Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Blue Beast at Martins Creek, PA

Pictures below are of a GP-10 locomotive spotted at Martins Creek, PA on 9/17 and 9/18 by Alpha Cement buildings. It is a former Conrail unit now owned by the ConAgra facility in Martins Creek, PA ( note the MC above the number board ). The bank of lights on the side of the cab indicate that the unit has been modified for remote R/C operations. ( Note: the Raritan Center Railway also has a GP10. )

Trainscape: Installation Art for Model Railroads

And now for something completely different. Currently on display at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts is something they call Trainscape. (Lincoln is just west of Boston, outside the I95 loop.) This is not really a model railroad, but a series of installation art works linked together by an operating O-scale train. The train is an integral part of the art, but it is "not an attempt to represent reality at a miniature scale as in traditional model railroading." The link below is for the museum web site page for this exhibit. On that web page is a link for downloading a train-cam video of the exhibit. I personally don't think the train-cam shows the exhibit very well.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Union Pacific High Bridge Announced ($43 million project)

The following is a news release copied from the Union Pacific RR web site:

Union Pacific Building $43 Million High Bridge in Boone, Iowa
New facility expected to generate strong economic development for the area

Omaha, Neb., September 07, 2007 – Today, Union Pacific announced that construction is underway on the $43 million double-track high bridge. When the 2,550-foot long and 190-foot high structure is completed, it will be one of the highest double-track railroad bridges in North America. The new bridge will improve operational efficiency in anticipation of expected growth in our customers’ businesses and increased freight volumes.

"The new Boone High Bridge is a modern-day engineering feat that will enhance our long-term ability to improve operational efficiency and customer service," said Bill Wimmer, vice president - Engineering. "This is the type of major investment in replacement infrastructure that railroads must make, but will be able to afford only if they can obtain adequate revenues."

OCCI, Inc. based in Fulton, Missouri, is the contractor that was awarded the project and Omaha-based HDR Engineering Inc., provided the engineering, drawings and obtained the necessary permits for the construction of the bridge.

Construction on the bridge began in March and is scheduled to be completed by November 2008.

This posting is thanks to info in an email from Nathan S. Clark, Jr., who included the following comment and links.

"I do not know what implications this new structure will have for thelong-term future of the historic and famous Kate Shelley bridge, nearby."

These links have pictures of the Kate Shelley bridge, and the first one has some description of the bridge. Kate Shelley was a real Iowa railroading heroine, and you can read more about her at any of numerous web sites by doing a search on "Kate Shelley Iowa". I think you will find her story interesting.

Saturday's varied sightings...

(Train sightings on 9-8-07.)

along the Lehigh Line in Manville, NJ. Today's lineup had it all-municipal waste, shipping containers and trailers all carrying a wide array of merchandise and raw materials. I have to say that what passed by my location demonstrated the wide range of cargo America's railroads carry. In time sequence, the trains that carried that freight was as follows:

NS 24Z @ 7:40 Power unknown was holding on the siding at CP Bound Brook. Evidently 24Z was being held for a short time due to track construction.

NS 64J @ 7:58 NS 2633 (SD70M) and NS 2694 (SD70M-2) would be bringing back this train of empty municipal waste containers to Kearny, NJ from Ohio for refills.

CSX Q300 @ 8:28 had CSX 8456 (SD40-2) and CSX 9048 (C44-9W) for motive power. After finishing work in Manville yard, it took the passing siding to wait for NS 21M to pass.

NS 21M @ 8:35 would have NS 7503 (ES40DC), NS 8813 (C40-9) and NS 9951 (C40-9W) in charge of a train whose length "... was just under 7,000 feet."

CSX Q707 (Oak Island, NJ to Philadelphia, PA) @ 9:10 was a relatively short trash train powered by NYC 4448 (GP40-2, ex-CR 3391) and CSX 8072 (SD40-2, ex-L&N 8072).

NS 24V @ 9:50 an intermodal whose power consist would be two C40-9Ws, NS 9393 and NS 9143. For the modelers reading this, two roster shots are included for reference purposes.

NS 213 @ 10:35 after a short delay in the track construction area, 213 was on the move west with NS 9105 (C40-9W) and NS 6642 (SD60) in charge.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

CP Rail to acquire DM&E Railroad

(Received the following via email)

"The 'gravitational pull' of Wyoming (Powder River Basin) coal was evidently just too great, and it even reached across the northern border and 'pulled in' another big one. On one hand, this would mean that the DM&E will never expand to become the 'next Class I'. On the other, it will likely result in a new avenue deep into the Northeast for PRB coal via a single rail carrier (if the proposed DM&E coal extension is still built/upgraded). This will also probably bode well for the former D&H routes."---Nathan S. Clark, Jr.

From: CPR Communications
Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 12:30 AM
Subject: Special Edition: Canadian Pacific announces agreement to acquire DM&E Railroad, Tuesday, September 04, 2007

This a very exciting time: CP has just announced an agreement to acquire the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern, the largest regional railroad in the United States for US$1.48 billion.

On many occasions over the past several years, you have heard me comment about our ability and our intent to grow our franchise. Through the implementation of our strategy, we have consistently delivered on our operating and financial commitments. We have become a high performance organization and we are positioned to grow.

Today's announcement and the recently announced Alberta Industrial Heartland strategy both signal the evolution of our company from a high performance organization to a high performance growth-oriented organization. We are growing to expand the reach of our franchise. But we are only able to make these significant moves because of our proven ability to deliver on our financial commitments.

click the link below for the full story

Fred Green, President and CEO

Monday, September 10, 2007

Dedication Ceremony to be Held at Former CNJ Terminal

(Received the following via email, original source unknown.)

" Dedication ceremony of a monument to all employees of Central Railroad of New Jersey will be held on Thursday, September 20th at 11:00 am. The ceremony will take place on the main concourse of the former CNJ station in Jersey City, now Liberty State Park. The monument is mounted between tracks# 10 and 11.

Please note that as this event is open to the public, the primary purpose is to offer recognition to all former employees who attend; therefore, preferred seating will be held for these employees."
For a little bit more information, follow this link:,1465428

Sunday, September 09, 2007

What was cooking...

(Train sightings on 9/3/07)

on this Labor day morning along the Lehigh Line in Manville, NJ? I would say quite a variety of activity in a relatively short span of time. In sequence by time, the trains observed were as follows:

8:45 CSX Q300: would have CSX 167 (AC44CW) and CSX 9018 (C44-9W) on this very long train (estimated 143 cars and 550 axles).

8:58 CP 38T: this was the pleasant surprise of my morning! Power would consist of four SD40-2s, CP 5727, CP 6045, CP 5709 and CP 6055. It would hold for Q300 at Port Readingh Jct before proceeding east on the Lehigh Line.

9:15 NS 212: Two C40-9Ws, NS 9965 and NS 9936, provided the motive power for a train consisting of all autoracks and one COFC.

9:24 MA1: would head out of Manville yard with CSX 6071 (GP40-2, ex-B&O 4172) in charge of two boxcars. MA1 would then hold for two eastbound NS intermodals at CP Bound Brook.

9:33 NS 20?: would have NS 2747 (SD70M-2) and NS 7555 (ES40DC) for power.

9:40 NS 24Z: or could it have been 24V since it was tough to decipher over the scanner? Power was NS 7592 (ES40DC) and NS 9897 (C40-9W).

A good way to start this Labor Day weekend...

(Train sightings on 9/1/07)

was to take advantage of the nice weather and head trackside near Manville (NJ). Didn't know what to expect since Lehigh Line construction in Bound Brook might limit what trains would be seen. In time sequence, the trains observed were as follows:

8:30 NS 21M: would have NS 9341 (C40-9W), NS 8666 (C39-8E) and NS 6780 (SD60M, ex-CR 5530) for motive power.

9:30 NS M8G: would take the passing siding to go around around NS 11J. M8G's power consisted of NS 9849 (C40-9W) and PRR 6777 (SD60M, ex-CR 5526). Once M8G cleared, NS 11J then proceeded west. NS 9366 (C40-9W) and NS 2550 SD70) would be in charge of seventy-three autoracks.

9:45 CSX Q300: with its work complete in Manville yard, CSX 7624 (C40-8) and CSX 8743 (SD60I, ex-CR 5630) would take its train of mixed freight east.

10:00 CSX Q418: would follow shortly behind Q300. CSX 7794 (C40-8W) ande CSX 5395 (ES44DC) would be in charge of this train of mixed freight.

Hope that the start of your holiday weekend was just as enjoyable...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Camden & Amboy Railroad Symposium

Received the following information via email.

Want to make you aware of the initial announcement concerning the C&A RHG-sponsored symposium on November 10 in Bordentown. Noted rail historians Bill Withuhn (Smithsonian), Chris Baer (Hagley), Kurt Bell (RRMofPa), as well as several well-known local rail historians, will be making presentations. See attached flyer for preliminary details.
(Note: As per flyer, you must contact us to get the registration form, which will be sent to you via "E" mail!)

The Camden & Amboy Railroad Symposium
Saturday, November 10th, 2007
Bordentown, New Jersey

Presented by the Camden & Amboy Railroad Historical Group


Presentations will include discussions on the following topics:
! the railroad’s construction and early operations
! the role of the Stevens family in the technological development of
railroads in New Jersey
! the history of the “John Bull”- the world’s oldest operational
railroad locomotive
! the creation of the “Joint Company” and the maintenance of their
! the relationship of the railroad to the Delaware & Raritan Canal
and the City of Bordentown
! a commemorative ceremony, linking past to present, is also planned

( Fare includes registration fee and luncheon )
*Includes one year membership in the C&A Railroad Historical Group

For more information or to request a registration form contact Mark Liss,
Symposium Coordinator at (609) 443-4000 ext.210 (daytime) or
(215) 757-6631(evenings) or via e-mail at

The C&A Railroad Historical Group is a non-profit educational organization and a chapter of the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society (PRRT&HS).

Monday, September 03, 2007

Big Little Railroad Shop at the ball park

Monday evening, 8/27/07, was Thomas the Tank Engine night at the Somerset Patriots game against the Long Island Ducks; and the Big little Railroad Shop had a table there where we were running Thomas the Tank engine in O scale. We also had a large display board from Operation Lifesaver - always eXpect a train.

The Black River and Western Historic Trust was also at the game with a table telling all about their organization and railroad.

The pictures below show the scoreboard at the 7th inning stretch and our table.

By the way, the Patriots lost 3 - 2 in 12 innings.