Railfanning the JGL, 6/30/64

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by Gary Pfeil, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Me and a few friends went down to shoot some film back on Railfan day in '64. For those who weren't aware of it, Eddie Willers, President of the JGL, for years substituted steam for the usual diesels on the Saturday prior to July 4th. Eddie, as most know, was an avid railfan himself, and had gone about procuring many fine steam locos dirt cheap as they were headed towards the scrappers. He bought them with his own cash, and maintained them as well. The JGL parent road was fine with it so long as it didn't cost them anything!

    We chose to watch from the small yard just west of Stockton, said yard served a Pennsy interchange and the local industrial park. We got our first surprise of many that day when we arrived at the yard and found #1, an 0-8-0, had replaced the Baldwin diesel usually there. Eddie usually only used mainline steam. He had scrapped all the JGL's steam switchers early on. Shortly after the last was scrapped, an enginehouse fire destroyed three of the diesel switchers which had replaced them. Caught short, and made aware of the disaster while at NYC offices negotiating purchase of an L4, he quickly arrainged for a NYC 0-8-0 to be "thrown in" A few days latrer it was on JGL property, and put to work immediately. The NYC shops had painted out their name, and stencilled JGL on the tender sides. Their road # was also painted out, but the JGL never bothered painting one on. #1 had been usused for a long time already, so on paper it became #1. It was to be in service just months, but Eddie grew fond of it and kept it in the shops when it was retired. Here it was, in its as delivered state!

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  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    The first train we saw that day was a coal drag, empty, headed west. It was headed up by a C&O mikado, #2341. This was, coincidentally, the first steamer Eddie had bought, before he went wild buying up NYC steam.

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  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Hmm, I wanted to put three shots of this loco on one post, perhaps they are to large to do so, it wouldn't copy a second shot, so you are in for lots of posts!

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  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Hmm again, worked this time. Must be me!

    Next up was an eastbound in charge of a NYC L4, complete with elephant ears. What a beauty!

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  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    It wasn't long before a westbound passenger train, in the charge of one of the home road Mountains, #5412, came thundering by. I had run across the bridge to the other side of the river to catch it on the bridge, fortunately my buddies were able to get other shots as well.
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  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    We were totally unprepared for what came next, and did not yet realize just how much unusual power we would be seeing! Blew our minds when a restored doodlebug came trundling by.

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  7. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    There was a brief pause in the action and one of our most looked forward to locos appeared, a J1e Hudson on the point of the advance Comet.

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  8. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    I wanndered back across the river to wait for whatever might come next, turned out to be a second section of the advance Comet, railfans had really turned out en masse. But the big surprise was the power, wtf!
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  9. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    But Eddie wasn't done with the surprises yet. A third section, and another electric unit! By now we knew how this was possible, on a road with no third rail, but I'll keep you guessing for now.

    The first photo also shows I haven't yet installed fascia! There is to be a lower level and I figure I won't bruise my scalp if I wait!

    Also, probably the only time you'll see NYC and Pennsy electrics in the same photo!
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  10. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Here's one more of the little T motor, and the the mystery solved. Bit of a bummer for those in the rear of the observation, huh?

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  11. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Nice as the surprise of the electrics was, we were aching for steam. And we got it, in a big way! An Erie berk, doing what she was meant to do, speed perishibles to market.

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  12. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Before too long, a westbound drag freight came by, headed up by double headed JGL mikados. Strongly influenced in their design by Erie units.

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  13. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Followed almost immediately by an eastbound counterpart, powered by a NYC H10b. Love the overhung Elesco heaters!
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  14. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    And the parade of overhanging Elesco heaters wasn't over yet! Eddie obviously loves them as much as I do! A NYC pacific heading up a milk train was next. What fond memories.

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  15. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Well before it came into sight, we realized we were about to see our first diesel of the day. Kind of puzzled us, Eddie usually had enough steam to take care of Saturdays usual light freight movement. Later we found that track work had necesitated a detour of an L&HE train. A most welcome surprise however!
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  16. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    It had been a long day and we were getting anxious to head to a pub for well deserved beverages, but we just couldn't leave till we saw the star of Eddies collection. We hoped it would be next, as it was overdue, and we worried there had been a problem. Our concerns turned out to be unfounded, as the Century (Comet by JGL sxhedule) came roaring by.

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  17. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    At long last, our day of railfanning was over(but our night of drinking was just about to start!). Just as Eddie had done, I've saved my best for last, I hope you've enjoyed the trip, don't you wish you could have been there?

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  18. Sarge_7

    Sarge_7 Member

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    Awesome pics and great thread Gary:thumb::thumb::mrgreen::wave:
  19. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Mmmmmmmmmmmm! NICE stuff Gary! Thanks for the railfanning! I love the Century under the Pennsy GG-1!
    Ralph
  20. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

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    Nice job Gary.

    I noticed the fishplates in the last photo. Worth the effort in this case. Good to see the RR again too.

    Mark