Posts Tagged ‘Steam excursion trains’

Steam Saturday: Doubleheading on Conrail’s Pittsburgh Line Near Horseshoe Curve

June 25, 2022

An unidentified photographer made this image of a steam doubleheader featuring former Reading 4-8-4 No. 2102 and former Grand Trunk Western 2-8-2 No. 4070 pulling a train near Horseshoe Curve in May 1977. To be specific, the location is Milepost 328.5 on Conrail’s Pittsburgh Line. The 2102 is running in Pennsylvania again this summer on the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern. Restoration of the 4070 to operating condition continues to face a long, hard slog.

Collection of Robert Farkas

45 Years Later at Stone Road

May 15, 2022

With the excursions of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad limited to all departing from Rockside Road station and advancing only as far as Vaughn Road due to the river bank erosion north of Boston Mill, I decided to pick out a one-and-done location.

I picked Stone Road about a mile south of the Rockside Road station.

 I chose that spot for several reasons. Years ago it was a through road between Brecksville Road on the west, crossing the tracks (ex-Baltimore & Ohio) at river level, crossing the river on a truss bridge, crossing the Ohio & Erie Canal, and then intersecting with Canal Road on the east end.

The top image was made in July 1977 with Cuyahoga Valley Line (ex-Grand Trunk Western) 4070 approaching. There were even crossing signals here.

Many years ago the bridge over the river needed replacement. It was demolished and never replaced. Stone Road still comes in from the west and dead ends at the railroad.

Photographs two and three were made on Saturday shortly after the 10 a.m. departure of NKP 765.

I also guessed the parking area at the Brecksville station would be closed off due to this being the only location for the photo runbys.

I suggested to Jeff Troutman, who was riding with me, that we drive past to see. I was right so then I suggested that we should visit the new visitor center at Boston Mill.

I was there twice last year, once with Marty Surdyk and once with Ursula.

We also saw the damaged riverbank area and from what we could see that it would still be a while for the repairs to be completed.

After stopping at the visitor center, we headed for lunch at McDonalds. About noon we went down to Old Rockside to await the return of the steam excursion.

The train showed up right at 12:30 p.m. The bottom photo is the train at the boarding site. As you can see some dark clouds were moving in.

Once the passengers had detrained, the train moved to north of Old Rockside. We got a few photos of 765. As we got back to my car the heavens let loose. It lasted a few minutes but we were done anyway. It was not an all-day outing, but still an enjoyable one.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Steam Saturday: N&W 611 in Cleveland

February 26, 2022

Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 pulls a westbound excursion through the Flats in Cleveland in early August 1985. The train is on former Nickel Plate Road tracks on a bridge spanning the Cuyahoga River Valley. The 611 pulled two round trips between Erie, Pennsylvania, and Bellevue on Aug. 3 and 4 that year.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: Coal Smoke in Michigan

February 12, 2022

We don’t know the identity of the photographer who made this photo of East Jordan & Southern No. 6, probably in or near East Jordan, Michigan. The slide was processed in September 1960. The EJ&S still used steam until the early 1960s.

This image portrays a tourist train, but the EJ&S got its start as a lumber railroad. It transported harvested lumber to a connection with the Chicago & Western Michigan. The EJ&S also served other industries that helped to sustain it after the lumber mills shut down in the 1920s. The short line connected in Bellaire with the Pere Marquette.

The EJ&S operated between 1901 and 1962. It had regulatory approval to cease operations in 1932, but management instead decided to press ahead, hauling passengers and freight.

Every year on Independence Day the railroad offered free rides. No. 6 shown above is a 2-6-0 built in 1909 by the Pittsburgh Steam Engine Company. The EJ&S also had two other steam locomotives on its roster.

A last run was staged on Aug. 12, 1962, just ahead of the end of operations. The tracks were later pulled up. No. 6 survives today on East Jordan on static display.

Collection of Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: Annoyed, But Still Like the Shot

February 5, 2022

Norfolk & Western 2-6-6-4 Class A No. 1218 is returning to Bellevue during its Aug. 15, 1987, Toledo-Columbus roundtrip.

