Posts Tagged ‘steam engines’

Chasing Steam, Amtrak, NS in Pennsylvania

April 25, 2018

Here are a few are a few highlights from this past weekend. Jeff [Troutman] and myself left about 2:30 p.m. on Friday. Since I drove I made reservations for a Microtel in Clarion, Pennsylvania. We got there about 5:15 p.m.

I wanted to be on the road by 7 a.m. Saturday so we would get to Summerhill to get Amtrak No. 42 since it would depart Johnstown at 9:03 a.m.

Breakfast started at 6:30 a.m., which was perfect. But ice and fogged up windows from overnight delayed our departure by 20 minutes.

Jeff kept checking Julie as we were heading on Pennsylvania Route 219. We were on the far bridge and guess who was about to go under us.

I knew it was P42DC engine No. 86 on head end. And exactly like Agent 86 Maxwell Smart we missed it by that much.

As you can see in photo No. 1 the lighting was perfect of the empty tracks.

Photo No. 2 is of the Everett steam train at Brook Mills on the line heading to Roaring Spring.

Photo No. 3 is at Roaring Spring. There are two photo lines including the road crossing where I shot last September with the station and the Pennsylvania Railroad caboose.

Where I am and looking down to my right I was amazed at what I saw that I never noticed twice last September and last May: A double semaphore turned with slight foliage somewhat hiding it.

Photo 5 shows Everett No. 11 on the return trip from Martinsburg at Route 36 just southeast of Roaring Spring.

After eating lunch we went to Tyrone, Pennsylvania, where we photographed the cabooses located on what used to be the east leg of the wye.

The beautiful stone memorial is in a park between the cabooses and the station.

Saturday afternoon found us in Fostoria, Pennsylvania, along the Pittsburgh Line of Norfolk Southern. This time Amtrak did not elude us.

On Sunday morning it was back to Fostoria to catch Amtrak No. 42 passing beneath the PRR position light signals.

We then spent a little over three hours at Horseshoe Curve before heading home. We saw eight trains and two helper movements.

What was unusual was that the first three trains were two eastbound loaded coal hoppers and one empty hopper train.

Again, the weather was perfect and it was tough to leave.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

 

 

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It’s 1973 on the Arcade & Attica

July 24, 2017

Recently you posted photos of the Arcade & Attica. Here are a couple photos from when Mike Ondecker and I visited the A&A on July 23, 1973. These were both taken in Arcade, New York. In the top image, A&A Nos. 14 and 110 sit outside the old wooden engine house. Yes, No. 14 has the orange handrails. In the bottom image, A&A 111 has been making up a train.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

 

Catching Up With Arcade & Attica No. 18

July 6, 2017

Arcade & Attica No. 18 approaches Genesee Road near Arcade, New York, during its last run of the day.

For years the Arcade & Attica has operated its 2-8-0 Alco steam locomotive with its nose facing northward on its excursion from Arcade to Curriers.

The engine runs around the train at Curriers and returns to Arcade with its tender leading.

But on two weekends this year the New York-based tourist railroad has reversed that.

It turned No. 18 on a wye behind its shop in Arcade and ran tender first to Curriers and had the nose pointed southward for the 7.16-mile return trip.

From a photography standpoint, it is better to have the locomotive nose pointed southward because the lighting is better.

One of those weekends when the nose was pointed southward preceded Independence Day. Ed Ribinskas and I piled into Marty Surdyk’s Jeep Patriot to make the trek to Arcade for a day of steam locomotive chasing.

It had been 25 years since Marty had been to the A&A. My last visit had been in September 2012. Ed saw No. 18 pointed southward just over a month ago during Memorial Day weekend.

By the time we caught up with No. 18 it was in Curriers where the A&A excursion train has a layover.

Chasing the A&A is easy because it travels at about 10 miles per hour.

But there aren’t that many places to photograph a train en route because most of the grade crossings are in Arcade.

There is Genesee Road, but not much else. Marty thought he remembered there being two crossings, but other than Genesee Road all other crossings are on private roads outside of Arcade.

Our primary concern in chasing the first return trip of the day to Arcade was cloudy skies. Large, puffy clouds filled the sky and sun breaks were infrequent and short-lived.

Trips leave Arcade at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. After chasing the first of those, we headed for a Subway in a shopping center located next to a Topps grocery store.

Subway is Marty’s official railfanning restaurant so of course that was where we would go. He also got to eat his entire foot-long meatball sandwich.

During the Akron Railroad Club longest day outing in Bellevue Marty had ordered a foot-long meatball sub. He placed half of it on his vehicle as he was eating the other half back at the mini plant.

But the wind blew it onto the ground. In Arcade, we ate inside the restaurant and there was no danger of half of Marty’s sandwich being blown by the wind onto the floor.

Photographing at Genesee Road had reminded me of Genesee beer, a brand I’ve heard about but never tasted.

As Ed and Marty were finishing their sandwiches, I walked over to the Tops grocery store to see if I could buy a couple of “Gennies.” But Genesee beer wasn’t being sold by the bottle there or, or that matter, by the six pack.

I ended up instead buying two bottles of IPA beer from two different Buffalo craft breweries and some large chocolate chip cookies for the guys.

The A&A had already left Arcade by the time we got rolling after lunch.

By now the weather had much improved with the clouds breaking up and ushering in mostly sunny skies.

There had been a pack of railfans chasing and photographing No. 18 earlier in the day, but they were mostly nowhere to be found during the afternoon trip when the locomotive was bathed in sunlight.

We got to Curriers just ahead of the train and got photographs of it coming and going.

Then it was off to do some across the field shots from along Curriers Road.

That was followed by stops at Genesee Road, the Arcade fire station and the street south of the depot where we caught No. 18 going back to the shop.

It was an easy chase that yielded some quite pleasing images.

The train was in the station at Curriers when we first encountered it.

The first photo op at Genesee Road occurred as the sun hid behind a cloud.

Crossing Cattaraugus Creek in Arcade during the return trip.

Doing the runaround move in Arcade. After getting this image it was Subway time.

Patrons are lined up to make a visit to the cab of No. 18 during the layover in Curriers.

A baggage cart load of flowers, a depot and a steam locomotive make for a pleasing sight.

Getting underway at Curriers to return to Arcade while blowing the whistle for Chaffee Road.

Leaving behind a trail of smoke.

Yonder comes a steam train in a view that could have been made several decades earlier.

Skirting the driveway of the fire station.

The train at Curriers as seen in the sunglasses of a trainman wearing a Penn Central conductor hat.

Watching the tracks ahead from the engineer’s seat.

Back in Arcade the locomotive has cut away from its trains as passengers disembark at the station platform.

Heading back to the shop at the end of the last trip.

Yes, it’s an Alco.

At the end of the day at the shop in Arcade.

 

Another View of Chessie 614

December 16, 2016

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Roger’s Chessie System 614 image reminded me of a favorite image I took of her. It is July 11, 1981, in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, and Chessie 614 is heading west toward the former Western Maryland bridge.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

 

Railroading as it Once Was: When Chessie Ran Steam Trains to Promote Railroad Safety

December 15, 2016

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Chesapeake & Ohio No. 614 departs Connellsville, Pennsylvania, in September 1980 with a Chessie Safety Express. Even with a bright yellow train this was still a show. Note the original station behind the 11th car.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

AOS Buys Another Locomotive

October 7, 2016

Jerry Jacobson owns another steam locomotive. His Age of Steam Roundhouse purchased Yreka Western 2-8-2 No. 19 during a sheriff’s sale on Thursday in California.

Age of SteamAOS won out over the Valley Railroad of Essex, Connecticut, the only other bidder for the locomotive.

Trains magazine reported that the winning bid of AOS was $400,000.

The sale of the locomotive happened after the Chelatchie Boiler Works of Woodland, Washington, placed a lien on it for $264,000.

Chelatchie acted after not being paid for boiler work that it performed in 2006. By a 2013 court order, No. 19 was confined to its engine house.

A sheriff’s sale had been set for October 2013, but was called off when the previous operators of the Yreka Western alleged that they had a superior line on the locomotive.

Under terms of the sale, AOS will have two weeks to move the locomotive from its current location.

AOS officials told Trains they plan to load loose parts onto a truck and contract with a trucking company to move the locomotive on a low-boy trailer.

The tender will be taken by truck to Sugar Creek while the engine will move to Sacramento, California, where it will be placed on a railroad flat car for transport to Ohio.

The AOS owns another former McCloud River Railroad steam locomotives, No. 9, which it purchased last year from Steve Butler.

No. 19 last operated in November 2008. It appeared in the 1973 move Emperor of the North with Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine.

It also once ran on the Oregon, Pacific & Eastern Railroad.

When the Nickel Plate Road 587 Made its Debut

January 5, 2015
Nickel Plate Road No. 587 pulls its first public excursion train after being restored. The train originated in Indianapolis and traveled via Conrail to Logansport, Ind., and back.

Nickel Plate Road No. 587 pulls its first public excursion train after being restored. The train originated in Indianapolis and traveled via Conrail to Logansport, Ind., and back.

Where were you on the morning of Sept. 17, 1988? If you were a fan of mainline steam locomotives you probably were wishing you could figure out how to be in three places on the same day.

In Ohio, Norfolk & Western No. 611 was pulling a roundtrip between Columbus and Portsmouth. The Nickel Plate Road No. 765 was pulling a one-way ferry move from Bellevue to Brewster.

And over in Indiana the latest mainline steam locomotive to join the list of steamers was making its maiden run after being restored to operating condition.

I was a graduate student at the time at Indiana University. I had found out about the Nickel Plate Road 587 making its first public excursion from Indianapolis to Logansport, Ind., and return and had purchased a ticket to ride.

Sure, I was thrilled to be part of a “first,” but I was also happy to be able to get some new miles over routes that Amtrak’s Floridian had once used and over which I’d never ridden.

The 587 is a 2-8-2 USRA light steam locomotive built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in September 1918 for the Lake Erie & Western. It carried roster number 5541 and was renumbered 587 in 1924 after the Nickel Plate acquired the LE&W.

Retired in March 1955, the 587 was placed on static display in Broad Ripple Park in Indianapolis where it sat until 1983 when it was displaced by a library expansion program.

With the locomotive needing a new home, a group known as “Friends of 587” determined that the steamer could be restored and moved it by truck to Amtrak’s Beech Grove shops for the restoration work.

By fall 1988, the 587 was ready to stretch its legs on a mainline journey after a satisfactory test run on the Indiana Rail Road south of Indianapolis.

Conrail agreed to allow the train to pull a public excursion over a former Pennsylvania Railroad routing between Indy and Logansport.

I use the term “mainline” loosely because the tracks over which the 587 and its train would travel were a secondary line, although not in poor condition.

The Indiana Transportation Museum, which would later acquire ownership of the 587, provided a train of mostly former Santa Fe coaches.

The train boarded at Hanna Avenue in Indianapolis on the Louisville line and made its way north to the Indianapolis Union Railway tracks at IU interlocking, rounding the curve toward Indianapolis Union Station just as the Pennsy’s South Wind and Kentuckian once did.

However, the train ran on the bypass tracks south of the train shed as did Conrail freight trains and as CSX trains do today.

We then followed the route of Amtrak’s Hoosier State and Cardinal westward on the former PRR St. Louis Line to the site of the former Davis Tower where Chicago-bound Pennsy passenger trains made a right turn. The former St. Louis line west of here is abandoned.

Amtrak trains make a left turn off the ex-Pennsylvania at CP Clermont to get onto a former New York Central route, the Peoria & Eastern, but we kept going straight.

Our route took us through Lebanon and Frankfort. At Van Tower in Logansport we went around the wye and backed into town on the former Pan Handle tracks, crossing the Eel River before coming to a stop just east of South Third Street.

I disembarked and took a few photographs and watched the crew service the train. Here are a few of those photos, all of which have been scanned from color negatives.

The journey to and from Logansport was made without incident. The train was no speedster but wasn’t crawling along either.

I don’t recall how close we were to the published schedule, but we probably were not too far off.

I rode behind the 587 twice more before moving away from Indiana in 1991. One trip was a one-way journey in April 1989 from Indianapolis to Bloomington over the INRD and the other was a June 1991 journey over the former LE&W between Frankfort and Muncie.

I would then have one more encounter with the 587, riding an excursion from Indianapolis to Worthington, Ind., and return over another former Pennsy secondary line.

I have not seen the 587 since then and online reports indicate that it is landlocked at the ITM where it continues to undergo another rebuilding.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The service stop at Logansport enabled passengers to get out and get a good look at the locomotive.

The service stop at Logansport enabled passengers to get out and get a good look at the locomotive.

There is always work to do with a steam locomotive. The crew attends to the NKP 587 in Logansport.

There is always work to do with a steam locomotive. The crew attends to the NKP 587 in Logansport.

Note the boy at left watching the crew service the NKP 587. Is he a steam fan today because he was here on this day?

Note the boy at left watching the crew service the NKP 587. Is he a steam fan today because he was here on this day?

The excursion train sits idle in Logansport during the service stop.

The excursion train sits idle in Logansport during the service stop.

I didn't take notes to accompany my photos, but judging by the tired looks on the faces of some of these passengers I'm guessing that this photo was taken during the return trip.

I didn’t take notes to accompany my photos, but judging by the tired looks on the faces of some of these passengers I’m guessing that this photo was taken during the return trip.