The Erie Railroad heritage unit has been assigned to Norfolk Southern intermodal trains 22K and 23K for about a month now. Sometimes it leads, sometimes not, but until today (April 30), I had not been able to catch it.
One challenge in chasing H units is to somehow work in the actual railroad the heritage engine represents.
Catching the New York Central on the NYC or the Pennsylvania on the Pennsy is like a double bonus. Getting the Erie on the Erie is difficult to do in northeast Ohio.
But the 22K, which the Erie lea today, traverses the former Nickel Plate Road east of Cleveland and it passes former although now abandoned tracks that the Erie used.
The Cleveland Union Terminal hosted passenger trains from the NYC, Baltimore & Ohio, NKP and Erie.
This is appropriate as the Erie heritage is based on the two-tone green colors of Erie passenger engines and trains.
Another Erie connection is the Terminal Tower complex seen in the background. Passenger trains ended their run here but Erie also had its headquarters located in this complex.
The Erie at one time was a Van Sweringen road. The Van Sweringen brothers owned a consortium of railroads including the Nickel Plate, Erie, Chesapeake & Ohio and Pere Marquette.
They were also responsible for building the massive Terminal Tower complex, a Cleveland landmark.
Their intent was to merge these holdings into a giant rail system. Alas, these plans fell through and while Pere Marquette did merge with the C&O, the Nickel Plate and Erie went their separate ways.
I wonder how today’s rail network would look had this merger happened. It would likely have been a dominant player in the rail scene.