Almost 27 years ago, railfanning

Railfan General Discussion
NEW! - DIRECTLY POST YOUR RAILFAN PICTURES! For discussion and comments of any railroad related topic. No politics except as relates to railroading.

Moderators: othermoderator, moderator

Posts: 972
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:58 pm
Location: Waldport, OR, USA

Almost 27 years ago, railfanning

Postby Fitz » Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:28 pm

It has been pretty quiet not only here but seemingly everywhere while people try to deal with the covid19. Now our President has tested positive. With all this time to look at stuff we did in the past, I found some of our pics from the New River Train back in October 1993. It was advertised as "Chessie's 60th Year" which applied to Chessie the cat. As was usual back then, Nickel Plate 765 was the steam power hauling over 30 passenger cars. The difference in '93 was that the 765 was disguised as the Chesapeake and Ohio 2765. My wife and I rode in the Dover Harbor, a great ex-NYC car. Photo by my wife while I shot video, runby at Thurmond.


Charles T. McCullough
Posts: 367
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:11 pm
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Re: Almost 27 years ago, railfanning

Postby Charles T. McCullough » Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:35 pm

WOW... photos like that evoke so many emotions in me. Thanks.
Semper Vaporo,
Charles T. McCullough


Posts: 504
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:18 pm
Interested in trains?: Yes

Re: Almost 27 years ago, railfanning

Postby SOO2719 » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:31 pm

Whoa... Nice photo. Thanks for sharing. Ah the good old days of mainline steam.
Richard "Tony" Held

"Trackside with Tony"

John Bohon
Posts: 461
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:30 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Almost 27 years ago, railfanning

Postby John Bohon » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:39 am

The New River excursions are probably the best over all trips I have ever been on or chased. They certainly rival the Chessie engines slugging it out on Sandpatch and 17mile grades or 2102 on Horseshoe Curve. My first ride on this train was in the fall of 1978 and the next to last Chessie Steam
Special with 2101. The thing I remember most was running in the early morning dense fog and only getting a couple of seconds glimpse of the signal indications as we passed the lights. That is running blind if I ever saw it. I also remember the large number of slips as 2101 fought wet rail, leaves, and rail lubricators going up the grade to Cotton Hill. In 1978 they still had the motor car set off tracks on the river side of the hill and those little tracks added to the feeling of reliving the steam era on the C&O. The next day before going home we caught 2101 leaving Huntington with the last Chessie Steam Special and the last excursion it would ever handle. The train stopped for a signal about a quarter of a mile ahead of us so the last time I saw 2101 running it started the train and accelerated like a runby. 2101 was always an impressive locomotive.

I missed 614 on these trips but did see 765 several times both riding and chasing. The trains kept getting longer with the longest I remember being 32 coaches. There was a time 765 left Hinton with the Amtrak train hot on our tail. We finally got to the double track near Cotton Hill and stopped and waited for Amtrak to pass. The train that was only 10 minutes behind us at Hinton took almost 30 minutes to pass us at Cotton Hill with a train that was half of our train. The 765 had made out running Amtrak look easy. It was always fun to start chasing at Barbersville and see 765 come blasting out of the morning fog. At night on the return trip to Huntington outside of Montgomery the train would be rolling past the crossing signals fast enough that you only heard the crossing bell ring one time as you passed over the crossings. Looking across the river to the freeway on the other bank we would be outrunning the trucks. Of course those were the days of the 55 MPH speed limit on the highway but it was still impressive.

Perhaps the best show was on the return to Huntington in the dark at a place called Scary, the top of Scary Hill. Before the train came into sound range the night would be silent. You could hear 765 almost from the time it started the train away from the passenger stop at St Albans. The exhaust would keep getting louder as the train got closer. Soon it would be roaring. Then 765 would slip and for a couple of seconds while the throttle was shut off it was silent again. The roaring exhaust came back when the throttle was opened. The exhaust and occasional slips would continue until the train rounded the curve blowing for the crossing and disappeared into the night.

John Bohon

Mark D
Posts: 3426
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Almost 27 years ago, railfanning

Postby Mark D » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:44 pm

It surely is a new world after those Chinese launched that stuff into the atmosphere for all the world to deal with it.
It'll be a long time before we can live like we did even just a year ago. I'm not going to the 261 shop partly because of the COVID 19.
The former Milwaukee Road locomotive 261 won't be running this year at all, from what I learned the last time I was there. We were in the process of testing all the staybolt caps and that was just suddenly stopped. No point in doing it at this time.
The last I heard, that F-9 diesel Steve bought will do the honors at the Santa Claus village at St. Paul Depot.
I haven't heard anything different at this time.

So, I've been using the time I could be on the steam engine on getting my ancient 18 foot Chris Craft mahogany runabout back into service.
Some years back I decided the engine was too anemic to get the speed I want. And I was correct in that. But when I bought a marinized 327 Chevy V8 from a guy who had gone through it in a trade school specializing in engine rebuilding. I bought it at a fair price and plopped it in the boat, hooked stuff up, plopped the boat in the water one nice day about twenty years ago and had a great time. Instead of going 29 / 30 knots I was going 45 knots. Ahhhh that was great. BUT it didn't last long. The engine developed a nasty knot in the #1 cylinder. All that work to convert the engine and I only got a couple hours of running and it was over.
A couple months ago I got the idea of putting the old engine back in the boat. If I had the money, I would tear that engine down and go through it, but I don't, so I'm putting it back in the boat just as it was - running reliably.

That, and the highways between Litchfield Mn. and Minneapolis are in a state of under repair to the point that it takes a lot of time sitting still until the flag man lifts the flag. This has been going on since July.

So, I'm not going to the locomotive shop.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Return to “General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Fitz and 12 guests