View Full Version : Two round roof CF7s in one day - MDDE

07-19-2011, 01:07 PM
I had an opportunity to photograph the Maryland & Delaware working yesterday. This little railroad can make a nice little side trip when visiting the Eastern Shore, and Ocean City in particular for the most predictable of the lines.

I started with the Snow Hill line, on which the crew reports for duty at 0500 in Selbyville, DE. The only regular customer on this line is the Tyson elevator at Snow Hill. They interchange with NS at Frankford, just north of Selbyville. They may appear to "work" a Perdue elevator at Bishop on the way down, but these are actually hoppers stored there for Tyson. During the corn season, hoppers are stuffed just about anywhere they can be.

This is actually one of those railroads on which you NEED summer sun. When they get to Snow Hill end, the line is oriented NE-SW, so to get light on the short hood end of CF7 2630, one of few round roof CF7s left in operation (which faces north), you need to shoot the return trip. Long days and sun orientation of summer is the only time it all comes together. Operations are M-F during the corn season, which is in full swing right now, but likely fall off a bit after harvest is over.

The Seaford line was also in action, and I just barely caught the MDDE's other round roof CF7, 2628, switching the Perdue elevator in Hurlock, MD just before they went back to the shop at Federalsburg, MD for the day to tie up.

The northern lines are based out of Massey, MD. An RS3m is regular power for this line.

07-19-2011, 02:36 PM
They are also very railfan friendly. Their website features an "operations" page which outlines the basic schedule for each line as well as a locomotive roster. When I went to Ocean City for vacation in 2009 I called them the day before I planned to go trackside. The woman I spoke to gave me the call times for the specific lines I asked about and a basic outline of what they would be doing. It was very helpful and made for an excellent way to start the day before lounging at the beach all afternoon. http://www.mdde.com/


07-19-2011, 03:25 PM
Agreed, and with that 0500 call time, you can be out and back before most beach trip companions have even considered getting out of bed. Nice shot of the 801!

07-23-2011, 06:13 PM
I thought ATSF went back and re-did all the round roof CF7's.

07-24-2011, 02:12 PM
There was a small number that were sold off before the cab modernization was completed. I posed a question on the Loconotes Yahoo group, and it looks like there are roughly half a dozen "wagon tops" still active:

2 on the MDDE, 2 on the Pioneer Valley RR, 1 on the Louisiana & Delta RR, and an ex Red River Valley unit at the CHS elevator in Ruthton, MN. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a couple more at some obscure industries elsewhere, active or not.

07-26-2011, 12:55 PM
Just got word the RS3Ms are all down with various issues. 801 will be the sole power on the northern lines out of Massey for the foreseeable future. After doing a bit more research, the MDDE's fleet of 3 RS3Ms (these are Alco RS3s rebuilt with EMD 567 powerplants from retired E8s) is the largest collection "Dewitt geeps" anywhere, and among the last operating examples in revenue freight service. A rather unique arrangement actually has these units owned by the state of Maryland, so their repair requires more than just someone at the MDDE deciding to fix them.

07-26-2011, 01:27 PM
Maybe they should have kept the ALCo blocks :p
MDDE is a great little shortline, if I'm ever out that way I'll be all over it.

07-26-2011, 05:59 PM
I have been told the RS3Ms are quite a handful, mechanically. Seems there was not much standardization, and nothing is quite the same about any of the units. True RS3s still operating far outnumber the operating Dewitt EMD repowerings at this point.