Tom Beckett - Page 4

CR 7691 helpers Washington Summit 08131985

Occasionally an especially heavy train would get a push from Pittsfield over the hill, with the pushers sometimes going as far as Chester. Here's a set coming back over the top, headed to Pittsfield for another try later in the day.

CR 7691 west pusher Washington Mass 08131985

The helper set we saw earlier from a distance now rolls under the bridge at the Berkshire Summit.

CR 7710-3323 Rockville 08301994

A pair of EMD's roll across Rockville Bridge.

CR 7722 east UNE Johnson City 09171994

A trio of EMD's have 87 loaded hoppers at a breakneck 10 MPH on the ex DLW main through Johnson City as they head to the NYSEG Goudy Station on what has since 1959 been the Vestal Spur, first after DLW abandoned their main line from the west side of Binghamton to Corning in favor of trackage rights on the Erie, through the EL years, and now into Conrail. The remaining customers on the line, which now extends only as far as Old Vestal Rd in Vestal, are the NYSEG Goudy plant, where these cars were unloaded, and National Pipe and Plastic, across the Susquehanna in Vestal. Every time I saw this line-which was almost daily-I would imagine a pair of DLW E 8's skimming through with Phoebe, or a brace of F 3's with a long freight. Hard to picture from this view. Interestingly, a couple years after NS got the line, it put a serious effort into tie replacement. I'm betting there had been no programmed track maintenance on the line since EL days, perhaps not even then. Conrail restricted the line to 4 axle power, and it was not uncommon to see a solo GP 38 or 40, sometimes a B23-7, depending on what local power was in favor at the time, with 45 car cuts here. NS was intent on using C40-8's for just about everything, even locals,and would run road power down to NYSEG. I have shots of C40's and SD60's here bringing loaded coal trains to the plant. It was for naught, as the plant closed a few years later, when it became uneconomical to operate, and too expensive to retrofit for pollution controls. The future of the Vestal Spur is now in question.

CR 7906 east WAFU12 Dewitt 09021994

WAFU12, behind a non typical pair of GP 38's, rolls into Dewitt with 30 inbound cars from the Fulton Secondary. It will swap them here for cars going to the branch, then make a short jaunt on the Chicago Line to CP 293 over at Solvay, then home to Fulton.

CR 7909 Chicago transfer 03201984

I was coming out of a Mc Donalds on the west side of Chicago, and caught this train purely by chance. It's on the ex PRR Panhandle Line with a local.

CR 8125 west Campbell Hall 02071984

An ex PC GP 38 is the power on this Campbell Hall based local, seen at the small yard there. In 2017, this is the connection to the East Penn Railways, which works the Montgomery Branch and a few other nearby lines. The station was completely rebuilt by Metro North, and is now a full length platform capable of handling the longer trains that now run here. In EL days, the commuters ran the old Main Line, via Goshen, Chester and Middletown, and this line, the Graham Line, was freight only. A year prior to this photo, an arrangement was reached where the tracks would come out on the old Main, and commuters be rerouted on the Graham Line. Now, there is a trail on part of the former Main, and all traffic runs here.

CR 8210 west Hershey 08061985

A pair of GP 38's have a local in hand passing Hershey Park. The aroma of chocolate here is overwhelming-as if that's a bad thing!!

CR 8240 Pine Jct 03231984

I took this from the Cardinal as it was leaving Chicago. At the time, the route was CR ex PRR and NYC to Pine Jct, then the B&O to Wellsboro, where it took a C&O branch to La Crosse, then the C&O of Indiana on to Hamilton OH. I caught this local at Pine Jct.

CR 9378 shop Selkirk 08111985

An SSW 1200 sits outside the Selkirk shop.

CR 9506 east local Harmon 04191985

This is Conrail on another railroad only in the technical sense, since Metro North now owns the tracks. The freight service here is a direct descendant of the New York Central, though they would likely scoff at the volume handled here in the 1980's. A pair of SW 1500's works through Harmon on one of the Tarrytown based local jobs.

CR 9510-2838 shop Selkirk 08111985

An SW 1500 and U30B sit outside the Selkirk shops with an unidentified GP 30.

CR 9536 west local Harmon 04191985

A pair of SW1500's, two of over 100 such units, mostly ex PC, on Conrail, work a local job back to Tarrytown, approaching the Harmon station, once the scene of many electric-diesel power changes over the years.

CR 9543 east North Judson 03231984

One of the more obscure locations on Conrail was the ex PRR Pandhandle Line, which at one time went from Chicago to Logansport, Ind, and on to Columbus, Oh, eventually reaching Pittsburgh across the West Virginia northern panhandle, hence the name. Now no longer a through route, it did handle some local traffic in the mid 1980's. I was riding the Cardinal from Chicago to Washington, and was lucky enough to catch this train from Amtrak, which was on the C&O approaching N Judson, Ind, at this point. I recall remarking to another fan on the train that a shot of a CR SW1500 was a waste of film. He replied, "my philosophy is, ETTS: Everything Turn To Sh**". I asked him what he meant. He said that eventually, everything you see or shoot, will be gone. If ever there was a place that drove home that point, it was North Judson. Once hosting the double track Erie, later EL, main line, it also had a crossing of the NYC Kankakee Belt, and the C&O, which crossed between the two Erie tracks. The Pennsy crossed all of them a short distance to the west. Fifteen years earlier, in the late 60's, you could see 50 trains a day sometimes. By the time I took this photo, the EL was largely a memory, only a short segment left going east to Monterey to serve a grain elevator, the C&O had little traffic left, most of it diverted to B&O routes. CR was on and off about making the NYC line a connection to the Santa Fe, bypassing Chicago; and the PRR was on its last legs. Now, in 2017, the only thing operating on a regular basis is the Hoosier Valley RR Museum. Everything else is gone.

CR south Bear Mtn Dad 11061998

My dad, Tom Beckett Sr, was not a railfan, though he was an avid photographer who shot just about anything that caught his fancy. Sometimes that involved trains. He was at Bear Mountain State Park on day in 1998, up on the bridge. He caught this southbound with a block of vans ahead of a long train of merchandise cars. I found this while going through his slides after his passing.

CR6160 east Syracuse 04061997

A pair of C40-8W's have this 99 car eastbound rolling through CP 293 as they approach Dewitt.

CSX 8404 west OIBU Barton 07011994

CSX SD40-2 leads CR 3309/3321/3397 west past the semaphore at MP 247 in Barton, with 73 cars of OIBU.

CSX 8404 west OIBU MP 249 Barton 07011994

CSX SD40-2 8404 leads a trio of CR GP 40-2's with 73 cars of OIBU, approaching the automatic at 249-1, still a semaphore after all these years.

Erie camp car Campbell Hall 02071984

Two eras of camp cars are seen here at Campbell Hall, on the one time Erie Graham Line. The white cars that look like mobile homes on flatcars are the more modern incarnation of a place to live for MOW crews on the road. The older version, an old Erie camp car, is in the background.

Erie freight house Binghamton demolition 2 011999

In 1999, Conrail did some house cleaning before NS and CSX split the company. On the Tier, that meant NS. Among other things to go was the Erie freight house, which had been in disrepair for years, although it housed the Binghamton yard office in a small part of the west end of the building. They renovated an office in the Kingsley Building, on the north side of the tracks, which rendered the old Erie building empty. In February, the end came, along with the big backhoes, and that was the end. We see the demolition in progress. NS subsequently put up a small brick structure here for their local crews.

LMS 711 east ML 440 Campville

An LMS unit is leading today's ML 440 east, seen at Kinney Rd in Campville. Looks like it needs some turbo attention. Behind the 711 is CR 6430/6429 with 20 COFC and 52 racks.

LMS 711 east ML 440 Endicott 05031995

ML 440 about to roll under the NY 17 C overpass at west Endicott with LMS 711 leading a pair of SD's.

UP 3497 east ML 440 Endwell 04051994

ML 440 with a western visitor in the form of UP 3497 leading rolls past the pond along Watson Blvd on an April afternoon, 67 cars behind its three units.

UP 6210 west Cranesville 08201996

A westbound ML train trails UP SD60M 6210 and a CNW AC4400, seen passing Lock 10 on the Barge Canal in Cranesville NY.

UP 6659 east Memphis NY 06221997

An eastbound with a pair of sparkling new Union Pacific GE's rolls east at Memphis NY on the Chicago Line. UP 6659/6628 are the power today. The nose wings would not come for a couple more years yet, when the SD70M's started to arrive in 2000.

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