Saturday, October 30, 2010

Railfan Trip to New York State and Pennsylvania - 6

Hi, We planned to spend our final day photographing the Delaware Lackawanna Railroad. The day before Dale called the railroad in Scranton and we learned they would run a turn to Portland with the crew called at 11:00 AM. Sunny weather was forecast and we had the makings of a great day. It was not to be.

When we got down to the Steamtown site at about 8:30 the sun was out but there were puffy clouds. Steamtown's Reading RS-3 sat in their yard and a power set consisting of an Alco C-636, 2 C-425s, and a C-630 sat across from Tower 60, the operational hub of the Delaware Lackawanna. We assumed this would be the Portland turn's power. Following some roster shots Dale went to talk to the dispatcher, who he had met during the NRHS Convention in Scranton in June.

From the dispatcher we learned that the crew on duty at 11:00 AM would first taxi to Carbondale to switch a customer and that the work would be done within the customer's fence. The estimated departure time for Portland was now about 1:00 PM. However, there would be a Steamtown town excursion to Tobeyhanna, PA with the ex Reading FP7s pulling the return trip. The FP7s would depart at 10:00 PM and the excursion train at 11:00 PM. As we had some time to kill Dale went into the Electric City Trolley Museum to by some cards and I took a few shots of the equipment sitting outside.

We then headed for Moscow, PA to get the F units. By now the cloud cover had thickened.

We then went to Tobeyhanna for shots of the F units arriving. Roster shots were easy as we had plenty of time to wait for the clouds to clear the sun.

The steam train was photographed at Gouldsboro, PA and then

Arriving in Tobeyhanna. We had plenty of time as the steam train spent an hour at Gouldsboro.

After lunch we returned to Moscow to await the steam engine running light back to Scranton,

the Portland Turn, shown here taking the siding, and

the Fs and the excursion train.

By the time the trains converged on Moscow it was mostly cloudy. It was 3:30 PM before the excursion train arrived and the Portland turn could continue. By this time everything was socked in and we decided it was better to get an early start for home.

We really enjoyed the trip and hope you enjoyed the photos.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Railfan Trip to New York State and Pennsylvania - 5

Hi, Friday, 10/22 was allotted to a new shortline; the Lehigh Railway. This line operates over the former Lehigh Valley mainline from Mehoopany, PA to Sayre, PA. The main attraction was their fleet of 5 U23Bs. Like the Wellsboro and Corning they have experienced a huge surge in traffic due to drilling into the Marcellus Shale formation.

From a call to the railroad the Friday before we left I learned that they operated 2 to 3 crews per day Monday - Friday and one crew on the Saturday and Sunday.

We started our search in Sayre and followed the line south. When we reached Wysox, PA we started to hear talking on the radio as they switched cars. As we headed further south the signal got stronger. When we reached the south side of Wyalusing we found a U23B and an EMD switcher sorting out sand and lime hoppers while a contractor removed spilled lime from the track and dumped it into a front end loader bucket.

We learned the crew would be switching for awhile and then would head to Sayre with just the 2302 running long hood forward so we decided to check out the rest of the line see what we could find. At Mehoopany two more U23Bs were parked next to a no parking sign at the north end of the Proctor and Gamble paper mill. We shot some frames and then headed back north.

As 2302 had already left Wyalusing when we got back there we continued on to Sayre where we bought lunch and ate it while sitting by the tracks. After awhile the 2302 showed up running light and proceeded to block its train of some 40 cars.

After about an 1:15 of switching 2302 headed south, shown here leaving Sayre, and the chase was on.

Photos were obtained at Milan passing the old depot and a former LV caboose (it really was),

just south of Milan,

Ulster, and

just south of Ulster.

The crew ended their day at Towanda, PA at about 4:00 PM. A second crew which went on duty at 4:00 PM would work Mehoopany and then head for Towanda where they would pick up the 2302 and return south. We headed for Scranton and our motel.

Just south of Laceyville we encountered the 4:00 PM crew headed north. We turned back to Laceyville for one last shot.

We were happy with our day and I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Railfan Trip to New York State and Pennsylvania - 42

Hi, Our next stop was the Wellsboro and Corning. This once sleepy shortline has seen an explosion in traffic due to drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation in north central Pennsylvania. Sand is used to fracture the shale thereby freeing the natural gas, and the sand arrives by rail.

As a result of this new traffic the railroad needed more powerful locomotives and late last winter they obtained 4 SD40-2s from the Quebec North Shore & Labrador. They have been very carefully and tastefully re-lettered. The rail line usually runs a turn to Gang Mills, NY on Mondays and Thursday. Our first stop was Wellsboro, PA where we found 2 of the units making up their train of empties for the NS interchange in Gang Mills.

We then moved north setting up at a grade crossing at Niles Valley.

Our next stop was a grade crossing at Holliday, PA. It was here that we unexpectedly met up with two old friends of mine, John "Cass" King (who loves the Cass Scenic RR) and Bob Markle. It was definitely the high point of the day as I had not seen either of them in quite awhile.

A few miles north of Holiday the line runs along the shore of Hammond Lake.

We continued north and finally got some sun a few miles south of Lawrenceville, NY, still in Pennsylvania. The location is called Beemans on the railroad.

The sun held out as the train passed a farm along River Rd. (County Rd. 120) near Lindley, NY.

However, a few miles further a cloud blocked the sun.

From here to Gang Mills the track is inaccessible. While the crew was dropping its train and making its pickup we got some sandwiches to go and were back at the yard as it departed with loads of sand. By now the clouds had socked in again. We got our only elevated shot near Erwins, NY.

We continued south to get another angle at the farm along River Road.

Beemans, in Pennsylvania south of the border with New York offered another nice location.

By the time the train got south of Hammond Lake there were breaks in the clouds. Here the train is just north of Holliday.

We were able to beat it to Holliday for still another shot.

Our final shot came at a feed mill at Niles Valley.

We followed the train the mile or 2 south to its terminus at Wellsboro but the clouds returned and we did not see anything else worth photographing. We said good by to John and Bob, and headed for our motel in Elmira, NY.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Railfan Trip to New York State and Pennsylvania - 3

Hi, Dale wanted a day along the former D&H so we dedicated Wednesday, 10/20 to this activity. Our hope was to shoot CP but it turned out to be an NS day for the most part. The first train was #934 shown cresting Richmondville Hill eastbound. This becomes MOAY, from Mohawk Yard near Schenectady to Ayer, MA, the hottest train on Pan Am Southern. By the way, the 930 to 939 trains almost always have NS power.

We let #934 go and headed back west to see what we could find. On the west side of Oneonta we encountered #931, also headed east, and gave chase. The train is shown passing one of the Leatherstocking Chapter, NRHS GG-1s stored on a siding at Cooperstown Junction, NY,

passing a former D&H signal mast at Schenevus, NY,

and finally, after a long wait (we never found out why) passing through Central Bridge.

Our last photo of the train was at Delanson where the former D&H line to Albany branches off. This is the track between the signal and the crossing buck.

The line to Albany has been cutback to the Guilderland Industrial park and is operated by SMS Rail Services as the Vorheesville Industrial Track. SMS's GP38 was waiting at the junction to make a pickup from the next eastbound.

When this train, #938, arrived it cut off a block of auto racks and pulled them up the main, cutting off before the interlocking signals for the junction.

The NS locomotives then pulled forward on to the single track allowing the SMS crew to back down on their pick up.

#938 then backed down on its train and left town.

Our final shot was of an eastbound CP powered freight about 5:00 PM at Esperance Station. It was the only CP powered train east of Oneonta, NY during daylight. There was a westbound in the picture but it had NS power (we could hear talk about it on the radio) and it never showed up.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Railfan Trip to New York State and Pennsylvania - 2

Hi, This was our Alco day. We spent the entire day on the Batten Kill RR with their RS-3. The crew went to work at East Greenwich, NY at about 9:30 AM. They switched the feed mill and another siding.

About 11:00 they headed out to Greenwich Junction where they switched a customer that received fertilizer and then

blocked their train in a small yard.

As they headed south to Eagle Bridge, NY the sun came out. Here the train is entering Shushan, NY.

The next 2 photographs were taken between Shushan and Cambridge.

We setup just south of the restored passenger station in Cambridge for these 2 photos.

While it was only partly sunny when the train arrived in Eagle Bridge, the clouds opened for the train. They dropped their Pan Am Southern interchange cars on the mainline north of town, as Pan Am Southern had not picked up cars previously left for them, and brought only their CP interchange cars into Eagle Bridge.

The crew spent the next few hours switching in Eagle Bridge before calling it a day. They would return to East Greenwich the next day.

While we were photographing the switching operations Pan Am Southern's MOAY passed by on the main. This is combination auto rack intermodal train that comes off the CP at Mohawk Yard near Schenectady, NY. I believe it originates on NS in Chicago, IL

I hope you enjoyed the photos.