United States of America


In August we learned the Apache Railroad (APA) located in Snowflake, Arizona is reducing service to remaining customers and cutting their employees from 24, to only nine. Their seven Alco’s are not all for sale at this time.  In August Catalyst Paper announced they will close their large paper recycle mill located in northeastern Arizona, The Apache Railroad rosters a fleet of  well maintained locomotives APA C420's 81-84 and three (ex-CP C424's nos. 4211, 4227, and 4233) now numbered APA 97-99 Some of these may get sold.   If you know someone who may be interested in these, please contact the Apache RR.


Mike Garza caught Quebec - Gatineau (QGRY) GP39-2C 2300 and 2303 on CN 503 at South Holland, IL July 31st.  QGRY numbers 2300-2303, are ex-VRE (Virginia Railway Express) RP39-2C V04, V06, V08 and V10, and are originally Chessie GP40’s.

Mark Mautner snapped Gardendale Railroad SD40-2 9043 being repainted at the former Manufacturers Railway (MRS) property in St Louis now operated by Foster Townsend Rail Logistics (FTRL) Railway. (FTRL is the current operator on the ex-MRS trackage since October 2011).  This unit was built by EMD as Great Northern SDP40 323 in May 1966 and was steam generator equipped for passenger service. After Amtrak was formed in the 1970’s, she became a freight unit.  The BN unit was sold to GCFX to CEFX to then to MVPX.

Mike also bagged another former GTW engine (ex-GTW GP40-2  6412), leading a Chicago Fort Wayne and Eastern (CFE) train out of IHB Blue Island, IL on August 14th. Since its inception this Rail America shortline has run out of the IHB in Riverdale. This is the second former GTW engine they own. The other being ex-GTW  6415.

On August 9th, George Redmond snapped good looking BNSF GP38-2 2034 with caboose switching in the BNSF yards at Centralia, IL.

Wearing her  Canadian Pacific Railway “Partner” banner, on August 22nd, Dennis Webber  snapped good looking Progressive Rail Inc. (PGR) SD38-2 #42 (ex-RMSX 1242) and sister passing through  Northfield, MN on August 22nd. A good portion of the trackage PRG operate over is leased, or former CP/SOO/MNS/MILW lines and CP is their main interchange.   

On August 28th Darren Doss caught this EMD lease unit at Fulton, KY. The frame number is 787249-7 GMTX GP15-1 425 was originally built as Conrail 1606, then to CSXT 1530, later to LLPX 1509.

Iowa Pacific Holdings has acquired ex-Canadian National F7Au 9163, built in 1952, and former VIA (nee-CN) F9B 6622, built in 1957 from short line Carolina Southern (CALA), based in Conway, S.C. The equipment is being acquired for a passenger and tourist operation and both will require extensive rehabilitation before being put into service.  Waccamaw Coast Line (WCLR) the predecessor to CALA, had obtained the F9B wearing VIA colours and repainted her into the CN freight scheme to match their two ex-CN F7Au's (9158 and 9163) already wearing CN livery. CALA took ownership after that and F7Au 9158 was later scrapped. As the WCLR lettered A and B unit were deemed unsafe to move on CN, the trucks and locomotives were transported on flatcars. Mike Garza snapped the covered wagons passing through Riverdale, IL at the IHB Blue Island Yard, on August 22nd enroute to Proviso Yard (UP), for furtherance to the San Luis & Rio Grande locomotive Shop in Alamosa, CO. 


Peter Bieber clicked one of the former CN Sweeps at Progress Rail in Tacoma, WA on August 18th, SVGX SW1200RM 7106 is now lettered and painted for the Savage Railway.

Wayne Koch submitted this great shot by Ron Yee of CDOT P32AC-DM #230 at Harmon Yard, (Croton-On-Hudson, New York) following her GE overhaul last month [photo by Ron Yee]. The commuter engine looks sharp wearing the New Haven inspired McGinnispaint scheme but Wayne did point out a slight font change on the “230”.  Rivet counters will note that the small American flags have been removed from the area adjacent to the cab side-windows.

Michel Daoust visited Metro East Industries (MEI) in East St-Louis, Illinois in July and submitted the following photos:  Ex- BAR BL2 MLRX 56, which is earmarked for overhaul

HLCX GP38-2 3811 is seen following MEI overhaul with a PTC mod and repaint.  UP yellow painted LLPX GP38-2 2240 rests behind.

MEI is repairing a 710 engine block that suffered damages in the crankcase damage by #2-3-10-11 cylinder liners area, and the mated oil pan.


Displayed outside MEI are two cabooses which double as a snack bar (with very good food!).  Rolling around on the walls below the ceiling, is a large scale model train! 

On August 11, 2012, Ben Alain caught a Union Pacific stack train thundering past the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The relatively short train appeared to be overpowered with 3 units on the front end and a DPU on rear. This might have had something to do with the temperature being 45°C!

