• 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 calorosome
I was born too late to see DL&W but I have lots of memories of EL during 60s and 70s. Of the pre-EL locomotive power I remember seeing E-units, F-units, RS units, and switchers - but I have no memory of a Trainmaster.

I know they were scrapped and/or sold in 1970. Where did the Trainmasters run during EL? Were they scattered all over or were they confined to a certain area/branch/service? I grew up in the NYS Southern Tier area (Binghamton-Elmira).

  by scottychaos
They were bought as DL&W commuter engines, so they probably spent the majority of their career in NJ commuter service.

but one of the "EL in color" books has a photo of a set of trainmasters in Waverly! so they did roam the system in their later years.

so even if they were mostly "confined" to a specific area during EL (which was likely, but I dont know where if that is true) they did make at least one trip out into the world..and probably more than one.


  by calorosome
DL&W used them on freights, not just commuters.

Well if they showed up in Waverly then they did ramble in my neck of the woods. It's just that I was never lucky enough to encounter one. I've seen pics of lash-ups with TM and non-FM units so MU wouldn't have been an issue (but that big height difference in steps on the ends would have been a safety concern).

There were only twelve on the roster anyway, so definitely a rare bird on the EL system. Especially if they didn't wander beyond the commuter circuit very often.

I read that some FM units went to Mexico. Did any trainmasters survive the scrapper's torch?

  by pablo
I respectfully submit the Fairbanks-Morse forum on this very site for your help and general perusal. There have been a few threads lately that address this very issue. It seems there are a few around, but you might have to travel a while to see one. Good luck!

Dave Becker

  by Tri-State Tom
I never saw one in person but the only photos I've seen had them hauling freights on the Cut-Off. So they must have been seen along the main from Hoboken/JC out to Scranton and probably Binghamton.

Since there were only 12 of them - figuring at least 4 or 5 were held/used for freight trains - where did the remaining 7-8 run out of Hoboken in commuter service ?

Can't recall ever seeing them in Hoboken Terminal....maybe up the Erie side to Suffern ?

  by calorosome
From the ELHTS site - a string of EL TMs at LV/CNJ/RDG Allentown yard in 1970, on their way to disposition.

  by jmchitvt
Not all were bought for commuter service.

DL&W 860 and 861 came without steam generators.

All of them often showed up weekends on the through freights in New Jersey.

When I saw three teamed up over the Cut Off it was one handsome power lashup.

Then they painted them black and yellow....

Joseph in Vermont

  by TB Diamond
Can recall seeing the FM Trainmasters on freight trains on the old Erie MT just east of Owego, NY on several occasions shortly after the DL&W/Erie Binghamton-Corning track consolidation. Also recall seeing at least two FMs stored at the Hornell shops in late 1969.
  by henry6
The DL&W used the first set of TM's for virtually everything: commuter, mainline, and freight hauling. And the last two were bought without steam generators. In commuter service the TM's were usefull on the paper train to Branchville and it's return with some milk but a lot of mail and express; the Lakeland Express which was 10 cars long inlcuding a six wheel truck parlor car daily round trip Washington to Hoboken; the mid day mail and express Hoboken to Washington and return; and an evening commuter run up to Branchville and its return with Becker's and Borden's milk cars. Numbers 11 and 26, the westbound Scrantonia and the eastboun Merchants Express often sported one or two TM's if the F's were not available. Any other Boonton line train with more than two cars was hoped to have a TM as the GP7's were not enough to maintain schedule. Then came the weekends. TM's were usually found heading manifest freights from the waterfront in a great parade of advance, regular, and 2nd sections of HB1, HB3, and HB5; often, too, there might be mainline passenger extras with a pair of TM's up front. But after the merger and with the dwindling of main line passenger service the EL moved it's E8's, PA's, and F's with boilers into regular commuter services while the TM's first went to freight haul then the torch since since they were oddball units. A couple of them did end up in Mexico, though. And again, do check out the FM topic pages at railroad.net for full TM coverage.

  by dlwpocono
While I don't personally remember the TMs, I believe that they finished their last years primarily around Cleveland on the ore docks. Larry Young's Volume 4 of the EL in Color has several pictures of them in that service with a caption indicating that they were based out of Youngstown within two years of the merger. I'm not sure that any of the big TMs went to Mexico, I believe that only their little brothers (the H16-44's) went south

According to the book "Train Master - The Most Useful Locomotive Ever Built" (Diesel Era) , 1852 and 1859 were leased to Chihuahua Pacific by Striegel in Sept/69 and were subsequently purchased in '71. Both units were scrapped by the early '80s. A great book if you are a fan of the Train Master (H24-66) or the Baby Train Master (H16-66). :-)

  by BlockLine_4111
As six axle locos were they "slow to load"?

  by livesteamer
I seem to recall a story that the TMs even "pitch hit" for the Es on the Phoebe Snow but I know of no pictures to document the story. Can anybody out there confirm this story?
  by henry6
As an aside (and dream) what if all TM's were still alive at CR's inception? With 12 EL's (exDL&W) plus CNJ, RDG, PRR (1 or 2?), and NH units thrown in, it would have been an intersting (at best) rag tag fleet of first generation. And, yes, the thought of TM's lasting into the 21st Century bringing VGN and Wabash units through NS would have been a real FM treat!!! Wake up, Six!

  by pdman
My memory of them was primarily:

* Boonton Line commuters longer than two cars

* Washington Local (passenger)

* Merchants Express and turn around on Scrantonian

* Branchville trains

* Long distance freights

* Paired up as helpers on both sides of the Poconos

I never saw one on the Gladstone branch. Besides west of the bridge west of Far Hills they were prohibited.