View Full Version : Flaming GE's

E.M. Bell
11-23-2003, 01:44 AM
What started out to be a ho-hum day of shooting turned out to be a good one, thanks to a Junker GE... After sleeping in a bit this morning, doing some web site work at RP and listening to the radio, the Louisville district sounded like it was gonna get busy so we loaded up and headed to Lawrenceburg (KY) about 1400. I knew train 111 was close, so we set up and shot him as he passed the former depot site in Lburg.....just a catfish followed by more catfish. 111 Meets 168 at Talmage, so we hung around Lawrenceburg for a while and wait out 168. He arrives about 1450 and proceeds to cut the power off and pick up the local engine off the West Wye. His lead engine, NS 8648, is smoking a LOT even during switching, and knowing he has a meet at Waddy (and will have to stop on the hill to line the switch), we head West hoping for some good smoke on Waddy Hill.

We get well ahead of him and decide to make a grab shot at Avenstoke. Fellow list member Bud Garrison comes tearing in behind us and we shoot the 168 passing through the old SR searchlight signals. As the train start to slow on the hill, we get ahead of him again and set up for a shot at the East Switch at Waddy. The conductor gets off, lines them into the hole, and then the show starts. They have a heavy train, and that old GE starts to pour the smoke as the load increases...and then the smoke turns to a 7 or 10 foot flame. The engines have a hard time getting the train started, and time after time they slip, the load drops, comes back up....smoke, fire, slip, smoke, fire, slip..... We get him at two differnt places as the work through the siding..smoke, fire, slip. smoke, fire, slip...... By the time he gets to the West end of the siding, we are joined by another railfan from Louisville, plus a small contengent of locals who had seen the pyro show and came to see what all the fuss was about... 168 meets 125 and 167, and then leaves for Louisville as the sun dips behind the ridge.. I am the type of person who belives in "1 shot, 1 kill" in photography, but somehow I managed to expend about 20 frames on the same train in only Two locations....hopefully, somehthing will turn out! Fire and smoke from these older GE products is a common thing, but this was the first time I have seen that much at one time, over and over, and the FIrst time I have been in posistion for a few pics....

Gregory Wallace
11-25-2003, 07:57 PM
You say that "Fire and smoke from these older GE products is a common thing", but WOW! those photos look terrifying to me

So now, I have a neophyte's question: does fire like that NOT constitute some kind of emergency or danger? I mean, if I saw something like that coming out of the engine, I'd be hauling my butt off that train! Or would that be a girly thing to do?