Tom Beckett - Page 2

ML 440 and it's 108 cars have knocked down the automatic-the easternmost semaphore on the old Erie-at 224-2 and are about to pass under NY 17C at west Endicott. A crew change at Binghamton is in their short term future, and then to Jersey in the dark.
SD60I leads a former LMS lease unit through CP 293 and past the Blue Circle plant as it approaches Syracuse.
A westbound TV train is lit by the late day sun as it splits the signals at Memphis.
This was a convenient spot for me, as I lived about three miles away toward Owego. If I heard an eastbound, I could usually beat it here. The angle was good for most trains from the shoulder of NY 17C in the late afternoon. This time, it was ML 440, a pretty reliable late afternoon visitor. Today it's rolling 79 autoracks past semaphore 224-2 behind a pair of widecab SD 60's and a straight SD 60.
A westbound TV train rolls past the Syracuse Amtrak station with 62 trailer flats. I didn't have my scanner with me most of the time I was at driving school, so did not get the symbol, but looking at the UPS trailers right behind the power, I'd venture this is either TVLA or TV 79, both of which went to the Santa Fe. C40-8 6083 is the trailing unit.
ML 403 with 96 auto racks behind 5624 creeps past TV 261, working Dewitt Yard. It will depart shortly afterward with 145 stack platforms and 10 COFC. All this is seen from the platform of the Amtrak station. Pretty good place to wait for a train!!
I had to make a pick up at a customer in Cleveland one afternoon. The Cleveland line passed right behind their building. While I was waiting to get loaded, I went out back to see what action might show up. I saw a half dozen trains that day, this westbound among them, with an SD60/C39-8 pair leading 100 cars.
Riders on the Hudson Circle trip were treated to all kinds of oddities during the Selkirk shop tour. This unit wasn't so much of an oddity-CR had several hundred of them on day one-but by 1985, an unrebuilt GP 7 was a rarity. Most of the others had been rebuilt into GP 8's or retired, so despite the gloom, I was happy to get this one in clean paint.
Seen from the Amtrak station across the yard, a GE/EMD combo leads TV 204 into Dewitt to work the Trailvan terminal. He's coming in with 95 stack platforms and 3 COFC. He'll likely leave town a bit shorter.
UNL15B, an empty train from NYSEG's plant at Ludlowville, has come off the Ithaca Branch, and is now headed for Gang Mills and a new crew. The train will eventually wind up on the Monongahela to reload. View is from the NY 427 overpass at Chemung.
ML 401 has 89 auto racks behind its C40-8W and UP SD40-2, 3699 as is rounds the big curve at Chemung in nicer weather than the previous photo.
A mismatched set of signals and a mismatched set of power. ML 401 with 89 racks passes between the Type G signal on track 1 and one of Erie's venerable semaphores as it rolls west on a typically gloomy spring day in the Tier. Power is a CR C40-8, along with UP 3699, one of their hundreds of SD40-2's. I'm standing on the site of the passenger station, which was demolished in an EL wreck here in 1967.
This uncovered coil steel car was westbound around Horseshoe Curve.
The deadlines at Rutherford have collected a large group of SD45's, along with a U30B and at least one SDP45 of EL heritage. While, by 1985, their time had come, it was still sad to see these distinctive beasts go to slaughter.
SECN rolls through Liverpool behind a pair of GE's.
ML 401 rolls 108 racks west past the model railroad backdrop of Waverly on a sunny but cold February day.
A pusher set drifts through Horseshoe Curve on its way back down the mountain for another push.
A westbound COFC climbs toward Gallitzin behind helper set 6085/6453, with 6042/8144/2732/3326 for road power. While most trains that got pushers had them on the rear, TV trains got them up front, due to the likelihood of the long trailer flats to derail when pushed. The Curve was quite a show in those days, when there was still a lot of older power around. You never knew what would show up.
SV 14 rolls into Dewitt to make a set out, coming in with 115 platforms, seen from across the yard at the Amtrak station.
CR 6111 leads a pair of SD 50's on ML 401 on a gloomy first day of winter. I'm standing on the empty right of way of the old LV Auburn Branch, abandoned at CR start up.
Some of the locks on the NY State Barge Canal were good places to see the action on the Water Level Route. One of the best is Lock 10 at Cranesville. Here we see an eastbound with a two units leading 118 cars on the opposite shore. Up til the start of Conrail, it was possible to run a train from Albany to Utica on either side of the Mohawk River. By this time, there were only a few short segments of the old West Shore remaining between those two places.
SV 20 rolls 76 platforms toward a medium clear at CP COLES, where it will come off track 2 and onto single track as it departs the Binghamton area. It will be on single track to CP SR, near Oakland PA, where the line goes back to double track for the climb across Starrucca Viaduct and over Gulf Summit.
SV 20 blasts through west Endicott with 76 stack platforms, 15 minutes from a crew change at Binghamton.
