A Brief Chase with 3751 by Matt Gentry


Every May for the last number of years has brought on Fullerton Railroad Days. This free event takes place in the parking lot at the former Santa Fe Railroad Depot in Fullerton California one weekend out of the month.

This year was particularly special again at Santa Fe Northern #3751 was on hot display. Hot display meant that the locomotive was brought in under steam on Thursday and left the depot under its own power Sunday evening.IMG_4837

While anticipating when the locomotive would make the move from downtown Los Angeles to Fullerton, my co-worker, Craig, again used his connections to find out that the locomotive would leave Los Angeles sometime after 7:00pm Thursday evening, April 30th. So another co-worker, Dave, talked me into going downtown to watch it leave through BNSF’s Hobart Yard and then try and catch it through Norwalk, CA. The key was hoping that BNSF could fit the move into traffic right around 7:00pm. All we knew was it would move sometime after 7:00pm.

IMG_4853Luckily Dave has a good scanner and after we watched the BNSF GEVO couple to the locomotive we moved out and waiting at the diamonds at Hobart Tower, on the west end of Hobart Yard. Not long after, BNSF #8357 keyed the radio to leave Amtrak’s coach yard with ATSF #3751 in tow. The reason the locomotive was pulled to Fullerton was so that BNSF did not have to spend more time tying up the main taking the train down towards Anaheim to turn the locomotive on the wye. This way, the locomotive was facing the direction they wanted to display the locomotive and would allow it to power itself back to LA on Sunday.

Interesting note is BNSF #8357 was going backwards as well since it would be on display at Railroad Days also. So since the GEVO was running in reverse, and there are no ditch lights on the rear pilot of the locomotive, the move was limited to 30 mph.

The fun part of the night (for me) was when we were able to pace the locomotive along 26th Street, which parallels Hobart Yard. There were 3 vehicles pacing this magnificent engine, and Dave and I were one of them. So I like to say I was one of the first to see 3751 for the weekend. Below’s a video of the pace and of the locomotive leaving Fullerton.

After we ran out of road to pace 3751 along Hobart Yard, Dave and I decided to forgo Norwalk and just wait at Fullerton Depot for the locomotive. As most know, I have helped Wally at the Adam’s steam show a couple years, so I know what coal smoke smells like while in a steam application. When 3751 rolled into Fullerton, the feel and smell and character of this locomotive is totally different, since it burns oil, to what I have ever witnessed before. It is quite an experience to say the least.

Hopefully, since the locomotive has been fired and fueled once already this year, I will be able to chase this great locomotive at least one more time this year.

Former C&O main line at Alleghany, VA by Frederick J. Ripley


This view, taken on May 2, 2015, looks east on the former C&O main line at Alleghany, VA. At 2072 ft. above sea level, Alleghany is the summit of the C&O’s crossing of the mountains (note the spelling, “Alleghany”, vs “Allegheny” of PA and the PRR and B&O’s crossings). Coal here has always moved eastbound exclusively, towards tidewater at Newport News. In the final days of steam, loaded coal trains had two of the world’s most powerful steam locomotives, the C&O’s class H-8 2-6-6-6. The rear helper, put on at Hinton, WV, would cut off here, and return light to Hinton. With dieselization in 1956, the C&O settled on a standard lash-up of five GP9’s, which negated the need for a helper. Although long closed, the tower, “A Cabin” (cabin being the standard C&O term for interlocking towers) is in the classic C&O brick style, a plan used with variations system-wide. (photo copyright 2015 by Frederick J. Ripley).

CSX Q026-24 at Romney by Jim Pearson

04.30.15 CSX Q026-24 NB at Romney, Nortonville, Ky

April 30, 2015 – Thanks to the Ky Highway department I was able to get this clear view of CSX Q026-24 as it headed north on the Henderson Subdivision through Romney at Nortonville, Ky. They’re clearing brush and trees along highway 41 in Nortonville which is making for some new nice views! To the left used to be nothing but brush and scraggly trees along the railroad which made it impossible to get clear views. -Jim Pearson

GP30 by Chris Dees


Long known for hauling intermodal stack trains between Macon, GA and Savannah, GA, with high-nose GE units, one can now see GP30s hauling double stacks in 2015 on the Georgia Central Railroad. CGR operates 170 miles of railroad in the central portion of The Peach State, interchanging with CSX Transportation, Heart of Georgia Railroad and Norfolk Southern. – Chris Dees

Tom’s Rail Flicks for May 2015


Tom’s DVD of the Month Review

Title Into the Desert!  BNSF’s Transcon Fullerton to Cadiz
Producer RailTrek Media
Format DVD Wide Screen
Playing Time 1 hr. 52 min.
Purchased From Trainvideodepot.com
Date Purchased 4/17/15
Price Paid $23.95


This is a very good video.  The eastward journey starts in the Los Angeles area on the San Bernardino Sub and continues over the Cajon Sub and into the western part of the Needles Sub.  Our journey ends at Cadiz, CA.  This route sees 100 trains a day!

Points of interest along the way include Fullerton, San Bernardino, Cajon Pass, Barstow, Ash Hill, Siberia, and sections of old Route 66.  The desert scenery is great and the train action is plentiful.

The producer uses Google Earth to show the viewer the route and the topography that will be encountered.  The video was shot in wide screen format and the image quality is very good.  It looks like RailTrek Media is going to be a reliable producer of railroad videos.  This is my third video of theirs and they have all been good ones.

This one should be in your collection.

May, 2015 – The Spill with President Bill

Well, we all get to travel for the next meeting, all aboard, next stop, Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Wallace Henderson has promised to provide us with a very interesting program for the May meeting. Also be sure you come with an appetite for our annual spring cookout.

In the April meeting, we talked about inviting a representative from one of the Madisonville’s local insurance companies. It was agreed that Wally will have someone on hand for the June meeting. We also sent a check to the Kentucky Railroad Museum for the sum of six hundred and fifty dollars to be used toward the boiler restoration of locomotive 152. In total our chapter and individual members have donated over one thousand dollars toward this worthy cause.

The City of Madisonville is going to start charging for venders spots in “Friday Night Live”, along the court square. We looked at the pros and cons of participating in the event and it was decided to forgo the event this year. It might be a good idea to revisit our participation in this event in April of 2016.

Our “Photography Contest” is just behind us by only a few days. Jim Pearson has done a real good job with it and we are lucky to have a member with his expertise. I did talk with him on Sunday morning and he did not indicate how many pictures have been turned in by the membership at that time. I hope all of you that participated had a good time on the day of the event. We were certainly blessed with great weather while out enjoying our favorite hobby. Jim and I came up with a great idea for the entries in the contest. We will talk more about this in the May meeting.

Well I have to go and cut grass, nine weeks ago I was shoveling snow, it doesn’t seem possible. Oh yes, send Matt Gentry a bottle of water, California needs it. See you at the meeting.

Bill Farrell, Chapter President

Norfolk Southern’s NDN1 at Mount Vernon, In by Jim Pearson

03.18.15 NS NDN1 Headed up the grade at West Franklin, In

March 18, 2015 – Norfolk Southern’s NDN1 heads up the SIGECO lead at Mt. Vernon, Indiana with a load of coal for the “Sitran Dock,” a subsidiary of M-Class mining that also owns Savtrans (the 12 miles of rail between McCleansboro and Sugar Camp mine). Once unloaded at the dock the coal is transferred by conveyor to their state-of-the-art barge loading facility nearby. Photo by Jim Pearson