Weekend Railfanning Episode 3: NS, CSX, Lehigh Railway & NJ Transit!… All On One Train!!.. Only In NEPA!

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NS, CSX, Lehigh Railway & NJ Transit…. All On One Train!!..

For the uninitiated the acronym NEPA stands for Northeast Pennsylvania…. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, onto the train stuff….

Today started of as usual, dark and cloudy…. Too dark, in fact, to photograph any trains so it was only fitting that the Norfolk Southern 12T make his way up the Crescent and to milepost 671 @ 04:50…. And although I wasn’t able to shoot the train, I was able to keep a tally card so the run down goes like this….

Norfolk Southern locos #8694 & #9091

About 70 cars (a typical 12T, nothing outstanding)

But the 671 wasn’t my destination today, Taylor was, so just after daybreak I arrived, settled in and waited…. At about 07:20 I hear the dispatcher on the radio saying that there are 2 trains expected this morning…. The old reliable 458 (with work in Taylor) and the 13T.

458 is just coming up on Dalton and 13T is coming up on Hop Bottom…. The plan is for the 458 to take the siding and do his (railroad) business while the 13T eases past him on the main…. Typical.

 

Norfolk Southern Train 458….

At 07:40 the 458 creeps down the valley and around the bend and onto the siding at milepost 672…. So slow that it takes nearly 10 minutes for his 76 cars to pass me by.

A good start to the day but what about 13T?… Here we get yet another lesson on the importance of staying put…. I figured that it would be at least an hour before the 13T would make his way into town so I packed up and headed north. The plan was to catch him at 671 cutting my work day a little short for a change….

Well, as I’m heading trackside I hear the crew of 13T getting their permission to move through Taylor Yard. With that in perspective, I hurried to the nearest (sorta) photogenic spot I knew of which happened to be the overpass of Luzerne Street in West Scranton. And although I was able to get an OK angle on the train, this was one time I wish I had stayed in my place (pun intended).

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Norfolk Southern Train 13T….

An ES44AC #8034 was leading an SD70ACe #1103 and get this!…. A CSX SD70MAC #4556 and also a Lehigh Railway ex-Canadian Pacific SD40-2!… Talk about luck on both ends!… So surprised was I at the CSX and Lehigh diesels that I didn’t even get a shot of the 1103!

Good luck that I caught yet another incredible lashup of motive power and bad luck in that if there was ever a time I wished I had been at Taylor with its sweeping, broad views it was now. But there was still more to come….

A long string of Railbox boxcars and 3 NJ Transit passenger coaches bring up the rear of the 86-car manifest!… I’m guessing that since this is an Allentown, Pa. bound train that the NJ Transit cars will head east from there and back onto home rails serving the NYC area commuter trains.

In all fairness to myself, I wasn’t expecting the 13T to show up so fast but the lesson hear should still be very clear…. Shouldn’t leave so fast….

Trains 21 Star Cars of June 20, 2015….

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The CSX unit and NJ Transit cars are special in their own right but are pretty self explanatory…. But this black beauty, the Lehigh Railway #5721 is today’s showstopper!…

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The Lehigh Railway is a shortline railroad in Wyoming County and Bradford County, Pennsylvania. It connects to the Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad in Mehoopany and to Norfolk Southern in Athens, just south of Sayre. It operates a total of 56 miles of track along the Susquehanna River.

The railroad was formed in 2009 to lease and operate Norfolk Southern’s Lehigh Secondary from Mehoopany to Athens, which is the northern branch of the LV Main Line from Wilkes-Barre to Sayre. This is not to be confused with NS’s Lehigh Line, which runs from Manville, New Jersey to M&H Junction, Pennsylvania via Allentown, Pennsylvania. Major commodities hauled by the Lehigh Railway include drilling supplies, frack sand, chemicals, building products, and agricultural products.

 

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Understanding the train symbols of the D&H Sunbury Subdivision….

Canadian Pacific train 458 is a Binghamton, NY to Linwood, NC manifest which runs as Norfolk Southern train 11R.

Canadian Pacific train 459 is a Harrisburg (Enola), Pa. to Binghamton, NY manifest which formerly ran as Norfolk Southern train 12R but now runs as train 14R.

Canadian Pacific train 930 is a Rouses Point, NY to Harrisburg (Enola) Pa. manifest which runs as Norfolk Southern 30T.

Canadian Pacific train 931 is a Harrisburg (Enola) Pa. to Rouses Point, NY manifest which runs as Norfolk Southern 31T.

Canadian Pacific train 258 is a Binghamton, NY to Allentown, Pa. manifest.

Canadian Pacific train 259 is an Allentown, Pa. to Binghamton, NY manifest.

Canadian Pacific D-11 is a local that runs from Taylor Yard in Taylor, Pa. south down the Sunbury Sub (now the NS Crescent Corridor) to Sunbury (CP Kase).

Canadian Pacific D-12 is a local that runs from Taylor Yard in Taylor, Pa. north up the Sunbury Sub (now the NS Crescent Corridor) to Binghamton, NY.

Norfolk Southern 12T is an Allentown, Pa. to Buffalo, NY manifest which runs as Canadian Pacific 932.

Norfolk Southern 13T is a Buffalo, NY to Allentown, Pa. manifest which runs as Canadian Pacific 933.

Naturally many (if not all) of these symbols will change when Norfolk Southern takes over proper…. I’ll keep you posted on those changes as I find them out.

 

Find out where the freight cars in this post call home….

Check Out Our Reporting Marks Page

 

Keep up with all of the train action taking place on the former CP Rail Sunbury Subdivision (now the Norfolk Southern Crescent Corridor) at BROADCASTIFY.COM.

Naturally when Norfolk Southern takes over these mileage markers will probably change.. When they do I’ll make sure to make the necessary updates…. For now here are the….

Pennsylvania Mile Markers from Binghamton, NY to Sunbury, Pa.

627-Hallstead (Dragging Equipment Detector)
643-Kingsley (Dragging Equipment Detector)
650-Hop Bottom (10,000 ft. siding)
653-Nicholson & the Tunkhannock Viaduct
657-Factoryville
659-661 (10,000 ft. siding)
661-Dalton
662-Glenburn (Dragging Equipment Detector)
664-Clark’s Summit
671-Steamtown Wye (Bridge Sixty)
672-Taylor Yard (North end)
673-Taylor Yard (South end)
679-Dupont Jct.
692-Buttonwood
696-Nanticoke (Broadway Street)
701-Retreat State Hospital
707-Mocanaqua
714-Beach Haven
716-Nescopeck
750.5-Banks
752-CP Kase (this is where the Sunbury Subdivision joins the Norfolk Southern Buffalo line to Harrisburg and Enola.)

The last days of the Canadian Pacific/Delaware & Hudson and the Sunbury Subdivision

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Author:Railfan AC

AC is a U.S. Air Force Veteran, a long haul trucker, a transportation enthusiast and a lifelong lover of trains. AC's mission is to travel America documenting American railroading in the 21st century while educating those who want to know about the importance the railroads play in our daily lives including, but not limited to, the movement of goods, services and more.

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