Posts Tagged ‘E8A locomotives’

When Southern 6901 Was Still Active

December 23, 2015


Thanks for posting your blog entry on Southern 6901 as she is now. Mike Ondecker and I caught the Southern 6901 in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 6, 1974. That was 41 years ago! Even after 41 years, she still looks great.

Photograph by Robert Farkas


Touch of the Southern Crescent in Pennsylvania

December 23, 2015

Southern E unit 1-x

My friend Adam Barr and I had just finished chasing the first trip of the Everett Railroad’s steam-powered holiday train and were heading for lunch at a Sheetz in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania.

As we crossed the Pennsylvania Route 36 bridge over the tracks I spotted something green and suggested that we go check it out.

Imagine my surprise to see a Southern Railway passenger locomotive sitting on a siding still wearing its green and white livery.

So much for getting lunch.

We parked and got out to investigate. The locomotive had been dropped off earlier in the day by a Norfolk Southern local.

It was in clear view from South Juniata Street in a residential neighborhood.

E8A No. 6901 is owned by the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, Georgia.

The paint has faded and chipped, but otherwise it looks just as it did in the final days of service when it pulled the Southern Crescent between Washington, D.C., and New Orleans.

The Southern Crescent was one of the last non-Amtrak intercity trains in America.

The Southern elected not to join Amtrak in 1971 but on Feb. 1, 1979, conveyed the Southern Crescent to Amtrak, which today operates it between New York and New Orleans as the Crescent.

No. 6901 was built in September 1951 as Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific No. 2924.

The Georgia museum’s website says No. 6901 was still actively pulling the Southern Crescent just before the Amtrak takeover.

The museum said on its Facebook page that the original plan for the 6901 was to send it to the NS Shaffer’s Crossing shops in Roanoke, Virginia, for a mechanical evaluation with the goal of restoring the locomotive to operating condition.

It would be cosmetically restored in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Somewhere along the way the plans changed. The locomotive wound up being sent by NS to Pennsylvania and a local man we spoke with said it had sat for a few days in a yard in nearby Altoona before making it way to Hollidaysburg.

The man said he understood that the 6901 will have asbestos removed from it by a company in Hollidaysburg.

I’ve ridden Amtrak’s Crescent once, but never saw the train when it was being operated by the Southern.

Seeing No. 6901 was like taking a trip back in time to the 1970s when the Southern won high marks from passengers for its superb service.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Southern E unit 2-x

Southern E unit 3-x

Southern E unit 4-x

It’s Been a Good Week for Heritage Units

August 1, 2014





It has been a good week for Norfolk Southern heritage units with several in and around the Cleveland area.

I elected to skip the Nickel Plate Road unit on a stone train last Sunday due to the fact that the Wheeling & Lake Erie depot in Kent was being moved that same morning. That trumped an H unit in my book.

There were back-to-back trains with H unit power early in the week. These included the Southern unit leading an oil can train followed by a double H set on empty hoppers, both seen at Hudson.

On Wednesday the Penn Central heritage locomotive led an oil train that is seen here at Atwater. The GoRail also paid a visit and the original NS unit was due through on Thursday night.

Although not an NS heritage unit, this ex-Pennsylvania Railroad E8A could be called heritage. It’s nothing special as far as photos go, but I just wanted something on a piece of track that doesn’t see much action. That’s the Interstate 480 Valley View bridge in the background.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

Languishing E Units to Get New Life in Cleveland

July 25, 2014
The lineup of all four Es and four cars at Hazel Street in Akron.

The lineup of all four Es and four cars at Hazel Street in Akron.

Four E8 units that have languished in Minerva, Ohio, are finally moving on to a new home at the West Third Street roundhouse in Cleveland that is operated by the Midwest Railway Preservation Society in Cleveland.

The Wheeling & Lake Erie had picked them up and moved them to Akron where they were placed on the W&LE/Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad interchange track near Hazel Street.

Along with the four Es were four passenger cars, two of which had seen circus train service with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

I got lucky with having the No. 61 head out as it is the best looking of the group. The 61 and 62 are former Pennsylvania Railroad units while the 60 and the 4258 are former Illinois Central. (4023 and 4033).

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

Former MARC 60 is the last one to actually see any service.

Former MARC 60 is the last one to actually see any service.

Nose to nose 60 and 62.

Nose to nose 60 and 62.

Former NJDOT 4258 was to be MARC 63 but was never renumbered or used.

Former NJDOT 4258 was to be MARC 63 but was never renumbered or used.

CTVX 61 nose greeting the morning sun. Hopefully, a new day will dawn for these old veterans.

CTVX 61 nose greeting the morning sun. Hopefully, a new day will dawn for these old veterans.

A badly faded circus logo.

A badly faded circus logo.

CTVX 461, one of the circus cars, ex New Haven maybe?

CTVX 461, one of the circus cars, ex New Haven maybe?

Baggage car, heritage unknown, CTVX 1357.

Baggage car, heritage unknown, CTVX 1357.

CTVX 5704. You can see the "United States Mail" and "Storage car" lettering on this ex Union Pacific car.

CTVX 5704. You can see the “United States Mail” and “Storage car” lettering on this ex Union Pacific car.


Bridging the Motive Power Generation Gap

May 27, 2012

It is almost a requirement that if you are in Bellevue photographing trains that you must visit the streamlined passenger locomotive sitting at the far north end of the property of the Mad River & NKP Museum.

Rusting away on a spur track is former New York Central E8A No. 4070, still wearing its Penn Central markings as No. 4321.

Built in June 1953, the 4070 pulled intercity passenger trains for two decades until Penn Central placed it in commuter service in New York City. New Jersey Transit also briefly operated the locomotive.

For a while, the locomotive sat in Logansport, Ind., before being moved to Bellevue in 1996 on the rear of a Norfolk Southern freight train.

On Friday (May 25), while in Bellevue with Ed Ribinskas and Jeff Troutman, I caught the NS 184 with a CN SD70M-2 in the lead passing the PC 4321 on the adjacent NS Toledo District.

The two locomotives were a few hundred feet apart, but the distance was far wider than that in several other respects.

CN 8885 is an SD70M-2 that is the DC traction version of the SD70Ace. Production of the SD70M-2 began in 2005 and CN has 190 of these units on its roster.

The SD70M-2 prime mover is rated at 4,300 horsepower and the unit has all of the bells and whistles that you would expect a modern locomotive to have.

Both locomotives are EMD products, but the similarities end there.

Still, for one moment in time on a windy Friday afternoon, they bridged the gap of several motive power generations.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders