UP Wings Greets the Sunrise in Painesville

A brace of Union Pacific locomotives faces the rising sun in Painesville on the CSX Erie West Subdivision.

A brace of Union Pacific locomotives faces the rising sun in Painesville on the CSX Erie West Subdivision.

The former New York Central depot was well illuminated, but the CSX tracks still had shadows over them.

The former New York Central depot was well illuminated, but the CSX tracks still had shadows over them.

A short while later on the other side of the town Norfolk Southern train 316 also had Union Pacific motive power in the lead as it crossed the trestle over the Grand River.

A short while later on the other side of the town Norfolk Southern train 316 also had Union Pacific motive power in the lead as it crossed the trestle over the Grand River.

It must have been my lucky day. Not only did I get some good images of Nickel Plate Road 765 during a ferry move, but I also managed to snag Union Pacific motive power leading freight trains of CSX and Norfolk Southern into the sunrise in Painesville.

Fellow Akron Railroad Club member Peter Bowler and I rose early to go to Painesville to catch the 765. We figured if we’re going to get up early, we may as well catch Amtrak while we’re there.

We set up by the former New York Central station in the county seat of Lake County and caught No. 48. We then stuck around for some CSX action.

Not too far behind Amtrak was an eastbound manifest with a trio of UP motors and a slew of UP rolling stock. If this was still the Conrail era, I’d think it was the NPSE (North Platte to Selkirk), a train that originated on UP in Nebraska.

The sunlight wasn’t quite above the trees enough to light the tracks by the Painesville depot. But I was still pleased with what I was able to do.

We then relocated to the Norfolk Southern tracks by the trestle over the Grand River. We had been there less than about 10 minutes when I heard train 316 calling a signal over the radio.

The light favored being on the north side of the tracks whereas at the ex-New York Central depot on CSX the sunlight had favored the south side.

I got into position by the Riverside Drive crossing and waited. To my surprise and pleasure, the 316 had a UP leader.

That made me two for two on getting UP locomotives going into the sunrise in Painesville in a single morning.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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