914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
10/7/22 8:59 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 10:32 a.m.
914Driver said:

The C&NW E-4 Hudson. A lame duck design, in more ways than one. C&NW ordered them as an answer to the Milwaukee Road's F7 Hudsons, but then, before they were delivered, they decided to purchase EMD E3s to assign to the trains instead. Before they were ever delivered, they were already demoted off the top trains. Then, despite near-identical specs to the Milwaukee Road's  120+mph capable Hudsons, they struggled to break 95mph. A reason was never found, since they were already yesterday's news and C&NW wasn't that interested in sorting them out. PRR did borrow an E-4 for testing, and the 300psi boiler and 84" drivers must have interested them, since they then built the S-1 6-4-4-6 Duplex with, wait for it, 84" drivers and a 300psi.

NY Nick
NY Nick Dork
10/7/22 12:04 p.m.

I always like and follow this post but never post in it. I saw this picture on LinkedIn this morning. It is the Vande Bharat a semi high speed train in India. It hit a cow on the tracks. I thought it was interesting to see the structure behind the aerodynamic outer shell. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 12:31 p.m.

Lehigh Valley's gorgeous Alco PA-led Black Diamond pauses at the Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe) station on June 06, 1954. Lehigh Valley's flagship passenger train, the Black Diamond ran between New York City and Buffalo until 1959, when the LV's passenger service was reduced to two mainline trains a day, the John Wilkes and the Maple Leaf (a very different train from the modern Amtrak Maple Leaf) lasted until February 1961.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 12:34 p.m.

Lehigh Valley FA-1s wait under the Hill to Hill Bridge at Bethlehem, PA with a westbound freight.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 12:43 p.m.

The Black Diamond passes into history. The PA-1s have been cut off and a PRR GG1 electric has taken over to bring the final run of the Black Diamond the rest of the way into New York City. Electric power was required for trains going into Penn Station and LV didn't have any electric locomotives, so since the LV was 85% owned by the PRR, it was a simple matter of just having PRR electrics taking over. It had originally gone into Penn Station from 1896-1913, then was bounced from the premises by PRR in 1913 and went into NYC through the CNJ's Communipaw facilities, then returned to running over the PRR in 1918. While the Black Diamond, and it's nighttime counterpart the Star, were called "the Handsomest Train in the World" and "the Honeymoon Express", they suffered from being slower than the competition from DL&W and New York Central.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 12:48 p.m.

With the discontinuation of almost all the LV's passenger trains, a pair of Alco PA-1s have been busted down to freight service. PRR similarly demoted their PA-1s to freight usage, Erie-Lackawanna assigned their E8s to piggyback trains, and the D&H PA-1/PA-4us even hauled tonnage. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 12:56 p.m.

LV #601, the first of the LV's PA-1s, awaits it's future at Lehighton. After LV discontinued all passenger service in 1961, they ran in freight service until 1964, then were sold to parent company Pennsylvania Railroad, who traded them into Alco on new C425s.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 1:49 p.m.

A trio of hulking C628s roll out of Coxton Yard in Pittson Junction. After years of Cornell Red with black pinstripes, the Lehigh Valley got experimental with paint schemes in the '60s. The C628s were delivered in a white and black livery, referred to as the "Snowbird" livery, but it was found to wear poorly and got very grimy very quickly, leading to them being repainted to the Cornell Red like the third unit in the set. The #636 is also already on her second owner at this point. The little Monon had purchased a batch of C628s in advance of a proposed coal-hauling extension. When the ICC denied the construction of the extension, the C628s were without a purpose, and after the Monon discovered they were beating the daylights out of their rails, they traded them back to Alco for C420s. Lehigh Valley already owned some of the big 6-axle maulers and was quite fond of them, so they purchased the ex-Monon units off of Alco to add to their fleet.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 1:58 p.m.

A dusty A-B-B-A set of F7s hustle merchandise through Lehighton in the summer of '62. With passenger service entirely gone, no longer will that depot see use, and the poor roadbed condition is indicative of the downward trend of the Route of the Black Diamond, matching the death spiral of it's majority owner, the Pennsylvania Railroad. By the time of the Penn Central merger, PRR owned 98% of the LV's shares, although the ICC refused to allow the LV to be merged into the PRR in the years leading up to it. After the PC merger, LV was supposed to be sold off to a new owner or cast adrift as an independent, but that never happened.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 4:54 p.m.

Lehigh Valley's sole Baldwin road switcher, DRS-4-4-1500 #200, shoves a caboose down past more typical LV power in the form of three RS-11s. LV owned several VO-1000, DS-4-4-1000, and S-12 switchers, but largely stuck to EMDs and Alcos for road power, at least until the arrival of GE on the scene. They avoided Fairbanks-Morse opposed-piston power entirely.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 4:56 p.m.

LV "Snowbird" C628s are are climbing the new connection eastward to the CNJ at Lehighton a couple years after the Joint Use of Facilities Agreement.  Giveaways that the #636 is one of the ex-Monon units are the plate at the top edge of the nose, which covers the old Mars light housing, the twin, instead of single, sand fills and the squared off corners of the front handrails instead of the standard angled style.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/7/22 6:40 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

I totally have an irrational lust for PAs. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 7:33 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

I wouldn't say it's irrational. They're widely considered the best-looking North American diesel locomotives. And in an odd turnabout, they actually undercut EMD's E-units in price. E-units used twin V12 engines with a generator for each engine, while a PA-1/PA-2 made the same power with a 244 V16 and a single generator. They were also lighter as a result and accelerated faster. Sadly, the V16 244 was a problem child. The early V12 244s had issues that were rectified as production went on, but the V16s, used only in the PA and the RSD-7, were never great. There was a catalogued PA-3, which would have used a 2400hp 251 V16 like the D&H's PA-4u, but no one bought any because passenger service was on the way out and Alco's reputation was in tatters. 

I don't believe any V16 244s still exist anymore. The remaining PA-4us lost their 244s in 1971 during the rebuild process, and no RSD-7s remain. When they started restoration of the one PA-4u in Texas, they had supposedly procured the last 244 V16 in existence, built as a stationary generating plant, only for it to get accidentally scrapped in some sort of mixup. It was also determined that extensive modifications had been performed by Morrison-Knudsen to install a 251 engine (unlike EMD's 567/645/710 engine family, there was no commonality between Alco engines) and converting it back to 244 power would have required massive reengineering.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 8:16 p.m.

The #200 again, at Sayre. While Lehigh Valley found that the Alco RS-2s ran circles around Baldwin's 1500hp B-B offering, the #200 lasted as long as the RS-2s. LV traded the RS-2s to PRR for serviceable RS-3s in 1972, while at the same time trading in the #200 towards the four new GP38ACs that they bought

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 8:28 p.m.

While the Snowbird and Yellow Jacket liveries saw more widespread application, this one is much rather. Only applied to RS-3 #216 and GP9 #301.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 8:37 p.m.

Every photo of the Sayre facilities shows a grimy, oily mess. The EPA would not approve. To the left is a 4-unit lash-up of C628s, three of them still in Snowbird colors. Center rear are two C420s, one in Yellow Jacket, the other repainted into Cornell Red. Center front are an RS-2 and an RS-3. To the left is a V-plow. And if you look waaaaay in the back right, you can see an F7A and old DRS-4-4-1500 #200 in the dead line, awaiting trade-in on GP38ACs.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/7/22 10:21 p.m.

A scrappy lash-up that include des the last two F7As on the property, an RS-11, and two end-cab switchers.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/8/22 7:57 a.m.

A trio of helper units, two Yellow Jacket C420s and an RS-11, drift back down through Glen Onoko on their way to Packerton Yard. Scrappers have nearly finished removing the CNJ main to Scranton on the left. Today, Reading & Northern freights and Lehigh Gorge Scenic passenger trains still climb up the through this area, and the CNJ bridge is now a road bridge for driving into Lehigh Gorge State Park. I've stood at that curve and filmed R&N #425 two years ago.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/8/22 8:48 a.m.

An ex-PRR RS-11 is paired up with GP9 #301, the only other unit to receive the experimental yellow cigar band livery

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/8/22 1:21 p.m.

Four Lehigh Valley C420s in the rather L&N-esque Yellow Jacket livery leave Duryea, PA with symbol freight JB-4. Like the Snowbird livery, the Yellow Jackets rapidly looked grungy and bedraggled.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/8/22 7:26 p.m.

All four of the LV's low-nose RS-11s enter Allentown yard. The LV purchased four RS-11s brand-new, with low noses, and then later purchased six high-nose RS-11s off of parent company PRR.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/8/22 9:39 p.m.

The final new power to arrive on the Lehigh Valley were a batch of GE U23Bs. By this point, the Valley was bankrupt and couldn't afford new power. The United States Railroad Administration was in the process of trying to save the northeast sector of the industry, and so the USRA financed the purchase of the U23Bs to keep LV moving until the Conrail rollout was ready.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/8/22 10:03 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

I really like GP9s for some reason....  

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/9/22 7:36 a.m.

C628s pass through Dupont, PA. That bridge abutment to the right belonged to the Lehigh & Wyoming Valley Railroad, commonly referred to as the Laurel Line. It was a double-tracked, third-rail electric interurban line that ran between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. It ceased interurban operation in '52, but a lot of the right-of-way is intact and there have been serious discussions of rebuilding the system to ease congestion on I-81 between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre 

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