Archive for the ‘Railfanning News and Features’ Category

Heading For the ABC Interchange

September 29, 2022

Wheeling & Lake Erie GP35-3 No. 112 is heading west on CSX in Akron toward Barberton to interchange cars on Feb. 28, 2012.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

What You Used to be Able to Do

September 28, 2022

For many years railfans have no longer been permitted to photograph in the area between the CSX tracks/RJ Corman tracks and the front of Warwick Tower in Clinton.

This post is thus is dedicated to a once great location to photograph trains.

It is the afternoon of March 6, 2005. A CSX westbound train headed by BNSF 5838 is slowly coming around the curve waiting for the westbound signal seen in another image in the sequence.

Also seen are the train and the tower, a different view of the train and the tower, and a closer view of the train.

Finally, we have a roster shot of the BNSF locomotive at the signal and an image of the train leaving. Note that the CSX locomotive has “Rice Yard Hump Unit” lettering on it.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Train Time in Peninsula on the CVSR

September 22, 2022

Here are five images made of Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad operations in Peninsula on Aug. 19, 2022.

In the top image FPA-4 No. 6771 leads the southbound National Park Scenic into town.

Alco C420 No. 365 is on the north end of the train. The former Seaboard Air Line unit was given a new engine a few years ago.

From the baggage car, crew members are unloading water craft that will ply the nearby Cuyahoga River.

Note that the 365 is dedicated to a former chairman of the trustees of the CVSR.

The bottom image shows the southbound Scenic as it leaves Peninsula.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

No. 7598 Two for Tuesday in Akron

September 20, 2022

Here are two images of locomotives carrying roster number 7598 taken at different times in Akron. In the top image Baltimore & Ohio SD40 No. 7598 is eastbound on May 5, 1979. In the bottom image CSX C40-8 is westbound on Aug. 2, 2010.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Switching the ABC in Barberton

September 18, 2022

Akron Barberton Cluster SW1500 No. 1502 is working in Barberton on June 2, 2015.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

CSX Trio on the New Castle Subdivision

September 15, 2022

Here are three recent CSX trains. In the top image, ET44H No. 3389 is westbound in Clinton on July 9, 2022. In the middle image, AC44CS No. 533 is heading an eastbound in Clinton on July 14, 2022.  In the bottom image, ES44AC-H No. 836 is in passing through Barberton on July 22, 2022.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Finds on the Wheeling & Lake Erie

September 12, 2022

Last Saturday was a nice day weather wise but I didn’t have a specific plan for railfanning.

I went to Berea and then saw on social media that an eastbound Wheeling & Lake Erie train was powered by the Rio Grande tunnel motor pair.

I drove to Wellington in hopes of catching it. I then saw it was still waiting for a crew so I drove to Bellevue following the line just in case.

I got there about 11 a.m. and found them sitting outside of town where I took these photos.  I stayed at the railfan platform hoping they would get a crew and then chase them east.

Another Wheeling train from Norwalk showed up about 3:30 p.m. and went into the Norfolk Southern yard.

I took photos of that, also.  I waited until dark but, sadly, no crew ever showed up so I drove home.

Later I found out that the other Wheeling train combined the trains together on the return to Norwalk.

W&LE 5412 was formerly Rio Grande 5391 but was renumbered last winter.  Sister unit 5413 retains its original Rio Grande unit number.

I also can confirm that NS is indeed using the hump at Bellevue yard again.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Mistaken Identity

September 8, 2022

JRCC 3001 and RJ Corman 4119 are leading a Corman southbound train on March 18, 2022, southbound train. This is the first time I have seen JRCC 3001. Two of the images show the train leaving Clinton. A third photo shows it north of Canal Fulton. We believe the reporting marks are in error and that someone transposed the letters “R” and “J.”

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Chasing the AARPCO Specials in Chicago

September 6, 2022

METX 90 backing the train onto the Metra Electric in Blue Island, Illinois.
South Shore 2009 leads across the Canadian National diamond at Stillwell, Indiana.
The AARPCO special navigates the remaining 10th street running at Michigan City, Indiana.
Caritas brings up the rear. This remnant of the street trackage has lost its wires and is only used by freight and diesel-powered equipment moves.  All the houses and businesses on the south side of the street have been torn down and construction of a new double track line has begun. Eleventh Street is already been torn up and a new track is being laid.  When complete the former single track street trackage will be completely double tracked and on private right of way. It’s sad to see but it will certainly improve speeds and schedules by eliminating this bottleneck.

I was in the Chicago area for Labor Day weekend. The plan was to do some railfanning and visit the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois, on Saturday and the Heston Steam Museum in LaPorte County, Indiana, on Sunday.

While I did visit IRM, Sunday’s plans were radically changed.

After railfanning Metra near downtown Chicago, I  proceeded to Grayslake station on the Northwest side.

This is on the former Milwaukee Road North line and sees Metra, Canadian Pacific, and Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service as well as the Empire Builder. Across the street is a hobby shop which I also visited.

Some customers informed me that a passenger car special would go by northbound around 1 p.m. It was just after that so I assumed It had not been by yet (I had not seen it downtown either).

A few other trains went by and then the northbound track which was green changed to a red signal.

A few minutes later a train led by METX No. 90, Metra’s Chicago & North Western heritage paint, came with what turned out to be the American Association of Private Passenger Car Owners special.

As it turned out their convention was in Chicago that weekend and it was running over most of Metra’s routes.

It had left Chicago earlier in the morning and run out to Elgin on the Milwaukee Road West mainline and had returned but taking the wye to turn north. This is how I had missed it.  It was now returning south to Chicago and I got a special catch.

I then continued on my journey to IRM which was open late (9:30 p.m. instead of the usual 6 p.m. closing time). 

I discovered that AARPCO was running a whole series of trips which would continue the rest of Saturday and into the next week.

After I had caught it, the special continued through Union Station and went to Joliet via the former Gulf, Mobile & Ohio line. It then reversed and took the Rock Island district to LaSalle Street Station.

This brings me to Sunday morning. Sunday’s trip would go west to Blue Island then east on the Metra Electric to Kensington.

There it would be handed off to the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend to Michigan City, Indiana, through the remaining street running and then head south to Kingsbury on a former Nickel Plate line that the South Shore now operates as freight only.

This is very rare mileage as the Metra Electric has never hosted a diesel powered passenger train and the Kingsbury line has not seen a passenger movement in 75 years.

Needless to say the Heston museum plans were thrown out and the AARPCO special would be the day’s focus.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Waiting at CP Mace

September 4, 2022

R.J. Corman 9003 is awaiting Conrail’s permission to cross over at CP Mace in Massillon on Sept. 30, 1996, on the Fort Wayne Line.

Photograph by Robert Farkas