Posts Tagged ‘steam excursions’

Steam Saturday: An N&W 611 Memory

January 1, 2022

Paul Woodring, Jim Bacon, and I were in Roanoke, Virginia, on Sept. 6, 1982, for one of Norfolk & Western 611’s first excursions. This particular trip operated as the Independence Limited on a one way jaunt from Roanoke to Alexandria, Virginia. It operated after the 611’s inaugural trips on Aug. 20, 21 and 22 from Birmingham, Alabama, to Roanoke.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Sunday: Timeless OC Baltic Memory

December 26, 2021

During the days when it was pulling excursions on the Ohio Central system, former Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 No. 1293 passed through Baltic, Ohio, countless times. Some of those trips involved pulling the tourist train between Sugarcreek and Baltic. That was the locomotive’s assignment in August 1998 when Bob caught it bound for Baltic. The 1293 is still operable but opportunities for it to pull excursions trains have become exceedingly rare.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: Lot of Memories in This Image

December 18, 2021

My first encounter with Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 was in August 1993. I had just moved to Cleveland to take a new job and had seen that there would be a steam excursion from Akron to Pittsburgh and return.

I don’t remember how I heard about it but I ordered a ticket for a Sunday trip while I was still living in State College, Pennsylvania.

The locomotive for that trip was the 765 although it was disguised as a Chesapeake & Ohio locomotive. My next encounter with the 765 would occur 17 years later when the Berkshire-type steam made its first visit to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

I missed it during its first weekend of operation but vowed I would not miss it during its last weekend. I bought a ticket for the morning trip out of Akron.

Another first occurred that afternoon when I chased the 765. At that time I didn’t know that much about the CVSR territory and had made relatively few photographs of its operations. But by 2010 that had begun to change.

I surprised myself in being able to catch the 765 in multiple locations including the image above made at Howe Meadow. The photo runbys that year were conducted at Indigo Lake. The 765 would come as far as Howe Meadow before backing up to reboard passengers.

A handful of other fans were on hand here as well. There is something about this image I’ve always liked. Much of it has to do with the pleasant memories associated with that day. But another element is symbolic. The 765 is passing out of the darkness of the shadows and into the late afternoon light. In a way this chase represented my own coming out of the darkness with the 765.

When it returned the next year I was ready and chased and photographed it on multiple occasions.

Fast Forward to September 2018. The 765 was back in the Valley just as it had been in every year previous except 2012. I had a ticket for a trip out of Akron that would be the last one for the 765 on its 2018 visit.

That would turn out to be my last encounter to date with the 765 anywhere. I didn’t plan it that way, but there seems a certain symmetry to how my last experience with the 765 on the CVSR mirrors in many ways my first one.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

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: Sort of on Home Rails

November 6, 2021

Norfolk & Western 2-6-6-4 No. 1218 pulls on excursion train south of Bellevue on Aug.15, 1987. It is the heyday of the Norfolk Southern steam program when the 1218 and running mate N&W 611 were frequent visitors to Ohio.

The 1218 was home built by N&W in June 1943 in Roanoke, Virginia. The track is is running on was once a Pennsylvania Railroad route from Columbus to Sandusky.

The N&W acquired it in 1964 in order to have more direct access to the Nickel Plate Road, which is acquired that year along with the Wabash, and the Akron, Canton & Youngstown.

Although the Sandusky District as N&W named its Columbus-Sandusky line never hosted the 1218 in revenue service in its first career, the 1218 did polish these ex-N&W rails during its excursion career between 1987 and 1994.

Today the 1218 is on static display at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke.

The excursion shown above was a Toledo-Columbus roundtrip. However, the 1218 only operated on the Belleveue-Columbus segment with the Toledo-Bellevue segment pulled by diesels.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

I Found Another Lookout Mountain Photograph

October 27, 2021

When I wrote the article and sent a photograph of observation car Lookout Mountain, I was thinking the photo was the only time had I have captured that car.

While preparing for some upcoming stories, I found I had photographed Lookout Mountain one other time and gotten better images.

I attended the 1984 National Railway Historical Society convention in Cincinnati with Marty Surdyk, Bill Sudyk, Robert Surdyk and John Surdyk.

We rode two trips and chased the trip Sept. 2 trip that Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 pulled on the ex-Chesapeake & Ohio mainline along the Ohio River.

The trip originated at the ex-Southern yard in Ludlow, Kentucky. The train had to back over the Southern bridge over the Ohio River to Queensgate yard in Cincinnati to get to the C&O route.

The first three photographs were made on the Cincinnati side as the train is reversing, with a good shot of the Lookout Mountain.

The next three images show the train on the C&O crossing the river into Covington, Kentucky.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Steam Saturday: An ARRC Excursion at Pearl

October 2, 2021

Remember when the Akron Railroad Club used to have steam excursions on the Ohio Central? Yeah, it’s been several years since one of those ran. Shown is 4-8-4 No. 6325, a former Grand Trunk Western locomotive, pulling a southbound ARRC trip at Pearl in October 2001.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

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