Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Delaware & Hudson GP39-2

This Delaware & Hudson GP39-2 carries bridge traffic into Binghamton, NY.

Maine Central GP7 at Portland

A milk train comes into the city. Streets lined with brick tell of the age of this Revolutionary city and age old port on the coast of Maine. The red and gold of the Pine Tree decked Maine Central GP7 tell of the timelessness of bringing milk from rural Maine.

Louisville & Nashville MP15 at Corbin

This Louisville & Nashville MP15 shuttles a merchandise train at Corbin, KY. Corbin, once the home of Colonel Sanders, is also a very important junction for the Louisville & Nashville railroad, today's CSX. Coal moves through this city by the thousands of tons, as well as merchandise destined for cities throughout the North and South.

Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-6 Allegheney Mountain Railroading

Helpers shove on the end of a squealing train. Coal dust flies through the mountain air as there is a hang of heat and a stillness of the day. The track vibrates into tomorrow as the railroad rolls. Black diamonds take this train towards the shoal. Black diamonds are black ink. The engineer shoves and the draw bars continue at their limit. Up the mountain. Up the grade. This is mountain railroading on the Chesapeake & Ohio.

The Norfolk & Western Class J at 60!

The Norfolk & Western Class J turned 60 this year, 2010. The Virginia Museum of Transportation celebrates this event all year and everyone is invited to see this beautiful 4-8-4 steam locomotive and her sister unit, the Class A 2-6-6-4, the 1218 at the Roanoke museum.

Norfolk & Western Coal Train at Roanoke

This Norfolk & Western SD40-2 handles a coal train at Roanoke. Many agree that the few SD40-2's painted in Tuscan truly brought a touch of class to the Norfolk & Western roster.

Norfolk & Western GP40 at Bellevue

This Norfolk & Western GP40 hauls an expedited train at Bellevue. High hoods rule the day and blue is the new paint scheme on today's Norfolk & Western.

Florida East Coast GP40-2

This Florida East Coast GP40-2 handles fast Freight from Fort Lauderdale.

Louisville & Nashville MP15 Transfers Cars

This Louisville & Nashville MP15 transfers cars on the former Chicago & Eastern Illinois.

Reading SD45 at Allentown

This Reading SD45 hauls coal at Allentown.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Seeing Wisconsin Central SD45 6534

I saw Wisconsin Central SD45 6534 in 1991 on a trip to Chicago. The 6534 was teamed with sister SD45 6510 and pulled a train of almost solid Wisconsin Central red 50' box cars. I will never forget that train.

Canadian National on the Former Illinois Central

The Canadian National at Champaign-Urbana Rolls down the former Illinois Central. When I watched the black and red locomotives pull today's trains, I thought for a second of the Mainline of Mid-America and watching the brown and orange e-units and orange and white SD40A's hauling trains down the backbone of America.

Visit Monticello Museum and Depot

I was lucky enough to visit the Monticello, IL Railroad Museum and Depot in the fall of 2009. This museum in North Central Illinois is truly a treasure of restored railroad equipment with a beautifully restored depot. The friendly museum staff is truly helpful when visiting.

Louisville & Indiana

I had seen Louisville & Indiana in pictures and was lucky enough to see a pair of their geeps out the car window when passing through Louisville in 2009.

A Missouri Pacific SD40-2 approaches at Del Paso Siding.

An SD40-2 sits in the Del Paso siding on the former Western Pacific in Sacramento. My heart flutters at the approach of a second UP train. Second unit back is a former Missouri Pacific 3300 unit SD40-2. Wow, to a young railfan, this is quite a moment. The seed of train loving is sprouting.

Chicago Burlington & Quincy, Way of the Zephyrs

Chicago Burlington & Quincy GP7's haul grain towards Chicago. The year is 1962 and there is a breeze in the air as Great Northern, Northern Pacific and Spokane Portland & Seattle are still independent railroads along with the great Burlington Route. The Way of the Zephyrs still rolls across Illinois.

Cab Forward on Donner

The Cab Forward shoulders lumber. Up the ridge of Donner. Under the snowsheads and under the snow, this beast of burden climbs. Through the tunnels and upward towards Truckee, the cab forward shoulders its train. A helper shoves on the slack as the cab forward howls and snorts. This is the Southern Pacific, this is California railroading in the Sierra.

Piggyback: Freeways are Crowded Enough

As trucks congest our highways, it does my heart proud to see more and more trailers moving on the US rail system. This piggyback pup was moving through Fullerton, California on the BNSF instead of moving on one of Los Angeles's many crowded freeways. Amen to that.

Roy Ward's Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Slide Show

I was lucky enough to see Roy Ward's slide show about the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie. This showed me the history of this great railroad, how it functioned, where it moved, what industries it served. I learned a lot, thanks.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Strawberry Ridge Conrail SD60I's

There was nothing like seeing the Strawberry Ridge SD60I's in Altoona, PA. Seeing three Conrail units in 2010 truly a sight for sore eyes.

Indiana Harbor Belt at Hammond

When one stands at Indiana Harbor Belt in Hammond, the headquarters building is truly situated amongst the railroad. To the west, stands Indiana Harbor Belt's roundhouse, which, itself, is living history. In and out of IHB's locomotive facility ebb and flow locomotives from the Class I railroads as IHB transfers freight and power of today's trains. Indiana Harbor Belt is truly a railroad operation to witness.

The Rathole Line on the CNO&TP

Facing northward outside of Chattanooga, at the ford of the Tennessee River, the Rathole line heads northward towards Cincinnati. The line of the Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific hauls merchandise towards the Queen City much as it has for many years. This is railroading on the Southern Railway as it Serves the South.

May Penn Central's SD45's Growl On Forever

Penn Central trains rolled for a brief moment in time. In Conrail days, the Penn Central's take-over of the Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central seemed to be too close of wound for most to enjoy Penn Central's heritage. Now that time has passed, Penn Central and its time stand in railroad history to those who remember it. Let its SD45's growl on forever.

Monday, August 9, 2010

History Rolls on the Baltimore & Ohio

Baltimore & Ohio has a proud history. I cannot even begin to scratch the surface of this railroad that pioneered railroading in the United States. As this GP40 rolls into Cumberland, MD, we see history in the making, another train of coal rolling down the track.

Another Train

Another train
That does not end
Another town
Another junction
Another train
Serves it's function
Hurry fast
Twilight hour
Echo back
Through distant bower
Another train and then it's gone
Another dream my heart is on

Saturday, August 7, 2010

West Virginia Coal and Hardwood

Coal is in the seems; coal is in the pockets. As I drive the I-79 corridor approaching Morgantown, all is rugged with rock and hardwood. This is West Virginia.

Norfolk & Western: A Success Story written in Coal

Norfolk & Western has a proud heritage. Long coal trains and steam engines with sleek lines have forged one of America's prominent names. Norfolk & Western was in the business of railroading. Coal rolled from the Appalachians to Norfolk. Coal was responsible for much of Norfolk & Westerns success, much of Norfolk & Western's black ink. Such is Norfolk & Western.

GP35 Demonstrator shows its muscle for EMD

EMD is at the top of its game. A new locomotive tours North America. What is this cleanly sketched out demonstrator. Nothing but the GP35. A sharp locomotive with a bright future for many of America's railroads grangers, heavy haulers, shortlines, you name it. The GP35 will get the job done for generations to come. Today, the GP35 is demonstrating its muscle for the railroads of tomorrow.

Florida East Coast is Truly a Survivor

Fast trains running on schedule, that is the Florida East Coast way. From the time of Henry M. Flager to the Rail America takeover, Florida East Coast was an independent. It survived as a Class I inside of the state of Florida in a nation of giant interstate systems. The Speedway to Sunshine is truly a survivor and is often overlooked.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thank You Maintenance of Way

When the ties and rails need replacing or repair, I am proud of the men and women of maintenance of way. Trains do not roll unless the track is laid to perfection, and this often takes toil in adverse conditions. Thank you maintenance of way for your help in keeping America's trains rolling.

Dunsmuir, CA: Southern Pacific Town

Dunsmuir, CA is truly a Southern Pacific town. Cab forwards climbed the Cascades in a moment of history. The whole town worked for Southern Pacific. That was Dunsmuir.

Conrail SD80MAC's rule the day

I remember a day when SD80MAC's were just coming online. Coal moved on Conrail out of the Alleghenies and all was well in the world of Big Blue. This Conrail SD80MAC rolls a coal train through Cassandra.

Burlington Northern SD40-2 at Edmonds

This Burlington Northern SD40-2 hugs the Puget Sound at Edmonds, WA. Its westbound grain train heads towards the Port of Seattle.

Western Pacific F7 at Beiber

This Western Pacific F7A pulls a lumber train through Beiber, CA in the Feather River Canyon. The days of the covered wagon and the orange and silver paint scheme remind us of what a great railroad we had in Western Pacific.

I Ran a TR6A at WPRM Run-a-Locomotive Program

The Portola, CA Western Pacific Railroad Museum is truly beautiful and takes one back to a time when the Western Pacific ruled the rails through the Feather River Canyon. However, as summer is hear, one further joy to partake amongst its trains is the Run-a-Locomotive program. I had the joy of operating a former Southern Pacific TR6A, which is truly an experience to behold. Headed to Reno, run a locomotive and truly have the railroad experience you've been waiting for all of your life.

Norfolk & Western SD40-2 at Bristol, VA

This Norfolk & Western SD40-2 moves a heavy coal train through Bristol, VA. Black diamonds roll on the Norfolk & Western.

Radford, VA and the Norfolk & Western

Radford, VA is truly a town situated in history. It sees four or so trains a day on the former Norfolk & Western Bristol Line. As I stood beneath the block signals of the former N&W, I felt as if I had stepped back in history as today's Norfolk Southern passed by.

Clinchfield SD45-2 at Kingsport, TN

This SD45-2 carries a coal train through Kingsport, TN. Black diamonds are the heart and soul of the Clinchfield railroad and Appalachia.

Clinchfield Street, Kingsport, TN

Kingsport, TN pumps the heart and soul of the Clinchfield. When I saw Clinchfield Street, I knew I was in the right town.

CSX Dash 8-40C at Corbin, KY

At Corbin, KY, I was lucky enough to see a CSX Dash 8-40C in gray with yellow nose. I was pretty stoked.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Norfolk & Western 1135 C630 VMT Roanoke, VA

Amongst all of the beautiful equipment at the Virginia Museum of Transportation, including the Class J #611 and Class A #1218, their are quite a few additional historic locomotives, including Norfolk & Western C630 #1135.

Lycoming Valley Reading inspired livery

The Lycoming Valley Railroad did a fantastic job in painting their GP35's into Reading inspired livery. GP35 #5514 is getting ready to leave Williamsport on its daily assignments.

Canadian National at Champaign-Urbana

Champaign-Urbana is a classification yard on the former Illinois Central now owned by Canadian National. I got to see cars getting classified over the hump here in Illinois. Note the former Grand Trunk Western unit, as well. The crew tipped me off to a passing Amtrak. I am always grateful to friendly railroaders.

Illinois Central Gulf SD40-2

This Illinois Central Gulf SD40-2 hangs on its last days in gray and orange along the Mainline of Mid-America as Darth Vader SD40-2's appear on the scene.

Surfliner Engineer Hutch Topikian

Surfliner engineer Hutch Topikian took a moment to say, "Hi" as the Surfliner got underway just before the Santa Fe #3751 excursion headed northward into Fullerton, CA on its trip between San Diego and Los Angeles.

Do you believe in Coincidence?

My friend, Kevin Caldwell, made a model and I made a drawing of Southern Pacific tunnel motor SD45T-2 #9315 both in pre-Speed Letter gray. Coincidence? Nah. Great Minds? Ask him.

Coal Trains a Rolling Through Lincoln, NE

I could not believe the coal traffic at Lincoln, NE. After three days across the West, it was nice to stretch the legs for a few hours and just watch the BNSF trains roll for a few hours.

Council Bluffs, IA Iowa Interstate

Anyone who knows me knows that I would do my best to not get in anyone's way of eating their french fries when they were hot.

Corny Guy, Corn Palace, Mitchell, SD

Some days I just feel corny, okay, most days, I guess.

Coffee's Cliff, Debutts Yard, Chattanooga, TN

It was great to see the Norfolk Southern from Coffee's Cliff overlooking Debutts Yard, Chattanooga, TN. My tour guide, Robert Duncan, took me to a spot where a local railfan, a Mr. Coffee, used to mow the grass and keep the place tidy for railfans so that they could watch the north end of Debutts yard. It is quite a view. Thank you Robert and Mr. Coffee.