A while back after the conclusion of a chase of a train on the former Bessemer & Lake Erie, my friend Adam and I drove over to Meadville, Pennsylvania.
Our intent was to find Alco locomotives on the Western New York & Pennsylvania, which we did, but I also found myself chasing ghosts of the Erie Railroad.
Meadville was a big Erie town and some passenger trains would set out and drop off cars here, including sleepers, lounges and diners. This practice continued into the Erie Lackawanna era.
The Erie also had a major yard in Meadville, which is used today by the WNY&P. The yard is not hard to find and neither were the Alcos.
We were there on a Saturday of a long holiday weekend, so the Alcos were probably spending the weekend waiting until being recalled for service on Tuesday.
There didn’t seem to be any activity in the WNY&P yard. We got our photos and left.
I then spotted what turned out to be a museum display devoted to the Erie and EL.
The display is maintained by the French Creek Valley Railroad Historical Society and features an Alco S2, a caboose in EL markings and a boxcar, among other artifacts.
The S2 was in the process of being restored to its Erie livery and it turned out that it used to be owned by the Cleveland Illuminating Company and also spent time on the Ashtabula, Carson & Jefferson.
I may have seen No. 518 reposing on the AC&Y and maybe photographed it when it was still in its CEI markings.
So, it turned out, we found more Alcos than we expected in Meadville.
We then turned our attention to our other reason for venturing to Meadville, which was to check out the Voodoo Brewery and Brew Pub, which was quite good.
Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders