Posts Tagged ‘steam locomotives’

PM 1225 to Pull North Pole Express Trains

October 11, 2014

Steam motive power will pull the North Pole Express trains in November and December, the Steam Railroading Institute of Owosso, Mich., has announced.

Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225 will pull the excursions between Owosso and the “North Pole.”

North Pole Express trips will operate Nov. 22-23 and 28-30, and Dec. 5-7 and 12-13. Ticket prices range from $35 to $55. For more information go to michigansteamtrain.com.

The 1225 was built in October 1941 by the Lima Locomotive Works.

NKP 765 Returning Home to Indiana Today

October 8, 2014

After staying three weeks longer than planned, Nickel Plate Road No. 765 returned to Indiana on Wednesday.

The 2-6-4 Berkshire had arrived in early September to pull two weekends worth of excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroads. It was set to return to its shop in New Haven, Ind., near Fort Wayne, on Monday, Sept. 15, but a Norfolk Southern derailment there took out the switch used to access the shop.

Although NS quickly replaced the destroyed track, it took longer to put in the switch back in.

Online reports indicated that the 765 departed from the CVSR’s Fitzwater shops shortly after 7 a.m. By 9:15a.m., the 765 had moved onto Wheeling & Lake Erie trackage and was headed for Mogodore to turn on the wye.

The 765 ferry move was expected to follow the same routing that it used to reach the CVSR. From Akron, the 765 and its train will travel W&LE tracks via Medina, Spencer, Wellington, Monroeville and Norwalk en route to Bellevue.

At Bellevue, the 765 got onto NS tracks and took the former NKP back to Indiana via Fostoria.

 

 

Steam and Smoke at Indigo Lake

September 14, 2014
Steam trails behind the Nickel Plate Road 765 as it heads north during the afternoon excursion from Akron to Boston Mill. It is shown passing Indigo Lake

Steam trails behind the Nickel Plate Road 765 as it heads north during the afternoon excursion from Akron to Boston Mill. It is shown passing Indigo Lake

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 was back in action on Saturday pulling a pair of excursions that began at Akron Northside station on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Unlike the previous Sunday, the weather for Saturday’s trips was not nearly as desirable with mostly overcast skies. There were peaks of sunshine for the afternoon trip, but the sun never came out when I needed it to at Indigo Lake where I set up shop to capture the steam excursion in both directions.

The trips went north out of Akron to Boston Mill where the 765 executed a pair of photo runbys for the passengers. Then it was back to Akron.

The 765 will be pulling its final excursions today, a trio of one-hour trips that begin at Boston Mill. Trips will depart at 10:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets range from $18 to $38 and will be available trackside.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

A small band of admirers greets the 765 as it passed northward at Indigo Lake on Saturday.

A small band of admirers greets the 765 as it passed northward at Indigo Lake on Saturday.

Looking good on the southbound return to Akron as it passes Indigo Lake. Two minutes later the sun came out.

Looking good on the southbound return to Akron as it passes Indigo Lake. Two minutes later the sun came out.

765Indigo04

765Indigo05

FA No. 6771 was on the point for the northbound trips with the NKP 765. LTEX 1420, which had pulled the steam excursions northbound last Sunday was relegated to service on the CVSR Scenic trains.

FA No. 6771 was on the point for the northbound trips with the NKP 765. LTEX 1420, which had pulled the steam excursions northbound last Sunday was relegated to service on the CVSR Scenic trains.

Lounge car Paul Revere, dressed up in Pennsylvania Railroad markings, made an appearance on Saturday. The car came with the 765 on its ferry move to the CVSR but was not used on last weekend's excursions.

Lounge car Paul Revere, dressed up in Pennsylvania Railroad markings, made an appearance on Saturday. The car came with the 765 on its ferry move to the CVSR but was not used on last weekend’s excursions.

 

Making Sure That I Was All Over the 765

September 11, 2014
Why, of course, I photograph steam locomotives for the steam and smoke that they produce. Nickel Plate Road 765 puts on a show just north of Jaite last Sunday.

Why, of course, I photograph steam locomotives for the steam and smoke that they produce. Nickel Plate Road 765 puts on a show just north of Jaite last Sunday.

Steam in the Valley has been a September mainstay of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for five of the past eight years. The latest tradition began in 2007 with Ohio Central No. 1293 and in four of the past five years Nickel Plate Road No. 765 has been the star.

Of course if you go back further in time, steam was a summer and fall regular in the early days of the CVSR when Grand Trunk Western No. 4070 was pulling excursions.

I wasn’t around during the 4070 era and I didn’t go down to the valley for the first years of the present day steam in the valley program when the 1293 was on hand. Sure, I rode the Akron Railroad Club trips behind the 1293 in 2007 and 2008, but I only made a few photographs. How I regret that now.

It wasn’t until the first visit of the 765, which occurred in 2010, that I began getting images of steam trains in action on the CVSR and not just during the photo runbys at Boston Mill or Indigo Lake.

When the 765 came back in 2011, I was all over it and I’ve been chasing steam up and down the valley ever since.

Steam programs have a way of going away all too quickly. Remember the Chessie Steam Specials? Remember those excursions over the former Erie Lackawanna in the early Conrail days? Remember the Norfolk Southern steam program when the Norfolk & Western 611 and 1218 were regular visitors to Ohio? Remember the Ohio Central steam excursions?

During the halcyon days of steam excursions through the early 1990s it must have seemed like they would always be there. But they came and left.

Although mainline steam excursions have made a comeback on Norfolk Southern, steam trips remain few and far between.

I moved to Ohio in the waning days of that era. I got out a couple times to ride some trips, but I seldom chased and photographed them. I wish now that I had been more active than I was because in hindsight there seemed to be so much opportunity.

So whenever a steam locomotive makes an appearance on the CVSR, I make it a point to photograph it. I may not go out for every trip and in fact I skipped last Saturday’s trips because of the rainy and overcast weather.

But I spent all day Sunday following the 765 and here are some of those images. It can be a challenge coming up with new locations and angles on the CVSR. But I was pleased with what I was able to create.

I also came across a few Akron Railroad Club members and other railfan friends alongside the tracks. And it is always good to see people of all ages taking a moment to enjoy something they’ve rarely or never seen before.

Article and Photographs  by Craig Sanders

Cruisin' into Jaite where a large crowd of fans was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the 765.

Cruisin’ into Jaite where a large crowd of fans was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the 765.

I see you, you see me.

I see you, you see me.

The morning trip only made it as far south as milepost 50 just north of Everett Road. Steam shrouds the 765 as it begins the return trip to Brecksville.

The morning trip only made it as far south as milepost 50 just north of Everett Road. Steam shrouds the 765 as it begins the return trip to Brecksville.

765 Sunday11

The excursion train had a mix of passenger cars including two former Nickel Plate Road heavyweights that had open windows.

The excursion train had a mix of passenger cars including two former Nickel Plate Road heavyweights that had open windows.

The obligatory image showing the station at Jaite. There was a crowd here but somehow I managed to create this image without any of them getting into the frame. The train is returning to Brecksville.

The obligatory image showing the station at Jaite. There was a crowd here but somehow I managed to create this image without any of them getting into the frame. The train is returning to Brecksville.

This photo was made north of Boston Mill at the base of the embankment. I had to walk through a wetlands to get here and I was hoping that the train did derail. I had never photographed here before.

This photo was made north of Boston Mill at the base of the embankment. I had to walk through a wetlands to get here and I was hoping that the train did not derail. I had never photographed here before.

The steam train is coming and traffic on Riverview Road is slowing to watch. Some vehicle were chasing the southbound train.

The steam train is coming and traffic on Riverview Road is slowing to watch. Some vehicle were chasing the southbound train.

A railfan greets the 765 as it cruises along Riverview Road south of Peninsula. The image was made of the middle of three trips out of Brecksville last Sunday.

A railfan greets the 765 as it cruises along Riverview Road south of Peninsula. The image was made of the middle of three trips out of Brecksville last Sunday.

The 765 eases into Peninsula where it will wait for the CVSR Scenic train to pass by.

The 765 eases into Peninsula where it will wait for the CVSR Scenic train to pass by.

A Lima and an Alco meet nose to nose in Peninsula. The CVSR Scenic train on the right that is bound for Akron went through the seldom used siding to get by the steam train.

