The Illinois zephyr posed for a couple photo run by's including one with the team of Santa Fe FP45 92 and Wisconsin Central SD45 7525. Engineer Ray Weart gives a tug of the classic Leslie RS3l for the group of railfans gathered for the photo shoot.
I thought I'd post a pic where the entire scrap train is visible, seven class 140 locos and one class 139, parked on one of Opladen's now redundant tracks.
Why the title? Well, almost all of these locomotives had the reporting mark KOPLX printed on their sides. K stands for Köln, the Cologne area, X tells you that it's an "Ausbesserungswerk", a repair workshop, and OPL? Why it's Leverkusen-Opladen! Just behind all those trees on the right side of the tracks lays one of Germany's largest locomotive repair facilities, the Ausbesserungswerk Opladen, closed down in 2003, amids great protests and hunger strikes.
It was a highly controversial topic, as the workshop was rather profitable, and private investors showed interest in keeping it open. Even Bombardier offered to buy it, but the DB remained stubborn. Some say that they were scared of independent workshops that also offer services to private railroads that compete with them. Interestingly, one can see DB repairing locos of private railroads nowadays, showing that their actions were not just harmful, but also unlogical.
Back in the day, such a line of locos was obviously waiting to be towed into the workshop for general overhauls, repairs and inspections. These here may have returned home, but they'll leave the mainline towards the other side, towards the scrapyard everyone now knows as the Bender. This is quite a sad place for a railfan, but nowhere else can you get closer to the locos than here, nowhere else can you see so many of them together, to conserve the sight just before it's gone...
A class 143 electric from the former GDR pushes a short two-car double decker train across the famous Hohenzollern Bridge, towards Cologne-Deutz.
It was hot as hell, the entire shot being somewhat blurred by heat distortion, as well as the wide aperture. Still, I kinda liked this tunnel-view, all that grey steel, making for a gritty, industrial mood, the glowing signals and taillights adding some colour. The line on which these trains run seems like a safe haven for the now endangered 143s, but they don't seem to clean these very often...
She thundered through Leverkusen with an InterCity train on the 23rd of January, as substitute for rolling stock that broke down during the fierce winter. This was the last time I caught her "in the wild", and at this point, she had exactly 18 days till her inspection deadline.
As you may know, the guys at the Betriebswerk Dortmund wanted to give her a third one-year extension, which is quite rare these days. Sadly though, during the technical checkups, a grave problem was discovered. One of the longitudinal struts of the frame near the suspension showed a crack, which was an immediate death sentence.
So here's one last mini-feature, before I put this to the books.
With dynamic brakes whinning, Norfolk Southern 7200 leads NS freight 11A though the Turtle Creek valley at Pitcarin.
Nicknamed the Cadillacs of Conrail, the SD80Macs are the next to last order before being taken over by rivals Norfolk Southern and CSX. If not for the merger, Conrail may of ended up with over 100 of these 5,000 HP machines. Instead, only 30 where ever built. (Not to mention the proposed Conrail GP70Ms that were never built.)
Only 2 live on with sky blue paint and Conrail can openers on their side. The rest have faded to Norfolk Southern black and CSX dark future. (July 29th, 2010 EDIT, since I uploaded this, those two have faded to black!!!)
NS 7200 is former Conrail 4101, the first SD80Mac I seen, way back in Febuary 1996. No more than three miles east of this shot at Trafford, PA.
This is the last time I would ever see a pair of SD80Macs in blue...Ahh yes, the only thing constant in life IS CHANGE.
Back when the Ohio Central owned the Youngstown and Southern, they ran 40-60 car trains of trash down to Negley where it was unloaded into a landfill. Here the train is disecting Boardman, Ohio on its way south.
It was absolutely crazy to watch a train of this size on 1910 interurban rail.
I was lucky enough to catch the end of the Union Pacific's turbine experimentation era. My action photos were of them coming down off Sherman Hill. Most of the others were of the dead-line in Cheyenne, On only one trip did I catch them east of there. Here is Big Blow #14 being turned (the engine room being mopped out) in North Platte.
Most people think of Colorado as a mountain state yet the reality is that the eastern half is a flat and dry warmup to the peaks in the distance. Here a Harsco Track Technologies rail grinder runs northeast under the Front Range for a meet with a westbound (!) BNSF coal train at mile 496.
Unlike all other narrow- and normal gauge tracks in Chur (Switzerland), the Arosa line to, well, Arosa, starts on the place in front of the station and then continues on roads through the town itself. While this looks rather streetcar-like, it really is more what the americans call street running. The normal mainline (narrow gauge mainline, of course) vehicles run very, very slowly through the city, probably because they lack streetcar quality brakes. However, traffic lights block all other road traffic while a train is passing, which happens twice per hour (not counting additional freight trains). Normal traffic is allowed to follow the crawling trains once they have passed, however.
Here, you can see one important detail: Unlike any streetcar ever would, the line actually crosses into the opposite lane to make the corner. While the Arosa line has some amazingly tight bents, none of them reach streetcar levels. Ge 4/4II 616 is pulling a passenger train, this time without any freight cars, towards Arosa.
I sometimes take great pains to bring you the best pictures, but only very rarely literally. Here, I realized a little too late that my view point in Oker (part of Goslar, Germany) was in the middle of a patch of nettles. So you better appreciate this picture of 218 474-5 pushing a train of "Silberling" (officially Type n) carriages from Bad Harzburg to Hanover. I do love the sky here, although I didn’t love the rain it brought about an hour later (luckily I was already back home then).
Every time I post a picture of a class 218 locomotive on this line, I include a comment along the lines of "nobody knows how long it will stay". And what do you know, we still have no idea. There is no adequate direct replacement for this class. Nevertheless, it has already made its final run in many other parts of the country. In most cases it has been replaced by DMUs. DB has published countless tenders for replacement locomotives for the few cases where this isn’t possible (mainly for double-decker trains on non-electrified lines), but most were cancelled again. The latest news for the last one was that no offer complied with the conditions, but to save time, instead of tendering again they’ll enter direct negotiations with the manufacturers. Sounds like they are more into it this time, but I will remain skeptical at least until the contract is signed.
This still leaves the question of what would replace these trains, though: The Silberling coaches aren’t up to modern transportation standards anymore either, and DB has shown absolutely no interest in new single-decker coaches. So if this line does not move to double-decker, I guess it will end up being operated with DMUs.
Looks like christmas, but it's actually taken sunday easter morning, i.e. today. While we're used to snow in Goslar, this is really not usual.
A RegionalExpress (regional express train, although you don't notice the express part when you're in it) is heading into Goslar station. It's consisting of n-Type carriages, known as "Silberlinge" from the time when they weren't painted and just showed off their stainless steel sides.
It's pushed by the german standard diesel locomotive for just about anything, the class 218. The victory-sign it's exhaust stacks are making is meant to prevent the catenary from getting dirty when used on electrified lines.
The Great Plains Transportation Museum in Wichita, KS has a small handful of rail rolling stock from days gone by, including a nice ATSF Pacific and this gorgeously fairly-well kept ATSF FP45 #93. Here she sits, cleaned up, restored, and on static display right on top of the viaduct over Douglas Ave. in downtown Wichita. Behind her is an old ATSF caboose.
UPDATE: This shot was featured on the cover of the railroad classifieds magazine "Sterling Rail". A finished image of it can be seen here --> [link]
I didn't get paid for it, but it was completely random and out of left field. I have a physical copy that will be framed and hanging in my living room soon, and it's also on certain websites as banner ads (RR picture archives had one up on their forum, thanks Sully).
Canon EOS 30D Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM ISO 200 @ 1/1000, f/8
Facing west, towards the yard throat, we can see a double-stack coming into the yard on the right. On the left, a huge cut of cars is prepped and ready to be shoved over the yard hump by the bow trimmer locomotive pair, just behind me.
The double-stack will be completely finished off (notice the few cars without two containers), and the string of cars will be shoved over the hump, and workers will cut cars at the top, with each string rolling down to its respective sorting track in the bowl, to be built into another consist later on.
Canon EOS 30D Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 ISO 100 @ 1/160, f/8
I haven't used this toning style in awhile. I felt it was due. The shot was more intended to see how much DOF I could get at full zoom.
These are the trim tracks at Argentine. The final stage for all rail freight leaving the yard before being placed on a staging track and having engines assigned to the consist. After being shoved over the hump, cars are cut and sorted into various tracks in the bowl. From there, they're dragged out of the bowl, and the consist is built on the trim tracks by various locomotives. At any given time in the yard, several trim jobs can be happeningsimultaneously.
There's an entire mish-mash of every type of freight car you can imagine, including cars not able to be "humped". Trim jobs are probably the most tedious of any job in the yard.
Chris, Joe, there's some EJ&E coil cars there for ya.
Canon EOS 30D Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM ISO 100 @ 1/400, f/8
With howling winds, cold temperatures, and sideways rain, the Norfolk Southern's Savannah Atlanta heritage SD70ACe # 1065 leads train 55A from Loudon, TN to Des Moines, IA as it is seen here in Bement, IL doing track speed of 60mph.