On July 18th, Vermont Rail System (VRS)  in cooperation with the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority teamed up to move five CIT-owned SD9043MACs (CITX 105, 110, 114, 119, and 136), which will be leased to the QCM (Arcelor-Mittal) and delivered on the BBC Chartering  ship for export to Port Cartier, Quebec. The units were loaded in the hull for shipment north.  These units are needed until their new EMD SD70ACe’s (to be numbered 50-54) arrive later this year.   These photos are courtesy of Kevin Burkholder

A 20th Anniversary Railfan Weekend will be held on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad Sept 1st and 2nd 2012, at their Thendara (Old Forge) NY location.   The two day event will feature: Trains departing Utica Union Station at 9:15am behind the railroads Alco RS18's paired up in full Adirondack Scenic livery for the first time. Once riders arrive in Thendara they can enjoy the days events at the station or go down town for a stroll around the beautiful hamlet of Old Forge.


On hand at the Thendara station will be something for everyone, of all ages. Weather for fun, a learning experience or just a day out.


Over a half dozen Locomotives from Companies like EMD and ALCO will be on hand. Equipment like Private Rail Cars, Snow Plows and classic freight cars will be available for viewing as well as other railroad maintenance equipment. A classic car cruise in will be on the grounds offering anyone with a classic car premier parking and a discounted ticket for train rides.


Information in regards to the Railroads future, Big Moose and Next Stop Tupper Lake will be available with representatives on hand.

Caboose hops will be available most of the day featuring NYC 705 along with a historic caboose from the Boston & Maine railroad.

Locomotive Cab Tours will be available offering many their first chance to climb up into a real Locomotive cab and sit at the controls. Taking it one step further we will even have a real locomotive simulator on hand for a truly rare opportunity.


There will be 20 mile round trips to Otter Lake each day. They feature breath taking views of the Moose River & McKeever Trestle.

These trips will be powered by the Railroads historic EMD F units.


After the 4:30 pm departure of the Utica Train, the event will take a turn after dinner.


In the early evening The Old Thendara Town Hall will be host to an incredible slide show, thanks to it's owner Stewart DeCamp. It will feature hundreds of pictures of the Adirondack Division. Photos from the 1930's to the 21st Century will be available for all to enjoy.

With slide show hosts like Al Gorney, Doug Ellison and Dave "Wally" Van Pelt it will be sure to enlighten even the most die hard NYC fan about something.


After the slide show some will be fortunate enough to work with a railroad photography icon. Steven Barry, editor of Railfan and Railroad Magazine. Steve will be on hand to orchestrate a night photo session. We hope to recreate the past with classic automobiles and New York Central power as NYC RS3 8223 and NYC SW1 705 will be on hand with classic freight cars and more.


In August the (PN) unveiled the company's first paint scheme on former Canadian National SD40-2Ws, 5342. The PN 5342 was painted at New Hope, Pennsylvania and pulled from the engine house to debut the colors on the Founders Day train that operated from New Hope to Lansdale, PA August 25th.  While not yet fully completed, the scheme is has a combined Nickel Plate and Rio Grande influence that was made up of Philadelphia Flyers orange and black. Completion of the unit should take place this week with additional lettering and road name application. It is unclear if the remainder of the locomotives in the PN fleet will get the same color treatment.  The Pennsylvania Northeastern Railroad operates on 55.53 miles (89.37 km) of SEPTA-owned trackage mostly in Bucks and Montgomery counties to the north of Philadelphia, with some lines extending into northern

portions of Philadelphia. The lines operated by the Pennsylvania Northeastern Railroad include the Bethlehem Branch from Newtown Junction to Telford, the Doylestown Branch from Lansdale to Doylestown, the New Hope Branch from Glenside to Ivyland, the New York Line from Jenkintown to Neshaminy Falls, as well as a 3-mile (4.8 km) portion of the Stony Creek Line near Lansdale. The Pennsylvania Northeastern Railroad also operates the Lansdale Yard in Lansdale. The railroad interchanges with CSX Transportation in Lansdale and the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad in Warminster.

PN also has a few other former CN and CP SD40-2s as well as two former Conrail/NS C39-8s on their roster.

VIGNETTE:  VSR EMD SW900 #1001 and ex-CN M420W SMNR #3518 are seen at Medicine Lodge, KS June 10, 2009. The line operates on a former Santa Fe branch that connects to the BNSF Transcon at Attica, KS.  CN sold this M420W to the Southern Manitoba Railway, and when the line was removed, the MLW was moved to the Victoria & Southern (VSR in Kansas, the operating arm of a railroad material salvage  operation),  The only business is a wallboard plant at Medicine Lodge and some car storage.  The line was salvaged west of town, and they also cut up a few old CF7’s there as well.  The blue former H&N switcher is the only power left.

COVERED WAGON VIGNETTE:  Even with road weathering, B&O F7A  #4555  looks terrific at Salamaca, NY in June 1966.   Jim Parker snapped the EMD-built F-unit in perfect sunlight, revealing the Blomberg trucks, steps, fuel tank, and other underbody details.


©CRO September 2012