"You'll never keep up"

I never met a six-motor Century I didn't like, and 38 years ago today, August 2, 1976, I spent time with three of the best looking Centuries around: a trio of D&H C628s. We first encountered D&H train AB-91 at Bevier Street Yard in Binghamton. The sight of a solid 628 lash up instantly determined the course of action for the rest of the day. Best yet, the train was going our way, Buffalo-bound on what had, until a few months earlier, been the Erie Lackawanna. In those pre-scanner, pre-ATCS, pre-everything days we had to glean what intelligence we could from train crews, dispatchers, operators, who ever we could talk to.

I asked the hogger on AB-91 if they had any planned stops en route. "Nope." Then I asked how fast he figured they'd be going. "You'll never keep up," came the response.

We took the hint and got a head start. He was almost right. It took some doing, but we managed to give AB-91 a run for the money and netted some reasonable results, particularly between east of Addison, N.Y., and sundown west of Attica.

This one, at Chatauqua Hollow Road, near Swain, N.Y., came within seconds of being clouded out. Some days, it seems you can do no wrong.

A trio of lightning-striped C628s lead D&H train AB-91 at Chatauqua Hollow Rd., east of Swain, N.Y., on the former Erie Lackawanna main, on August 2, 1976.