Tag Archives: #Northern Central

Conrail Heritage Unit on the Move!

We were at the right place at the right time.

As Norfolk Southern’s unit coal train 632 rolled through Sunbury, Pa., on the former Pennsylvania Railroad Northern Central route, Kris and I chased along on the parallel Rt 147.

On the way north we’d spotted several open locations right off the road. By the time we reached the south side of Sunbury, we were already a couple of minutes ahead of the train, so we pulled off the road near mile post 260.

While I was surprised to catch a coal train on the move, and delighted to have stumbled into NS’s one-of-a-kind Conrail heritage unit No. 8098, I didn’t realise how infrequently Clearfield-originated coal trains are these days.

At milepost 260, I aimed to make some representative photos of the locomotive in nice light. At our next location about 17 miles further down the line, I hoped to make the most of the sweeping curve that Kris and I spotted on our drive northward earlier in the day.

We timed the exercise well and had time to make nice sequences at both locations. Special thanks to Dan Cupper for operational details on the coal train!

Revisiting Norfolk Southern’s Buffalo Line

The former Pennsylvania Railroad’s Northern Central route north of Harrisburg toward Northumberland, Pa., (and beyond) is operated by Norfolk Southern as its Buffalo Line.

In the late-1990s, toward the end of the Conrail-era, photographer Mike Gardner and I began exploring this route, and continued our photography along the line ifor several years after Norfolk Southern assumed operations. However, it had been more than twenty years since I had taken a serious look of the railroad north of the Harrisburg area.

A few days ago, we had a rare sunny day, so Kris and I made an adventure of following the east bank of the Susquehanna River compass north toward Sunbury.

We stopped at few locations. At Sunbury, I was curious get re-acquaited with the railroad and its connections. On the north side of town, we visited the Shikellamy State Park, where Mike and I had caught NS freight 41T back in November 2001. At that time NS was still operating the line as a through freight route all the way to Buffalo, NY.

Here’s another contemporary view of the Susquehanna River bridges at the Shikellamy State Park located on an island between Sunbury and Northumberland, Pa.

As I was photographing the bridges from the park, I heard a whistle to the west . . .

Stay tuned for more!

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Former PRR at Railroad, Pennsylvania

‘What’s the name of this town?’

‘Railroad, Pa.’

It’s aptly named; the old Pennsylvania Railroad Northern Central route goes right through it.

Kris and I had wandered here after leaving Stewartstown. I made a few photos in the village of Railroad, before we headed north along the Northern Central line, now operated by a tourist railroad called the ‘Northern Central Railway.’

Five minutes out of town we spotted a southward NC Ry excursion train on the move with an old Pennsylvania Railroad GP9 leading an eclectic mix of cars.

We zipped back to Railroad and I made a few photos of the train using my Nikon Z7-II and Kris’s Fuji XT-4.

Looking compass south at Railroad, PA. Fuji XT4 with Fujinon XF 50-140mm lens.
Northern Central Railway Christmas excursion at Railroad; exposed with a Fuji XT4 with Fujinon XF 50-140mm lens.
Northern Central Railway Christmas excursion at Railroad, Pa. Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm zoom.
Northern Central Railway Christmas excursion crosses Main Street East in Railroad, Pa. Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm lens.

‘Well that was pretty neat!’

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