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Nostalgia & History > Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL


Date: 11/08/19 03:46
Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: Roadjob

This week has been a salute to what eclipsed the B&O as my favorite railroad of all time. The Erie Lackawanna is still missed by me and many others who had the good fortune to spend time on it. Scanning these negatives continually floods me with memories of what a great time it was to be a railfan, but also what a tough time it was to be a railroad...especially in the east. Time and economic conditions would have killed the EL under any circumstances, but there were a lot of factors that could have made it viable for several more years, including double stacks, deregulation of the industry, and changes in antiquated full crew laws. Mother Nature proved to be the force that threw gasoline on the fire with its constant attacks on the Southern Tier over the last few years.

Editorial over, today we'll wrap the EL tribute up with a look at the secondary power squad of the fleet, the four axle power. Unlike its larger brethren the smaller units handled everything down to snow plow duty. They could be seen leading the hottest piggyback, or a wreck train, but they filled a major league void in assignments. The added bonus of the four axle fleet was that Alco entered the mix with its C424s and C425s. It was always refreshing to see the small fry on the point, to break the constant parade of six axle muscle. Here we go!

Start off with some Scranton action

top...eastbound leaving town...1973

middle...eastbound helpers shoving CNJ joint train SE98 out of town, 1972

bottom...another very early morning shot of eastboundny98 starting up the grade east of the city.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD








Date: 11/08/19 03:48
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: Roadjob

top...rail train at Hornell. 1974

middle...plow duty near Northumberland Pa. on Bloomsburg Branch.

bottom...special move east on Southern Tier. 1973


Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD








Date: 11/08/19 03:51
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: Roadjob

top...unusual single unit on Starrucca Viaduct, going upgrade eastbound with a short train, just as unusual.

middle...Short eastbound near Addison New York will fill out its train at Gang Mills yard a few miles east. 1974

bottom...westbound leaving Scranton, digging into the grade that tops out at Clark Summit 5 miles or so west. 1972

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/19 04:03 by Roadjob.








Date: 11/08/19 03:54
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: Roadjob

top...westbound Utica 97 at Owego New York.1976

middle...westbound at Tioga Center on Southern Tier, 1975

bottom...westbound near Milford Pa. 1973

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD








Date: 11/08/19 03:57
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: Roadjob

top...eastbound at Griffith Indiana, 1971

middle...Marion Ohio, train is coming off of the Dayton line. It will pull forward then back into Marion Yard. 1974

bottom...Jefferson Jct just west of Starrucca Viaduct, Coming of of interchange with D&H. 1970

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD








Date: 11/08/19 04:00
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: Roadjob

top...NE 87 working yard at west end of Binghamton, 1972

middle...westbound coming into Bison Yard Buffalo, 1972

bottom...Westbound HB-1 near Addison NY,1973

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD








Date: 11/08/19 04:02
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: Roadjob

Eastbound coming into Binghamton, 1973

bottom...Marion 1975

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD






Date: 11/08/19 05:02
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: pal77

Thank you. Throughly enjoyed your series this week. EL is my fav fallen flag but I was only 12 when it disappeared into the sea of Conjob Blue. So my experience was on my bicycle around Ramsey NJ. Which I have great memories of but clearly fall short of the full experience so thank you again.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 11/08/19 05:25
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: refarkas

Your black and white photographs and your choice of locations show your technical and artistic mastery.
Bob



Date: 11/08/19 07:20
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: tgcostello

Outstanding, thank you Bill.
Tim Costello



Date: 11/08/19 07:22
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: King_Coal

Just one of your postings would be like the "best of" for my entire collection. Another excellent series.



Date: 11/08/19 07:51
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: ironmtn

refarkas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Your black and white photographs and your choice
> of locations show your technical and artistic mastery.
> Bob

A hearty second for that motion! I have enjoyed every one of your posts tremendously, and have been reminded by each of them what really outstanding photography looks like. Your selection of subject matter, location, framing and composition and style are a master class for all of the rest of us. And in the process we get simply to enjoy, learn and appreciate. Such a deal!

I look forward to every one of your posts, and enjoy each and every one a very great deal. These three most recent threads on E-L power and trains have been particularly enjoyable. And please don't think that because the comments may not be as frequent that we're growing tired of your work, and that a ho-hum attitude is setting in. The highly spun-up Amtrak, PSR, PTC, 4014 and other hyperventilated discussions on TO may get the numbers and the popcorn sales. But your work gets genuine appreciation for its quality and scope, and the comments show it.  I have no doubt that your fine work is being viewed, appreciated and enjoyed by many of us, even through we may not say so very often. Let others engage in their hyperventilated flame wars elsewhere. We who view your work know where the really good stuff on TO is found. Each and every post. And no popcorn needed.

Most sincere thanks for sharing your images with us all.

MC
Muskegon, Michigan



Date: 11/08/19 09:18
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: Roadjob

You are too kind! Thank you so much for the nice words. I am happy at this point in my life that someone appreciates the work. Obviously I was passionate about railfanning, and was able to parlay that into my photographs. I also enjoy writing, so the TO posts let me execise that muscle as well. I really don't care about the numbers, but sincerely appreciate that people enjoy the posts. The one having the most fun right now is me!!

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Date: 11/08/19 11:07
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: 3rdswitch

WOW! What a collection you have.
JB



Date: 11/08/19 11:56
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: cnr6776

Many thanks for posting these. I was in my mid20s when the EL passed into history and I have a fair amount of memories of one of my favorite roads. Even though it was a 3 hour drive to the closest EL action (Huntington IN) I still regret not spending more time and film.



Date: 11/08/19 17:29
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: EL833

I remember that EL Dayton Branch move in #14. I rarely got to see those trains and I'm guessing you remember my grumbling about that unit being long hood out lol. Again, another great series !
 

Roger Durfee
Akron, OH



Date: 11/08/19 20:04
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: ChrisCampi

ironmtn Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> refarkas Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Your black and white photographs and your
> choice
> > of locations show your technical and artistic
> mastery.
> > Bob
>
> A hearty second for that motion! I have enjoyed
> every one of your posts tremendously, and have
> been reminded by each of them what really
> outstanding photography looks like. Your selection
> of subject matter, location, framing and
> composition and style are a master class for all
> of the rest of us. And in the process we get
> simply to enjoy, learn and appreciate. Such a
> deal!
>
> I look forward to every one of your posts, and
> enjoy each and every one a very great deal. These
> three most recent threads on E-L power and trains
> have been particularly enjoyable. And please don't
> think that because the comments may not be as
> frequent that we're growing tired of your work,
> and that a ho-hum attitude is setting in. The
> highly spun-up Amtrak, PSR, PTC, 4014 and other
> hyperventilated discussions on TO may get the
> numbers and the popcorn sales. But your work gets
> genuine appreciation for its quality and scope,
> and the comments show it.  I have no doubt that
> your fine work is being viewed, appreciated and
> enjoyed by many of us, even through we may not say
> so very often. Let others engage in their
> hyperventilated flame wars elsewhere. We who view
> your work know where the really good stuff on TO
> is found. Each and every post. And no popcorn
> needed.
>
> Most sincere thanks for sharing your images with
> us all.
>
> MC
> Muskegon, Michigan

Beautifully stated. Thank you, I’d run out of superlatives!



Date: 11/09/19 02:05
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: JPB

Excellent series of EL photos! I grew up in Owego in the '60s and have very fond memories of the Southern Tier line (and of the LV, too)! Although the Tier is in pretty good hands today, operations don't come close to the 30+ daily freights that EL operated.

BTW, in February 1970, EL rolled a big hook over at the west end of the superelevated curve on the eastbound track at Owego (don't know why or how it happened - perhaps it was cleaning up a minor derailment there) and had to call in not only another EL hook from Binghamton but also LV's hook and work train out of Sayre to disassemble the derailed hook. An EL SD45 was used as power for the EL hook train and an EL RS3 handled to LV wreck train.

Q: do you have any EL Trainmaster photos?



Date: 11/09/19 18:21
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: hawkinsun

A really nice set of photos.  It's nice to see action and scenery from a place I've never been to. The only EL I got to see, was at probably their West end at Dearborn St station, Chicago in the 1960s.  The only locos I saw then, were Alco PAs in newer EL paint and in the original Erie scheme.  Maybe in plain Lackawanna paint too.  I'll have to dig out my pics.   We were there to watch some of the GTW steam fan trips that headed East to Indiana.   Good Times with my brother and dad.

Craig Hanson
Vay, Idaho



Date: 11/09/19 19:34
Re: Mighty mites, the 4 axle supporting cast of the EL
Author: TheApostleGreen

Gorgeous portfolio!  Thanks so much for sharing!

Photo #3: What's the train passing under?  I-81?

~Joe P.
Hainesville, IL



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