Posts Tagged ‘Ed Ribinskas photographs’

Trestle Tales: Heritage on Steel

February 8, 2022

In the past decade, Ed Ribinskas has considered tracking Norfolk Southern heritage locomotives to be one of his many everyday chores.

If an H unit was leading a train that would pass through Painesville, he would grab his camera and head over to the Riverside Drive grade crossing if he could.

The Nickel Plate heritage locomotive made an appearance on March 30, 2013. Others that have passed by included the Southern H unit on April 26, 2014, the New York Central H unit on May 27, 2015, and the Erie H unit on April 10, 2016.

After construction of the new bridge over the Grand River got underway in March 2017, Ed sought to be a little creative in his photo composition by working the construction activities into his image as can seen above.

Some examples included catching the Erie heritage unit on July 15, 2017, the Savannah & Atlanta H unit on June 2, 2018 and the Central of New Jersey H unit on Nov. 25, 2018.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Adventures at the 1985 NRHS Convention

August 14, 2021

An Amtrak Metroliner set passes through Lancaster station.

At the Strasburg Rail Road.

At Mt. Holly Springs

Steamers at the Gettysburg Railroad.

Two favorite destinations of mine over the past few years have been the Strasburg Rail Road with the visit of Norfolk & Western 611 and Horseshoe Curve near Altoona.

Way back in August 1985 when I visited these places they had a very different look.

The event was the 1985 NRHS Convention based out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Of the four 4 steamers in operation during our venture, only one will eventually be steaming again, hopefully. Two of the locomotives in operation at Strasburg from the collection of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania were Pennsylvania Railroad 4-4-2 No. 7002 and PRR 4-4-0 No. 1223. They were the stars of the convention.

A few years later they were returned to the collection across the street at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

Another trip was an excursion on the Gettysburg Railroad. Steamers at the Gettysburg were Canadian National 2-8-2 No. 3254 and Huntingdon & Broad Top 2-8-0 No. 38.

The 3254 was traded to Steamtown National Historic Site for Canadian Pacific No. 1278.

H&BT No. 38 is now at the Everett Railroad. It is the locomotive to be restored, hopefully, in the near future.

The convention concluded with an Amtrak special from Lancaster to Horseshoe Curve/Gallitzin and return.  As you can see this was during the Conrail years.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Fabulous Fall Fun in 1987

June 23, 2020

Nickel Plate Road 765 at Clarksfield, Ohio, on Sept. 27, 1987.

My passion for steam was evident in the Fall of 1987.

In the 1980s Norfolk Southern was still operating between Orrville and Bellevue. For several years Nickel Plate Road No. 765 pulled trips sponsored by the Orrville Railroad Heritage or Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum.

Also during the ’80s the East Broad Top still had four operating 2-8-2s. Usually Nos. 12 and 17 were out just for specials as the Fall Spectacular. The regular tourist train was No. 14 or No. 15.

Finally former Pennsylvania Railroad  K-4 No. 1361 was operating crew training trips from Vail to Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

I caught one on a spectacular autumn day not knowing the following year would be the last time it would be in steam.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

East Broad Top Nos. 14 and 17 at Orbisonia, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 10, 1987.

EBT Nos. 12, 14, 15 and 17 at Colgate Grove during a rare quadruple-header.

EBT 14 and 17 at Colgate Grove.

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 pulling a New River trip at Montgomery, West Virginia, on Oct. 18, 1987.

Pennsylvania Railroad No. 1361 at Vail, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 25, 1987. That’s steam impresario Doyle McCormack in the SP cap.

PRR 1361 at Milesburg, Pennsylvania, which is the junction of the branch to Bellefonte with the Bald Eagle Valley branch.

PRR 1361 at Bellfonte, Pennsylvania, the county seat of Centre County, on Oct. 25, 1987.

Catching Up with NS 1074

June 3, 2020










This past Sunday I saw online that Norfolk Southern No. 1074, the Lackawanna heritage unit, was leading on intermodal train 206. Just before noon, I drove up to the bridge carrying the NS Lake Erie District over the Grand River in Painesville to meet Jeff Troutman. I got stopped by a super long 22K. About 20 minutes later a very short 206 showed up.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Getting Lucky With NS 8103 Twice

May 11, 2020

On Sunday I saw that Norfolk Southern 8103, the Norfolk & Western heritage unit, was assigned to train 309 on the lead.

Reports filed on by posters who had seen the 309 after it passed through Erie, Pennsylvania, said that it had a Canadian Pacific unit as the fourth locomotive in the motive power consist.

After seeing the North Kingsville post, I gathered my jacket, keys and camera and went to Maple Street in Perry.

I waited about 25 minutes. Initially, it was cloudy and started spitting rain. About five minutes before showtime the sun came out in exactly the most perfect angle.

The N&W H unit appeared at 5:45 p.m.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

1985 Highlights: More Detours, Catching N&W 611

May 10, 2020

Amtrak’s westbound Lake Shore Limited crosses Conneaut Creek on a trestle built decades earlier by the Nickel Plate Road.

On Sunday April 14, 1985, Marty Surdyk and his brother Robert picked me up and we headed out to see the progress of building the new bridge carrying the Conrail tracks over Elk Creek in Lake City, Pennsylvania.

We caught the westbound Lake Shore Limited on the Conneaut Creek trestle and had plenty of time to get to North Main Street in Kingsville to get No. 49 at the sweeping curve back on Conrail tracks.

We went to Lake City to investigate the bridge repair from track level and then moved on to Manchester Road to photograph some more Conrail and Norfolk Southern trains.

More than three months later, Marty and Robert picked me up for another trip east to check out the Conrail bridge at Lake City.

We knew there would be a bonus today. Norfolk & Western No. 611 was pulling a Buffalo to Erie excursion and the train would go beyond Erie to be turned.

That meant it would be steaming west on the Swanville trestle.

At Wallace Junction the 611 and its train got on the Bessemer & Lake Erie to go to Albion to turn on the wye there for its return to Erie then Buffalo.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Amtrak Train 49 heads around a curve near Kingsville after getting back on its regular route via Conrail.

Work continues in mid April 1985 on building the new bridge carrying Conrail over Elk Creek in Lake City, Pennsylvania.

This and the next two images were made at Manchester Road in April 1985. A Conrail westbound waits for an NS train to clear the single track.

The rebuilt bridge on Conrail and the fill around it as seen from the north side.

Looking north from track level at Elk Creek.

N&W 611 steams westbound over the Swanville trestle.

Did It Really Happen?

May 9, 2020

I’ve had terrible luck trying to catch Norfolk Southern 8103, the Norfolk & Western heritage unit.

Five years ago an eastbound blocked the westbound 8103 at the tot lot in Bedford. A couple years ago a slow shutter cut the nose off when I tried to photograph it in Painesville.

On Friday as I was doing chores around the house I periodically checked

About 2:20 p.m. I looked at the site expecting to see nothing near me.

I couldn’t believe it. A post at 2:14 p.m. for a sighting of NS 8103 had it at Euclid on the lead of NS manifest freight 310.

I put the dish washing on pause and told Ursula, “I have an emergency. I shouldn’t be gone long.”

Grabbing my camera, keys and jacket I rushed to the NS Lake Erie District bridge over the Grand River near Riverside Drive.

Others were already present and another vehicle arrived soon after I got there.

At train time at 2:51 p.m. everyone was very social distancing, which was easy to do at this location.

Aside from the heritage unit, No. 310 had two DPU units in the middle.

I still don’t believe I finally got it. That post for 310 at Euclid was the first post for that train. Even though it was gloomy with flurries I didn’t care. I’m still pinching myself.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

1985 Highlights: A Return Trip to the Collapsed Bridge

May 9, 2020

An eastbound Conrail train crosses the Swanville trestle on Norfolk Southern.

On Friday April 5, 1985, Robert Surdky and I ventured back out to the reroute area for more action and also to see if we could explore the actual damaged Conrail bridge at Lake City, Pennsylvania.

We initially headed for the Swanville trestle with the hopes of getting Amtrak 49 in enough daylight.

We thought we would since on March 20th Amtrak 49 had appeared in enough morning light since it was lined up in the parade of Conrail trains to be rerouted in between regular NS trains. However, on this day Amtrak 49 was getting through close to on time.

It appeared at Swanville just at daybreak and came out fuzzy because of the film I used.

We were fascinated with the Swanville trestle because for photography it was wide open on both the east and west end and easy to get to without being on railroad property.

We kept the location on our list for an event that was to happen that summer.

When we investigated the bridge collapse we saw that it was stone blocks at the south end that had collapsed.

We heard that it was from years of repeated freezing and thawing.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

When we needed Amtrak 49 to be late it was running close to on time when it reached the Swanville trestle.

Another eastbound Conrail train crosses the Swanville trestle.

A Conrail westbound comes off the connection from Conrail to Norfolk Southern at Manchester Road.

The damaged Conrail bridge at Lake City, Pennsylvania, over Elk Creek in a view made from the north side.

An eastbound Conrail intermodal train passes the NS yard office in Conneaut that is still lettered for Norfolk & Western.

1985 Highlights: Finding the Collapsed Conrail Bridge

May 8, 2020

The release of water after the dynamite explosion. The collapse can be seen in the distance.

To continue with our trip of March 20, 1985, we decided to go north on Manchester Road to Pennsylvania Route 5 and work our way back west looking for evidence of a bridge collapse.

Route 5 runs between parallel to Lake Erie and the Conrail tracks.

Between Pennsylvania Route 18 and the Route 5 crossing of Elk Creek we saw a large crowd of people with cameras and video cameras set up on an overlook looking south down the creek.

In the distance we saw the collapsed bridge with helicopters flying over it.

Since the collapse had created a dam of the creek, the blocked creek created a lake on the south side of the viaduct, flooding the area which included homes near Lake City, Pennsylvania.

The fill was about to be dynamited to release the flood. We were lucky to arrive at the right moment.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Another view of the flooding that occurred after the dam on Elk Creek created by the collapsed Conrail bridge was removed with dynamite. The rush of water took camper trailers with it.

The water line on trees can be seen in the area south of the collapse.

On the way back west that afternoon we stopped in Conneaut to photograph another Conrail train from the former Nickel Plate footbridge over the yard.

Above the Conrail train the Conrail mainline can be seen in the distance as well as the remains of the Nickel Plate shops.

1983 Highlights: Steam and Amtrak

April 28, 2020

Amtrak took me to visit my sister Janet and her husband, Billy, in Libertyville, Illinois, in July 1983.

I then rode Amtrak to Richmond, Virginia, for the 1983 National Railway Historical Society Convention.

The photo of the eastbound Empire Builder at Rondout, Illinois, was made on Thanksgiving Day 1983 prior to dinner at Janet and Billy’s home. The entire Ribinskas family drove in from Ohio for that holiday.

Also among my favorites from 1983 is a photograph of a Milwaukee Road train that I made waiting for a commuter train at the Libertyville station for the trip to Union Station to catch Amtrak on my way to Richmond on July 19.

Another favorite is an image of myself posing in front of Norfolk & Western No. 611 on our convention excursion from Richmond to Balcony Falls, Virginia, on July 21, 1983.

This was my introduction to the 611 which has become my favorite steam locomotive.

In that photo I am wearing my favorite Chessie Steam Special hat that I unfortunately left in the hotel when we were attending the 1984 NRHS Convention in Cincinnati. I never saw that hat again.

I’m featuring a couple of images from the 1983 NRHS convention, including the N&W 611 photo run by at Balcony Falls.

There is also the Southern F unit on July 22 at the triple crossing in Richmond in a photo op set up in which I was standing next to the late Jim Boyd, a famous railroad photographer who was once editor of Railfan & Railroad magazine.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas