Posts Tagged ‘steam excursions’

Steam Excursion Helped R&N Engineer Pay Medical Bills

July 20, 2021

A Reading & Northern locomotive engineer who has been a mainstay behind the throttle of a former Central of New Jersey 0-6-0 steam locomotive was the beneficiary of a special excursion featuring the steamer.

Chris Bost is battling the autoimmune disease chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy.

Bost received a check for $12,000 to help pay his medical expenses. The fund-raising was led by the Railway Restoration Project 113 of Minersville, Pennsylvania.

The non-profit group restored the CNJ Alco-built locomotive and has operated it on the R&N since 2012..

It ran a June 19 trips whose proceeds went to Bost for his medical expenses.

Bost is reported to be making slow but steady progress in recovering from the disease through courses of immunoglobulin therapy and physical therapy.

He is not expected to return to work at the R&N until sometime next year.

R&N workers have donated at least 60 vacation days so Bost can continue to draw full pay instead of disability.

Those who worked on the excursion donated their time.

Steam Saturday: A Chessie Steam Memory

July 17, 2021

Here’s a memory for some of you. It is Sept. 21, 1980, in Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Chessie 4-8-4 No. 614 is westbound during a one-way ferry move from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh. The excursion was part of the first season of the Chessie Safety Express program. This was the fifth trip of 20 that the 614 and its train made this year. Another season followed in 1981.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: Remembering a NKP 765 Visit of May 2013

May 22, 2021

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 was a regular visitor to Ohio in summer 2012, pulling a series of employee appreciation excursions.

The Berkshire-type locomotive made a return visit to NS rails in 2013, this time pulling excursions for which the public could purchase tickets as well as heading some employee specials.

In May 2013 the 765 ran several trips in Ohio, including some in the Cleveland area.

Here is a sample of photographs made during those trips.

In the top image, the 765 is shown near Cleveland Hopkins Airport. The next three images were made on an excursion to Bellevue and include scenes in Rocky River, Vermilion and Bellevue.

Those are followed by the return trip from Bellevue at Kimball. Next up are two images of a ferry move to Pennsylvania at Bedford and by the Westinghouse bridge in Pittsburgh.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Steam Saturday: 50 Year Old Memories

May 8, 2021

Fifty years ago last month, (April 24, 1971) ex-Reading 4-8-4 T-1 No. 2102 pulled an excursion on Norfolk & Western (Ex-Akron, Canton & Youngstown) tracks from Akron to Spencer.

In the top image, the train is boarding in Akron west of downtown. In the next two images it it shown westbound en route to Spencer.

One hundred Akron residents had raised $40,000 to purchase the Northern type steamer from the Reading Company. It was overhauled at the South Akron roundhouse of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

After restoration, the owners had a difficult time getting a railroad to agree to host an excursion before N&W agreed to allow it to run trips on April 24 and 25 over the former AC&Y.

Nearly 2,000 rode the 16-car train.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

CNJ Steamer to Run on R&N

May 4, 2021

A restored Central Railroad of New Jersey steam locomotive will pull an excursion on June 19 on the Reading & Northern in Pennsylvania.

The 0-6-0 No. 113 will face south en route from Minersville to Port Clinton, Pennsylvania, and be turned at the latter so it will face north on the return leg.

The train will have an open gondola behind the locomotive and five open-window coaches.

The event also includes a pig roast upon the return to Minersville.

The 37-mile round excursion is a fundraising event for R&N engineer Chris Bost, who is suffering from a nerve disease and presently undergoing therapy.

For additional information call 570-544-8300 or visit the Project 113 Facebook page.

Mainline Steam Seen Returning Later This Year

March 16, 2021

Mainline steam excursions may return in the second half of this year, although it is too soon to know an analysis published on the Trains magazine website concluded.

The analysis said it is unlikely that any mainline steam excursions will run in the first half of this year due to lingering COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and concerns.

The onset of the pandemic in spring 2020 wiped out most steam excursion plans last year.

The analysis noted that steam locomotives are people magnets and none of the operators of those engines wanted to be associated with a COVID-19 superspreader event.

Many fans will be watching for an announcement that Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 No. 4014 will resume its travels.

The Big Boy was the star of the Golden Spike Sesquicentennial tours in 2019 along with 4-8-4 No. 844.

Neither locomotive toured last year. “Confidence is high that if the pandemic is brought under control, expect to see UP steam burnish the rails,” Trains reported.

Another mainline steam locomotives that could be out and running late this year is Reading & Northern 4-8-4 No. 2102, which was test fired in January.

It hasn’t operated in 29 years and its owner has been able to offer some excursions during the latter half of the pandemic.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 No. 2926 was ready to roll last year but those plans were thwarted by the pandemic.

The locomotive’s operator is reported to be ready for the engine to move once the pandemic rules are relaxed. It would be the first excursion of an  AT&SF 2900-class locomotive in steam in the preservation era.

Southern Railway 2-8-2 No. 4501 is expected to pull trips from the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga to northern Georgia but no schedule has yet been posted for this year.

The much anticipated debut of restored Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 is expected to be sometime this year, perhaps in mid-summer.

The last Baldwin-built steamer made a test run on New Year’s weekend and the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad must complete track work before the 1309 can take Helmstetter’s Curve.

Operations may begin with an engineer-for-an-hour program.

Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 Class J No. 611 was getting tender axle work at the North Carolina Transportation Museum and it is possible it might operate near that base this year.

The Trains analysis predicted Soo Line 2-8-2 No. 1003 will be back in the fall pulling a photo charter sponsored by the magazine.

It made a similar prediction for Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 No. 261, saying it might pull trips in Minnesota.

Southern Pacific 4-8-4 Daylight No. 4449 might pull some holiday trains in Portland, Oregon, late this year as might Canadian Pacific 4-6-4 Hudson No. 2816.

The latter was fired up late last year and made moves in Calgary, Alberta, for a virtual holiday train special sponsored by CP.

Steam Saturday: Hanging With Frisco 1522

January 9, 2021

Over the years I attended 13 National Railway Historical Society conventions. The final one I attended was in 2001 with Ursula in St. Louis.

We rode the June 23, 2001, trip from St. Louis to Newburg, Missouri, and return with the Frisco 4-8-2 No. 1522.

At the Newburg layover the train was turned for the return to St. Louis and prior to reboarding at Newburg a photo runby was performed.

A year later the 1522 was retired again and returned to display at the Museum of Transportation.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Steam Saturday: Display in Wisconsin Before Being Restored to Operating Condition

January 2, 2021

The three steam locomotives featured here were all retired during the 1950 and all ended up on display in Wisconsin.

Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 No, #261 was the first acquisition of the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay.

Soo Line 4-6-2 No. 2719 was put on display in Eau Claire while Soo Line 2-8-2 No. 1003 was put on display in Superior.

All of these locomotives were later restored to operating condition and they are shown in various locations in the upper Midwest.

No. 261 is shown on Sept. 13, 1998, at Corsen, South Dakota. No. 2719 is shown on Sept. 19, 1998 in Chippewa Falls and Bateman, Wisconsin.

Finally, No. 1003 is shown on Sept. 15, 2000 in Milton and Edgerton, Wisconsin.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Steam Saturday: No. 614 in Lowellville

December 12, 2020

Chessie System 4-8-4 No. 614 is eastbound in Lowellville on June 27, 1981, during the second season of the Chessie Safety Express series of excursions. This particular excursion originated in Akron and made a roundtrip to Pittsburgh. It ran a one-way Akron to Pittsburgh ferry move the next day. The excursions were coordinated with The Whistle Stop in Cuyahoga Falls.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: Chessie Steam Special in Marion

November 7, 2020

We’re standing where the Chesapeake & Ohio passenger platform used to be at Marion Union Station. The date is Aug. 12, 1978.

Today is special because the Chessie Steam Special will be in town, albeit briefly.

Reading 4-8-4 No. 2102 with its colorful Chessie livery will be coming up from Columbus en route to Cleveland on a ferry move.

It’s the second season of the Chessie Steam Special and it will be the last.

The T-1 and its train had actually been through Marion earlier this month on these rails. On July 31, 1978, it passed through on a ferry move from Detroit to Columbus.

It pulled a series of trips out of Columbus including to Ashland and Toledo.

Now it’s time to head for Cleveland where it will operate two roundtrip excursions to Willard before moving on to Pittsburgh.

The purpose of the Chessie Steam Special had been to celebrate an anniversary of the Baltimore & Ohio.

That played out over two seasons then steam had an encore in 1980-1981 with the Chessie Safety Express tour.

Today CSX — the “C” in the carrier’s name is for Chessie — is adamantly opposed to hosting steam excursions.

Photograph by Robert Farkas