Putting Their Rails to the Grindstone

A Loram rail grinder train works at Enon Valley, Pa., on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013.

A Loram rail grinder train works at Enon Valley, Pa., on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013.

My friend Adam and I headed toward Pittsburgh on Saturday in what turned out to be a futile attempt to spot the Lackawanna heritage locomotive. Internet reports had it at Conway Yard so we gambled that it might be put on a westbound train taking either the Fort Wayne or Youngstown lines. It wasn’t.

We never saw the Lackawanna unit or any other heritage unit all day despite making three passes along the east side of the yard.

But we did encounter this Loram rail grinder train at Enon Valley, Pa. We didn’t know until it showed up what it was. We had heard something trip the detector at East Palestine, Ohio, on Track 1. It had to be an eastbound because we’d been sitting for an hour to 45 minutes and not seen anything go west.

We were intrigued by the defect detector saying at the end of the transmission, “your train is too slow.” Our initial thought was that it might be a dimensional train.

Rail grinder trains are not rare and they probably make for more dramatic photos at night. Yet this was my first opportunity to photograph one in action.

In all of the photographs posted here, the train is easing eastward. All images are presented in sequence in which they were made.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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