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Alco and EMD on freight in the Secret City of Oak Ridge

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  • Alco and EMD on freight in the Secret City of Oak Ridge

    This past Friday (10/24/14) while on the way to Chattanooga for the 4501 trips, Carmon and I managed to cross another thing off the list of things we have wanted to photographed. I got word that the HRC would be running a train from Oak Ridge, TN to the NS interchange at Blair that afternoon, and we just happened to be to close to pass that up.

    A little background.. The HRC (Heritage Railroad Corp), which is owned by EnergySolutions, operates the former Southern Branch from Blair, TN to the site of the old K-25 facility near Oak Ridge. The line was built in the early 1940's to serve the highly secret government facility that was used to develop the first Atomic weapons in the USA. At the height of the Manhattan project, over 75,000 people worked or lived in the area which, at that time, did not even officially exist.

    Over the years, most of the area has been re-purposed for other industrial uses, although there is still a small DOE presence and areas that are still off-limits to the public. The HRC RR provides shipping for the industries located there, offer's space for rail car storage and mechanical work. The line is also used on the weekends by the Southern Appalachia RR museum (SARM), which offers rides on beautifully restored cars pulled by vintage diesel power.

    While it is usually easy to shoot the SARM trains on the weekends (which I have done a time or Two), freight operations are somewhat more elusive. Most of the on-site switching is done in Non-public areas, and trains run sporadically on a "As-needed" basis to the NS Interchange.

    With that said, we felt lucky to be able to shoot them outside of the "plant", and the fact they were using a oddball duo of a Alco C420 and EMD GP30 was the icing on the cake. We finally got to Chattanooga that night a lot later than planned, but it was worth the delay! If you are ever in the area on the weekends, be sure to stop by and take a ride on this very historic line with SARM...you wont find a better bunch of folks anywhere!

    You can find the entire set from Oak Ridge at this link, and stand by for some more goodies from our weekend! >>>>>>>> 2014 Rail Shorts Photo Gallery by E.M. & Carmon Bell at pbase.com

    10/24/14

    VLIX 2064 passes One of the massive concrete buildings that once made up the K-25 plant and the core of the "Secret City" in Oak Ridge, TN. It was here that the materials for the first Atomic Bombs used in WW2 were manufactured, where up to 75,000 people once lived in a city that did not exist....it was here that the history of the world and warfare would change forever.


    The unlikely duo (in 2014) of VLIX Alco C420 #2064 (former LV & D&H) and former L&N GP30 #1030 cross the bridge over Oxier Creek near Blair, TN Friday afternoon with the outbound interchange for the NS. The train is operating over the former Southern branch line built to serve DOE facility at Oak Ridge.


    "The best of both worlds" If a person had a liking for products from ALCO or EMD, then this picture might put a twinkle in your eye. ALCO C420 #2064 (Former LV and D&H) and EMD GP30 #1030 (Former L&N and SBD) bring the interchange from Oak Ridge, TN up to the NS interchange at Blair Friday afternoon. You never know what you might find hauling freight in the hills and hollars of Tennessee!


    GP30 #1030 idles at the NS interchange at Blair, Tn as the crew starts to sort out the inbound cars


    2064 works hard away from the interchange with a 23 car cut headed back to Oak Ridge


    The inbound trains crosses the Poplar Creek bridge on the edge of the K-25 plant at Oak Ridge.
    E.M. Bell, KD4JSL
    Salvisa, KY

  • #2
    GP30's had a cramped cab but are fun to run to be sure!
    sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

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    • #3
      Damn! Can't believe that ALCO is still running. Thanks for sharing the story & pictures with us, very interesting!
      Standard lengthy disclaimer / warning / terms of use: All postings by "NSRLink" are fictional, public information, for entertainment purposes only, should never be taken seriously, and in no way should be construed to represent the positions, views, ideas, or thoughts of any railroad carrier, person, entity, organization, or otherwise. By reading anything posted or associated with the user ID, "NSRLink," any entity agrees they shall not be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar. Parties or entities not agreeable to these "terms of use" are hereby required to block this profile "NSRLink" and agree to not read or view posts so they will no longer be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar in any manner, and may do so via UserCP "Edit ignore List" & adding "NSRLink" to the list. Thank you & good day to you.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jonnyseeandoh View Post
        GP30's had a cramped cab but are fun to run to be sure!
        They had a lot of headroom.
        "A guy can't just sit around." Lawnchair Larry

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Coyote View Post
          They had a lot of headroom.
          True that! All ours had transition levers so in case you had a motor in trail that didn't have automatic transition you could make them do transition!
          sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

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          • #6
            That old C420 is probably in better shape than a lot of stuff NS is running right now. I know they have new wheels and TM's under it, and the prime mover was rebuilt a year or Two ago.
            E.M. Bell, KD4JSL
            Salvisa, KY

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            • #7
              And if you want one, Fairbanks Morse makes brand spanking new Alco 251 engines!
              sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jonnyseeandoh View Post
                And if you want one, Fairbanks Morse makes brand spanking new Alco 251 engines!
                Dang, dude, you weren't kidding!
                http://www.fairbanksmorse.com/bin/90.pdf

                TXCOMT

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