Posts Tagged ‘Lake Shore Railway Museum’

North East Museum Gains 10th Vintage GE Locomotive

November 23, 2019

The Lake Shore Railway Museum and Historical Society has added a 10th General Electric-built vintage locomotive to its collection.

The latest addition to the collection in North East, Pennsylvania, is a 45-tonner originally used by the U.S. Army.

No. 10 was built by GE in 1943 and had been sitting at ELG Metals southeast of Pittsburgh.

The company agreed to donate the locomotive to the museum with Wabtec, which now owns the GE locomotive assembly plant in Erie, Pennsylvania, providing technical assistance on how to move the diesel.

The move was handled by Daily Express of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

The Lakeshore museum plans to restore No. 10 to operating condition.
The vintage GE engines are part of a collection that has been named “Locomotives that our parents and grandparents built.”

CSX Tribute Locomotives to Visit Lake Shore Museum

October 3, 2019

The Lake Shore Railway Historical Society said this week that it will host a visit on Oct. 12 and 13 of the three CSX Pride in Service locomotives at its museum in North East, Pennsylvania.

The GE units, which were all built at the nearby Erie locomotive assembly plant, honor America’s military veterans, first responders, and police.

In a news release posted on its website, the museum said it open at noon on both days and host a night photo session with the three visiting locomotives and its own collection of General Electric locomotives.

The three tribute locomotives were built between between 2008 and 2015 at the Lawrence Park plant when it was owned by GE. The plant is now owned by Wabtec.

The units were repainted in special liveries by CSX workers at its locomotive shops in Huntington, West Virginia.

Those same workers also recreated the “Chessie Cat” Chessapeake & Ohio Railroad paint scheme on GE locomotive No. 8272 that CSX donated to museum in 2017.

Additional information about the museum event can be found at https://lakeshorerailway.com/

CSX Tribute Unit(s) to Visit Lake Shore Museum

September 23, 2019

At least one of the CSX tribute locomotives is expected to be at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 12 and 13.

The museum said on its Facebook page that it hopes to have all three of the CSX Pride in Service units that weekend but there is no guarantee that will be on hand.

Local fire departments and police departments will be bringing their equipment to the museum during the weekend and a night photo shoot is being planned.

Details on the latter will be announced later, the museum said. The night photo shoot will also focus on the museum’s GE-built Little Joe electric locomotive.

The museum will not be offering on-site parking during event. Visitors will need to park on nearby streets.

Weekend Trip Nets Games, Trains and Rain

August 20, 2019

An eastbound CSX manifest freight passes the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania, late Sunday morning.

It was a 3-2 weekend in Erie, Pennsylvania, for three Akron Railroad Club members.

Marty Surdyk, Ed Ribinskas and Jeff Toutman ventured to Erie to see a pair of minor league baseball games pitting the Erie SeaWolves against the Akron Rubber Ducks that both ended with identical scores of 3-2.

Akron won on Saturday night but Erie returned the favor on Sunday afternoon.

Of course railfanning was on the agenda of the trio on their trip, which started late Saturday afternoon in Painesville.

After checking in at a Red Roof Inn by Interstate 90, they went to UPMC Park for a game that featured fireworks at the conclusion of the Rubber Ducks’ win.

Sunday morning found the trio getting an early start to catch trains at Bort Road near North East under overcast skies.

Shortly after they arrived at 7 a.m., a CSX westbound trash train rumbled past. Less than 10 minutes later came an eastbound on Norfolk Southern.

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited was right on the money shortly after 7:30 a.m. with its usual consist of two P42DC locomotives, three Viewliner sleepers, an Amfleet café car, six Amfleet II coaches, a Viewliner diner and a Viewliner sleeper.

After the passage of Amtrak, the group decided to get breakfast at the Freeport restaurant north of North East, but it wasn’t open yet.

They killed about 15 minutes at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East where they noted a clear signal for a CSX westbound.

But nothing showed and they went back to the Freeport for breakfast, getting there just ahead of a heavy thunderstorm that also swept through Cleveland.

In fact, Ed’s wife, Ursula, texted that the power at their house in Painesville had gone out.

With breakfast completed and the rain letting up, Marty, Ed and Jeff returned to the museum.

Jeff checked HeritageUnits.com on his phone and learned that CSX train K603 with the Chicago & North Western heritage unit of Union Pacific on the point had cleared Lake City, Pennsylvania, at 9:23 a.m.

It must have passed through North East while they were having breakfast up the road. Ed noted the clear signal they had seen earlier must have been for the K603.

However, even if they had stuck around and waited for it they would have been trying to photograph UP 1995 in a downpour.

UP 1995 was later reported by Berea at 2:20 p.m. and Greenwich at 3:14 p.m.

Clearing skies and sunlight were the order of the rest of the morning at the museum along with passing trains.

New in the museum is a CSX U36B that is the eighth GE Erie-built locomotive in the collection.

No. 7764 was built in 1970 as No. 1776 for the Seaboard Coast Line. Its most recent assignment had been serving as a training unit for the Massachusetts Call Volunteer Firefighters Association.

After the Sunday afternoon game concluded, Marty, Ed and Jeff made their way back to Lake County, noting that there was a lot of storm damage in Geneva and Madison.

As they made their way back they stopped in Swanville and Lake City in Pennsylvania, and in Conneaut in Ohio to reminisce about what those places looked like back in the day compared with their modern day appearances.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Amtrak No. 48 was running on time when it passed Bort Road near North East.

Some folks might think they would get a better breakfast at McDonald’s than what Amtrak serves these days to its sleeping car passengers under its contemporary dining program.

The latest member of the collection of GE diesels that were built in Erie is on display at the Lake Shore Railway Museum.

The former Chicago, South Bend & South Shore “Little Joe” is another Erie-built GE unit on display in North East.

The westbound CSX trash train has a full load as it passes Bort Road under overcast skies.

Got There at the Right Time

August 31, 2018

I didn’t journey to North East, Ohio, last spring for the express purpose of photographing the signal bridge at CP 73, which is located east of the Lake Shore Railway Museum.

But since I was there and I noticed that the CSX signal department was out in force putting in new signals, I decided I better get an image of the old signals.

The top and middle images were made on May 23. Note the new signals at the far left of both images are ready to be placed into service.

The bottom image was made eight days later and features Q020 charging eastbound on Track No. 2 of the Erie West Subdivision.

It was a good thing I made this photo because the following week these signals fell. There are only a handful of the old-style Type G signal heads mounted on their original masts or signal bridges left on CSX between Cleveland and Buffalo, New York.

First Step to a Journey

August 27, 2018

The New York Central System vanished in 1968, although its passenger trains continue to be operated by Penn Central until the coming of Amtrak in 1971.

The national passenger carrier has step boxes to help passengers take that first step from the ground onto a train, but they are modern contraptions painted bright yellow.

The step boxes used for decades by the railroads are largely gone now, most of them probably scrapped.

Some survive in private railroad memorabilia collections and in museums.

Such is the case with this ex-NYC step box at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania.

It was sitting on the ground next to a passenger car on static display when I spotted it.

Which Central trains did it serve? The Twentieth Century Limited? The Southwestern Limited? The Commodore Vanderbilt? The Pacemaker?

Or did this step box spend its career on lesser trains on branch lines and secondary mainlines?

How many thousands of feet have stepped on this box over the years? Did anyone famous use it?

There are answers to those questions, but they are beyond the reach of us today.

Instead, we can only imagine the places that step box sat in and the people who once used it as their first step to a journey by rail. That might be enough.

Museum Gets Another GE U Boat

August 16, 2018

The Lake Shore Railway Museum has acquired another historic GE-built locomotive.

This week the museum received a four-axle U36B carrying MCVX reporting marks and the roster number it had when working for CSX (7764).

The museum’s parent organization, the Lake Shore Railway Historical Society said No. 7764 was last with the Firefighters Education and Training Foundation in Massachusetts as a training locomotive for firefighters.

The unit was built in 1970 at GE’s Erie manufacturing facility located in Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania, as Seaboard Coast Line as No. 1776. It was later renumbered 1813.

“The U36B is a very rare GE locomotive model and we are thankful for its inclusion in our collection,” said society President Ray Grabowski Jr. “Its earlier re-purposing as a training unit just enhances Lake Shore’s educational function. Look for it to continue to be used as a teaching tool here soon.”

The North East, Pennsylvania, museum has eight other GE locomotives and one Heisler in its collection.

Night at Museum Set in North East

June 12, 2018

The Lake Shore Railway Historical Society will hold its annual night at the railroad museum event on June 16-17 at the former New York Central passenger station in North East, Pennsylvania.

The museum will open at noon on Saturday and remain open all night and through 4 p.m. on Sunday.

There will be a night photo session with several smaller scenes set up with artificial lighting. The session will cost $20 per photographer.

No details about the scenes to be staged have been listed on the museum’s website or Facebook page.

There will be a public program starting at 8 p.m. focused on Operation  Lifesaver and presented by Scott Daley.

New this year will be a food truck at the museum site. Speeder cars will also be operating on Saturday and Sunday.

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.

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.