Posts Tagged ‘steam locomotives’

Steam Saturday: On its Way to the CVSR

October 1, 2022

Central of Ohio 4-6-2 No. 1293, which you probably better know as Ohio Central 1293, is heading north in Barrs Mills on Sept. 6, 2012, on its way to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s Steam in the Valley 2012. It would be the last time this locomotive ran on the CVSR.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

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

UP Steams up ‘Big Boy’ to Move Locomotive

September 16, 2022

Union Pacific steamed up its 4-6-6-4 “Big Boy” this week but it didn’t pull a train out on the mainline.

Railfan & Railroad magazine reported that the 4014 was used to move 2-10-2 No. 5511 out of a roundhouse in preparation for its move to Silvis, Illinois.

UP has donated the 5511 to Railroading Heritage of Midwest America, which is based in a former Rock Island repair shop in Silvis.

Also slated to move to Silvis is 4-6-6-4 “Challenger” No. 3985. The Midwest America group plans to restore both locomotives.

Last Wednesday, the “Big Boy” moved the 5511 back and forth through the yard to test various systems.

Ky. Museum to Buy Parts from Indiana Museum

September 9, 2022

Railroad museums in Kentucky and Indiana have reached an agreement over the sale of boiler tubes and flues that will enable the restoration of a former Chesapeake & Ohio steam locomotive.

The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation will purchase the tubes and flues from the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum. They will be used to restore to operating condition 2-8-4 No. 2716.

Funding for the transaction was provided by the John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust.

The Indiana museum is considering restoring its own C&O Kanawha-type locomotive, No, 2789, to operating condition.

A similar equipment arrangement between museums was consummated earlier this year when Kentucky Steam swapped locomotive air compressors with the Pueblo Railway Foundation of Colorado.

Kentucky Steam will host a two-day railroad-themed festival on Sept. 10-11 in Irvine, Kentucky.

Steam Saturday: Getting Service

September 3, 2022

Ohio Central 4-8-4 No. 6325 is being serviced at Bowerston on Aug. 13, 2004. The former Grand Trunk Western locomotive was built by American Locomotive Works in Schenectady, New York, in 1942 and sat for several year in Battle Creek, Michigan, awaiting a restoration that never was finished due to lack of funds. The Northern-type locomotive was later towed to Coshocton and restoration work resumed under Ohio Central auspices in 1998. The  “Queen of Ohio Central Rails” moved under its own power for the first time in 40 years on July 31, 2001.

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

Ex-Pennsy Steamer Toils in Obscurity

September 3, 2022

A former Pennsylvania Railroad 0-6-0 switch engine is being steamed up is pulling excursions over the Williams Grove Railroad in Pennsylvania in relative obscurity.

The engine operates over a mile of track about 10 miles south of Harrisburg. It is the only operating ex-Pennsy steam locomotive currently in operation.

No. 643 was built in June 1901 at the Juniata Shops in Altoona, Pennsylvania, as one of 133 class B4/B4a engines built in Altoona or by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia between 1892 and 1904.

The excursions include two former Everett Railroad open cars and a steel PRR Class N5 cabin car.

The excursions are sponsored by the Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association.

A report on the website of Railfan and Railroad magazine indicated the 643 is equipped with a three-chime PRR passenger whistle, which it would not have had during it working life.

The excursions are 25 minutes and fares are $7.

The current west end of track ends alongside the former Reading Company Lurgan Branch, now part of Norfolk Southern’s New Jersey-to-Atlanta Crescent Corridor.

The excursions pause next to the NS tracks in hopes of seeing an NS train pass by.

No. 643 spent four decades of its working life at Central Iron & Steel Company of Harrisburg (later, Phoenix Iron & Steel).

The 643, which operated as No. 5 at the steel mill, was found inside a building when the mill was dismantled in 1961.

The Williams Grove group purchased it and began restoring it to operating condition.

