Posts Tagged ‘Conneaut Ohio’

Playing a Hunch Paid Off

July 16, 2021

Last Sunday Marty Surdyk and I were headed home after a day with the Oil Creek & Tutusville tourist railroad in Pennsylvania.

But we made a stop in Conneaut where we parked across the CSX tracks from the Conneaut Railroad Museum. It was just after 5 p.m. as we saw volunteers from the museum departing after closing for the day.

We were hoping to catch CSX No. 3194, the Spirit of Our Law Enforcement unit, which was on the point of the Q010.

What we didn’t know is that it had passed through Conneaut about an hour earlier.

Around 6 p.m. we heard horns coming from the southeast. It definitely was not CSX, but possibly Norfolk Southern or the former Bessemer & Lake Erie (now Canadian National). They sounded for two or three crossings then everything was silent.

About 15 minutes later on a hunch we drove to the Main Street crossing of the Bessemer and sure enough there was the rear of a CN empty ore train dropping into the harbor yard.

After it disappeared past the former Nickel Plate Trestle, we went back to staking out CSX by the museum.

Eventually we went back down to Main Street in case a CN train would come out before we had to head for home.

On a hunch we went down to the overlook on the west end of the Bessemer facilities. In a stroke of good luck we saw the train that arrived earlier was on a loop track loading iron ore. Here are a few photographs that I made of it.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Steam Saturday: NKP 759 in Conneaut

May 28, 2021

The wayback machine has landed us in Conneaut on May 4, 1969 when Nickel Plate Road  2-8-4 No. 759 powered the westbound Golden Spike Centennial Limited across the Norfolk & Western (ex-NKP) trestle.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Conneaut Museum to Reopen

May 26, 2021

The Conneaut Historical Railroad Museum will reopen on Saturday and is seeking volunteers.

The museum, which is housed in a former Lake Shore & Michigan Southern passenger station next to the CSX Erie West Subdivision, was closed throughout 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Operating hours for the museum will be Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It will also be open on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

The museum currently has a staff of six volunteers but is seeking more help because the average age of the staff is in the mid 70s.

More information about volunteering opportunities is available on the museum’s Facebook page.

IC 1038 Looked Familiar

February 11, 2021

With another Super Bowl game in the books, I was looking through photographs I made during railfan outings on past Super Bowl Sundays with Marty Surdyk and Craig Sanders.

On Feb. 4, 2018, the day the Philadelphia Eagles upended the New England Patriots 41-33, we caught an inbound Canadian National train at Conneaut with Bessemer & Lake Erie SD40-3 No. 905 on the lead and Illinois Central SD70 No. 1038 trailing.

That meant the 1038 would lead coming out of the lakefront at Conneaut. We were surprised, but happy that B&LE SD38AC No. 867 was put on for the outbound move.

We chased the southbound as far as Hartstown, Pennsylvania, with intermediate photo stops in Albion (shown below) and Conneautville, Pennsylvania.

For some reason, the IC 1038 looked familiar to me. 

In my search for upcoming stories I found where I had seen it. In August 2007 Ursula and I were vacationing in the Galena, Illinois-Dubuque, Iowa area.

We visited the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, which is adjacent to the CN (former IC Iowa Division) mainline.

After we toured the aquarium, I heard activity outside on the railroad.

Mystery solved; that is where I had seen and photographed IC No. 1038. That date was Aug. 7, 2007

In the top image, the CN train in Conneaut is passing under U.S. Route 20.

In the second Dubuque photo, look at the road sign at the far right edge of the image.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Port of Conneaut to Get Grant

October 16, 2020

The Port of Conneaut is one of 18 ports that is receiving a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration Port Infrastructure Development Program.

The port is slated to receive $19.5 million for rail and road improvements including a new rail spur connecting the East Conneaut Industrial Park to the port.

It was only project among the 10 involving railroads that is located in Ohio or a surrounding state.

Conneaut is served by three railroads, including Norfolk Southern, CSX and Canadian National.

1985 Highlights: More Detours, Catching N&W 611

May 10, 2020

Amtrak’s westbound Lake Shore Limited crosses Conneaut Creek on a trestle built decades earlier by the Nickel Plate Road.

On Sunday April 14, 1985, Marty Surdyk and his brother Robert picked me up and we headed out to see the progress of building the new bridge carrying the Conrail tracks over Elk Creek in Lake City, Pennsylvania.

We caught the westbound Lake Shore Limited on the Conneaut Creek trestle and had plenty of time to get to North Main Street in Kingsville to get No. 49 at the sweeping curve back on Conrail tracks.

We went to Lake City to investigate the bridge repair from track level and then moved on to Manchester Road to photograph some more Conrail and Norfolk Southern trains.

More than three months later, Marty and Robert picked me up for another trip east to check out the Conrail bridge at Lake City.

We knew there would be a bonus today. Norfolk & Western No. 611 was pulling a Buffalo to Erie excursion and the train would go beyond Erie to be turned.

That meant it would be steaming west on the Swanville trestle.

At Wallace Junction the 611 and its train got on the Bessemer & Lake Erie to go to Albion to turn on the wye there for its return to Erie then Buffalo.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Amtrak Train 49 heads around a curve near Kingsville after getting back on its regular route via Conrail.

Work continues in mid April 1985 on building the new bridge carrying Conrail over Elk Creek in Lake City, Pennsylvania.

This and the next two images were made at Manchester Road in April 1985. A Conrail westbound waits for an NS train to clear the single track.

The rebuilt bridge on Conrail and the fill around it as seen from the north side.

Looking north from track level at Elk Creek.

N&W 611 steams westbound over the Swanville trestle.

1985 Highlights: Finding the Collapsed Conrail Bridge

May 8, 2020

The release of water after the dynamite explosion. The collapse can be seen in the distance.

To continue with our trip of March 20, 1985, we decided to go north on Manchester Road to Pennsylvania Route 5 and work our way back west looking for evidence of a bridge collapse.

Route 5 runs between parallel to Lake Erie and the Conrail tracks.

Between Pennsylvania Route 18 and the Route 5 crossing of Elk Creek we saw a large crowd of people with cameras and video cameras set up on an overlook looking south down the creek.

In the distance we saw the collapsed bridge with helicopters flying over it.

Since the collapse had created a dam of the creek, the blocked creek created a lake on the south side of the viaduct, flooding the area which included homes near Lake City, Pennsylvania.

The fill was about to be dynamited to release the flood. We were lucky to arrive at the right moment.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Another view of the flooding that occurred after the dam on Elk Creek created by the collapsed Conrail bridge was removed with dynamite. The rush of water took camper trailers with it.

The water line on trees can be seen in the area south of the collapse.

On the way back west that afternoon we stopped in Conneaut to photograph another Conrail train from the former Nickel Plate footbridge over the yard.

Above the Conrail train the Conrail mainline can be seen in the distance as well as the remains of the Nickel Plate shops.

Checking Out the B&LE in Conneaut in 1968

March 23, 2020

Bessemer &Lake Erie 406, a Baldwin DRS6-6-1500, is working the yard in Conneaut in 1968.

It is Sept. 8, 1968, in Conneaut. Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 Berkshire type No. 759 has just left on its first trip after being restored and John Woodworth and I have gone to photograph the Bessemer & Lake Erie.

Here is some of what we saw and photographs that day.

B&LE 830 is outside the engine house.

B&LE 830 as seen from the other side.

We were given permission to get in the cab. I’m looking down the long hood at the engine house.

I’m on the walkway of the short hood looking the opposite way from the photo above.

B&LE 406, a Baldwin DRS6-6-1500, is working a string of hoppers.

B&LE 881 and 883 are working on a coal train.

Working beneath the Nickel Plate Road trestle over Conneaut Creek in a timeless scene.

B&LE 405, a Baldwin DRS6-6-1500,) is in the engine house.

A Penn Central freight is on the ex-New York Central bridge over the B&LE. Note the mixed motive consist of the PC train. The view is looking southward.

Good Fortune

March 9, 2020

I finally had some good luck on Friday and Saturday in catching Norfolk Southern heritage locomotives.

I saw on Heritage Units.com that the Pennsylvania Railroad H unit was working as a DPU on train 316 and I caught it at Riverside Drive at 6:11 p.m.

Also on Friday I saw that the Wabash heritage unit was trailing on train 14M, which was headed for Buffalo, New York.

I was hoping the 1070 would return on the 15M on Saturday and be leading. Once I confirmed with Jeff Troutman that that was the case I headed to Conneaut.

The 15M operates from Buffalo to Conway Yard near Pittsburgh.

I initially caught the 15M at North Amboy Road after it left Conneaut once the eastbound intermodal train 206 had cleared the yard.

I also got the Wabash H unit backing around the connection at Ashtabula and then approaching Carson on the Youngstown Line.

Now if luck is with me, I thought, the 8102 will come back through Northeast Ohio on Sunday leading train 149.

The last two times a Heritage unit was a DPU on the 316 it was leading westbound on the 149 two days later.

And luck was with me. I went out on Sunday morning with Marty Surdyk and we not only bagged the Pennsy H unit leading the 149 at Perry but also caught the Central of New Jersey heritage unit leading the train 310 bound for Binghamton, New York, as it crossed the Grand River in Painesville.

Check this site later this week for those photographs and a story about that chase, which included taking in an ice hockey game in which the Mentor Ice Breakers edged the Delaware Thunder 6-5 in a wild game that lasted nearly four hours.

Catching three heritage units in two days is new for me and all of them were in beautiful weather.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Man Was it Cold That Day

October 8, 2018

It’s late afternoon in the middle of January. Snow covers the ground and temperatures are well below freezing.

Peter Bowler and myself had gone looking for winter photographs along the Lake Erie shore.

We were in Conneaut where we spotted a young railfan standing next to a crossing by the former New York Central depot, which is now a museum.

Maybe he knew about something was coming. He did. It was a westbound CSX manifest freight with a Union Pacific unit in the lead.

We parked and walked over to the crossing. A headlight was already visible in the distance.

In January the sun is pretty low in the sky, particularly late in the day. The nice thing about that is the warm light it provides. The problem, though, is that the low sun angle means that trees, buildings and other objects will cast shadows.

Not only that, but it will exaggerate the proportions of those shadows. Note how in the sequence above our shadows might us appear to be taller than retired NBA great Shaquille O’Neal.

In the heat of summer it can be easy to forget the cold of winter. But it won’t be too long before we’ll be reminded of that again.