Chasing Trains: the 759 and the GSCL, May 1969

In May 1969 The High Iron Company, under the leadership of Ross Rowland, Jr. and with the full cooperation of the AAR, ran a special train called the Golden Spike Centennial Limited. It left New York City on May 3 on a sixteen day odyssey to Ogden, Utah and back to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory, Utah. I had the opportunity to chase the GSCL from Northeast, PA to Cleveland, OH on Sunday May 4, and from Lima to Akron, OH where I boarded it to ride on to Pittsburgh on Friday May 16. Most people familiar with the GSCL visualize a blue train barreling along behind NKP Berkshire #759, but during those sixteen days the GSCL was headed by an ex-Cleveland Union Terminal electric locomotive, the brand spanking new DD40X #6900 with a couple of SDs just in case, the #8444 (better known today as the #844), an ABB lashup of E9s, and GG1 #4902 painted to match the train. Oddly enough, pictures of the GSCL behind these other units just dont seem to exist. For several months after the event I ran ads in Trains and Railroad Magazines offering to trade slides of the GSCL I had taken in Ohio (or money) for slides taken in other parts of the country with other motive power. For all my efforts I ended up with one slide featuring the 8444 and one with the SDs. For those interested in knowing more about the GSCL I recommend the recently posted web site Theme Trains www.themetrains.com
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