bygone era. They are the soulful essence of a time when the Age of Steam was at its zenith, the period that the Age of Steam Roundhouse endeavors to encapsulate within its sacred walls.

Picture a rustic, brick-and-mortar cathedral to Train History, housing an impressive array of Vintage Trains, each with its unique narrative. A veritable Railroad Museum, the Age of Steam Roundhouse is a remarkable testament to this pivotal era of Rail Transportation, a loving homage crafted by the hands and hearts of devoted enthusiasts.

Echoes from an Age of Steam

At the heart of the Roundhouse lies its magnificent inhabitants—18 steam locomotives representing various periods and aspects of the rich tapestry of the Steam Era. Each purr and hum with an intensity that mirrors the dynamic labor involved in their meticulous Locomotive Restoration. It is here, within the echoes of rattling iron and hissing steam, that you truly sense the majesty of the Age of Steam.

Look closer. Even the most obscure components, like the massive, ferocious fireboxes or the intricate lattice of the running gear, bear the mark of diligent craftsmanship. It offers a vivid and unmitigated view into this heroic age when man tamed the power of steam to conquer distance and time.

Artifacts of a Golden Time

Brace yourselves as we venture further into the heart of the Age of Steam Roundhouse. This hallowed sanctuary is deeply entrenched in history, each corner revealing a new facet of the illustrious steam age. As you navigate the labyrinth halls of the Roundhouse, you’ll unearth such a wealth of Railway Artifacts that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere—each artifact a tangible echo from the capstone era of industry and ingenuity.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the unique gems that make the Roundhouse a veritable living, breathing work of art—an institution that exquisitely encapsulates the grandiosity of the past:

  • Vintage Ticket Offices: Step into the shoes of a bygone railway passenger. The old ticket booths, preserved in their original charm, give one a sense of the excitement and anticipation that filled the air as travelers awaited their voyage.
  • Period Signage: Each sign sings a different tale. Be it cautioning engineers or guiding passengers, these signs capture the essence of a time when steam was king, and railways were its kingdom.
  • Implements of the Railwaymen: Tools that once catered to mighty locomotives are now invaluable narrators of the past. They embody the grit, ingenuity, and determination of the proud rail workers who kept the wheels of progress turning.
  • Unique Uniforms: Threads worn by railways’ unsung heroes—each stain, each worn seam—echo the voices of those who wore them, delivering unspoken testimonies of their toil and triumphs.
  • Railway Architectural Elements: A captivating showcase of design elements essential to the steam era, be it the arched doorways, station clocks, platform benches, or luggage racks, each breathing life into the architectural symphony of a rustic station.
  • Commemorating Plaques: These plaques, steeped in glory, honor the victories and milestones of the railways — milestones that propelled the world into the future.

As you delve further into the inviting depth of the Age of Steam Roundhouse, prepare yourself for a romantic journey intimately close to the heart of the steam era. This era continues to resonate with a fiery intensity. Every artifact within these hallowed walls waits to transport you to a grand narrative of love, progress, and unyielding resilience.

Guardians of Heritage

Train enthusiasts, history buffs, families, researchers, and educators find themselves spellbound in the echoing halls of the Roundhouse. More than a Railroad Museum, it serves as an avant-garde of Rail Heritage — a sentinel of a time marked by the power of muscled iron and the whistle of the steam engine. It’s a place where the mythical narrative of the Age of Steam thrives, inviting one and all to behold the majesty of iron horses and the stories they tell.

The Journey Awaits

So saddle up, dear adventurers, for the opportunity to step back into the epic Age of Steam is but a visit away. Inhale the scent of burning coal mingling with the age-old oil and hear the rhythmic chug of history at the Age of Steam Roundhouse. Share your experiences via comments, reviews, and social media posts. After all, this is no mere collection of aged iron and steel but your portal to a bygone glorious era.

And as you leave the Roundhouse, remember the echoes of the steam whistle not as a lament for times gone but as a defiance—a clarion call, reminding us to keep the fires of history, heritage, and passion aflame. An age may end, but its spirit need never wane—welcome to the Age of Steam Roundhouse, where the past awaits, preserved in steam and steel.