KY Derby 2011 - Special Trains

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bogray

Kentucky Colonel
After historic amounts of rainfall in April and early May, the last thing railfans in Central Kentucky expected on Derby Day was sunshine...but there it was. For a couple of hours anyway.

As with the last couple of years, CSX ran a Derby Special which boarded passengers in historic Midway, KY; and RJ Corman ran their KY Derby train from Lexington to Louisville. Both trains ran on the former L&N "Old Road", with the CSX train leading. In addition to the Corman "Old KY Dinner Train" set, a pair of BNSF Business cars and a CN theater car joined the consist.

Norfolk Southern's OCS rounds out this set as the train makes its deadhead return move to PA.

1) As the sun peeks over the horizon, the CSX train begins the day as it accelerates out of Rupp Yard in Lexington, KY.
2) Sun glints off the windows of the storefronts as the CSX KY Derby Special glides into historic Midway, KY to begin passenger boarding.
3) Clouds have rolled in as the RJ Corman KY Derby Train powers along Benson Valley Road west of Frankfort, KY.
 

bogray

Kentucky Colonel
Due to some MoW issues, Sunday 5/8 was a challenging day for NS crews and railfans alike. The NS OCS made little progress in its deadhead return move, tying up for the night at Joyes just west of Shelbyville, KY.

Monday 5/9 found things moving again on the Louisville District and NS train #955 (the OCS) finally got underway.

1) The NS F's nose around a curve in Harrodsburg, KY.
2) A classic KY scene as the F-units glide past an old tobacco warehouse in Harrodsburg.
3) Rolling into Faulkner, KY we get a nice wedgie portrait of the gorgeous NS OCS.
4) Turning north at North Wye, the NS train will change crews, top off the fuel tanks and then highball through Central KY on its way home.
 

bogray

Kentucky Colonel
KY Derby 2011 - Extended Rails

The fun continued today, Tuesday May 10, with a public dinner excursion featuring the RJ Corman "Old Kentucky Dinner Train". The train was scheduled to run from Lexington over to Frankfort and back on the former L&N "Old Road"; but MoW issues pushed the train onto the LL Branch...the former Louisville Southern Railroad which connects Lexington with Versailles, KY.

This lightly used branch hasn't seen a passenger train in many years so this became a real "rare mileage" trip for the lucky folks on the dinner train. And, of course, a rare opportunity for the local railfan photographers.

1) The F-units bring the excursion train onto the LL Branch, rolling under the Norfolk Southern flyover at Manchester Street in Lexington.
2) After crossing Alexandria Drive, the dinner train glides past a Lexington landmark - world famous Calumet Farm, historic home of horse racing's Triple Crown and Kentucky Derby winners.
3) Crossing the short wooden trestle at Calumet.
4) After the brief run on "rare mileage" track, the dinner trainset is maneuvered into the yard for the night.
 

April

Reality escapee
All these full carbody type locomotives has me thinking. Isn't BNSF the only big railroad without F-Units of some sort for use on OCS trains?

April
 

bogray

Kentucky Colonel
KY Derby 2011 - Extended Rails

Tonight's extended coverage of the post-KY Derby passenger specials finds us "chasing" the RJ Corman Customer Appreciation Special which "ran" at a stately 5-10mph on the former L&N "Old Road" which connects Lexington and Louisville, KY.

Once again, it's the "Old KY Dinner Train"-set with the ex-Southern F-units for power.

1) A b/w conversion gives this area of Lexington (along Manchester Street) a gritty look as the excursion leaves Rupp Yard.
2) Another favorite photo spot as the train passes the old water treatment plant at Jimmie Campbell Drive.
3) A Kodachrome moment if there ever was one...nice late afternoon light, a slow-moving excursion train, bulldog nosed F-units...sweet!
 

bogray

Kentucky Colonel
KY Derby 2011 - Extended Rails

Our final installment of the extended tour by the RJ Corman "Old Kentucky Dinner Train" takes us back onto the LL Branch which the train traversed on Tuesday, May 10. The light was nicer tonight but the train didn't go any faster or farther down the branch. But once again, the folks riding the public excursion got to add to their "rare mileage" logs and those of us out for photos got another chance for some more rare shots.

1) The train is just minutes out of the yard and is approaching the grade crossing at Forbes Road, passing the Harrod Concrete & Stone facility.
2) The ex-Southern F-units bring the vintage train across Alexandria Drive and into historic Calumet Farm. Calumet is the historic home of 1940's Triple Crown winners Citation and Whirlaway.
3) On the grounds of world famous Calumet Farm, the engineer throttles up as he works the deceptive grade.
4) By the time the train began its return trip, the sun had dipped behind clouds near the horizon. With the light all but gone, I channeled my inner Mitch Goldman and attempted a slow-shutter-speed-pan shot. In the dark with a slow moving train, this was much tougher than it sounds...as evidenced by my mediocre image.
 

bogray

Kentucky Colonel
Thanks everyone for the views and the comments!

Buddy...sorry about the tear, but it sure was an interesting few days with the NS OCS trying to get out of town and the RJC F's slowly roaming around the Bluegrass.
 


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