Posts Tagged ‘ARRC longest day outing 2018’

Dodging Clouds During Longest Day Outing

June 27, 2018

A former Burlington Northern “Grinstein” unit looking good aside from some exterior dirt leads train 234 through Fostoria during the Akron Railroad Club’s longest day outing.

Fostoria was as good as advertised last Sunday in terms of rail traffic as a thin crowd of Akron Railroad Club members turned out to watch trains at one of Ohio’s busiest railroad junctions.

Between 8:45 a.m. and 4:35 p.m., 36 trains rumbled past the Iron Triangle Railfan Park while at least one ARRC member was present.

Marty Surdyk and his brother Robert were the first to arrive, pulling in at 8:45 a.m.

One minute later they logged their first train, an eastbound manifest freight on Norfolk Southern.

Rick Houck arrived later as did ARRC President Craig Sanders. That was the extent of ARRC participation.

The day featured good weather that was not too hot, not too cool and not too humid.

But there were quite a few clouds and the often 50-50 sky conditions meant that the Surdyk brothers, both of them confirmed film users, often watched a train pass by with a shrug of WWTF because of the shadows cast by the clouds.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term WWTF it doesn’t incorporate in part the phrase “what the” but instead means “why waste the film.”

Traffic was fairly steady through Fostoria during the time that ARRC members were on hand. The longest lull was about a half-hour.

Not surprisingly, most of the trains belonged to CSX. Fostoria is the crossing of former Baltimore & Ohio and Chesapeake & Ohio mainlines with the ex-B&O handling most CSX traffic between the Midwest and Atlantic Coast.

CSX put 22 trains through Fostoria, using all of the connecting tracks between the ex-B&O and ex-C&O.

The vast majority of traffic on the ex-C&O was going to or coming from the ex-B&O with most of it taking the ex-C&O north of town.

Just one train made a straight move through town on the ex-C&O, a southbound (railroad eastbound) grain train that featured some of the most weathered covered hopper cars you will ever see.

No trains came into Fostoria from the south on the ex-C&O other than the yard job’s motive power, which was turning its locomotive to face a different direction.

It was a good day to see foreign motive power with units from Union Pacific, BNSF, Canadian Pacific and Canadian National leading trains past the railfan park.

An eastbound NS stack train, the 234, came in with a former Burlington Northern “Grinstein” unit, which is now owned by a locomotive leasing company Progress Rail. But no NS heritage units made an appearance.

CSX eastbound intermodal train Q010 had as its second unit a Chessie System sticker unit No. 7765. It looked like an oversized bumper sticker.

Traffic was a mixture of intermodal, manifest freight, auto racks and tank car trains. Noticeably absent were coal trains.

Throughout the day Robert Surdyk was monitoring the progress of the NS executive train, which had left Altoona, Pennsylvania, about 8:30 a.m. en route to Chicago.

About 5 p.m., Robert, Marty and Craig decided to head north to Oak Harbor to intercept and photograph the NS F units.

And with that the longest day shifted for another two hours to a new location.

The Q507 was another one-hit wonder, albeit a colorful one.

I took 18 minutes for auto rack train Q253 to round the curve from the ex-B&O to the ex-C&O.

A mother and her son eye an NS light power move.

NS westbound train 11Q had a load of tank cars.

Grain train E781 was the only move straight through town on the former C&O. It is shown crossing Columbus Street.

NS train 10E comes around the curve with a brace of Union Pacific motive power.

The newest addition to the railfan park is a former B&O caboose.

The Chessie System sticket on the nose of CSX No. 7765.

 

ARRC Longest Day Outing is Sunday in Fostoria

June 21, 2018

A CSX train takes the connection from the former B&O to the former C&O in Fostoria during the ARRC’s 2015 longest day outing. F Tower stands in the background.

The Akron Railroad Club’s annual longest day outing this year will take us to a very well known railfan hot spot, Fostoria.

Three major mainlines converge on Fostoria and all cross each other at grade creating an “iron triangle.”

Two of the three lines are owned by CSX. The busiest of the two is the east-west former Baltimore & Ohio from Willard to Chicago.

The other CSX line is the former Chesapeake & Ohio line from Toledo to Columbus.

Connections on all sides of the B&O/C&O diamonds allow trains to go all possible directions.

If you stay long enough, you should see one on each connecting track during the day.

Norfolk Southern gets into the act at Fostoria with the former Nickel Plate Road mainline from Bellevue to Chicago.

It crosses, first, the former C&O, then the former B&O on its way to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and Chicago.

The Iron Triangle Railfan Park in Fostoria sits near the NKP/C&O diamonds.

You can easily see the B&O/C&O diamonds from the park. The B&O/NKP diamonds are about two blocks to the west.

Fostoria is not short on trains. Even with the recent CSX downsizing there will be plenty of action to keep the rails shiny. However, the trains will be much longer than you have been used to seeing.

The C&O north of Fostoria at times resembles an automotive pipeline as many of the trains that ply these rails carry newly-made automobiles from Detroit area assembly plants to all parts of the country.

The other commodity of note on the former C&O line is coal. Coal from mines in West Virginia and Kentucky move to Lake Erie via this line.

Between the auto rack trains and the coal trains, the mixed freights can have a tough time finding track to run on.

The former B&O looks like an intermodal corridor with multiple double stack and single stack trains passing each day.

Mixed freights are more common on this line moving to and from the CSX yard at Willard.

NS also has a nice variety of trains. The intermodals mostly run before daybreak, but there will be plenty of mixed freights along with seasonal grain trains.

As with all ARRC longest day outings, the day begins when the first person arrives and ends when the last person leaves.

Members will most likely be there from just after sun up to sun down. So come for the day, or a morning, or just an hour, but plan on spending some time in Fostoria on Sunday June 24.

Article by Marty Surdyk