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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley


Date: 07/02/19 16:22
Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: DJ-12

This Sunday morning, "JU Tower" and I headed up to the Westinghouse Bridge to spend the morning shooting whatever might come along on the various NS and URR lines that converge on the narrow Turtle Creek Valley in East Pittsburgh, PA. For those not familiar with the area, the Westinghouse bridge is a huge concrete arch highway bridge that carriers US 30 high across the valley. It's pedestrian walkway offers a great view of the NS Port Perry Branch, the URR main line (and junctions with 2 connecting branches), and finally the NS Pittsburgh line. The whole scene is backdropped by the giant US Steel Edgar Thomson works. Without further preamble, here's what we caught:
1. 8:01 AM, immediately upon arrival at our perch we caught an eastbound NS stack train coming through the tree tunnel down the Port Perry Branch. This line connects the NS Mon Line at Perry with the NS Pittsburgh Line at WING and is used by all NS stack and rack trains to avoid low clearance limitations in the Pittsbugh Line near downtown. We are off to a good start!
2. NS 61M rolls empty slab gons east towards New Jersey on the Pittsburgh Line. one wonders for a moment Andrew Carnegie's ghost might descend and cause them a kicker or some other indignity for handling gons that will end up hauling import slabs past his original steel mill, but they pass without incident at 8:32. Meanwhile, down in the "Valley Yard", a lone URR SW1500 is doing it's thing, having delivered some hometown product from the slab caster to the yard.
3. The URR switcher grabs another cut of gons and departs in a cloud of smoke towards the mill complex at 8:49.


 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/02/19 16:24 by DJ-12.








Date: 07/02/19 16:38
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: DJ-12

4. 8:59: The mill job stops to make one more double, allowing this shot as one of the US Steel crews in a red SW1500 trundles past in the backgound. This internal mill crew runs back and forth constantly, shuttling ore hoppers to the blast furnaces as another pair ur URR units awaits a call to duty.
5 & 6. Speaking of ore, our next train is the URR 50 crew coming down from the B&LE interchange at North Bessemer. CAREFULLY crossing the road in advance of the train during a break in traffic, a tight tele allows for a shot passing the original URR Headquarters building before a wide shot of the valley at 9:38. At the same time, NS 21Q is sneaking by on the Port Perry while we focus on the ore. Time is growing short for the legacy Bessemer hopper fleet. Having spent decades hauling taconite, coal, and limestone, these cars are nering the end of their useful lives. In the past few years, B&LE's parent CN had brought some newer CC marked hoppers in to bolster the fleet as old cars fall out (note the 4th car behind the power). Now, several hundred new ore service cars with BLE marks have been arriving on the B&LE this spring, and word is they will soon eventually replace the Bessemer fleet wholesale.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/03/19 06:32 by DJ-12.








Date: 07/02/19 16:52
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: DJ-12

7. A long procession of weather beaten B&LE hoppers ends with a URR Caboose as the train hads down the Dexter lead with more Minnesota taconite for the blast furnace.
8. As the ore train caboose descends the Dexter lead, movement in the far distance reveals the URR 9 crew climbing away from Kenny Yard with an interchange train off the NS, giving us a brief URR 2fer at 10:01. That steel structure above the 9 crew is the terrifying high speed roller coaster  "the Phantom's Revenge" which drops you 228 feet at 85 mph into this valley before returning you to the station in Kennywood park. Not for the faint of heart
9. 10:30. The main event for the day occurs, the URR 76 crew is returning from the Irvin works with a train of scrap and empty slab racks. They will pull past the junction below us and shove down the "Low Grade" into the Rail Yard. At the same time, hot NS UPS shooter 22W is bearing down on us from Pittsburgh...will the railfan gods smile today?








Date: 07/02/19 16:55
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: DJ-12

10, 11, 12. Yes! 22W arrives on scene just in time from stage right, allowing a near perfect NS and URR "two for"
 








Date: 07/02/19 17:03
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: DJ-12

13 & 14. The 76 crew shoves their train back past us and down the Low Grade.
15. One last two fer at 10:48 as NS 20T arrives on the scene on the Port Perry, allowing for one more wide view of the mill and the railroads that keep it fed.

The tally, 4 URR crews, 3 NS trains (plus one more we didn't shoot) and the USS switcher in a bit less than 3 hours. Not a bad morning at all. Thanks for looking!








Date: 07/02/19 17:21
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: refarkas

Fabulous!
Bob



Date: 07/02/19 18:34
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: pdt

Is there anywhere else left where u can see MU'd end cab switchers in run 8 with tonnage?   I hink this might be the last.....
TRRA, IHB, KCT, PHL all gone to bigger power.  most big mills gone.  is the A&S still using SW's?

Actually, in my book, any roots blower EMD combo hauling tonnage at a crawl is makes the ground shake.  CR GP-38's hauling coal up the ramp to Weirton west of PIT, or GP-9's  on th Manayunk grade just outside Phila.....come to mind...

 



Date: 07/02/19 19:15
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: bluesboyst

Great area....So glad the Edgar Thompson works is still moving on...



Date: 07/02/19 21:28
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: grandroad

DJ-12, outstanding photos. Thanks.

Paul Brennecke
Golden, CO



Date: 07/02/19 22:02
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: cctgm

The CCT at Stockton CA is still running SW1500 on the Lodi Turn and at the Port of Stockton moving so large trains 



Date: 07/03/19 04:42
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: jmbreitigan

A very nice series DJ-12. I enjoyed the pictures and narrative of the Edgar Thompson works.
John



Date: 07/03/19 06:09
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: Gonut1

Great stuff!
Thanks
Gonut



Date: 07/03/19 08:09
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: richs

I can't tell you how much your unbelievable pictures and descriptions are appreciated.  Your one post is worth my entire yearly subscription to TO.  How I still, after 35 years,  still  somewhat miss working at Republic Steel's Cleveland works. I could never come to call it LTV in the latter years.THANKS AGAIN!
Rich S



Date: 07/03/19 08:24
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: bradleymckay

One of the top 5 posts of the year so far. Great work!

Allen

Posted from Android



Date: 07/03/19 09:01
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: JUTower

Great stuff here. I'll add just a couple to supplement...

1. NS 26T coming thru CP-Wing with position light signals that are not long for this world...
2. Amtrak 42 was coming, but 26T is blocking the view! What to do? Go airborne!
3. A different view of that 50 crew on the URR coming into town with a big ore train, with an NS stack train visible on the Port Perry to the right.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/03/19 09:02 by JUTower.








Date: 07/03/19 09:02
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: JUTower

4. My 20T shot along with 76 crew.
Enjoy!




Date: 07/03/19 09:37
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: DJ-12

JUTower Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great stuff here. I'll add just a couple to
> supplement...
>
> 1. NS 26T coming thru CP-Wing with position light
> signals that are not long for this world...
> 2. Amtrak 42 was coming, but 26T is blocking the
> view! What to do? Go airborne!
> 3. A different view of that 50 crew on the URR
> coming into town with a big ore train, with an NS
> stack train visible on the Port Perry to the
> right.
>  

That shot of 42 is really great. You are really getting thehang of that drone thingy.. ;-)



Date: 07/03/19 10:56
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: Lackawanna484

Thanks for a superb tour of the area. Gotta get out there again.

Posted from Android



Date: 07/04/19 05:21
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: DJ-12

Thanks for all the kind comments gents.
 



Date: 07/04/19 16:13
Re: Two for Tuesday...NS and URR in the Turtle Cr. Valley
Author: ns1000

Great post...!!  Thanks for sharing these.



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