Williams Grove trains run intermittently with certain exceptions during the year. The schedule can be found at

Chasing NKP 765 Through 3 States

August 28, 2022

Leaving Edon, Ohio
Passing the depot in Pleasant Lake, Indiana
Passing the old depot in Montgomery, Indiana
Coming into Hillsdale, Michigan
Little River Railroad No. 110 in Hillsdale.

This past weekend Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 ran a series of trips on the Indiana Northeastern railroad between Edon Ohio, and Hillsdale, Michigan.

Light was challenging because it first runs due west from Edon (shooting into the sun) before tuning north at Steubenville, Indiana. Going north the light was good and turning east again at Hillsdale for a short distance was also good.

A bonus was the Little River railroad was running short trips (very short of 12 minutes each direction) with their No. 1 a 0-4-0, and No. 110, a small Pacific type.

Fun fact: The 110, which was built by Baldwin locomotive works in 1911, is one serial number off from Southern Railway No. 4501 (also a Pacific) meaning they shared the shop floor together during construction.  Lighting was especially challenging here.

Around 3:30 p.m. the 765 returned south and lighting was good until it turned back east again (shooting into the sun).  I managed to get some good pictures all the same and here are a few.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Works Continues on EBT Steam Restoration

August 21, 2022

Although no date has been set for East Broad Top 2-8-2 No. 16 to return to service, work continues to bring the Baldwin-built steam engine into operating condition.

Trains magazine reported on its website that No. 16 passed a hydrostatic boiler test last May and since then has been test-steamed under the observation of Federal Railroad Administration staff.

EBT master mechanic Dave Domitrovich told the magazine that FRA personnel were satisfied with the tests.

He said workers will be able to install everything back on the boiler but a considerable amount of finishing work remains to be done on the engine.

No. 16 last operated in 1956. The EBT has four other steam locomotives that operated between 1960 when the EBT became a tourist railroad and 2011 when steam operations shut down.

In recent weeks, workers have painted the dome covers of No. 16 and remounted two of them. Also overhauled or replaced have been major fittings and appliances such as the bell, whistle, sight glasses, tri-cocks (additional boiler-level checks), air pumps, air tanks, Hancock injectors, and boiler-pressure and brake-pressure gauges.

Painting has been completed on the smokebox, pilot and tender are painted.

Domitrovich said the next major tasks include reinstalling the main and side rods and timing the valves. Also yet to be completed is painting and remounting the locomotive cab.

Once work on No. 16 is completed, workers will turn their attention to restoring No. 15, which was the locomotive last used in revenue tourist train service.

The original plan was to restore No. 14, but an inspection determined it needs more work than that initially thought.

Whereas No. 15 simply need running gear work, No. 14 need major boiler work and running-gear work.

In other developments at the Pennsylvania-based EBT, a second new coach has arrived from a vendor located in Washington State.

The car, built by Hamilton Manufacturing, has been placed on its new trucks, and work is continuing to set it up with new couplers, truss rods, air hoses, and heating and lighting equipment. It will be numbered 22.

EBT has ordered four coaches from Hamilton with the first of them, No. 21, having already undergone a test run.

The railroad’s general manager, Brad Esposito, told Trains the EBT may be looking to acquire more carbody shells in the future that would come without coach seats, they can be reconfigured as first-class and parlor-car seating, or as dining cars.

The article can be read at

Steam Saturday: CB&Q 1548 in Cuyahoga Falls

August 20, 2022

This image was inside a slide box that I purchased at a thrift shop. Former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy No. 1548 is on display at Mack Lowry’s Railways of America in Cuyahoga Falls in September 1965.

The 0-6-0 locomotive was built by Baldwin in December 1912 as a G-3 class steamer.

It was sold in January 1942 to Midland Electric Coal Company of Middle Grove, Illinois. Later it was sold to Galva Iron & Metals of Galva, Illinois.

Lowry acquired the locomotive in 1961 and moved it to Cuyahoga Falls. Today it sits near Quaker Square in Akron where it continues to deteriorate.

Collection of Robert Farkas