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Ryan  Kunkle

Freight Car Friday - Excursion Gondolas

By November 9, 2012

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At one time, railroads were lined with water and coaling towers to tend to the appetites of steam locomotives. But with the end of steam, so too did these facilities fade from the rails.

gondolas
Even on a passenger excursion, there is a place for freight cars.
2012 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

What to do then when steam makes a return today? Trailing along at the end of Norfolk Southern's summer excursions were several gondolas loaded with coal and one with a small backhoe to refuel the locomotive at each terminal. An extra water tender was also along for the ride, with additional water provided with the help of local fire departments along the route.

While the locomotive certainly captures most of the attention, adding a few freight cars at the end of the consist is certainly a neat change from the tradional observation car on the end of the train.

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