Posts Tagged ‘Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad’

Alco S2s Around Every Corner

July 14, 2021

Marty Surdyk and I had a few more adventures before and after our ride and lunch stop last Sunday as we ventured to Titusville, Pennsylvania, to ride the Oil Creek & Titusville.

On a siding in Titusville were two Alco S2’s. For many years No. 75 was the passenger power for the OC&T.

Back in the 1980s we rode behind and photographed it on the New York & Lake Erie out of Gowanda, New York. It was formerly South Buffalo Railroad. No. 85 was used by the OC&T as standby power.

Erie  S2 No. 518 was donated to the French Creek Valley Railroad Historical Society by the Ashtabula,  Carson & Jefferson.

Prior to being on the AC&J roster it was owned by the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company for use at its Ashtabula facility.

Before that it was used by Erie Lackawanna and the Erie. It is now on display in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Rainy Day on the Oil Creek & Titusville

July 13, 2021

Getting ready to depart Titusville, Pennsylvania.
Doing the runaround of the motive power at Rynd Farm.
Arriving at Petroleum Center
About to cross Oil Creek on the return trip.

This past Sunday (July 11), Marty Surdyk and I ventured to Titusville, Pennsylvania to ride the Oil Creek & Titusville.

The weather forecast leading up to Sunday was horrible for our area and for where we were headed.

Marty picked me up about 8:20 a.m. The drive most of the way was cloudy with a few sprinkles. We arrived in Titusville to overcast skies but no rain yet. At the departure time of 11 a.m. we still were OK.

After passing the Drake Well Museum we went out to the open gondola on the rear of the train. About eight minutes later the heavens opened up. The crew sent everybody back to the coaches for safety since the gondola would become very slippery from the rain.

Shorty before arriving at Rynd Farm the rain let up. Upon our departure about 30 minutes later we still were OK and we were welcome in the gondola.

We were good for about 45 minutes then our seats were more inviting for the remainder of the trip. Just before 2 p.m. the train arrived back at Titusville.

Our motive power was ex-Canadian National 3568, an M420W that was built by Montreal Locomotive Works, Canada’s division of Alco, in September 1976.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Steam on the Oil Creek & Titusville

April 17, 2021

For a weekend in July 2012 the sounds of steam visited the Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad in Pennsylvania.

What sounded like big steam locomotives were actually saddle tank steamers Flagg Coal Company No. 75 and Viscose Company No. 6.

These photos are of the locomotives in and near Titusville, Pennsylvania, on July 15, 2012.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

It’s the Little Details That Can Make a Picture

August 2, 2020

At first glance, these two photographs appear to have little in common.

The top photograph depicts former Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0 No. 33 at Sugarcreek on April 19, 2008, during one of its few outings under Ohio Central ownership.

In the bottom photograph is Oil Creek & Titusville Alco S2 No. 85 in Titusville, Pennsylvania, on April 20, 2006.

Both images feature good composition that invites you to linger over them for a moment or two.

But what these have in common are little things that maybe you noticed but might not have stopped to think about the role they play in creating a story.

In the photograph of No. 33 there is a figure standing next to the locomotive looking it over.

He appears to be a crew member and is wearing a broad brim hat. No. 33 is a smallish steam locomotive, but even if dwarfs a person standing next to it.

In the OC&T image, there is a portion of a pole line visible along the tracks. That combined with the large and old red brick industrial building in the background suggest another era.

The boarded up windows of the industrial building indicate that era is well past.

It used to be common to see pole lines along railroad right of ways, but in the past decade or so railroads have pretty much removed them as they rely on other technology to communicate.

Of course nothing says “another era” like a steam locomotive. And Alco has been out of the business of building diesel locomotives since 1969.

There is another link between these two images as well. Both locomotives were used in tourist train service and part of the rational for having tourist trains is to provide a glimpse of the past.

Railroading hasn’t gone away and figures to be around for a long time to come. But in many ways subtle and obvious it is always changing. Hence it’s nice to have reminders of the past, including those things we may have forgotten from it.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Wan Wert Model Train Show Still on, Pa. Tourist Railroad Cancels 2020 Season due to Pandemic

July 24, 2020

The Van Wert Historical Society still plans to hold its annual model railroad show this weekend.

The event on July 25 and July 26 will open at 10 a.m. on both days and close at 4 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Masks will be required of all attendees and vendors.

Admission to the event is $6 for adults with a two-day pass available for $8. Children age 12 and under will be admitted for free.

The event is being held at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds, 1055 S. Washington, and will have vendor tables and operating model railroad displays. Food will be available for sale.

In an unrelated development the COVID-19 pandemic has led the Oil Creek & Titusville tourist railroad in Pennsylvania to cancel its 2020 season.

In an announcement posted on Facebook, the railroad cited what it termed ever changing rules and regulations.

The OC&T operates over 13.5 miles of former Pennsylvania Railroad track in west central Pennsylvania.

The railroad said it plans to return to operation in 2021.

Switchers for a Saturday

March 28, 2020

Railroad photographers are fond of coining terms that mesh well with days of the week. So you might have signal Saturday or tower Tuesday.

We’re going to carry out that theme today with a pair of switch engines to highlight our Saturday.

In the top image is Cotter Merchandise Storage’s prior switcher (unnumbered GE) is working in Akron on Nov. 13, 2009.

In the bottom image, we’ve traveled to Titusville Pennsylvania to the Oil Creek & Titusville short line railroad to view it Alco S2 No. 75.

The tourist railroad operates on former Pennsylvania Railroad tracks.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Vintage Diesels Stars of Tourist Railroad Festival

June 20, 2019

The Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad will spotlight vintage Alco and GE diesel locomotives this weekend during its Diesel Days festival.

Slated for June 22 and 23, the starts of the festival will be the railroad’s own Alco S2 Nos. 75 and 85; Montreal Locomotive Works M420W No. 3568; Western New York & Pennsylvania Alco RS3M No. 406; and Lake Shore Railway Historical Society GE 25-tonner No. 1950.

The latter unit will be brought in by truck from Northeast, Pennsylvania.

The diesels will be pulling passenger trains during the two-day event. There will also be an  exhibition of diesel trucks and antique diesel engine displays.