Posts Tagged ‘Fall foliage’

Fall Foliage Spectacular Two for Tuesday

November 23, 2021

I was looking in my slide collection earlier this week with an emphasis on images made on the Cleveland Line of Norfolk Southern in the vicinity of Brady Lake and Ravenna when I ran across the image shown above.

Seeing it brought back a lot of memories of a late October day, Oct. 28, 2005, to be exact.

I was in my first year as president of the Akron Railroad Club. It was a Friday and the October meeting was that night in the Carriage House of the Summit County Historical Society.

Before the meeting Ed Ribinskas and I got in some late day railfanning around Ravenna.

As you can see in this image the fall foliage along the Cleveland Line east of Lake Street was at peak color although some of the trees had already lost most or all of their leaves.

We were there in late afternoon and fortunate to get two westbounds before the shadows completely covered the rails.

As it was, the shadows were rapidly moving in, which turned out to be a good thing by creating some dramatic contrast. Contrast helps to give an image visual tension, which increases its drama and interest.

It is noteworthy that as dramatic as these images are they are not the photographs I remember the most from this outing.

Those images were made several minutes later on the CSX New Castle Subdivision at Chestnut Street.

In the last direct sunlight of the day we caught a westbound with a BNSF leader. I framed it with a Baltimore & Ohio color position light signal and the block sign denoting the end and beginning of the Kent and Rave blocks.

The warm light on a BNSF “pumpkin” was, I thought at the time, the catch of the day.

CSX has long since dropped the use of blocks on the New Castle Sub and the CPLs have been gone for years. So those photos now make nice period pieces.

Curious as to who had the program that night I dug out the October 2005 Bulletin. The program was titled Now and Then with the “now” being presented by Marty Surdyk and the “then” being shown by his father, the late William Surdyk.

The photographs shown were made roughly 40 years apart and used different types of slide film.

Marty’s images were 35 mm slides shown in a Kodak Carousel projector.

He featured the Bessemer & Lake Erie, CSX in the Akron area, Marion, Berea and the Wheeling & Lake Erie around Spencer.

Bill’s images were 2.25-inch format slides shown in a 1950s era Goldie projector that could be fed one slide at a time. In Bill’s show were images from Berea, Marion and Akron among other locations.

The meeting minutes for October reported that a record 18 members went to the Eat ‘n Park in Cuyahoga Falls after the meeting for dessert, a late dinner or an early breakfast.

The next day ARRC members gathered again, this time in Berea to dedicate the Dave McKay memorial.

A week before the meeting, ARRC members had enjoyed an excursion on the Ohio Central between Dennison and Morgan Run. It was supposed to have been pulled by 2-8-0 Baldwin-built No. 33.

But the steamer was sidelined with mechanical issues. Instead, a Montreal Locomotive Works RS18 pulled the trip to Morgan Run while an OC FP7 powered the return trip.

What a month October 2005 was for the ARRC.

A UP Kind of Morning on CN

November 14, 2021

It was just coincidence that the first two Canadian National trains I saw while railfanning the Champaign Subdivision on Nov. 7 were led by Union Pacific motive power. UP units are, in my experience, not unusual on this stretch of CN although I don’t see them during every visit to the former Illinois Central mainline.

In train in the top image was following Amtrak’s southbound Saluki. The train in the bottom image was the first train I photographed on this outing. In both instance a tree next to the tracks made a handy way to work some fall color into the images.

The top image was made on the west side of the tracks and the bottom photograph on the east side in Pesotum, Illinois.

The Saluki and a Colorful Tree

November 11, 2021

My quest for fall foliage continued last Sunday with a trip to the Champaign Subdivision of Canadian National, the former Illinois Central mainline between Chicago and New Orleans.

I found some colorful trees next to the tracks in Pesotum, Illinois, and worked with them.

Shown here is Amtrak’s northbound and southbound Saluki, which operates daily between Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois, and is funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

For more than a year the Saluki has operated with Superliner equipment and due to a CN-required minimum axle count carries more cars than does the Capitol Limited.

Although the southbound train is shown in the top image, it was the second of the two trains to pass my position.

Fall Foliage and Street Running

November 10, 2021

Hickory Street in Warsaw, Indiana, is famous for two blocks of street running on the Marion District of Norfolk Southern, which many railfans still like to call the Marion Branch.

A street project that wrapped up earlier this year changed the traffic patterns on Hickory for vehicles but not for trains. The street is now one lane northbound only with the other lane devoted to on-street parking.

Last Friday I chased the 13Q from Goshen to Warsaw with the objective of getting some fall foliage and street running. There were no colorful trees on Hickory itself, but a pair of tees with gold leaves were visible on Fort Wayne Avenue. The latter comes into Hickory at an angle on the north end of the street running at the crossing of East Main Street.

The 13Q, which was led by a Canadian National unit and had a CN unit on the rear as a DPU, is shown in the top image. However, the first train I saw run down the street was the 14J, whose rear is shown about to clear the street running in the bottom image.

Note that in theory through vehicles are prohibited on the tracks and in the easternmost lane. But during my time waiting for trains I saw a number of vehicles straddle the rails while waiting at the stop light to make a left turn onto Fort Wayne Avenue.

Striking Autumn Gold in Goshen

November 6, 2021

The Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern skirts the southern boundary of Oak Ridge Cemetery in Goshen, Indiana. In autumn, some of the trees near the tracks put on a colorful display.

On Friday I sent some time there in late afternoon. River Avenue runs parallel to the tracks for a short distance and offers marked parking spaces. You can see the westbound home signals of CP 412.

In the top image, a pair of BNSF pumpkins wheel intermodal train 206 past the cemetery on Track 1. About 10 minutes earlier manifest freight 174 came off the Marion Branch as seen in the second image.

Image three shows the rear of train 14J, which also came off the Marion Branch. I had seen this train earlier in the day in Warsaw.

Finally, there is a cut of stacked containers on the rear of the 174.

Some Fall Color in Warwick

October 22, 2020

CSX 2210, a road slug, is eastbound in Warwick in the fall of 1998. It seems appropriate to post this image this week as fall color peaks in Northeast Ohio.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Orange Leaves, Tuscan Red Locomotive

October 18, 2020

The Louisville & Indiana operates over a former Pennsylvania Railroad line between Louisville and Indianapolis and has adapted a Pennsyesque look.

Locomotives are painted Tuscan red with gold stripes, and the company herald is shaped like a Keystone.

L&I pays tributes to the nation’s veterans in its Keystone as can be seen here on the nose of SD40M-2 No. 3002.

The 3002 is on the point of train Z550, which is returning is passing through Franklin, Indiana, en route to the yard in Columbus.

The 550 has more work to do in Columbus before the crew can go off the clock.

Of course I framed the train with those track side trees showing off their October foliage.

Light, Shadows and Fall Foliage in Ravenna

July 9, 2020

I ran across this slide as part of my search for the past campaign yesterday. It was a hot and humid day so I had an incentive to stay inside in the air conditioned comfort to look at old slides.

The date of this image is Oct. 28, 2005. The Akron Railroad Club met that night and it would be the penultimate meeting we had at the carriage house of the Perkins Mansion of the Summit County Historical Society.

Ed Ribinskas probably was with me when I made this image. It was late in the day and the light was warm as it typically is in late October.

Shown is a westbound Norfolk Southern manifest freight rounding the curve in Ravenna on the Cleveland Line.

The fall foliage is past its peak but there is still plenty of color left in those trees to make for a pleasing image.

Although I had forgotten about this particular photograph, I had not forgotten about this outing because of a dramatic image I made on the CSX New Castle Subdivision in Ravenna after I got this photo on NS.

As the sunlight was about to drop out of sight, a westbound train showed up at just the right moment.

Using a Baltimore & Ohio color position light signal and a block limit sign as props, I made what I still consider one of my best late day light photographs.

No wonder that I had forgotten about getting anything on NS.

It would turn out that that 2005 outing in Ravenna would be one of the few times I would photograph there before an ARRC meeting.

We explored other locations and finally settled on watching trains most of the time before ARRC meetings in Bedford.

2 Heritage Units, a Passenger Train and Fall Foliage

November 2, 2019

It’s not often that you get to see two heritage units operating on the same train but that was the attraction offered in October by The Ohio Rail Experience.

Part of the Cincinnati Scenic Railway, the excursion operator ran weekend excursions with its own former Nickel Plate Road GP30 No. 901 and the visiting Clinchfield Railroad No. 800.

Both units wear their original liveries.

The 800 was built for the Clinchfield in 1948 as an F3A but later rebuilt to F7 specifications that included newer traction motors.

Schedule conflicts kept me from chasing any of the excursion trains until the final weekend of operation, when the Lima Limited operated from Springfield to Lima and return over tracks of the former Detroit, Toledo & Ironton.

The line is now owned by Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary Indiana & Ohio.

I chased the Lima Limited with well-known railroad photographer David Oroszi of Dayton.

I had been emailing Dave about coming over to his house to help him identify photographs from the collection of the late Richard Jacobs, who during the latter years of his life had been active in the Akron Railroad Club and the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society.

In one of those email I mentioned my plans to chase the train on Sunday and asked him for suggestions as to where to photograph it. I am not familiar with the former DT&I.

Dave said he planned to chase the train on Saturday and Sunday and I could ride along with him on Sunday.

Of course I jumped at that opportunity. Not only does Dave know the former DT&I well, but he also makes a great tour guide.

As we drove through western Ohio, he pointed out where various rail lines used to run and had once intersected. He also showed me around Lima, a city I’ve never visited aside from passing through in the 1980s aboard Amtrak.

We started the chase in Snyder Park in Springfield where the Lima Limited was scheduled to depart at 9 a.m.

The cloudy skies turned out to be a good thing. The Clinchfield unit was, to the displeasure of some railfan photographers, on the north end of the train.

Had it not been for the clouds many of the locations where we caught the train would have been backlighted

That included Snyder Park, which boasted some of the best fall foliage we would see during our chase.

Aside from being familiar with the ex-DT&I Dave also had some knowledge of where there was spot color to be had based on what he had observed on Saturday.

Dave had a general plan as to where he wanted to go and how to get there.

His plan worked out as envisioned although we didn’t expect to spend time in two places clearing limbs from the rails from trees that been blown down during Saturday’s storm.

The excursion train had to make a few unexpected stops to remove trees from the rails and as a result arrived in Lima more than an hour behind its noon scheduled arrival time.

It also had to wait on two eastbounds in Quincy where the I&O crosses the CSX Indianapolis Line.

We photographed the Q348 crossing over in Quincy but didn’t get the Q008.

By then we had gotten into position at the north end of the high bridge over the Great Miami River on the ex-DT&I.

In Lima we had lunch with a couple of other railfans at local chain Kewpee Hamburgers, which legend has it was the inspiration for Wendy’s. Like Wendy’s, Kewpee has square shaped burgers.

We heard a couple of CSX trains in Lima on the former Baltimore & Ohio north-south mainline and saw a couple more but were not in position to get any photographs.

We did photograph the southbound Q509 at Troy on the way back to Dave’s house after finishing chasing the excursion train.

The weather forecast had called for sunny skies by 2 p.m. and that turned out to be the case.

Much of our emphasis on the southbound chase was getting the NKP GP30, but we photographed the Clinchfield unit at times, particularly when the tracks were oriented in a northwest-southeast alignment.

Unlike the morning chase, the afternoon chase was a little more freelance, stopping in impromptu fashion to catch the train.

None of the afternoon photo locations had been places we stopped at earlier in the day.

We also didn’t get as much fall color in the afternoon as we had in the morning.

Reportedly, the Cincinnati Scenic Railway’s lease on Clinchfield No. 800 expired at the conclusion of the last excursion and the F unit will be returning to its home at the Southern Appalachian Railway Museum.

It probably won’t sit there indefinitely but who knows when it might get back to Ohio.

The consist of the Lima Limited was a mish mash of colors, liveries and equipment types with two of the cars having a Cleveland connection.

They were the two NKP open-window coaches owned by the Cleveland-based Midwest Railway Preservation Society.

This was one of my favorite images of the day. The Lima Limited is leaving behind Snyder Park in Springfield.

What a nice frame this colorful branch made as the Lima Limited got underway north out of Snyder Park in Springfield.

We cleared branches from the rails at this site west of Tremont City shortly before the excursion train showed up.

A nice stand of fall foliage was to be had along Dump Road north of St. Paris.

On the high bridge over the Great Miami River in Quincy.

Finding color at the Geyer Road crossing south of St. Johns.

Crossing River Road between Uniopolis and Lima.

Crossing the Auglaize River south of Lima on the northbound trip.

Laying over at Lincoln Park in Lima.

Trying to imitate a steam locomotive leaving a city that built plenty of them over the years. The train is approaching East Kibby Street in Lima.

Coming at you just south of Lima at Hume Road.

An expansive view of the entire train across a field north of Uniopolis, Ohio.

A bit of Cleveland in western Ohio was the two NKP coaches owned by the Midwest Railway Preservation Society. They are shown crossing Huffman Creek in Uniopolis.

Crossing Geyer Road north of Geyer, Ohio.

Fall color wasn’t as plentiful on the return trip at our photo locations but was still out there. The image was made at Santa Fe-New Knoxville Road.

About to cross the CSX Indianapolis Line in Quincy.

Passing a former DT&I depot and grain bins in Rosewood.

Clinchfield 800 Wraps up Stay in Ohio

October 29, 2019

Clinchfield F3A No. 800 completed a visit to Ohio last Sunday by pulling the last in a series of excursions sponsored by The Ohio Rail Experience on tracks once owned by the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton.

No. 800 is shown above in Snyder Park in Springfield before departing for Lima with the Lima Limited, which was billed as a fall foliage special.

The F unit pulled the train to Lima’s Lincoln Park where passengers had about a two-hour layover.

Pulling the train back to Springfield was former Nickel Plate Road GP30 No. 901, which has been repainted into its original NKP livery.

Additional photographs and a story about my chase of this train will be posted later this week.