Posts Tagged ‘steam excursions’

Steam Saturday: N&W 611 in Virginia

September 24, 2022

Paul Woodring, Jim Bacon, and I were chasing some of newly-restored Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No.  611’s very first fan trips in early September 1982.

Some locations are easy to identify while others are almost impossible. N&W 611 is on one of her first fan trips somewhere in Virginia.

This image might have been the Independence Limited, which operated on Sept. 4 between Roanoke and Norfolk, or, if it was made on Sept. 6, running between Roanoke and Alexandria.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

N&W 611 to Operate This Fall at Strasburg

September 3, 2022

Norfolk & Western J Class No. 611 will be back in action this fall on the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania.

The 4-8-4 ran on the tourist railroad in 2019 and 2021 and is already on the property receiving maintenance work following last year’s excursions.

This year’s excursions will operate between late September and mid-November.

Among the events announced are “At-The-Throttle-Experiences,” stationary cab tours, excursions, and a photo charter hosted with by tour operator Peter Lerro.

For more information, visit strasburgrailroad.com/611-experiences/

Steam Saturday: Ex-CP 2839 on the Southern

August 6, 2022

The Southern Railway leased former Canadian Pacific 4-6-4 No. 2839 in 1979-1981 to pull a series of steam excursions.

As described in Jim Wrinn’s book Steam’s Camelot: Southern and Norfolk Southern Excursions in Color, Southern officials found the 2839 on an abandoned short line railroad in Northampton, Pennsylvania.

It was operable and looked snazzy with its blue-gray and burgundy CP livery but it had no place to run.

Southern arranged to have the locomotive moved to Southern rails. The plan was to have the 2839 pull longer excursions than Southern’s two excursions locomotives at the time could handle.

The Royal Hudson pulled its first Southern steam trip in March 1979 from Alexandria, Virginia, to Atlanta.

Shortly after that the 2839 was used in the filming of the movie Coal Miner’s Daughter.

The Southern steam program assignment for 2839 was short lived because the railroad didn’t think the Royal Hudson steam was powerful enough.

Wrinn wrote in his book that the 2839 was a fast runner but needed diesel helpers to assist it in getting heavy excursion trains over the mountain grades of the Southern.

Still it continued to pull steam excursions in 1980 and 1981, with its last trip running from Birmingham to Memphis in January 1981. On the Southern the 2839 logged 17,587 miles and carried 53,570 passengers.

In the image above, the 2839 is at St. Anthony, Indiana, on June 9, 1979, pulling a roundtrip between Huntingburg and New Albany.

That month the 2839 pulled six excursions, three of them out of Huntingburg and three out of Louisville.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: ARRC Steam Trip Memories

July 30, 2022

Here are three of one of my favorite steam locomotives in action on Oct. 13, 2001, with an Akron Railroad Club excursion on the Ohio Central

Former Grand Trunk Western 4-8-4 No. 6325 is shown in Pearl on the point for a photo runby for the photographers.

The other two images were made at a location that I did not record. It is shown in the bottom image backing up to Sugarcreek to pick up the excursion train. Having passed me, I took the going away photo (middle image) at the same location.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Additional NKP 765 Trip Added This Fall

July 22, 2022

The Indiana Rail Experience has added a third Tri-State Scenic trip to be pulled by Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

The Oct. 1 excursion will operate between Edon, Ohio and Hillsdale, Michigan, with a three-hour layover in Hillsdale, Michigan, on Oct. 1.  

The train will travel over tracks of the Indiana Northeastern.

Although tickets are being sold in six classes, as of Friday morning (July 22), only three classes of tickets were still available. Tickets can be purchased at https://fortwaynerailroad.ticketspice.com/the-tri-state-scenic?mc_cid=305fa72bb5&mc_eid=84a4623669

R&N Planning Steam Double Header Aug. 13

July 22, 2022

Pennsylvania regional railroad Reading & Northern plans to run a steam locomotive double header on Aug. 13.

The Iron Horse Rambles train will feature 4-8-4 No. 2102 and 4-6-2 No. 425 and is already sold out.

R&N said it will be its first steam doubleheader since 1988 and the third of four scheduled steam excursions between Reading and Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, this year.

All three of the remaining trips are sold out. Some fall foliage excursions are expected to operate with steam power.

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

Website Set up for NKP 765 Excursions

June 8, 2022

A website has been established to sell tickets and provide information about the Indiana Rail Experience excursions set for this year to be pulled by Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

The Lima-built Berkshire type locomotive will pull a series of excursions in July, August and September that will run in Indiana, with some trips also operating in Ohio and Michigan.

The first of those excursions will be the Indiana Ice Cream Train on July 8 and 9 departing from Angola, Indiana, for 45-minute train rides. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children (ages 3-16).

On those same dates the 765 will pull an adults-only Wine, Whiskey and Spirits train from Angola during the evening.

Tickets are $99 per person for wine and whiskey class seating and $90 per person for beer class seating. That includes two complimentary beverages per passenger, hors d’oeuvres and a dessert.

The longest trips will be the Tri-State Scenic Excursions on Aug. 27 and 28 that will operate between Edon, Ohio, and Hillsdale, Michigan.

Tickets are $79 (open widow coach), $99 (open air car), $139 (deluxe coach), $149 (diner lounge seating), and $249 (first class).

Also available are suites ranging from $499 to $529. An entire car can be chartered for $4,500 and has been dubbed executive class. The car is a restored open platform car.

The American History Train will operate from Angola Sept. 23-25. All tickets for those trips will cost $29 per person.

The site can be reached at https://www.indianarailexperience.org/the-tri-state-scenic/

R&N Sets Iron Horse Rambles Schedule

March 24, 2022

The Reading & Northern has finalized its 2022 Iron Horse Rambles excursion schedule featuring restored T-1 4-8-4 No. 2102.

The former Reading Company steamer was overhauled in a $2.4 million project for the Pennsylvania-based regional railroad.

It will pull excursions between Reading and Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, on May 28, July 2, Aug. 13 and Sept. 3.

The May 28 trip is already sold out. Tickets in five classes of seating are still available for the other excursions.

Fare are not based on the age of the passenger and include standard coach for $99, crown class coach for $110, Pullman car private rooms for $299 per room for up to two people, first class dome car seating for $199, first class lounge car for $199, and first class lounge observation car for $210.

R&N owner Andy Muller, Jr. purchased the 2102 in 1986 and operated it in excursion service until it was put into storage in 1991.

The 2102 is one of four surviving T-1 steam locomotives and at one time pulled trips in Northeast Ohio.

Iron Horse Rambles tickets can be purchased at  www.rbmnrr-passenger.com, or by phone at 610-562-2102.

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