NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/7/22 3:22 p.m.

One of the D&H's GP39-2s that were delivered without the heralds because the D&H was so desperate for motive power that they had EMD rush them out the door.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/7/22 3:45 p.m.

D&H #4099 shifting cars at Fort Edward, NY and smoking it up in true Alco fashion.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/7/22 3:55 p.m.

D&H U33C #755 getting some work done outside the Colonie shops. Check out the sign on the building, and also the Alco PA-4u being used as a shop switcher.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/7/22 4:14 p.m.

A trio of D&H RS-3us and a U30C headed for Oneonta. In '76, to help alleviate the power shortage from the D&H's newfound trackage rights, they sent eight of their well-worn RS-3s out to Morrison-Knudsen. The nose was cut down, the dynamic braking gear was moved to a big box behind the cab, the long hood was raised 6", and a 2000hp 251 V12 was installed in place of the 1600hp 244 V12. While it improved reliability of the units, their usefulness was somewhat diminished, as 2000hp was just too much horsepower for the weight of an RS-3, making them prone to wheelslip and earning them the nicknames of "Clubfoots". The RS-3us still hung on until 1988, after the D&H went bankrupt and was placed in the hands of the NYS&W.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/7/22 4:19 p.m.

To go along with Bicentennial U23B #1776, D&H also painted one of the RS-3us in red, white and blue and numbered it #1976. The #1976 wore these colors until it left the D&H roster in 1988, although it was renumbered back to #506 a couple years after the bicentennial was over. The #506 still exists on the Western New York & Pennsylvania, although it is now numbered #406 and wears the WNY&P's black and yellow livery that is very close to the first D&H livery. The #1976 is shown at Lehighton, PA coupled onto one of the SD45s that bounced back and forth between the D&H and E-L.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/7/22 4:24 p.m.

A real dog's breakfast of Alcos at Allentown. In the lead is one of the ex-Lehigh Valley "yellow jacket" C420s that were conveyed to the D&H, with two ex-LIRR high-hood passenger C420s, and an RS-3u. The Long Island's leases had expired around 1976 and were headed back to their owner, leasing company Railway Traction Company. The D&H, short on power in the post-Conveyance Day era, jumped at the opportunity and grabbed the ten up. They were pressed into service without being repainted, still wearing the Metropolitan Transit Authority yellow and blue. The high speed gearing and lack of dynamic brakes meant they were poorly suited to the D&H and they were gone within a year.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/7/22 4:33 p.m.

New kids on the block at Mechanicville. Alco C420 #408 is ex-Lehigh Valley but is freshly painted in D&H blue and gray. C420 #414 is also D&H, but still in Lehigh Valley Cornell Red, and GP39-2 #7416 is still in Reading yellow and green.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/7/22 4:41 p.m.

The Baldwin RF-16s are being escorted off the property in April of '78. As soon as Bruce Sterzing was out, so were the Baldwins. Leading the way is an ex-Reading GP39-2, followed by a U-boat, the bicentennial RS-3u, an ex-LV GP38-2, and the two Sharks, which are dead in tow, since they couldn't be M.U.ed with the other power. Four manufacturers and four paint schemes across 6 units.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/7/22 4:55 p.m.

Along with the eviction of the Baldwins in '78, the Alco PA-4us were stricken from the roster, since Amtrak had taken over the Adirondack in '77 and they had spent a year on the MBTA. The big 6-axle motors, the C628s, SD45s, U30Cs and U33Cs were also purged the same year. While the Baldwins went to Castolite Corp and were leased to railroads in the upper peninsula of Michigan, all the other stuff went south to Mexico. The Alco Pa-4us were demolished in pretty short order, although all survive and two have been repatriated to the US, but the GEs and SD45s all bit the dust, as did most of the C628s. One, D&H 610, still exists in a pretty sad state at the Yucatan Railway Museum on the Yucatan Peninsula, making the C628 the only Alco Century series model without a preserved example in the US. And except for a single U30C at IRM and a U34CH in New Jersey none of the big 3000+hp GE U-boats are still extant in the US.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/7/22 4:57 p.m.

The D&H also began experimenting with simpler cheaper paint schemes, like this solid blue dip on an ex-Reading GP39-2, or a solid blue dip with yellow nose. The classic Lightning Stripe was never fully exorcised though.

TheMagicRatchet
TheMagicRatchet New Reader
1/8/22 7:17 a.m.

It's truly amazing how these locomotives have jumped around from job assignment to job assignment and railroad to railroad. What is even more amazing is that some of them are still in use. I guess continued use to that degree reflects the poor financial state of our railroads today. 

Lou Manglass

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/8/22 8:28 a.m.

In reply to TheMagicRatchet :

It's also interesting to see that a lot of old stuff, like GP38s and SD40s, are still plugging away on Class 1s, and Alcos continue to do their things on shortlines, while newer stuff like GE Dash-7s and Dash-8s or SD50s and SD60s have largely vanished. I think there is only one preserved Dash-8, and several variants of them have already gone extinct. Due to the Tier 4 emissions regulations, EMD/Progress Rail and GE/Wabtec have not built a single new locomotive in several years and have just moved into the rebuilding and overhaul business for a few years.

I do see some sort of change coming soon, as parts support has been starting to die off for the EMD 567 engine, and now a lot of Class 1s have started to retire some of their 645-powered stuff, which I think will start retiring some of the old GP7s and GP9s that are still kicking around on shortlines and stuff. As for the GE stuff, no one really wants it. You can't give a Dash-8 away.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/8/22 9:07 a.m.

D&H RS-36 #5015 in an experimental paint scheme. The #5015 was the only one painted in this bright blue with yellow cab and billboard lettering. The #5015 still survives to this day and is actually in the process of being repainted back to this livery.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/8/22 5:43 p.m.

The #5015 back in more conventional blue with a yellow nose pulling two C628s out of the Colonie shops.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/8/22 5:48 p.m.

Over 30 years old in this photo taken in 1980, D&H #4099 is still on the job working a local freight at Cohoes, NY. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/8/22 5:59 p.m.

RS-3 #4126 in the new solid blue livery at Oneonta

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/8/22 6:46 p.m.

In 1980, the D&H instituted a new train to the salt mine at Retsof, NY on a run-through arrangement over the Genesee & Wyoming. They needed additional motive power and so they purchased 9 ex-Reading and ex-Erie-Lackawanna C424s that GE overhauled at their Hornell plant with 2000hp 251 V12s and complete electrical rework. Called C424ms, they were down on horsepower but more reliable and more fuel efficient. The Genesee & Wyoming actually funded the purchase of 3 of them and when the D&H later became part of Guilford Rail Systems, the G&W took their three back 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/8/22 6:51 p.m.

The salt train passing a Conrail GP8 at Attica

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/8/22 8:03 p.m.

The D&H became an adoptive home for wayward Alcos. As other railroads culled the orphans from their roster, D&H was glad to scoop them up cheap and either return them to life or cannibalize them to keep other units alive. One of the ex-Lehigh & Hudson River C420s that Conrail sold off leads two of the C424ms, an ex-LV C420 and an ex-Reading GP39-2s at Conklin. All secondhand power.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/8/22 8:05 p.m.

A blue U23B, with the old paint showing through, leads three lightning stripes.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/8/22 8:05 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/8/22 8:12 p.m.

Stuck with over 200 aging 50-foot boxcars, New York underwrote a rebuilding program with modern underpinnings. As part of the deal, the rebuilt boxcars had to serve as advertising with the I Love NY tourism slogan. They also had unique DHNY reporting marks.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/8/22 8:21 p.m.

Still wearing it's bicentennial colors 6 years later but renumbered to #506, the RS-3u is paired with a high-hood RS-11 at Taylor, PA. By 1982, an RS-11 on a Class I was a rare sight.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/8/22 8:35 p.m.

Running on Conrail trackage rights over the old PRR stone bridge at Maryville with one of the ex-Reading Geeps on point. You can see some of those DHNY boxcars in the consist.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/9/22 6:48 p.m.

In 1984, the D&H, the last survivor of the anthracite roads, was purchased by Guilford Rail Systems. While the D&H had not been healthy since the late '50s, the Guilford buyout began a severe and painful decline. 

Guilford Rail was formed in 1981 when Timothy Mellon purchased the Maine Central, which had shown signs of being a profitable railroad in the 1970s, only to be torpedoed by an owner who had no real interest in the railroad business. Concerned that the crumbling New England rail industry would result in Conrail also taking over there, Mellon decided to build his own Conrail first. He purchased Maine Central and subsidiary Portland Terminal in '81, followed by the bankrupt Boston & Maine and it's subsidiary Springfield Terminal in '83. Delaware & Hudson would give Guilford access to NY and NJ ports and had connections with Boston & Maine.

Guilford Rail was plagued with rundown equipment, worn-out physical plant, poor labor relations, and low morale. If Timothy Mellon had been less concerned with breaking unions and more concerned with running a railroad, Guilford Rail could have been a success. Instead, Mellon abandoned hundreds of miles of viable trackage as draconian cost-cutting measures, and it was frequently shut down by long and violent strikes, and historic companies had their name dragged through the mud.

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