Archive for April, 2013

Touch of Spring on the Cleveland Line

April 28, 2013
The 65R rolls past the Bedford Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks just after 3 p.m. on Friday, April 26.

The 65R rolls past the Bedford Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks just after 3 p.m. on Friday, April 26.

The afternoon of Friday, April 26 was a pleasant spring day so I decided to do some railfanning before traveling to Akron for the Akron Railroad Club meeting. I knew there were some flowing trees in the parking lot of Tim Lally Field/Willis Picnic Area of the Bedford Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks.

The park is adjacent to Norfolk Southern’s Cleveland Line. This is the same place that the ARRC will be having its summer picnic this July.

In a case of what a difference a year makes, I had been here on the afternoon before a spring 2012 ARRC meeting and these same trees were blooming. But that was in March and not April. The trees and other vegetation are blossoming about a month later this year due to the extended cold and snowy winter.

Whatever the case, I had a nice day and NS was cooperating by running traffic at a fairly steady pace. Just before leaving home I had checked a couple of Internet sources and discovered that the 65R, a train of empty tank cars bound for the BNSF in Chicago, had been reported past Enon Valley, Pa., at 12:35 p.m.

Earlier in the day, this train had been reported as having the Central of New Jersey heritage unit in the motive power consist. But it had been changed out at Conway Yard near Pittsburgh and replaced with the Nickel Plate Road heritage unit.

The traffic mix was intermodal and manifest freight trains with one auto rack train thrown in. I didn’t see any coal or stone trains.

The flowering trees at this location are small and not overly dramatic. But it still says spring and getting blooming trees and trains together is not easy to do.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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Cleveland Officials Want to ‘Hide’ Amtrak Station

April 28, 2013
The Cleveland Amtrak station in a view taken in October 2011. The RTA's Waterfront Line cuts through the station's "front yard." (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

The Cleveland Amtrak station in a view taken in October 2011. The RTA’s Waterfront Line cuts through the station’s “front yard.” (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

Heaven forbid that those attending events at the Cleveland convention center would have to look at the Amtrak station or the Norfolk Southern tracks next door.

Cuyahoga County officials are planning to pay to install landscaping that would block the “unsightly” station as visitors gaze at the Lake Erie vista from the convention center’s floor to ceiling ballroom windows. The center will open this summer.

The $465 million convention center sits on a bluff in downtown Cleveland above two major railroad lines, the NS Cleveland Line to Pittsburgh and the CSX Lakefront Line to Buffalo. The two lines converge at the Cuyahoga River and form the NS Chicago Line.

Primarily the tracks are used by NS trains because nearly all CSX traffic uses a route that bypasses downtown Cleveland.

Also in the view from the convention center are the stadium used by the Cleveland Browns, the Great Lakes Science Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and various industrial type buildings. The Greater Cleveland RTA’s Waterfront Line also moseys through the view.

County officials hired an architect last August to draw up designs that would mask the 36-year-old Amtrak station. County officials also want to remove some taller trees that are currently blocking part of the view of the football stadium, the Science Center and the Rock Hall.

The landscaping plans need approval of the City of Cleveland because it owns the land on which the Amtrak station sits.

County officials say they plan to proceed this spring with the landscaping plans to “hide” the station.

The Amtrak station was built in the 1970s and used what was then a standard architecture plan for new stations that put a premium on functionality and low cost. In the minds of many, that architectural concept has not aged well.

The Amtrak station is a squat-looking dark brown structure with blue trim that is primarily used during the nighttime hours when the Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited come calling.

Those Bridges of Harrisburg

April 27, 2013

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This is final installment from my recent east coast trip. Railfan lodging is good in the Harrisburg, Pa., area.

The Bridgeview B&B is the prime spot with great views of the former Pennsylvania Railroad’s Rockville bridge. Another quality hotel is the Comfort Inn near downtown.

This motel has a great view of the former Reading Railroad bridge over the Susequhanna River. This concrete arch bridge is over a mile long and great views can be had here in the morning.

Out east the spring was much further along than it was here in Ohio with cherry trees in full bloom just about everywhere. I was even able to frame one with this bridge. Here are some photos enjoy.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

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A Morning Spent on CSX Near Willard

April 27, 2013
CSX Q634, a one unit wonder, is nearing Willard at the Featheringhills road crossing with fresh "boxcar" logo SD-40-2 No. 8057.

CSX Q634, a one unit wonder, is nearing Willard at the Featheringhills road crossing with fresh “boxcar” logo SD-40-2 No. 8057.

Roger Durfee got out last weekend on the former Baltimore & Ohio mainline now operated by CSX. He repors that train action was heavy in the morning in the Willard area. Presented here is some of what he recorded.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

Same train as seen from the Section Line Road bridge.

Same train as seen from the Section Line Road bridge.

Down on view of the fresh paint.

Down on view of the fresh paint.

The new logo units were pretty common that day. Brand new 3098 will be the trailing unit on Q635.

The new logo units were pretty common that day. Brand new 3098 will be the trailing unit on Q635.

Q351 with CSX 3081 at Edwards Rd a little west of Greenwich.

Q351 with CSX 3081 at Edwards Rd a little west of Greenwich.

Foreign power was almost non-existent except for this CN leader on a K936 stone train at Daniels Road.

Foreign power was almost non-existent except for this CN leader on a K936 stone train at Daniels Road.

A bit of Willard history in a farmers backyard.

A bit of Willard history in a farmers backyard.

A long Wheeling stone train comes east off the former AC&Y at GN in Greenwich.

A long Wheeling stone train comes east off the former AC&Y at GN in Greenwich.

There was a long string of what looked like at first some "Ohio State" cars.

There was a long string of what looked like at first some “Ohio State” cars.

But on closer review showed them to be Osborne stone hoppers .

But on closer review showed them to be Osborne stone hoppers .

We Interupt This Trip for a Pair of Tunnel Motors

April 26, 2013
Passing through the elevators at Clarksfield.

Passing through the elevators at Clarksfield.

I did yet another photo outing to the Willard area last Sunday and photographed a fair amount of action in the morning.

As things were sounding quiet toward afternoon, we headed north toward Avon Lake and the Illinois Terminal heritage unit as our goal because my friend had not photographed it yet.

We caught a radio transmission indicating a Wheeling & Lake Erie westbound was holding for traffic at Wellington, so we headed for Clarksfield.

I set up west of the elevator and was pleasantly surprised when I saw the power set had the two ex-Rio Grande tunnel motors spliced by an SD40-3.

We decided to forget about the H unit and give chase to this train since it was going to work at Hartland. We photographed it as it made its lift at Hartland and a couple more times as it made its way to Bellevue.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

Working at Hartland.

Working at Hartland.

View of the power set at Hartland.

View of the power set at Hartland.

Departing Hartland, starting to drop down the hill into Norwalk.

Departing Hartland, starting to drop down the hill into Norwalk.

Crossing over the West Branch Huron River in Monroeville. That's a former NYC bridge on the right, now a trail.

Crossing over the West Branch Huron River in Monroeville. That’s a former NYC bridge on the right, now a trail.

A “springtime” looking going away view.

A “springtime” looking going away view.

Just east of Bellevue at Yeomans.

Just east of Bellevue at Yeomans.

Getting Lucky with the Wabash Locomotive

April 26, 2013
The chase begins when I intercepted the Wabash heritage unit at the Conneaut Trestle.

The chase begins when I intercepted the Wabash heritage unit at the Conneaut Trestle.

I’ve had my share of blunders with heritage units. But on St. Patrick’s Day I had some luck of the Irish when I had caught the Wabash heritage unit on a coal train.

I knew that No. 1070 was out there so I took a chance and went to Conneaut in hope of getting it. I got out there about 3:45 p.m. and it showed up at 5:30 p.m.

I then followed the train to Ashtabula and recorded it backing around the connection from tnhe former Nickel Plate to the former Conrail Youngstown Line.

In the series of images, you can see the train backing into the northwest connection and then heading south on the Youngstown line after an eastbound cleared. The train headed south was my last shot because it just beat me up the hill.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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2013 McKay Day Photos, Train List Posted

April 25, 2013

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A gallery of photographs taken by Richard Thompson along with the list of trains that Akron Railroad Club members saw during the 2013 Dave McKay Day has now been posted. The annual outing to Berea is held on the first Saturday or April in honor of the late David McKay, who served as president of the ARRC for 12 years before stepping down in late 2004. This year’s outing was held on April 6. To view the gallery and see the train list, click on the link below.

https://akronrrclub.wordpress.com/about/activities/2013-dave-mckay-day-at-berea/

NS Parties Like its 1969

April 25, 2013

Norfolk Southern train Z5R, an empty oil train, came through Tuesday night. Leading was the Penn Central heritage unit (No. 1073) and bringing up the rear as a DPU was the New York Central heritage unit (No. 1066). I went to Rootstown to catch it and also got another freight with PREX switcher No. 107.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

The Class Ended Just in Time

April 25, 2013

I had a rules class scheduled at Rockport this past Monday before I found out that the Norfolk Southern business train was going to pass through Cleveland.

Rules classes can go on all afternoon, so I had little hope of catching this move. As luck would have it, the class ended early so I checked on the progress of the OCS and saw that I had enough time to get Bridge 1 in downtown Cleveland. The first two photos above are from that location.

I knew there would be a crew change so I headed west in hopes of catching the OCS in another location. I went with Eastland Road for my second location to catch it passing under the old New York Central MP 192 signal bridge.

Billboards have sprung up like so many mushrooms after a rain in the Brookpark area, including one right behind the signal bridge.

I rarely alter my photos much other than the usual “tweaks,” but I felt compelled to eliminate the obnoxious lettering and make the photo a grayscale image to tone down that corner of the billboard. With two locations in the bag I headed home.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

 

Remembering When Steam Rocked the Valley

April 24, 2013
Central Ohio No. 1293 storms through Brecksville in September 2012 during a visit to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Central Ohio No. 1293 storms through Brecksville in September 2012 during a visit to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Edward Ribinskas loves steam locomotives. So when Central Ohio No. 1283, a.k.a., Canadian Pacific No. 1293, made an appearance on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad last September, Ed made sure that he was trackside to photograph it.

He had just purchased a Nikon digital single lens reflex camera and what better subject to use it on than a living, breathing steam locomotive.

Presented here is a gallery of some of Ed’s more memorable photographs that he made of the 1293 during the month when it was rockin’ and rollin’ in the Cuyahoga River Valley.

Passing through the Goodyear Complex in East Akron.

Passing through the Goodyear Complex in East Akron.

The iconic scene along the river in Brecksville with the Route 82 bridge in the background.

The iconic scene along the river in Brecksville with the Route 82 bridge in the background.

Where there is a steam locomtive, there will be admiring spectators.

Where there is a steam locomtive, there will be admiring spectators.

Past the backyards on Riverwoods Drive in northwest Akron.

Craig Sanders photographs the train  as it cruises through northwest Akron.

A convoy follows the train along Riverview Road south of Peninsula.

A convoy follows the train along Riverview Road south of Peninsula.

Steaming through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Steaming through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Following Riverview Road and the Towpath trail just north of Bath Road.

Following Riverview Road and the Towpath trail just north of Bath Road.

Passing the backyards on Riverwoods Road in Akron.

Passing the backyards on Riverwoods Road in Akron.