Toys For Tots Train to Run Dec. 1 in New York State

Bennett Levin’s former Pennsylvania Railroad E8A locomotives pull a private car charter train on Norfolk Southern tracks at Lowellville, Ohio, on Aug. 7, 2011.

The New York Capital Region Toys for Tots train might be the last hurrah for Bennett Levin’s Pennsylvania Railroad E8A locomotives.

Levin’s locomotives, PRR Nos. 5711 and 5809, will help pull an eight-car “South Distribution Train” on Dec. 1 from Binghamton to Delanson, New York.

This train, which is part of a U.S. Marine Corps charity program will provide gifts to children.

The train in past years has been operated as an Amtrak charter, but the passenger carrier decline to do that this year, citing its new policy prohibiting most charter operations.

The train was saved through the intervention of Levin and others. Those efforts are detailed in a column written by veteran transportation reporter Don Phillips at the Railway Age website.

The column can be found at

Levin has said that his E units will be retired from mainline travel after the completion of Saturday’s trip.

He has said he doesn’t want to invest in installing a positive train control system in the locomotives. The units are expected to be put into long-term storage.

The Toys for Tots train will operate on Norfolk Southern tracks and be led by an NS locomotive.

Other equipment is being provided by the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad and the Morristown & Erie Railroad. Amtrak has agreed to provide two baggage cars to the train.

The train schedule is: 10-10:30 a.m., Binghamton Yard; 11:45 a.m.-12:20 p.m., Bainbridge; 1:15-1:45 p.m., Oneonta; 3-3:25 Cobleskill; and 4-5:30 Delanson.

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