I've been a long time admirer of the Nickel Plate Road, the 765 and of course the incredible organization that has maintained and operated the locomotive.  It has been a few years since I've seen the 765, or really ventured out rail fanning, as I have been focusing on school and career development.

 I have seen some photos that indicate that the 765 once traveled the former Erie Lackawanna mainline from Youngstown to either Jamestown, Salamanca, or Hornell in New York state. I believe that this deadhead occurred after a series of trips on the P&LE in 1985 or so.  If it was in 1985, it was shortly after the devastating tornado outbreak that occurred on May 31st, 1985. Perhaps that is why this deadhead is not that well documented.

I was wondering what information that anyone may be able to share regarding the 765's movement over this piece of trackage. It was only a year ago that I learned about this movement and I was quite surprised that I had never heard anything about it before.

 

Thank You,

 

Sam L.

Original Post

Friday June 7th, 1985, as listed below as "OWF" Youngstown to Buffalo.

http://www.al.com/archive/dates1985.html

My introduction to steam locomotives was actually the trip from Youngstown to Pittsburgh the previous weekend (really the day or two after the tornado outbreak on 5/31).  I digitized my parent's 8mm film from that trip a few years back, and you can see the tornado damage starting at 2:00.  Not sure if it was Saturday or Sunday, maybe some day I'll find my ticket stub that I thought I still had.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tiDD8kjx4s

I fired the 765 on that move. Gary Bensman was the engineer. The move took place a few days after several F5 tornadoes swept through the area. Due to all the slow orders in place that day because of the storms, it took 19 hours to get from Youngstown, Ohio to Buffalo, New York. Long day...

Rich Melvin

If at first you don't succeed, don't try sky diving... 

Ha! I took this pic at the top of Mt Washington during the Pittsburgh sojourn of that trip:

        DSCN0762

I must have been having camera issues that day because this is the only pic I have of that trip. I too remember viewing the tornado devastation. IIRC there were more than one distinct paths we crossed or viewed on the trip.

Notice: no diesel "helper" for #765! I think I see a HEP car?

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

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What resembles a HEP car is not what you think it is; very few excursions cars in that era had 480v trainline upgrades performed yet.  The Combine is ex NYC #290, which traveled with the Bellevue, OH based cars.  Also noted in the train are several cars from the Orrville, OH group.  The few interior shots are from inside ex UP #4802, a veteran of the NS Excursion era.  The 4802 and 4806 both currently reside on the Cincinnati Scenic Railway.

Rich Melvin posted:

I fired the 765 on that move. Gary Bensman was the engineer. The move took place a few days after several F5 tornadoes swept through the area. Due to all the slow orders in place that day because of the storms, it took 19 hours to get from Youngstown, Ohio to Buffalo, New York. Long day...

Thank You Rich for your input on this topic.  I've heard many stories about the terrible events of that tornado outbreak that devastated places along that trackage, such as Atlantic.  Having admired the 765 and the Erie Lackawanna for years, it's neat to know that one of my favorite steam locomotives traveled one of my favorite pieces of railroad, in my own backyard.

As most know, the former Erie Lackawanna properties fared very, very poorly under Conrail. By 1985 most of the through traffic between Hornell and Youngstown was gone along with most of the on line customers (Steel Mills). The line would have only seen local freights, coal traffic, and the few remaining through freights such as the trains between Elkhart and Oak Island.

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