Posts Tagged ‘CSX Willard Subdivision’

Sunset at Scipio

December 23, 2020

It was the end of what had been a long and productive day of railfanning on the CSX Willard Subdivision and Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern in July 2008.

There were still a couple more CSX trains to catch, including a grain train and a coke train. The light was fading fast.

But I had one more image to make. You are looking westward on the former Baltimore & Ohio mainline near Scipo, Ohio.

When the sun gets low you can always go for glint shots and sunset images. If executed well, they make dramatic photographs.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

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.

One Saturday Afternoon at Attica Junction

June 18, 2016

At the time I made this photograph I thought it would be a one and done deal. It wasn't, but that is how unpredictable railfanning can be.

At the time I made this photograph I thought it would be a one and done deal. It wasn’t, but that is how unpredictable railfanning can be.

I was driving south on Ohio Route 4 while chasing a Norfolk Southern train on the Sandusky District when I spotted a waiting eastbound CSX manifest freight at Attica Junction.

The NS train was well behind me and didn’t have the signal yet at Attica Junction, so I stopped, snapped a few photos of the CSX train and moved on.

At least I’d be able to say that I photographed one CSX train today.

I got my photos of the NS train I was chasing and then puttered around some more along the Sandusky District before heading back to Bellevue.

As I came into Attica Junction — which on a highway map is the village of Siam — I saw another CSX train sitting at the eastbound home signal.

As I crossed the tracks I saw another CSX train waiting at the westbound home signal. It had some color on its nose so I circled back to get a look.

I determined through my telephoto lens that the westbound had a BNSF unit on the lead. My thinking was to photograph the westbound as it crossed the NS tracks.

In reviewing my photos taken here earlier in the day, I determined that the eastbound was the same train I had photographed an hour and a half earlier.

NS trains crossed the CSX tracks in each direction and I expected both CSX trains to get a clear signal momentarily. It didn’t happen.

After awhile I gave up on this CSX photo opportunity and started to resume my trip to Bellevue. But shortly after leaving Siam on an impulse I turned west.

The eastbound CSX train had the first grade crossing west of Attica Junction blocked so that seemed like a good place to wait it out until the westbound with the BNSF unit came along.

Not long after I arrived, the dispatcher told the eastbound — whose symbol I didn’t record — that it would go behind another train into the yard at Willard.

Could it be that both trains were waiting not for NS traffic but for a third CSX train?

I was hearing a train calling signals over the radio in the distance and then a nearby defect detector went off.

Sure enough, an eastbound stack train came along on Track No. 1, passed the eastbound manifest sitting on Track No. 2 and then crossed over in front of it and the westbound coal train with the BNSF power.

The intermodal train had a new ET44AH locomotive on the point.

Shortly after the stack train passed, the manifest freight and the coal train each began moving. The BNSF unit I had seen from a distance turned out to be an SD70ACe built in August 2014.

For two of the trains I had just seen, the motive power was still fairly new.

I wasn’t quite done with Attica Junction just yet. An eastbound NS train was waiting at West Attica for a signal and I decided it get it splitting those signals.

Two more CSX trains passed by before the NS train could go. And with that I finally was ready to leave for Bellevue. Or so I thought.

The gates for the NS tracks started going up, but then came back down again. A westbound NS train was in the circuit, so I photographed it out the window from the driver’s seat.

When it cleared, I really did leave and drive to Bellevue. It was seven trains later than I expected, but what a story that turned out to be.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

More than an hour later this eastbound has turned a wheel.

More than an hour later this eastbound CSX manifest freight had yet to turn a wheel.

NS crosses at Attica Junction while CSX waits. Later it would be the other way around.

NS crosses at Attica Junction while CSX waits. Shortly after making this image, another NS train came past in the opposition direction, passing each other on the diamonds.

The lead unit of this eastbound stack train is compliant with the Tier 4 emission standards of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The lead unit of this eastbound stack train is compliant with the Tier 4 emission standards of the Environmental Protection Agency.

A pair of BNSF units lead a loaded coal train westward. My guess is this coal came from southwestern Pennsylvania, perhaps from a mine along the former Monongahela.

A pair of BNSF units lead a loaded coal train westward. My guess is this coal came from southwestern Pennsylvania, perhaps from a mine along the former Monongahela.

I waited for NS to clear for CSX. Now I'm waiting for CSX to clear for NS. Such is life at Attica Junction.

I waited for NS to clear for CSX. Now I’m waiting for CSX to clear for NS. Such is life at Attica Junction.

The clouds gathered and they threatened, but they never developed into thunderstorms. A westbound passes the eastbound home signals at West Attica.

The clouds gathered and they threatened, but they never developed into thunderstorms. A westbound passes the eastbound home signals at West Attica.

 

Ready, Set, Stop

July 11, 2015

Fostoria Drag 11

Three CSX trains are stopped on the Columbus Subdivision in Fostoria waiting for clearance to proceed. Track work being performed on the CSX east-west Willard Subdivision made waiting trains a common sight on CSX and Norfolk Southern.

The train on the left was awaiting clearance to take the southeast connection to go east on the Willard Sub. The train in the middle wanted to go north (railroad west) across the Willard Sub and onto the Pemberville Subdivision to Toledo. The train on the right wanted to take the southwest connection and go west on the Willard Sub.

If you look carefully on the far right edge, you’ll see a fourth CSX train, a yard job between assignments.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

All I Wanted for Christmas was Some Sunshine

December 29, 2014

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Instead of dreaming of a White Christmas I just wanted some sun.  After having precious little sunlight for the last month, on the Friday after Christmas the sun returned.

A trip out to Willard and Attica yielded quite a few colorful consists.

First out was a Wheeling & Lake Erie train parked at New London with the two Rio Grande tunnel motors.  They still look good but had no crew at this time.  Later we would catch them on the move to Willard.

Next was a CSX westbound with 2 BNSF units and a Kansas City Southern Belle. Then we caught a CSX eastbound with a mix of leasers.

We then went to Attica Junction (Siam) and caught four CSX and two Norfolk Southern freights.

Back to Willard we went for another six-unit lash up with some leased SD90MACs.  On the way home the two Rio Grande units brought their train into Willard.

Lastly, we caught an NS lashup from Hudson on Saturday with a cream and green SD70MAC on a coal train.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

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Colorful Outing on CSX

April 2, 2014

I had to toss in a little BNSF orange into the Crayola box. Here is a westbound at Attica Junction.

I had to toss in a little BNSF orange into the Crayola box. Here is a westbound at Attica Junction.

 

I made a trip to the Willard area the other weekend and was treated to quite the color variety along the CSX main. In no particular order here is what I was able to get.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

Road slug looking nice and clean.

Road slug looking nice and clean.

A remote GP-38-2 works the west end of Willard as that NS/CREX set we saw earlier cools it's wheels in the distance.

A remote GP-38-2 works the west end of Willard as that NS/CREX set we saw earlier cools it’s wheels in the distance.

An in your face eastbound at Boughtonville.

An in your face eastbound at Boughtonville.

CSX 8357, Clinchfield 3023 in a former life, leads an eastbound mixed freight into Willard.

CSX 8357, Clinchfield 3023 in a former life, leads an eastbound mixed freight into Willard.

A  K train departed with a Kansas City Southern retro Belle leader, seen first at the Boughtonville Road crossing.

A K train departed with a Kansas City Southern retro Belle leader, seen first at the Boughtonville Road crossing.

  . . . and then at the Route 13 crossing on the former Big 4 near Greenwich.

. . . and then at the Route 13 crossing on the former Big 4 near Greenwich.

As I arrived in Willard an eastbound was departing with NS and CEFX for power. Let's see, the first two CSX moves had NS leaders, what a way to start the day.

As I arrived in Willard an eastbound was departing with NS and CEFX for power. Let’s see, the first two CSX moves had NS leaders, what a way to start the day.

I chased this train to get multiple shots of this WP covered hopper.

I chased this train to get multiple shots of this WP covered hopper.

A westbound is stopped at the 191 signals just east of Greenwich in the last light of day.

A westbound is stopped at the 191 signals just east of Greenwich in the last light of day.

Oh, the Trains It Has Seen

December 30, 2013

Lonetree

So, fellow Akron Railroad Club member Roger Durfee tells me that we can do some winter railfanning without snow. “How is that?” I asked. And he says we can look for other things that say winter, e.g., bare trees and fields. And that led us to this slumbering field along Boughtonville Road just west of its namesake village east of Willard, Ohio.

Who knows why this lone tree still stands. It probably has survived because it’s next to a drainage ditch and thus not on a spot where the farmer wants to plant crops. Perhaps during the warm weather months the farmer working in this field takes a break and sits beneath the shade of this tree.

Of course the tree also has a good view of the nearby CSX mainline. Imagine the thousands of trains that have passed by this tree over the years.

Shown is the westbound Q015, whose crew is a just a few miles away from ending its day and going off the clock. They’ve the lucky ones, for this train will pass three parked manifest freights on Track No. 1 waiting to get into Willard. An eastbound is sitting at East Willard waiting to get a route to Greenwich and beyond.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Those Moments You Live For

December 10, 2012

It’s getting to be mid aft\ernoon on a Saturday in mid November. I’m chasing a light power move of former Santa Fe geeps that are bound for LTEX at McDonald, Ohio.

Already I’ve photographed the locomotives near Attica Junction, west of Willard, leaving Willard and just west of Boughtonville. Now the locomotives are stopped just before the grade crossing of Greenwich Milan Town Road on the west edge of Greenwich.

The radio transmissions indicate that the dispatcher has westbound trains to run, three of them to be exact before the light power move will get a signal to proceed.

The first westbound is a a manifest freight. Then comes the middle train, a stacker off the former Big Four line from Cleveland. The stack train has made the right turn onto the former Baltimore & Ohio Chicago-Pittsburgh line.

Also is the mix is the Q137, an intermodal train that uses the New Castle Subdivision through Akron.

The stack train rumbles past and in the distance I can make out the headlight of the Q137. These are the moments that you live for when out railfanning. As soon as one train clears another will be coming.

Sometimes the wait between trains can be hours. Or so it seems. But not right now.

The stack train clears the switch, the dispatcher aligns it for the next train and soon the Q137 is calling the signal and moving ahead.

I’ve picked out my next photo location. Another image will soon be made.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders