Posts Tagged ‘steam excursions’

Steam Saturday: My First A&A Visit

December 31, 2022

I made my first visit to the Arcade & Attica short line railroad in New York State on July 17, 2010. It was part of an outing held by the Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts.

I was in a party that traveled in a van that stopped at Bort Road near North East, Pennsylvania, while en route to Arcade, New York. That was my first visit there. We drove along the GE Erie test track but nothing was out running at the time.

We wrapped up the outing by driving up to Amtrak’s station in Depew, New York, which serves Buffalo.

The star attraction on the A&A was 2-8-0 No. 18, which had been built by Alco in 1920. We rode the first excursion of the day from Arcade to Curriers, and stuck around to photograph No. 18 leaving town for its second trip.

In both images No. 18 is pulling up to couple onto its train and will run tender first back to Arcade.

The two images above were made at Curriers during the layover. There is not much to see there, but the locomotive’s runaround move proved to be of interest to some passengers.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Steam Sunday: One Day on the EBT

December 11, 2022

The East Broad Top has been my favorite narrow-gauge railroad since 1962 when my parents took me there after we visited Washington. Fast forward 20 years to May 1, 1982. Jim Bacon, Paul Woodring, and I visited the EBT, and it was then that I took this photo of EBT 12 heading back to Orbisonia, Pennsylvania. How blessed we are that soon steam is supposed to return to the recently reopened EBT.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: Remember These ARRC Outings?

November 5, 2022

It’s a nice warm fall Sunday afternoon in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Akron Railroad Club is having a picnic at the Valley Picnic Area along Riverview Road south of Peninsula. Chef Marty Surdyk is cooking burgers and dogs on the grill and other goodies are laid out on a table.

The impetus for the picnic is about to arrive, so many of the attendees have walked a short distance to get a better view of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad tracks.

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 767 — yes you read that right — is on the property to pull excursion trains on the CVSR. You know this locomotive as No. 765, but for the 2016 runs on the CVSR the engine was renumbered 767.

There is a long story behind why the 765 operated as the 767 for two weekends on the CVSR in September 2016. It goes back to the 1950s when Nickel Plate Road No. 767 participated in a grand opening ceremony in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to mark the completion of a track elevation project through downtown Fort Wayne.

When the NKP offered to give the city a retired steam engine to put on static display in a park, officials requested No. 767. But the 767 had been scrapped and in a bit of subterfuge, the railroad sent No. 765 renumbered as No. 767.

That sleight of hand went unnoticed for years until the Fort Wayne Railroad History Society began restoring the 767 to operating condition and discovered it was actually No. 765.

In summer 2016 a ceremony was held in Fort Wayne to mark the beginning of the Headwaters Junction project. That railroad-themed park will someday be the home of the 765. For that ceremony the 765 was renumbered 767 and it continued to wear that roster number during its two weeks on the CVSR in September.

But getting back to the ARRC picnic, the afternoon northbound trip that originated in Akron is coming with the 767 trailing.

We’ve gathered on a slight hill along Riverview that offers a clear view of the tracks. Cameras are poised to capture the 767 as the excursion train goes past the photo line during its trip up from Akron.

We’ll repeat all of this in another hour when the 767 pulls the train back to Akron and past the picnic area.

The ARRC would hold another picnic in September 2017 when the 765 returned to the CVSR for another slate of excursions. That year it operated as 765 and carried a tribute to Jerry Joe Jacobson, who had died earlier that year, on the sides of the locomotive below the cab.

In looking at the 2917 image, which shows the excursion returning to Akron, I’m struck by how Riverview Road was almost empty when the 765 arrived. Some years there was a posse of vehicles chasing the train along Riverview, including one guy who paced the steamer and backed up traffic in the process.

In both 2016 and 2917 the CVSR’s regular train, the National Park Scenic, operated, thus giving us another train to watch. In later years that would not be the case when the 765 was running excursions.

The 2017 picnic would be the last time the ARRC held an outing in the Valley to picnic and watch the steam train.

A Weekend That Exceeded Expectations: 5

October 28, 2022

We started our walk to Brush tunnel from Helmstetter’s Curve at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, arriving at the tunnel at 11:14 a.m.

Again, we encountered hikers and bikers on our trek to the tunnel, inside and outside and on the other side.

Before the train arrived we were joined by a rail photographer from Buffalo, New York.

Just after 12:15 p.m.the train popped into the tunnel. Fifty-five seconds later it popped out with the steamer’s smoke pulled out with it as in the final photos. What a conclusion to a fantastic weekend.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Weekend That Exceeded Expectations: Part 3

October 26, 2022

I found that our weekend in Cumberland, Maryland, chasing Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad would prove to have a flurry of passenger train activity within walking distance of our hotel.

On the afternoon of Oct. 22, a Saturday, the passenger train with the 1309 returned to the Western Maryland passenger station just before 4:30 p.m.

The first five photos with this post, including the top image, were made at the Cumberland WM station.

As I was photographing the watering of the tender (seen below), a voice to my left asked if I was getting good photos.

The voice was again very familiar. It belonged to Akron Railroad Club member Dennis Sautters, of North Canton, who had just arrived in town. He told me he would be riding behind the 1309 on Sunday in dome car Stampede Pass.

