Frisco #1621 and Burlington Route #9908 “Silver Charger”


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St. Louis-San Francisco 2-10-0 #1621 and Chicago, Burlington & Quincy #9908 at the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, Missouri. Fun fact: #1621 was originally built as a 5′ broad gauge locomotive for Imperial Russia during World War I. After the Imperial government was toppled in the Russian Revolution, however, its delivery to Russia was cancelled and it was converted to the standard gauge of 4′ 8-1/2″.  It was then put to work on several American railroads, eventually making its way to the Frisco.

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Wabash #573


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Wabash 2-6-0 Mogul #573 at the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, Missouri.  This locomotive recently underwent a cosmetic restoration and is finally back on display.

My Visit To Cass Scenic Railroad State Park


Hey y’all!  Looking back, it’s been three years to the day that I rode the Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  To commemorate that day, I am going to post pictures of my most recent train ride: the Cass Scenic Railroad.  Once a logging line, this 14-mile railroad has since been turned into a West Virginia state park, with old logging locomotives (mostly Shays) being used for power.  Starting at the Cass, West Virginia, railroad depot, your ride will take you up the nearby mountains, with several overlooks of the Appalachians.  The climb is a tough one, with grades that can reach 9-10%, and even then, two switchbacks are employed on the route.  Along the way, you will pass the recreated logging camp at Whitaker, where you can get a feel of what the area was like during the logging operations.  The summit of Bald Knob is the end of the line for the Cass Scenic Railroad, and here you get sweeping views of the Appalachians, as well as the National Radio Observatory in the valley below.  After a twenty-minute stop, you begin your journey back to Cass.  If you ever visit West Virginia, I would highly recommend a visit to Cass, where you can either take the train to Bald Knob, or the train to Whitaker.  Both are well worth the time.

Here are the pictures I took while I was visiting.  Enjoy!

 

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, and this is in no way a paid advertisement.  These are just my thoughts and descriptions of the ride.

 

 

 

My visit to the Strasburg Railroad.


The run around at Lehman Place.  My time at the Strasburg Railroad, which still runs under it’s original charter dating from 1832, was one the greatest railroading experiences that I will ever have.  The atmosphere of being in Amish farmland was very enjoyable, as was the weather.  It was enhanced with an old station to buy your tickets from and a 12” gauge children’s railroad around the station’s complex.  Before our departure, my family and I were able to stroll around and look at the engine that was to pull our train, former Norfolk and Western 4-8-0 #475, and some of the buildings.  Upon departure, we got into our car and found our seats.  For the choice of cars, I would recommend the open-air car, which made the ride way more enjoyable with nice fresh air and the sights of beautiful countryside without having to look through a window.  Just after we left the station we saw a motel where, instead of renting a room, you rent a caboose. There are some railroad crossings along the short 5 mile trip, and they provide the chance to hear that great steam whistle.   After one of the crossings, this one being at Cherry Hill, there is a passing siding along the line past at Groff’s Grove, where, when the railroad is running two trains at once, the trains meet.  Sadly, when I was there it was just the one train running, and we didn’t get to see a meet.  After that the last place of importance we got to was Lehman Place ( a.k.a. Paradise, Pennsylvania), the end of the line.  At Lehman Place, the railroad has a runaround track so the engine can pull chimney first back to Strasburg, after pulling tender first to Lehman Place.  The Strasburg Railroad interchanges with Amtrak’s former Pennsylvania Railroad Harrisburg line at Lehman Place and, during my visit, an electric Amtrak train went by at such a high speed that if I had blinked I would have missed it.  The runaround complete, we started the short trip back to Strasburg.  I went back to the complex the next day to railfan a bit and to get a  t-shirt of the railroad after stopping at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (see earlier post).  There was very friendly service at the railroad, and I would highly recommend anyone in the area to pay a visit to the Strasburg Railroad, one of the oldest operating railroads in the whole world.

Here are pictures from my visit: