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Nostalgia & History > Calif. boys go East, 1986 Part 4: Dreary Binghamton, NY


Date: 09/15/20 21:22
Calif. boys go East, 1986 Part 4: Dreary Binghamton, NY
Author: AlcoRSD15

Going back a couple of days chronologically, after our initial success (first post) on the Conrail ex-Erie out of Binghamton, we spent two days (October 13 and 14, 1986) trying to get some decent photos of the ex-D&H/Guilford in Binghamton.  The weather was dark and rainy, apparently typical for Binghamton.  Quoting from Hal Reiser’s book “Bridge Line Blues – D&H 1976-1986: “Binghamton is plagued with bad (or at best ‘not great’) weather most of the time. It seems that clouds and ‘liquid sunshine’ are drawn to the city like a magnet. To quote J.J. Young, Jr., noted rail photographer and longtime Binghamton resident, ‘There are two seasons in Binghamton, winter and two weeks of summer.  The average photographic exposure in Binghamton is f/5.6 at two days on Tri-X with the back of the camera open’”.
For us sun-spoiled California boys, the weather was a disappointment.  Much worse, however, was that there were various ex-D&H Alcos hanging around, and idling, but they didn’t move!  I had been to Binghamton in 1983 in search of D&H Alcos, and I was then richly rewarded.  Under Guilford in 1986, it was completely different.  Very little was moving.  This was unexpected and depressing for us, who had scraped together what little money we had to fly East for this trip.  (Being in debt after college, the only way I was able to scrape up the money for the trip was by selling my 300-piece Matchbox diecast toy car collection from 1966-1969.  I sold the whole collection for $800 – probably about double that in today’s dollars).
We did manage to get a work train (or maybe a coal local) with D&H 5006 and B&M 302 (first photo), and photographed two GEs – a D&H U33C and an ex-Detroit Edison U30C - in the Conklin Yard when hazy sun appeared for about 5 minutes (second photo).  Other than that, the only memorable trains in two days were a Guilford train with some nicely chugging U33Cs (third photo) and a NYSW stack train with ex-BN, Chessie and Guilford power up front (see below).   - Eric Blasko

 








Date: 09/15/20 21:23
Re: Calif. boys go East, 1986 Part 4: Dreary Binghamton, NY
Author: AlcoRSD15

We shot the Guilford train with the U33Cs arriving in Binghamton from an overpass which, based on the sign, was frequented by railfans.
 




Date: 09/15/20 21:24
Re: Calif. boys go East, 1986 Part 4: Dreary Binghamton, NY
Author: AlcoRSD15

Highlight of the two dreary Binghamton days was this New York, Susquehanna and Western stack train led by NYSW ex-BN SD45s 6366 and 6364, Chessie 4236 and 7595, and Guilford 368.
- E.B.








Date: 09/15/20 21:32
Re: Calif. boys go East, 1986 Part 4: Dreary Binghamton, NY
Author: AlcoRSD15

The reason I had decided to do this trip in October was to see the fall colors. The trees did not disappoint!
Note:  We actually did see some D&H Alcos during the night of October 13. First, we caught a train heading north/east on the D&H out of Binghamton with some GPs and a U25B on the head end, and 410-640-662 as the helper shoving on the rear end (C420-U30C-U33C, the 2 U boats being the same ones in the photo above), chugging like mad.  Later, between 10 and 11 pm, we looked out of our motel room window to see across the street 7406-290-416-352 (GP39-2/U23B/C420/GP40) on a train and soon after, 7419 (GP39-2), 455 (C424), and a B&M GP40 on another train.  If we had seen and photographed these trains during the day, we would have been much happier. - E.B.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/20 21:40 by AlcoRSD15.




Date: 09/16/20 08:59
Re: Calif. boys go East, 1986 Part 4: Dreary Binghamton, NY
Author: railstiesballast

I enjoyed your last (the fall color) image the most.
All were interesting, thanks for sharing.



Date: 09/16/20 11:26
Re: Calif. boys go East, 1986 Part 4: Dreary Binghamton, NY
Author: wag216

Mrs. Gibson (Pat) enjoyed you fall colors, too! wag216



Date: 09/16/20 12:43
Re: Calif. boys go East, 1986 Part 4: Dreary Binghamton, NY
Author: RayH

At least you nailed the Fall colors! Binghamton weather is so hit or miss, usually miss. I checked my notes and see I was there about a week later.  Had the same fall colors, but very different sunshine results. It's tough that you flew all that distance and you get typical bingo weather...



Date: 09/17/20 12:25
Re: Calif. boys go East, 1986 Part 4: Dreary Binghamton, NY
Author: SP8595

Great consists and neat looking engines as well!



Date: 09/23/20 13:19
Re: Calif. boys go East, 1986 Part 4: Dreary Binghamton, NY
Author: Gonut1

Around 1980 I stopped to grab some fast food at dinnertime in Bingo. I locked myself out of my car and the wife's purse with her keys were in the car too. Some local kids asked what was up. One kid said, "No problem". He had the door open in a minute using a pick in the lock. Made me wonder where he learned that skill.
Bingo was cool back then. You could catch the big yellow NYS&W engines and there were full dome passenger cars there. Saw my first stack train passing some semaphores along Rte 17.
Go



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