Archive for the ‘Railfanning News and Features’ Category

Stone Train in Kent Two for Tuesday

May 23, 2022

The wayback machine has taken us back to a time when mainline Class 1 freight trains still often had standard cab locomotives, when there were still pole lines in place even if not in use, and when traffic on the CSX New Castle Subdivision was more frequent than it is today.

We’re standing on the bridge carrying Middlebury Road over the tracks on the southwest side of Kent. A westbound stone train is headed back to the quarry in western Ohio to pick up another load of limestone. I believe this train delivered stone that was unloaded at the nearby Shelly Materials facility.

Both images above were made on Sept. 16, 2007, and scanned from slide film.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

GE Center Cab Switcher in Kent

May 22, 2022

This GE 45-ton switcher is at a locomotive dealer in Kent on June 23, 2012. There are no reporting marks on the engine so we were unable to determine anything about its history or disposition.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Productive Afternoon in Perry

May 18, 2022

I was out photographing CSX and Norfolk Southern trains in Perry on May 10. It was a good day and I logged 11 trains, all but two of them on CSX.

I later realized that date was the 153rd anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike. Last year I learned that a director of the Union Pacific back then was John Casement.

He was present at the ceremony at Promontory. He also is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery just down the road which I passed on the way to Perry.

Someday I’ll remember to see if I can find his grave site since it is so close. 

Here are three favorites from that May 10 outing. The top image has three trains in it including the NS local from Grand River and two CSX trains. Even though I was on the wrong side for middle photo of a westbound NS manifest freight, I still like it. In the bottom photo the lighting is ideal for this westbound CSX stack train.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

W&LE Two for Tuesday in Creston

May 16, 2022

Today’s two for Tuesday features the Wheeling & Lake Erie in Creston. In the top image SD40-2 No. 7375 is on the point of an eastbound on April 4, 2012. In the bottom photo, the same unit is eastbound on March 26, 2011. The 7375 was built in March 1975 for the Missouri Pacific.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

45 Years Later at Stone Road

May 15, 2022

With the excursions of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad limited to all departing from Rockside Road station and advancing only as far as Vaughn Road due to the river bank erosion north of Boston Mill, I decided to pick out a one-and-done location.

I picked Stone Road about a mile south of the Rockside Road station.

 I chose that spot for several reasons. Years ago it was a through road between Brecksville Road on the west, crossing the tracks (ex-Baltimore & Ohio) at river level, crossing the river on a truss bridge, crossing the Ohio & Erie Canal, and then intersecting with Canal Road on the east end.

The top image was made in July 1977 with Cuyahoga Valley Line (ex-Grand Trunk Western) 4070 approaching. There were even crossing signals here.

Many years ago the bridge over the river needed replacement. It was demolished and never replaced. Stone Road still comes in from the west and dead ends at the railroad.

Photographs two and three were made on Saturday shortly after the 10 a.m. departure of NKP 765.

I also guessed the parking area at the Brecksville station would be closed off due to this being the only location for the photo runbys.

I suggested to Jeff Troutman, who was riding with me, that we drive past to see. I was right so then I suggested that we should visit the new visitor center at Boston Mill.

I was there twice last year, once with Marty Surdyk and once with Ursula.

We also saw the damaged riverbank area and from what we could see that it would still be a while for the repairs to be completed.

After stopping at the visitor center, we headed for lunch at McDonalds. About noon we went down to Old Rockside to await the return of the steam excursion.

The train showed up right at 12:30 p.m. The bottom photo is the train at the boarding site. As you can see some dark clouds were moving in.

Once the passengers had detrained, the train moved to north of Old Rockside. We got a few photos of 765. As we got back to my car the heavens let loose. It lasted a few minutes but we were done anyway. It was not an all-day outing, but still an enjoyable one.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Distinctive Visitors in Berea

May 14, 2022

Catching and photographing the CSX executive train in its distinctive and attractive Baltimore & Ohio inspired livery has been on my “to do” list ever since the scheme debuted.

But the executive train doesn’t operate all that often and when it does you have to be in the right place at the right time.

That right place and right time for me occurred on May 11. I happened to be in Cleveland on business and had the opportunity to spend time in Berea that morning.

I saw on Heritage Units.com that the three CSX F40PH-2 units were on the road, having left Buffalo, New York, around 6:15 a.m. en route to Chicago.

I figured that would put them through Berea around mid to late morning depending on traffic and dispatching preference.

Sure enough, there were some railfans on hand waiting for train P001, including Akron Railroad Club President Todd Dillon. He had information that P001 blew through Collinwood Yard on Cleveland’s east side and would soon be bearing down on us. That would put it through Berea not long after 9 a.m.

I stood near the tree by the Dave McKay memorial with a cluster of other railfans and waited. It wasn’t long before I could hear P001 calling signal indications over the radio.

Then a headlight came into view. I looked through my camera lens and waited. At that point it seemed as though the train had stopped.

In fact, it had. Just east of Berea a broken air hose sent the train into emergency.

Although CSX dispatched a maintenance truck to the scene, it wasn’t needed. The crew resolved the problem and P001 was on the move, albeit at restricted speed.

Among the onlookers watching the train come through were Rita and Rich Volosyn of Brunswick. Their son Paul was the locomotive engineer assigned to P001 and was working from Buffalo to Willard.

Also on hand was a CSX special agent to ensure that no one got too close to the tracks.

The 12-car train was led by CSX1, CSX2 and CSX3. The trio of F40s are former Amtrak units. They were lined up elephant style and made for an impressive sight.

CSX1 was built in April 1978 and given Amtrak roster number 280. After being retired by Amtrak, it was picked up by the Ohio Central System, where it continued to carry roster number 280.

After CSX acquired the unit, it renumbered it 9998. Upon being repainted into the B&O scheme, it was renumbered CSX1.

On the rear of the train was theater car W. Thomas Rice. But its shades were drawn, which suggested no one was aboard. The train also featured dome car Moonlight Dome. Built in 1947 for the Chesapeake & Ohio for its planned but never launched Chessie streamliner.

The B&O acquired the car in December 1950 where it operated on the Shenandoah and, after October 1963, the Capitol Limited. It later ran on the Atlantic Coast Line and Seaboard Coast Line before ending up on the Amtrak roster. After being sold by Amtrak Moonlight Dome had a series of owners, including The Cincinnati Railway Company, which sold it to CSX in 2020.

Getting a Lucky Catch on CSX

May 13, 2022

On Thursday April 21, Ursula and myself had planned a visit to Rosabella Winery in Austinburg on Route 307. Since last Fall we have been sampling the numerous wineries in Lake and Ashtabula counties, which have more than 30 wineries.

Our routine is to pick a different one each week when there is good weather, pick a wine, have a glass and lunch, if food is available, and check it off the list. Our visits are usually on a Wednesday or Thursday when patronage is very light.

Before we leave in the morning, I always check Heritage Units.com just in case.

I saw that Canadian National (BC Rail) No, 3115 was leading an eastbound CSX general freight with a destination of, I think it was, Buffalo.

I can’t remember the train symbol, but it turned out to be a long, long general CSX manifest freight. The report on HU.com was at Lagrange about 10 a.m. 

We got to the winery at noon. Again, I checked HU and a new report showed it in Cleveland at noon.

A little after 2 p.m. we left Rosabella and figured we would stop at a coffee house in Geneva on Route 534 on the north side of the Norfolk Southern (ex-Nickel Plate) tracks. It has become a favorite stop for us when we are out that way because with the right table you can see NS trains.

Prior to crossing the NS tracks I heard a locomotive horn. When we crossed the tracks nothing was in sight, so the horn had to be from a CSX train, which is about a half-mile north.

I figured that was the BCRail locomotive but I would be out of luck on this day.

Arriving at the coffee house, we found it closed. We then started on our way toward home on Route 84.

Approaching Perry, I turned down Main Street and told Ursula that I wanted to see if any headlights were visible. It was now about 3:10 p.m.

As we approached the NS and CSX crossings, the CSX flashers lit up. An eastbound was approaching slowly. It did not look like CSX colors.

Ursula saw my excitement, so she put her iPhone on the camera app and handed it to me. Bingo.

Article and Photograph by Edward Ribinskas

CSX Executive Train Passes Through Painesville

May 12, 2022

The CSX executive train made a pass through Northeast Ohio on Wednesday morning en route from Buffalo, New York, to Chicago. The train was pulled by three F40 locomotives, CSX 1, CSX 2 and CSX 3, running elephant style and adorned with the Baltimore & Ohio-inspired livery.

The 12-car train is shown above passing through Painesville by the former New York Central passenger station at 8:10 a.m.

Featured in the middle image is dome car Moonlight Dome. The third image shows platform observation car John T. Collinson and theater car W. Thomas Rice.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

NKP 765 Arrives in Cleveland for its CVSR Run

May 12, 2022

On Monday I got a couple of photos of the Nickel Plate Road 2-8-3 No. 765 ferry move to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. I was hoping to chase it down to Campbell Road yard but that didn’t happen.

After making good time all day on Norfolk Southern the ferry move sat at Berea for almost three three hours waiting to get into Rockport yard.  About 7:30 p.m. it finally came so I managed a couple golden hour photos.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

C&O 1309 Running in the Rail

May 9, 2022

Last weekend I went to catch the inaugural runs for 2022 of former Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. The Mallet-type locomotive had done a couple of runs in February but those were charters. The 1309 is a Baldwin built for the C&O in 1949.

The weather was to put it mildly terrible with rain sometimes heavy the entire weekend. I had even considered cancelling because of this but I went anyhow and got some great photos regardless.

Here are a few. The top image shows the 1309 climbing Helmstetter’s curve. That is followed by the train coming into the Cumberland [Maryland] station, climbing the grade to Frostburg [Maryland] and then at the Frostburg station.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon