Switcher Saturday: 2019-January-19

Mark Boyce posted:

Rich, I see you have gotten us off to another fine day of switchers!  Excellent photographs everyone.  Some may classify this as a road engine, but others would let it slide as a switcher, so I am going to take a chance.  

Elkins, West Virginia - August 2017

2017-08-04 10.25.492017-08-04 10.26.57

Hey Mark - When I was 11 years old I heard the B&O local freight arriving in Savage, Md.  It came three days each week to switch a Westinghouse appliance distribution warehouse, cement plant and a team track.   Right away I pedaled my bike as fast as I could to meet the train.  When I arrived the GP7 was sitting on the Westinghouse spur waiting for a warehouse crew to finish unloading the final bit of payload from one of the 5 boxcars.   As I stood there next to the engine, the conductor asked me if I wanted to come aboard and ride with them as they did the switching in Savage for the day.  Of course I said YES!! How cool it was!  The crew was super nice and the engineer let me blow the horn each time the train crossed route one on one of its up and back switching moves.  That experience is burned into my brain.   Your photos remind of that time.  The loco had the same paint scheme, of course its always hard to disquish between a GP 7 or 9 externally ... however I guess your photo is a GP9 given the dynamic brake blister on the hood.  Many thanks for the memories!

Cheers and Happy Railroading,

Patrick W  

CEO - The Free State Junction Railway 

" Where the music is sweet and the trains always run on time"

Home Office - Patsburg, Maryland 

Pat, that is a great story from your boyhood.  They would have to have a special arrangement ahead of time to do that today.  I never got an opportunity to see the engines stopped since they had removed the lone siding at Valencia, Pennsylvania before I can remember.  The engineer or fireman and the conductor would always wave at the crossing when I was there on my bicycle.  Thank you for telling us your story!

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