Long Way From Iowa

The not-so-way-back machine has landed us in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, on July 11, 2010, to check out an unusual visitor to the suburb of Pittsburgh.

The Iowa Interstate has sent a two-car business train to Oakmont pulled by GP38-2 No. 709. The train was in town for the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s U.S. Open that was being held at the Oakmont Country Club. The parent company of IAIS is Railroad Development Corporation, which is based in Pittsburgh and may have been a corporate sponsor of the tournament.

No. 709 is no stranger to Pittsburgh. It was built in June 1972 for Penn Central, so it probably worked and passed through the Steel City many times in its PC and, later, Conrail career.

I made this image on the last day of the tournament, a Sunday. That day began with my meeting up with Roger Durfee. Before heading to Pittsburgh to photograph this train, we caught two Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad trains at Akron Northside Station while standing on the All-American Bridge, a.k.a. the Y bridge.

We also got a Wheeling & Lake Erie train in Akron and a westbound Norfolk Southern westbound intermodal train near Columbiana on the Fort Wayne Line. So it was a busy day.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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