Posts Tagged ‘steam locomotive’

Last Weekend of Steam in the Valley

September 29, 2019

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 was back in action this week pulling excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The last public trips of the Berkshire locomotive’s annual visit to the CVSR will feature trips out of Akron today (Sept. 29) with a photo runby at Indigo Lake.

In the top two photographs above the 765 is shown steaming through Peninsula.

In the bottom photograph, CVSR FPA-4 Nos. 6777 and 6771 are shown on th rear of the train next to dome-observation-sleeper car Silver Solarium.

It’s hard to imagine they would ever be coupled to a dome from the California Zephyr.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

You Know You’d Like to Be Him For a Day

October 9, 2018

Who among us hasn’t thought about how he would like to wrap his hands around the throttle of a big steam locomotive?

Who hasn’t pictured himself sitting in the engineer’s seat and being in charge of a beat that weighs 404 tons, can generate 4,500 horsepower and demands, yes, demands, attention from all within earshot of the tracks?

Who hasn’t dreamed of pulling the whistle cord even if just once?

For a handful of people those thoughts and dreams have come true even if the opportunities to practice them are rather limited.

You don’t just climb into the cab of the Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 and sit down in the engineer’s seat.

There are tests to pass and dues to be paid in working for the locomotive’s owner.

None of these things are likely on the mind of this man who is sitting in the right seat in the cab of NKP 765 as it idles in Akron last month between excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

But he is living the dream.

Chasing the NKP 765 on Thursday

September 11, 2015
Nickel Plate Road No. 765 steams out of the Bellevue Yard and leaves Norfolk Southern tracks as it enters the Brewster connection to the Wheeling & Lake Erie.

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 steams out of the Bellevue Yard and leaves Norfolk Southern tracks as it enters the Brewster connection to the Wheeling & Lake Erie.

Further east on the Brewster connection in Bellevue, NKP 765 creates its own smoke shadow.

Further east on the Brewster connection in Bellevue, NKP 765 creates its own smoke shadow.

Making speed eastbound through the grain elevator complex at West Clarksfield, NKP 765 has a clean stack which lets the complex be easily seen.

Making speed eastbound through the grain elevator complex at West Clarksfield, NKP 765 has a clean stack which lets the complex be easily seen.

Here are three images from my Thursday chase of Nickel Plate Road No. 765 as it made a ferry move to get to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

I chased the train from Bellevue to Wellington. Thankfully, the blue skies were behind the 765 while the clouds were behind me.

The Akron Railroad Club was represented by several members and perhaps they will post their favorite images.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Reading T-1 No. 2100 En Route to Cleveland

April 22, 2015

As the Reading Company T-1 No. 2100 makes it way toward Cleveland on a flatcar, the American Steam Railroad Preservation Association has begun a $700,000 fund-raising campaign that will pay for its restoration.

The group hopes to raise the money in time to have the 2100 back in service by 2017. Donations may be made at www.fireup2100.org.

The 2100 was loaded aboard a flat car in Richland, Wash., on April 16. It had been stored there for several years. It will be routed over BNSF and Norfolk Southern via St. Louis.

The locomotive is bound for the former Baltimore & Ohio roundhouse in Cleveland that is now operated by the Midwest Railway Preservation Society

In Cleveland, the 2100 will be inspected and restored to operating condition. It will undergo a full hydrostatic test, ultrasonic testing of the firebox, repair of appliances, and removal of the drivers to allow close inspection of the journals, and inspection of all rods and pins.

Plans are to repaint the locomotive into its original Reading black with gold lining and lettering.

“Getting the locomotive back to the Midwest is a significant way to recognize our 10th anniversary in the railroad preservation industry,” said Association President Steve Harvey. “Just moving the 2100 closer to home territory is a victory.”

Last Chase of NKP 765 Exceeded Expectations

September 17, 2014
Morning light catches the Nickel Plate Road 765 as it smokes and steams it up while crossing the Cuyahoga River south of Peninsula.

Morning light catches the Nickel Plate Road 765 as it smokes and steams it up while crossing the Cuyahoga River.

When I left home last Sunday to chase the Nickel Plate Road No. 765 as it finished its two-week visit to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad I had modest plans.

I wanted to be near Deep Lock Quarry to get the southbound morning trip out of Boston Mill. I had wanted to photograph the 765 there on Sunday, Sept. 7, but that didn’t work out. I then set my sights on last Saturday, but that didn’t work out either as I found Indigo Lake more appealing.

So an image near Deep Lock was my top priority when I arrived in the valley. My other plan was to get the 765 from Riverview Road across a field north of Boston Mill. It is goldenrod season and I haven’t shot that many broad perspectives of the 2-8-4 visitor from Indiana.

I like the Deep Lock Quarry location because trains coming out of Peninsula are climbing a grade. The 765 sounds great coming past here.

I had staked out this position last year and been pleased with the results. The first trip out of Boston Mill was at 10:15 a.m. and by then the sun was high up enough to get over the trees and provide illumination through the gaps, one of which is the Cuyahoga River.

I was more than pleased with the results. I would get what turned out to be my favorite image of the day of the 765 in action.

After moving a little closer to the Cuyahoga River bridge, I waited for the 765 to return and ended up getting what might be my second favorite image of the day of the 765 just after it crossed the river.

With the 765 gone, I was left with the question of “now what?” The next trip would be at 12:30 p.m. but it seemed too early to get into position along Riverview Road north of Boston Mill.

The operating plan was to go south, then go north and then go south again out of Boston Mill for the one-hour excursions.

I drove in the direction of Boston Mill not sure where to hang out to kill time. The regular CVSR Scenic train was coming up from Akron and the 765 and its train would need to get out of the way.

I figured the 765 would pull down to Peninsula and the trains would meet there. I could get photos of the meet. But by the time I hatched this plan I had already driven past Peninsula and Boston Mill was just ahead.

On a whim I pulled into the parking area at Boston Mill station and thought I’d get some crowd shots. It was then that I learned that the 765 was about to do a photo runby.

“OK,” I thought. “After the runby they would continue to Peninsula to get out of the way of the Scenic train,” which I could hear on the radio was just about into Peninsula.

But the 765 and its train stopped just after clearing the Boston Mill station. They weren’t going to go to Peninsula, at least not now. But what were they going to do?

I started walking briskly toward my car, still unsure of my next move. I heard a crew member say on the radio, “let’s go to Fitz.” That was where they would get out of the way of the Scenic train.

That was good news for me because it would result in an extra run at steam past Brecksville and the concrete arched Ohio Route 82 bridge. I had yet to photograph the 765 there this year at ground level. Good thing that I had not gone to Peninsula.

Problem was, though, that I had forgotten where I had parked. I was so fixated on the train leaving that I walked past my car.

When the train rolled by I thought I had blown it. Although the 765 had a head start, I managed to get to Brecksville just ahead of it and had just enough time to get out and fire away as the 765 trekked northward. The northbound Scenic wasn’t far behind.

There were a handful of railfan photographers on the scene, including Dave Hanna and Akron Railroad Club member Dave Kachinko.

We talked about where we thought the 12:30 p.m. train would meet the southbound Scenic. It could be Peninsula or it could be Fitzwater. I was hoping it would be the latter.

I predicted that the southbound 765 ferry move would reach Brecksville at 12:15. My prediction was almost dead on, about two minutes before my predicted time.

The photos at Brecksville were bonus coverage.

I had plenty of time to get into position along Riverview for my second planned photo location. I got it, too, although the sun had gone behind a cloud.

Rather than wait for the 765 to come by again I headed back to Brecksville with the intent of photographing the train coming across Chippewa Creek.

I just barely got to Brecksville as the train was approaching the station. I pulled off onto the grassy shoulder alongside the entrance road. I had time to get into place to make an image of the station and the Route 82 bridge along with the 765.

On the other side of the creek, I found fellow ARRC officer Edward Ribinskas, ARRC member Dennis Taksar and Dennis’s dad. I had met the elder Taksar at Deep Lock Quarry that morning.

The southbound CVSR Scenic gave us a chance to try some angles and check how they looked.

The sun was out as the 765 crossed the creek and I was pleased with the results. Maybe one of these was my second favorite image of the day.

I had to be home by late afternoon, but there was time for one more photo location to get the 2:30 p.m. trip passing southward through Peninsula.

On the spur of the moment, I decided to pull off Riverview Road beneath the Interstate 271 bridge. Some other fans had the same idea and I walked down to the area beneath the bridge to join them.

The 765 crew had cut the smoke plume shortly after passing Boston Mill station but right before the locomotive reached our small group it began smoking nicely again. Was that because the crew couldn’t resist putting on a small show for the photographers?

I wanted to get the 765 coming out of the notch in the trees on the north side of Peninsula. The lighting favored the west side of the tracks, but I wanted to be on the east side. So I broke a rule or two to get my last images of the day.

It had turned into a much busier day with more photo locations than I had expected to get. I never opened the Trains magazine that I brought along to read to kill time between runs. And that was fine with me.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Headed back north near Deep Lock Quarry. It is one of my favorite places to photograph on the CVSR.

Headed back north near Deep Lock Quarry. It is one of my favorite places to photograph on the CVSR.

There's just enough smoke and steam, along with a bright headlight, to suggest that the 765 is coming toward me rather than going away. The train has just crossed the Cuyahoga River south of Peninsula.

There’s just enough smoke and steam, along with a bright headlight, to suggest that the 765 is coming toward me rather than going away. The train has just crossed the Cuyahoga River south of Peninsula.

I considered this a "bonus" photo runby at Brecksville. The 765 and its empty train are ferrying from Fitzwater to Boston Mill to be ready for the 12:30 p.m. excursion, which would retrace the train's route back to Fitzwater.

I considered this a “bonus” photo runby at Brecksville. The 765 and its empty train are ferrying from Fitzwater to Boston Mill to be ready for the 12:30 p.m. excursion, which would retract the train’s route back to Fitzwater.

It's nearly fall and the goldenrod is growing. The location is along Riverview Road north of Boston Mill. The 765 is backup toward Fitzwater.

It’s nearly fall and the goldenrod is growing. The location is along Riverview Road north of Boston Mill. The 765 is backup toward Fitzwater.

At the last minute I "saw" this shot and was able to get it. I had photographed the 765 at this pond last year, although I was much closer to the water then.

At the last minute I “saw” this shot and was able to get it. I had photographed the 765 at this pond last year, although I was much closer to the water then.

I was surprised that just one lone on-looker was standing on the platform at Brecksville when the middle excursion made the northward trek to Fitzwater shops.

I was surprised that just one lone on-looker was standing on the platform at Brecksville when the middle excursion made the northward trek to Fitzwater shops.

A lot of steam locomotives have cast smoke upon the Route 82 bridge over the decades.. When built in the 1930s, the Baltimore & Ohio below was all steam.

A lot of steam locomotives have cast smoke upon the Route 82 bridge over the decades.. When built in the 1930s, the Baltimore & Ohio below was all steam.

The inscription in the concrete at the north end of the bridge below the tender reads "1948," but much of this bridge was rebuilt earlier this year.

The inscription in the concrete at the north end of the bridge below the tender reads “1948,” but much of this bridge was rebuilt earlier this year.

Putting on a show for the customers during the photo runby at Boston Mill following the conclusion of the middle trip of the day.

Putting on show for the customers during the photo runby at Boston Mill following the conclusion of the middle trip of the day.

Note the smoke rings as the 765 comes through the smoke-filled notch in the trees on the north side of Peninsula.

Note the smoke rings as the 765 comes through the smoke-filled notch in the trees on the north side of Peninsula.

I broke a rule or two about lighting to get this image, but it had the angle and location that I wanted. I also liked how the steam and smoke blended in with the puffy white clouds.

I broke a rule or two about lighting to get this image, but it had the angle and location that I wanted. I also like how the steam and smoke blend in with the puffy white clouds in the sky.

Steamy Day at the Lake Shore Museum

August 19, 2013

 

Viscose No. 6 passes by a former New York Central GE locomotive built at the nearby Erie locomotive assembly plant on Saturday at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pa.

Viscose No. 6 passes by a former New York Central GE locomotive built at the nearby Erie locomotive assembly plant on Saturday at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pa.

 

Last weekend was dubbed as “steam locomotive weekend” at the Lake Shore Railway Museum at North East, Pa.

Viscose Company No. 6 was featured with runs on the museum grounds along with other activities.

I drove out Saturday with my wife, Ursula. We arrived about 12:30 p.m. and already a good-size crowd was present.

Here is a sample of the photographs that I made during the steam day.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

An ancient Pullman car frames Viscose No. 6.

An ancient Pullman car frames Viscose No. 6.

 

Showing a little steam at the west end of the museum grounds as a westbound CSX train passes by.

Showing a little steam at the west end of the museum grounds as a westbound CSX train passes by.

 

On the non-interlocked crossing at the west end of the museum.

On the non-interlocked crossing at the west end of the museum.

 

Just cruising along for the photographers.

Just cruising along for the photographers.

 

Ursula Ribinskas and No. 6.

Ursula Ribinskas and No. 6.

 

The crossing watchman gets a photograph of No. 6.

The crossing watchman gets a photograph of No. 6.

 

Viscose No. 6 steaming past the fireless cooker.

Viscose No. 6 steaming past the “fireless cooker.”

 

N&W 611 Might Steam Again in 2014

June 29, 2013

The committee studying whether to return Norfolk & Western steam locomotive No. 611 to service announced Friday that it has given a high green to a $3.5 million fund-raising campaign to restore the famed J class 4-8-4 to operating condition.

“We are pleased to say that we can Fire Up 611! But the time is now and it will take 611 fans around the world to stoke her fire,” said Beverly T. Fitzpatrick, Jr., executive director of the Virginia Museum of Transportation. “Today we are kicking off the official capital campaign.” The 611 needs a complete mechanical restoration, a maintenance facility and support to develop an excursion program.

The Fire Up 611! Committee will seek to raise $5 million to create an endowment that will keep the 611 operating for several years. Fitzpatrick said the fund raising campaign is needed because the museum based in Roanoke, Va., lacks the resources to fund the restoration and operations of the 611.

 “We are asking her fans across the globe who want to see her run again to be a part of this important capital campaign. Her appeal extends to people everywhere who value heritage, craftsmanship and the thrill of bringing an American icon to life,” Fitzpatrick said. If the fund-raising campaign is successful, the 611is expected to be moved to the roundhouse at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, N.C., for an inspection and restoration.

A combination of paid contractors and experienced volunteer labor will carry out the work. Many of them did similar work in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Virginia museum said it must raise the $3.5 million by Oct. 31 in order for the 611 to be able to join NS’s 21st Century steam program in 2014.

The NS steam program is current using Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s Southern Railway 2-8-0 No. 630, and the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

Preston Claytor, chairman of the Fire Up 611! Committee expressed optimism that the six-month fund raising time frame can be met. “We feel very confident, especially with the work that was done in the late 80s and early 90s, about what we will have to do and what we won’t have to do,”  he said. “Realistically it needs some engine truck work, and it needs the form 4 (federally mandated inspection), and of course all the other things that must be done after this much time has passed, such as air brake work. But with the right amount of volunteers and labor and some good luck, six months is very realistic.” Claytor said the wheels of the locomotive are approaching the end of their useful life and are not longer FRA compliant.

The wheels would have been replaced during the winter of 1994-1995, but that work was canceled after NS scrapped its steam program.

The shop for the 611 will be built at the Virginia museum, but it will be a year to 18 months before it opens. It will include one track with a drop pit, while another will be just rails and concrete. The building will be designed to handle other purposes such as special events, where tables and displays could be set up as needed. The  museum plans to continue to display the 611 during times when it isn’t undergoing maintenance.

The 611 was built in Roanoke in 1950 and served in the N&W until being retired in 1959. It was placed for display in Wasena Park in 1962. In preparation for use in the NS steam program, the 611 was overhauled in 1981 and it began pulling excursions in 1982.

NS halted the steam program in late 1984, but resumed hosting steam excursions in 2011.

To donate to the 611 campaign, visit fireup611.org. Fans can also visit the Fire Up 611 Facebook page, YouTube, and Twitter feed (#fireup611).

Steamin’ the Northern End of the CVSR

September 29, 2012

Central Ohio Railroad No 1293 passes the Brecksville station on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad on Saturday afternoon. It was the second of two trips between Rockside Road station and Boston Mill.

Central Ohio Railroad No. 1293 powered two roundtrips on Saturday between Rockside Road Station and Boston Mill on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Photo runbys were performed during both trips at Boston Mill.

The trips replaced a murder-mystery trip that was originally scheduled to run late Saturday afternoon but which was canceled due to, reportedly, poor ticket sales.

Mostly sunny skies greeted the 4-6-2, which was built as Canadian Pacific 1293. The locomotive was making its first public trips since pulling excursions between Akron and Indigo Lake two weeks ago.

The 1293 will have its finale on Sunday when it pulls two roundtrips out of Akron to Indigo Lake and back. The steamer will reportedly return to its home in Sugar Creek on Monday.

Sunday’s trips will cap a month of steam on the CVSR. The first of those was conducted on Sept. 8 as part of a CVSR 40th anniversary celebration.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The Ohio Route 82 bridge looms in the background as the 1293 steams southward en route to Boston Mill.

Soaking up some mid-day sunlight between runs at Boston Mill.

An admiring crowd snaps photographs and looks over the 1293 at Boston Mill.

Clouds put a damper on the first photo runby at Boston Mill Saturday afternoon. But sunshine returned in time for the second as the 1293 builds up a head of steam as it approaches Boston Mill.

Putting on a smoke show while charging past the crowd.

It’s not October yet but some trees have already begin to show off their fall color. The 1293 is backing up toward Rockside as it passes an early turning maple tree at Jaite.

A 1293 Sunday in the Valley

September 17, 2012

Central Ohio Railroad steam locomotive No. 1293 rumbles in reverse past the northernmost Hickory Street grade crossing in Akron on Sunday during the first passenger run of the day.

Steam locomotive No. 1293 spent another day basking in brilliant late summer sunlight and hauling passengers while strutting its stuff for fascinated onlookers on Sunday on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The 4-6-2 Pacific-type locomotive, lettered for Central Ohio Railroad but originally built for the Canadian Pacific hauled two roundtrip passenger excursions between Akron and Indigo Lake. Each train did a photo runby at Indigo Lake. Passengers enjoyed a two-hour excursion.

The 1293 will be idle the weekend of Sept. 22-23, but will return to action the following weekend (Sept. 29-30).

Photographs by Craig Sanders

Running alongside the towpath trail just north of Bath Road on the first northbound excursion.

Passing by Botzum station during the first southbound passenger excursion.

The 1293 is almost back to Akron Northside Station as it passes over the Ohio & Erie Canal just west of the depot.

FPA4 No. 800 wearing Baltimore & Ohio markings leads the second excursion train of the day over Bath Road.

The 1293 passes milepost 43, which is measured from Mineral City, Ohio, as it chugs into Akron on the point of the second excursion train of the day.

It’s hard to know who had more fun, those who watched the 1293 pass by or the crew operating the locomotive and smiling and waving at the trackside admirers. The train is shown here just beyond milepost 43 in Akron.