August 2011

Jay Butler caught (Saratoga & North Creek Railway) SLRG BL-2 52 in transit on CP 240 on July 12th sandwiched between CEFX 1058 and CP 6021. at at Haycroft, Ontario (mile 88 ).Windsor Sub.  The BL-2 (Ex-BAR 52) was repainted in late-June at Metro East Industries in East Saint Louis, Illinois in an EMD First Generation-inspired livery and enroute to the SLRG a new tourist / freight railway in upstate New York owned by Iowa Pacific Holdings.  So far they have two locomotioves  there, as well as two coaches and two dome cars.   The 60-mile railway line operates on part of the former Delaware & Hudson North Creek branch and connects with CP at Saratoga, NY.  It is to begin operation in late July this month, and will replace the old Upper Hudson River Railroad, operating over some of the same track.      

Here is how this BL2 locomotive looked in Bangor and Arooststook Railroad as BAR 52 in a dark blue dip and riding silver Blomberg trucks. . 

ALCO locomotives of the former operator, the Upper Hudson River Railroad, sit  beside the S&NC shop in North Creek, NY.   Former Staten Island Ry. S3 number 821 is privately owned, and is being leased for use as the terminal switcher in Saratoga Springs. Behind it sits former ALCo plant switcher number 5, an S1 that will be seeing infrequent use as a terminal switcher in North Creek when needed.

Old meets new: relatively new ex-Long Island C1 car SLRG 3007 peeks out from between the 1872-built freight and passenger depots in North Creek, NY. The former freight depot is now the S&NC's passenger depot, while the former passenger depot (where Theodore Roosevelt found out he was President of the United States in the wee hours of Sept. 14, 1901) now houses a museum.

 A rarity, in a rare surrounding. Saratoga & North Creek 52, a 1949-built EMD BL2, sits on the turntable in North Creek. The unit was originally built for the Bangor and Aroostook in Maine, and founds its way to Janesville, WI before being purchased by Iowa Pacific and renovated by Metro East Industries in East St. Louis, IL. The unit has a little more work to be completed before it is put into service on the S&NC. Eventually, the 52 will be joined by former BAR 56, which is also being reworked by MEI.

 SLRG 8524 hauls newly received BL2 number 52 north over the high bridge over the Sacandaga River near Hadley, NY. Below the railroad bridge is a very rare Lenticular Arch bridge that carries Old Corinth Road over the river. That span was built in 1885, and refurbished in 2006.

SLRG 8524, a former LMX GE B39-8 of the same number, provides the backbone of the motive power roster. The unit was built in 1987, and is seen in D&H-inspired Saratoga & North Creek livery at the shared railroad station in Saratoga Springs, NY.  The second shot is was taken in mid July at Corinth, NY.

On June 28th Kevin Burkholder photographed former CN GP40-2LW 9436 a RAILAMERICA unit relettered Toledo, Peoria & Western 4053.  NECR local train 600-28 is switching cars with the TP&W GP40-2W 4053 NECR White River Jct. Vermont.

 Running short on crew time, the New England Central (NECR) 324-13 rolls past mile 29 with NECR SD40 6281, NECR GP38 3847, and FEC GP40-3 437.  Kevin took this shot July 14th at Sharon, VT on the NECR Roxbury Subdivision

 George Redmond captured an eastern delegate in the CN yard at DuQuoin IL July 22nd. INRD 2543 is the lone CF7 on the Indiana Railroad's roster - born Santa Fe F7A 46C in October 1952.

 Mike Garza photographed IHB  2143 at Blue Island on July 21st and  shot IAIS Gp38-2 and slug 651 in the Blue Island Burr Oak yard in Riverdale, IL July 20th.

American Steam & Diesel locomotive gathering in the Quad Cities.

Marc Malnekoff captured the Rock Island Express, led by the AMTK 156 heritage loco, with classic Milwaukee Road coaches July 21st at Hinsdale, IL, bound for the Quad Cities

 Marc also took this shot of  NKP 765's journey west at  Shweldon IN - just east of the Indiana/Illinois border. Train was halted for hours due to 100F temps - the railroad virtually shut down.

Once the day's heat abated - he  shot as the 2-8-4 rumbled thru Sheldon IL.

LaCrosse WI photographer Dennis Weber captured CP coke empties train 801 July 14th near Donehower, MN heading back to the Twin Cities suburb of Roseport, MN.

 On July 14th, repainted Metra F40 134 was released from the Progress Rail Shop in Mayfield KY.    

Al Gorney submitted his shots of Ex-BC Rail M420 642, now MA&N 2042 hauls Adirondack Scenic Varnish on July 10th through Holland Patent station. On July 18th Al photographed Adirondack Scenic RS18u 1845 wearing the new dress at Utica and AIDX 1835 which has yet to be painted.  Both units will be the primary power for the Utica and Thendara based trains.

During June 2011 BNSF received 24 new ES44C4's: BNSF 6707 - 6727,  6729, 6731 & 6732. Also delivered were ten Tier 3-compliant ES44C4's BNSF 6890 - 6899. The original group was to be numbered 6653 - 6879; modified roster numbers are: 6653 - 6869 (Tier 2) & 6890 - 6899 (Tier 3).  These are set up for lower emissions  - the newest EPA standards become effective January 2012. These engines are basically test beds. Also Tier 3-compliant are the final 5 ES44DC's delivered in September 2010, numbered BNSF 7348 - 7352.

AUTO-TRAIN Corporation Vignettes:

During the 1970`s, the Auto-Train operated special passenger trains on Seaboard Cost Line and Richmond Fredricksburg & Potomac trackage. The ATC used its own rolling stock for the unique rail transportation service for both passengers and their automobiles, operating scheduled service between Washington, DC and Orlando, Florida.

The equipment of the Auto-Train Corporation was painted in red, white, and purple colors. The typical train was equipped with two or three U36B`s, 75 ft (22.86 m) auto carriers, streamlined  passenger4 cars and full length dome cars.  ATC`s new service began operations on December 6, 1971. The service was a big hit with travelers. Before long, the ambitious entrepreneurs of Auto-Train were looking to expand into other markets. However, only the Washington to Orlando, FL service proved successful.

Auto-Train's first auto carriers were acquired used, and started life in the 1950s as an innovation of  CN. The CN bi-level autorack cars had end-doors. They were huge by the standards of the time; each 75-footer could carry 8 vehicles. The cars were a big success and helped lead to the development of today's enclosed autoracks. The former CN autoracks were augmented by new tri-level versions in 1976.

High crew costs, and two two spectacular accidents forced the ATC into bankruptcy in late April, 1981.

Operating for almost 10 years, Auto-Train had developed a popular following, particularly among older travelers as it ferried passengers and their cars between Virginia and Florida. After its demise, no one else offered a service quite like that which Auto-Train had: transport a car and its passengers together (on the same movement, at the same time) to and from vacation areas

CRO Aug 2011