Posts Tagged ‘W&LE tunnel motors’

Rio Grande of the East: Part 2

March 30, 2020

Last weekend the Wheeling & Lake Erie sent its two Rio Grande painted tunnel motors to Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

For many years seeing either one of these on the east end was a rarity. It was pokicy to keep them west of Brewster because of their larger wheelbase.

Recently this has changed. As a result of CSX and NS converting to Positive Train control the Wheeling has been equipping many of their engines with PTC to run on those lines.

The two former Rio Grande tunnel motors have not and will not be so equipped.

As a result they will be confined to ares of the railroad that do not require PTC use. I caught the pair leading a train into Connellsville this past Saturday.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Yes, This is in Ohio and not Colorado

February 28, 2012

It’s scene that could easily be out west somewhere, say in Colorado. But it is actually in northern Ohio on CSX near Peru Center. Yes, that is a Denver & Rio Grande Western tunnel motor on the head end of the facing train.

The train in the foreground is the “salad bowl express,” a run-through train of perishable produce operated jointly by Union Pacific and CSX. The train typically has UP reefer cars and operates with UP locomotive power.

Such was the case this past Sunday (Feb. 26, 2012) when the eastbound Q090 met a Wheeling & Lake Erie freight at the Peru Center signals. The W&LE train had been cooling its heels for a while, waiting to get into Willard Yard.

The lashup on the Wheeling train included two tunnel motors, both still wearning D&RGW markings and lettering. Spliced between them was a former Canadian National SD40 now painted in W&LE colors, but lacking the Wheeling’s Rio Grande-style insignia on the side.

It was a long trip for the Wheeling crew. First, they had to do some repairs to the lead unit at Butler Road east of New London. Then the Wheeling train had to await a signal at CP 47 at New London. And then this. The delays measured hours.

But a number of CSX westbound freights also had to wait between Greenwich and Willard for permission to come into the yard on this sunny afternoon.

Just another day on the railroad.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders