Sunday Snow Showers and 4 Railroads

A Wheeling & Lake Erie stone hoppers train sits near Summit Street in Akron on Sunday morning. I liked the beauty of the snow-covered rails.

A Wheeling & Lake Erie stone hoppers train sits near Summit Street in Akron on Sunday morning. I liked the beauty of the snow-covered rails.

This past Sunday I met up with fellow Akron Railroad Club member Roger Durfee at about 8 a.m. and we hit the road for a day of train chasing. It was snowing and we would encounter snow showers for most of the day. It was RAD weather!

Our plan was to track down the Erie heritage locomotive. But by the time I got to Roger’s house he had learned that NS had taken this unit off the coal train bound for Wisconsin to which it had been assigned on the Mon Line in southwestern Pennsylvania and put it on another coal train bound for Norfolk, Va.

This meant that it would be coming through Ohio on the Fort Wayne Line via Canton, not the Cleveland Line via Ravenna. In its original assignment, the Erie unit had been the leader. Now it was trailing. So much for that.

Instead, we turned out attention to hunting NS 1070, the Wabash heritage locomotive, which was leading an eastbound 14N out of Elkhart, Ind., and would be working Rockport Yard in Cleveland en route to Conway Yard near Pittsburgh. I’d photographed the NS 1070 before but Roger did not yet have it on the point in the wild.

Before setting out for the NS tracks, we found another “Erie” heritage unit. We made a pass by the Wheeling & Lake Erie tracks at Summit Street in Akron. Sitting in a siding known as Rock Cut was a train of empty stone hoppers. This train was unlikely to move until Sunday night.

Based on information that Roger received from a friend in Toledo, we decided to intercept the 14N at Olmsted Falls rather than venture further west on the Chicago Line.

While waiting for the 14N, we observed the westbound manifest freight that we had seen sitting at CP Max as we crossed over the NS tracks on I-480.

We had a report that the 14N had passed Sandusky shortly after 10 a.m. and estimated this would put it by us around 11.

In the meantime, we chatted with some railfan friends, one of whom said that the 14N had nothing behind him and the intermodal trains ahead of him were well ahead. This suggested that no traffic would be impeding his movement.

Roger was talking to a guy on his cell phone when one of our friends began waving. The 14N was on the approach. Time to move into position – quickly.

The snow as coming down steadily as the 14N with the Wabash heritage unit in the lead passed through Olmsted Falls. It was the second time I’d caught the NS 1070 and both times had been during a snow shower.

We were able to get over to Eastland Road and into position to catch the 14N passing beneath the intermediate signals on the signal bridge near MP 192.

The 14N worked Rockport, setting off 20 cars and picking up five. It was ready to head east by about 1 p.m. We got our final images of the NS 1070 leading this train near CP 107 just north of Motor Yard in Macedonia.

With our main mission accomplished, I suggested checking out the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which runs twice a day on Saturday and Sunday during the winter.

We found the northbound CVSR train coming into Peninsula and then moved on to Boston Mill to photograph it again.

As the northbound train came into Boston Mill, it had begun snowing again. That must have pleased the owners of the ski resort across the road.

After getting the CVSR, we motored back to Akron where we heard a CSX train calling signals on the radio. We set up at Arlington Street where we got two eastbounds, the Q394 and the Q296, before calling it a day.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

A westbound manifest freight rumbles through Olmsted Falls, the first moving train of the day that we photographed.

A westbound manifest freight rumbles through Olmsted Falls, the first moving train of the day that we photographed.

A westbound NS intermodal kicks up some snow on the Chicago  Line at Olmsted Falls.

A westbound NS intermodal kicks up some snow on the Chicago Line at Olmsted Falls.

NS 1070, the Wabash heritage unit, rolls past the depot in Olmsted Falls. Also on hand was ARRC member Dennis Taksar.

NS 1070, the Wabash heritage unit, rolls past the depot in Olmsted Falls. Also on hand was ARRC member Dennis Taksar.

Another view of NS 1070 leading the 14N through Olmsted Falls.

Another view of NS 1070 leading the 14N through Olmsted Falls.

The 14N passes CP 107 just north of Motor Yard in Macedonia. The train would later take the Bayard line out of Alliance.

The 14N passes CP 107 just north of Motor Yard in Macedonia. The train would later take the Bayard line out of Alliance.

A westbound NS stack train approaches the signals at CP 107 just before the 14N rolled eastward.

A westbound NS stack train approaches the signals at CP 107 just before the 14N rolled eastward.

A former Santa Fe GP30 running long hood forward wheels a CVSR train into Boston Mill where it paused to drop off a passenger going to the ski resort. The locomotive is now LTEX 2436.

A former Santa Fe GP30 running long hood forward wheels a CVSR train into Boston Mill where it paused to drop off a passenger going to the ski resort. The geep is now LTEX 2436.

Roger doesn’t like LTEX 1420, a GP15-1 painted all black with some white trim. Because he wouldn’t photograph it, I decided that as a public service I would do so and post this image so that you all could see what power is on the south end of the CVSR these days.

Roger doesn’t like LTEX 1420, a GP15-1 painted all black with some white trim. Because he wouldn’t photograph it, I decided that as a public service I would do so and post this image so that you all could see what power is on the south end of the CVSR these days.

The Q394 splits the B&O style color position lights at AY just west of Arlington Street in Akron.

The Q394 splits the B&O style color position lights at AY just west of Arlington Street in Akron.

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One Response to “Sunday Snow Showers and 4 Railroads”

  1. Tokm Hanlon Says:

    Might I get permission to use your photo on an upcoming CD; local singer songwriter producing < 500 copies (a lifetime supply in the folk niche :LOL). The title track is called This Train. Here's a link to the song: http://www.ourstage.com/media_items/MRTFNNWZDAWK-this-train

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