When Coal Still Ruled at Ashtabula Harbor

I was looking for something else when I ran across this image made in Ashtabula Harbor yard eight years ago.

The view is looking south at the rear of a coal train that is stretching out for what seems to be miles.

If you look carefully you will see the Illinois Terminal heritage locomotive in the distance. It’s bright green color should make it easy to spot.

It was a different time then. Coal trains were far more common than they are now, which is probably why I made this image and then promptly forgot about it. It had not been a highlight of the day.

Eight years later Norfolk Southern doesn’t carry as much coal as it did then. It has in recent years shifted coal away from Ashtabula Harbor in favor of Sandusky.

It has been quite a while since I last saw the harbor yard in Ashtabula so I’m not sure what use is made of it today.

NS still runs trains through Ashtabula on its Lake Erie District, the former Nickel Plate Road mainline to Buffalo, New York.

Maybe some coal still moves through town on NS or CSX. Yet that traffic must be a shadow of what it once was.

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2 Responses to “When Coal Still Ruled at Ashtabula Harbor”

  1. Tom Says:

    Just a quick question: Any idea as to why the last hopper looks like it has a fluorescent green marker on the tie below it?

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