Archive for August, 2022

Chasing NKP 765 Through 3 States

August 28, 2022

Leaving Edon, Ohio
Passing the depot in Pleasant Lake, Indiana
Passing the old depot in Montgomery, Indiana
Coming into Hillsdale, Michigan
Little River Railroad No. 110 in Hillsdale.

This past weekend Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 ran a series of trips on the Indiana Northeastern railroad between Edon Ohio, and Hillsdale, Michigan.

Light was challenging because it first runs due west from Edon (shooting into the sun) before tuning north at Steubenville, Indiana. Going north the light was good and turning east again at Hillsdale for a short distance was also good.

A bonus was the Little River railroad was running short trips (very short of 12 minutes each direction) with their No. 1 a 0-4-0, and No. 110, a small Pacific type.

Fun fact: The 110, which was built by Baldwin locomotive works in 1911, is one serial number off from Southern Railway No. 4501 (also a Pacific) meaning they shared the shop floor together during construction.  Lighting was especially challenging here.

Around 3:30 p.m. the 765 returned south and lighting was good until it turned back east again (shooting into the sun).  I managed to get some good pictures all the same and here are a few.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

EL Monday: A View Inside McCoy Street Yard

August 28, 2022

An unidentified photographer shooting Agfachrome film and standing on the walk bridge over the Erie Lackawanna’s McCoy Street Yard in Akron is looking south toward the East Thornton Street bridge. He caught an EL switcher working in May 1971.

Collection of Robert Farkas

BNSF ‘Grinstein Green’ Trio in Akron

August 28, 2022

Here are three early digital images of BNSF SD70MAC No. 9505 in the “Grinstein green” livery leading a westbound train on CSX in Akron on June 20, 2004.

The top image was made north of East Thornton Street at MP 130.4. In the middle the train is approaching me before passing under the East Thornton Street bridge.

In the bottom image the train, having passed under the East Thornton Street bridge, is approaching Voris Street. The bridge in the background carries Interstates 76 and 77.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

The View From Berea Tower

August 28, 2022

A westbound Conrail stack train rumbles through Berea in a view made from Berea Tower. I had permission to be on the property to gather information for an article for Trains magazine. The date is Oct. 8, 1994.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

2 Wolverine Service Trains to be Suspended

August 28, 2022

Amtrak Train 350 swings onto the Michigan Line in Porter, Indiana, on Feb. 27, 2002.

Amtrak is citing equipment and personnel shortages for suspending two Wolverine Service trains until mid-September.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said Nos. 350 and 355 between Chicago and Detroit (Pontiac) would be suspended starting Aug. 29 and continuing through Sept. 16.

No. 350 is the early morning departure from Chicago while No. 355 is the late afternoon departure from Pontiac.

No alternative service is being provided for the suspended trains. Amtrak said Nos. 350 and 355 will resume operating on Sept. 17.

The suspensions will not affect operations of Wolverine Service Trains 351, 352, 353 and 354.

Amtrak has attributed various Midwest corridor service suspensions this summer to a shortage of equipment and personnel.

Among the trains suspended for a few days to more than a week have been the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg between Chicago and Quincy, Illinois; and two Lincoln Service trains between Chicago and St. Louis.

Since January the southbound Saluki and northbound Illini in the Chicago-Carbondale, Illinois, corridor have been suspended and no date has been announced as to when those trains will be restored.

CSX Inherits Locomotives it Once Owned

August 28, 2022

CSX has inherited more than 100 GE C40-8 locomotives as part of its merger with regional carrier Pan Am Railways.

Trains magazine reported on its website that the acquisition represented a turnabout because CSX had begun striking the 4,000-horsepower six-axle units several years ago, selling most of its standard cab Dash-8s back to GE which in turn sold 24 of them to Pan Am.

It was thus a case of CSX acquiring Pan Am locomotives that CSX once owned and then sold. The units carried the 7400-7600 roster number series at both railroads.

The Trains report said it is unclear if CSX plans to keep the C40-8 units but at least one of them has recently been repainted into the CSX livery and given a new roster number.

That unit, No. 9280, was seen working a manifest freight in Tennessee on the former Clinchfield Railroad.

CSX purchased 147 C40-8 locomotives, which GE introduced in 1987.

The Trains report can be read at

Gardner Signs CEO Diversity & Inclusion Pledge

August 28, 2022

Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner has signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge.

An Amtrak news release said the pledge seeks to cultivate diverse perspectives and experiences.

Company leaders signing the pledge agree to implement it within their respective workplaces and to support companies doing the same.

Amtrak said it will focus its efforts in four areas including supporting an open dialogue on “complex and sometimes difficult” diversity and inclusion conversations; expanding awareness of unconscious biases; sharing best practices and unsuccessful actions; and establishing accountability.

Amtrak said it has eight employee resource groups that it said “aim to foster connections and create a sense of belonging for employees.”

Transborder Freight Up 15.4% in June

August 28, 2022

Freight moving by rail among the United States, Canada and Mexico in June was up 15.4 percent to $18.9 billion worth of goods compared with $16.4 billion in June 2021 The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported last week.

Freight moved in June by all modes of transportation among the three countries was $141.2 billion in value, a 21.8 percent increase compared with June 2021.

In June 2022, rail freight was 13.4 percent of all transborder freight. Traffic between the United States and Canada in June was $11.1 billion worth of goods, while cargo moved between the United States and Mexico via rail was $7.7 billion.

Two of the three busiest rail border ports during June were in Michigan: Detroit and Port Huron. The other was Laredo, Texas.

The bureau said the top three commodities transported by rail were vehicles and parts; minerals and fuels; and plastics.

Another Out of Ordinary Visitor to Akron

August 27, 2022

For the second time in less than two weeks an out of the ordinary locomotive led a westbound train through Akron on the CSX New Castle Subdivision.

On Friday, the 3194, the Spirit of Our Law Enforcement ES44AH unit, led train X331 through Akron at 3:30 p.m. The X symbol denotes an extra section of train M331, which originates in Cumberland, Maryland, and travels to Avon Yard west of Indianapolis. The X331 is shown west of Sterling just after 5 p.m.

On Aug. 17, the trio of CSX FP40H-2 units in their attractive Baltimore & Ohio heritage-like livery led the executive train through Akron around noon on a roundabout journey to Chicago through Michigan.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: N&W 611 in Virginia

August 27, 2022

Jim Bacon, Paul Woodring and I found Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 in Bedford, Virginia, on Sept. 6, 1982. It was pulling an Independence Limited excursion from Roanoke to Alexandria, Virginia. The J class locomotive had made its inaugural runs after being restored to operating condition the month before.

Photograph by Robert Farkas