Posts Tagged ‘color position light signals’

A Little Wild Mary, a Little B&O

May 28, 2021

Western Maryland SD40 No. 7595 is working solo at Warwick on July 14, 1982, to haul an intermodal train on what is today the CSX New Castle Subdivision. Originally, this was a Baltimore & Ohio mainline, hence the B&O style color position light. No. 7595 would later see duty on the CSX motive power roster and may have taken this signal years later in CSX dress.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Action on North and South Ohio Rail Lines

May 28, 2021

Most rail lines in Ohio are oriented east-west and are dispatched as such. But even some rail lines that physically operate on a north-south orientation are dispatched as east and west rather than north and south.

This can be seen in Marion where former Chesapeake & Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad routes come through town on a north-south orientation but are dispatched as east-west routes.

In western Ohio, a couple of rail lines are dispatched north and south. Shown above are some images made on the CSX Toledo Subdivision (former Baltimore & Ohio) and the Indiana & Ohio (former Detroit, Toledo & Ironton).

In the top image a southbound CSX auto rack train, the Q203, is approaching Hook-Watz Road north of Cairo, Ohio. It has just passed beneath a signal bridge visible in the distance that still holds a B&O color position light signal.

Next up is southbound steel train K596, which is moving from the north end of a lap siding at Cairo to the main.

Moving farther south, we find southbound manifest freight Q509 rolling along south of Wapakoneta. Note the B&O position signals in the distance. These are still several of them on the Toledo Sub.

Skipping even further south, we find the Q561 in Hamilton, Ohio, on the joint track used by CSX and Norfolk Southern.

Now let’s check out some I&O trains starting with a southbound that has just left the yard in Lima. It is crossing the former Pennsylvania Railroad’s Fort Wayne Line at Sugar Street.

We head back north to Ottawa where we find an I&O train getting off its own rails and onto the CSX Toledo Sub. The former DT&I is abandoned between here and Lima.

Not far down the road that same I&O train is passing the grain elevator complex in Columbus Grove. At one time, the Akron, Canton & Youngstown crossed the B&O here although the crossing was farther south from the grain elevator.

Finally, we end the series with an oldie. This southbound I&O train was captured on its own tracks south of Hamler on July 19, 2009, and was scanned from a slide.

You wouldn’t know this was the I&O from the motive power being used. In fact you might not think you were even in Ohio.

All the other images in this series were made this past April.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

In the Middle of a Lap Siding

May 10, 2021

CSX has removed some of the lap siding on the Toledo Subdivision that the Baltimore & Ohio installed years ago, but it kept the one in Cairo, Ohio. Shown is steel train K596 coming out of the northern end of the siding and onto the main.

If you look carefully, you will see that the dwarf signal is giving a train in the southern end of the siding a clear signal to come out onto the main.

Out of view is CSX manifest freight that is meeting the K596 here.

Note that lead unit SD40-2 No. 4008 has one of the square cabs CSX gave some of these units when they were rebuilt. This locomotive was originally built for the Seaboard Coast Line.

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

CPLs Have Fallen in Akron

February 26, 2018

Another vestige of the Baltimore & Ohio in Akron is gone. CSX has taken down the last stretch of B&O color position light signals on its New Castle Subdivision and turned on the new replacement signals.

Replacement of the CPLs has been underway for the past few years with the signals between Akron and Clinton (Warwick) the last ones on the New Castle Sub.

For decades, CPLs stood in Akron at BD (near Evans Avenue), AY (Arlington Avenue), Exchange Street, and Lambert (on the Akron-Barberton border). All have now been removed.

There was a dwarf CPL at the interchange track switch between CSX and the Akron Barberton  Cluster Railway in Barberton.

As part of the change, CSX has eliminated the signals at AY. The new block extends between BD and Exchange Street.

At the same time, CSX also cut in bi-directional running on both tracks between Akron and Kent.

The New Castle Sub is slated to get positive train control and some relatively new Safetran signals will reportedly be replaced.

Traffic levels on the New Castle Sub these days are reported to be 14 trains every 24 hours, not counting extra trains.

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.

CPLs Turned off on CSX Toledo Subdivision

February 25, 2016

Two sets of Baltimore & Ohio color position light signals on the CSX Toledo Subdivision in western Ohio fell this week.

CSX logo 1Effective at 7:59 a.m. on Monday (Feb. 22) the home signals at Leipsic Junction (milepost BE 155.7) and the intermediate signals at BE 153.4 between Ottawa and Leipsic were taken out of service.

Safetran signals were turned on at both locations. The signals at 153.4 are back-to-back signal heads on the west side of the track.

Leipsic Junction is where the Toledo Sub crosses at grade the Norfolk Southern line between Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Bellevue (former Nickel Plate Road).

A handful of railfans were at Leipsic on Sunday night to record the last night of operation of the CPLs.

Paying Tribute to the CPLs at Deshler

July 18, 2014

A southbound manifest freight passes beneath the signal bridge south of Deshler where the mainline becomes one track.

A southbound manifest freight passes beneath the signal bridge south of Deshler where the mainline becomes one track.

For the past few years, railroad photographers have been on a mission. The Class I railroads are replacing block signals on their mainline routes that have stood for decades.

In many instances, these signals represented an identity with a particular railroad. Think of the Baltimore & Ohio, for example and what comes to mind? Color position light signals.

Most of the former B&O mainlines still in service today are owned and operated by CSX. That company has made major strides in replacing the CPLs, but there remain pockets and routes where these iconic signals still guide trains to safe passage.

One such route is the Toledo Subdivision between its namesake city in Ohio and Cincinnati.

In Deshler, CPLs still stand guard on the mainline and the connecting tracks.

During a visit to Deshler in June, I made it a point to photograph CSX operations with the surviving CPLs.

I did not see any evidence that the replacement signals are poised to go up here, but that process could begin at any time and by the time I get to Deshler again the CPLs might be gone.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Union Pacific, the company, is one of the few things still around that is older than this CPL. Chances are, though, that this particular locomotive is far younger than the signal that it is about to pass.

Union Pacific, the company, is one of the few things still around that is older than this CPL. Chances are, though, that this particular locomotive is far younger than the signal that it is about to pass.

An auto rack train is about to enter the Toledo Sub using of the three connecting tracks in Deshler.

An auto rack train is about to enter the Toledo Sub using of the three connecting tracks in Deshler.

Coming around the connection from the Willard Sub and onto the Toledo Sub.

Coming around the connection from the Willard Sub and onto the Toledo Sub.

I didn't get out here to get the head end of this southbound auto rack train coming past the signals south of Deshler. But I still liked the image I was able to capture.

I didn’t get out here to get the head end of this southbound auto rack train coming past the signals south of Deshler. But I still liked the image I was able to capture.

A local could not say how long this signal bridge has been in place. He could only say it has been there many, many years.

A local could not say how long this signal bridge has been in place. He could only say it has been there many, many years.

CPLs still guard the crossing of the Toledo Sub with the east-west route of the Chicago-Pittsburgh mainline. A northbound is about to pass the Deshler passenger station.

CPLs still guard the crossing of the Toledo Sub with the east-west route of the Chicago-Pittsburgh mainline. A northbound is about to pass the Deshler passenger station.