Posts Tagged ‘CSX intermodal trains’

Another CSX Two for Tuesday

July 13, 2021

It’s another Tuesday and we’ve got another two-fer to share from the CSX New Castle Subdivision. Both images were made on May 24, 2021, in Clinton.

In the top image is an eastbound auto rack train. The bottom image shows eastbound intermodal train Q137, a longtime standard on the route.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Sunday Spent Watching Trains, Baseball

May 17, 2021

I had a great outing with Marty Surdyk on Sunday. We left Painesville shortly after 9 a.m. and railfanned our way to Erie.

Our first photo was of an eastbound CSX stack train at County Line Road in Unionville.  Shortly after that a westbound CSX train came past at the same location.

Photograph 3 shows what in the past would have been two trains now run as one. In this case it is double-stacked containers and auto racks.

We then motored on to Geneva where we caught an eastbound intermodal at Geneva.

We made our way to Lake City, Pennsylvania, where we caught a manifest freight passing the former New York Central passenger station there.

At nearby Girard, Pennsylvania, we caught a eastbound Norfolk Southern intermodal train, either the 22K or 206 about a half-mile  west of Wallace Junction.

You can see the relocated former Nickel Plate Plate station perpendicular to the tracks.

Afterwards we worked our way toward Erie and UPMC Park where we watched the Erie Seawolves beat the Akron Rubber Ducks 7-6 in an action-packed game that lasted 3 hours, 29 minutes.

We had no luck finding a train on the former Bessemer & Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Will be back there on another day to try again.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Flashback Friday: 37 Years Apart in Clinton

May 14, 2021

These photographs were made in about the same location in Clinton 37 years apart. In the top image Baltimore & Ohio GP40-2 No. 4150 has a westbound in hand in February 1983. In the bottom image, CSX ES44AC-H No. 3134 leads intemodal train Q137 westbound on Feb. 17, 2020.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

CSX in an Unexpected Place

December 31, 2020

If you’re familiar with the Pittsburgh Line of Norfolk Southern then this location probably looks familiar. It is Cassandra, Pennsylvania, and the image was made at a popular railfan hangout.

Yet you might be thinking, “say what? That’s a CSX train.” Indeed it is.

Back in October 2013 CSX had a major derailment on its route east of Cleveland. Some of the railroad’s highest priority intermodal trains were sent detouring over NS through central Pennsylvania.

Although lead unit 5212, a GE ES44DC, had been built for CSX it had an apparatus that was compatible with the train control system used on the Pittsburgh Line.

Therefore, the trains could operate with their CSX locomotives, making for an unusual sight because foreign units did not typically lead trains on the Pittsburgh Line.

These images were made during my first visit to Cassandra, a day trip that began early and ended late because it was an out and back excursion.

The fall foliage wasn’t quite as brilliant as I had hoped it would be, but it still looked like October.

Eastbound Stacks in Warwick

December 10, 2020

Running elephant style, four CSX locomotives wheel an eastbound double-stacked container train through Clinton (Warwick) on March 16, 1996. Note the variations in the CSX livery of the four units.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Rail Executives See Intermodal Boom Lasting Into Next Spring

November 13, 2020

Executives of CSX and Canadian National told a conference this week they are optimistic that the robust intermodal volumes that railroads have seen in recent weeks will continue through early next spring.

Speaking to the Baird Industrials Conference, the executives said this was due to North American retailers continuing to rebuild inventories depleted during the COVID-19 pandemic-induced economic slowdown.

For the past few months intermodal growth has outpaced that of other rail freight commodities, which have continued to lag behind 2019 levels although intermodal traffic fell sharply in the early months of the pandemic.

Mark Wallace, the CSX executive vice president of sales and marketing, told conference attendees that intermodal growth is expected to continue deep into the first quarter of 2021.

“This e-commerce phenomenon is continuing, and we’re seeing some great volumes in this replenishment of inventories, and restocking is going extremely well,” he said.

CSX’s intermodal volumes has been up 10 percent since Oct. 1, with trailer volume increased by 26 percent compared with a year ago.

The growth in trailers is significant because those often carry parcels and less than truckload shipments related to e-commerce.

Keith Reardon, CN’s senior vice president of consumer product supply chain, said his company’s sales personnel based in Asia are predicting international trade coming from that continent will continuing deep into February and maybe into March as North American inventories are rebuilt.

Although CN-served ports in Western Canada will be a primary beneficiary of this trade, the Danish shipping line Maersk recently made its first call at the CN-served Port of Mobile, Alabama, with Asian cargo routed through the Panama Canal.

In a related matter, CN Chief Financial Officer Ghislain Houle told the same conference that if trucks evolve to become autonomous, that could hurt railroad intermodal business that travels in the 500- 700-mile radius.

However, he said autonomous trucks would pose less of a threat to long-haul intermodal volume, at least in the short term.

Although autonomous trucks are still in the testing stage, Houle expects them to become reality eventually.

When that happens, railroads will need to respond by shifting to one-person locomotive crews and eventually autonomous operation in which there is no one in the locomotive cab.

“Now obviously the driverless truck will get there,” Houle said. “And obviously that may represent a threat to railroads.”

Positive train control will enable railroads to respond by operating one-person crews and, within a couple of years, driverless trains.

“If you believe that a truck can be driverless on publicly-funded roads, you will believe that at one point trains could be driverless on a privately-funded network,” Houle said. “So the technology will advance on trains as well.”

Driverless trains are already operating on the Rio Tinto railroad in Australia.

Houle acknowledged that it will take more than technological advances to make driverless trains a reality.

Government regulators in the United States and Canada will need to be persuaded to allow them and the arguments in favor of autonomous trains will need to be rooted in safety and not economics.

“You will make the case that having a driverless truck or you will make the case that having a driverless train is safer than having people in the cab,” Houle said.

Some CP Maroon and Gray

September 24, 2020

Canadian Pacific owns no track in Ohio, but its motive power is a regular visitor thanks to intermodal trains Q165 and Q166.

Those are CP trains that operate on CSX between Chicago and Buffalo, New York.

They often make daytime appearances in Northeast Ohio and it is not unusual for them to have one of the carrier’s heritage units painted in maroon and gray.

Some of those units feature scrip lettering while others have block lettering.

You also might find one of the CP’s military veterans units in the motive power consist of the Q165 and Q166.

Show here are some recent images of the maroon and gray units cause in Lake County.

The first two images were made on Aug. 17 at Main Street in Perry. The third image was made on Aug. 23 east of Perry at Davis Road.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

2 Things No Longer Used by CSX

June 30, 2020

There are two things in this image that are no longer in use by CSX but let’s not get ahead of the story just yet.

This image of a container train eastbound in Warwick was made on Oct. 13, 1996.

Lead unit CSXT No. 5891 is a GE B36-7 that was built in July 1985 for Seaboard System.

It has since been retired from the CSX roster although locomotive leasing firm NRE has it available. Just check out their website.

As for the other item no longer used by CSX, that would be the color position light signal.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Last Photograph in Berea of 2019

December 31, 2019

For nearly 26 years, Berea was my go-to place to watch trains, particularly when I felt more like watching than photographing.

With around 100 trains every 24 hours that includes a diverse mix of Norfolk Southern, CSX, Amtrak and the Wheeling & Lake Erie, there is much to see there.

Over the course of a quarter century I made countless photographs in Berea.

You soon reach a point, though, when you think you’ve photographed from every angle there to photograph. Now what?

Well, there are still trains to watch, still people to socialize with and still the chance that the next train might have something a little out of the ordinary.

But most of the trains are pretty routine, including this westbound CSX intermodal.

I’ve photographed from this angle many times and recorded numerous westbound CSX intermodal trains.

There is nothing different about this image from a dozen or more other images I’ve made here.

But this one is different in one not so obvious way. It is the last photograph I made in Berea of 2019.

This photograph was made on a late Friday afternoon in late August. It was the only train I photographed during my two or so hours trackside.

I’ll be back to Berea some day in 2020, I just don’t know when. When I do get back I’ll probably make yet another image from this angle.

Pleasant Seasonal Memories

December 5, 2019

I recently ran across this photograph while looking back in my archives. It was made on Nov. 24, 2013, from the Old State Road bridge spanning the CSX Willard Subdivision west of Greenwich.

The train is headed eastbound and although you don’t see it here there is about to be a meet with a westbound light power move.

You might notice there is a dusting of snow on the ground and the crops in the nearby fields have been harvested.

This image reminds me of one of my favorite times of the year although it is not one that I talk about much.

The fall foliage is long gone and although there are signs of winter it has not officially arrived.

I have a lot of pleasant memories of trips made in November to the CSX New Castle, Willard and Greenwich subdivisions.

Sometimes the weather was good and sometimes it wasn’t. The predominate color of this time of year is brown, but I was fine with that.

It was a prelude to winter and a time to think about all the adventures I had had during the year while looking ahead to what a new year would bring.