Tragedy struck in 1967 when Nelson Blount was killed when his private plane crashed into a tree in Marlborough, NH. Nelson was only 49. This event took a lot of steam out of Steamtown. Most of the operational steam locomotives were either sold or fell into disrepair. Then, in 1970, Vermont passed air quality regulations which prohibited steam operations. Diesel locomotives were then used on Steamtown excursions and ridership fell dramatically. Despite the air quality regulations, the Steamtown Foundation again began operating with a steam locomotive. By 1983, Steamtown again had many (six) operating steam locomotives.
Despite the resurrection of steam locomotives, Steamtown was in financial trouble. It was determined that the main problem was its location -- isolated from any major population center. In 1984, Steamtown was moved to Scranton, PA. Still losing money, the Steamtown Foundation went bankrupt in 1986. Congress created the Steamtown National Historic Site and the National Park Service acquired the collection.
The following photographs show the collection when it was displayed at Riverside, just north of Bellows Falls, VT.
I had a opportunity to ride behind her at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in 1997. That day I believe we had at least 8 BR standard coaches and she hauled them like a trooper only slipped a couple of times. When this loco ran in the states it was notorious for slipping and could barely pull two coaches. When operated at Scranton it was always run with the "pup" (their SW9). The folks in Britain I talked to indicated all they did was re-profile the drivers, but I would think the spring rigging must have been adjusted as well. The Repton is a great steamer and I was happy to see here back in her native habitat.