Posts Tagged ‘F units’

Once Upon a Time on the B&O near Warwick Tower

January 11, 2023

Finding an old negative/slide/digital image you have forgotten you had taken can bring back many wonderful memories.

It is one of the purest forms of photographic time travel.

The image above was made some time between 1967-1970 in Clinton. Chesapeake & Ohio F7A No. 7057 and its Baltimore & Ohio coal train are northbound near Warwick Tower where the train can head west to go to Lorain (diverging at Sterling) or continue west to Willard.

On the other hand, it could go east to Akron and beyond to Lake Erie.

The double track is out of the ordinary since one track belongs to the Pennsylvania Railroad/Penn Central and the other to the B&O. But they share trackage with one line for all southbound trains of both lines and the other track for all northbound trains of both lines. This sharing runs from Warwick Tower south to Massillon.

It’s likely this coal train originated in the B&O yard in Holloway, Ohio.

If you look toward the back of the train, you see it is crossing Chippewa Creek on one of two bridges. The pole lines are still in place, and back-to-back F units make this scene even better.

Today one of the lines has been ripped out while the other is used by RJ Corman.

There is only one bridge, no pole lines, and usually no more than one train north and south a day instead of having so many long trains that Canal Fulton, Ohio (A few miles south) needed a firehouse on each side of the tracks.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Yet They Were F Units

November 18, 2022

During the early 2000s the Ohio Central acquired a pair of F7A cab units that it used in excursion train service.

Both units were rated at 1,500 horsepower and came to the OC from the Gettysburg Railroad. Each had been built for the Milwaukee Road, although not in the same year. No. 1000 was built in 1951 while No. 1001 rolled off the assembly line in 1950.

They were painted a rust red color and carried “Ohio Central System” gold lettering on their flanks.

Neither unit received an Ohio Central livery and their stay at the railroad would be relatively brief. By early 2007 they had moved on to the Aberdeen, Carolina & Western in North Carolina.

I never thought the scheme the 1000 and 1001 had during their time on the Ohio Central was all that attractive. But they were F units and in the early 2000s there weren’t many of those still around outside of museums.

In the photograph above, the pair is seen on one end of an excursion train that originated in Zanesville and ran to New Lexington on Oct. 14, 2001.

The train traveled the Ohio Southern Railroad and the excursion ran shortly after the route had been reopened following years of being mothballed.

The former Pennsylvania Railroad branch had been rehabilitated in a $12 million project largely funded by the State of Ohio, which had purchased the line in the early 1980s.

It was mostly cloudy on the day of the excursion with occasional peeks of sunshine. One of those came as the train was getting into position in Zanesville for boarding.

This would be the only time that I photographed Ohio Central operations in Zanesville. The 1000 and 1001 would eventually be supplanted by a pair of F9A units that were painted in a striking livery that was reminiscent of the PRR pinstripe livery of the 1950s. But that is another story for another day.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

EL Monday: F3 and an F7

July 26, 2021

An F3A, F3B, F7B set of Erie Lackawanna F units is westbound in Kent in the late 1960s/early 1970s. The train also has an EL boxcar right behind the power. That tie at the end of the stub track on the left might not stop a unit but it will knock it off the rails.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

F Unit to be Used by Indiana Tourist Railroad

April 7, 2021

FP9 locomotives used by an Illinois short line railroad have been sold to two different buyers, including a California locomotive dealer that will use one of them on an Indiana tourist railroad.

Keokuk Junction Railway operated the former Canadian National A-B-A set for several years, making the western Illinois railroad a popular destination for photographers.

FPA No. 1752 has been sold to Dieselmotive Company of Turlock, California, which plans to use it on the Ohio River Scenic Railway in Tell City, Indiana. The Ohio River Scenic uses 22 miles of the Hoosier Southern Railroad.

It was to move via BNSF from Keokuk, Iowa, to North St. Louis and thence over Norfolk Southern to Indiana.

Dieselmotive vice president Noah McCann said the 1752 will remain in its current livery.

“One of my sayings is paint doesn’t pull freight,” McCann said. “The scheme still looks very presentable.’’

He also said the unit is in good mechanical condition. It last operated on June 5, 2019, and has since been stored in LaHarpe, Illinois.

The other two former Keokuk Junction F units, FP9A No. 1750 and F9B No.1761, will repainted into CN colors by new owner Gary Southgate, a farmer in Battleford, Saskatchewan.

 “I have been trying to collect equipment to match the look of the Super Continental Southgate said in reference to a CN passenger train that operated between from 1954 and the late 1970s,

Southgate already owns two FP9s that he keeps at the Alberta Railway Museum.

Elephant Style in Cleveland

March 26, 2021

There is something about seeing locomotives lined up elephant style, particularly if they are F units. Penn Central Nos. 1712, 1732, and 1716 are at Collinwood Yard in Cleveland on Sep. 15, 1974.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

B&O F7A in Akron

October 29, 2020

Baltimore & Ohio F7A No. 4590 along with an F7B is shown in Akron in the late 1960s/early 1970s. The location appears to be the mainline above the B&O shops.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Pastoral Scene

October 23, 2020

We’re back today on the Wellsville, Addison & Galeton, a former Pennsylvania short line railroad that operated over one-time Baltimore & Ohio track. The road was known for its F units and two of them, 2200 and 2300, are shown leading a short freight through Sabinsville, Pennsylvania, on July 26, 1973. The line shut down in late 1979.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Just Another Penn Central F Unit

June 25, 2020

If you can’t get enough of those F units from the camera of Bob Farkas, we’ve got another one for you today. Shown is Penn Central F7A No. 1683 in Cleveland on Sept. 15, 1974. It began life as New York Central 1683. It would later be renumbered by Conrail as 1798 in order to clear a roster spot for a GP15.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Pennsylvania Short Line Chase

June 9, 2020

The late Mike Ondecker and I were chasing this train and this is a grab shot. Wellsville Addison & Galeton F7A 2300 and 2200 are on a short freight in Westfield, Pennsylvania on July 26, 1973. The railroad was known as “the sole leather line” due to its serving many tanneries.

The WAG operated on former Baltimore & Ohio branch line trackage in Pennsylvania and New York state. Its covered wagons were colorful and provded to be its largest motive power. It ceased operations in the late 1970s.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Dialing Up Another Erie Lackawanna Monday

March 2, 2020

Courtesy of the wayback machine we’ve been transported back a few decades to another time when the Erie Lackawanna was still a vibrant railroad.

In the top image, a westbound EL freight is in Akron in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Notice the interesting signal mast.

In the next image, EL Alco C424 No. 2408 is in the yard in Kent in the late 1960s. Trailing in the motive power consist is GE U25B No. 2515.

Below that we see four EL E8A locomotives in Kent in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

Finally in the bottom image the photographer is standing beneath the overhand of the Kent passenger station to capture an eastbound train.

Photographs by Robert Farkas