Posts Tagged ‘steam locomotives’

VTM Has Sold 28% of N&W 611 Trip Tickets

January 18, 2017

Ticket sales for steam excursions next spring sponsored by the Virginia Museum of Transportation have been good thus far.

Fire up 611The museum told Trains magazine that it has sold about 3,000 tickets for excursions to be pulled by Norfolk & Western J-class No. 611. That is 28 percent of the tickets available.

The North Carolina Transportation Museum is sponsoring trips of its own in early April whereas the VTM trips are set for late May.

VTM told the magazine that tickets are still available for most excursions with the strongest sales thus far having been for the May 27 roundtrip between Roanoke and Walton, Virginia.

Ticket sales for the NCTM trips have been slower because those tickets were recently placed on sale.  Thus far 350 tickets have been sold for that museum’s two trips.

Thus far, the two museums have announced 13 excursions for the 2017 season.

C&O 1309 Inaugural Run Set for July 1

January 13, 2017

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad has hired a locomotive restoration company to help it with the rebuilding of Chesapeake & Ohio No. 1309.

Western Maryland ScenicWMSR President Mike Brant said bringing in Diversified Rail Services of Rossville, Georgia, will enable the shops to complete rebuilding the 2-6-6-2 by Memorial Day.

Project manager John Hankey said workers are set to begin installing staybolts and will begin placing the flues back in place in early March.

After that the locomotive will undergo a hydrostatic test and receive its boiler lagging and jacket.

The inaugural run of the 1309 has been set for July 1 and tickets are on sale for that.

Brant said the WMSR’s small shop force could not have completed the 1309 restoration in the time frame the railroad wanted without some help.

Aside from rebuilding the 1309, the WMSR shops will also be rebuilding its passenger car fleet with the help of a $250,000 grant from the state of Maryland.

N&W 611 Makes Ferry Move to North Carolina

January 7, 2017

The first trip under steam of 2017 of Norfolk & Western No. 611 occurred on Friday when the J class locomotive left Roanoke, Virginia, for North Carolina.

Fire up 611The 4-8-4 left the home of its owner, the Virginia Museum of Transportation, to travel to the North Carolina transportation Museum for overhaul work.

No. 611 is scheduled to pull public excursions over Norfolk Southern tracks in April and May in North Carolina and Virginia.

The ferry move followed the former Virginian Railway to a connection at Hurt, Virginia, to a former Southern Railway route.

The consist of the train included an auxiliary water car, two tool cars, and a gondola.

The April trips will depart from the North Carolina cities of Spencer and Greensboro while the May excursions will depart from the Virginia cities of Lynchburg and Roanoke. Tickets will go on sale at noon on Jan. 12 at www.fireup611.org.

N&W 611 To Pull Excursions in Spring 2017

December 22, 2016

Steam will return to Norfolk Southern rails in 2017. The Virginia Museum of Transportation said its Norfolk & Western Class J 4-8-4 No. 611 will pull excursions in Virginia and North Carolina in April and May with additional trips possible.

Fire up 611Tickets will go on sale in January for the excursions that will include:

• From Greensboro, North Carolina, to Roanoke, Virginia, via the former Southern Railway main line to Altavista, Virginia, and the former Virginian into Roanoke on April 22 to 23.

• Lynchburg, Virginia, to Petersburg, Virginia, on May 6 and 7.

• Roanoke to Lynchburg on May 27, 28, and 29 with trips up the Blue Ridge grade in the morning and up Christiansburg grade in the afternoon.

The 611 is slated to run on Jan. 6 from Roanoke to the North Carolina Transportation Museum where it will receive its annual maintenance.

Another View of Chessie 614

December 16, 2016

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Roger’s Chessie System 614 image reminded me of a favorite image I took of her. It is July 11, 1981, in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, and Chessie 614 is heading west toward the former Western Maryland bridge.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

 

Railroading as it Once Was: When Chessie Ran Steam Trains to Promote Railroad Safety

December 15, 2016

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Chesapeake & Ohio No. 614 departs Connellsville, Pennsylvania, in September 1980 with a Chessie Safety Express. Even with a bright yellow train this was still a show. Note the original station behind the 11th car.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

FtWRHS to Acquire Another NKP Steamer

November 15, 2016

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society plans to move Nickel Plate Road No. 624 from Hammond to Fort Wayne, Indiana.

nkpThe 2-8-2 Mikado-type steamer is owned by the city of Hammond and will have a new home in the Headwaters Junction complex that the FtWRHS is building.

No. 624 will need cosmetic restoration to return it to its appearance when it was operational.

It is not clear yet if the 624 will be restored to operating condition.

In Search of Keystone State Steam: 3

November 4, 2016
Everett Railroad No. 11 passes Loop Road.

Everett Railroad No. 11 passes Loop Road.

Last in a series

No sooner did Ed Ribinskas return from a four-day weekend in search of steam in eastern Pennsylvania, but he was on the road again to capture steam on the Everett Railroad in central Pennsylvania.

Based in Hollidaysburg near Altoona, the Everett like the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern that Ed had chased a week earlier, is a short-line freight railroad that also operates steam locomotives.

Ed and fellow Akron Railroad Club member Jeff Troutman spent the weekend of Oct. 15-16 chasing Everett’s 2-6-0 Mogul-type steamer while also spending time on Horseshoe Curve.

He was able to get No. 11 in Holidaysburg and at such intermediate points as along Loop Road, at Kladder and crossing the Little Juniata River.

Everett No. 11 was built in 1920 by Alco’s Cooke Works in Patterson, New Jersey.

Built by Alco with an eye toward export to Cuba, No. 11 never made it to the island nation and instead worked for the Narragansett Pier Railroad in Rhode Island.

It later worked in New York state before being retired in 1949. It had a series of owners before winding up on the Everett Railroad in 2006.

It was stored for a time on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad before being restored to operating condition.

It returned to operation in October 2015.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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In Search of Keystone State Steam: Part 2

November 3, 2016

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Second of a series.

Eastern Pennsylvania is known for its anthracite coal. Often called hard coal, anthracite is known for its sub-metallic luster, high carbon content, lack of impurities, and having the highest calorific content of all types of coal except graphite.

The mining of anthracite in Pennsylvania is not what it used to be, but it is still mined and there remains a relatively stable market for it.

In Ashland, Pennsylvania, the Pioneer Tunnel Coal mine takes visitors inside a horizontal drift mine that extend 1,800 feet into the side of the Mahanoy Mountain.

Today passengers can ride on a three-quarter mile ride around Mahanoy Mountain behind the Henry Clay, an 0-4-0 tank engine that was built in 1927 by the Vulcan Works.

A highlight of that trip is viewing the remains of the strip mines, but the journey ends at the Pioneer Tunnel, which is open to visitors.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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PM 1225 75th Anniversary Trip set on Saturday

November 3, 2016

Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225 will be in action this weekend pulling a sold-out excursion from Owosso to Clare, Michigan.

Steam Railroading InstituteThe trip is in part an anniversary celebration for the 75-year-old locomotive that was built by Lima Locomotive Works in October 1941.

The train will depart Owosso at 8 a.m. and is expected to reach Clare at noon, traveling over 71 miles of former Ann Arbor Railroad trackage.

The departure from Owosso is expected to be at 4 p.m.

In Clare, actors in 1940s dress will welcome the 1225 with, a brass band, birthday cake, and tours of the town’s train station that was used by the Ann Arbor and Pere Marquette.