A Lima and an Alco meet nose to nose in Peninsula. The CVSR Scenic train on the right that is bound for Akron went through the seldom used siding to get by the steam train.

 

Everyone in Peninsula stopped to watch the 765 and its train head southbound behind the CVSR Scenic train.

Everyone in Peninsula stopped to watch the 765 and its train head southbound behind the CVSR Scenic train.

The late day 765 crew takes a last look at Peninsula. Note the radio handset draped over the engineer's right shoulder.

The late day 765 crew takes a last look at Peninsula. Note the radio handset draped over the engineer’s right shoulder.

Late sunlight bathes the side of the 765 as it heads north out of Peninsula. By now, only the railfan photographers were still trackside.

Late sunlight bathes the side of the 765 as it heads north out of Peninsula. By now, only the railfan photographers were still trackside.

As the 765 heads back to Brecksville for the final time on Sunday, a cloud of smoke trails behind at Peninsula.

As the 765 heads back to Brecksville for the final time on Sunday, a cloud of smoke trails behind at Peninsula.

Nickel Plate Road 765 from High Above

September 10, 2014
Follow the smoke trail! Somewhere amid the trees is a steam train. Look carefully and you'll spot the headlight of the Nickel Plate Road No. 765.

Follow the smoke trail! Somewhere amid the trees is a steam train. Look carefully and you’ll spot the headlight of the Nickel Plate Road No. 765.

Last Sunday was a beautiful day in Northeast Ohio. The forecast called for mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the lower 70s. It would be a great day to chase Nickel Plate Road 765.

The 2-8-4 Berkshire owned by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society would be making its fourth appearance on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in the past five years. Last Saturday and Sunday it pulled a series of two-hour trips out of Brecksville.

I had in mind getting a perspective that I’ve never captured before, which was to photograph the steamer from atop the Ohio Route 82 bridge.

You’ve probably seen photographs of this iconic bridge from ground level. It is a graceful concrete arch bridge that forms the background for many “must have” photographs of CVSR operations. It spans the Cuyahoga River valley just to the north of the Brecksville station.

My original plan was to be on the bridge for the afternoon trips, which were scheduled out of Brecksville at 1:30 p.m. My thinking was by then the sun would have swung around enough to nicely illuminate the tracks and an oncoming train to the north.

The 765 excursions were being worked around the regularly scheduled CVSR Scenic trains, which meant that the 765 and its train would be stashed away north of Brecksville at the CVSR’s Fitzwater maintenance facility until after the southbound Scenic has passed.

I was driving across the Route 82 bridge en route to my first photo location for the 9:30 a.m. trip when I saw a guy with a camera who had parked his car on the bridge.

That prompted me to change my mind and seek to photograph from the bridge for the morning trip. I parked, though, off the bridge a short distance to the west.

That was a good thing because less than 10 minutes before the arrival of the 765 a Brecksville police officer told that railfan that parking wasn’t allowed on the bridge, which has wide shoulders on the both sides.

My decision to photograph the morning trip from the bridge turned out to be a good one. The temperatures were cool and that enhanced the smoke and steam from the 765, a phenomenon that I had observed on 765 trips in past years on cool September mornings.

The challenge of shooting from the bridge is that the tracks are surrounded by trees. This is, after all, a national park and the rangers are not into cutting down trees.

But there is an open area immediately next to the Cuyahoga River and that was my focus.

When I arrived on the bridge there was still some fog hugging the valley. But most of it had burned off by the time the 765 arrived. Still, some lingering fog lay just over the tree tops.

My chase of the morning excursion ended where it began on the Ohio Route 82 bridge. The return trip was pulled by LTEX No. 1420.

My idea was to photograph the 765 as it was going north to the Fitzwater shops. It was a good idea except I didn’t expect the 765 to be putting out this much smoke, which of course trailed behind the train and obscured the view.

I had been joined on the Route 82 bridge by fellow Akron Railroad Club members Edward Ribinskas and Roger Durfee. We decided to drive down the road to Steak ‘n Shake for lunch and to come back after 1 p.m. to be ready for the 765’s getting into position for its 1:30 p.m. trip.

