• EL Trainmasters - where did they run?

  • Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.
Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.

Moderator: blockline4180

  by henry6
No, never on the P&D because of bridge loadings, especially west of Far Hills. Nor do I believe they ever made it on the Bangor and Portland either. (However, the Reading did run a railfan trip up from Allentown to Portland via the LNE & DL&W with a pair of their Tm's once.) The B&P did, however, play home to the "Baby" TM's. Of course the Cincinnatus Branch was off limits as only a 44 tonner could do the chores there in the end. If memory serves me right, having once had in my possession all the dispatchers' OS reports from botht he Syracuse and Utica lines in the 50's, they did make it to both Syracuse and Utica on occasion but not able to fit the Oswego tunnel so never went north from Syracuse nor did they get out on the Richfield Springs Branch because they were too heavy.

And the opposite train to the Merchants Express (#26 Scranton to Hoboken) was the Scrantonian (#11) in the afternoon. Often had TM's, most often the one, two or three F's (801-805 - A, B, C), last regular mainline use of the Pocono 4-8-4 as I rembmeber, but most usually a single E unit did it.

Although most Boonton Line trains needed the TM's, my best memories of the units was holiday Friday nights at Denville when there might be a mainline passenger extra up the Boonton line plus a handful of advance and regular sections of the westbound freight parade. Often the TM's would be paired on the passenger extra, and defnitely one of the freights. The towerman, Jimmy Morris, would cross it the train over east of town so that the trains could come west on track one with a straight green through the interlocking to a straight green west on one to Dover. Once clear of the crossovers (about where RTI80 crosses the Boonton Line today), the engineers would open the throttle and we would have a fun eyeful of the TM's doing 65 with either 20 passenger cars or 75 or 80 pigs or reefers. Quite a show of sight and sound for young, impressionable railfans

  by pdman
I have a vague memory of a hot shot pig train powered by two TMs out of Hoboken one summer evening at around 7:30 or so. I was riding the head end of an MU to Dover. At about Grove Street tower we were stopped and watched the freight, which was moving quite fast, go up the hill and into Bergen Tunnels. It had to cross in front of us, which I guess was at the far end of the tunnels. Once we started and got to West End there was no sight of it.

I remember the engineer saying, "Now THAT train is making money. That's why we stopped for it." At age 15 that was the beginning of my learning railroad economics and their market realities.

  by krobar
henry6, do you know when that RDG fantrip with TMs ran? I've never heard of any excursion like that happening. If it did does anyone have any photos? As far as I know the only 6 axle units that ran on the old LNE prior to Conrail were the 1600 series RSDs and the 2500 series SD35s. 6 axles on the B&P were pretty much forbiden. The crews on the B&P told me that after the merger the Erie sent their Baldwin 4 & 6 axle units to use on the branch. The 4 axles weren't bad but the 6 axles did a number on the tracks. To many tight curves for them to negotiate. If you've ever seen the track coming out of Portland yard onto the B&P you'd know what I mean. There are also some tight turns in the Nazareth area (my hometown). Also the B&P crews were very unhappy when the new management took their H16s away from them. They really liked those engines.
  by henry6
I will check my photos...they are Brownie and Hawkeye b&w snaps from 1960 plus or minus a year or two and down deep in a box. I remember leaving Portland ahead of the train as it was backing up to Slateford Jct to run east. Got pics of getting ice and water at Landing before it went to Lake Jct. and onto the CNJ High Bridge Branch to Bound Brook to Phila. It was a circle trip from Phila to Allentown to Portland, etc. I was in my early, very early teens then.

  by Cactus Jack
The TM's were more prevalent on the Syracuse Branch than on the Utica side. I have a photo of two TM's running light down Schuyler Street in Utica CA 1954 after delivering a National Guard Train to the NYC to forward to Camp Pinetop (Fort Drum). Tony Rocht was the engineer. The only service I can document on the Utica side was the yearly National Guard trains. If anyone has anything different I would like to hear about it.

Over on the Syracuse side one morning there were four of them on a coal train. They had to make a cut at Marathon and went back for their double and hit it hard account of a combination of fog and alcoholic haze doing some substantial damage. The crew was taken to Johnson City for tox test and one of the guys bolted out of the vehicle at one of the city intersections and went on his pension. Probably was mid- 1960s. Can't find my notes on this altercation. Maybe some else has more detail.

Also some years ago there was a JJ Young photo circulating around Binghamton showing the nose of a northbound TM at the Willette? Park Crossing (MP 202) at Chenango Forks, undoubtedly going up the Syracuse side.

Another story is that the first NYSW stack train east had a full ex-DL&W crew called at Binghamton to run the train (NYSW crews were not yet qualified down the Delaware). The Conductor looked at the C430's and remarked that it was a shame that the NYSW didn't have better power. He then recalled those "big Fairbanks engines, you know those 1800's". The engineer whose name I recall was Shiminski said "those damn things?" "They were cold in winter and I always banged my head going in the cab". "Yeah" said the conductor, but did you ever stall with one?" The old engineer looked at the conductor and thought for a good 30 seconds with mouth agape and finally said "no" followed by another 20 second pause with due reflection and said "no, I never did". The conductor smiled and looked at him and winked at me and said "There, told ya they was good engines". Incidently that crew went penalty before the train was ready to depart and never stepped on board. They made the claim (aug 1985 maybe) that they were the last full DL&W crew working out of Binghamton.
Least that is what they said. I wrote their names down and carried them in my wallet for years but that info is now gone.