From what I remember the 1218 would be cut off in Bellevue. I purposely framed the locomotive with the ex-Pennsy position signals in the late afternoon/early evening lighting.

All these years I was irritated that the keystone whistle post was cut off.  I would think that I would have had that included in the shot.

Recently I went through my negative files and found the negative. The whistle post was fully in the exposure. I just became annoyed, but I still like the photo.

Article and Photograph by Edward Ribinskas

Steam Saturday: Chessie Safety Express

January 29, 2022

Chessie System 4-8-4 Greenbrier type No. 614 is heading west out of Pittsburgh on June 27, 1981, with the Chessie Safety Express. The locomotive was built for the Chesapeake & Ohio. The trip had originated in Akron and was trip 17 of the 1981 season. The next day the train made a one way ferry move from Akron to Pittsburgh to get into position for two weekends of trips out of Pittsburgh in mid July.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

R&N Sets 4 Excursions for Reading 2102

January 22, 2022

Pennsylvania regional railroad Reading & Northern will begin selling tickets next month for a series of excursions pulled by former Reading Company 4-8-4 No. 2102.

The trips will be dubbed “Iron Horse Rambles” as a nod to the name used by the Reading Lines in the early 1960s for its own steam excursions.

Railfan & Railroad magazine reported on its website on Friday that trips pulled by the 2102 are expected to run from Reading to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, on May 28, July 2, Aug. 13 and Sept. 3.

Tickets are expected to go on sale on Feb. 15. R&N officials told the magazine that more excursions are expected to be added to the schedule with many of them operating in the fall.

The R&N has been restoring No. 2102 to operating condition in recent years and that work is nearly finished.

The 2102 has not operated for 30 years. It pulled a few excursions on the R&N in the 1980s and early 1990s before being retired in 1991.

As part of the restoration efforts, R&N workers fired up the 2102 in January 2021 for the first time since its retirement.

For more information visit https://railfan.com/reading-2102-to-lead-iron-horse-rambles-excursions/

To view announcements and information about the R&N excursions visit https://www.rbmnrr-passenger.com/

Steam Saturday: A Moment With the 1293

December 18, 2021

Chances are many of you reading this already know that 1293 refers to a steam locomotive once owned by Canadian Pacific and later purchased and operated by the late Jerry Jacobson. The 4-6-2 was a mainstay of the Ohio Central steam program and the most active steamer during the years of Akron Railroad Club steam excursions. In the image above the 1293 and its train are southbound under the Ohio Route 93 bridge in Dundee in the fall. This photograph was made, most likely, in October 1999.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: On Day with T&P 610 in Indiana

December 4, 2021

This may appear to be a Southern Railways locomotive, but take a closer look. Despite the Southern insignia and markings a Texas & Pacific logo above the headlight betrays its true origin.

The 2-10-4 Texas type was built in June 1927 by Lima Locomotive Works. It saw heavy duty on the T&P until the late 1950s when it was retired and donated to the city of Fort Worth and placed on static display.

In 1976 it pulled the American Freedom Train within the Lone Star State and a year later was leased by the Southern for its steam program.

The photographer caught up with the 610 on June 17, 1978, in Huntingburg, Indiana, where it was in charge of a roundtrip between Huntingburg and New Albany, Indiana.

That was one of four excursions the 610 pulled that weekend in which Huntingburg was either an origin or turning point on the Southern’s Louisville-St. Louis line.

The 610 would spend four years pulling Southern excursion trains before returning to Texas in 1981 where it is now on static display at the Texas State Railroad in Palestine.

Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, No. 610 is the only surviving example of a T&P Texas-type locomotive and the only non-articulated locomotive built by Lima.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: Steamin’ in Independence

July 24, 2021

We’ve set the wayback machine to the era when former Grand Trunk Western 2-8-2 No. 4070 was the primary motive power pulling Cuyahoga Valley Line excursion trains through the then-named Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area.

In the photo above,l the 4070 and a Baltimore & Ohio torpedo tube Geep are southbound in Independence on Oct. 18, 1980. It was common in that era for a Chessie System diesel to accompany the CVL trains.

Photograph by Robert Farkas