TV 202 comes out of the setting sun with 6121/6104/3309 leading its 112 platforms as it takes the big curve east of Owego station.
TV 202 rolls east along the cliff just west of Waverly, under the familiar sign on top of the hill for O'Brien's Inn, a longstanding familiar sight for travelers heading east on NY 17. The photo is taken from a hillside adjacent to the Exit 60 off ramp.
TV 207X rolls 146 stack platforms west past a church in the Canisteo River valley town of Adrian on a cold winter's day.
TV 207X swings around a big curve near MP 306, just west of Rathbone.
An unidentified westbound passes under the unmistakable NYC signal bridge at CP 433 as it heads toward Frontier Yard.
An unidentified westbound TV train pumps air at Dewitt before heading west with 106 platforms and 6 COFC on a gray afternoon. UP 3572 trails.
TV 14 is seen at Dewitt in a building snow storm. Mid November snow is nothing new to Syracuse, but once it started, it didn't stop; the total snowfall for the 1995/96 winter was 175". It was not a record.
A northbound coal train awaits a new crew at Woodard. Don't know the origin or destination of this train.
BUOI rolls along the Canisteo River with 98 cars at Browns Crossing, near MP 319. Next stop is Gang Mills, where it will set out and pick up.
TV 554 passes Bayview behind a pair of 40's-in this case, GE C40-8W and B40-8, trailing 46 Sea Land platforms. They'll go to the D&H at Bison, then on to Jersey, changing to an NYSW crew at Binghamton. The CR power will not run through.
TV 202 rolls its stack across the Chenango River bridge to a stop shortly ahead, seen from the flood wall on the east side of the river. There will be a quick crew change, and the train will once again be rolling toward Croxton.
A westbound stack train passes a set of distinctively NYC signals, seen behind the second container, as it passes through CP 293, where the Fulton Secondary diverges, and the NYSW connects from the former DLW Syracuse Branch. The view is from the Willis Av bridge, and gives a panoramic view of the Syracuse skyline, such as it is.
TV 20 passes the home signal at CP Swain as it heads for Hornell with 45 platforms and 33 COFC. This was a new 12,800 foot siding installed when the line was single tracked a couple years prior, allowing stack trains to meet. Conrail tended to run long stack trains, sometimes over two miles. This was quite an undertaking in the days before DPU's, though the crews managed to get over the road, including several good climbs, without incident.
CR 6248/6040 bring an eastbound 91 car TV train through CP 293 and past Blue Circle Cement as they approach Syracuse.
A pair of widecab GE's meet Sperry car 119 at Erie.
Conrail changed the power used for helpers over Horseshoe over the years. At the time I shot this, SD 40 types were common. Later, I'd see ex EL SD45-2's, which were always a treat. Aside from the SD 40's, we also have a caboose in the mix, as well as some colorful freight cars being pushed over the mountain.
As if to prove a point about the SD 40's durability, Conrail was still using the power in the previous photo, taken at Horseshoe Curve in 1984, in 1994. You'd think the Curve and helper duty was the last gasp of power on the way out, seeing as it was staying close to home, so dealing with any road failure issues would not require a long ride to a shop. Not so, as this unit has migrated from helper duty to priority service, seen here leading 78 cars of ML 421, along with newer sister 6504, at Bayview.
A closer look at a helper set seen earlier in a wider angle view, we see CR 6291/6288, along with ex New Haven caboose 23808, all rolling slowly west over the Alleghenies.
Buffalo Central Terminal was once a busy, thriving place. By the time Amtrak came on the scene, it was already a shadow of its former self, and after 1979 when they quit using the station, it was a ghostly place. I was poking around the station one day when 156 car PIBU rolled past in charge of CR 6329 and 6338.
The late afternoon sun hits the nose of CR 6336 as it rolls CGAL toward Coxton yard.
CGAL and a few of its 71 cars that day seen from a vantage point on the Wyalusing Rocks, near their namesake town.
An eastbound seen at State Line has a home road unit, and one from the neighbors-the NS, whose ex Nickel Plate line is at left-and 40 cars. CR 6424 and NS 6672 lead just at sunset.
A quartet of SD40-2's lead a TV train toward Selkirk before turning west to Chicago. Seen from the boat dock at Bear Mountain State Park.
An auto rack train rolls across the bridge at Iona Island, seen from the boat dock at Bear Mountain State Park.
OIBU with a pair of 40's, one an SD, the other a GP, wait for a commuter train at Port Jervis before heading to Sparrow Bush and the Delaware Division. They won't see Binghamton til long after dark today. The signal is the distant board for BC, where the double track through town goes to single as it climbs toward Otisville.
OIBU passes CP Swain, rolling through on the main track as it rushes toward Buffalo.
OIBU approaches Hayes Av in Endicott, now about ten minutes out of Binghamton, in the gathering gloom. He'll work Elmira next, but not til after dark.

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