Sunday, July 28, 2013

Down That Long Twin Silver Line

At the end of May, the Norfolk Southern Middle Division (specifically between Gallitzin and Lewistown) hosted a steam special led by Nickel Plate Road 765. This trip was chartered for a run over Horseshoe Curve. It's been almost 40 years since steam operated over the Curve - specifically, a trouble-ridden steam doubleheader in 1977 seemingly earned steam trips a ban on the difficult mountain route. Last year's employee specials saw steam return to the Curve for the ferry move between Conway and Enola, also with 765 on the point.

Some friends and I (Matt, Ray and Jonathan) went out to catch the action. I had my 'new' DSLR in tow, and got some really good photographs. No video this trip; but here are some of the best shots.

Leaving Tyrone, Pa. The charter had to stop here, by the Amshack to clear the daily Amtrak train for its own stop. 

Going away shot in Tyrone. 

Stopping at the top of the grade on the New Portage Tunnel line after storming up Horseshoe Curve. 

I like these two shots to show the crowd that 765 drew to herself. A working steam locomotive, especially as the Fort Wayne Society presents in 765, is quite the spectacle in this day and age. 

Looking good. 

A study of the massive running gear.

Entering Altoona, passing the now-closed ALTO tower. 

On the return trip to Lewistown, at Spruce Creek Tunnel.