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NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/22/21 11:44 a.m.

Bridgton & Harrison #8, one of the engines around the turntable this weekend, rounds a curve with a special train in 1940, just one year before abandonment. The B&H was the second-to-last operating 2-footer.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/22/21 11:46 a.m.

A Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes railbus, built from a '25 REO Speedwagon, with its baggage trailer and a SR&RL 2-6-2, the largest 2-foot engines built, at Strong, Maine in '34, one year before abandonment.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/22/21 11:48 a.m.

The unique covered depot at Kingmill on the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/22/21 11:58 a.m.

Carney's rail car diner in L.A.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/22/21 12:00 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

Everything about the WW&F and your visit there looks amazing. I'm especially impressed that they seem to be in solid financial shape. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/22/21 12:06 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah, everything was beautifully taken care of and they have big plans. I'm sure they are getting money from the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum for storing their equipment, which is surely helping. I made a nice donation while I was there and I'd love to go back for another event, or once they get #10 operational again or complete #11. The one employee was saying they need to add another runaround track, because pre-Covid, they were running three completely full trains at the same time (one behind #9, one behind Monson Railroad #3, and one behind their Plymouth critter) and it took quite the logistical juggling show to not conflict with each other.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/22/21 12:15 p.m.

When I first started at the Arsenal, my first job was in the building below, B-110.  They still used trains and flat cars to move cannon from one building to the next.  The train crew hung out in the "train shack" which is a lot like the pics that NickD posted.  Small building, maybe 12' X 15'; a work bench, a pot belly stove and a few chairs.  When you walked in there to ask for a move it felt like you just stepped back in time 100 years.  4-5 old guys smoking pipes, talking slow, moving guns.  There's a plaque on the wall saying it is the oldest temporary structure in the US Army.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/23/21 10:57 a.m.

New York Central RS-3 #8233 crossing Genesee Street in Utica, NY on the West Shore Line. Amazingly at the time there was no crossing protection for Genesee Street, despite being a 4-lane road, so the crew would have to flag themselves across

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/23/21 1:09 p.m.
NickD said:

George Hart's CP Pacifics #1238 and #1286 at Reading, PA being used as stand-in stationary boilers at the hospital. Hart's High Iron Co. had an excursion planned on the CNJ and then they were called into emergency use. HICo had to scramble to find new motive power for the trip and ended up getting Steamtown USA to send the Canadian Pacific #1278 down (Nelson Blount was reluctant until he was informed he would get to open her up on the mainline) and Strasburg sent over #90, which had only arrived from Colorado shortly before to help with the grade at Wilkes-Barre.

I've read that the excursion ended up being a bit of a disastrous affair. It was brutally cold, #90's tender rattled itself apart from the sustained 45mph running and partially derailed, people had to be transferred over to buses and they were 3 or 4 hours late getting back.

Another photo of #90 and #1278 doubleheading. Strasburg #90 still has the extended smokebox that Great Western of Colorado added to improve draft and combustion with the poor quality coal they used. The engine had basically just arrived from Colorado and they'd barely had time to paint it when it was sent out on this excursion. Ross Rowland recounted it running great all day at 45mph right up until the tender disassembled itself. I believe this was the last time #90 has been out on a mainline and operated at those speeds.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/23/21 2:51 p.m.

A D&H engineer looking up as Nickel Plate #759 hauls one of Ross Rowland's High Iron Compnay excursions over the Starrucca Viaduct in Lanesboro, PA

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/23/21 2:55 p.m.

I don't have any knowledge to contribute to this thread but I do have some pictures.

I don't know anything about the history of this engine but here's what SR&RL was using for their excursions in '07 when I stopped by with a mission group I was leading in the region.

 

 

At the time is was powered by a Ford gas engine.  I want to say it was a 351M but I could be way off.  It was a really neat place and I intend to stop by there the next time I'm in that part of the country.

 

Related to steam but not railroads the Stanley brothers of Stanley Steamer fame grew up in nearby Kingfield and there's a great little museum in their honor that's worth a few hours of one's time if one is in the area.  http://www.stanleymuseum.org/

Back on the topic of trains there used to be this interesting collection of ex rolling stock screwed together sitting in a field in Upstate NY somewhere along the Hudson River corridor between Northumberland and Fort Edward.  I have no idea what they were doing there or where they went.

 

Moving across the country, here are some shots of the Durango and Silverton taken in 2018

 

Unlike the SR&RL engine this one is a real live steam engine complete with smoke, whistle ashes and hot cinders that have been blamed for local forest fires.  I've been in the plant where this locomotive was built.  In the 80's GE was using the facility to build gas turbines.  The buildings are all gone now and the last I knew they were trying to figure out how to remediate nearly a century of industrial ground contamination so that a casino could be built on the site.

This rolling stock was sitting on a siding deep in the mountains.  I don't know if it's destined for restoration or scrap.

If you're remotely interested in trains, history or beautiful places don't pass up an opportunity to experience this ride if it comes up.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/23/21 3:01 p.m.

In reply to APEowner :

I was supposed to go ride both the Durango & Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec last spring. I had the plane tickets, hotel reservations, rental car, train tickets, everything. Purchased it all in like December of '19. At the time, nobody had really even heard of Covid, Then 2020 happened, and I kept holding out hope that it'd just blow over, and then C&T called me and told me they were refunding me. I'd still like to go, but I guess the Durango & Silverton's bridge over the Animas River got damaged by a bunch of trees that washed down the river and so they aren't doing full service to Silverton at the moment, and the US Forestry Service is jerking them around about allowing them to replace the bridge. If I'm going to ride the D&S, I'd really like the full experience to Silverton and back. I just hope the government doesn't put them out of business, because they sure seem to be trying their best.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/23/21 3:15 p.m.
NickD said:

In reply to APEowner :

I was supposed to go ride both the Durango & Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec last spring. I had the plane tickets, hotel reservations, rental car, train tickets, everything. Purchased it all in like December of '19. At the time, nobody had really even heard of Covid, Then 2020 happened, and I kept holding out hope that it'd just blow over, and then C&T called me and told me they were refunding me. I'd still like to go, but I guess the Durango & Silverton's bridge over the Animas River got damaged by a bunch of trees that washed down the river and so they aren't doing full service to Silverton at the moment, and the US Forestry Service is jerking them around about allowing them to replace the bridge. If I'm going to ride the D&S, I'd really like the full experience to Silverton and back. I just hope the government doesn't put them out of business, because they sure seem to be trying their best.

I don't know which bridge got washed out (I think it crosses tha Animas a couple of times) but it may still be worth the trip.  When I went we didn't go all the way to Silverton.  There's a spot partway where they back the train up a spur to turn around.  I actually drove to Silverton during a different visit to Colorado so the last picture is a bit of a cheat.

I'll have to check out the C & T.  That's only a 3 hour drive from my place.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/23/21 4:05 p.m.
APEowner said:
NickD said:

In reply to APEowner :

I was supposed to go ride both the Durango & Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec last spring. I had the plane tickets, hotel reservations, rental car, train tickets, everything. Purchased it all in like December of '19. At the time, nobody had really even heard of Covid, Then 2020 happened, and I kept holding out hope that it'd just blow over, and then C&T called me and told me they were refunding me. I'd still like to go, but I guess the Durango & Silverton's bridge over the Animas River got damaged by a bunch of trees that washed down the river and so they aren't doing full service to Silverton at the moment, and the US Forestry Service is jerking them around about allowing them to replace the bridge. If I'm going to ride the D&S, I'd really like the full experience to Silverton and back. I just hope the government doesn't put them out of business, because they sure seem to be trying their best.

I don't know which bridge got washed out (I think it crosses tha Animas a couple of times) but it may still be worth the trip.  When I went we didn't go all the way to Silverton.  There's a spot partway where they back the train up a spur to turn around.  I actually drove to Silverton during a different visit to Colorado so the last picture is a bit of a cheat.

I'll have to check out the C & T.  That's only a 3 hour drive from my place.

I heard the difference between the D&S and the C&T described as "the Durangon & Silverton is a tourist family railroad, the Cumbres & Toltec is a railroader's railroad".

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/23/21 4:43 p.m.
NickD said:
APEowner said:
NickD said:

In reply to APEowner :

I was supposed to go ride both the Durango & Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec last spring. I had the plane tickets, hotel reservations, rental car, train tickets, everything. Purchased it all in like December of '19. At the time, nobody had really even heard of Covid, Then 2020 happened, and I kept holding out hope that it'd just blow over, and then C&T called me and told me they were refunding me. I'd still like to go, but I guess the Durango & Silverton's bridge over the Animas River got damaged by a bunch of trees that washed down the river and so they aren't doing full service to Silverton at the moment, and the US Forestry Service is jerking them around about allowing them to replace the bridge. If I'm going to ride the D&S, I'd really like the full experience to Silverton and back. I just hope the government doesn't put them out of business, because they sure seem to be trying their best.

I don't know which bridge got washed out (I think it crosses tha Animas a couple of times) but it may still be worth the trip.  When I went we didn't go all the way to Silverton.  There's a spot partway where they back the train up a spur to turn around.  I actually drove to Silverton during a different visit to Colorado so the last picture is a bit of a cheat.

I'll have to check out the C & T.  That's only a 3 hour drive from my place.

I heard the difference between the D&S and the C&T described as "the Durangon & Silverton is a tourist family railroad, the Cumbres & Toltec is a railroader's railroad".

I have no idea which I am.  I guess I need to chekc out the T&C and see!

02Pilot
02Pilot UltraDork
2/23/21 5:05 p.m.

Durango & Silverton is great (and I hope that the present rather than past tense continues to apply). I did it in 2017 also. It's worth it just for the views and marveling at how they built the damn thing.

I haven't done Cumbres & Toltec, but I've heard a fair bit about it and it's certainly something I'd like to investigate.

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/23/21 10:25 p.m.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsUi9aGwr3M

Bunch of CSX locomotives in storage. At the 1:05 mark there is something mixed in with them. Looks like a locomotive with no cab and only 1/2 as tall. What is this? There two more at 8:50.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/24/21 5:27 a.m.

In reply to Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) :

It's what they call a slug. They take an old locomotive, remove the cab, controls, prime movers and generators, chop down the hoods and add a bunch of ballast under the cut-down hood. It still retains the traction motors, so you hook it up to a yard switcher, and while it doesn't add any horsepower, it adds a ton of low-speed tractive effort.

Norfolk & Western had a bunch of ex-Virginian and ex-Wabash Fairbanks-Morse "Train Masters" that they cut down into slugs. They hung around well into the Norfolk Southern era. One of them ended up at the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society. It'll never run again, because it has no engine or generator and 2400hp 38D8 1/8 opposed-piston engines and Westinghouse generators don't grow on trees, but they planned to rebuild the cab and hoods to at least make it a nice display piece. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/24/21 8:56 a.m.

Nickel Plate #759 lettered in Norfolk & Western lettering for the final running of the Pochahontas, and all N&W passenger trains, in 1971, before Amtrak took over. Since #611 was 11 years away from being restored to operation, N&W made due by having Ross Rowland bring down #759 to haul the historic final train.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/24/21 11:38 a.m.

NKP #759 in the process of being completely overhauled at the Nickel Plate's main shops in Conneaut, Ohio in May of '59. As the NKP closed the curtain on steam power, they decided to run a bunch of their S-class Berkshires through the shops and set them aside in storage in the event that there was a traffic surge and they needed extra power. #759 was the very last steam engine to be overhauled at Conneaut, and like the rest of her sisters, was never called back to service.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/24/21 11:42 a.m.

While #765, with its single headlight and brass bell, is the more commonly thought-of appearance for a Nickel Plate Berkshire, #759 is actually more representative of what NKP S-classes looked like. Almost all of them were fitted with a second gyroscoping "Mars light" over the headlight and the bells were painted yellow.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/25/21 9:06 a.m.

NKP #759 is largely a forgotten steam star, tucked away and rarely visible these days. But in the late '60s and early '70s, #759 was everywhere. Ross Rowland leased it from Steamtown in '68 with a handshake agreement with Nelson Blount, gave it a very minor rebuild (the brand-new flues installed by NKP still had 6 years of service left on them!), painted it in a blue and gold scheme and ran it from New York City to Promontory Point for the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad on the Golden Spike Limited.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/25/21 11:34 a.m.

NKP #759 filled a role that has been vacant pretty much since her retirement, which was roam Northeastern-region "ambassador" steam locomotive. She primarily rattled around Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts, with occasional trips to Maryland, Virginia and Ohio. While VA, OH, and MD continued to see visits from N&W #611s and #1218, and the midwest has NKP #765 and PM #1225, New York and states further north have not seen a roaming steam locomotive pretty much since #759 and RDG #2101 were retired.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/25/21 11:34 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/25/21 11:36 a.m.

NKP #759 taking on coal at Callicoon, NY. Keep in mind, those tracks in the foreground is the active Erie-Lackawanna mainline. I guarantee E-L engineers had slow orders in the area for that day

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