while watching the Fort Wayne railway Historical Society's newest DVD listen for the whistle. curiosity has gotten me was there ever a time. that CSX train dispatchers didn't root you across the bridge at Hawks Nest. Another question of mine is rich Melvin or any other 755 crew? could you recall to share a story with us of one of your worst instance or trips up the gorge while running the New River train?

Andrew Treece. 

Helps with B&LE 643

and Erie valley fire and Rescue engine 2 and Tanker 3.

Original Post
Originally Posted by B&LE643:
while watching the Fort Wayne railway Historical Society's newest DVD listen for the whistle. curiosity has gotten me was there ever a time. that CSX train dispatchers didn't root you across the bridge at Hawks Nest.

 

The 1991 NRHS Convention doubleheader with the 1225 was routed down the south side.  I believe it was done as a special request for the CSX photographer who wanted to shoot the other bridge at Sewell.

Kevin

When was the last year 765 ran those trips? I would suspect early 90's, before NS axed their program. CSX started to turn sour toward steam around the same time. When you have people like David Goode, E. Hunter Harrison, or Michael Ward in charge of a railroad, the chance for steam is almost nil. Those guys only care about the bottom line and avoiding anything that costs money without a profit in return. Like steam programs. At least Wick Moorman at NS has a heart. There was not one mainline steam excursion on a class 1 railroad in 1995 and up, except maybe UP and possibly BNSF. Until now, with NS returning to the world of steam excursions. Do you remember when BN (Burlington Northern) was so anti-steam in the 1980's that they said no to steam locomotives using their rails to get to Expo '86 in Vancouver, BC? E. Hunter Harrison worked for them (BN) then. He is a steam hater. The CP Empress program will probably be eliminated under his leadership. He is a cost cutter, not wanting to spend money on anything "frivolous". The CP Holiday train will continue, though. Right now, it's the three class 1's that begin with "C" that hate steam. CSX, CN, and CP. Even regional railroads can say no, like G&W's refusal to allow 765 to use it's rails last summer to get to another railroad for trips. Some railroads simply do not want to bother with non-freight movements even if they are unoccupied ferry moves. It would be like showing up at a trucking company with a bus and saying can we use your property as a temporary bus loading area?

Robert:

Much as I appreciate those railroads that do allow steam excursions, I can still see where those who don't have made a legitimate business decision, particularly from the perspective of potential liability. 

While Wick may be a railfan, he is also a very astute business man.  If he didn't percieve a bottom line benefit that more than balances the potential liability, the NS steam program would not be happening either.

Why does Wick see a benefit where the others do not?  "Different strokes" is the only explanation.

Curt
Originally Posted by Robert K:

 When you have people like David Goode, E. Hunter Harrison, or Michael Ward in charge of a railroad, the chance for steam is almost nil. Those guys only care about the bottom line and avoiding anything that costs money without a profit in return. Like steam programs. At least Wick Moorman at NS has a heart.

I'm sure most of the other guys have hearts. 

 

Contrary to the belief of most railfans, perhaps yourself as well, steam is NOT A MUST! It is not a right. Officials don't have to do anything but run the business, make money for the stockholders, etc, etc. Steam has no part in that. Sure, some like to use it as a PR tool and can be very effective BUT it gets in the way of real business and I know I would have no trouble axing a "steam program" instantly if it got in the way of real business, wasn't worth it, whatever. 

 

The current management at NS sees the PR value in occasional steam trips. Same goes for the UP folks (well.....not really.......) Great but when business gets especially busy, other things going on, whatever, steam isn't going to run. It took NS nearly 20 years to bring steam back, the Reading & Northern parked their steam engine for 10-15 years while they grew their business, 1994 was the last time a steam engine ran on CSX I think, etc.

 

Steam is cool but not all see the value in it and that's fine! 

Oh SJC, you didn't just say that!

 

I've said similar in the past, and have since been "educated." A steam program is absolutely necessary for a successful railroad.

 

CSX does not have a steam program because they are just plain mean. Business has nothing to do with it.

 

Certain individuals at UP are not intentionally trying to make their steam program so dysfunctional that the higher-ups cancel it. They're just incompetent.

And CSX has essentially banned all steam from their rails, including all outside parties. Nobody can run a steam excursion on CSX no matter what. Is that why last year 765 had to drop people off at an NS yard in Lafayette, IN and buses took them into town and back and 765 could not run to the Amtrak station because the tracks are CSX? So you will never see steam on the route of the Cardinal, or from Baltimore through Point of Rocks, MD? Is it Michael Ward that has a dislike for steam or others within the company? New River train is now pulled by Amtrak Genesis units.

Originally Posted by rdunniii:

Waaaa!  Airlines are mean because they do not have airplane fan trips with DC3s or Constellations.

Apples to oranges comparison though, because the airlines don't own the sky. No airline can stop me from flying a vintage aircraft.  The railroads CAN stop people from being able to enjoy steam engines in their natural habitat.  I don't care that CSX doesn't want to do a steam program, I don't care a whole lot that CSX does not want outside steam excursions on their tracks.  My beef is their total lack of cooperation on things as simple as short distance ferry moves and moving vintage equipment that is perfectly OK with other class One railroads. . On that, they're just being jerks for the sake of being jerks.

Originally Posted by Dieselbob:
Originally Posted by Robert K:
 Is that why last year 765 had to drop people off at an NS yard in Lafayette, IN and buses took them into town and back and 765 could not run to the Amtrak station because the tracks are CSX?
 
Pretty much true, at least from the information I was given by the FWRHS.  765 was not allowed on CSX tracks, and the CSX tracks are BETWEEN the NS tracks and the passenger platform, meaning passengers would have trek across the CSX tracks. Even if 765 was allowed on CSX tracks, it looks like it would have been a multiple step move, and would STILL required a long backup move through lots of switches to get the train back out, and they STILL would have had to turn the consist AND there is no room down by the depot to service 765.  Although it would have been nice to disembark downtown, it probably would have not been worth the hassle, even if it had been possible. 

 

765 last pulled the New River trains in fall 1993.  FWRHS leased the MILW 261 and used it to provide the motive power for the New River Trains in fall 1994.  FWRHS provided the engineers, crew,  tool car and aux. tank, along with organizational reputation, experience and a "comfort factor" for CSX.

 

Dieselbob is right on the mark about Lafayette, plus there was over 1000 feet of fence along the east side of the NS main and no gates to let people through!  It just wouldn't work.

Only other way would have been call up CSX or Amtrak, have them send diesel units over to pull the train minus 765 to the Amtrak station if that would have been possible. Maybe Amtrak would have been easier to work with than CSX for moving an excursion train like two miles over CSX track?

That would have been a logistical nightmare, never mind the financial implications. once you involve Amtrak, you would have to be on THEIR insurance, they have no personnel in the area to supervise such a move, and CSX would not likely been amused about their main line tied up for 2-3 hours while this non- Amtrak train sat st the station. Plus, you now tie up a NS locomotive and ANOTHER crew, which costs real money. NS has been so great in even allowing a trip like this to even happen, you want to limit the cost, hassle and exposure for them as much as possible.

Originally Posted by Kent Loudon:

What is Kansas City Southern's (the OTHER Class 1) official position on steam?

Ever since that Southern Pacific 2-8-2 group from down in New Orleans area, caused a big mess while out on the KCS (nobody was paying close attention in the cab, and upon topping a grade the low water caused a few "drop plugs" to blow-out and extinguish the oil fire. Big FRA investigation over THAT), I'm sure it will be a cold day in you-know-where before the current KCS management allows a functional steam locomotive out on THEIR railroad again.

Originally Posted by Dieselbob:

Nice..  Let us know when you have something of value to add to the conversation.

 I like seeing steam locomotives operating "again" just as much as the next guy.

 

 But the reality is.....SJC pretty much covered it. In addition, 99.99% of the general public could care less about a steam locomotive, making it seem like even "less of a good idea" for the railroad thats busy moving goods.

 

And of course the incident Hotwater posted above as another example of "why not."

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

If you think 99.9% of the people don't care about steam, then maybe you have never rode behind 765. I never cease to be amazed by the sheer number of people that show up trackside just to catch a glimpse of it.  It's not uncommon around here to get 30-40 people at a single country grade crossing, and then the next, and then the next.  Once again, I am not suggesting that CSX has to participate in the operation of steam excursions, what I am suggesting is that have a recent history of being downright hostile regarding simple things they could do to help those that operate and display steam and other historic equipment.  Not allowing a steamer to be towed a few miles down a siding to get to an event?  Refusing to move a historic passenger car to a museum because it doesn't "like" the type of roller bearings it has, when Norfolk Southern moved it with no issue?  I got to thinking about something the other day.  back in the mid 90's the FWRHS borrowed C&O 2716 to pull some excursions.  When it came time for 2716 to return to it's home in Kentucky, NS and CSX teamed up and took it home.  If that situation were to happen today, 2716 would likely have been marooned in Fort Wayne forever.  

Originally Posted by Dieselbob:

If you think 99.9% of the people don't care about steam, then maybe you have never rode behind 765.  

 

Just a thought but, the population of the good old U.S.A. is something well over 250 MILLION people, so .01% would still reflect one he$$ of a LOT OF PEOPLE. Or am I wrong?

The New River trips and the NCTM trips in Spencer use the same AMTRAK consist, just changing the private cars. Since the late 90s, this has been the status quo. It is easier to operate the trains as an AMTRAK special move on routes already with regular service. Other organizations may use the same consist before or after these trips. AMTRAK uses spare cars due to a drop in servic, mainly coaches and cafe cars. Even with no steam, they still regularly sell out, and generally have no operational problems from host railroads. 

 

i understand Wick Moorman will be retiring in February 2015, so it will be interesting to see how the 765 trips continue as part of the current NS excursion program. Might see AMTRAK power and cars on those trips in the future.

 

i just wonder where 611 will operate in 2015 is NS grows cold on steam trips next year.

Larry Neal TCA, LCCA Fan of the ACL, SAL, SOU, Clinchfield

Then what was the point on restoring 611 if it would have nowhere to operate? If a guy like David Goode or E. Hunter Harrison takes over NS you can say bye bye 21st Century Steam. But on TVRM and FWRHS sites they say that there will be more excursions in 2015. 4501 hasn't even hit NS yet and the 611 group plans to run excursions on NS once it's done In 2015. Sites are saying NS steam will be back in spring 2015, the fall cancellation was just a temporary downtime due to crew shortages. But when 765 goes in for it's inspection in 2019 or whenever the northern states will be short one large steam locomotive, the only large operational steam locomotive east of Chicago until 611 returns next year. The 611 group had to know if NS would allow them to run in 2015 before investing all that $ and manpower in restoring it. Hopefully the program stays for a while longer.

Robert, the Norfolk Southern 21st Century Steam Program is alive and well for 2015.

 

When the 765 goes in for its 15 year overhaul in 2019, that work can be completed over one winter maintenance season. 765 won't be out of service for all that long.

Rich Melvin

Originally Posted by OGR Webmaster:

Robert, the Norfolk Southern 21st Century Steam Program is alive and well for 2015.

 

When the 765 goes in for its 15 year overhaul in 2019, that work can be completed over one winter maintenance season. 765 won't be out of service for all that long.

I was wondering this very thing when 765 was due for inspection.  So the major overhaul she got bringing her back to manufacturer specs is not require this time around, I'm guessing?  Or she's be down longer?  Holding up very well I can see.

Originally Posted by superwarp1:
Originally Posted by OGR Webmaster:

Robert, the Norfolk Southern 21st Century Steam Program is alive and well for 2015.

 

When the 765 goes in for its 15 year overhaul in 2019, that work can be completed over one winter maintenance season. 765 won't be out of service for all that long.

I was wondering this very thing when 765 was due for inspection.  So the major overhaul she got bringing her back to manufacturer specs is not require this time around, I'm guessing?

 

Correct. The "complete overhaul" performed on 765 some years ago included the boiler/firebox "furnace system", as well as all her machinery.

 

  Or she's be down longer? 

 

Not sure what you mean by this, but all that would be required in 2019 would be the FRA mandated 15 year boiler inspection, i.e. removal of all jacketing & insulation, and removal of enough boiler tubes/flues so a person can FULLY INSPECT the entire inside of the boiler.

 

Holding up very well I can see.

 

Yes she is, because she is meticulously maintained by a dedicated crew.   

