Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shadows of the past

Since there was no school on Monday due to MLK Day and the wife and I were both off work we treated our son Brendan to a bit of surprise railfanning in Berea, Ohio.

If you didn't know Berea is one of the hottest spots in Ohio to watch trains with around 100 trains per day. What was once all New York Central trackage was split apart in the Conrail break up and is now home to  CSX and Norfolk Southern's major Chicago mainlines.

To our surprise the first train of the afternoon brought us a Norfolk Southern Heritage engine, Illinois Terminal 1072, a brutish looking EMD SD70ACe, heading up a long eastbound oil train.

NS IT 1072 SD70ACe Berea, OH 1-19-2015 Chris Ellis photo
I really like the Illinois Terminal's paint scheme now, but only because of it's connection to the Adena and Dillonvale area in the past.

In 1981 the Norfolk & Western acquired the IT and soon its colorful green and yellow engines joined the plain black N&W fleet adding a splash of color. The IT six axle SD-39 were sent to Brewster, given a quick reletter job and put to work in the hills of SE Ohio. Lash-ups of solid green diesels soon pulled coal from the remaining mines around Adena. It must've been quite a sight to see as a majority of the photos I have of the Adena area in the early 1980's feature these green engines. With no dynamic brakes like the Nickel Plate Road SD-9s and RSD-12 that came before them, they seemed to be a perfect illogical fit for hauling coal.

Therefore I've grown fond of those odd ball engines. Even though I model the 1950's, god forbid Athearn comes out with a Genesis SD-39 painted in IT green.

Here's a trio going across my favorite bridge on the Adena Branch, Jug Run Bridge north of St. Clairsville, OH.
N&W Adena Branch SD-39 2963 2965 2964 Jug Run Bridge 3-12-81 Jim Marcus - Mark Lynn Photo

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