Pennsylvania Roadtrip, page 2

We bail from the brickyard and head for new scenery in Cresson, PA. From the covered picnic area at the railroad park, we observe yet another westbound catfish.
By this time, the stormclouds start marching in. Eastbound train 10G has a gift for Juniata Shops - a Long Island Rail Road DE30AC. Why its coming from Pittsburgh is beyond me.
Eastbound 24Z is lead by a "Face-n-Flares" SD70M.
How many ways can you photograph a ubiquitous NS GE wide-cab? Anyone tried the rain??? Westbound empty hopper train 615 with a catfish-70-catfish combo blows some serious sand onto the rails.
I tried to get artsy-fartsy here, but the flagpole was leaning way too much to get anything stellar out of the existing composition...
The rain had finally left, but so had Matt and Dave. But prior to all of the departures, Mr. Ironimages arrives to continue with the fun. A westbound with a pair of, you guessed it, catfish passes train M0N with an all-blue road consist. The eastbound is in the process of getting a head-end escort downgrade, due to the road crew having only about 20 minutes of road time left.
Mark and I hustle to the route 53 overpass to get another view of the departing M0N, taking the "back way".
The rear end of M0N passes underneath the classic PRR position signals as the train heads down the east slope to Altoona.
Thursday, July 8 - The goal of this day was to hunt down shortline and regional action in the western part of the state. We arrive in Kittanning that morning, and follow the old Pittsburg & Shawmut line north to just outside of Mosgrove, where we find a G&W GP38 waiting on several hoppers to be loaded with coal.
The next stop was the Buffalo & Pittsburgh locomotive facility in Butler, PA to see what the power lash-up for the Petrolia job was to be assigned. Turns out, the locomotives and crew were already out making up their train, but we stopped long enough to capture a glimpse of these former Southern Pacific SD45's, now living their lives as SD40-2's.
We were successful in finding a nice scenic area near Carbon Center, PA to capture B&P's BT3, the "Petrolia Job", with a GP38 (PRSL-style cab) - GP18 - GP9 chopnose combination. Unfortunately, we found out very quickly that their track was in great condition, and our back roads were not, so he got ahead of us rather rapidly. By this time, my health was rapidly deteriorating, as that stupid cold was quickly overtaking my body.
This was my best attempt at capturing the local passing over one of the famous wooden trestles along this line. The clearances and lighting conditions for any form of photography were very limited here in Chicora.
With BT3 now spending several hours of switching within the confines of a couple of chemical industries, it was now time to pursue the Bessemer & Lake Erie. After arriving at Greenville, we view two trios of tunnel motors (also of Southern Pacific heritage, as well as being downrated from 45's to 40-2's) inside the locomotive facility. This was a far cry from the view I had here about ten years ago, seeing an ocean of SD38's, SD9's, and SD18's.
The crew of the North Bessemer Turn had claimed one of the sets of tunnel motors, and proceeded to head south with an assembled train. We capture him passing an old grainery in Grove City, PA. Now feeling like total crap, I claim the back seat of the vehicle and crash for about an hour while the others continue the pursuit of this turn.
We pass again through Butler, and hear that BT3 is returning back from the Petrolia area. We pull into "WS" interlocking (junction of the Petrolia branch and the B&P main) to photograph his arrival. Looking very sharp with its Brookville-chopped Rochester & Southern GP9 on the point, the train pauses briefly to get clearance from the yardmaster.

We continued down into Pittsburgh to check out our friend's new house, and then called it a night. I had to get a good night's sleep in order for my health to be restored enough for the drive back home.

On my return trip to Chattanooga, I decided to take a different route home by way of West Virginia and Kentucky. Gazetteers in hand, I worked my way from Huntington WV over to Somerset, KY and picked up US 27 to follow NS's CS main (i.e. the CNO&TP "Rathole Line") all the way home. Unfortunately, Murphy messed with my luck, and I was unable to successfully capture any activity. Despite this slight setback, I was still able to call this entire trip a success - I had re-visited many longtime friends, and was able to get back to some of my old stomping grounds that I had not seen in years.

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