The 1969 Golden Spike Centennial LimitedHomeTimelineGalleries1969 Golden Spike Centennial Limited RosterForumMemorabiliaStoreNewsLinksContact
     
 
Timeline for High Iron Company Excursions, including the
1969 Golden Spike Centennial Limited
 
     
 
HICO Excursions
 
 
*
*
*
This timeline is very much a work-in-progress. Any additions or corrections, please email. Many thanks to HICO's Howard Pincus and Russ Shipman for keeping track of most of these locations and dates.
No.
CITY
DATES
NOTES
1
Between Jersey City and Jim Thorpe, PA
Oct 16, 1966
Over the Jersey Central Lines with leased Steamtown locomotive #127 (former Canadian Pacific 1278), a lightweight class G5d 4-6-2 Pacific locomotive.
2
Between Jersey City and Jim Thorpe, PA
Oct 23, 1966
Over the Jersey Central Lines with leased Steamtown locomotive #127 (former CP 1278).
3
Between Allentown and Warwick, NY
May 14, 1967
Lehigh & Hudson River with leased Rail Tours #1286. Number 1286 was occasionally assisted by leased Rail Tours #1238. Both locomotives were of the same G5 class as Steamtown's 127.
4
Between Elizabethport and Bridgeton, NJ
June 25, 1967
Over the Jersey Central Lines with leased Rail Tours #1286.
5
Between Easton, PA and Wilkes-Barre, PA
Aug 20, 1967
Over the Jersey Central Lines with leased Rail Tours #1286 and 1238 double heading. The two light Pacifics proved unable to climb the grade from Ashley to Penobscot with the long train and a helper was called in.
*
Dover, NJ
~Sept, 1967
HICO participated in the filming of Columbia Pictures' Funny Girl with Barbara Streisand in the role of Fanny Brice. Filming took place with leased Rail Tours G5 #1286 at the Army's Picatinny Arsenal near Dover, NJ on the CNJ High Bridge Branch. Three of the CNJ cars from the shoot (lettered B&O for the film) ended up on the Black River & Western RR.
6
Between Elizabeth and Green Pond Jct, NJ
Sept 17, 1967
Over the Jersey Central Lines on the High Bridge Branch with leased Rail Tours #1286.
7
Between Elizabeth and Jim Thorpe, PA
Oct 15, 1967
Over the Jersey Central Lines with leased Rail Tours #1286.
8
Between Newark and Ashley, PA
Feb 18, 1968
Over the Jersey Central Lines with leased Steamtown #127, assisted by Strasburg RR #90, a 2-10-0 Decapod which coupled on at Jim Thorpe. PA.
9
Between Newark and Ashley, PA
Feb 25, 1968
Over the Jersey Central Lines with leased Steamtown #127, assisted by Strasburg RR #90 on the point.
10
Between Camden and Cape May, NJ
May 5, 1968
Over the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines with leased Steamtown #127. This was 127's last trip for HICO.
11
Between Conneaut, OH and Buffalo, NY
Sept 8, 1968
Over the N&W (Nickle Plate). The first excursion with NKP locomotive 759.
12
Between Elizabeth and Jim Thorpe, PA
Sept 21, 1968
Over the Jersey Central Lines with NKP locomotive 759.
13
Between NYC (GCT) and Niagara Falls, NY
Oct 12-13, 1968
Iron Horse Ramble - over the Penn Central with NKP locomotive 759. The steam locomotive could not go into Grand Central Terminal, so it was attached at Harmon, NY an hour into the trip.
14
Between Roanoke, VA and Virso, VA
Nov 2, 1968
Over the N&W with NKP locomotive 759.
15
Between Roanoke, VA and Shenandoah, VA
Nov 3, 1968
Over the N&W with NKP locomotive 759.
*
*
*
*
 
 
1969 Golden Spike Centennial Limited
 
 
16
*
*
This timeline is very much a work-in-progress. Any additions or corrections, please email.
DAY
CITY
DATES
NOTES
*
*
1968-1969
Steam locomotive 759 was restored to service in Conneaut, OH by the High Iron Company (HICO) in the summer of 1968. It ran an excursion in '68 out of Conneaut over the old NKP. From Conneaut, the loco was ferried to Lebanon, NJ for further excursions. The first was to Palmerton over the CNJ. Then a trip to Niagara Falls and back, after which the loco was ferried down to Roanoke for mechanical work in the N&W's shops. Then came a pair of excursions over the N&W/VGN lines out of Roanoke before ferrying back to Conneaut. These trips gave the HICO crew experience on both fast mainlines and mountainous terrain -- all of which would give them the credentials they would need to show the railroads they could carry out a project like the Golden Spike Centennial Ltd.
1
New York City - Buffalo, NY
Saturday
May 3, 1969

The GSCL cars departed Grand Central Terminal behind an ex-Cleveland Union Terminal electric locomotive, emerging from the Park Ave. tunnel and speeding 32 miles to Harmon, NY to rendezvous with NKP 759 (and the B&O dome car that couldn't fit into GCT) . From there it was north along the Hudson River and a service stop in Albany. From there the train headed west to Syracuse for a second service stop, then on to Buffalo for its first layover. There is a map of the route here. Round trip fare was $995 for each of the 150 passengers.

2
Buffalo, NY - Cleveland, OH
Sunday
May
4, 1969
The train ran to Cleveland over the Norfolk & western, stopping for servicing at Conneaut, OH were only one year earlier HICO crews were rebuilding #759. The train arrived at Cleveland Union Terminal and was positioned under the Terminal Tower.
3
Cleveland, OH - Decatur, IL
Monday
May
5, 1969
The train again ran west over the N&W through Bellevue and Ft. Wayne (now over the old Wabash), stopping for servicing at Peru, IN and then on to Decatur.
4
Decatur, IL - Kansas City, MO
Tuesday
May
6, 1969
Leaving Decatur over the N&W, the train passed through Springfield, IL and Hannibal, MO before a servicing stop in Moberly and the final run to Kansas City Union Station.
5
Kansas City, MO - Denver, CO
Wednesday
May
7, 1969
The first assignment for the first UP Centennial locomotive -- the largest diesel ever built. EMD DDA40X locomotive 6900 pulled the train out of Kansas City over the UP through Topeka, then across the Kansas prairie through Abilene, Hays and Weskan. The train made a short stop in Ellis -- crawling through the center of town as it left. The train arrived in Denver in the evening -- elevation 5280 feet.
6
Denver, CO - Salt Lake City, UT
Thursday
May
8, 1969
Heading north, the GSCL advanced to Eaton, Co, and into Wyoming. Passing through Cheyenne the train headed on through Sherman, Laramie, Hanna, Green River and Evanston. Actor John Wayne joined the train in the afternoon for the ride into Salt Lake City.
7
Salt Lake City, UT
Friday
May
9, 1969
The day was spent in Salt Lake City on the eve of the Golden Spike Ceremony at Promontory. John Wayne's True Grit had its world premiere at the Capitol Theater.
8
Promontory Summit, UT - Ogden, UT - Salt Lake City, UT
Saturday
May
10, 1969
The train went back north to Ogden, this time behind UP steam locomotive #8444, and the GSCL passengers were bussed out to the Golden Spike Celebration at Promontory Summit at 2:15 in the afternoon (arriving in time to get very good seats). Over 12,000 were in attendance for the re-enactment of the Golden Spike ceremony. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed. At the end of the ceremony in 1869, the two locomotives present were moved close together nose-to-nose for photos. At the 1969 ceremony, the locomotives were not under steam and members of the High Iron Company volunteered to physically pull the locomotives a few feet into place. The GSCL train was turned on the wye at Bridge Junction. Later, UP 8444 pulled the train from Ogden the short way back to Salt Lake City. Several Golden Spike banquets were held in the evening at various locations.
9
Salt Lake City, UT
Sunday
May
11, 1969
Rest day.
10
Salt Lake City, UT - Cheyenne, WY
Monday
May
12, 1969
*
11
Cheyenne, WY - Kansas City, MO
Tuesday
May
13, 1969
The trip from Cheyenne to KC was made behind an A-B-B set of Union Pacific E-units. According to Al Phillips, they really got the train moving!
12
Kansas City, MO - St. Louis, MO
Wednesday
May
14, 1969
The run to St. Louis was over the Wabash.
13
St. Louis, MO - Lima, OH
Thursday
May
15, 1969
A crowd of some 8,000 people greeted the train in Lima. During the layover in Lima, a tour of the former locomotive works of the same name was scheduled. This is where GSCL locomotive 759 was born. Also scheduled was a tour of the Allen County Museum.
14
Lima, OH - Pittsburgh, PA
Friday
May
16, 1969
Servicing took place at Bellevue on the N&W, then at Brewster on the Wheeling and Lake Erie Division. From there it was on to Pittsburgh over the old Pittsburgh & West Virginia.
15
Pittsburgh, PA - Hagerstown, MD
Saturday
May
17, 1969
The trip slowed down momentarily as the locomotive had to be re-railed after turning a rail at very slow speed in Rook (near Pittsburgh). Later, taking the N&W to Connellsville and onto the Western Maryland, the train proceeded on through Cumberland and on to Hagerstown for the final evening banquet.
16
Hagerstown, MD - New York City
Sunday
May
18, 1969
Leaving Hagerstown on the Western Maryland, the train made its way to Baltimore's Penn station. There, the 759 was cut off just shy of the overhead catenary and replaced with a GG-1 electric for the high-speed run to NY. The 759 returned to Lebanon, NJ via the WM, RDG, & CNJ (through Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Allentown/Bethlehem). Specially painted Penn Central GG-1 4902 and the Golden Spike Centennial Ltd. cars arrived at their destination -- New York's Pennsylvania Station -- the same day Apollo 10 left for the moon.
*
*
*
*
 
 
HICO Excursions Continued
 
 
*
*
*
This timeline is very much a work-in-progress. Any additions or corrections, please email.
No.
CITY
DATES
NOTES
17
Between Elizabeth and Jim Thorpe, PA
Sept 20, 1969
Over the Jersey Central Lines with NKP locomotive 759.
18
Between Hoboken and Scranton, PA
Oct 11, 1969
Over the Erie Lackawanna with NKP locomotive 759.
19
Between Hoboken and Binghamton, NY
May 30-31, 1970
Over the Erie Lackawanna with NKP locomotive 759.
20
Between Elizabeth and Jim Thorpe, PA
July 15, 1970
Over the Jersey Central Lines with NKP locomotive 759.
21
Between Harrisburg, PA and Horseshoe Curve
Sept 12, 1970
Over the Penn Central with NKP locomotive 759.
22
Between Harrisburg, PA and Horseshoe Curve
Sept 13, 1970
Over the Penn Central with NKP locomotive 759.
23
Between Hagerstown, MD and Cumberland, MD
Sept 21, 1970
Over the Western Maryland with NKP locomotive 759 in freight service.
24
Between Baltimore and Connellsville, PA
Oct 17-18, 1970
Over the Western Maryland with NKP locomotive 759.
25
Between Baltimore and Hagerstown, MD
Jan or Feb, 1971
Over the Western Maryland with NKP locomotive 759. A 'Teacher's Special' for area educators only.
26
Between Hagerstown and Roanoke, VA
Feb 20-21, 1971
The Shenandoah Special - over the N&W with NKP locomotive 759, a 475 mile round trip. The locomotive blew out its left cylinder head less than a half hour into the trip at Shepardstown, WV. The excursion continued behind N&W SD45 diesel 1711.
27
Between Roanoke and Norfolk, VA
May 1, 1971
Over the N&W with NKP locomotive 759. The last N&W run of a passenger train, Eastbound #4, the Pocahontas.
28
Between Hoboken and Binghamton, NY
Aug 14-15, 1971
Over the Erie Lackawanna with NKP locomotive 759.
29
Between Elizabethport and Bethlehem, PA
Feb 26-27, 1972
Over the CNJ. Sponsored by HICO with leased Steam Tours locomotive 2102.
30
Between Elizabethport and Washington, DC
May 27-29, 1972
Over the CNJ-RDG-B&O route. Sponsored by HICO with leased Steam Tours locomotive 2102.
31
Between Hoboken and Binghamton, NY
May 26-27, 1973
The New York State Express - Over the Erie Lackawanna (former Erie RR outbound, former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western inbound). Sponsored by HICO with leased Steam Tours locomotive 2102, dressed as D&H 302.
32
Between Hoboken and Scranton, PA
July 22, 1973
The Scranton Flyer - a joint HICO - American Freedom Train excursion with locomotive 759. Presentations about the American Freedom Train project were made along the way.
*
*
*
On October 27-28, 1973 the 759 locomotive made its last trip -- a Boston-Montpelier, VT excursion sponsored by the Steamtown Foundation.
*
*
*
The beginning of the American Freedom Train project was the beginning of the end of the High Iron Company. One of the last things HICO did was run an American Freedom Train photo contest in conjunction with Railfan Magazine in 1976. HICO also ran AFT T-1 locomotive #1 from its last stop with the American Freedom Train (in Washington DC at the Pentagon) back to Lebanon, NJ for storage, with 'The High Iron Company' painted in white on its steam dome.
*
*
*
*
 
     
The 1969 Golden Spike Centennial LimitedHomeTimeline1969 Golden Spike Centennial Limited RosterGalleriesForumMemorabiliaStoreNewsLinksContact
Copyright 2008 - 2017 Accuen Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. Accuen