Saturday, August 9, 2014

Those Engines Are Not There Anymore

Visitors to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania sometimes ask museum personnel about specific pieces of rolling stock and are disappointed to hear they are no longer at the museum. This is inevitable in a museum that changes over the years. Here are some of the locomotives no longer at the museum in Strasburg, Pennsylvania.

Alco RS-1 modified for the US Department of War in the Second World War showing the unique C-C trucks and cab narrowing for European running. It never went to Europe, instead it went to Iran and hauled supplies to the border with the USSR. It is painted here in the colors of Alaska Railroad #1034. This locomotive now resides at the US Army Transportation Museum, Fort Eustis in Newport News, Virginia.

Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad #13 H. K. Porter 0-6-0 T built 1919 in Pittsburgh. It is "hiding" somewhere. Brother engine BEDT #15 became coal-fired "Thomas The Tank Engine" at the hands of the Strasburg Rail Road.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Museum Rearrangement

There are times when a major railroad museum like the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania needs to rearrange the rolling stock it has on display. The following photos are from a 2007 rearrangement except the last one taken in 2011.

 Strasburg Rail Road GE 44-ton #9331 places Bethlehem Steel #111 Heisler 0-4-0 fireless loco to its spot on track 2
 Camden & Amboy John Bull replica returning to track 2
 Conrail GP30 #2213 temporary move to track 3 before returning to track 2
 LM&W motor car #21 returning to track 2
 Lehigh Valley cupola caboose #2606 returning to track 2
 PRR X54 boxcar #19103 newly restored and taking a new place on track 3 with Museum switcher Plymouth 18T
PRR P70 coach #1006 returning to track 3
 PRR H3 #1187 returning to track 2
 PRR E44a #4465 returning to track 3
PRR GG1 #4935 being returned to track 3
May, 2012 Track two being prepared for return of Conrail GP30 #2213 from being on loan to Norfolk Southern Railroad's 30th anniversary events in Roanoke, VA

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What is it about old US Station Colors?

Yellow with brown-red trim is found all over the country and not just on wood but on stucco and brick as well. Examples follow:
 Alamosa, CO former DRGW
 Columbia PA freight house formerly Reading Lines
 Orbisonia PA, East Broad Top narrow gauge line
 Lititz PA, former Reading Lines
 Lewistown PA, the oldest surviving PRR depot, home to the PRRTHS archives
 Topton PA former Reading Lines
 East Strasburg PA, the Strasburg Rail Road a steam tourist operation, formerly East Petersburg PA station of Reading Lines. Same color scheme on adjacent Tower J.
Temple PA formerly Reading Lines
Teague TX formerly the Burlington - Rock Island
Small SP station at Texas Transportation Museum next to San Antonio Airport
Duncan Mills, Sonoma County CA a RR replica building
SP Tower in Flatonia TX
Grand Junction CO, formerly of the DRGW
Strasburg Rail Road Tower J, formerly PRR and complete with all interlocking gear

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dillerville Yard - The Tracks Are Gone

Norfolk Southern Railroad yard in Lancaster, Pennsylvania has undergone big changes over the last 3 years or so. The eastern section where the yard office and locomotive storage was has been turned over to Lancaster General Hospital, The City of Lancaster, and Franklin & Marshall College. The pedestrian bridge, site for hundreds of photographers over the years will be replaced by a new street connecting parts of Lancaster City not connected since the early 1800s. F&M College will expand athletic fields and the current rumor about the remainder is it will be home to the Drexel University School of Medicine in a move from Philadelphia.

While the old pedestrian bridge still connects to college parking areas and athletic fields, tracks and ties and ballast have gone. (March 2014)
Pedestrian bridge in active railroading days. (August 2010)
Dillerville yard locomotive storage area with pedestrian bridge in the far background along with the Armstrong World Industries commercial flooring plant demolished and converted to college athletic fields in 2007.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Intermodal Freight - The Big Player

 When you see news reports like this "U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ending April 26 increased 9.5% over the same period in 2013. U.S. rail intermodal traffic was up 6.7% over the same period, the Association of American Railroads reported, for a total of 264,228 intermodal trailers and containers."
It's an indication of a revolutionary change in US long distance freight movement.
Here, looking down from Hiester Rd on the Norfolk Southern main line in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania at the NS "Springs" signal you will see many containers and trailers pass by every day around the clock. This one is headed to the New York metropolitan area. Names like J. B. Hunt, United Parcel Service, United States Post Office show how much long distance freight in the US has moved from highways to rails.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Norfolk Southern in Pennsylvania

I pay an annual visit to Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania, the old Reading Company Lebanon Valley Line. Here on April 10, 2014 westbound at track speed on track 1 is NS #9133 GE D9-40CW leading a CSX EMD unit and a long string of empty auto racks. My location is Woodrow Avenue across the tracks from the Railroad House, a good place for a cold one while you're waiting for a train. The hopper cars to the right are at one of the Brown's seed plants.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

April is Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania Month

On April 26 a new exhibit A FIRST CLASS RESTAURANT ON WHEELS: THE STORY OF THE RAILROAD DINING CAR  will open featuring the museum's world-class collection of dining car china and other artifacts. This exhibit will run until the end of this year.