Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk & Western No. 475’

Steam Saturday: An Amtrak Detour to a Pa. Steam Weekend

February 20, 2021
Norfolk & Western 475 at Groff’s picnic grove

The wee hours of the Oct. 21, 2006, found Jeff Troutman and myself scheduled to board Amtrak’s eastbound Capitol Limited and transfer to the Pennsylvanian at Pittsburgh to get to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

However things changed dramatically that morning. We eventually learned that a major derailment of a Norfolk Southern ethanol train had occurred on the bridge over the Beaver River at New Brighton, Pennsylvania.

That explained why Train 30 just sat in Cleveland and we never were able to board.

What we were offered was a reroute on the Lake Shore Limited to New York City and a connection to a Keystone Service train to Lancaster via Philadelphia.

After our enormous bonus mileage, we were able to partake of a Carl Franz photo special at 

Strasburg with Norfolk & Western 4-8-0  No. 475 and Great Western 2-10-0 No. 90.

Here are some highlights of that weekend outing.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas  

N&W 475 and a sunrise spectacular
Between Carpenters and Leamon Place
N&W 475 runs alongside Great Western 90 at Groff’s


Weekend With N&W 611: Saturday

October 2, 2019

Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 passes the engine house at the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania as it gets into position to offer cab tours.

Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 is spending more than a month on the Strasburg Rail Rail pulling excursions, host visitors to its cab and posing alongside N&W 4-8-0 No. 475.

Ed Ribinskas traveled to Pennsylvania last weekend with his wife, Ursula, and good friends Karl West and Laura Lee Konczos for a fun-filled weekend of riding behind the Class J 611 and chasing it on the tourist railroad’s mainline.

He described the 611, the Strasburg Rail Road and the adjacent Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania as a first class trifecta and visiting them turned out to be a better experience than he had expected, not that he didn’t expect to have a good time.

How could you not enjoy seeing two steam locomotives in steam and pulling trains?

They arrived late Friday afternoon about 5 after the drive from Northeast Ohio and had time to scout the Strasburg for potential photo locations on Sunday.

All of that day’s scheduled activities have been completed, but the 611 was still simmering next to the shop area when they arrived.

After completing the scouting trip, they checked into a Clarion Hotel, had dinner and relaxed in their rooms while watching the Cleveland Indians being eliminated from contention for the final spot in the American League wildcard race by getting trounced by the Washington Nationals 8-2.

Well, not everything that weekend turned out for the better.

After having breakfast on Saturday morning, it was a short three-minute jaunt to the Strasburg Rail Road to pick up their tickets.

First up was a cab tour of the 611 at 9:30 a.m. where a crew member provided “thorough and informative” information. Ed said that during the tour he learned that parts from other N&W steam locomotives are interchangeable.

If you look closely at the images made of selected parts posted below, you’ll see that they came from Class A No. 1218 and Class J No. 605.

Ed and Ursula rode the 10:30 a.m. trip in the Hello Dolly open air car.

After returning from the 45-minute excursion, the 611 again set up for another round of cab tours and whistle blowing.

The afternoon was set aside for visiting the nearby museum. Karl and Laura held tickets to ride the 4:30 p.m. trip. As they rode, Ed and Ursula had water and lemonade at the cafe and looked around the gift shop.

Ed photographed the returning trip of the train pulled by N&W 475 from the platform and then waited in the parking lot near the water tank for the N&W 611 and its train to return.

Sunday would bring more riding and chasing and the opportunity to be the locomotive engineer of the 611 for a minute.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Getting the inside scoop on how N&W J Class No. 611 operates during the cab tour.

A pair of Norfolk & Western steam locomotives put on a show at the Strasburg Rail Road.

Ed’s Pennsylvania Adventure: Day 4

August 24, 2018

On Monday Aug. 13 the forecast was for a 90 percent chance of thunderstorms for the area where Ursula and I were staying in eastern Pennsylvania.

There were numerous clouds but the sun came out when it was needed.

My photo selection includes Great Western No. 90 passing the oldest cemetery in Lancaster County, a Doodlebug, and the Groffs picnic area.

I couldn’t resist getting an image when we found out what was written on Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 No. 4800.

I also caught Canadian National No. 89, Norfolk & Western No. 475, and Thomas the Tank Engine resting inside a shop building.

Finally, you can see that Nickel Plate Road No. 757 is getting closer for its return to Bellevue.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas