L&NE RS2s

Discussion of the L&NR railroad for the period 1868-1961 at its inclusion in the Central of New Jersey. Also includes predecessors South Mountain and Boston Railroad, Pennsylvania, Poughkeepsie and New England Railroad, and others.

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L&NE RS2s

Postby mdamico23 » Sun Nov 13, 2005 5:33 pm

Hi Folks,

As we all know, the Lehigh & New England rostered 13 Alco RS2 roadswitchers and they were primarily assigned to the "Pennsylvania" lines- west of Pen Argyl, the anthracite region and the cement belt. My question is- did the L&NE RS2 ever venture into NJ east of Pen Argyl or up to Maybrook Yard? All of the pictures that I've ever seen of the L&NE in NJ and NY had all FA's and FB's for power and not the RS2s. Was there any type of restriction on them on the NYS&W's trackage from Hainesburg Jct. to Swartswood Jct., the L&NE's line through New Jersey to Pine Island Jct., NY or the Erie's Pine Island branch?

Speaking of the L&NE RS2s, were they "mu-able" with the road's FA's and FB's? I've never seen a picture of the L&NE mixing diesel consists, but other roads, such as the L&N would mu differing types of Alco power.

-Mike
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L&NE RS-2

Postby jmchitvt » Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:14 pm

I'll volunteer that I never saw a L&NE RS-2 operate in New Jersey - I was there from when they dieselized until the end - all I ever saw was all kinds of combinations of the FA's and FB's on the Pen Argyl-Maybrook turn.
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Re: L&NE RS2s

Postby Aa3rt » Thu Jan 19, 2006 10:04 am

mdamico23 wrote: Speaking of the L&NE RS2s, were they "mu-able" with the road's FA's and FB's? I've never seen a picture of the L&NE mixing diesel consists, but other roads, such as the L&N would mu differing types of Alco power.


Mike, while I have never seen a photograph of the FA's and RS's operating in MU, I was watching the L&NE video put out by Stewart Hobbies last evening. There is a scene of 2 FA "A" units, coupled back to back, and a RS unit crossing the Lehigh Gap bridge in June of 1961. The narrator does mention that this is unusual and also notes that if this were a ferry move for the RS, the unit probably would have been on the tail end of the train rather than at the front. Not conclusive proof, but the only example I have seen of FA & RS units coupled together on the L&NE.
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The Right Locomotive For the Right Job!

Postby geep39 » Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:15 am

My impression is that the L&NE was rather orthodox in its motive power applications. After all the FA's were ROAD locomotives, so they were used on "road" jobs. I suspect that they were a bit more comfortable than the RS's. Apparently, everything was well-maintained, therefore in good supply, so there was no real need to use units in other than the service they were bought for. You can also wonder if there were union agreements that kept units in their intended service
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OOH! OOH! Another thought

Postby geep39 » Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:10 am

Something else occurred to me: As far as I know, the RS-2's didn't have dynamic brakes like the FA's, so using them in MU with FA's would have meant that many units without dynamic brakes in a consist, not to mention no way to control those in the FA's with an RS-2 leading.
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Re: L&NE RS2s

Postby GN 599 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:58 pm

I know this is a really old thread but I have been doing some L&NE searching after reading the Classic TRAINS article on the railroad. What became of these units? Are there any L&NE diesels in existance?
What a long strange trip its been.
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Re: L&NE RS2s

Postby Aa3rt » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:41 pm

To the best of my knowledge the only surviving L&NE diesel is Alco S-2 #611 that's now serving an ADM grain elevator in Emporia, Indiana.

The Wanamaker, Kempton & Southern tourist road in Pennsylvania has a "psuedo" L&NE Whitcomb numbered 602, painted to resemble the L&NE's first diesel, a Whitcomb switcher numbered 601.

Photos here:

http://www.jeff-z.com/wks/locoroster/602/602.html

Here's another link I managed to find after a little surfing. The ultimate disposition of 2 other S-2's and 3 RS-2's listed in this link is uncertain.

http://www.american-rails.com/lehigh-and-new-england-diesel-roster.html
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Re: L&NE RS2s

Postby wildwood junction » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:06 pm

I also have never seen photos of the RS2s in New Jersey. That was an interesting question though, and good answers! Another point about L&NE operations to Maybrook is that the lash-up would ALWAYS have an A-unit at each end. This was to avoid a turntable fee that the New Haven would impose. Early dieselization after WW2 eliminated the need to turn engines at Maybrook. :wink:
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Re: L&NE RS2s

Postby LNE655 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:10 am

I watched the LNE from 1957 until its demise in 1961 at Tamaqua. In all that time I have never seen an RS2 as an on-line engine in the consist. Up until the last year or so of operations the LNE use to ferry their RS2's from Arlington to Pen Argyl by placing it ahead of the caboose. This was a slick move that kept switching to a minimum at Arlington. Once the Turn-around arriverd [empty hoppers] the local [RS2] would couple to it from the rear and cut away with RS2-Caboose-RS2. They would proceed directly over to the outbound consist [Loaded hoppers] and couple to it, RS2-engine-RS2, they would then shut down the engine they were on, climb down and get on the newly arrived engine, uncouple and complete their move of ferrying the RS2's. During this era there was always a crew on duty, but later when traffic dwindled to a once or twice a week smaller 50 car turn-around there wasnt always a crew on duty at Arlington, so it was the road crew who dropped off the 90 day inspected RS2 for the other, consequently the "in-tow" RS2 was placed behind the FA/B set to facilitate that move.
As a side note, as a railfan growing up in Tamaqua I saw every FA/B engine they owned, but the only RS2's I ever saw in Tamaqua were 652,653,654 and 655.
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Re: L&NE RS2s

Postby EDM5970 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:22 pm

I suspect there were some air brake issues involved in running the RS-2s and FAs in MU. I've never seen any LNE equpment drawings, which would list the air brake schedules. However, judging from photos online, the RS-2s were equipped with a 6 system, (two hoses), while the FAs had three hoses, which in those days indicated a 24-RL system. Those systems did not work well together, if at all.
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Re: L&NE RS2s

Postby GN 599 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:41 pm

6 air, 24 and even 26 will all work together. Each system has a different way of cutting them in or out which could be a headache..
What a long strange trip its been.
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Re: L&NE RS2s

Postby EDM5970 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:27 pm

If it did work, it was a real headache. Now a unit with a 26 system, including an MU-2A and an F-1 selector valve, will MU with just about anything. But that system wasn't around until just about the very end of the LNE.
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