Posts Tagged ‘Fairbanks Morse switchers’

A Portal Into My Past

August 18, 2022

It is July 3, 1972, in Brewster. I had just purchased my first single lens reflex camera, a Nikormat by Nikon, and was taking my first few rolls of Agfachrome slide film. In less than a year, I would move on to Kodachrome.

Back then a release was easy to get, and Brewster was filled with locomotives built by Fairbanks-Morse, Alco and the Electro Motive Division of General Motors.

I took this slide and have looked at it perhaps two or three times since 1972. 

A few days ago, I discovered this slide in one of my boxes. Now I can appreciate the scene. It is not a far away FM H12-44 image as much as a portal into my past.

I’m looking east. The big building in the background is the Norfolk & Western office building which was built by the original Wheeling & Lake Erie and is now used as the main offices of the modern W&LE.

As long as I did not cross tracks, go into the shops, or wander into the yard, I was free to photograph where I wanted. I even had permission to cross tracks to photograph in the engine facility.

Such freedom is almost unheard of now. I can truly say that I have been blessed.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Gather Around the Turntable

February 6, 2022

If locomotives could talk, what would they talk about? The hard pulls they had to make? The engineers who abused them? Their favorite engineers? The places they’ve seen? The close calls at grade crossings?

They would probably discuss all of that and more.

This image was made in late 1968 or early 1969 at the Norfolk & Western engine facility in Akron.

There is still a mix of N&W and Akron, Canton & Youngstown locomotives to be seen, including three Alco switchers, two Fairbanks-Morse road switchers, and an EMD geep.

All too soon the FM’s would go on to other locations and any AC&Y lettered locomotives would be re-lettered or repainted into an N&W identity.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Fairbanks-Morse Two for Tuesday

February 1, 2022

It might have been a grubby day in Brewster in early 1973, but the opportunity to photograph a Fairbanks Morse locomotive was not one to be missed. Norfolk & Western  H-12-44 No. 2140 is shown in the top photograph working in Brewster Yard. The locomotive was built for the Nickel Plate Road in March 1957.

In the bottom image, No. 2149 is also shown in Brewster. Built for the NKP in April 1948, this image was made in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Where Was My Pole Filter?

December 30, 2020

In 1969 when I photographed Penn Central No. 8305, a Fairbanks-More H12-44, was still wearing New York Central paint as it sat in the scrap line in East Altoona, Pennsylvania. Sadly I had left my “pole” filter at home.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Nickel Plate Road Heritage in Brewster

October 11, 2020

Fairbanks-Mores H12-44 may have been a Norfolk & Western unit when it was photographed in Brewster in the late 1960s but it began life as Nickel Plate Road No. 140.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Two for Tuesday: N&W Pair in Brewster

September 8, 2020

Norfolk & Western EMD SW8 2107 and Fairbanks-Morse H12-44 2138 work inĀ  Brewster in September 1972. To their right are Alco road switchers while just barely seen are EMD road switchers on the left.

The 2107 and 2138 are both former Nickel Plate Road locomotives.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Going Back in Time in Brewster

July 8, 2020

The wayback machine has landed us in Brewster in December 1972. We’re looking at a Fairbanks Morse H-12-44 that was built for the Nickel Plate Road in April 1958. By the time this image was made it had moved onto the Norfolk & Western roster.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Fairbanks-Morse Switchers in Brewster

March 25, 2020

We’re back in Brewster again during the days when it was the focal point of Norfolk & Western operations on the original Wheeling & Lake Erie system.

In the top image is a Fairbanks-Morse H12-44 that was originally built for the Nickel Plate Road. It is shown in 1966 or 1967.

The remaining images were made on July 3, 1972 and show three other ex-NKP FM switchers although they’ve been given N&W markings.

Nos. 2145 and 2144 are shown in Brewster in the dead line while No. 2139 still appears to be in active service at the engine facility.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Brewster in the 1960s

February 17, 2020

Brewster is best known today as the headquarters of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad, a role that it also played for the original Wheeling before it was acquired by the Nickel Plate Road in 1949.

The NKP itself was acquired by Norfolk & Western in 1964. Throughout the ownership changes Brewster continued to serve its role as locomotive service facility for the railroads that served it.

In this post we present a selection of images made in Brewster between 1966 and 1967, many of them made from the same roll of black and white film.

It was an interesting time because of the variety of motive power that passed through Brewster.

The locomotives may have been lettered for N&W, but many of them had been acquired by such predecessor railroads as the NKP and the Wabash, which the N&W also purchased in 1964.

The top photograph is an example of that. N&W (ex-Wabash) F7A Nos.,3697, 3717, and 3712 sit outside the shops.

In the first image below, a cut of diesels are about to leave to hook onto their train. Shown are N&W 3901 (Ex-Wabash Alco C424), N&W 1005 (Alco C425), and N&W 2414 (Ex-NKP GP7).

Next up is N&W 2149, a former NKP Fairbanks-Morse H-12-44. FM motive power was a common site in the 1960s.

Alco S4 switcher No. 2066 is shown basking in the sun between assignments. This is another former NKP locomotive.

Around the turntable is a cluster of motive power that includes N&W 125 in full NKP paint (FM H10-44), N&W 2148 (Ex-NKP FM H12-44), N&W 2333 (Ex-NKP Alco RSD12), N&W 2539 (Ex-NKP Alco RS3), and N&W 2538 (Ex-NKP ALCO RS3).

Finally, N&W (Ex-NKP) 2414, N&W 1003, and N&W (Ex-Wabash) 3901 are shown in Brewster in 1966 or 1967.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Bygone Days, Bygone Motive Power

October 21, 2019

There is something about seeing something you can’t see anymore. It brings back fond memories of days that maybe weren’t quite as wonderful as you remember them to have been, but yet still conjure pleasant feelings.

Railroad enthusiasts often feel that way about motive power from an earlier generation. So here is a trio of bygone units from a bygone era.

In the top image, Norfolk & Western Fairbanks-Morse H12-44 No. 2139 is in Gambrinus Yard in Canton on April 21, 1974.

No. 2139 was one of several FM switchers assigned to Gambrinus at the time.

In the middle image, Monongahela GP7 No. 1502 is in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, on March 15, 1980.

In the bottom image, Akron & Barberton Belt GP7 No. 434 is shown in Barberton in 1981.

It was one of a pair of units the A&BB leased from Precision National.

Photographs by Robert Farkas