Posts Tagged ‘CSX Buffalo Line’

Some Color on a Sunday Outing in Pennsylvania

April 13, 2014
A BNSF unit leads an eastbound auto rack train at midmorning in North East, Pa.

A BNSF unit leads an eastbound auto rack train at midmorning in North East, Pa.

My friend Adam and I ventured to North East, Pa., last Sunday in search of some color. No NS heritage units were anywhere near, so we took our chances with seeing something colorful on CSX and, maybe, Norfolk Southern.

The Bort Road bridge over the CSX tracks is still closed to vehicular traffic. That was good news because we could park on the road just before the concrete barriers and then walk out on the bridge when trains were nearby.

Traffic on CSX seemed a little slower than we expected, but there was still enough to make things interesting. NS traffic was what you would expect for a line that is not heavily used, but can still be counted on to provide some action if you are patient.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The Q166 was a surprise visitor. It was the second of back-to-back Canadian Pacific run-through intermodal trains.

The Q166 was a surprise visitor. It was the second of back-to-back Canadian Pacific run-through intermodal trains.

We expected to see the Q165, the first of the two CP intermodal trains. We just didn't know when it would come through the area. It arrived a little earlier than I thought it would.

We expected to see the Q165, the first of the two CP intermodal trains. We just didn’t know when it would come through the area. It arrived a little earlier than I thought it would.

Lake Erie was still mostly ice-covered on Sunday, April 6. The view is from the crest of Pennsylvania Route 89 south of North East.

Lake Erie was still mostly ice-covered on Sunday, April 6. The view is from the crest of Pennsylvania Route 89 south of North East.

BNSF and UP combine to lead a westbound tanker train. The lead unit is a former BN "Grinstein" unit that still looks resplendent.

BNSF and UP combine to lead a westbound tanker train. The lead unit is a former BN “Grinstein” unit that still looks resplendent.

Even CSX looked brilliant on this sun-splashed afternoon. Shown is a short westbound intermodal train.

Even CSX looked brilliant on this sun-splashed afternoon. Shown is a short westbound intermodal train.

Winter on the Water Level Route in Lake County

February 22, 2014
An eastbound CSX manifest freight near Bowhall Road east of Painesville.

An eastbound CSX manifest freight near Bowhall Road east of Painesville.

Most of the time, trees are not a photographer’s friend. They cast shadows and diminish the amount of open space with work with next to the tracks.

But when coated with snow, trees can create for some striking winter photographs. And so it was on a recent Sunday when we found ourselves looking for trees next to the tracks.

Shown is a selection of CSX trains on the Water Level Route of the former New York Central east of Cleveland. It was an odd day from an operating standpoint.

Traffic was fairly steady, but from the time we got trackside around 11 until nearly 3:30 p.m. all of the trains were headed east. Where were the westbounds?

A fleet of them began reaching Lake County in late afternoon. The images shown here were taken at various locations including the crossings of Bowhall Road, Park Road and Davis Road. We also photographed near the ex-NYC Painesville passenger station.

One of our primary goals was to catch one or both of the Canadian Pacific intermodal trains that began running on CSX between Chicago and Buffalo late last year.

But we struck out on that objective. As reported in an earlier post, we did get four trains with BNSF power in the lead. The last train that we caught had Union Pacific power.

Aside from a few flurries early in our outing, there was no snowfall. Skies were cloudy all day, but the beauty of the snow clinging to the trees and everything else made for some nice winter scenes.

There also was enough snow on the right of way to create those clouds of misty snow that add drama to the sight of a fast oncoming train.

When we called it a day just past 5 p.m., we had photographed 18 trains. And we were pleased to have photographed all of them.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

If only there were trains on Sunday on the NS Fairport, Painesville & Eastern branch.

If only there were trains on Sunday on the NS Fairport, Painesville & Eastern branch.

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We’re Not in North Dakota Anymore Toto

February 8, 2014
The first of the three tank car trains on CSX that featured BNSF motive power kicks up a swirl of snow as it approaches Park Road.

The first of the three tank car trains on CSX that featured BNSF motive power kicks up a swirl of snow as it approaches Park Road.

Last Sunday I spent the day railfanning with fellow Akron Railroad Club members Marty Surdyk and Edward Ribinskas in Lake County along the Cleveland-Buffalo lines of CSX (ex-New York Central) and Norfolk Southern (ex-Nickel Plate Road). It had rained on Saturday but a fresh snowfall overnight created a nice winter scene as though everything had been sprayed with snow.
During our day out, we spotted three tanker trains on CSX, all of which were led by BNSF motive power.

In the interests of accuracy, I was too busy thinking about the photographs I wanted to make to pay attention to the placards on the cars. Therefore, not all of these trains were necessarily crude oil trains from North Dakota. There could have been ethanol trains from Iowa mixed in.
Anyhow, the orange of those BNSF locomotives sure looked good against all of that white.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The second of the tanker trains nears Park Road. This motive power consist featured all BNSF power.

The second of the tanker trains. This motive power consist featured all BNSF power.

There was no buffer car on the end of the second of the three tanker trains.

There was no buffer car on the end of the second of the three tanker trains.

A cut of tank cars brought up the rear of this eastbound CSX manifest freight at Park Road.

A cut of tank cars brought up the rear of this eastbound CSX manifest freight at Park Road.

Tanker train No. 3 on the day featured yet another all BNSF motive power consist. This eastbound train is coming in Perry.

Tanker train No. 3 on the day featured yet another all BNSF motive power consist. This eastbound train is coming in Perry.

The cold oil inside the tank cars hitting the humid and slightly warmer air resulted in a sheen of white frost on the outside of the black tank cars.

The cold oil inside the tank cars hitting the humid and slightly warmer air resulted in a sheen of white frost on the outside of the black tank cars.

Snow is building up on the rear of the buffer car on tanker train No. 3 at Perry.

Snow is building up on the rear of the buffer car on tanker train No. 3 at Perry.

NS eastbound train 14T featured a BNSF locomotive on the head end. It was nice to see BNSF power leading four trains on this Sunday.

NS eastbound train 14T featured a BNSF locomotive on the head end. It was nice to see BNSF power leading four trains on this Sunday.

NS 14T splits the signals at Davis Road, which is the east end of the Perry siding.

NS 14T splits the signals at Davis Road, which is the east end of the Perry siding.

Super Snow Sunday on CSX

February 7, 2013
It was still snowing heavily when we got our first train shortly after we arrived. It was an eastbound auto rack.

It was still snowing heavily when we got our first train shortly after we arrived. It was an eastbound auto rack.

On Super Bowl Sunday I went out with fellow ARRC members Marty Surdyk, Ed Ribinskas and Jeff Troutman to Perry to get some snow action. It had been snowing east of Cleveland all day Saturday and lake effect snow was still falling when we arrived about 11 a.m. on Sunday.

On Tuesday I posted a selection of my Norfolk Southern shots. Today I present a selection of the CSX shots.

Virtually all of the traffic that we saw on Sunday was stacks and racks. No coal. No ethanol. No grain. No mixed freight. I don’t know if the weather had anything to do with this or it was just a coincidence. Maybe a bunch of guys marked off to watch the Super Bowl and CSX ran its higher priority traffic.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The rear of the auto rack train. After that we had a lull of an hour before we saw another train.

The rear of the auto rack train. After that we had a lull of an hour before we saw another train. The crosing is Main Street in Perry.

After the lull ended, CSX began running a succession of container trains. This is the first of those, a westbound about to cross Main Street.

After the lull ended, CSX began running a succession of container trains. This is the first of those, a westbound about to cross Main Street.

A westbound stack train kicks up the snow as it passes beneath an old signal bridge that has been without signals for many, many years. I’m surprised that it is still standing.

A westbound stack train kicks up the snow as it passes beneath an old signal bridge that has been without signals for many, many years. I’m surprised that it is still standing.

The Spirit of Cincinnati leads an eastbound intermodal train.

The Spirit of Cincinnati leads an eastbound intermodal train.

Looking north on Main Street from the Norfolk Southern crossing. Why did they have to run that big wire that I discovered only after I got the shot?

Looking north on Main Street from the Norfolk Southern crossing. Why did they have to run that big wire that I discovered only after I got the shot?

An eastbound stack train creating a swirl of snow as it rushes along. Every train on CSX on this day looked like a dust storm was following it.

An eastbound stack train creating a swirl of snow as it rushes along. Every train on CSX on this day looked like a dust storm was following it.

A westbound stack train. Keep those containers coming.

A westbound stack train. Keep those containers coming.

This westbound stack train was the last one that we saw this day. By now we had relocated west of town to Lane Road. Note that the poles to the right are a coating of snow on them. For me, that is what made this shot.

This westbound stack train was the last one that we saw this day. By now we had relocated west of Perry to Lane Road. Note that the poles to the right are a coating of snow on them. For me, that is what made this shot.

I didn’t notice the patch of blue sky until after I made the photograph and was reviewing it on my camera screen. That is lake effect for you. It can be whiteout conditions one moment and sunny the next.

I didn’t notice the patch of blue sky until after I made the photograph and was reviewing it on my camera screen. That is lake effect for you. It can be whiteout conditions one moment and sunny the next.

Snow can dirty in a hurry. In this case, I liked the contrast of the dirty snow at the Main Street crossing in Perry with the pure white just beyond, which was being refreshed by the cloud of snow kicked up by the fast stack train.

Snow can dirty in a hurry. In this case, I liked the contrast of the dirty snow at the Main Street crossing in Perry with the pure white just beyond, which was being refreshed by the cloud of snow kicked up by the fast stack train.

The end of the train and the end of my story for today. An eastbound intermodal is shrouded in a cloud of misty snow kicked up by the train. It was for images such as this that we came to Perry on this day.

The end of the train and the end of my story for today. An eastbound intermodal is shrouded in a cloud of misty snow kicked up by the train. It was for images such as this that we came to Perry on this day.