Posts Tagged ‘Chesapeake & Ohio’

That ‘C&O’ Heritage Locomotive

April 4, 2018

On Monday the controversial Chesapeake & Ohio painted engine that has been leased by Norfolk Southern went through Northeast Ohio on train 15V. I caught up with it in Wooster and again at Mansfield. It is shown in the top image going under an old bridge at Lucas and in the bottom image in Mansfield.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

West Virginia Congressman Protests Amtrak Policy Change

April 3, 2018

A West Virginia Congressman whose district includes Huntington, is trying to rally opposition to an Amtrak policy change that will in effect wipe out operation of the New River Train.

Amtrak said in a memorandum sent to employees last week that it will cease handling chartered and special train movements.

Evan Jenkins, who represents West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District has written to Amtrak President Richard Anderson to protest the policy, saying it will hurt the state’s tourism industry.

The New River Train is operated by the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society and has run over former Chesapeake & Ohio tracks for 51 years.

The Society estimates the New River Train has an economic impact of $3.5 million in the Huntington region and $1 million in Hinton, West Virginia, the eastern destination of the train.

About 90 percent of New River Train passengers are from out of state.

Ann Adkins, a spokesperson for the Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau, said losing the train would be devastating to West Virginia in general and particularly to Huntington and Hinton.

Lease Unit on NS Gets Unauthorized C&O Look

March 31, 2018

If you see a locomotive that looks like a CSX unit but causes you to do a double take, your eyes are not deceiving you.

SD70ACe No. 4834 has the Chesapeake & Ohio “for progress” herald on its nose.

The unit is owned by Progress Rail and being leased to Norfolk Southern.

Trains magazine reported on Friday that it was recently spotted near Buffalo, New York, leading NS train 36T.

The magazine reported that C&O lettering has been placed on what had been PRLX reporting marks on the unit’s flanks and it is not clear who did that.

But whoever did might get into legal hot water with CSX, which owns the trademarks, logos and service marks of its predecessor railroads.

“CSX takes the use of trademarks, logos and service marks very seriously and has outlined our position on our website,” CSX spokeswoman Katie Chimelewski told Trains. “Proper use of the marks reinforces their distinctive identity and value, while unauthorized use and variation of the marks dilutes and undermines their marketing strength, the owner’s trademark rights, and the economic value of the intellectual property asset.”

She said that CSX marks are not to be used by third parties without express permission of the owners of those marks.

NS is leasing five former CSX SD70ACes. The current CSX livery, known to some as “dark future,” is modeled after a former C&O livery.

CSX Using Distributed Power on Coal Trains

January 30, 2018

CSX is now routinely using distributed motive power on unit coal trains in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia.

The carrier has tested mid-train technology on the former Chesapeake & Ohio route in the past two years, running a few trains of more than 200 cars.

The norm has been unit trains of 110 or 150 cars, but with distributed power the trains can be up to 220 cars in length and need one crew. The longer trains sometimes exceed 30,000 tons.

The trains originate at mines in the Appalachian Mountains and operate to export facilities near Newport News, Virginia.

As part of its shift to the precision scheduled railroading model, CSX is running fewer and longer trains in an effort to cut labor and equipment costs. The railroad is operating with fewer locomotives than it has in the past.

Trains magazine reported that it not clear if the use of distributed power will continue, but cited unnamed sources said to be familiar with the operation as saying that crews are being trained in the use of distributed power.

Fresh Look for Ohi-Rail GP9

January 29, 2018

Small short-line railroads must by financial necessity shop the used locomotive market. This often results in a rag-tag locomotive fleet of units wearing Spartan liveries.

Or it might mean a “heritage fleet” of locomotives still wearing in whole or in part the colors and markings of a former owner.

Within the past month, Minvera-based Ohi-Rail Corporation has placed into revenue service a former Chesapeake & Ohio GP9 that has a fresh new look.

When the unit went into the shop for repainting, the C&O initials and name were bleeding through the black paint.

When it came out, No. 53 had a new coat of paint, an inverted V-shaped stripe of  gold and white on its nose and something you won’t see on many, if any, other locomotives.

The herald of the Future Farmers of America on the side of the nose is in tribute to the work put in by members of the Minerva FFA chapter in helping to restore the locomotive.

Thanks for a tip from Akron Railroad Club member Pete Poremba, who works for Ohi-Rail, I was able to photograph No. 53 shoving a cut of empty tank cars from Minerva to Bayard to interchange to Norfolk Southern.

Ohi-Rail uses tracks that were once branch lines of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central. It also interchanges on occasion in Minerva with the Wheeling & Lake Erie.

A caboose converted to a shoving platform is used on the east end of trains headed for Bayard.

It comes with lights and a horn and from a distance you would swear that it was a locomotive horn, which it used to be.

Dennison Museum to Unveil Restored Locomotive

October 21, 2017

The Dennison Railroad Depot Museum will conduct an “unveiling party” on Nov. 3 of its recently restored Chespeake & Ohio steam locomotive No. 2700.

The event will begin at 1o a.m. at the museum, which is housed in a former Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station on the Pittsburgh-St. Louis mainline.

The cosmetic restoration used more than 320 parts that were recreated by Jason Johnson of Gemini Industrial to complete the restoration.

Prior to restoration, No. 2700 had one of the most vandalized steam locomotives in the county and been stripped of many of its parts.

The engine sits on the east end of the Dennison Depot, which has been designated a National Historic Landmark as the best example left in the country of a World War II Servicemen’s Canteen Site.

Those who join the 2700 Club Membership Program for $27 will help ensure the upkeep of the engine. Members will receive a print of the engine.

C&O F7 Going to CSX Paint Booth

September 15, 2017

A former Chesapeake & Ohio diesel is headed for the paint booth at a CSX shop in West Virginia, but it is not clear what livery it will have when it emerges. It is now painted in C&O colors.

F7 No. 8016 is being transported from the North Carolina Transportation Museum to the Huntington locomotive shops, Trains magazine reported.

The unit had been at the Spencer, North Carolina, museum since a streamliners festival in 2014.

Built by EMD as F3 No. 800 for the Clinchfield Railroad, the unit was converted to an F7 in the 1950s. It later served C&O and CSX.

The Trains report said it is not clear how extensive the painting will be or where the locomotive might operate after it leaves the shop.

Restoration to Begin on C&O 2700

September 12, 2017

Cosmetic restoration work is set to get underway on former Chesapeake & Ohio 2-8-4 Kanawha-type No. 2700, which is currently housed at the east end of the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum.

It has been in Dennison since August 1997 and the restoration work will be done on site.

Museum Director Wendy Zucal said the work will cost an estimated $150,000 and be completed late this fall.

Funding is coming from the Ohio Department of Transportation local Enhancement project with matching contributions from Dennison, the Reeves Foundation, the Harold C. and Marjorie Q. Rosenberry Foundation, the Leggitt Foundation, the Doris and Floyd Kimble Foundation, the Tom E. Dailey Foundation, the Brach Foundation, the Tuscarawas County Community Foundation and Wendy’s.

The work will be done by Gemini Industrial Machines of Dover, which is owned by Jason Johnson.

The museum said in a new release the work will include sandblasting and painting the locomotive to its original livery. Several missing parts will be recreated.

Zucal said the locomotive has been stripped of its gauges, valves, name plates, driving rods, windows, bell and whistle.

“There were many obstacles in the road challenging the completion of this project,” Zucal said. “The Depot restoration had to be completed first, funding had to be raised twice and ownership had to be proven twice. Although it has taken far longer than ever anticipated, the community and museum have shown tremendous tenacity to keep the engine restoration on track.”

No. 2700 was one of 90 locomotives in its class built in the World War II era with 20 built by Lima Locomotive Works and 70 constructed by American Locomotive Company.

No. 2700 was built by Alco in 1943 in Schenectady, New York.

Under the Lights at North East Museum

June 19, 2017

I had heard about the annual night at the museum event hosted every summer by the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania.

Every year the museum stays open all night for people to watch trains on the adjacent Cleveland-Buffalo lines of CSX and Norfolk Southern.

It seemed like an interesting event, but I never made it over there for it until this year.

The promotional materials on the museum’s website said there would be a slide show in the former New York Central passenger station and a night photo shoot starting at 10 p.m.

Photographers were asked to make a donation of $20 for the night photo shoot.

Not until Friday did I make plans to go, prompted by the news that Chesapeake & Ohio No. 8272 had reached the museum.

The B30-7 had been built by GE’s Erie locomotive assembly plant in Lawrence Park Township and had been recently repainted into the Chessie System livery by CSX shop forces in Huntington, West Virginia.

I called fellow Akron Railroad Club member Peter Bowler and he agreed to go with me to the museum.

Neither the museum’s website or Facebook page had many details about what the night photo shoot would entail.

I presumed that C&O 8272 would be on display under lights and it was. But the museum also transformed former New York Central U25B No. 2500 into Pittsburgh & Lake Erie No. 2800.

This was done by placing black tape or paper over the NYC markings and applying P&LE markings, including white stripes on the pilot.

I’m told that the P&LE had early versions of the U28B that used a U26B car body.

The night photo shoot was not as elaborate or wide ranging as I thought it might be. It consisted of rented portable lights that illuminated the side of the C&O 8272 and P&LE 2800.

Museum personnel moved the 2800 around a couple times, using a small switcher.

The lighting was bright enough to make hand-held images, albeit with a high ISO setting. However, I made most of my images with a tripod.

The side lighting wasn’t enough to fully illuminate the nose of No. 8272, so Peter and I took turns painting the shadows with light from two flashlights that did an amazing job of adding fill-in light.

I had thought that the lights would be moved periodically to illuminate other pieces in the museum’s collection, but that didn’t happen.

Someone brought in a P&LE truck and at one point it was positioned next to the P&LE 2800.

The slide show featured images of the P&LE and Chessie system, but I ended up seeing only a few images. The interior of the depot was quite warm, so I elected to stay outside and watch CSX trains pass by.

I had been hoping to get some time exposures of CSX operations, but the last train before we left was a westbound at 10 p.m. and that was during the night photo shoot of No. 8272.

We stuck around until 12:20 a.m., but no trains came by. We faced a two-hour drive back to my house and thus left with some unfinished business left behind.

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

June 18, 2017

The latest addition to the collection of the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania, arrived late last week and was the star of the night at the museum event on Saturday.

Chesapeake & Ohio B30-7 No. 8272 was built at the nearby GE Erie locomotive assembly plant in Lawrence Park and has been retired by CSX.

CSX also agreed to have the unit repainted into Chessie System colors at its locomotive shop in Huntington, West Virginia.

After being displayed at the GE Erie plant in a private showing, the unit was moved to the museum where it joins a collection of locomotives built in Erie.