Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Pacific motive power’

Beaver in Berea

September 6, 2017

Back in February Canadian Pacific announced that it was bringing back its beaver herald although it wasn’t until July that the modified logo began appearing on  locomotives.

CP used the beaver herald, which features a beaver, a maple leaf, a shield, the company name and the date of the railroad’s incorporation, previously, but dropped it for a more contemporary look.

The beaver has a long tradition at CP, having first been used on a company herald in 1886.

Here in the states we might think of the maple leaf as symbolic of Canada, but the beaver is our northern neighbor’s official symbol of sovereignty.

Between 1886 and 1929, the beaver appeared on four renditions of the CP herald, which featured a shield as its dominant element. In three of those iterations, the beaver appeared atop the shield.

The beaver went on hiatus between 1929 and 1946 when the CP herald was, again, shaped like a shield but featured the slogan “World’s Greatest Travel System.”

In 1946, CP brought the beaver back and it sat atop the shield through three generations of heralds. In 1968, CP decided to give itself a more “progressive look” and adopted a triangle C logo.

Other heralds would follow including one that featured the Canadian and U.S. flags. That was an effort to show that CP was a North American railroad and not just a Canadian one.

To celebrate its independent status, which included resuming use of the name Canadian Pacific Railways, CP resurrected the beaver and shield in 1997 in a bid to give itself a retro look.

Some corporations can only sit still with their image for a few years, so the beaver was put out to marsh in 2007.

CP adopted a minimalist approach with only its name “Canadian Pacific” appearing in its herald. Things got even more concise in 2012 when the herald became simply the letters CP.

Now the beaver, the maple leaf and the shield are back. Unlike the most recent beaver herald, the current logo does not feature solid gold shading in the shield. Instead, the shield has horizontal stripes.

The latest version of the beaver herald is expected to become widespread as CP ramps up a program to repaint its locomotive fleet. The herald will also adorn rebuilt locomotives.

AC400CW No. 9817 wore the previous beaver herald. It is shown leading CSX train Q166 through Berea this past Sunday sporting the new herald.

The Q166 and its counterpart, Q165, are CP run-through trains that use CSX between Chicago and Buffalo, New York.

Just over two hours after the Q166 passed by, the Q165 came rolling through Berea. It is always a good outing when you catch both CP run-through trains on the same day.

And the cherry on the top of this treat was the eastbound “salad shooter” with its usual Union Pacific motive power, shown in the bottom photo.

Advertisements

Seeing Red

August 10, 2017

Train Q165 roars past the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania.

On a couple of back-to-back outings I had the good luck of seeing Canadian Pacific motive power on four trains.

Two of them were Q165 and Q166, which are Chicago-Buffalo, New York, run through trains on CSX that have been operating for a few years now.

I used to somewhat regularly see one of those trains at Berea, but that hasn’t been the case for a while.

I’ve only seen both of them in the same day twice and each time I was in North East, Pennsylvania.

I also found CP motive power leading a pair of Norfolk Southern trains, the 216 and the 67X. One of those was moving and the other was tied down.

I didn’t mind seeing so much red and wouldn’t mind seeing it again now that CP has resumed putting its beaver tail logo on the flanks of some locomotives.

The light was less than ideal to get Q166, which was one of five consecutive eastbounds allowed to move as CSX was single-tracking the Erie West Subdivision between North East, Pennsylvania, and a point in New York York State.

A pair of CPs lead NS 216 through the vineyard country near Bort Road in North East, Pennsylvania.

The first of two views of NS train 67X tied down near Lewis Road in Olmsted Falls, Ohio.

 

Check Another One Off the List

June 5, 2017

For some time I’ve been wanting to make a photograph of a Norfolk Southern train passing the Willoughby Coal & Supply building on the north edge of downtown Willoughby.

I’ve seen a number of images made here and it seems like nearly every railroad photographer in Northeast Ohio has photographed the scene except me.

The building is a red brick structure that is said to be haunted. On the day that I made the image shown above a school group from the Orange schools was making a field trip here for a ghost walk.

The building is listed among the top 10 in the book America’s Most Haunted and described listed in Haunted Willoughby, Ohio by Cathi Weber.

The structure was built in 1893 as a flour mill and the haunted tale stems from the 1947 mysterious death of its owner.

The building has housed a number of businesses over the years with the current owner selling to the sewer and masonry industry since 1955.

Photographing here is pretty straight forward. The scene works best with an eastbound train in the morning and you stand on the south side of the tracks on the sidewalk for Erie Street.

Shown is NS train 316, a Bellevue to Buffalo manifest freight that on this particular day was led by a Canadian Pacific unit.

IC, CP and an All Day Wait for NS 1074

May 6, 2017

Achieving my first objective of the day was easy. A Canadian National train with three Illinois Central locomotives showed up shortly after I arrived in Conneaut.

Last Sunday didn’t get off to a good start. I got up later than I expected or wanted.

I had toyed with the idea of leaving at 5 a.m. and trying to catch the eastbound Lake Shore Limited in Conneaut or North East, Pennsylvania.

But with the weather looking iffy, I didn’t want to get an early start only to have mostly cloudy skies. Catching No. 48 can wait for a better day.

Shortly before 7 a.m. someone posted on Heritageunits.com that the Lackawanna heritage locomotive of Norfolk Southern was leading the 14M at Wampum, Pennsylvania.

A quick online check of NS train symbols showed the 14M to be a Conway to Buffalo, New York, train.

How long would it take to get to Conneaut? I figured it to be a manifest freight that might work in Youngstown and even in Conneaut. Somewhere along the way it would need to change crews.

I didn’t get away until about 8:30. As I drove on I-90 past Carson Yard on the NS Youngstown Line south of Ashtabula I looked to see if the 14M was there. It wasn’t.

Once in Conneaut I headed north on Mill Street but nothing was sitting in the yard other than the usual yard power.

I got stopped at the CSX crossing by an eastbound ballast train. I parked in the lot for the Conneaut Historical Society across from the CSX Erie West Subdivision tracks.

I had three objectives for the day. Catch a train on Canadian National – the former Bessemer & Lake Erie – get the 14M and bag a pair of those Citirail units that CSX has been leasing of late.

There was no guarantee the Bessemer would be operating today from Conneaut, but there was  a good chance that it would and that it would have Illinois Central motive power.

The 14M looked like a good bet but bagging the Citirail units would be a long shot.

I set up my antenna, checked the frequencies on my scanner and waited. Less than two minutes later I heard a transmission on the B&LE channel. A train was working in the yard.

Over to the Main Street crossing I went. The B&LE channel got quiet for about 10 to 15 minutes before the switching moves resumed.

By now NS 316 had arrived in town and was working the yard. In the process they discovered they had a loaded car destined for Bellevue. Should they leave it in Conneaut or take it to Buffalo?

“Take it with you,” was the response of the Youngstown Line dispatcher.

It was getting to be late morning when Illinois Central 1034 and two sister IC units came out of the yard and poked their noses out beyond the NS trestle over Conneaut Creek.

The crew was wrapping up putting together its train. I was hoping to get the lead unit of the NS 316 crossing the trestle above IC 1034, but it was not to be.

The CN train had left town by the time the 316 ambled eastbound with Canadian Pacific No. 8917 on the point.

Under normal circumstances, I would have chased the CN train into Pennsylvania. But today I still had unfinished business. I returned to the historical society parking lot next to the CSX tracks.

It was about noon when I heard the Youngstown Line dispatcher make radio contact with the 14M.

The discussion occurred on the Youngstown Line frequency so 14M still had yet to reach Ashtabula.

Eastbound traffic on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline through Ashtabula was heavy, so the dispatcher agreed to recrew the 14M at Carson.

In the eastbound parade were intermodal trains 22K and 206 along with auto rack train 28N.

I didn’t bother to seek out the 22K or 206. Instead I focused on CSX for awhile.

An eastbound rail train came through around 12:30 p.m. that was followed by an eastbound stack train.

Shortly thereafter, a westbound monster freight, the Q393, slowly made its way through town with all 15,000 feet of it making all of 30 mph.

Welcome to the world of E. Hunter Harrison’s precision scheduled railroading.

I later heard the IH dispatcher tell another train he would do his best to get that train around the Q393, but it would be difficult.

Around 1:38 p.m. the Youngstown Line dispatcher talked with the 14M again. The new crew was on board and the train was on the move.

It must have moved slowly because by mid-afternoon it still wasn’t out of Ashtabula. It would follow train 310.

In the meantime, another story began playing out on NS. I had heard the dispatcher periodically tell the crew of westbound 287, an auto rack train, that it would be waiting in yet another siding for yet another eastbound.

The 287 must have been in and out of every siding between here and Buffalo.

Around 3 p.m. the dispatcher told the 287 it would have to go into the siding at PA for the 310 and the 14M. The latter was just now coming around the Buffalo connection in Ashtabula.

The 287 crew reminded the dispatcher it had been on duty since 5 a.m. But his brushed that aside saying they needed to take that up with the first trick dispatcher who was on duty “when that baby was born.”

I also learned that the 14M would be dropping off a locomotive at Conneaut. Less than 15 minutes later the dispatcher, his supervisor or the NS computer program that makes train dispatching decisions had a change of heart.

The 287 would come into Conneaut for a recrew. But the new crew would have the same experience the old crew old had, having to wait for opposing traffic. In this case it would mean waiting at the west end of Parish siding for the 310 and 14M.

It was getting to be late afternoon and I was getting impatient. Where was the 14M?

I decided to go look for it. I drove out to Parish Road on the west side of Conneaut, parked and walked up onto the bridge.

But there was no sign of the 14M and the signal at the west end of the yard for eastbounds was red. A CSX westbound passed by but I didn’t pay it much mind.

I noticed that the connecting track from NS to CSX, which I’ve been told was put in during the Conrail era and once hosted a detour of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited, is still in place, but overgrown with weeds.

NS has altered the switch so that it now appears to act as a derail yet it is no longer possible to move a train into the connection track to CSX.

As I waited for the 14M, a large bank of clouds moved in and covered the sun. It had been sun and clouds for most of the day, but the weather was taking a turn.

I was about to give up and go back into town when I heard a horn to the west. Maybe that was the 14M.

Soon a headlight popped up on the horizon. The signal at the west end of the yard was still red and the train was moving slowly.

A glimpse through my telephoto lens confirmed that the Lackawanna H unit was on the point.

The 14M stopped but it didn’t last long because the signal turned to an approach indication.

I got my photographs and drove back to the historical society. Shortly after arriving, the heavens opened and we had an intense, although brief, shower that produced small hail pellets.

I listened to the 14M on the radio as it worked in the Conneaut Yard. During the process I got a CSX westbound freight that was a mere 300 plus axles. I guess those cars wouldn’t fit on the Q393.

By now it was apparent I wasn’t going to get any Citirail units leading on CSX today.

The 14M finished its work and I drove over to the Main Street crossing of the B&LE to photograph NS 1074 on the trestle over Conneaut Creek.

It was nearly 5:30 p.m. and I needed to head for home. It had taken all day, but I had finally got a heritage unit, the first one I’ve photographed since January.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Looks like it is going to be a nice spring day.

IC 1034 and its train will be leaving town shortly.

Looking west down Main Street.

NS train 316 had a Canadian Pacific leader and a loaded car that was supposed to have been routed to Bellevue.

The W021 has a load of rail bound for some eastern work site.

The ATVs racing along side this eastbound CSX stack train were not part of the original plan for making this image.

Trying to show Q017 along with a pair of flowering trees.

The crew of NS train 287 was relieved to hear the dispatcher say there had been a change of plans and they would come into Conneaut sooner rather than later.

A black locomotive and a bright red garage.

At last the 14M is approaching Conneaut with the feature attraction of the day on NS.

Coming into Conneaut on an approach.

After the rain came a short by today’s CSX standards manifest freight.

The last image of the day was one I waited several hours to get.

How Soon We Forget What Might Have Been

March 2, 2017

berea-october-9-x

It was about this time a year ago that E. Hunter Harrison and Canadian Pacific were making a play to acquire Norfolk Southern.

Harrison came at NS hard, but came up short. The NS board of directors opposed the merger and Harrison ran into a buzz saw of opposition from shippers, labor unions and political figures.

The time was not ripe to institute what some see coming as the final round of Class 1 mergers in North America.

Since failing to acquire NS, Harrison has retired (again) and the financier Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital has also left the CP board.

Now Harrison has teamed up with hedge fund Mantle Ridge to try to shakeup CSX management and install Harrison  as CEO.

While railfanning in Berea back in November I photographed a CP unit trailing on a westbound NS train as a reminder of what might have been had Harrison prevailed.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

I Just Felt Like Shooting a CP Unit

October 14, 2016

 

berea-october-9-x

berea-october-9-02-x

berea-october-9-03-x

I don’t know why, but I just felt like photographing this Canadian Pacific locomotive at Berea.

It’s not leading and there is nothing special about this unit. But it was the first thing I saw when I arrived to spend a few hours on a Sunday morning.

It was a day of sun and clouds and sometimes you got the sun and sometimes you didn’t. Also shown is the eastbound Q158 and the eastbound Q090. In both instances I tried to emphasize the clouds and sky, which were nice on Sunday.

The Q090 is a train that I haven’t seen for awhile. It was also the first time I’d seen it since UP and CSX began teaming up to offer express produce service from Washington State.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

Oh, How Dark Room Work is Easier Now

August 22, 2016

img776HH

When I was young, I had access to my Dad’s darkroom, so I began railfanning using black and white film.

For me it was dangerous. Film developing and printing consisted of dangerous chemicals, a sealed room in which I’d breathe their vapors, and the foolishness of youth in not wearing gloves but dipping my hands in the chemicals.

It also was time consuming and hard to get a really good image.

Today, with Lightroom and Photoshop, this is done digitally with much better control over each step.

First the image is scanned into the computer. With the scanner maker’s provided software there are many controls over the outcome simply by using the software for general corrections.

Then comes Lightroom where the image is digitally manipulated with far greater precision than could be done in a darkroom in a similar amount of time.

Not only are there exposure and contrast, there are sliders for highlights, shadows, saturation, cutting down on grain using noise reduction, etc., along with being able to remove chromatic aberration, clone out scratches, etc.

Next comes Photoshop for the finishing tweaks, including cloning out those hard to remove tiny defects and sizing the image for use on different sites.

Here is Canadian Pacific 4074 sitting in the CP roundhouse in Toronto in June 1972. The detail, contrast, exposure were all changed or improved along with other tweaks.

Could I do this in a darkroom? Perhaps, if I had many hours.

Thankfully, I live in 2016. While the late 1960s was a wonderful time to railfan, I’d hate to be limited to only that period’s technology.

After all, only a few could see a railfan’s work this way instead of putting the images on sites like this blog where many can share and enjoy various railfans’ work.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

 

Changing Weather, Trains, Dave Mangold Kept Attendees of 2016 ARRC McKay Day Entertained

April 4, 2016
There was plenty of blue sky as the 2016 Dave McKay Day got underway on Saturday. Shown is CSX westbound manifest freight Q381.

There was plenty of blue sky as the 2016 Dave McKay Day got underway on Saturday. Shown is CSX westbound manifest freight Q381.

Between the ever-changing weather conditions and David Mangold’s late afternoon radio show, the three Akron Railroad Club members who ventured to Berea on Saturday, April 2 for the 12th annual Dave McKay Day had plenty to entertain them.

And as if that wasn’t enough, I counted 54 train movements through the interlocking plant during my nearly 12 hours in Berea.

I arrived around 8:30 a.m. just after the eastbound 34N of Norfolk Southern had cleared. At the time, there was plenty of blue sky overhead, particularly to the north and east.

Sun and clouds would be the rule for the next six hours, just as the forecast I had read online had predicted.

But when the weather turned, it did so quickly. First came intermittent snow showers followed by partial clearing. Then the clouds rolled back in with a vengeance and overcast skies rules as rain moved in.

It was about then that Paul Woodring, Todd Dillon and I decided it was time for dinner at the Berea Union Depot Taverne.

Dinner was good. Todd and Paul had the chicken Parmesan special while I opted for the horseradish crusted salmon.

Ten trains passed by as we ate dinner, including the CSX trash trains in each direction just a few minutes apart.

The train traffic for the day was higher than I had expected given how traffic on CSX seems to be down these days.

CSX ran a number of monster-sized manifest freights and intermodal trains. The Q393 had more than 800 axles, according to the Columbia detector, and was following a 13,000-foot stack train.

All told, I spotted 22 CSX trains during the day to go with 32 NS trains.

The day’s lineup was varied and included about everything you could expect to see in Berea on any given day.

The motive power, though, was mostly home grown with fewer “foreign” units than you might hope to see.

The only train with a “foreign power” leader was the Q166, which had a pair of Canadian Pacific units pulling. But Q166 is a CP run-through train that uses CSX tracks between Chicago and Buffalo, New York, so CP power is the norm on that train.

We did see, though, units of BNSF, Union Pacific and Canadian National.

No NS heritage units made an appearance, but we did catch the GoRail unit, which was the second locomotive on the 20R.

Prior to any ARRC member arriving in Berea, the Savannah & Atlanta heritage unit had led an eastbound through at 2:21 a.m. Amtrak’s phase III heritage unit, No. 145, led the eastbound Lake Shore Limited through before dawn.

Had any of us stayed until 10 p.m., we would have seen Soo Line 6026 on a CSX westbound, albeit trailing.

We did see, though, as we ate dinner the NS 889, an RPU6D slug, which was in the motive power consist of the westbound 15K.

Another interesting sight was an eastbound light power move. The second of the two units had visible damage to the lower portion of its nose from having hit something.

Traffic was heaviest before 1:30 p.m., with 27 movements. The longest lull was 53 minutes in early afternoon.

Off the rails, a guy was in Berea with locomotive horns attached to the bed of his pick-up truck that he seemed to enjoy blowing every so often.

Then there was the guy who pulled in with a fancy SUV who set up a camera on a tripod. When the wind kicked up he took refuge in his vehicle.

I watched in horror as the lightweight tripod blew over and landed camera first on the concrete edge of the parking lot. I saw him pick it up in two pieces and shortly thereafter he left.

I’ll give the guy credit for keeping his cool when he realized what had happened. Most guys, myself included, would have cursed and done so rather loudly once we spotted the broken camera.

As for Dave’s radio show, he was the assigned hogger for the 16G, which arrived in Berea siding around 2:30 p.m.

The Cleveland Terminal dispatcher told the inbound crew that the replacement crew would go on duty at 3 p.m. By the time that crew arrived at its train, it was late afternoon.

No sooner had the engineer and conductor settled in, we heard a familiar voice over the radio. It was Dave informing the dispatcher that the lead unit of the 16G lacked cab signals.

Dave also was unable to log into the computer on board one of the units, which necessitated the first of multiple radio conversations he had with the NS help desk.

The person at the help desk suggested that Dave’s password had expired. The guy was able to enter Dave’s login and determine that, well, the password had not expired and he couldn’t explain why Dave was having trouble logging in. Dave tried it again and it must have worked.

Having determined that the cab signals in the second unit were working, Dave and the dispatcher discussed making a spin move to turn the power because the nose of the second unit was facing west. The spin move could have been done at Rockport but a train was occupying one of the needed tracks.

The dispatcher suggested taking the power to the Knob and turning it there. Shortly after Dave agreed to do that, a voice came over the radio saying, “you’ll need bulletin orders for that, David.”

The dispatcher agreed to have them printed and Dave and his conductor would pick them up at the tower in Rockport. We subsequently learned which printer in the tower would be used to print the bulletins.

The 16G had a third unit, but it apparently was dead in tow. In another conversation that Dave had with the help desk, we learned that one of Dave’s units was a type 5. It was the first time I’d heard an NS crew member ask about locomotive type.

It apparently had to do with horsepower or pulling capacity because Dave quipped that he would need every ounce of power the units could muster to get the 16G to Conway.

Wait! There’s more. Dave also reported to the help desk seeing oil on the walkway of one of the units. He didn’t see leaking oil, but suggested that Conway repair the locomotive on Sunday.

The help desk guy asked Dave to tag the unit, which Dave agreed to do.

Because they were cutting power away from the train, the conductor had to set 10 handbrakes. Unfortunately for him, it was raining as he did it.

He and Dave had a few conversations about the air, but I don’t remember the details.

We were awaiting our dinner order when Dave came past bound for the Knob. We had finished and were about to leave when he came back west an hour later.

None of us wanted to stick around to watch Dave finally left Berea siding for Conway. We’re sure, though, that he would have a long day and cashed it in for some overtime.

To view the trains list for the day, click on the following:

https://akronrrclub.wordpress.com/about/activities/2016-dave-mckay-day-in-berea/

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

A clear signal for CSX No. 359 in Berea. The weather in the morning and early afternoon was a mixture of sun and clouds.

A clear signal for CSX No. 359 in Berea. The weather in the morning and early afternoon was a mixture of sun and clouds.

The trailing Canadian Pacific unit is smoking it up a bit as the Q166 charges through Berea.

The trailing Canadian Pacific unit is smoking it up as the Q166 charges through Berea.

Its a coal train. You don't see many of those these days.

Its a coal train. You don’t see many of those these days.

The NS GoRail unit made an appearance in the motive power consist of the 20R. It was a close as we got to bagging a heritage unit.

The NS GoRail unit made an appearance in the motive power consist of the 20R. It was as close as we got to bagging a heritage unit.

Yes, that is snow falling as the NS 20E rolls through Berea during a snow shower around 3:30 p.m.

Yes, that is snow falling as the NS 20E rolls through Berea during a snow shower around 3:30 p.m.

The third unit of the eastbound Q356 is a former Union Pacific locomotive how shown as NWIX 1861.

The third unit of the eastbound Q356 is a former Union Pacific locomotive now shown as being NWIX 1861. It was our sole rent-a-wreck sighting of the day.

We don't know what they hit, but it needs to be repaired ASAP.

We don’t know what it hit, but it needs to be repaired ASAP.

Hanging Out with NS in Bucyrus

February 13, 2016
A pair of bright red Canadian Pacific units lend some to an otherwise black crude oil train rolling eastbound through Bucyrus.

A pair of bright red Canadian Pacific units lend some to an otherwise black crude oil train rolling eastbound through Bucyrus.

In an earlier post, I described how I spent a day in Bucyrus last fall searching for the ultimate shot that would combine the former Toledo & Ohio Central depot with a train on the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern.

That quest remains a work in progress, but the station that once served New York Central System passenger trains was not the only object of my photograph efforts.

I caught a crude oil train on the Fort Wayne Line and a move going from the Sandusky District to the Fort Wayne Line.

The latter caught me by surprised because I wasn’t sure if anything comes up from Columbus anymore and heads toward Pittsburgh.

NS is not the only user of the Fort Wayne Line. The Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern also uses the route to interchange with CSX at Crestline.

Or so I was told a few years ago. The Wheeling & Lake Erie even has trackage rights over the Fort Wayne Line through Bucyrus.

But I didn’t see anything from those two regional railroads and, frankly, I was not expecting it.

Bucyrus is about as good a place as any to catcher NS heritage locomotives, but none were in the region on the day that I visited.

The most colorful locomotives I saw were the Canadian Pacific units leading an eastbound crude oil train through town on the Fort Wayne Line.

Like any other hotspot, Bucyrus can have it lulls and one of those broke out around midday.

It did not last too long, though.

More trains were on their way, but I had to leave about mid-afternoon. I’ll have to add making a return trip here to my list of things to do in 2016.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

A container train crosses the Fort Wayne line en route to Columbus. Have stack trains ever operated on the Fort Wayne Line?

A container train crosses the Fort Wayne line en route to Columbus. Have stack trains ever operated on the Fort Wayne Line?

Back in the day, the Toledo & Ohio Central crossed the bridge in the foreground over the Lincoln Highway and then crossed the Pennsylvania Railroad branch from Columbus to Sandusky. The T&OC is gone, but a small portion of it still exists on the northwest side of town to serve some industries.

Back in the day, the Toledo & Ohio Central crossed the bridge in the foreground over the Lincoln Highway and then crossed the Pennsylvania Railroad branch from Columbus to Sandusky. The T&OC is gone, but a small portion of it still exists on the northwest side of town to serve some industries.

After crossing the Fort Wayne Line, eastbound trains on the Sandusky continue around a curve.

After crossing the Fort Wayne Line, eastbound trains on the Sandusky continue around a curve.

A manifest freight up from Columbus on the Sandusky District make the turn to go east on the Fort Wayne Line.

A manifest freight up from Columbus on the Sandusky District make the turn to go east on the Fort Wayne Line.

Once the route of the Broadway Limited, the Fort Wayne Line is now the home of eastbound crude oil trains from the west.

Once the route of the Broadway Limited, the Fort Wayne Line is now the home of eastbound crude oil trains from the west.

Consolation Prize? Not Quite, but Maybe

February 8, 2016

CP at Berea

There’s a story behind this photograph of Canadian National No. 8896 leading CSX train Q165 westward through Berea that is not obvious from looking at the image. But that is true of most back stories.

The story began about two weeks earlier. It was mostly sunny day and I wanted to watch trains.

I had not been railfanning in more than a month. I initially went to Olmsted Falls where the most exciting thing I saw was one locomotive pulling one boxcar.

The plan was to spend some time in the Falls and then bop over to Berea to catch some more NS and some CSX.

I pulled into the lots used by railfans by Berea Union Depot Taverne. I got out of my car and got back in on the passenger side.

I had scarcely settled into my seat when I heard the rumble of an approaching locomotive. It was westbound Q165 and the CP unit on the lead gleamed nice and bright in the winter sunlight.

I grabbed my camera, but it was too late to even get a shot through the window, let along to get out of the car for a grab shot.

If only I had looked down the tracks to see if there was an eastbound on CSX. Woulda, coulda, shoulda but I didn’t. I spent the rest of the day beating myself up over that missed photo.

It wasn’t long before clouds began rolling in and that nice sunlight vanished. By the time CSX ran another westbound through Berea the skies had turned cloudy.

That was then and this is now. Fellow Akron Railroad Club members Marty Surdyk, Ed Ribinskas and I decided to get together for lunch on a Sunday afternoon at the BUDT.

Afterwards we hung around for a while to watch trains.

With heavy overcast skies it was not a good day to make photographs although I had my camera next to me.

It was about time to head home when Marty said he wanted to check out the Dave McKay plaque. We got out to walk down there and on a whim I went back to get my camera.

This time I did look down the CSX tracks and did see a train coming. I wasn’t inclined to photograph it given the low light.

But as the headlight got closer I zoomed out my telephone lens to take a look. The nose was all red. It was the Q165 and it had two CP units in the motive power consist.

Had it been a CSX locomotive or a rent-a-wreck I probably would have put down my camera. But the memory of missing the last CP locomotive in Berea that I had seen was still fresh in my mind.

This time I was ready. The image is not as good as what I could have made two weeks earlier in the bright sunlight.

But who knows? Someday I might look at this image and it will bring back fond memories. That’s the nice thing about photographs. How you feel about them today is not necessarily how you will feel about them months or even years from now.

For now it will be a reminder to always look down the track when you arrive at a photo location because you never know what might be bearing down on you.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders