Saturday, March 9, 2013

Railfanning 2-25 to 3-1-2013, V

Hi, This post covers the final day of the trip Bill Kalkman and I made to north central Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier Region of New York State.  We devoted the day to RJ Corman's Pennsylvania operation centered in Clearfield, PA

From an employee at their yard we learned there was a train loading at Cherry Tree, PA which would head for Bigler when it was done loading.  Also, there was a train loading at Osceola Mills, PA that would depart the mine around 2:30 PM.  We headed for Cherry Tree checking out photo locations as we went.

Just west of Curwensville we encountered a train with 3 NS SD-60s sitting so we stopped to take a few photos.

When we arrived at the mine in Cherry tree we found the train with a matched set of SD-40s still loading.  This was accomplished with 2 large front end loaders.  We shot from both sides of the train.

We obtained permission from a local farmer to go out in his field where we shot the train as it backed up to couple its cuts together.

Our first photo location after the train left Cherry Hill was at Kantz Hill Road, south of Burnside, PA.

From there we beat the train into Burnside.

Our next stop was McGees Mills where the tracks cross US 219.

In Mahaffey we were able to find the first bridge where the train crossed the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

State Route Route 969 runs right along the tracks in many places offering a variety of photographic angles. Five are shown below.

The train hit a car at a grade crossing in Curwensville.  After it came to a stop it needed to back up to the accident site.  The back up move is shown below.

Finally, the train got underway again after a 1:30 delay.  We caught it again crossing the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

We easily beat the train into Clearfield where we photographed it running down the middle of  a street on the west side of town.

The final shot of this presentation was taken in Woodland, PA.  The train symbol changed from RBS-1 (for Rosebud Mine Shuttle) to BCS-1 (for Bigler Coal Shuttle).  Trains inbound to the mine use the first track encountered entering Woodland from the main road.  There is a connection to the mine load out track just beyond the load out that forms a loop.

I really enjoyed the excellent company of Bill Kalkman and the great photo opportunities.  For me it was mostly virgin territory but Bill was a top notch as a guide.  Thanks for looking.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Railfanning 2-25 to 3-1-2013, IV

Hi, Thursday was our Western New York & Pennsylvania day.  Alcos in the snow.  What could be better.

Because we believed that the train to Falconer, the "Slingshot," was called for 9:00 AM and would probably have some switching to do prior to departure (based on info we got the day before) we elected to see if B&Ps SIRI was sitting at Salamanca.  It was and it had the same power as the day before.  We could only conclude that the previous day's RISI was either very late or did not run resulting in that day's SIRI power turning back north at Johnsonburg.

We took some more photos and headed over to Allegany, NY to check on the WNY&P.

At Allegany we learned that the OL-2 job was returning from Cuba, NY so we headed east to intercept it, which we did on the east side of town at a bridge across the Allegheny River.  This is the same river that joins with the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh to form the Ohio.  Unfortunately, I did not realized that my camera was set to manual focus so the photo is a little soft.  I did try to sharpen it in photo shop.  Also, we learned that the "Slingshot" was now called for 10:00 AM.

After the OL-2 crew arrived at the WNY&P yard in Allegany, NY the locomotive on the east end, a C424, was cut off and the crew did some switching with the C430 on the west end.  This is a former New York Central Unit, one of 10 built for the New York Central, which had the largest fleet.  Over all 16 were constructed.

Another C430 was sitting outside the engine house.

The "Slingshot" (train OL-3), with the C430 leading and the C424 trailing, actually departed at 11:50 AM.  The photo is from the highway overpass just west of the yard.

A few blocks west of the yard the train came to a stop for a compliance test.  Note the sign across the tracks just to the right of the locomotive.

After a few minutes OL-3 headed west.

Our next shot was in Carrollton, NY.  The through truss bridge carries the B&P mainline south.  From here to Salamanca the two lines parallel each other.

The chase from here was very easy with shots at Steamburg, NY and

Randolph, NY

We got another shot at Kennedy, NY but it is not included.  At Falconer the OL-3 crew cut off the head 36 cars and

took them up the Falconer Industrial track, south of the main.

After photographing this move we decided to try to intercept the train coming east from Meadville, PA but missed it.  By the time we returned to Falconer the Meadville train was ready to head west again.  We photographed it sitting next to the engine house in Falconer and

at the next grade crossing to the west.

Thus ended our 4th day.  Thanks for looking.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Railfanning 2-25 to 3-1-2013, III

Hi, We began our third day of photography in Salamanca, NY where we found B&P's southbound road train, SIRI (Salamanca to Riker Yard in Punxsutawney, PA) sitting at the depot awaiting a crew.  We took advantage of this opportunity to experiment with a variety of photo angles, four of which are shown below.

When the crew arrived we learned they were called for 9:00 AM and had no work between Salamanca and Johnsonburg.  We had planned to check out the Western New York and Pennsylvania on this day so we headed over to Olean.

At the Western New York and Pennsylvania HQ in Allegany, NY we learned the only train running that day would be the Farmer's Valley local.  We decided to try to catch B&P's SIRI and return to Olean the next day, as we were told there would be a "slingshot" running to Falconer, NY, where it would meet the train from Meadville.

We drove to Mount Jewett, PA and set up to photograph the south facing CPL.  We had photographed the north facing CPLs to the left of the train the day before.  We beat the SIRI here by a few minutes.

We got two more photo opportunities.  The first was in Campbelltown, PA,

and the second was at St. Marys Road, a few miles north of Johnsonburg, PA.  Some maps identify the location as Streights.  We decided to wait south of Johnsonburg for the northbound to arrive or for the southbound to leave.

 Neither happened.  Instead, we heard the dispatcher talk to a train that seemed to be working in St. Marys, the current end of a line that once connected Ridgway, PA with PRR's Buffalo Line in Emporium, PA.  We went to investigate.  Getting nervous we set up at Mohan Road, a few miles east of Ridgway.  A few minutes later the JB-1 crew came west.

A second opportunity presented itself on the east side of Ridgway.

A connection exists on the north side of Ridgway between the branch and the main line.  The train stopped here to get clearance

and then crossed the Clarion River to gain access to the main line.

We easily beat the train back to Johnsonburg where we were able to photograph it once again crossing the Clarion River.  We never did hear the SIRI depart and were unable to spot it in the yard.

This ended day number 3.  The next day would be our WNY&P day, however, we would learn something about the fate of the SIRI from this day.  Thanks for looking.