Posts Tagged ‘GP35 locomotives’

Catching Some ‘Annie’ in Toledo

October 6, 2021

Ann Arbor GP35 No. 393 is in Toledo on Aug. 24, 1977. It was built in June 1964 and later worked for the Tuscola & Saginaw Bay as well as the Great Lakes Central.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: Check Out This Lineup

January 4, 2021

The late Mike Ondecker and I were at the Erie Lackawanna Kent yard in 1967 or 1968 where I photographed this eastbound during a crew change. The units include 2554 (EMD GP35), (unidentified) (EMD F7B), 7063 (EMD F3), 2501 (GE U25), 7081 (EMD F3A), and 7254 (Alco FALCO FA-1).

Photographs by Robert Farkas

An Intermodal Train in Akron for EL Monday

August 24, 2020

That’s quite an interesting locomotive consist pulling this eastbound intermodal train on the Erie Lackawanna in Akron in mid 1972.

On the point is GP35 No. 2571. The trailing unit is E8A 812, which a little over two years earlier might have been seen in Akron pulling the Lake Cities.

The image was made at Voris Street, a favorite Akron railfan hangout location.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Railroading as it Once Was: EL and PC Soulmates

September 28, 2016

EL geep and PC unit

Here is another one from an October 1976 visit that I made to Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Erie Lackawanna units are no strangers to this former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western shop, but that Penn Central (ex New York Central) GP35 is there courtesy of the Conrail merger a few months earlier. Those non-dynamic braking GP7s looked sharp in the Erie Lackawanna colors with those silver spark arrestors topping it off.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

As Easy as A-B-C

July 1, 2016

The Akron Barberton Cluster job that works customers on the former Erie Lackawanna line through Kent is all about industrial railroading. There is no mainline action here. The crew backs a cut of tank cars onto the siding leading to the Crowley Tar Products plant in Kent.

The Akron Barberton Cluster job that works customers on the former Erie Lackawanna line through Kent is all about industrial railroading. There is no mainline action here. The crew backs a cut of tank cars onto the siding leading to the Crowley Tar Products plant in Kent.

Catching the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway in operation on the former Erie Lackawanna east of Kent requires persistence, luck and a knowledge of its operations.

If your railfanning opportunities are limited to weekends,  you’re out of luck. I’ve never seen an ABC train on a weekend in Kent aside from the passenger excursions that used to operate in conjunction with an annual festival held around July 4.

The ABC on the ex-EL is a weekday operation and you need to stake out the tracks during the morning hours.

On a recent Friday morning, I went down to Brady Lake to hike on the Portage Hike and Bike trail. It runs parallel to the ex-EL (nee Erie Railroad) for much of its length between Ravenna Road and Kent.

As is my usual practice, I parked in the lot just off Lake Rockwell Road by the grade crossing with the ex-EL tracks, which are now owned by Portage County.

I got out of my car, looked to the west and saw a headlight and spot of orange. The ABC job probably was switching the Crowley Tar Products plant in Kent.

But the train was a good half mile away and the question was whether I could walk fast enough to get there before the crew finished its work and headed back to Brittain Yard in Akron or went to Ravenna.

I tried to set a blistering pace and wished a dozen times I had a bike. Every so often I would stop and take a photo in case the train had left for Akron before I could get to it.

Of course, if it was going to Ravenna it would be coming toward me. At one point I could tell the headlight was getting smaller and I feared the worst.

But a glimpse through the longest focal length on my zoom lens revealed that there were tank cars parked on the main and the locomotive was to the left of that.

That was good news because it meant the crew was spotting cars on the Crowley siding.

It turned out I had plenty of time and then some to get down to the ABC job and to get photographs. I didn’t see any boxcars, which suggested the crew would not be going to Ravenna.

After getting my photographs, I hung around a bit, but then decided to go back to my vehicle.

The ABC job had two Wheeling & Lake Erie GP35 locomotives. As I left, the locomotives, a tank car and a covered hopper were sitting on what used to be the eastbound EL mainline.

I kept looking behind me as I walked away from the train, which appeared to be sitting still. The headlight was still visible when I got back to the parking lot at Lake Rockwell Road, so I decided to stay put, just in case.

Slowly, but surely, I noticed the headlight getting larger. The train was coming toward me and going to Ravenna today.

I photographed it at the Lake Rockwell crossing. I had to get back home so there wasn’t enough time to wait for the train to come back. Next time.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The ABC switcher was not being used today. Instead, the motive power was a pair of W&LE GP35s.

The ABC switcher was not being used today. Instead, the motive power was a pair of W&LE GP35s, Nos. 100 and 104.

A crew member has set the hand brake on the tank car on the main. It will be left there while the crew spots more tank cars at Crowley Tar.

A crew member has set the hand brake on the tank car on the main. It will be left there while the crew spots more tank cars at Crowley Tar.

Throwing the switch that leads to Crowley Tar. It is the only switch left in what used to be a large yard for the Erie Railroad.

Throwing the switch that leads to Crowley Tar. It is the only mainline switch left in what used to be a large yard for the Erie Railroad.

The Portage Hike and Bike trail is on the right. The wood rail in the foreground is part of the bridge over Breakneck Creek.

The Portage Hike and Bike trail is on the right. The wood rail in the foreground is part of the bridge over Breakneck Creek.

My intent was to frame the train with that utility pole, which is now stripped of its wires. I've photographed this pole before but never with a train in the scene.

My intent was to frame the train with that utility pole, which is now stripped of its wires. I’ve photographed this pole before but never with a train in the scene.

Crossing Lake Rockwell Road. In the EL and Erie days there used to be a bridge here over the tracks.

Crossing Lake Rockwell Road. In the EL and Erie days there used to be a bridge here over the tracks.

Time Just Marches on Near Brady Lake

December 1, 2013

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Here are a pair of “then and now” photos taken near Brady Lake. The Conrail train is westbound and has a non-dynamic Chicago & North Western GP35 leader from the early Conrail “beg, borrow or steal” motive power philosophy

I’m sure that junker was a real treat for the engineer as he made his way west up and down the not so flat KM Division.

Check out that load behind the power. That was October 1978.

Fast forward to November 2013. It is hard to tell that a railroad even ran there. The bridge that I took the Conrail train photo from became a fill once the line was removed. The track is now a meandering walking path. Time (and nature) marches on. 

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

W&LE ‘Painted Lady’ Getting Repainted

December 20, 2010

W&LE No. 2679, of the two “Painted Ladies” in the Wheeling’s locomotive fleet, leaves the engine terminal at Brittain Yard in Akron for the days work on September 20, 2008. Soon the red and yellow will be replaced by black and orange. (Photograph by Richard Jacobs)

The Wheeling & Lake Erie is rebuilding one of its famed “Painted Ladies.”The moniker describes two former Southern Railway high hood GP35s with Alco trucks that were leased by Norfolk Southern to the new ‘Wheeling’ in 1990. Two of these locomotives, Nos. 2662 and 2679, were later painted in a bright red and yellow livery that was designed by Wheeling employees.

No. 2662 was rebuilt in 1997 as a GP35-3 with a microprocessor control system and Canac Controltac LT controller for remote control operation. No. 2679 is being rebuilt by the Locomotive Department at Brewster. It will be painted in the current W&LE black and orange scheme. Its a new lease on life, indeed, for an engine that came onboard in May 1990.

Over the years, the “painted ladies” have been used to pull such special trains as the Canton YMCA Specials out of Waterworks Park in Canton. Those trains were operated during the July 4 holiday from 1993 to 1998. They were staffed by the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society.

The painted ladies were always popular, due to their bright colors. Later, No. 2679 could often be seen working at Brittain Yard in Akron, and sometimes out on the line with a local train doing pickups and setouts.

Thanks to the W&LE Unofficial website by Chris Toth for some of the information in this article. Those interested in the current W&LE Railway can access the site at www.wle.railfan.net

In other W&LE news, the railroad is now fully owned by itself. Warrants for stock certificates held by the Bank of America and the Bank of New York/Mellon have been extinguished. The modern W&LE turned 20 years old last May.

Article by Richard Jacobs

W&LE “painted lady” GP35 No. 2679 switches the lumber facility in Orrville on July 15, 2008.