We were ready in plenty of time to capture the ferry move of the 765 from the Fitzwater shops to Brecksville station.

The problem was that during the morning a lot of clouds had formed over the valley and we had to contend with the sun being in and out. It was out when we arrived, but had gone in by the time the 765 showed up.

That wasn’t what we wanted, but we worked with what we had. Then it was back to my car and off to my next photo location. But that is a story for another day.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Thank goodness for that opening along the river. The 765 is chugging its way toward the first station stop.

Thank goodness for that opening along the river. The 765 is chugging its way toward the first station stop.

765 Sunday03

The opportunity to make this image is why I stood atop the Route 82 bridge. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Some residual fog lies just over the treetops as the 765 and its train eases to a stop at the Brecksville station.

Some residual fog lies just over the treetops as the 765 and its train eases to a stop at the Brecksville station.

The train has halted at Brecksville station and begun boarding passengers. That the Cuyahoga River to the left.

The train has halted at Brecksville station and begun boarding passengers. That the Cuyahoga River to the left.

765 Sunday06

LTEX 1420 pulled the excursion train back to Brecksville. It is making the first of two stops to unload passengers.

LTEX 1420 pulled the excursion train back to Brecksville. It is making the first of two stops to unload passengers.

For once we wished that the steam locomotive had been putting out a little bit less smoke. The 765 and its train is making its way back to Fitzwater shops to lay over until the early afternoon trip.

For once we wished that the steam locomotive had been putting out a little bit less smoke. The 765 and its train is making its way back to Fitzwater shops to lay over until the early afternoon trip.

The 765 and its train snakes its way toward Brecksville station.

The 765 and its train snakes its way toward Brecksville station.

If only the Cuyahoga Valley National Park has one less tree this would be a perfect shot.

If only the Cuyahoga Valley National Park has one less tree this would be a perfect shot.

The crowd is lined up and getting its first glimpse of what it had come to see. It's a living, breathing steam locomotive coming at them at the Brecksville station.

The crowd is lined up and getting its first glimpse of what it had come to see. It’s a living, breathing steam locomotive coming at them at the Brecksville station.

Steam Returns to the CVSR This Weekend

September 1, 2014

Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 765 will make a return trip to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad this week by pulling two-hour steam trips from Brecksville station.

The trains will depart Brecksville at 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. on Saturday (Sept. 6) and Sunday (Sept. 7).

Tickets range from $26 to $53, depending on the level of seating chosen. Accommodations include a coach seat in a regular CVSR coach, open-window coach seating, parlor car seating, lounge seating in the Saint Lucie Sound and first class seating in dome car Emerson.

A check of the ticket supply on Sunday afternoon found that plenty of tickets remain available for all trips.

On Saturday, Sept. 13, the 765 will pull two-hour trips out of Akron Northside Station. Trips depart Akron at 11:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Tickets are in the same price range as for the Brecksville trips.

Photo runbys will be staged for all trips departing from Brecksville and Akron.

The final appearance of the 765 on the CVSR will take place on Sunday, Sept. 14. These one-hour trips from Boston Mill station will depart at 10:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets range from $18 to $38, depending on the level of seating.

The open window cars will be Nos. 62 and 90 of the Midwest Railway Preservation Society. These cars are former Nickel Plate coaches.

The 765 is a 2-8-4 Berkshire built in 1944 at Lima Locomotives Works. It is operated by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society.

Tickets for the CVSR steam excursions may be purchased online at the CVSR website at

http://www.cvsr.com/calendar?Page=http%3a%2f%2fpublic.whistletix.com%2fCVSR%2fEvents%2fb8ff0cd3-63ae-4383-b684-4b60f2d7b652%2f0

C&O 1309 Readied for Move to Cumberland, Md.

July 11, 2014

A former Chesapeake & Ohio steam locomotive was loaded onto a flatcar on Thursday in preparation for its move to Cumberland, Md., to join the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

The 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 will be moved next week from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum via a special move on CSX.

Railroad and museum officials prepared the locomotive for the move by removing smaller parts for truck transport.
The Hulcher company used four “sidewinder” machines that are commonly used in railcar repair and maintenance to help load the 1309 onto the heavy-duty flatcars.

The first segment of the loading involved the separation of No. 1309’s front articulated section from its main boiler and cab area.

The workers then disconnected the front drivers from the boiler, using the museum’s B&O-painted GP7. The articulated front end was positioned on an adjacent track, while workers loaded the locomotive’s main boiler and cab area.
A flat car was positioned beneath No. 1309’s boiler, which was suspended by the sidewinders about 7 feet in mid-air. Once spotted, workers lowered the locomotive onto the flat car, resting it on temporary steel bar stock that was installed for transport.

Museum officials estimate that workers will need another two days to secure equipment and make inspections before the 1309 can depart for Cumberland.

CSX donated a general-purpose flat car for the move and has agreed to move the locomotive to Cumberland at no charge. TTX donated a depressed center flat for the move at no cost.

NKP 765 Shows its Stuff During Toledo Layover

June 19, 2014

The steam engine made quite an impression in Toledo this week. Nickel Plagte Road No. 765 spent Tuesday night and Wednesday morning at the Toledo Central Union Terminal as a stopover en route to Owosso, Mich., for a train festival.

The 2-8-4 Berkshire was on public display at what is known today as Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza on Wednesday, following a twilight arrival in the Glass City on Tuesday. The locomotive is on its way to Owosso, Mich., for the Train Expo 2014.

The 765 arrived at about 9:15 p.m. in front of about 75-100 spectators. The 765 was to pick up two Iowa Pacific-owned full-length dome cars in Toledo before resuming its journey to Owosso where it will see excursion train duties this weekend.
The locomotive traveled from its base in New Haven, Ind., on the former Wabash to Butler, Ind., and then took the former New York Central to Toledo.

In Toledo the 765 turned on a wye east of the station. The 765 is slated to pull a series of employee and public excursions in southeast Michigan next month.

Sights Seen En Route to North Carolina

June 9, 2014
In Huntington, W.Va., is the Marshall University painted C30-7, a former L&N and now CSX unit that has been gutted.

In Huntington, W.Va., is the Marshall University painted C30-7, a former L&N and now CSX unit that has been gutted.

While en route to Spencer N.C., for the streamliner event we made some stops along the way to catch some unique railroading. Here is a selection of what we saw.

In the upcoming weeks you’ll get more than enough of the event in Spencer so I’ll pass on posting any of my shots.  All I can say is that it was awesome. This is just some of the en route railfanning that we did for five days.

As for Spencer, I can only say that “I never met an E unit that I didn’t like.”

Photographs by Dan Davidson

The CSX “crazy 8s” locomotive whose escapades inspired the movie “Unstoppable.” It is in a dead line at Huntington awaiting disposition for its retirement.

The CSX “crazy 8s” locomotive whose escapades inspired the movie “Unstoppable.”
It is in a dead line at Huntington awaiting disposition for its retirement.

A C&O 2-6-6-2 H6, built 1949 by Baldwin and on display in Huntington.

A C&O 2-6-6-2 H6, built 1949 by Baldwin and on display in Huntington.

B&O 2-8-2 No. 4559 built in 1924 by ALCO on display in Huntington.

B&O 2-8-2 No. 4559 built in 1924 by ALCO on display in Huntington.

At Clifton Forge, Va., we saw the C&O 614 built by ALCO in 1948.

At Clifton Forge, Va., we saw the C&O 614 built by ALCO in 1948.

Shay locomotives on standby for the next day at Cass.

Shay locomotives on standby for the next day at Cass.

SONY DSC

Chasing that Southern 630 in Kentucky (Part 2)

June 7, 2014

 

Crossing the Cumberland River.

Crossing the Cumberland River.

This is second of two parts of a report on chasing a steam excursion on Norfolk Southern tracks during the weekend of May 31-June 1. The excursions operated on the Rathole line between Lexington, Ky., and Oneida, Tenn., and featured Southern No. 630.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

DSC_0756

At Eubank, Ky.

At Eubank, Ky.

Same as above location.

Same as above location.

Passing the former passenger station at Danville, Ky.

Passing the former passenger station at Danville, Ky.

At Junction City, Ky.

At Junction City, Ky.

Same location as above.

Same location as above.

At Pulaski, Ky.

At Pulaski, Ky.

Same location as above.

Same location as above.

 


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