Posts Tagged ‘Clinchfield F7 No. 800’

The Best of the Rest of the Lima Limited

November 10, 2019

A while back I posted a story about a chase of an excursion train that I made between Springfield and Lima, Ohio, that was led northbound by a former Clinchfield F unit.

Here are two more images from that chase that didn’t make it into the original post.

In the top image the Clinchfield unit is trailing as the train heads southbound to return to Springfield.

The image was made at Clay Road south of St. Johns, Ohio.

In the bottom image the consist passes through a stand of color on each side of the former Detroit, Toledo & Ironton tracks at Santa Fe-New Knoxville Road north of Quincy, Ohio.

The excursion was sponsored by The Ohio Rail Experience and billed as a fall foliage special.

2 Heritage Units, a Passenger Train and Fall Foliage

November 2, 2019

It’s not often that you get to see two heritage units operating on the same train but that was the attraction offered in October by The Ohio Rail Experience.

Part of the Cincinnati Scenic Railway, the excursion operator ran weekend excursions with its own former Nickel Plate Road GP30 No. 901 and the visiting Clinchfield Railroad No. 800.

Both units wear their original liveries.

The 800 was built for the Clinchfield in 1948 as an F3A but later rebuilt to F7 specifications that included newer traction motors.

Schedule conflicts kept me from chasing any of the excursion trains until the final weekend of operation, when the Lima Limited operated from Springfield to Lima and return over tracks of the former Detroit, Toledo & Ironton.

The line is now owned by Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary Indiana & Ohio.

I chased the Lima Limited with well-known railroad photographer David Oroszi of Dayton.

I had been emailing Dave about coming over to his house to help him identify photographs from the collection of the late Richard Jacobs, who during the latter years of his life had been active in the Akron Railroad Club and the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society.

In one of those email I mentioned my plans to chase the train on Sunday and asked him for suggestions as to where to photograph it. I am not familiar with the former DT&I.

Dave said he planned to chase the train on Saturday and Sunday and I could ride along with him on Sunday.

Of course I jumped at that opportunity. Not only does Dave know the former DT&I well, but he also makes a great tour guide.

As we drove through western Ohio, he pointed out where various rail lines used to run and had once intersected. He also showed me around Lima, a city I’ve never visited aside from passing through in the 1980s aboard Amtrak.

We started the chase in Snyder Park in Springfield where the Lima Limited was scheduled to depart at 9 a.m.

The cloudy skies turned out to be a good thing. The Clinchfield unit was, to the displeasure of some railfan photographers, on the north end of the train.

Had it not been for the clouds many of the locations where we caught the train would have been backlighted

That included Snyder Park, which boasted some of the best fall foliage we would see during our chase.

Aside from being familiar with the ex-DT&I Dave also had some knowledge of where there was spot color to be had based on what he had observed on Saturday.

Dave had a general plan as to where he wanted to go and how to get there.

His plan worked out as envisioned although we didn’t expect to spend time in two places clearing limbs from the rails from trees that been blown down during Saturday’s storm.

The excursion train had to make a few unexpected stops to remove trees from the rails and as a result arrived in Lima more than an hour behind its noon scheduled arrival time.

It also had to wait on two eastbounds in Quincy where the I&O crosses the CSX Indianapolis Line.

We photographed the Q348 crossing over in Quincy but didn’t get the Q008.

By then we had gotten into position at the north end of the high bridge over the Great Miami River on the ex-DT&I.

In Lima we had lunch with a couple of other railfans at local chain Kewpee Hamburgers, which legend has it was the inspiration for Wendy’s. Like Wendy’s, Kewpee has square shaped burgers.

We heard a couple of CSX trains in Lima on the former Baltimore & Ohio north-south mainline and saw a couple more but were not in position to get any photographs.

We did photograph the southbound Q509 at Troy on the way back to Dave’s house after finishing chasing the excursion train.

The weather forecast had called for sunny skies by 2 p.m. and that turned out to be the case.

Much of our emphasis on the southbound chase was getting the NKP GP30, but we photographed the Clinchfield unit at times, particularly when the tracks were oriented in a northwest-southeast alignment.

Unlike the morning chase, the afternoon chase was a little more freelance, stopping in impromptu fashion to catch the train.

None of the afternoon photo locations had been places we stopped at earlier in the day.

We also didn’t get as much fall color in the afternoon as we had in the morning.

Reportedly, the Cincinnati Scenic Railway’s lease on Clinchfield No. 800 expired at the conclusion of the last excursion and the F unit will be returning to its home at the Southern Appalachian Railway Museum.

It probably won’t sit there indefinitely but who knows when it might get back to Ohio.

The consist of the Lima Limited was a mish mash of colors, liveries and equipment types with two of the cars having a Cleveland connection.

They were the two NKP open-window coaches owned by the Cleveland-based Midwest Railway Preservation Society.

This was one of my favorite images of the day. The Lima Limited is leaving behind Snyder Park in Springfield.

What a nice frame this colorful branch made as the Lima Limited got underway north out of Snyder Park in Springfield.

We cleared branches from the rails at this site west of Tremont City shortly before the excursion train showed up.

A nice stand of fall foliage was to be had along Dump Road north of St. Paris.

On the high bridge over the Great Miami River in Quincy.

Finding color at the Geyer Road crossing south of St. Johns.

Crossing River Road between Uniopolis and Lima.

Crossing the Auglaize River south of Lima on the northbound trip.

Laying over at Lincoln Park in Lima.

Trying to imitate a steam locomotive leaving a city that built plenty of them over the years. The train is approaching East Kibby Street in Lima.

Coming at you just south of Lima at Hume Road.

An expansive view of the entire train across a field north of Uniopolis, Ohio.

A bit of Cleveland in western Ohio was the two NKP coaches owned by the Midwest Railway Preservation Society. They are shown crossing Huffman Creek in Uniopolis.

Crossing Geyer Road north of Geyer, Ohio.

Fall color wasn’t as plentiful on the return trip at our photo locations but was still out there. The image was made at Santa Fe-New Knoxville Road.

About to cross the CSX Indianapolis Line in Quincy.

Passing a former DT&I depot and grain bins in Rosewood.

Clinchfield F7 to Pull Ohio Excursion Trains

August 31, 2019

A restored former Clinchfield F7 locomotive will be featured on excursions being operated in Ohio later this year by the Ohio Rail Experience.

No. 800, a gray and yellow locomotive restored to its original appearance in 2018 for CSX’s Santa Train, is owned by the Southern Appalachian Railway Museum.

Excursions will depart during October from Lima, Springfield, Urbana, Leipsic, and South Charleston.

The excursions are operated by the Cincinnati Scenic Railway, a 501c3 Non Profit based in Cincinnati.

Money raised by the trips is used to preserve historic rail equipment. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.ohiorailexperience.com

No. 800 most recently spent time pulling tourist trains in Florida and helped move Chesapeake & Ohio 2-8-4 No. 2716 to a new home in Kentucky for restoration.