Posts Tagged ‘Greenwich Ohio’

Erstwhile Capitol Limited Comes Through

June 11, 2021

The CSX office car special ran between Cleveland and Indianapolis on Thursday. I was able to catch it at Greenwich.

It has recently been repainted into Baltimore & Ohio colors along with a pair of F40PH units to match. 

Unfortunately the F40s had technical issues and a pair of tier 4 GEVOs were added to the head end. This was a bit disappointing but it was still a sharp looking train reminiscent of the B&O Capitol Limited.

Of interest is Moonlight Dome a former B&O dome car which CSX purchased last year for the OCS train.

The car was built for the Chesapeake & Ohio for use on its ill-fated Chessie streamliner. But after that train was cancelled before it began operations,

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Light Power Move in Greenwich

March 28, 2021

There is something about late day or early morning light. It’s warm and if you can find a train during the golden hour chances are you’ll have yourself a good if not great photograph.

I don’t know that I’d describe this as a great photo but I do like the late day winter light.

This was our last catch on a day spent chasing CSX trains on the New Castle and Willard Terminal subdivisions.

It’s a light power move headed westward in Greenwich, perhaps back to Willard Yard.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

Mailbag: Train Consolidation, AC&Y Trail

August 2, 2020

We don’t get many comments in response to postings on this blog but on occasion we get some. One of those was an email from a friend who used to work for a Class 1 railroad.

He wrote to say that although most trains these days being operated by Class 1s are a mish mash of various type of freight, don’t expect to see UPS trailers or containers moving as part of a monster length manifest freight.

“They are the hottest trains on any railroad that gets a contract for them, and they move,” he wrote.

Any intermodal train that has even one UPS trailer or container is considered to be a UPS train for dispatching purposes.

As for auto racks moving in manifest freights, he wrote that automobile traffic probably has not come back to the point where it is economical to separate them out again.

“The advantage of operating dedicated auto rack trains is that they are considered intermodal trains, like trailer/stack trains, and can operate at the maximum allowable speed for whatever subdivision they are on.”

On CSX, for example, that can be a top speed of 70 mph. But auto racks placed in the consists of manifest freights are limited to a top speed of 50 mph.

He said that sales of new vehicles probably are not good enough currently to warrant paying more for a dedicated train.

We also received a comment from a reader involved with a new recreational trail group, New London-Greenwich Rail Trail, Incorporated.

He wrote to say his group purchased the former Akron, Canton & Youngstown right-of-way between New London and Greenwich in May of 2019 from the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway.

NLGRT has been working to remove overgrowth and construct the trail, which has been named The AC&Y Trail.

Late last year CSX removed a piece of panel track from the former AC&Y right of way that had sat at Greenwich East Town Line 79 road.

I remember photographing that panel track a few years back and know that it sat there for some time.

The AC&Y Trail is expected to open to the public by the end of summer 2020.

Perhaps that will create some new photographic opportunities of the CSX Greenwich Subdivision.

The trail will pass the New London Reservoir, which sits above ground and is a good place to photograph CSX trains and W&LE trains using CSX trackage rights.

Traffic Jam Near Greenwich

December 10, 2019

It’s a pleasant late fall day on the CSX New Castle Subdivision in November 2013.

I’m out with Roger Durfee chasing trains along the New Castle Sub as well as the Greenwich Sub in the area between Nova and Willard.

Westbound trains on the New Castle Sub that can’t get into Willard and/or must wait for traffic to clear in Greenwich ahead of them sometimes wait east of town in this area along Alpha Road.

If you look in the distance you’ll see another headlight of another westbound waiting behind the auto rack train in the foreground.

There was more traffic on the New Castle Sub in late 2013. It was before the arrival of E. Hunter Harrison and the precision scheduled railroading operating philosophy of fewer, longer and heavier trains.

Harrison might argue that PSR was designed to prevent situations such as this from occurring, to keep trains moving.

CSX still has dedicated auto rack trains, but now it is common to see auto racks moving in blocks as part of manifest freights.

It may be that trains still have to wait near Alpha Road for traffic to clear ahead. It might not happen as often.

Pleasant Seasonal Memories

December 5, 2019

I recently ran across this photograph while looking back in my archives. It was made on Nov. 24, 2013, from the Old State Road bridge spanning the CSX Willard Subdivision west of Greenwich.

The train is headed eastbound and although you don’t see it here there is about to be a meet with a westbound light power move.

You might notice there is a dusting of snow on the ground and the crops in the nearby fields have been harvested.

This image reminds me of one of my favorite times of the year although it is not one that I talk about much.

The fall foliage is long gone and although there are signs of winter it has not officially arrived.

I have a lot of pleasant memories of trips made in November to the CSX New Castle, Willard and Greenwich subdivisions.

Sometimes the weather was good and sometimes it wasn’t. The predominate color of this time of year is brown, but I was fine with that.

It was a prelude to winter and a time to think about all the adventures I had had during the year while looking ahead to what a new year would bring.

Circle Trip of Reservoirs and Railroads

June 5, 2018

My original plan for railfanning on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend was to drive down to New London and “recreate” a memorable Akron Railroad Club outing of 2006.

I remember that outing for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that it was billed as a trip to Greenwich but started out in New London because that is where Marty Surdyk wanted it to begin.

We did get to Greenwich, eventually, but not until mid to late afternoon.

I had never been to either location so I had to rely on Marty for directions on getting there.

My memories from that day include seeing the CSX executive train headed westbound through Greenwich, seeing a caboose on an eastbound manifest freight at New London and catching a BNSF warbonnet leading a train at New London.

There was also the emphatic manner in which the late Tim Krogg suggested that it was time to get some bleeping lunch and how Peter Bowler schooled us in how a flock of buzzards is known as a kettle.

I enjoyed that outing so much that I suggested in 2013 that we do it again. It was scheduled, but I was the only person who showed up.

As I was heading west on Interstate 480 I decided to modify my plans.

I would make this a reservoir circle trip with stops in Wellington, New London and Attica. By day’s end I wanted to have photographs of trains and water at four reservoirs, three of them located above ground.

This would hinge, of course, on the cooperation of CSX, which since the onset of scheduled precision railroading has reduced the number of trains it operates. Those that do run tend to be much longer.

Sure enough, CSX was dead when I arrived in Wellington. I would wait 45 minutes before finally hearing an eastbound stack train calling signals on the radio.

Making images of an above-ground reservoir and trains is a challenge because of the distance between the shoreline and the tracks.

If you feature the shoreline that is closet to the rails, you have to use a wide-angle lens, which guarantees you’ll only get a portion of the water. In proportion to the scene the train will be small.

The latter doesn’t bother me but it does some railfan photographers.

You can also try to shoot across the water with a telephoto lens but you might not get the train. Remember, these are above ground reservoirs.

My first catch of the day in Wellington was an eastbound stack train with a pair of BNSF locomotives running elephant style. Not bad.

It was late morning so I decided to move on to New London. But as I was walking toward my car I heard the westbound Q163 stack train calling signals and decided to wait for it.

I tried a different angle, going for the north shoreline that is perpendicular to the tracks. The downside of this view is that I could get very little of the train into the image. Interestingly, the Q163 also had BNSF motive power.

I arrived in New London during another CSX lull that also lasted about 45 minutes.

I could hear other CSX trains on the radio, but nothing that would be coming through New London.

I also heard a Wheeling & Lake Erie train get track authority from Hartland to Spencer, meaning I would have seen it had I stayed in Wellington.

I finally got a train just before noon, an eastbound crude oil train with three BNSF units.

Hmmmm. I’m starting to see a pattern here. Did BNSF buy CSX and I didn’t know about it? Fat chance of that.

My idea was to shoot this train in the same manner that I did the Q163 at Wellington. It would have worked had I been paying more attention to the water and less to the locomotives.

I managed to create an image that didn’t show any of the water.

That would not be the case with the next train, a W&LE train off the Carey
Subdivision carrying stone in gondola cars and a few covered hoppers.

I heard this train get permission from the IP dispatcher in Jacksonville to enter CSX track at Greenwich at GN Tower.

At the time time, I thought this was fantastic news. I would be getting a Wheeling train after all.

Yet when the train showed up, it’s locomotives were both running long hood forward.

At least I got some water in this image and the lead unit is a former BNSF locomotive still in its BNSF colors. That sort of kept my BNSF motive power streak alive.

That streak was snapped when the Q348 showed up with CSX motive power. It stopped at CP 47 to allow the Q008 to pass.

I got the Q008 passing the manifest freight and some water.

The chatter on the radio indicated that more trains were coming, including the Q010 so I stayed a little longer at New London.

That paid off when a westbound auto rack train came past with a CREX (Citirail) ES44AC in the lead.

I’ve always like the color scheme of these Citirail units, but I’ve seldom been able to catch them leading a train.

The trailing unit of the auto rack train, by the way, was, you guessed it, a BNSF unit, which would be the final binsiff I would see on this day.

After the passage of the Q010, I set out for Attica but distractions along the way kept me from getting to the Attica reservoirs until late afternoon.

First, I stopped in Greenwich to photograph an eastbound CSX auto rack train whose headlight I saw in the distance as I crossed the Mt. Victory Subdivision tracks on U.S. Route 224.

Upon crossing the Sandusky District tracks of Norfolk Southern in Attica, I saw the rear of an eastbound and decided to check it out.

It turned out to be a grain train with three Canadian National units for motive power that I wound up chasing to Bucyrus where I got it going around the connection to the Fort Wayne Line.

I made further stops near Chatfield to photograph across a field a stopped eastbound NS manifest freight and to make some non-rail photographs in Chatfield of a hardware store that is going out of business.

By the time I got to the lower Attica reservoir, the Sandusky District had been turned into a parking lot because of a malfunctioning switch at Colsan in Bucyrus.

I waited a while before catching the eastbound 188 passing the reservoir, which had surprisingly smooth water for a windy day. That yielded a nice reflection image.

I had heard the 20E calling signals and thought I’d get it at the upper Attica reservoir a short distance away.

The dispatcher had told the 188 to stop at County Line Road and maybe the 20E would stop behind it.

I drove up to the top of the upper Attica reservoir, but there was no 20E. It was getting late and I didn’t want to get home too late, so I decided to forgo getting an image from my fourth reservoir of the day.

Although I looked, I never did see the 20E. Either the train I photographed at the lower Attica reservoir had been the 20E or it slipped past me as I was driving through Attica.



Competitors and Partners

June 13, 2017

I recently read a quotation from a railroad trade group official to the effect that trucks are among the strongest competitors for railroads and at the same time one of their best partners.

Trucks have taken away large quantities of business from railroads over the years and yet given large amounts of business in return.

Shown is CSX eastbound train Q226 on the Mt. Victory Subdivision in Greenwich.

I heard it coming and was looking for a location to photograph it before it went into the connection to the New Castle Sub to head toward Akron and Youngstown.

Framing the lead locomotive with a fleet of trailers sitting near the tracks was a last-minute decision.