Posts Tagged ‘Lake Shore Railway Museum’

Easier than Trying to Herd Cats

July 26, 2017

Since former Chesapeake & Ohio No. 8272 showed up at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North Pennsylvania, wearing its sparkling new Chessie System livery, I’ve managed to photograph it three times in about a month’s time.

First I got it during a night photo shoot, then in less than favorable lighting conditions en route home from a day on the Arcade & Attica, and finally on a recent late Sunday afternoon in the best lighting of all.

And I almost missed that. I was with a group of guys from the Cleveland-based Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts who were doing a double museum tour.

The first stop was in Conneaut and then it was on to North East.

CSX had been dead while we were in Conneaut. It finally sprang to life shortly after we reached North East, putting through town a steady flow of three westbound intermodal trains and five consecutive eastbounds.

There was a work gang in New York State and it was single-track east of North East.

After the fifth eastbound passed by, we decided to head out to Bort Road, which is, surprisingly, a good place to photograph in late day.

As we were ready to move on I remembered we had yet to photograph No. 8272. We soon remedied that while the light was still good.

Having only photographed two Chessie System locomotives in my life, I’m going to be all over the 8272 even if it isn’t going anywhere.

As seen from the front porch of New York Central No. 2500, which is mid July was still lettered for the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie and numbered 2800.

Getting down low. For some reason I like having the locomotive off kilter.

Looking the kitty right in the eyes. Real cats don’t like it when you do that but this Chessie doesn’t mind.

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Bringing Back That Chess-C Look

June 23, 2017

I missed the Chessie System era so I took a great interest in the news that the Lake Shore Railway Museum was getting a locomotive wearing Chessie colors. Of course I wanted to photograph it.

Although I was around during the Chessie era, for much of that time I wasn’t into photographing railroad operations and lived in places not served by the Chessie.

I have just two image of the Chessie’s yellow, vermilion and blue Chess-C locomotive livery that was introduced in 1972 and lasted into the early CSX years.

One of those images is a poorly exposed photograph made in Mitchell, Indiana, while the other was a Chessie GP40 (Baltimore & Ohio) locomotive leading Amtrak’s eastbound Capitol Limited east of Pittsburgh in early November 1981.

I was a passenger on the latter train and photographed the freight unit from a window as the train twisted and turned en route to Washington.

I had another reason for wanting to see Chesapeake & Ohio No. 8272.

Jim Mastrommateo’s program at the May Akron Railroad Club meeting featured a number of locomotives still wearing the Chessie livery.

At one point, Pete Poremba tapped me on the shoulder and showed a photograph of C&O 8272 on his tablet that he got off the Internet that showed the unit somewhere in Ohio en route to North East, Pennsylvania.

The top and underframe of the 8272 had a noticeable bluish cast to it whereas in photos that Jim showed those areas appeared to have been painted black.

The dark areas at the top of the locomotives shown in Jim’s program and in photographs that I subsequently reviewed in my book Akron Railroads appear to be much deeper than that of the 8272.

Was the 8272 painted in an authentic Chess-C livery? It didn’t appear to be so.

But I did see some photographs online of Chessie locomotives in which the “black” areas had a bluish cast to them.

It could be that over time the blue paint on Chessie locomotives faded.

News reports about the painting of No. 8272 indicated that the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum in Baltimore provided paint records to personnel at the CSX Huntington locomotive shop where No. 8272 was repainted into the Chessie livery.

Presumably, that meant that the shop forces had the correct blueprint for how the Chess-C livery was applied.

No. 8272 is a GE-built locomotive and all of the images I’ve seen of locomotives wearing the Chess-C livery have been EMD products. Perhaps that is a factor here.

There are railfans who make it their business to “police” whether heritage locomotives are authentic.

There is a guy who lives in Maryland who has posted more than once his view that FPA-4 No. 800 on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is not an authentic B&O livery because it lacks the wrong shade of blue.

All of that matters little to me, though. Heritage units are as close as I’m going to get to making photographs of locomotive liveries that has long since passed into history.

Under the Lights at North East Museum

June 19, 2017

I had heard about the annual night at the museum event hosted every summer by the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania.

Every year the museum stays open all night for people to watch trains on the adjacent Cleveland-Buffalo lines of CSX and Norfolk Southern.

It seemed like an interesting event, but I never made it over there for it until this year.

The promotional materials on the museum’s website said there would be a slide show in the former New York Central passenger station and a night photo shoot starting at 10 p.m.

Photographers were asked to make a donation of $20 for the night photo shoot.

Not until Friday did I make plans to go, prompted by the news that Chesapeake & Ohio No. 8272 had reached the museum.

The B30-7 had been built by GE’s Erie locomotive assembly plant in Lawrence Park Township and had been recently repainted into the Chessie System livery by CSX shop forces in Huntington, West Virginia.

I called fellow Akron Railroad Club member Peter Bowler and he agreed to go with me to the museum.

Neither the museum’s website or Facebook page had many details about what the night photo shoot would entail.

I presumed that C&O 8272 would be on display under lights and it was. But the museum also transformed former New York Central U25B No. 2500 into Pittsburgh & Lake Erie No. 2800.

This was done by placing black tape or paper over the NYC markings and applying P&LE markings, including white stripes on the pilot.

I’m told that the P&LE had early versions of the U28B that used a U26B car body.

The night photo shoot was not as elaborate or wide ranging as I thought it might be. It consisted of rented portable lights that illuminated the side of the C&O 8272 and P&LE 2800.

Museum personnel moved the 2800 around a couple times, using a small switcher.

The lighting was bright enough to make hand-held images, albeit with a high ISO setting. However, I made most of my images with a tripod.

The side lighting wasn’t enough to fully illuminate the nose of No. 8272, so Peter and I took turns painting the shadows with light from two flashlights that did an amazing job of adding fill-in light.

I had thought that the lights would be moved periodically to illuminate other pieces in the museum’s collection, but that didn’t happen.

Someone brought in a P&LE truck and at one point it was positioned next to the P&LE 2800.

The slide show featured images of the P&LE and Chessie system, but I ended up seeing only a few images. The interior of the depot was quite warm, so I elected to stay outside and watch CSX trains pass by.

I had been hoping to get some time exposures of CSX operations, but the last train before we left was a westbound at 10 p.m. and that was during the night photo shoot of No. 8272.

We stuck around until 12:20 a.m., but no trains came by. We faced a two-hour drive back to my house and thus left with some unfinished business left behind.

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

June 18, 2017

The latest addition to the collection of the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania, arrived late last week and was the star of the night at the museum event on Saturday.

Chesapeake & Ohio B30-7 No. 8272 was built at the nearby GE Erie locomotive assembly plant in Lawrence Park and has been retired by CSX.

CSX also agreed to have the unit repainted into Chessie System colors at its locomotive shop in Huntington, West Virginia.

After being displayed at the GE Erie plant in a private showing, the unit was moved to the museum where it joins a collection of locomotives built in Erie.

North East Museum Plans Annual All-Nighter

June 16, 2017

An eastbound CSX stack train passes the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania.

The Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania, plans to host its annual night at the museum on Saturday and Sunday.

The museum will be open between noon on Saturday to 4 p.m. on  Sunday.

Track cars and hand pump car will be running all day on  both days. David Kelsch will give a presentation at 8 p.m. on Saturday on the topic Pittsburgh & Lake Erie and Chessie System.

A night photo shoot will begin at 1o p.m. featuring special scenes and provided lighting. Photographers are asked to make a $20 donation.

The night photo shoot theme is P&LE 2800.

The museum is housed in a former Lake Shore & Michigan Southern passenger station and sits next to the mainlines of CSX and Norfolk Southern between Cleveland and Buffalo, New York.

Restored C&O Diesel Arrives at Museum

June 16, 2017

A restored Chespeake & Ohio diesel locomotive painted in the Chessie System livery arrived this week at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania.

The GE-built B30-7 locomotive was donated by CSX and painted into Chessie colors by the locomotive shop in Huntington, West Virginia.

Built at the GE locomotive assembly plant in Erie in 1980 as C&O No. 8272, the locomotive had been retired by CSX in 2009 as No. 5554.

The museum has seven GE-built locomotives in its collection.

Before being moved to the museum, No. 8272 was displayed at the GE complex in Lawrence Park in a private display.

The factory along with the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore assisted in the restoration by providing paint records, logo/lettering information and paint chips.

CSX Repaints Locomotive to C&O Livery

June 7, 2017

CSX shop workers in Huntington, West Virginia, have repainted another diesel into heritage colors.

The Huntington Locomotive Shops has adored former Chesapeake & Ohio SD40 No. 7534 into the livery it wore when it left the Electro-Motive diesel assembly plant.

The locomotive was repainted on behalf of the Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society, which plans to display it at its museum in Clifton Forge, Virginia.

The unit was previously CSX No. 4617 and was the last locomotive in the CSX fleet to wear C&O colors.

The C&O group might use the locomotive to pull trains on the Buckingham Branch Railroad.

Rob Catlin, project manager at the C&O Historical Society, told Trains magazine that although the locomotive is serviceable, it is missing six traction motors.

Earlier this year, the Huntington shops repainted a locomotive in Chessie System colors. That unit is currently in Erie, Pennsylvania, waiting to be moved to the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania.

Chessie ‘Heritage’ Unit in Willard

May 22, 2017

Last week Chesapeake & Ohio 8272, which CSX has restored to its Chessie System paint scheme, started its journey to the Lake Shore Railway Museum at Northeast, Pennsylvania.
On Saturday morning it was parked at Willard, where I got these photos. It will arrive at Northeast sometime this week.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Chessie System Locomotive on the Move

May 18, 2017

The cosmetically restored Chessie System GE B30-7 has been reported to be en route to its new home at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania.

The locomotive was spotted earlier this week dead-in-tow heading for Russell, Kentucky.

From there it was expected to travel via Columbus, Willard and Cleveland to North East.

The locomotive was repainted into the Chessie livery by the CSX locomotive shops in Huntington, West Virginia.

The unit was built in 1980 as C&O No. 8272 and also was CSX No. 5554.

Chessie Loco Going to Lake Shore Museum

March 27, 2017

The Lake Shore Railway Museum has acknowledged that it will be receiving a locomotive painted at a CSX shop in the Chessie System colors.

Former Chesapeake & Ohio No. 8272 received the treatment in Huntington, West Virginia, so that is now resembles the appearance it had when the B30-7 was delivered by GE Transportation  in 1980

The Lake Shore museum in North East, Pennsylvania, specializes in collecting retired locomotives that were built at the nearby GE assembly plant in Erie.

No. 8272 will be the eighth locomotive to join that collection.

In a news release, the Lake Shore Railway Historical Society, which operates the museum, said  the locomotive is being donated by CSX to the museum. It was retired by CSX in 2009 as No. 5554.

The museum said that GE and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum assisted in the restoration of No. 8272 by contributing historic paint records, logo/lettering information and paint chips.

The museum said that plans to move No. 8272 to the museum are still being worked out.