Posts Tagged ‘EMD F units’

Clinchfield F Unit to Lead Santa Train

November 7, 2017

For the 75th running of the Santa Train over the former Clinchfield Railroad, CSX has repainted an F unit in Clinchfield markings and its one-time colors of yellow and gray.

The repainting of Clinchfield F3A No. 800 was done at the CSX locomotive shops in Huntington, West Virginia, and it will lead the train on Nov. 18 on a journey from Shelby, Kentucky, to Kingsport, Tennessee.

No. 800 was built by EMD in 1948 and CSX shop crews had to do some research to determine what it looked like when it rolled off the factory floor.

The unit has pulled Clinchfield Santa trains before, starting in 1979. Over the years it has operated in Seaboard System and CSX liveries. F units last pulled the Clinchfield Santa trains in 1989.

Some railroad historians describe No. 800 as an F5 because it was a transitional model to the F7. When built, No. 800 was classified as a Phase V F3A.

After working in MARC commuter service, No. 800 was retired serviceable in 1993 as No. 116.

The locomotive was donated to the C&O Historical Society, which displayed it in Clifton Forge, Virginia.

Working with No. 800 on this year’s Santa Train will be former Clinchfield No. 3632, a former Seaboard Coast Line SD45 repainted into Clinchfield markings.


Two for One

December 1, 2016



It is early in the Penn Central era (1968 or 1969), and PC 1665 (Notice the red “P” and white “C”) and New York Central 1666 are leading a northbound PC freight heading to Hudson. Is this an image of the ex-Erie Lackawanna Akron passenger station when it was still in use or a distant image of two F’s? You be the judge.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

Railroading as it Once Was: Waiting in the Weeds in Scranton to be Rescued, Sold or Scrapped

September 16, 2016

EL 7091

An October 1976 trip to Scranton, Pennsylvania, yielded this photo of some stored former Erie Lackawanna F units.

Although the new Conrail was only a few months old, many former EL units had already been renumbered.

Unused junkers tucked away on some weed-infested siding didn’t rate the attention active units did, so here they sat still “untouched.”

Some of these units would get put back into service and renumbered into the Conrail system, but from what I can see the 7091 got shipped off to Altoona in ‘77 and never ran again.

She more than likely went to the scrapper proudly carrying the EL diamond on her nose.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Veteran Pennsy F Units Living Out Their Final Years on Conrail

March 17, 2016

F Unit in Collinwood

The scene is Collinwood Yard in Cleveland in the early years of Conrail where two crew members are shuffling a pair of FP-7 locomotives.

The units were built for the Pennsylvania Railroad but are wearing, in part, their Penn Central look, which has been modified to give it a minimalist Conrail identify.

They have just arrived with a train from Columbus and are now backing into the engine service area as a yard job is already working their train in the background.

It’s July 1977 and these two old PRR veterans won’t be around much longer.

F units such as these were a common sight in the 1970s in Cleveland and Akron, often being assigned to the job that ran between Motor Yard in Macedonia and South Akron Yard.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Saving a ‘Condemned’ Image from Oblivion

January 30, 2015




It was a cloudy day on June 17, 1977, just before the rain came. I was in Bangor, Maine, to photograph the Bangor & Aroostook.

The top image is a scan of the original slide. It was condemned to never be shown. BAR 42 (an EMD F-3A) looked as grubby as the day surrounding it.

In the middle image, I experimented by using Adobe Lightroom 5 to make the image black and white.

I clicked on the “Black and White” treatment under Development “Basic.” After trying to get a good black and white image, I edited it in Photoshop Elements 11 to tweak it and size it for the Akron Railroad Club blog. I liked what I saw.

Thankfully, I had not sized the original image in Photoshop Elements 11, so I went back to Lightroom 5 to get the image.

Because the image was now black and white and the original was from a color slide, I took the original image and went to “Basic” treatment “Color” and clicked it.

To my surprise, making the image look good in black and white had given me a good color image also (bottom image).

The new color image isn’t perfect, but it certainly looks a lot better than the original slide.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas