Archive for the ‘Railfanning News and Features’ Category

It Was as Good as I Expected

November 26, 2018

Last July during a visit to the Big Bend station of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, we talked about how the area next to the trail in the Sand Creek Metropark in Akron would make a nice location to photograph Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

I filed that thought away and decided to check it out about two months later.

Until this past July, I had never photographed CVSR operations in this part of Akron. There is much to recommend it.

The layout of the area makes it more ideal for morning rather than after photography.

The trail is right next to tracks and has a wood railing providing separation.

There is an S curve here, which if you compose your image just right adds some interest to your photograph.

I ended up photographing the 765 here on two different days. Shown is the ferry move to Akron on Sept. 30.


Forgotten Railroad of Akron

November 17, 2018

I just ran across these photographs a few days ago, and thought you might like to see photos of a long-gone Akron railroad.

Now I wish I had taken more slides of the PPG industrial railroad that ran in Norton, but here are two taken west of Cleveland-Massillon Road looking east.

I believe the road being crossed is now called Limestone Drive. Until today I thought the “End E-L Operation” sign in the bottom photo was the end of the electrified part of the railroad, but now I believe it is the far end of the Erie Lackawanna trackage through the (cement?) plant.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Rough Day for No. 48

November 15, 2018

Thursday was a rough day for Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited.

The woes started on Wednesday night when the scheduled 9:30 p.m. departure from Chicago slipped to 1:50 a.m. the next morning.

And you know what happens with late trains and how they just get later.

After leaving Chicago 4 hours and 20 minutes late, No. 48 continued to lose time as it made its way east.

It lost 24 minutes between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana, seven minutes between South Bend and Elkhart, Indiana, and another 15 minutes between Elkhart and Waterloo, Indiana.

And so it went that by the time it left Toledo it was 5:25 down, and more than six hours late leaving Sandusky and Elyria.

It had picked up some time when I photographed it rushing past the Olmsted Falls station just after 11 a.m.

Amtrak reported that No. 48 arrived in Cleveland 5:41 late. It pretty much held that pace to Erie, Pennsylvania, but began losing time again, arriving in Buffalo, New York, 6 hours late.

By the time No. 48 reached Syracuse, New York, at 6:37 p.m. it was 7:14 down.

Things improved somewhat east of there. As Amtrak Julie reminds callers, trains can gain or lose time en route.

In this case, No. 48 picked up an hour by the time it left Albany-Rensselaer, New York, and arrived in Penn Station in the Big Apple at 12:41 a.m., six hours and 18 minutes late.

I hope no one had reservations last night for dinner and a play in Manhattan.

Today No. 48 was a mere 39 minutes late arriving in Cleveland.

Empty Table

November 14, 2018

Alliance is a good place to watch Norfolk Southern action because it is the junction of two mainlines.

Most of the traffic through Alliance transitions from the Cleveland Line to the Fort Wayne Line or vice versa.

Few moves take the Fort Wayne Line straight through town. Even rarer are trains going to and from the Cleveland line east of Alliance via Bayard.

Shown is eastbound intermodal train 24M making the transition from the Cleveland Line to the Fort Wayne Line.

I made this image before an Akron Railroad Club meeting and because it was winter I was the only railfan present at the time.

Winter Arrives Early, LSL Arrives Late

November 13, 2018

Akron Railroad Club member Ed Ribinskas write that he did his first winter photography earlier this week. He landed the new Amtrak Phase II heritage unit at about 10:40 a.m. as a trailing unit in a 4-hour late eastbound Lake Shore Limited.

In the top image, not the Painesville sign on the former New York Central station, which has been undergoing restoration.

Ed also reported that the old Nickel Plate Road trestle over the Grand River is now completely gone.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Neither Failure Nor Complete Success

November 10, 2018

Sometimes you can wait for hours and never get the train you want to make for the photograph that you have in mind.

Back in August Marty Surdyk, Todd Vander Sluis and myself waited for more than hour with hopes of getting a westbound Norfolk Southern train passing beneath the new and old signal bridges in Huron, Ohio at CP 232.

It was apparent that the NS signal department planned to cut in the new signals any day now and take down the old signals, which were among the few still in operation on the NS Chicago Line with Type G signal heads.

We didn’t have the luxury of coming back on another day if we didn’t get the image we wanted on this day.

It was frustrating to hear the Toledo East dispatcher talking to trains to the west and east of Huron.

Finally, we got a train, but it was an eastbound. I made the image that appears in the bottom of the sequence above.

Not longer after that train passed our opportunity to get a westbound came.

So did a bank of clouds. I got the image I wanted, but not in the brilliant later afternoon sunshine that had been present for much of our wait.

It would be the only westbound that passed through Huron before we had to leave. At least I came away with something.

Ludlow Opens Rail Viewing Platform Next to NS Line

November 10, 2018

City officials in Ludlow, Kentucky have established a railfan viewing platform along the fambed Rathold line of Norfolk Southern,=.

The two-story platform features a view of trains climbing Erlanger Hill and has starts and an elevator.

The former Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific line sees about 60 trains a day.

The viewing platform was built on a vacant lot adjacent to the police station in the town across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. Construction of the platform began in 2017.

Definitely Not Black

November 8, 2018
Norfolk Southern No. 1800, the first of the SD70 rebuilds turned out by the NS shops in Roanoke, Virginia, led 25V today. I caught it at East Conway near Pittsburgh and at New Galilee, Pennsylvania

Photographs by Todd Dillon

No NS Black to be Seen

November 5, 2018

Most Norfolk Southern trains passing through Berea on the Chicago Line have at least one NS unit on the point.

That’s because most of those trains are going to or from the Cleveland Line east of Cleveland and it is equipped with cab signals.

But trains going to or from the former Nickel Plate Road mainline east of Cleveland can be led by any locomotive. No cab signal system is needed.

Twice earlier this year I saw two stack trains headed for the NKP being pulled by an all foreign power motive consist.

Such sights are not rare, but not common, either.

Shown is train 206 with a pair of Uncle Petes (Union Pacific) doing the pulling.

That Was a Long Time Ago

November 1, 2018

With each passing year, the number of people who remember the New York Central Railroad, let alone its passengers trains, becomes smaller.

The Central became part of Penn Central in February 1968. By then most of its passenger trains were gone.

Even among those who do remember, not many will recall the DeWitt Clinton or the Cleveland-Detroit Express.

They are more likely to cite the 20th Century Limited when asked to name ex-NYC passenger trains.

But those trains are memorialized in this sign from the Cleveland Union Terminal that was saved by the Midwest Railway Preservation Society.

It was photographed in the group’s facility inside a former Baltimore & Ohio roundhouse in Cleveland. It is displayed in public every now and then.