Yes, They Do Run Trains on the Old Y&S


I had training in Pittsburgh last week and on my way home I a train on the Youngstown & Southern local on the south end of the line.

Trains run on this line during the week but rarely on weekends.  Usually weekends are the only time I can railfan so this results in photos of parked equipment.

This week was different and I was able to get a moving train at some scenic locations I have previously scouted.

The Youngstown Southeastern as it’s known currently is like a cat with nine lives.  Like on most railroads in the rust belt, traffic has declined and the railroad closed in the early 1990s.  It was then resurrected and shut down several more times.

Around 2000, garbage hauled to landfills caused a traffic boom.  Sadly, this did not last as the landfills eventually closed.

Then fracking,  a new way to drill for oil, created a new boom.  Loads of pipe are hauled by rail to a staging facility at Darlington Pa.

I caught the local on its return trip.  It is a scenic branchline with much of the line on cinder ballast and first generation diesel power it’s kind of like a time machine.

I felt a little like O. Winston Link must have when he discovered the N&W Abingdon branch in the late 1950s.  True, there is no longer steam but No. 18 tried its best to smoke like one.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon







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2 Responses to “Yes, They Do Run Trains on the Old Y&S”

  1. James Says:

    Hi Todd,
    I love surprises and nice photos by the way!

  2. Frederick Mentzer Says:

    I worked on the Y&S railroad in the 1940’s as a gandy dancer, but all my photos are ruined over the years

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