Jonathan Lee

Worldly Images

Adirondack Scenic Railroad 30th August 2012

Our trip to the Adirondack Scenic Railroad in 2011 had turned into a bit of  a disaster really but our 2012 venture was set to be a little better, mainly because the ASR had got both their MLW RS18’s 1835 & 1845 into service, 1835 only about a week before we arrived too.

I’d made a good friend and contact at the ASR back in 2010 when we were trying to get C424 4243 out on a certain day, which was now of course DL 2403. Contact throughout the 2012 calendar had kept us informed of ongoings with all the ASR locos and especially their Alco fleet.

We’d been hoping that Alco RS3 8223 would have been returned to service by the time of our visit but it wasn’t to be so. A new 5 year lease to use the loco on the ASR had been signed on 25th July but it needed a turbo. The supplier in Texas hadn’t been responding to calls for it to be shipped for the two weeks prior to us arriving and it was suspected he was on holiday. Which was a shame as it would only take a day to fit once delivered. So 8223 was out of the equation.

Since our previous visit we’d been trying to arrange a “fix” with the Mohawk Adirondack & Northern (MA&N) MLW M420W 2042. We’d agreed to pay for the hire cost for it to work the ASR’s Utica – Thendara train while we were there. Luck wasn’t on our side with that either as it had been out of service with traction motor problems all year and remained so during our visit. So that was out of the equation also. We couldn’t fix one of the other two MA&N locos either as they might have needed both on the same day. The irony of this one was that 2042 was actually in the consist of the 0915 Utica – Thendara , being transferred to Thendara for the ASR’s anniversary weekend! All three locos were at Utica the night before and we had a quick walk round the shed.

Despite our minor set-backs we were still treated to a cracking run to Thendara and return with the MLW RS18’s in multi, for the first time since arriving at the railway. It was a test run for their event over the following weekend, which actually had the Utica – Thendara billed as the first run of the MLW’s in multi. As this event had been posted so late we’d already booked our homeward flights to the UK so couldn’t actually do it so having them in multi on the day we were there was a massive bonus.

The 0915 Utica – Thendara was formed 1835/1845 with F7A 1508 & MA&N MLW M420W 2042 dead in train, which created a bit of extra weight if nothing else. The M420 & F7 were both left at Thendara, 1508 would be paired with F10 1502 for the Otter Lake shuttles over the anniversary weekend and 2042 would be on display.

At Thendara RS3 8223 was outside the small shed and EMD SW1 705 was used to position things for the coming weekend while F10 1502 worked the Otter Lake shuttles. Of which we did one, just to pass the time. The restaurant over the road from the station is worth a visit too and it serves a whole host of beers to go with your lunch.

On the return trip to Utica we had the best seats in the house, in the cab of the rear loco 1845 (which actually had some bits of 1846 inside, evident by the stamps on the electrical cubicle hinges), all the way back to Utica. What better way to finish the day and listen to the thrash. The MLW’s were faultless all day. Which was actually a surprise as 1835 hadn’t had a very good test run the previous week. It was anticipated that the MLW’s would be used out of Utica for the rest of the season, including during the Fall where they’d be pair up in multi again on the bigger loads.

Another trip beckons in 2013, hopefully 8223 & 2042 will be in service then……

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