Posts Tagged ‘Grand River’

Old Painesville Trestle Coming Down

October 11, 2018

The rails have been removed and a crane is removing the deck of the old trestle over the Grand River in Painesville. The view is looking westward from Riverside Drive.

Norfolk Southern is wasting no time in removing the 1905 trestle over the Grand River in Painesville following the opening on Sept. 30 of a new bridge.

Work on the new bridge began in March 2017 and the first train to use the structure was eastbound intermodal train 206.

The bridge is part of the NS mainline between Cleveland and Buffalo, New York.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

The old and the new as seen from river level.

A view looking eastward toward both bridges from Bank Street.

Looking west from Bank Street on the west side of the new and old bridges. The old alignment is on the right.

This view looking southward shows a portion of the deck of the old bridge has been removed.

First Train on the New NS Painesville Bridge

October 2, 2018

Ursula and I were coming home from our day in the Cuyahoga Valley chasing Nickel Plagte Road No. 765. I decided to cross the tracks at Ohio 84) since it just reopened on Friday because it was the last crossing rebuilt with the new alignment.

When we crossed I looked west  at the curve and saw the original NKP main had been cut and connected to the new alignment.

When we got to Riverside Drive I saw the railfan crowd and knew what was happening. I was told that all rail traffic was held about 12 hours while the new alignment was connected.

The first train to cross the bride was the 206 shortly before sunset at 10 mph with railroad personnel at the end of bridge watching to make sure all was OK.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

NS Opens New Painesville Bridge

October 1, 2018

Norfolk Southern opened the new bridge in Painesville over the Grand River on Sunday evening.

Akron Railroad Club member Jeff Troutman reported that the first train over the new structure was intermodal train 206, which started across at 6:58 p.m. The train had two locomotives and 45 cars.

Development of the new bridge began in March 2017. The 1,318-foot structure is supported by seven concrete pillars.

It replaces a steel trestle built in 1905 by the Nickel Plate Road that has 14 support structures and is located just north of the new bridge.

The Painesville bridge is part of the NS Lake Erie District that links Cleveland and Buffalo, New York. The line sees 10 to 15 trains per day.

Frozen Grand River

September 21, 2018

There are winter photographs and then there are winter photographs. It takes a prolonged period of very cold temperatures to freeze a river.

That was the case last January with the Grand River in Painesville. I had visited the CSX concrete arch bridge over the Grand River on a Sunday.

There was plenty of snow and even some hoarfrost on the trees along the banks, but the water was flowing freely. A few days later, the river was frozen.

No Trains Here Today

January 27, 2018

The Grand River Railway operates irregularly and probably not at all on Sundays.

So when I visited Grand River, Ohio, a while back in search of winter photographs, getting a train wasn’t on my expectation list.

We were actually hoping to find a switch engine out in the open that the GRR had been leasing, but it was nowhere to be seen near the Morton Salt Plant where the railroad stores its motive power.

But the trip wasn’t a bust because while in Grand River the town to make some images of the ice-covered Grand River the river, I liked how the snow was covering up the rails in some places.

The top image was made at a grade crossing that leads to a city park and a few private businesses. It has been a while since a train ran here.

The middle image is looking toward the street running in “downtown” Grand River. Note Pickle Bill’s restaurant on the right, whose entrance is by the tracks. Also note the boats in winter storage in the distance.

The bottom image was made from River Street, which ascends a hill alongside the tracks. The view is looking southeastward.

The Old and the New in Painesville

January 26, 2018

The new bridge that Norfolk Southern is building over the Grand River in Painesville is starting to take shape.

Workers have poured the concrete for the piers that will support the yet to be installed deck of the single-track bridge.

Being built just south of the existing trestle erected decades ago by the Nickel Plate Road, the new bridge is expected to open this summer.

Shown above is NS eastbound manifest freight 316 crossing the old trestle.

Difference of Four Days

January 25, 2018

The money shot of a CSX train crossing the frozen Grand River in Painesville. After making it, Peter said, “we’re done here.”

Peter Bowler and I made plans to get out on a recent Sunday for a day of winter photography.

Yes, we planned to catch some trains, but we also wanted to get some snow and ice images, particularly along the Lake Erie shore.

Our plan was to meet at 7:20 a.m. at the Golden Gate Shopping Center  just off Interstate 271 in Mayfield Heights where I’d leave my car and Peter would drive.

Things did not get off to a promising start. My hopes that Amtrak would be running late were dashed. The eastbound Lake Shore Limited was late, but not late enough.

A check of the HeritageUnits.com site didn’t show promise of catching anything out of the ordinary.

The temperature was in the middle teens as I waited for Peter to arrive. He was late because he had lost track of the time.

That didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but it would turn out to be good thing later.

He wanted to photograph a train on the CSX Erie West Subdivision crossing over the Grand River on a concrete arch bridge in Painesville.

Just after we arrived there, a westbound manifest freight led by a Canadian National unit ran by, but we didn’t have enough time to get into position to photograph it.

I got my radio out and it wasn’t long before we heard an eastbound auto rack train call a clear signal at CP 154. We weren’t sure how close that was, but it was closer than we knew.

Peter has a friend, Robert Butler, who said during a program he gave to the ARRC a few years ago that one of his principles of photograph is chance favors the prepared mind.

Had we done our homework and determined before arriving at what milepost the bridge is located we would have known that we needed to start making tracks through the snow to the bridge from our parking spot on the street as soon as we heard that train call the signal at CP 154.

But we didn’t and we missed the photograph, although I arrived in time to get a medicore image of some auto rack cars on the bridge. The motive power consist  had Union Pacific and BNSF units.

CSX then went on a hiatus and we talked about how the railfan gods must be punishing us.

We heard a Norfolk Southern train on the radio and motored over to check the status of the new bridge being built over the Grand River.

Finally, we did something right and made a nice photo of the old and new at the trestle. But as we waited for the NS train to show up, we heard a CSX train in the distance.

Back to the CSX bridge we went and waited for what seemed an interminable amount of time before the sun, the moon and the stars lined up in our favor with a westbound CSX stack train.

We had other objectives, so we headed out in search of them. This included getting ice on Lake Erie at Headlands Beach State Park.

Also on our “to do list” was Conneaut. As we came into town I heard a scratchy transmission on the Canadian National radio channel that told us the southbound train that day was by Albion, Pennsylvania. So getting something on the former Bessemer was out.

Conneaut Creek was frozen over and it would make a great shot of an NS train going over it on the trestle.

We waited for more than an hour, but heard nothing on the NS channel except a train in the yard doing some switching. We watched the shadows grow ever longer over the ice-covered river and creep up the bridge piers.

Not only had we struck out on getting CN, we also struck out on getting NS crossing a snowy river.

On the drive back to Cleveland we talked about doing a second trip to these same locations  later in the week. The ice wasn’t going to melt and more snow was predicted to fall on Monday.

Peter wanted another chance to do the CSX over the Grand River image.

The plan was to meet again at Golden Gate at 7:20 a.m., this time with me driving and Peter leaving his car in the lot.

I checked Amtrak after getting up around 5 a.m. and it running two hours late. I called Peter and he agreed to arrive at the shopping center much earlier so that we could get Amtrak Train 48.

Fortunately for us, No. 48 kept losing time as it went eastward even if the Amtrak computer kept predicting that it would make up time.

The temperature on the morning of our “do over” outing was even colder than it had been on Sunday. The wind chill was sub zero and quite nasty.

I said to Peter as we left the shopping center parking lot that we must be a couple of morons to be out in this weather before dawn chasing trains.

We wanted to get Amtrak on the Painesville bridge, but feared the shadows on the river would make it a medicore image at best. We instead got Amtrak in Geneva.

Then we backtracked west on U.S. 20 toward Painesville. When planning this trip I had wondered aloud if the Grand River might be ice covered.

On Sunday the river had been ice covered in Grand River village and at the mouth of Lake Erie. but not where Route 20 and CSX crossed it.

I had observed on Sunday ice chunks floating in the water and thought that by Thursday those might have backed up enough to create a more wintry look.

I parked, got out my radio and we waited. There was activity on NS, but CSX was silent.

About 15 minutes later a scratchy transmission on the CSX channel sent us scrambling toward the bridge. I was quite pleased to see that the river had frozen over since Sunday.

The train we had heard was a westbound manifest freight, perhaps the one we had missed earlier in the week.

It wasn’t long before an eastbound tank car train showed up with a BNSF unit on the point and a Citirail lease unit trailing.

Peter had expressed the hope of getting foreign power on the bridge and I wasn’t sure we’d get that. But there it was.

If anything we got better images four days later than we would have made on Sunday even if things had worked out.

Had we photographed the trains we had missed on Sunday, we might not have gone back to Painesville on Thursday. We would have missed the ice-covered river.

The moral of the story is not to botch your railfanning excursions in hopes that it will lead to something better. No, the lesson is that sometimes when things don’t go to according to plan it might be setting you up for something better if you stay with it.

The sole train we were able to photograph the way that we wanted on the Sunday when we first visited the bridge over the Grand River in Painesville.

A westbound crosses the Grand River four days after we first attempted to photograph here.