Riggins with little brother Charlie and little sister Sadie.


Friday, November 12, 2010


Although it is Friday, I posted yesterdays post earlier than normal to get it out for Veteran’s Day so I will post what I actually did on my holiday.

I started the day by going to my cousin Sam’s house in the morning and having coffee with him and his pretty wife Miriam. When I walked in I was greeted rather excitedly by a very small puppy who wanted attention, I said to Sam I didn’t see this little guy when I was here for supper last week and he said oh, no that’s Dobie we just got her last night, Dobie is a miniature Doberman and what a cutie. So affectionate and not a yapper, I didn’t hear one  bark the whole time I was there. But I left the camera out in the truck so Dobie remains unphotographed for now.

After Sam’s I went down to the Lackawanna Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton for their Veteran’s Day ceremony. Here are a couple of shot’s.




I like this picture the best, it show’s some young people who helped celebrate and are the reason for having this celebration.

After I left the Courthouse, I had the scanner on in the truck and a crew from  the local regional railroad the Delaware Lackawanna announced they had just derailed a locomotive and two cars in the Scranton Yard next to Steamtown, Well the fireman, policeman in men said “ All right let’s roll.”

I arrived there at about 11:30am and didn’t leave until about 05:00PM as I was losing all light for pictures, It was really an interesting day they all gathered around and held conferences on how they were going to get these monsters back on the rails, naturally the locomotive involved was one of the big six axle jobs which are hard on yard tracks to begin with.

In today's world, the large railroads have large truck mounted cranes called Pettybones that are as big as large military vehicles and can lift up one end of a locomotive. they also use side boom bulldozers to lift a whole locomotive one on each side. But this small railroad didn’t have that kind of equipment and resources. But what it did have was a railroad car mounted Wrecking crane of about 150ton capacity like the old railroad wreckers. For my Canadian friends, it had a small faded stencil on the side that said CP, so it must have been bought used from Canadian Pacific.  lot of used equipment here in the northeast has come from CP since they owned D&H RR and passed some stuff down.

Anyway they brought the crane in from the shops and lifted the rear of the engine and gently set the rear truck assembly on the rails. When they went to the front, the weight must have been close to the limits of the crane as it jut couldn’t get the front high enough to swing the engine far enough back to put the front truck on the rails, when I left they were still figuring how they were going to do it. But it was still nice to see this old fashioned rerailing in person. here are some pics.





Del-Lack11-11-10m  Del-Lack11-11-10s




                 Back on the rails in back.



In all fairness that little crane worked hard and maybe it was only 100ton capacity and since a six axle locomotive is well over 200 tons, it was working hard. I believe when the DL&W, then EL was in Scranton they stationed a 250ton Wrecker here,so you can see this one had it’s work cut out for it. I have to say I was really impressed with the teamwork these Railroad employees showed, with all this heavy steel and high pressures on cables there is absolutely no room for a mistake.

Hey Don from, K & D IN THE RV, does this make you homesick for CNRR.

While I was taking pictures from my grandstand seat on the bridge to the Steamtown Mall, I had to take a lunch & potty break so I went in the Mall. I found a neat store front that was being prepared for a Model Train Display for Christmas by the Miniature Memories Model Train & Auto Museum. The fella’s working on it were gracious enough to allow me in for some pictures. The neat part is there are a lot of buildings and scenes that are part of the Scranton PA street scene and also surroundings areas, I can imagine all the “I remember that’s “that this will bring.The detail is astonishing, as a model builder I must say for a display layout this will be neat. If you are in the Scranton PA area at Christmas time this will be a must see. Here are some pics.




Tunkhannock Viaduct, remember the real one a few posts back..


               DL&W Station, Scranton


                   Scranton City Hall.


               Scranton Times Building.


               Scranton Board of Trade Building.


          Front of Scranton Times Building.

While all the rerailing activity was going on Steamtown and the Delaware Lackawanna still had trains to run.



Boy were my feet sore when I got home after all day in my slippers, If I knew I was going to be on my feet all day I would have worn running shoes or better yet for a railroad yard, work shoes.

Well tonight is you, know what, Pizza night in Scranton, I bought two square shells at the grocery store this week and have all he fixins, So look at your watches and when it say 05:30PM Eastern Time. It will be ready..

Hey not bad for a Friday, hope i have something for Saturday’s Blog.

Donna, Andy, Adam, Rigg’s & Sadie. Dad misses you all. Thank God it was sunny and I had trains to keep me busy. I will be seeing you all in a month, I know Rigg’s, what’s a month, ask Mom she’ll tell you, your always so full of questions. just like the little boy you are. Love you all.

Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.


  1. Sooooo...Tell me again..Why is it you never became a engineer on a locomotive????? Inquiring minds want to know...
    I miss the smellovision of your pizza...glad you are having it tonight!!!

  2. You had quite the busy day yesterday, Sam. Great photos of the train de-railment. I sure wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere near those steel cables when that crane was lifting that locomotive back on to the rails- pretty dangerous work!

    That model railroad was amazing. Sure a lot of work went into building that viaduct and other buildings!

  3. Hey Sam! Great pictures. These days, in derailments, CN generally just cuts rails cards open with a dozer and scraps them. Cn only re-rails locomotives with the truck mounted or cat mounted cranes, or a combination. However, back in the day of my career, when they still used the track mounted'hook' it was always an interesting job because it was a whole train with flat cars with track panels, readi built rails and ties to replace the torn up track. Shop cars for repairs, living accomodations for the auxilliary crew and train crew and of course the all important dining car. They cooked HUGE beautiful meals of steaks and roasts and pies. A railroaders dream.

    BTW, we went tour local Remembrance Day service at the town Cenotaph, and for a little town of 5,000 people, it was attended outside in freezing cold weather, by about 2,000 people. My father served in a tank regiment in Belgium and passed on November 11, 1996 - a true soldier.

  4. Sam, It's incredible how you followed your passions on this day. It sounded exciting and exhausting. I can see why your feet hurt. I know the family will be happy to see you in a month! Gingee and I had a good time with John the last few days.