Posts Tagged ‘CSX New Castle Subdivision’

Rising From a Weed Field

September 5, 2018

CSX intermodal train Q137 appears to be rising from a field of weeds as it makes its way through Clinton on the New Castle Subdivision.

It was one of the 10 trains that passed Warwick Park during the 2018 Akron Railroad Club picnic.

The Q137 typically is a daylight train through Akron. It originates in Baltimore and terminates at the 59th Street intermodal facility in Chicago.

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Photo Line is in Place

July 31, 2018

Four Akron Railroad Club members watch CSX auto rack train Q276 pass Warwick Park in Clinton during the annual picnic.

The group was train watching next to the tracks before the picnic got underway.

The group is (from left) Tom Reder, Dave Shepherd, Don Woods and Todd Dillon.

Joy Ride on CSX Ends in Arrests 60 Miles Later

July 12, 2018

CSX gave two Ohio men a 60-mile ride on Tuesday that ended with their arrest for trespassing.

Police said Christian Hale, 20, and Keven Slone, 24, both of Willard, got onto a moving CSX train in Willard at about 4 a.m. Tuesday and rode it for several miles before Hale called 911 for help.

The pair had thought the train would stop in Willard but it kept going. They clung to the outside of two rail cars as the eastbound train reached speeds of 45 to 50 miles per hour.

As the train neared Doylestown on the New Castle Subdivision, Hale called 911 and told a police dispatcher what was happening.

“I’m on a train!” he said.

“You’re on a train?” the dispatcher responded.

“Yeah, and it’s going really fast and I don’t know where it’s going. It’s scaring the s*** out of us.”

The police dispatcher notified CSX and the train stopped at Whitman Road in Chippewa Township.

Hale and Christian took off but were found a mile away. The pair were charged with trespassing and may face additional charges being lodged by CSX police.

When asked why he had gotten on the train, Hale replied, “It’s better than walking.”

Wayne County Captain Doug Hunter said getting a 911 call from someone hanging onto the side of train is very unusual

Hale told a deputy he only planed to ride the train through Willard.

“I thought it was going to stop in Willard and it didn’t, and I should have never got on the train,” Hale said. “I know it was a stupid idea and I never should have did it. I wasn’t going to and I never will again.”

Running on Empty

July 10, 2018

The Jackson Browne song reflected in the title of this post has nothing to do with railroads but it does have a line about “looking out at the road rushing under my wheels.”

He meant a car and not a train. Indeed Browne said the idea for the song came to him while driving to a studio every day in 1976 to record his album The Pretender.

Browne’s 1978 hit came to my mind as I watched this empty coal hopper train roll beneath me as I stood on the Portage Hike and Bike Trail near Kent.

The eastbound train is probably headed for a mine in southwest Pennsylvania.

Arguably the theme could apply to coal trains generally. Coal trains are still around and not going away anytime soon, but coal as a fuel continues to lose ground to natural gas.

In fact the coal industry might be able to relate to another line in the song, “I don’t know when that road turned, into the road I’m on.”

Good Locomotive, Bad Light

June 22, 2018

I had time to get in some afternoon railfanning before the May Akron Railroad Club meeting so I took my camera with me during a hike on the Portage Hike and Bike Trail near Kent.

I also took my scanner and sat on bench on the trail next to the CSX New Castle Subdivison and waited for a train to show up.

In my experience, afternoons can be slow on the New Castle Sub. and today was no exception.

There was a track gang at work somewhere nearby and approaching trains had to call the foreman on the radio to get authority through the work zone.

I thought I heard a train identifying itself as Q015, a stack train, calling the foreman. That was good news because I really wanted to get a westbound coming around a curve and into some good later afternoon light.

I got up and got into position. Soon I heard the rumbling of prime movers of an approaching train.

But it seemed to be coming from behind me. It got louder and finally I looked around to discover that I had actually heard the Q016 approaching.

The good news was that on the point was a beautiful Southern Belle of Kansas City Southern. Such units are not unheard of in Northeast Ohio, but not common either.

The bad news was the the lighting was unfavorable. I made the photograph anyway even though I didn’t have much time to get a better composition.

Some days are like that. Not far behind the Q016 was an eastbound auto rack and stack train. I never did see a westbound during my time on the trail that afternoon.

Oops, There’s a Train

May 26, 2018

I took my camera with me during a recent walk on the Portage County Hike & Bike Trail near Kent.

The trail runs parallel to the CSX New Castle Subdivision and passes through where the Erie Yard and shops used to be.

There are a couple of benches along the trail, one of which faces the tracks. There are even some open areas to make photographs.

Unfortunately, the area right in front of the bench facing the tracks is not one of those.

I didn’t have my radio with me so I was counting on hearing an approaching train.

How much in advance you hear it depends on conditions. I heard an approaching train all right but saw it at the same time that I heard it.

I scrambled toward an open area, which was not the one that where I wanted to be.

The top image was far as I could get to get an open view of the lead engine of what I believe is the Q015.

The bottom image was made in the clearing where I’d prefer to photograph a westbound train.

Although it didn’t quite work this time, there is always another day and another train. Next time I’ll make sure to take my scanner.

Near Miss in the H Unit Lottery

May 15, 2018

National Train Day wasn’t too bad depending on where you were.

Railfans in Rochelle, Illinois, got treated to two of Union Pacific’s heritage units on the same train.

Closer to home something unusual started to unfold. The Lehigh Valley heritage unit was leading an eastbound intermodal spotted at Chesterton, Indiana, early that morning.

That’s isn’t so unusual. We typically get more than our share of heritage engines in Northeast Ohio on Norfolk Southern.

Also that morning the NS Honoring First Responders unit was leading an eastbound CSX freight. This turned out to be the S370 which takes the New Castle Sub through Akron.

As both were still hours away I settled in at Rootstown to railfan Norfolk Southern yet still be close enough to jump over to CSX if need be.

As the day progressed I relocated to Ravenna where the two lines cross on a bridge.

Checking on the progress of both trains, it was going to be close. I began hoping for an over and under meet which is difficult enough but with two special painted engines that’s like hitting the lottery.

Well, the Lehigh Valley arrived first and the 9-1-1 engine came within 10 minutes. I didn’t get an over and under but I did get the two engines at the same location. Not a bad day at all.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Somethin’ Different on CSX in Kent

April 16, 2018

On Saturday the Lackawanna heritage unit of Norfolk Southern led CSX train S370 through the Akron area at about 4:30 p.m. I caught it passing under the Erie station in Kent. The train originated in Chicago on Friday.

Photograph by Todd Dillon

Northeast Ohio Memory

February 3, 2018

We don’t usually think of images of CSX as being vintage until they are showing one of its predecessor railroads still wearing a fallen flag livery.

Yet CSX has been around since 1986 and although it remains a major player in the Northeast Ohio railroad scene that you can seen every day, even it has a history worth retelling.

Consider, for example, this image made by Akron Railroad Club member Bob Farkas.

It is early 1999 in Kent and CSX 8185 is passing the ex-Baltimore & Ohio freight station.

The freight station has since been razed and although standard cab locomotives are not extinct at CSX, they are far less common than they used to be, particularly when running in pairs.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

CSX Will Keep New Castle Sub

January 24, 2018

The review of the future of the CSX New Castle Subdivision turned out to be brief.

Trains magazine, which reported earlier this week that the former Baltimore & Ohio route between Baltimore and Greenwich, Ohio, was among 8,000 miles of routes that CSX was looking to potentially sell or lease, reported a day later that CSX plans to continue operating the route.

Trains said that new Executive Vice President of Operations Edmond Harris pushed for keeping the line, which passes through Akron, Kent and Youngstown.

In both reports, the magazine did not name its sources, saying only that the information came from “people familiar with the matter.”

The New Castle Sub begins at Greenwich and extends eastward to West Pittsburgh. If CSX were to sell or lease the line that hosts about 24 trains a day it would in effect be pulling out of Pittsburgh.

The Baltimore-Greenwich route was once the B&O’s primary route between Chicago and Baltimore/Washington and hosted such passenger trains as the Capitol Limited, Diplomat, Shenandoah and Ambassador.

Trains said that a CSX spokesman would not confirm the decision to exclude the Baltimore-Greenwich line from consideration for sale or lease, nor would the carrier affirm the accuracy of the list that the magazine published on its website.

The ex-B&O route west of Greenwich is CSX’s primary freight route between Chicago and the middle Atlantic and New England regions of the East Coast.

Anthony Hatch of ABH Consulting told Trains that he expects CSX to reveal more information about its potential line sales or leases during an investor’s conference to be held on March 1 in New York.

Hatch said he was surprised that CSX would consider selling or leasing as much as 8,000 miles of track, calling it “serious stuff.” The 8,000 route miles would represent a third of the railroad’s 21,000-mile network.

In its initial report, Trains said that not all 8,000 of those miles were expected to actually be sold or leased to a short line, regional or startup operator.

A few routes in Illinois and Florida have already been offered by CSX for sale or lease.