 

At the risk of speaking out of turn for the 765's mechanical gurus, considering all the work that is done every off-season, the main thing that will be needed in 2019-2020 is just the boiler work.  The FWRHS already has a large chunk of funds set aside for the material needed.  Considering the new flue sheets installed in about 2005-6 are still very good, we shouldn't have anything like that. Rich Melvin's view that this could be done over the winter should be "right on".

Originally Posted by superwarp1:
I was wondering this very thing when 765 was due for inspection.  So the major overhaul she got bringing her back to manufacturer specs is not require this time around, I'm guessing?  Or she's be down longer?  Holding up very well I can see.

The work that will be required in 2019 is nowhere near as extensive as what was required on the overhaul of 2002 - 2005. That overhaul included major running gear work with the entire running gear out from under the locomotive. The 765 was nothing more than a bare boiler sitting on 12x12 cribbing for 3 years! That will not be needed in 2019.

 

The 2019 work will be the boiler inspection required under CFR 230 and whatever other annual items that may come up. In comparison to the 2002 - 2005 overhaul, it is much less work.

Rich Melvin

Do you remember the Glass City Limited trips in June, 1985 over the Conrail ex-Erie from Buffalo to Corning, NY? The tracks are NS now. Would a run like that be possible with NS in the future? Doesn't the old NKP go through Erie, PA to Buffalo from Ohio, and Fort Wayne? I saw a couple sites with photos from that trip. Back then they allowed open windows and vestibules. Were you engineer on those trips, Rich?

Originally Posted by Robert K:

Do you remember the Glass City Limited trips in June, 1985 over the Conrail ex-Erie from Buffalo to Corning, NY? The tracks are NS now. Would a run like that be possible with NS in the future? Doesn't the old NKP go through Erie, PA to Buffalo from Ohio, and Fort Wayne? I saw a couple sites with photos from that trip. Back then they allowed open windows and vestibules.

Back then was a different era, a different world. Back then, you could get a paper cut and not get sued. Today, a paper cut will get you sued. 

How can non-class 1 railroads like Reading and Northern, Steamtown, and other tourist lines get away with using open window coaches? Different rules? Also most of those coaches have the older journal bearings that are banned on class 1's today. NS stopped using heavyweights in 1986 after the 611 Dismal Swamp accident. Only exception today is an Amtrak certified car like Dover Harbor but the windows can't be opened but it's an older heavyweight upgraded.

As I understand it, NS chose to purposely require closed windows. I know of no FRA rule against open windows. It is their playground, they make the rules. Just be happy they let a fine group such as the FWRHS out to run occasionally. If NS says closed windows, the windows will remain closed. Again, their rules, their sandbox. 

 

 

I may be wrong however I don't believe friction or plain bearings are banned on Class 1s. They are only banned from interchange service AFAIK. I think, for example, the 765 has plain bearings on the drivers and it does just fine on NS. I doubt NS would allow them out at all and/or run without diesels if they weren't comfortable with it or if it was illegal. 

Originally Posted by SJC:

...Just be happy they let a fine group such as the FWRHS out to play occasionally.

 

...for example, the 765 has plain bearings on the drivers and it does just fine on NS.

SJC, I know you didn't mean anything by it, but I really take offense when someone says we are going out to "play" with the 765. There is no "playing" involved when we are out on the road running that locomotive. It is a serious, high-risk, capital-intensive business. Do we enjoy doing it? Of course we do. But that doesn't make it "play."

 

Secondly, the 765 has roller bearings on all axles except the trailing truck. And there is a high likelihood that those bearings will be changed out for rollers next year.

Rich Melvin

Rich, 

 

I apologize for the poor choice in words. It certainly was not my intention to upset anyone. Granted I've never worked on mainline steam (but did enjoy photographing and riding the 765 over HS curve last year) and as the (very) occasional weekend railroader, I understand the dangers and risk involved with working on any sort of rail equipment. I always have held the FWRHS in high regards and will continue to do so. A fine group and an absolutely amazing machine. I edited my original post. 

What turned CSX sour on steam? They used to allow it, like the New River trips. NS also grew cold toward steam after David Goode took over and he killed it Dec 1994. Wick Moorman is the only reason steam is back on NS. Is it true that there were no class 1 railroad steam excursions anywhere in the eastern US in 1995 and up?

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