Posts Tagged ‘steam locomotives’

Volunteers Needed to Help with PM 1225

July 17, 2016
The Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan, has issued a call for volunteers and mechanics who are needed to help get Pere Marquette No. 1225 ready for its annual inspection at the end of July.

Steam Railroading InstituteThe  2-8-4 is scheduled to pull steam excursions for the Mellon Festival in Howell, Michigan, on August 20 and 21 and mechanics are needed to work between Tuesday and Saturday.

Those interested should contact Keven Mayer, the SRI’s chief mechanical officer at 989-725-9464 extension 6 or to stop by the SRI’s offices in Owosso.

L&N Group Gives $5,000 for Steamer Restoration

July 9, 2016

The Louisville & Nashville Railroad Historical Society recently donated $5,000 to help kick-start the restoration of L&N 0-8-0 No. 2132 and its tender.

KentuckyThe money will also be used to restore L&N steel bay caboose No. 30 and Southern Railway’s French Broad River Pullman car.

After restoration, the locomotive and rolling stock will be displayed at a railroad museum in Corbin, Kentucky.

L&N No. 2132 is one of only three L&N steam locomotives sill extant and the lone survivor of 400 locomotives manufactured by L&N at its South Louisville shops.

Railroading as it Once Was: Chessie Steam Special

July 5, 2016

Chessie Steam Special

The Chessie Steam Special is seen here between Seville and Sterling on the CL&W Subdivision of the former Baltimore & Ohio in June 1977.

Maybe it was a bit gaudy for some people’s tastes in steam engines, but who wouldn’t like to be able to see this again in this day and age and to be able to ride in one of those open window coaches.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Sights at Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum

July 2, 2016


Last Saturday I went to Bellevue for the 40th anniversary of the Mad River and Nickel Plate museum.

Flagg Coal No. 75 was on hand giving caboose rides on the museum grounds. The two cabooses were recently repainted for the occasion.

NKP No. 783, a Wheeling & Lake Erie design but built for the Nickel Plate Road, was acquired last year.

NW 557981, a bay window caboose built for the Illinois Terminal, is a NYC design. The museum has owned this caboose for years.

Another piece of equipment with new paint is Wabash 671. An EMD F7, locomotive it hasn’t looked this good since it left the EMD factory floor.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon




Cass Steam Double-Header This Weekend

June 24, 2016

The first steam double-header of the year will operate this weekend on the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia.

Cass ScenicExpected to be the motive power are Shay Nos. 2 and 4 on a seven-car train that will run from Cass to the Bald Knob overlook on Saturday. No. 2 is newly rebuilt.

PM 1225 to be in Action This Weekend

June 17, 2016

Pere Marquette No. 1225 will be in Hamburg, Michigan, this weekend (June 17 and 18) to offer half-hour train rides.

Steam Railroading InstituteThe 2-8-4 owned by the Steam Railroading Institute of Owosso will be a star attraction at Hamburg’s Family Fun Fest

The excursions will begin at noon on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday. Boarding will be at the Merrill Road crossing. Passengers will ride in four passengers cars and two cabooses.

NKP 765 to Pull Chicago-Galesburg Excursions

May 26, 2016

765 logo

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 will power all-day excursions between Chicago and Galesburg, Illinois, on June 25 and 26.

The trips will depart at 8 a.m. from Chicago Union Station and operate during the annual Galesburg Railroad Days festival. There will be a three-hour layover at the festival. The train is expected to return to Chicago at 6:30 p.m.

Fort Wayne Railroad Historical SocietyThe Galesburg Zephyr will make an intermediate stop at 8:30 a.m. in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois, and is being run in partnership with Amtrak and BNSF. The train is expected to arrive in Galesburg at 11:30 a.m. and depart at 3 p.m.

In a news release, the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, which owns and operates the 765, said that an Amtrak locomotive will accompany the train to provide head-end power for lighting and air conditioning.

The train will offer passenger cars from the 1940s and 1950s and include accommodations in standard coach, deluxe coach, first class and dome car.

Tickets can be ordered online at or by calling 888-718-4253.

Prices range from $149 for standard coach to $379 for a seat in the upper level of a dome car. Other ticket prices are $189 (deluxe coach), $249 or $279 for first class accommodations.

The route of the train is the former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy mainline, now owned by BNSF.

N&W 611 In HDR

May 17, 2016

N&W 611 at Montgomery Tunnel.

N&W No. 611 upgrade on Blue Ridge at Webster,Virginia.

N&W No. 611 upgrade on Blue Ridge at Webster,Virginia.

Here are a couple more Norfolk & Western No. 611 photos from last week.

It’s not something I usually do but I applied HDR processing to some of my 611 photos. HDR or high dynamic range tone maps a photo and brings out areas that otherwise would be in shadow. It can make a photograph look almost like a painting.

These two examples turned out very well in my opinion. Enjoy.

Photographs by Todd Dillon


N&W 611 in the Spirit of O. Winston Link

May 10, 2016
Signal bridge at Webster, Virginia, ascending Blue Ridge grade.

Signal bridge at Webster, Virginia, ascending Blue Ridge grade.

Last Saturday, I went to Roanoke, Virginia, to chase the steam trips powered by Norfolk & Western J class No. 611.

With the current state of Norfolk Southern cost-cutting, these and a few more upcoming trips might be the last mainline trips 611 runs. I certainly hope that’s not the case but felt I needed to catch these runs.

The morning trip went east to Lynchburg, Virginia, over the famous Blue Ridge grade. The afternoon trip went to Radford over the Christianburg grade through Montgomery tunnel.

I have long admired the photographs taken in this area in the late 1950s near the end of steam operations. Primarily, I liked those made by O. Winston Link, but also others I’ve seen make me wish I could travel back in time to record that era.

Well these fan trips are the closest thing to a time machine. Here are some of my results converted to black and white.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

The classic coal dock shot at Lowry, Virginia.

The classic coal dock shot at Lowry, Virginia.

Montgomery tunnel on the Christianburg grade.

Montgomery tunnel on the Christianburg grade.

Going away from Montgomery tunnel.

Going away from Montgomery tunnel.

At Bonsack, Virginia, descending Blue Ridge grade.

At Bonsack, Virginia, descending Blue Ridge grade.

Going away at Bonsack, Virginia.

Going away at Bonsack, Virginia.

N.C. Museum to Host N&W 611 in June

April 20, 2016

Norfolk & Western No. 611 will return to North Carolina in June for a weekend of special activities.

The J Class 4-8-4 recently ran a series of public excursions sponsored by the North Carolina Transportation Museum.

NC Transportation MuseumNo. 611 is set to return to the museum on June 17-18 and will offer such activities as throttle time, cab rides and caboose rides.

The return will be after the 611 has finished pulling excursions in Virginia for the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

The half-hour throttle time will go for $611 per person while cab rides will cost $305.50 per person. The ride in an N&W caboose will cost $10 per person.

For more information, go to


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