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NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/5/22 2:55 p.m.

Adirondack Railroad's new C424 #313 in it's original career on the Green Bay & Western, along with 3 other GB&W C424s and an RS-3. Astonishingly, all 5 of these Alcos still exist.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/5/22 2:59 p.m.

GB&W #313 and two of it's sister C424s in the roundhouse at Green Bay.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/5/22 3:04 p.m.

GB&W #313 paired up with rare RS-27 #316 a few miles west of the Green Bay yard. GB&W purchased four RS-27s, out of a total 27 built, and two of them still survive, now on Minnesota Commercial Railroad. The Wisconsin Central bought out the Green Bay & Western in 1993, which retired and sold off the Alcos that the GB&W was famous for, and then the Wisconsin Central itself was purchased by Canadian National just 8 years later.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
7/5/22 3:52 p.m.

While I was in South Dakota a got a couple photos of some of the Black Hills Central Railroad's engines, #104 and #108. #108 was hauling the train that day; #104 appeared to be cold.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/5/22 3:53 p.m.

#313 in the original red and silver scheme. The silver stripe was later deleted for simplicity's sake.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/5/22 3:55 p.m.

#313 just four years ago on the Minnesota Commercial.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/5/22 4:33 p.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

Black Hills Central seems like a cool operation that flies under the radar. You never really hear or see too much from there. I do know they were working on getting a second 2-6-6-2T up and running, the #110. I like how the trailing truck on the #108 looks completely like an afterthought, and it was in a way. Like the logger Mikados and Prairies, it wasn't there to support a larger firebox, it was there to help guide the engine through the curves when running in reverse, since most of those logging lines didn't have a turntable or wye out at the end of the line.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/5/22 4:37 p.m.

Adirondack Railroad had an Alco C424 previously, the #4243. It was ex-SP&S, ex-Burlington Northern, ex-Kyle Railroad, and ex-Massachusetts Central. It showed up in an orange and black livery that earned it the nickname "The Great Pumpkin". The orange was painted over with dark green and yellow striping, and it became the first unit to introduce the new green, black and yellow livery that the Adirondack Railroad uses now. The lease was eventually not renewed and it ended up on the Delaware-Lackawanna.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
7/5/22 4:52 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

You can see #110, along with one of their diesels, in their yard.

This engine seemed to be derelict, and further down the yard seems to be their deadline. There's another rusting tank engine carcass at the far end.

They certainly seemed like a well-organized operation in Hill City, with a big, clean station, a restaurant utilizing a rail car for the kitchen (dining seemed to be outside on an attached deck), everything well-staffed, and nicely kept grounds. The SD State Railroad museum is directly adjacent. The train that I saw arrived full, and judging by the numbers of people waiting, was going to be full again on the next run.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/5/22 5:51 p.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

The center cab switcher is a Whitcomb 65-tonner. Probably one of the doofy Buda engines expired in it.

The weird thing about Black Hills Central is that it was a standard-gauge CB&Q branch that they narrow-gauged when they began the Black Hills Central, then when they expanded operations they regauged it back to standard-gauge.

LS_BC8
LS_BC8 New Reader
7/5/22 7:30 p.m.
NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/6/22 11:07 a.m.

Alco FA-1s on the Green Bay Route. These were replaced at the rate of about one a year by the C424s. It's actually lettered for GB&W subsidiary Kewaunee, Green Bay & Western.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/6/22 11:25 a.m.

Green Bay & Western RS-11 #309 and RS-27 #316 loading cars onto an Ann Arbor Railroad ferry. The #309 was the only RS-11 on the Green Bay & Western system, originally being delivered to the Kewaunee, Green Bay & Western as a high-hood unit and set up to run long-hood forward. The #309 was less than popular and crews would go out of their way to make sure that #309 wasn't in their consist, or at least not the lead unit.  As the more modern C424s arrived on the property, the shop crew at Norwood recognized the shortcomings of the RS-11 and in 1964 it was rebuilt with a 2000hp engine and a C420 low short hood and was reconfigured to run short hood forward.

The GB&W operated car ferry operations with the Ann Arbor Railroad and with Chessie Systems, the latter of which was a hold over from first the Pere Marquette and then the Chesapeake & Ohio.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/6/22 11:48 a.m.

GB&W #310 with #309. The GB&W owned four RS-27s, and the #310 was the very first RS-27 produced. It was also the only one that was purchased firsthand, the other three were lease turn-ins from C&NW, and it was unique in having the handbrake wheel recessed into the short hood. It was also originally delivered with a large single-piece windshield, but around '65, the single-piece windshield was replaced with the more typical two-piece windshield. Soo Line had issues with their RS-27s not behaving themselves when M.U.ed to other models of locomotives, but apparently the GB&W didn't have the same issue. Sadly, the #310 was scrapped in 1986 after a crankshaft failure.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/6/22 12:20 p.m.

A rare-ish photo of GB&W #315 out on the road. In addition to owning four rare RS-27s, GB&W also owned a single, even rarer Alco C430, with a second on order when Alco went out of business. This was the final new locomotive purchased by GB&W, with all subsequent arrivals coming to the Green Bay Route secondhand. The #315 was not loved by the GB&W crews and was largely a roundhouse queen. Unlike every other Alco owned by the GB&W, the C430 combined an AC generator with DC traction motors, which required stocking special parts for only the #315. It also led a rather cursed life, getting off to an inauspicious start in 1969 when it derailed while leading an excursion train on the Kewaunee Division after a collision with a dumptruck, followed by an engine replacement in 1975, and retirement from a bearing failure in 1987. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/6/22 12:34 p.m.

GB&W #307 with a local freight. The #307 was an "RS-20", which was, in GB&W parlance, an RS-3 that had a 2000hp 251 V12 installed, a chopped nose and a switch from long hood forward to short hood forward operation. D&H had similar machines, but they called them an RS-3u. D&H was never very happy with theirs, finding them slippery, but the GB&W's hung around for a long time, even finding new life on the Kankakee, Beaverville & Southern.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/6/22 12:41 p.m.

"RS-20" #308 at Green Bay with a "model railroad consist" of a single tank car and a caboose. The photo is from October of 1985, and the #308 shows a lot of loving care.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/6/22 12:47 p.m.

A helluva catch here, with three builders and three railroads represented. In 1986, the Escanaba & Lake Superior's fleet of Baldwins could not keep up, resulting in the E&LS having to lease some power from neighboring lines. The result is this combination of uniquely-painted GB&W Alco C424 #312, two of the E&LS's ex-Oregon, California & Eastern Baldwin RS12s, and Conrail EMD GP38.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/6/22 12:59 p.m.

One of the later secondhand motive power purchases, GB&W #323 was a C420 originally delivered to the Lehigh & Hudson River. It ended up on the Conrail roster after Conveyance Day in 1976, but was purged from the roster in 1980. It was purchased by GB&W and overhauled at GE's Hornell, NY facilities before delivery. While it was the sole C420 on the GB&W roster, mechanically it was identical to the RS-20s and the upgraded RS-11 #309. They also made a purchase of several more ex-Erie-Lackawanna and ex-Reading C424s that were also purged from the Conrail roster and rebuilt by GE at Hornell.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/6/22 1:57 p.m.

GB&W #314 and two other C424s smoking it up at Marshland, Wisconsin in October of 1992.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/6/22 1:58 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/6/22 4:34 p.m.

Adirondack Railroad's two new toys out on a special charter trip yesterday

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/6/22 4:46 p.m.

Surprised, and pleased, to see the big announcement today that SMS Rail Services is hopping into the passenger excursion world as well. SMS Rail is famous for operating a fleet of old Baldwin locomotives, including S12s, DS-4-4-750s, AS616s and VO-1000s, as well as an eclectic mix of other power that includes ex-ATSF GE B23-7s and ex-Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines GP38s, in switching operations across PA, NY and NJ. A number of years ago, they purchased an old ex-US Army/ex-Virginia Blue Ridge 0-6-0 from New Hope & Ivyland, where it had operated sparingly in the '60s and '70s, and began an operational restoration. At the time, the plan was always just to use it in freight switching every once in a while as a novelty, but recently an employee made the joking remark of "We've got the locomotive, we've got a caboose, why don't we use it in passenger service?" Apparently it wasn't such a bad idea, because they just signed a ten year lease with Salem County for 18 miles of ex-Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines trackage between Swedesboro, NJ and Salem, NJ. They've rehabilitated the track and begun using it for railbike trips, but tentative plans are to run excursions from the railroad property at Pilesgrove to Swedesboro and return, about a 14-mile round trip, and the railroad is in the process of acquiring secondhand passenger cars for the service. SMS has said that so far, response from the county and neighboring communites has been overwhelmingly positive.

In reply to NickD :

That's awesome!

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/7/22 9:10 a.m.

SMS Rail Services certainly has an odd roster of equipment that includes:

Baldwin S12 1200hp switchers

An ex-Trona Railway Baldwin AS616 road switcher

A Baldwin DS-4-4-750 switcher that is in PRR paint.

Ex-Illinois Central "SW14" rebuilds with the weird angular cab

GE B23-7s of both Conrail and ATSF heritage

And even one of the ex-PRSL GP38s that were built with extended cabs to accomodate dual control stands for bidirectional running on commuter trains.

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