Archive for May, 2013

Another Glimpse of NKP 765

May 31, 2013

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My friend Larry and I decided to wait at Battery Park (top photograph) on Thursday for the Nickel Plate Road No. 765 ferry move to Bellevue. The train showed at 12:22 p.m. We were able to get it again at the Vermilion connection (bottom photograph).

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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WOW — What a Weekend (Part 3)

May 30, 2013

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Before the Nickel Plate Road No. 765 arrived on Monday at the Horseshoe Curve we photographed several other Norfolk Southern trains that passed by. These included the eastbound Amtrak Pennsylvanian. The series of photographs from last weekend concludes with some images of other trains in the Curve.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

This is not the Broadway Limited.

This is not the Broadway Limited.

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This was my perch for three hours.

This was my perch for three hours.

If the 611 ever makes a comeback, I'll be trackside to record it.

If the 611 ever makes a comeback, I’ll be trackside to record it.

WOW — What a Weekend (Part 2)

May 29, 2013
Nickel Plate Road No. 765 starts around Horseshoe Curve on Monday.

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 starts around Horseshoe Curve on Monday.

A few days before we left for our Nickel Plate Road 765 excursion, I got an e-mail informing me that we had been upgraded to dome seats due to car substitutions for our Sunday excursion. My photos are OK but not spectacular. However the ride and sights were awesome.

When we boarded we were pleasantly surprised that Roger Durfee was an attendant in the Northern Pacific dome car in front of our dome.

On Monday we decided to climb and hike the outside of the curve in hope of the ultimate shots.

After the workout of the century to get to the top we were rewarded. The view was spectacular and it had been well worth the climb.

After the show we ran into fellow ARRC members Dennis Taksar and John Puda on the downhill climb.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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WOW — What a Weekend (Part 1)

May 28, 2013

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Fellow ARRC member Jeff Troutman and and I got to Altoona, Pa., on Saturday as passengers from the Nickel Plate Road 765 excursion were unloading for lunch.

We did some scouting and chose the signal bridge at Fostoria (not Ohio) to photograph the train. We then caught up for pacing east of Huntingdon on Pennsylvania Route 22 before getting a final shot at Mt Union.

After mass early Saturday evening, we returned to the tracks, but didn’t have time to get properly set up for the surprise on the end of a late running  Amtrak No. 43.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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Memorial Day Weekend With CSX–Part 2

May 28, 2013
The sudden appearance of a westbound Wheeling & Lake Erie stone train would help me make up my mind about how to spend the rest of the afternoon. It shown approaching the crossing with Greenwich Town Line Road 79 S.

The sudden appearance of a westbound Wheeling & Lake Erie stone train would help me make up my mind about how to spend the rest of the afternoon. It shown approaching the crossing with Greenwich Town Line Road 79 S.

In early afternoon, a Wheeling & Lake Erie train had called the CSX IG dispatcher for permission to get onto the Cleveland Subdivision at CP 47 in New London.

At the time, the dispatcher said he would be waiting for two eastbounds. When those had passed and still no signal, the W&LE crew called its own dispatcher, who said he had talked to the IG dispatcher about 10 minutes previous and been told that the Wheeling train would have to wait for one more.

The W&LE crew, though, didn’t believe it, telling their own dispatcher, “They always say there is one more.”

They had good reason to be skeptical. Not only had they experienced this drill before, but one more would turn out to be three more.

The rumbling of diesels that I heard shortly after 3 p.m. would be the Wheeling train headed for the Carey Subdivision.

I scrambled to the road crossing for photographs. My original plan had been to shoot this train broadside from the top of the reservoir, but there wasn’t time to get up there now.

Although I had been monitoring the radio, I had not heard the W&LE train call any signals.

By now, though, the lighting favored the grade crossing shot.

The lead unit had been repainted recently – or maybe washed – and its nose gleamed in the afternoon sunlight.

A high, thin layer of clouds had moved in, so the sunlight was a bit filtered.

I drove over to Greenwich where I planned to photograph the train west of town on the former AC&Y.

I managed to get ahead of the train, thanks to it having to slow through the crossovers to get back onto its own tracks. I elected to meet it at Edwards Road.

After that, I went back into town where not one, but two Greenwich cops were monitoring traffic for speeding on the main drag.

I parked at the unofficial railfan park. A couple had set up a motor home there, something I had seen before.

There were three other railfans on hand, one of whom had an older model Pentax film camera. Another couple had between them three cameras, one of which used film.

I had just missed a tank car train led by a BNSF unit with two CSX locomotives trailing.

I hung around for about an hour. The prize catch was a westbound manifest freight coming into town on the Cleveland Sub with a Canadian National unit on the lead and a BC Rail unit trailing.

My last train was a westbound grain train on the New Castle Sub. It was time to pack up and head home.

But not before making my first ever visit to the Green Witch for some ice cream. It was a most fitting ending to an enjoyable day with CSX.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The W&LE train approaching Edwards Road west of Greenwich. The crops in the adjacent field are poking through the soil as another growing season gets underway.

The W&LE train approaching Edwards Road west of Greenwich. The crops in the adjacent field are poking through the soil as another growing season gets underway.

Passing some wild flowers in Greenwich as a manifest freight heads for Crestline.

Passing some wild flowers in Greenwich as a manifest freight heads for Crestline.

A notch in the vegetation enabled this shot of a westbound stack train on the long connection at Greenwich.

A notch in the vegetation enabled this shot of a westbound stack train on the long connection at Greenwich.

Canadian National power leads a manifest on the short connection at Greenwich.

Canadian National power leads a manifest on the short connection at Greenwich.

My last train of the day was a westbound grain train on the New Castle Sub.

My last train of the day was a westbound grain train on the New Castle Sub.

Railroading Ghosts In Pennsylvania

May 28, 2013

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After riding behind the Nickel Plate Road No. 765 and making a nice catch of ex-New York Central observation car Hickory Creek on the Pennsylvanian we found some other surprise catches on Saturday.

First was a very old streetcar body off of Pennsylvania Route 22 between Lewistown and Mt Union. I’m not sure of the make and maybe some of the electric experts might know.

Next was at Mt. Union. This was the main yard of the East Broad Top railroad.

When it shut down in 1957 the equipment was simply left here. There are dozens of old hopper cars and a group of U.S Army Transportation Corps boxcars as well. The forest has grown up and around these relics.

Lastly we found some Penn Central trailers parked along the highway outside of Mt Union.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillion

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Steam Over Central Pennsylvania

May 28, 2013

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Nickel Plate Road No. 765 spent the weekend pulling public excursions in central Pennsylvania, which included a trip around the famed Horseshoe Curve. In the top photograph, the Berkshire gets some attention during a stop at Gallitzin. In the bottom photo, we see the old and the new as a stack train passes on an adjacent track in Altooon.

Photographs by Adam Barr

Memorial Day Weekend With CSX–Part 1

May 27, 2013
The first train that I photographed was a manifest freight heading west. It is crossing Greenwich Townline Road 79 S.

The first train that I photographed was a manifest freight heading west. It is crossing Greenwich Townline Road 79 S.

My first visit to the reservoir at New London came on May 28, 2006, during an Akron Railroad club outing. Almost immediately, I liked the location.

I’ve been back to New London several times since then, but not so the ARRC. Having enjoyed the 2006 outing there, I pushed to have another club outing to New London and nearby Greenwich over Memorial Day weekend of 2012.

But no one wanted to go or could not go so the outing never happened. I pushed again for the club to go to New London over the Labor Day weekend, but again there was no interest.

This year I decided to have my own outing to New London on Memorial Day weekend Sunday.

I arrived shortly before 9 a.m. after picking up breakfast at McDonalds. The skies were clear and the temperatures a bit cool. There was a light breeze that made ripples in the water.

This jacket weather was quite a contrast from the 2006 Memorial Day weekend.

I had another motivation for going to New London. Ever since Norfolk Southern revived its steam program and painted 20 diesels in heritage liveries, I’ve all but forgotten railfanning CSX. It was high time to spend a day with an old friend.

Train traffic through New London was brisk early. I saw three trains roll past before I had finished eating breakfast.

After getting a couple of ground-level shots, I climbed atop the reservoir.

Nothing out of the ordinary came past in terms of motive power or train consists. It was the typical daily traffic with the usual CSX power.

During the 2006 outing, we had seen the CSX executive train. But nothing extraordinary came by today and the only foreign power that I saw was BNSF.

Nonetheless, I was enjoying myself. There is something relaxing about sitting next to a body of water.

I wondered what other club members were doing today. Some I knew were in Pennsylvania chasing Nickel Plate Road No. 765. Another club member had a trip to Pittsburgh planned.

My thoughts were interrupted by hearing on the radio a K train taking the southeast connection at Greenwich.

That got me off the top of reservoir and driving toward Nova to get yet another shot of a train and the tower that seems to be cheating demolition with each passing day.

Back on the reservoir less than an hour later, I heard train after train on the ex-B&O while the ex-Big Four through New London was silent.

The lull would last nearly two hours before the Cleveland Subdivision sprang back to life and a steady stream of trains returned.

By mid afternoon I was thirsty and feeling it was time to move on. Did I want to go over to Greenwich? Up to Wellington and a stop at the Dairy Queen? Or perhaps it was time to mosey toward home?

I heard the rumble of locomotives working hard. My decision was about to be made.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Tank train shots have almost become cliche. But they still intrigue me.

Tank train shots have almost become cliche. But they still intrigue me.

A red house and a locomotive nose in a view taken from atop the reservoir.

A red house and a locomotive nose in a view taken from atop the reservoir.

The image was recorded in Ohio, but it could have been in Kansas. Everything in this eastbound grain train carried BNSF markings.

The image was recorded in Ohio, but it could have been in Kansas. Everything in this eastbound grain train carried BNSF markings.

The reservoir is not the only body of water at this site.

The reservoir is not the only body of water at this site.

I don't know if these ties are awaiting pick up by the railroad or they are going to be used to create a set of steps from the parking lot to the top of the reservoir.

I don’t know if these ties are awaiting pick up by the railroad or they are going to be used to create a set of steps from the parking lot to the top of the reservoir.

A track inspector looks over Track No. 1 as he travels toward New London.

A track inspector looks over Track No. 1 as he travels toward New London.

What is a photograph in May witout flowers? Some wild daisies sway in the wind as an eastbound stack train passes.

What is a photograph in May witout flowers? Some wild daisies sway in the wind as an eastbound stack train passes.

Nova Tower Standing in There

May 27, 2013

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Periodically, we report on the status of Nova tower, that decrepit structure on the south side of the tracks of the CSX New Castle Subdivision in Nova, Ohio. Built by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad decades ago, the tower once controlled crossovers and a siding here. But those are gone and for some reason the tower itself continues to stand.

I was out on a Memorial Day outing on Sunday when I heard a train heading eastward on the ex-B&O. I had time to get ahead of it and so I drove to Nova. With Nova tower, you never know when your next photograh of it will be your last.

A couple of railfans from the Chicago area were already there and one of them was brave enough to climb the stairs to get a photograph through the tower’s windows — or what is left of them.

His photograph did not work out the way he had hoped. The levers are still in the tower and he was able to get those all right. But the high contrast lighting resulted in the oncoming train being washed out.

Perhaps he might be able to salvage a half-way decent image in Photoshop.

As for myself, I stayed firmly on the ground. Perhaps the stairs are still safe, but every time I see Nova tower it looks a little worse for wear. One of these days . . .

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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‘Century’ and ‘Broadway’ Still Live

May 26, 2013

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I caught the westbound Pennsylvanian on Saturday after riding behind the Nickel Plate Road No. 765. Trailing was New York Central’s Hickory Creek.

That was quite a nice surprise.

Earlier I had seen the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Mountain View on display at the Altoona railroad museum. What are the odds of catching two signature cars of the famous Broadway Limited and Twentieth Century Limited on the same afternoon?

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon