Posts Tagged ‘NS PRR Heritage unit’

Day on the East Slope

June 23, 2021

About three weeks ago I took a trip to Altoona, Pennsylvania, and railfanned the east slope of the former Pennsylvania Railroad Alleghany Mountain grade.

Here is a selection of some of my photographs, all of which were taken at Bennington Curve.

In order they include a downhill stack train, Amtrak’s westbound Pennsylvanian, and an eastbound coal train that had the PRR heritage leading and the Lehigh Valley heritage as a DPU

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Pair of Pennsy Keystones

December 6, 2016

It's a Pennsylvania Railroad keystone rolling over the top of another Pennsy keystone in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. NS No. 8102 is leading westbound stack train 21Q.

It’s one Pennsylvania Railroad keystone rolling over the top of another Pennsy keystone in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. NS No. 8102 is leading westbound stack train 21Q, which is passing an eastbound stack train on the Fort Wayne Line.

Last Saturday my friend Adam Barr and I headed for Pittsburgh for a morning of railfanning Norfolk Southern in the steel city.

We had been in town about a half-hour when an an online report popped up that the Pennsylvania Railroad heritage unit was headed west past Manor, Pennsylvania, with a load of sea cans. That turned out to be stack train 21Q.

Manor is east of the Pittsburgh where the Pennsylvania Turnpike crosses over the NS Pittsburgh line between Pittsburgh and Altoona, Pennsylvania.

We headed for California Avenue with the idea of getting an image of the locomotive paying tribute to the PRR on a structure that was built by the PRR, the Ohio Connecting Bridge that today carries the NS Mon Line.

When I think of railroads in Pittsburgh, structures such as this come to mind. I also think of the former Pennsylvania Railroad.

We were able to get ahead of the train and catch it at CP Leets in Leetsdale. Although I had my scanner on, we didn’t get any warning of the train approaching because I didn’t pick it up calling any signals.

Our “heads up” was another railfan bolting from his car and running toward the bridge over the tracks that carries a road leading into an industrial park. I was barely able to get the shot I wanted of the Pennsy heritage unit passing former Pennsy position light signals.

We weren’t sure if we could beat the 21Q to East Conway because it was moving along at a good clip. But it turned out the stacker would have a long wait there because of traffic working in Conway Yard that needed to come out to East Conway for head room as well as the need for the 21Q to change crews.

Our last photo op of the 21Q was planned for the bridge over the Beaver River in Beaver Falls. But things did not go according to plan because Adam, who was driving, could not find a parking spot in a timely manner.

He dropped me off at the east end of the sidewalk of the bridge and I walked as fast as I could toward the river. I wouldn’t make it.

The 21Q had already called the signal at the Brighton and I could see its headlight illuminating the sides of the containers of an eastbound stack train that was slowly making its way toward Conway.

I noticed the Fort Wayne Line bridge had an old, but faded Pennsylvania Railroad keystone and decided to make that the focal point of my last photograph of NS 8102, thus ending my chase of the 21Q with an image of a pair of Pennsy keystones.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders


Coming at you on the OC bridge.


When I think of Pittsburgh I think of massive bridges and the Pennsylvania Railroad. This is as close as I can come to recreating the golden age of the PRR in the steel city.


For the second time in 2016, I caught the Pennsylvania Railroad heritage locomotive passing by former PRR position light signals.


With a new crew on board, the 21Q gets underway at East Conway.


A roster-type shot at East Conway of NS 8102.

Chasing the PRR H Unit on the ex-Pennsy

July 28, 2016


Last Sunday the Pennsylvania Railroad heritage unit led Norfolk Southern train 12V across the former Pennsy mainline via Bucyrus and Alliance.

With our club picnic being held in nearby Warwick Park, four ARRC members were out in force to catch this move.

My first stop was Mace interlocking in Massillon where the PRR crosses the former Baltimore & Ohio from Warwick.

Myself, Craig Sanders, Steve McMullen and a few others were there to witness its passage.

I also found out that a 66Z with Canadian Pacific motive power was following the 12V. I didn’t stick around for that as I wanted to catch 12V at some other spots.

Next up I went to Wandle crossing in Canton. Jim Mastramatteo and Ron McElrath were already set up.

After that I went to Fairhope which is the east end of Canton yard. The 12V was doing some switching there and I caught a meet with a westbound coal train, the NS 776.

Next was Beech Road at Maximo where Don Woods and Dave Shepherd were there waiting. They had a slight scare as the NS 169 showed up right before 12V, but it was on the opposite track and all was well.

It had been overcast and even raining but here the sun came out, which made for some nice photos.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon




Double PRR Heritage at Mace

July 25, 2016

PRR at Mace-x

From a train watching perspective, the highlight of the 2016 Akron Railroad Club picnic was the passage of the Pennsylvania Railroad heritage unit in late afternoon.

Of course, I had to drive to Massillon to see it because it was leading Norfolk Southern train 12V, a Bellevue to Conway (Pittsburgh) manifest freight that works in Mansfield and Canton en route.

I’ve only seen NS 8102 trailing and each time it was behind Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 765.

So here was my chance to get it leading and get it on former Pennsy rails to boot.

I chose to set up at Cherry Road NW just south of Mace interlocking. I wanted to get it coming past the PRR position light signals there.

That called for a straight-on shot and I thought I could move over and get a three-quarter roster type shot.

But the 12V was moving faster than I expected and I couldn’t move fast enough or get set in time to get that other image.

But I’m satisfied with this one even if the lighting wasn’t the greatest. Call it a double dose of PRR heritage.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

It Worked Out in the End

April 23, 2012

Myself and a couple buddies were planning on going to Blissfield, Mich., on Sunday for its railroad days event. The problem was that we realized it had been on Saturday so we worked out a plan B.

A quick check on for the whereabouts of the Norfolk Southern heritage units yielded this post by Terry Chicwak: “NS/PRR 8102 leading NS 544 Conway/Detroit west of Berea at 8:07 a.m.”

Well it was now 8:13 a.m., so we were minutes behind him. We hopped in the SUV and headed west, figuring we could intercept the train at Sandusky.

I wasn’t certain what type of train the 544 is. I don’t pay attention to the symbols. I simply take pictures.

I texted Cody Zamostny and he replied that it was a coal train. Upon crossing the Sandusky Bay bridge an NS train was also crossing westbound. This wasn’t the 544 but made for a nice photo at the overpass at west end of the bay.

After a quick stop at McDonalds, we continued west, following a coal train. Sure enough this was our target.

We got a quick grab shot on the U.S. 2 overpass at Port Clinton to confirm that it was our train. We then headed to Oak Harbor.

Once there we waited and waited and waited. A couple trains took the connection heading to Bellevue including one with a CN dash 9 leading and an Illinois Central SD70 trailing.

That would normally warrant a chase in itself but we had another target.

Finally, after an hour’s wait, a headlight appeared and we got him going past the elevator. We then proceded further west.

Our next stop was Millbury where the 8102 was stopped east of town. Here we ran into the railfan chase group including Roger Durfee.

Once the train got moving (slowly), we were able to get multiple photo spots between Millbury and Vickers including a three-way meet at Vickers.

Here he sat in the siding so we decided to go to Blissfield anyway. The local model railroad club was open and had a very nice HO scale double-deck layout.

Even though the Adrian and Blissfield wasn’t running, we checked out the equipment. I haven’t been there in a few years and they had some new equipment including a dome observation car from The Canadian.

Also, an ethanol plant has opened, giving them a lot of new traffic. Covered hoppers were everywhere.

I’ll have to get up there on a weekday when they are switching.

Coming back through Toledo we found the 8102 parked on a siding and got some sunlit views. It was pretty overcast in the morning.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon