Posts Tagged ‘B&O color position signals’

Grinding Along at Pawnee

January 4, 2022

I am standing on the rickety wood bridge carrying River Corners Road over the CSX New Castle Subdivision west of Lodi.

A westbound CSX coke train rumbles along past the venerable Baltimore & Ohio color position light signals at a location the crews call Pawnee when calling the signal indication over the radio.

You will notice the mast for the signal on Track 2 has a letter plate “G” which denotes grade. If an eastbound gets a red signal here the crew may continue at restricted speed prepared to stop until the next signal. That is because the train is on a grade.

A number of things have changed at this location since this image was made on May 23, 2008.

The CPLs have been replaced by newer signals that can be seen standing shortly to the east. Interestingly, those “newer” signals have themselves since been replaced.

In 2008 the bridge on which I am standing was still a one-lane wood structure. It has been placed by a modern concrete two-lane bridge.

However, that bridge has a high chain link fence that makes getting photographs here a challenge.

The signal is likely named for Pawnee Road, which once crossed over the tracks on a wood bridge to the east of here. That bridge was removed in conjunction with the project that led to the replacement of the River Corners Road bridge.

The highway to the right is U.S. Route 224 and it is still the two-lane road it was when this image was made.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Some Orange in Warwick

August 10, 2021

BNSF C44-9W No. 5842 leads an is eastbound in Warwick (Clinton) out of the yard on May 8, 2004. The image was made with a 3 megapixel digital camera.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Somewhere on the B&O

January 21, 2021

We’re not sure who made this photograph or even where it was made other than somewhere on the Baltimore & Ohio.

The image is in the collection of Robert Farkas who believes it might have been made by the late Richard Sherwood.

Shown is a crop of the original Agfachrome slide that was processed in June 1971.

The lead unit, F7A No. 4633, was built in January 1953 with roster number 979A.

Running East in Warwick

July 7, 2020

Numerous railfans have capture this view of an eastbound on the CSX New Castle Subdivision curving out of the yard in Warwick and going through downtown, such as it is.

The photo spot is still there but the Baltimore & Ohio color position signal has been replaced.

Shown is CSX SD50-2 No. 8573 on June 25, 2012, leading an auto rack train.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

2 Things No Longer Used by CSX

June 30, 2020

There are two things in this image that are no longer in use by CSX but let’s not get ahead of the story just yet.

This image of a container train eastbound in Warwick was made on Oct. 13, 1996.

Lead unit CSXT No. 5891 is a GE B36-7 that was built in July 1985 for Seaboard System.

It has since been retired from the CSX roster although locomotive leasing firm NRE has it available. Just check out their website.

As for the other item no longer used by CSX, that would be the color position light signal.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Its Nearly All Gone Now

April 28, 2020

Most of what you see in this image of an eastbound Penn Central train ambling through downtown Akron in 1968 is gone.

The Pennsylvania Railroad had just vanished into Penn Central which itself is now 44 years gone for having given way to Conrail.

Conrail ceased operations in Akron long before it was divided by Norfolk Southern and CSX.

The Erie Lackawanna passenger station, which was still in use when this image was made, is gone and a bank now sits on that site.

In the background you can see the former Erie Railroad freight house, which lasted the longest of most things in this scene.

The freight house was razed a few years ago to make way for new apartments catering to University of Akron students.

The three railroads that used these tracks in 1968 are all gone as well, including the Baltimore & Ohio.

Also gone is the B&O style color position signal just to the right of the nose of the Pennsy Alco diesel.

A portion of the boarding platform for Akron Union Depot is visible and it was removed in early 2012. If anything, it is remarkable that it lasted as long as it did given that this section of the platform never served passengers again after May 1, 1971.

There are fewer tracks at this location now. The two that exist are part of the CSX New Castle Subdivision and also used by the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway.

You can still stand in this general location and photograph trains even though the nature of this scene has changed quite a bit in the past 52 years.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Chasing Trains, CPLs on the CSX Toledo Sub

April 4, 2020

The money shot of the day was this classic Tipp City color position light signal image with CSX 509 coming southward.,

As part of its installation of positive train control, CSX has removed vintage block signals on most of its mainlines in favor of modern signals.

That has meant Baltimore & Ohio color position light signals have been removed from the New Castle Subdivision through Akron and Youngstown.

But B&O style CPLs still stand in many places on the CSX Toledo Subdivision between Dayton and Deshler.

I’m not sure why that is. I was told the crew that was replacing the CPLs on the Toledo Sub had their work interrupted when they were re-assigned elsewhere.

Whatever the case, several CPLs continue to provide signal protection on the moderately busy Toledo Sub.

Back in early March I met up with Dayton railfan David Oroszi and we went looking to photograph trains and CPLs on the Toledo Sub.

The first train we saw was a northbound at Tipp City where a pair of CPLs stand at the south end of the siding.

The Toledo Sub is a north-south railroad which means that photographing northbounds is challenging.

The best I could do was get a going away image of the manifest freight with the CPL in the distance.

We heard on the radio that the southbound Q509, another manifest freight, was meeting the northbound at Troy.

So we waited a while in Tipp City and got what I consider my best image of the day with a CPL.

The northbound signal sits next to an old red brick building that casts a shadow on the signal in the morning.

As luck would have it, by the time the Q509 reached Tipp City the shadows had started to give way on the upper half of the signal, including the signal head.

The front and east side of the building was well illuminated. It might have been a better image about an hour or later but trains don’t always show up when lighting is ideal.

After the passage of the Q509, we headed north to Troy where another set of CPL’s sit at the north end of the siding.

The northbound signal is one of most picturesque CPLs on the Toledo Sub because it is mounted on a classic stand that at one time held two signal heads.

Now there is just one signal head and a dwarf CPL signal on the ground is used for the siding.

Dave had a friend who was railfanning in Lima on this Saturday so we knew there were two southbound trains headed out way.

The first of those was the J983, which is a long local. The second was Q143, a stack train.

They were running a few minutes apart which gave me the opportunity to shoot the J983 on the west side of the tracks and the Q143 on the east side.

With the Toledo Sub likely to be quiet for awhile we continued northward to Sidney. We did see another set of CPLs in the countryside, but it’s tough to photograph them without trespassing on railroad property.

It turned out the Toledo Sub wasn’t as quiet as we expected. Two northbounds caught us by surprise and there wasn’t anything we could do with either of them.

Also, it turned out CSX wasn’t done running southbounds. Both northbounds were waiting at the north end of Sidney siding for a southbound parade, all of them manifest freights.

The first of those, Q507, we bagged south of Sidney at Kirkwood. There is a pair of modern signals here and this was the best we could do.

The second southbound was the Q351, which we got in Sidney passing beneath Michigan Street near where the passenger station used to be.

Our plan was to head north to Wapakoneta where there is still a B&O passenger station standing.

But as we were cruising northward we saw yet a third southbound, the Q355.

As luck would have it we spotted this train just before reaching a ramp for Interstate 75.

We made a split-second decision to call off the trip to Wapakoneta and instead try to get ahead of the Q355 and get it passing a CPL in at Tipp City.

We got lucky and made it to Tipp City head of not only the Q355 but also the Q351.

That gave me another chance to photograph a southbound passing the CPL at the south end of the Tipp City siding by the red brick building.

For this image, though, I focused on the milepost markers, including a vintage B&O concrete post that gives the mileage to Toledo on one side and to Cincinnati on the other.

The Q355 we got at the CPL for the north end of the Tipp City siding.

That would be our last CPL image of the day but we were able to get ahead of the Q355 and photograph it one last time coming out of the former Dayton Union Railway bridge over the Great Miami River.

This outing would turn out to be my last railfan photograph outing for awhile.

More than a week later Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine imposed a stay at home order in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dave has suggested we do another trip to get some more CPL images. I’ll be taking him up on that offer but it is going to be awhile.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

On the west side of the tracks for the Troy CPL signal as J983 comes through town.

Here comes the Q143. I elected to capture it on the east side of the tracks in Troy.

The mileposts were a main focus with Q351 in Tipp City, but you can see a CPL in the background.

Our first look at the Q355 would out last CPL photo opportunity of the day.

Steamy Memories for a Sunday

March 1, 2020

During the two years that the Chessie Steam Special ran hundreds of people came out to watch, photograph or ride the trains.

Here are two photos of the westbound Chessie Steam Special pulled by Chessie 2101 (ex-Reading 2101) in Nova on Aug. 19, 1978.

Notice how the interlocking tower didn’t seem to be leaning as much then as it did in later years before it was dismantled.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

All Gone in Sterling Now

July 19, 2017

Here’s another piece of Northeast Ohio history. Baltimore & Ohio 7593 and 4046 lead an eastbound train through Sterling in November 1981. The tower, signal and pole line are all gone now.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

 

CSX May be Poised to Replace Warwick Signals

September 7, 2016

We have received a report that CSX may be about to launch a signal replacement project in Warwick.

CSX logo 1A railfan who was in Warwick last Saturday reported seeing three reels of orange tubes and construction equipment near WX tower.

CSX has already replaced most of the block signals on the New Castle Subdivision, but Warwick is one of the few places where former Baltimore & Ohio color position light signals still stand.

It is not clear if the pending work in Warwick is related to signal replacement, but it might be.