Thursday, June 11, 2009

Piney Power

More of a railfan post, but semi-steel related.    
If you watch the Sopranos you might think you'd find bodies if you started nosing around the desolate New Jersey Pine Barrens but today I lucked out and found an Alco C420 - Former Erie Mining 7221.  It was coupled to a Amtrack CF7, the frame of a caboose, and a old Conrail ballast hopper.   So what was an old Alco that worked the mines and ore docks of Minnesota doing in Southern New Jersey, left to rot at the end of a isolated sandy road?     
Well actually there is actually another C420 - fairly close to this one.  This other Alco is a former Lehigh Valley, back in its Grey and Yellow paint scheme and located at the Southern Railroad of New Jersey's yard in Winslow Junction, along with quite a collection of first and second generation diesels and other equipment.  
From what I could gather on the internet, the Erie Mining Alco was moved down this way in 2007 - sometime after which a number of items, such as the number boards, Alco name plates,. seats,...etc were all stolen.  There is I guess a big investigation and the suspect appears to be a railfan.  This is unfortunate as this just makes it harder for all the rest of us as I'm sure the railroad now views us all as potential thieves instead of just enthusiasts.    I suspect what I found is actually the railroad's hiding spot for this equipment.  It is on a siding so is not visible from any grade crossing and is pretty much out of the way.   The only reason that I stumbled on it is that I saw a string of hoppers from a grade crossing on a section of track not used very often and went to investigate - I found the hoppers and these locos and freight cars.  

According to the guidebook, only 129 of these Alcos were made in the mid-60s - and two are close to my home in 2009, not bad.  

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