An old soldier soldiers on. After completing morning servicing, EBT locomotives would typically back down the roundhouse lead all the way to the south yard switch. There, they would switch onto the main line and head north into the yard to tie onto whatever consist they would be hauling that day. Here, Mikado #15 has just completed switching onto the main and is northbound to Orbisonia Station, where she'll grab a passenger consist. The mission today is hauling tourists, and it looks like a wonderful fall day for that.
Note the condition of the hopper that the 15 is passing. There are a lot of old coal hoppers scattered around the yards here in Orbisonia and up in Mt. Union that are in this condition or worse....in some cases, far worse. Many have not turned a wheel since the line folded as a coal carrier in 1956. The ties beneath the storage tracks have long since rotted, and many of these hoppers, including this particular one, are on the ground. Rain pouring through piles of coal and coal dust produces sulfuric acid, which over the course of decades, has basically eaten these steel hoppers for lunch. In many cases, an easy blow from a ball peen hammer would punch right through the thin crust of iron oxide, which once upon a time, were sheets of steel.
A look at the one-time coal-hauler, which ran as a tourist railroad for decades and finally ceased operations in 2011. The album includes photos from an October 2010 charter as well as images from the very last Fall Spectacular in October of 2011.