Archive for May, 2017

Chasing N&W 611 Out of Roanoke

May 31, 2017

Last weekend I went to Roanoke, Virginia, to chase the Norfolk & Western J class 611 trips. I had hoped to get some of the last remaining N&W signals but the last one was replaced just a week before these trips. Well it’s still a steam engine and there’s many great photo opportunities in this area. I’ve shared a few of them here.

This includes showing the 611 leaving Roanoke and passing the freight car shops; climbing Christianburg grade at Shawsville, Virginia; and passing the coal dock at Vicker, Virginia.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

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Celebrating 100 Years of Arcade & Attica

May 31, 2017

The New York State-based shortline railroad Arcade & Attica recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding under that name by hosting a series of steam excursions.

The A&A routinely runs tourist trains on weekends, including many runs behind its 2-8-0 No. 18.

But what made these trips out of the ordinary is that the nose of No. 18 faced west rather than its customary eastward direction.

Akron Railroad Club members Edward Ribinskas and Jeff Troutman got up early and drove to Arcade, New York, to chase the first trip of the day and hung around for the second one as well.

Ed sent along a few of his images to share of A&A No. 18 and its train. He noted that No. 18 will be facing westward again during trips on July 1 and 2.

 

Chicago-Columbus Study to be Completed This Year

May 31, 2017

A study of passenger rail service between Chicago and Columbus is expected to be completed by late this year.

HNTB Corporation is analyzing operating plans and preliminary costs for the proposed service, a review that is required by the National Environmental Policy Act to begin the project.

Completion of the analysis would enable the project to receive federal funds for design and construction.

HNTB will recommend a route, operating speeds, train frequency and station sites, as well as estimated ridership and revenue. The $350,000 study is being paid for by cities and businesses along the corridor, including Fort Wayne, Indiana, which lost Amtrak service in late 1990.

The route would initially have a top speed of 75 mph with an eventual goal 110 mph travel.

“We are making great progress in our efforts to return passenger rail to Fort Wayne and northern Indiana and northwest Ohio,” said Geoff Paddock, a member of  the Northern Indiana Passenger Rail Association. “This passenger-rail line will boost economic development efforts by connecting people and businesses throughout the region and it will enhance the quality of life for area residents.”

The group said in December 2016 that the Federal Railroad Administration would conduct the alternatives analysis and solicit public input on the project. HNTB was the contractor hired to complete that study.

Ed Journeys to the Everett Railroad Again

May 31, 2017

Owen (left) and Karl pose with Everett No. 11 in Holidaysburg, Pennsylvania.

On May 20, Akron Railroad Club member Ed Ribinskas along with his brother-in-law Karl and his son Owen (Ed’s nephew) did an all-day trip to railfan in Pennsylvania. Today’s installment focuses on their visit to the Everett Railroad where they chased and photographed two trips.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

The first of three images made of the train in Hollidaysburg.

 

Switching at Brooks Mills

At West Loop Road

Nearing Monastery Road.

Crossing Pennsylvania Route 36 north of Roaring Spring.

At Roaring Spring.

 

Reminder of a Past ARRC Outing

May 30, 2017

Westbound CSX manifest freight lumbers beneath the eastbound home signals for CP 37 and the water tower in Wellington.

Wellington is one of those places that is not that far away yet far enough that I don’t get there that often.

It is closer than Bellevue, Fostoria or Marion, but not as close to my home as Berea and Olmsted Falls.

Sometimes you just don’t have a good reason for neglecting to spend more time at a place that you really like.

I recently spent a few hours in Wellington and as I sat at the Lorain County Fairgrounds on the west side of the CSX Greenwich Subdivision I was reminded of the one and only Akron Railroad Club outing to Wellington during my time in the club.

That day was not necessarily the best or most exciting ARRC outing I’ve attended over the years, but I still remember it fondly.

It occurred on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009. I no longer remember why we chose to go to Wellington. Maybe at the time we were making an effort to visit what the Bulletin termed secondary hotspots in Northeast Ohio.

The report in the Bulletin indicated that 10 members showed up during the day and 22 CSX trains passed through. The W&LE sent just one train through town.

While sitting in Wellington recently I thought about some of the things that have changed since that 2009 outing.

I was using slide film exclusively then but have since switched to digital photography. Five of the 10 who attended no longer belong to the ARRC with Richard Jacobs among them having passed away.

Marty Surdyk was driving a Dodge Nitro then, but has since downsized to a smaller Jeep Patriot, I think it is.

Despite logging 22 CSX trains, I only made and/or saved eight 10 slides of CSX trains from that day, one of which is strikingly similar to the image that accompanies this article.

I had forgotten until I looked up the report of the outing published in the October 2009 Bulletin that Marty, myself and Rick Houck piled into the Nitro and chased the W&LE hopper train, getting it three times.

We speculated that it was a coke train that the Wheeling had picked up in Toledo from Canadian National. At the time, the W&LE was hauling coke that CN forwarded to Detroit.

I also had forgotten that when the outing began that morning a heavy rain was falling and that kept us in town rather than climbing the reservoir on the east side of the CSX tracks.

That also might explain why I have so few images from that day of CSX action.

The Bulletin report said we had lunch at Subway — where else? — and that by afternoon the skies had turned mostly sunny.

The report ended with the proclamation, “Let’s do it again, soon!” But that hasn’t happened and it probably won’t occur again as an ARRC activity.

Yet that won’t stop me from paying a return visit sooner rather than later. There are more memories there waiting to be made.

Different Point of View on Arcade & Attica

May 29, 2017

Akron Railroad Club members Edward Ribinskas and Jeff Troutman ventured to New York State on Saturday to chase the Arcade & Attica steam tourist train.

They’ve been there before but what was different this time was that A&A was celebrating its 100th anniversary by operating its 2-8-0 Alco No. 18 with its nose facing west rather than east as is the custom.

In the top photograph, No. 18 is read to depart from Curriers, New York. In the bottom photograph No. 18 rests at Curriers during its first run.

The A&A ran two trips last Saturday, both of them departing from Arcade, New York.

Photographs by Jeff Troutman

It Bike Aboard Season Again on the CVSR

May 27, 2017

The Bike Aboard program is back for another year on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Shown is a long line of bikes waiting to be boarded in the baggage car at Peninsula. It’s a Saturday morning and this is the first southbound National Park Scenic train of the day.

Swelling the numbers was a Boy  Scout troop that was riding the train one way and biking back to Peninsula, perhaps from Akron.

The waiting bicyclists made for an impressive sight.

N&W 611 May Expand its Excursion Range

May 27, 2017

Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 might be pulling excursions outside of Virginia and North Carolina if the Virginia Museum of Transportation has its way.

“We cannot sustain excursions in the North Carolina, Virginia area after the exposure we’ve already had,” said museum Executive Director Beverly T. Fitzpatrick Jr.

Fitzpatrick said the market for tickets for trips in those two states is about played out.

“There are just [not] a lot of people that are going to ride anymore that haven’t already ridden,” Fitzpatrick said. “So we are now talking to Amtrak about broadening that base to see if we can go a lot of other places.”

He said it is uncertain what opportunities there might be to operate the J Class locomotive in excursion service elsewhere.

“Everything is not known at the moment but it’s exciting because nobody is saying no. Everybody wants to talk about the opportunities,” Fitzpatrick said.

Forgotten Photograph, Not Forgotten Man

May 27, 2017

I ran across this photograph recently while clearing out an electronic file folder on my computer.

The image was made in August 2014 in Amherst during a picnic of the Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts, a Cleveland-based group.

You probably recognize the man making a photo as the late Tim Krogg, who served as secretary of the ARRC between 1989 and his death in March 2015.

This westbound Norfolk Southern train was among the last that he photographed. I don’t know how active Tim was in photographing while trackside, but I get the impression he didn’t make photographs very often.

Maybe this is the last train he photographed. It is likely the last image made of him photographing a train.

We’ve never had a practice in the ARRC of paying tribute to our deceased members aside from the annual Dave McKay Day outing in Berea in April.

Memorial Day is approaching and it’s a time to remember those who have gone before us.

Waving From a Train

May 26, 2017

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad crew members are encouraged to wave at people they see watching their train at stations and within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Of course waving at or from a train is a common practice in many other places, too. It is a practice as American as apple pie.

Some locomotives engineers will wave at railfans along the tracks and many railfans like to wave at trains whether the crew reciprocates or not.

These images were made of CVSR crew members waving in Peninsula on a recent Saturday.

In my experience, CVSR passengers like to get into the act, particularly if they see you photographing a train leaving or arriving at a station.

That included that man in the Saint Lucie Sound shown above.