Posts Tagged ‘CSX stack trains’

The Red Grain Elevator of Wellington

May 19, 2017

A certain member of the Akron Railroad Club is known for his passion for photographing trains and grain elevators.

I know that in particular he likes the red grain facility in Wellington alongside the Greenwich Subdivision of CSX.

It makes for a dramatic  image in late afternoon sunlight. From what I can see, the facility is no longer served by rail.

I didn’t go there on a recent outing just to capture the red grain elevator. As much as anything I went there because Wellington wasn’t being covered  by clouds.

CSX cooperated beautifully by sending a pair of westbounds through town, a stack train and an ethanol train.

The ethanol train shown at top was the second of the pair and I tend to like that image the best of the two.


Searching for CSX in Downtown Kent

May 19, 2016
An early March view of the eastbound Q016 passing beneath the former Erie Railroad station in downtown Kent while skirting the remains of a canal lock.

An early March view of the eastbound Q016 passing beneath the former Erie Railroad station in downtown Kent while skirting the remains of a canal lock.

A head-on view of the Q016 about a week later on a cloudy day.

A head-on view of the Q016 about a week later on a cloudy day.

I spent a little bit of time in Kent last winter parked on the Main Street bridge and looking for CSX traffic on the New Castle Subdivision.

I didn’t find a whole lot, but twice I caught the eastbound Q016 rumbling through in late afternoon. I’m told that the traffic patterns are such that the New Castle Sub is pretty quiet in Kent and Akron between early and late afternoon.

My limited experience in hanging out there during the afternoons would comport with that.

Is traffic down on the New Castle Sub? I can’t say for certain, but it might be. But I like going to Kent so I’ll keep working it, trying the mornings once the weather gets warmer for good.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

No O.J. on This Day in Kent

October 16, 2015

Kent Q016

The plan was to walk on the Portage Hike and Bike trail, shop at Beckwith’s Orchard and, if time permitted, get in some railfanning in Kent.

I walked on the tail, found the carmel apples I was looking for at Beckwith’s and then turned my attention toward finding some O.J.

I had not been to Kent in a while and one of the lures of spending time there was the remote chance of catching the Tropicana juice train on a detour move.

Normally, that train doesn’t come within hundreds of miles of Northeast Ohio, but in the aftermath of flooding in South Carolina, it was rerouted via Cincinnati. It used the New Castle Subdivision on its trek to the New Jersey processing plant.

For all I knew, the detour that attracted attention on Saturday, Oct. 10 might have been a one-time event.

There is a certain blind hope that railfans have when going out into the field that they are going to see something unusual.

More often than not, what they see is the routine. But seeing the unusual seems to happen enough to keep that hope alive rather than it succumbing to cynical discouragement.

By the time I got into Kent it was late afternoon. The juice train had gone east the previous day around mid morning. My only hope that was today’s edition was running very late or that the return move was running in late afternoon.

I found a parking space on the Main Street bridge, got my radio out and waited.

I heard several scratchy transmissions on my scanner that turned out to be the D750 working in Akron.

The IO dispatcher told a train whose symbol I didn’t catch that he would be waiting for the eastbound Q016 to pass before the dispatcher would be able to get him to Scotty, which is located east of Newton Falls.

The New Castle Subdivision tends to be feast or famine. In my experience, weekend afternoons tend to be more famine than feast. Patience will be rewarded, though, most of the time.

It was nearly 4:30 p.m. before I heard the Q016 call the signal at CP 120 on the far west side of Kent near Middlebury Road.

I got out and crossed the street only to hear a locomotive horn sounding for Summit Street.

I wasn’t able to get to where I wanted to be, but I was satisfied with making an image from the bridge.

The late day light was nice. The train was nothing out of the ordinary, but it was a train.

It seemed a little longer than usual and a few people stopped to watch it.

It would be the only train I would see in Kent, unless you want to discount the westbound tanker train that I spotted while walking on the Portage Hike and Bike Trail.

The Tropicana juice train, though, was nowhere to be found.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Another Day in the Life of the Railroad

November 13, 2014

Crew change at Berea

I spent a few hours at Berea last Saturday where I kept getting blocked from shooting what I wanted on both railroad by stopped or slow moving CSX trains on Track 2. But we’ve all been there before.

One of those CSX wall trains was the Q022, a stack train whose crew was coming close to outlawing. The dispatcher arranged for the crews to change just east of The Station restaurant.

They are shown here mingling as a westbound container train approaches on Track 1.

Just another day in the life of the railroad and its operating personnel that make it go.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

2 Trains, 1 Meet, 1 Minute and 2 Firsts

January 28, 2014

The first of the two CSX container trains passes beneath the Fairchild Avenue bridge in Kent at 1:16 p.m.

It was one of those railfan photograph moments in which everything seemed to be moving rapidly.  We were driving toward Kent because he had heard a CSX train call a signal on the radio. But we couldn’t pick out which signal it was.

We were a few miles north of town so we didn’t even know if we would have enough time to catch this train. We had already struck out twice earlier in the day on catching CSX trains.

In the meantime, another CSX train called a signal, but this one was much fainter. There must be two trains out there.

As we came into Kent on Ohio Route 43 (North Mantua Street), I looked toward the  CSX tracks. No train. That was good news, I thought. Or was it? Was the train by already.

We heard a train calling the signal “Kent,” which is located just south of Summit Street. We pulled into the Sheetz parking lot and hoofed it across Mantua to the bridge carrying the Portage County Hike and Bike travel over the CSX track. A moderate level of snow was falling.

This bridge was opened last year and I had yet to photograph from it. Earlier we had discussed how it might be a nice view from there.

The snow on the ground on the east side of Mantua Street was deep and I was racing as hard as I could while hoping I didn’t slip and fall. I could see a headlight of the approaching Q016 reflecting off the rails on Track No. 2. Did I have enough time?

I barely had gotten into position when the eastbound train was upon us. This would be a first: my first photo taken from this bridge.

Q016 rumbled past. Roger then said he had heard the crew of this train talking on the radio to another train crew . That was even better news. A westbound was coming.

Seconds later westbound Q015 came around the curve and another first occurred. It would be the first time that I’d spotted and photographed double-stacked containers passing each other on the CSX New Castle Subdivision.

Container trains are old hat on this line, but it has only been a few months since double- stacked container trains began operating here. The clearance enlargement project on the former Baltimore & Ohio mainline has advanced far enough to allow some double-stack operations.

We got our photographs and headed back toward the Sheetz lot, this time at a much slower pace. The elapsed time between my first and last photographs was one minute.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders


The head end of the eastbound has passed beneath the trail bridge and leans into the curve.


Then westbound Q015 pops out from behind the curve. Note the double-stacked containers passing on each train.


Q016 had just a few double-stacked containers.


Passing the snow-covered milepost 117. The Cuyahoga River is out of view to the left.