Archive for the ‘Railroading as it Once Was’ Category

All Gone in Sterling Now

July 19, 2017

Here’s another piece of Northeast Ohio history. Baltimore & Ohio 7593 and 4046 lead an eastbound train through Sterling in November 1981. The tower, signal and pole line are all gone now.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

 

Nickel Plate Road 759 at Conneaut

July 17, 2017

Before Nickel Plate Road 765 was restored, there was NKP 759. Here NKP 759 is heading eastbound over the Norfolk & Western (ex-NKP) trestle in Conneaut on Sept. 8, 1968. This was her first excursion after rebuilding in 1968.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

When Varnish Was Common in Massillon

July 14, 2017

Penn Central was still running passenger trains through Massillon, Ohio, in the late 1960s. Here is the westbound mid-afternoon Fort Pitt with PC 4292 on the point racing through the super-elevated curve, which actually comes through the bridge over the Tuscarawas River.

I believe it was October 1969 and the red ā€œPā€/white ā€œ”Cā€ had only been painted on a handful of E units, making this a rarer photo.

Today a Norfolk Southern office car special sometimes gives a similar scene, but it is hard to imagine even in the late 1960s passenger trains such as this were somewhat common on this line.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Railroading as it Once Was: Another Form of Type of Blue Locomotive in the 1970s Northeast

February 22, 2017

bm-geep

You’re looking at an October 1978 view of the sanding facility at Mechanicville, New York. Boston & Maine No. 1734 rests under this wooden structure that had to make the workers nervous to climb on. This would be a great modelling project for someone into that aspect of the hobby. Details abound including that MU hose hung on the side of the building and the coating of sand dust on the perch above the unit.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Black & White Image for a Black & White Railroad

February 15, 2017

penn-central-in-bw

Penn Central locomotives were not known for their flashy livery. They had a minimalist black and white appearance with the PC herald affixed to the nose and the flanks.

Yet many photographers would love to be able to go back in time to see Penn Central again, if for one day.

We can’t do that, but we do have multiple images from the Penn Central era to remind us of another time.

PC F7A No. 1865 leads a train through Akron over tracks that have received minimal maintenance in recent years. The unit was built in October 1952 for the New York Central.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Delaware & Hudson Also Was a Colorful Railroad in the 1970s

February 9, 2017

dh-in-early-conrail-era

While most know of the colorful early years of Conrail, the Delaware & Hudson wasn’t to be ignored either in the years after April 1, 1976.

The government allowed the D&H to expand as “competition” to the new Conrail and some of the newest power the Reading and the Lehigh Valley had was transferred to the D&H to help with their newly expanded territory.

In September 1976 a meet occurred on the Penn Division under the former Erie Starrucca viaduct in Lanesboro, Pennsylvania.

While this beautiful stone viaduct still stands and sees the occasional New York, Susquehanna & Western train, the D&H tracks below are all gone.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as It Once Was: Just Another Day at RU Tower in Sterling on the Erie Lackawanna

January 25, 2017

el-3602

It’s just another normal hot August 1975 afternoon in Sterling. The Erie Lackawanna was doing its normal thing, too, as this eastbound train blasts past RU tower making a run for Wadsworth hill. In a few short miles it would be down to a crawl as gravity worked its magic.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Freshly Painted

January 18, 2017

freshly-painted-conrail

Two fresh-painted helpers have assisted what looks like CAPI up the mountain from Altoona to Cresson, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 2, 1998. Somehow I managed a quick spot of sun on them in Cresson. In less than a year Conrail would be gone with this section becoming property of NS.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: CR Rarity

January 11, 2017
lv-to-cr
Certainly one of the rarer units on Conrail, this former Lehigh Valley Alco RS-3 with a high short hood rests at the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, engine service facility in October 1977. Built for the Pennsylvania Railroad with a steam generator in that tall hood, it went to the LV as its 211. It would be the only unit of its kind on both the LV and CR roster, and would even retain this car body after it’s conversion in the RS-3 mod program. I believe this unit survives today, although with an EMD prime mover.
Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Erie Lackawanna Winter View in Scranton Felt Like a Railroad

January 5, 2017
el-units-in-pennsylvania
Even on a dull day a fresh-painted Erie Lackawanna unit stood out. This is Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the winter of 1975. Typical of a locomotive service area back then, oil and sand were all over. White snow didn’t stay white very long. Goodies abound with not only the shiny Geep but other GP-7s, an Alco C-425, and transfer caboose T-14. Places like this just reeked railroad with the sights, sounds, and smells of an everyday working railroad. I feel blessed to have been able to visit places like this on the EL back then, to experience the “real deal.”

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee