Received the following via email from one of our correspondents in NW Pennsylvania.
At four minutes to five, this
afternoon (5-3-14), the first loaded B&LE coal train to run north through here in
many years had just cleared Saint Glory Road crossing on the K-O Line, as a
southbound thunderstorm trails off into the distance. Steaming northbound in the
grass, abeam of the third unit in the locomotive consist, is Preston (who turned
13 on Thursday) in his favorite orange t-shirt. He had just recorded a
coming-and-going series on his cell camera that he was anxious to share with me.
The train won the race, but he didn't mind.
At that very moment, I was
cursing the slight delay of the shutter on my DROID and the fact that in
my hasty effort to block neither my son nor the power on the train with the
satellite dish visible in this neighbor's yard...I had managed to back up
too far and get #910 with a tree shadow slapped across its nose.
Still, it was nice to again see coal heaped in hopper cars high enough
for it to peek over the top chords of the sides. The normal daily routine of
iron ore loads southbound and empties north these past few years all look the
same (nobody heaps dense ore...and then moves an intact railcar). This
new coal contract from Duquesne Wharf on the Monongahela north up to Conneaut
Harbor is a nice departure from that 'same-old-same-old.'