Dennis also said he had just come from riding the Potomac Eagle. Before that he had been at Cass Scenic Railroad Park in West Virginia

On Sunday morning the Amtrak website showed that the eastbound Capitol Limited was running on time.

We were already checked out of the hotel and drove to the Amtrak station, located a short distance from the hotel, on the ex-Baltimore & Ohio mainline.

No. 30 arrived at 9:19 a.m. I had no idea that I would be happily surprised when I saw the “bloody nose” on the point.

It was my first time seeing P42DC Phase 1 heritage unit No. 161, which is the replacement for the 156 Phase I heritage unit.

While we were here we heard the horns of the Pumpkin Train arriving at the Western Maryland station across town.

We had plenty of time to see it before its departure at 9:30 a.m.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Weekend That Exceeded Expectations: Part 2

October 25, 2022

I continue with my chasing Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad adventure of Oct. 22.

After making photographs at Helmstetter’s Curve, we headed for Woodcock Hollow. This location is also on a horseshoe curve.

With the railroad on an uphill climb, the 1309’s stack talk was heard for several minutes before its arrival as seen in the top image.

The next three images show the train after its arrival in Frostburg, Maryland.

In the first photo below you can see Akron Railroad Club member Dave Shepherd on the right.

Photos three and four show my former brother-in-law and his son Own enjoying the steamer.

The plan was to have a nice leisurely lunch in LaVale. We did at the Ruby Tuesday restaurant. After lunch we drove back to Helmstetter’s Curve to see the departure of the 2 p.m. Pumpkin Train as shown in photo five.

The photo at Helmstetter’s Curve is the return departure of at 2:45 p.m.

We then walked the bike path the quarter-mile to West Helmstetter’s to await the return of the steam train.

During our relaxing wait we saw a continuous passing of bikers, joggers, hikers, mothers with children and strollers, and also railfan heading to Brush Tunnel.

Photos six through nine are the excursion shortly before 4 p.m. We then started back to the car at Helmstetter’s.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Weekend That Exceeded Expectations: Part 1

October 24, 2022

A few weeks ago my former brother-in-law Karl and his son, my nephew Owen, became available for a railfan adventure the weekend of Oct. 22-23.

Our destination would be Cumberland, Maryland, to see the Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

We departed Geneva at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday.

Our destination was Helmstetter’s Curve, which we hoped to reach in time to photograph the arrival of the first Pumpkin Patch train of the day that would have departed Cumberland at 10 a.m. We arrived at Helmstetter’s at 10:15 a.m. and set up at the cemetery overlook.

A few minutes later one other car pulled up next to ours. From a distance as they got out of their car I noticed they looked very familiar.

To my surprise they were Akron Railroad Club members Don Woods and Dave Shepherd. After exchanging greetings, we heard horns. The photograph above is the arrival of the Pumpkin Patch train.

After getting our photos, I suggested to Karl that we head to Ridgeley, West Virginia. My thinking was that the 1309 would have to be there to wait for the return of the Pumpkin train.

I was correct and the next three images were made at Ridgeley.

We then drove to a spot in the Narrows. The steam train would be about a half hour behind its scheduled 11:30 a.m. departure from Ridgeley. It would depart the Cumberland station about noon.

The next photo is at the Narrows at about 12:08 p.m. followed by photos made at Helmstetter’s Curve at 12:25 p.m. Part 2 of the series will continue to Frostburg.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

The Hunt for Gold October in Pa. (Part 2)

October 18, 2022

My second stop on Saturday during a visit to Pennsylvania to photograph trains and fall foliage was the Everett Railroad.

They were running Pumpkin Patch specials with No. 11, a 2-6-0 Mogul, and No. 126, an SW8 painted in Lehigh Valley colors.

We just missed the 10 a.m. trip but chased the return trip and the noon trip.  I don’t know what the locations of these photographs are but all they were just a few miles south of Hollidaysburg.

One of the photos was made at a farm and a curious donkey came over to see what we were doing.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Benefit Raises Money for PRR Steam Restoration

October 18, 2022

One famous steam locomotive made a special excursion last weekend to raise money for the restoration of another well-known steamer.

Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 pulled an evening dinner train on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad to raise money for the restoration of Pennsylvania Railroad Class K4S No. 1361.

The excursion raised more than $13,000 for the restoration of the PRR 4-6-2, which is currently housed at the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona, Pennsylvania.  

During the nine-car excursion from Cumberland to Frostburg, Maryland, the 1309 carried a former Pennsy three-chime passenger whistle.

The money raised during the excursion came from ticket sales and an on-board silent auction of photographs and other railroad memorabilia.

For more information and to view photographs of the excursion, visit https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/western-maryland-scenic-no-1309-powers-benefit-train-for-altoona-museum/

Steam Saturday: Chessie Steam Special in Pa.

October 15, 2022

This image of a Chessie Steam Special in Pennsylvania was created by John Woodworth using an extra camera being carried by Robert Farkas. The location is not known. After the image was posted on Trainorders.com, Ross Rowland commented, “Great reminder. That was my 41st. birthday and I was privileged to spend part of the day running her. IIRC she ran very well that day and everyone had a great time. Thanks for the memories.”

Photograph by John Woodworth