Posts Tagged ‘Fort Wayne line’

A Locomotive and its Caboose

June 27, 2021

Conrail GP38-2 No. 8089 and its caboose are en route to their next assignment in Canton in May 1985. The unit was built for Penn Central in February 1973 and would later go to work for Norfolk Southern.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Friendly Wave at Alliance

May 30, 2021

It’s July 1972 in Alliance. The fireman of Penn Central Alco C628 No. 6314 is giving a friendly wave as the train enters the Bayard Branch on its way to Conway Yard near Pittsburgh. Also in the motive power consist are PC 6314, 6300, and 6317. The track under the rear trucks of No. 6314 is the Fort Wayne Line to Canton and Chicago.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Quite a Penn Central Collection

May 7, 2021

Let’s see what we’ve got here. There is E8A No. 4294, E8A No. 4070, E7B No. 4104, E7B No. 4107 and GE U25B No. 2658. They are teamed up to the westbound westbound Penn Central train Mail 9″in Canton on Sept. 10, 1972.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Climbing the Hill

April 25, 2021

Eastbound Conrail SD45 No. 6076 and its train is climbing the hill west of Massillon on the early morning of July 19, 1980. Note that the motive power consist still has some units that had yet to be repainted into Conrail blue.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Vintage Scene in Alliance

July 1, 2020

It is July 9, 1972. Penn Central GP 40 No. 3221 is eastbound in Alliance on the Fort Wayne Line.

Much of what you see here is gone although the track layout remains largely the same.

The bridge in the background carries Main Street in Alliance over the maze of former Pennsylvania Railroad tracks.

The rear of No. 3221 is over the diamond of the Fort Wayne Line and what is today the Cleveland Line of Norfolk Southern that goes to Bayard and Yellow Creek on the Ohio River. The PRR called it the Mahoning Secondary Track.

One of the more interesting elements of this scene involves the signals on the bridge, which in Pennsy days was known as Bridge 83.23.

As explained by author Robert J. Yanosey in volume 12 of his Pennsylvania Railroad Facilities series, this was not an interlocked crossing although it almost was.

By law, railroads in Ohio were required to place a target signal on mainline tracks at non-interlocked crossings.

The position of the target controlled the signal circuits so that signal indications could not be displayed unless the target was lined correctly for the route of travel.

When the target was in the vertical position, Fort Wayne Line trains could move with the flow of traffic if they received a signal indication of better than stop.

The signal heads mounted on the bridge are for Tracks 2 and 3 while the signal for Track 1 was on the ground.

Just to the right of the nose of the 3221 is the Alliance block station, from which the signals for the crossing of the Cleveland Line and Fort Wayne Line were operated.

It was a block station only for Cleveland Line trains.

Today all of these signals are gone and the Fort Wayne Line here is a single track. Most traffic uses a double-track connection between the Cleveland Line and Fort Wayne Line.

But back in 1972 that connection was a single track

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Eastbound in Alliance

June 24, 2020

The photographer is standing to the east of the Amtrak station in Alliance at the far end of the interlocking.

NS 9255 leads an eastbound on the morning of Oct. 14, 2016, onto the Fort Wayne Line.

The interlocking controls moves between the Fort Wayne Line and Cleveland Line, which accounts for the majority of movements in Alliance.

The signal heads with the letter “C” on them are for trains whose lead unit is not equipped with working cab signals.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Tank Trains Routed Off Ft. Wayne Line

April 13, 2020

Norfolk Southern earlier this month began routing crude oil and ethanol trains off the Fort Wayne Line in favor of other routes that will take them through Cleveland.

An online report indicated that NS rerouted the trains to avoid making trackage rights payments to the Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern, which operates the Fort Wayne Line in northern Indiana and western Ohio.

NS also said it wanted to solve crew balancing problems with the divergence of loaded and empty routings.

The tank car trains began using the Fort Wayne line around 2014 when congestion on the Chicago Line brought traffic to a near standstill at times.

The trains used the CF&E to and from Chicago via Fort Wayne, Indiana.

These trains sometimes operated with motive power from the originating railroad, hence the need to have an NS lead unit equipped with cab signals for travel east of Cleveland.

The current operating plan is to route the tank car trains via Bellevue where they will receive locomotives equipped with cab signals.

Between Chicago and Bellevue, these trains can be routed either via Fort Wayne on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline or to Toledo on the Chicago and thence to Bellevue on the Toledo District via Oak Harbor and Fremont.

After receiving a cab signal equipped locomotive in Bellevue, the tanker trains will operate on the former NKP to Vermillion and take the connection to the Chicago Line.

It is thought that trains leaving Chicago with solid NS motive power consist can take the Chicago Line between Chicago and Cleveland.

The empty tank cars will operate on the reverse routes via Bellevue.

In the past, eastbound tank car trains using the Chicago Line have sometimes added cab signal equipped NS units at Berea siding or near Rockport Yard in Cleveland.

This practice is expected to continue if Bellevue lacks a cab signal equipped unit for a particular train.

The Fort Wayne Line was at one time the former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline between Chicago and Pittsburgh. It runs in Ohio through Bucyrus, Crestline, Mansfield, Wooster, Orrville, Massillon and Canton.

East of Alliance, the Fort Wayne Line is a busy railroad handling NS traffic off the Chicago Line at Cleveland that is bound for Pittsburgh and points east.

West of Alliance the Fort Wayne Line has far less traffic, including manifest freights that operate Conway Yard-Bellevue and Conway Yard-Chattanooga, Tennsessee. There is also a local between Canton and Mansfield.

Trains affected include the 66R, 66X and 66Z, which traditionally have originated on, respectively, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific and BNSF.

Hallmarks of Penn Central in the Early Conrail Era

September 27, 2019

This classic scene of a train crossing the Tuscarawas River on the famed curved bridge in Massillon looks at first glance as though it might have been made in the Penn Central era.

But the date is June 3, 1978, and this is a Conrail train headed westward on the Fort Wayne Line of the former Pennsylvania Railroad.

Lead unit No. 6271 is an SD40 that was built new for Penn Central. By the time this image was made, though, the unit had become, shall we say, a bit battered and worn.

Note the CR initial stenciled on the nose of the 6271 and the second unit, SD40 No. 6329.

The 6329 should be familiar with this bridge having been built for the PRR as No. 6085.

The third unit, though, is wearing Conrail blue although it isn’t much visible.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

When Varnish Was Common in Massillon

July 14, 2017

Penn Central was still running passenger trains through Massillon, Ohio, in the late 1960s. Here is the westbound mid-afternoon Fort Pitt with PC 4292 on the point racing through the super-elevated curve, which actually comes through the bridge over the Tuscarawas River.

I believe it was October 1969 and the red ā€œPā€/white ā€œ”Cā€ had only been painted on a handful of E units, making this a rarer photo.

Today a Norfolk Southern office car special sometimes gives a similar scene, but it is hard to imagine even in the late 1960s passenger trains such as this were somewhat common on this line.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Forlorn and Forgotten in Crestline

March 10, 2017

x-crestline-amshack

This photograph of the Amtrak shelter in Crestline is old, very old. It was made in September 1998 and by then Amtrak had been gone from Crestline for nearly eight years.

There are some members of the Akron Railroad Club who might remember traveling to Crestline in the dead of night to catch a train.

In Amtrak’s early years, the only service in Northeast Ohio was the Chicago-New York/Washington Broadway Limited, which also stopped in Ohio at Canton and Lima.

Crestline was a crew change point, which might be why it was chosen as the passenger stop for Nos. 40/41 rather than the much larger city of Mansfield a few miles to the east.

I haven’t been back to Crestline for many years, so I can’t say for sure if the Amshack is still there.

I rather doubt it. Crest Tower has been razed and during a track realignment project conducted since the Conrail split, the Crestline Amshack may have been removed.

There is little likelihood that Amtrak will ever use the Fort Wayne Line again through this region of Ohio.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders