Shortline railroads are a booming business and provide a vital link to our country’s railroad industry. Often overlooked, these small lines run diverse operations with some of the most interesting locomotives found in railroading today.
The Winchester & Western shortline railroad employs two Alco RS-11s and a GP-9 in its daily sand hauling-operations between Winchester, Virginia, and the mine at Gore. The scenic countryside of the rural Shenandoah Valley provides a beautiful background for the lumbering trains. The Alco diesels put on a spectacular show as they pull heavy loads of sand over the hills. They “smoke it up” and pump out that great Alco sound as they grind upgrade.
Once a train arrives at Winchester, its cars are weighed on an old Fairbanks scale. Detailed views show the scale being adjusted and car tags being punched with the weight. The covered hoppers are then free-rolled down into the yard. This is an up close and personal look at down home railroading.