Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Troutman’

Weekend Trip Nets Games, Trains and Rain

August 20, 2019

An eastbound CSX manifest freight passes the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania, late Sunday morning.

It was a 3-2 weekend in Erie, Pennsylvania, for three Akron Railroad Club members.

Marty Surdyk, Ed Ribinskas and Jeff Toutman ventured to Erie to see a pair of minor league baseball games pitting the Erie SeaWolves against the Akron Rubber Ducks that both ended with identical scores of 3-2.

Akron won on Saturday night but Erie returned the favor on Sunday afternoon.

Of course railfanning was on the agenda of the trio on their trip, which started late Saturday afternoon in Painesville.

After checking in at a Red Roof Inn by Interstate 90, they went to UPMC Park for a game that featured fireworks at the conclusion of the Rubber Ducks’ win.

Sunday morning found the trio getting an early start to catch trains at Bort Road near North East under overcast skies.

Shortly after they arrived at 7 a.m., a CSX westbound trash train rumbled past. Less than 10 minutes later came an eastbound on Norfolk Southern.

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited was right on the money shortly after 7:30 a.m. with its usual consist of two P42DC locomotives, three Viewliner sleepers, an Amfleet café car, six Amfleet II coaches, a Viewliner diner and a Viewliner sleeper.

After the passage of Amtrak, the group decided to get breakfast at the Freeport restaurant north of North East, but it wasn’t open yet.

They killed about 15 minutes at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East where they noted a clear signal for a CSX westbound.

But nothing showed and they went back to the Freeport for breakfast, getting there just ahead of a heavy thunderstorm that also swept through Cleveland.

In fact, Ed’s wife, Ursula, texted that the power at their house in Painesville had gone out.

With breakfast completed and the rain letting up, Marty, Ed and Jeff returned to the museum.

Jeff checked on his phone and learned that CSX train K603 with the Chicago & North Western heritage unit of Union Pacific on the point had cleared Lake City, Pennsylvania, at 9:23 a.m.

It must have passed through North East while they were having breakfast up the road. Ed noted the clear signal they had seen earlier must have been for the K603.

However, even if they had stuck around and waited for it they would have been trying to photograph UP 1995 in a downpour.

UP 1995 was later reported by Berea at 2:20 p.m. and Greenwich at 3:14 p.m.

Clearing skies and sunlight were the order of the rest of the morning at the museum along with passing trains.

New in the museum is a CSX U36B that is the eighth GE Erie-built locomotive in the collection.

No. 7764 was built in 1970 as No. 1776 for the Seaboard Coast Line. Its most recent assignment had been serving as a training unit for the Massachusetts Call Volunteer Firefighters Association.

After the Sunday afternoon game concluded, Marty, Ed and Jeff made their way back to Lake County, noting that there was a lot of storm damage in Geneva and Madison.

As they made their way back they stopped in Swanville and Lake City in Pennsylvania, and in Conneaut in Ohio to reminisce about what those places looked like back in the day compared with their modern day appearances.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Amtrak No. 48 was running on time when it passed Bort Road near North East.

Some folks might think they would get a better breakfast at McDonald’s than what Amtrak serves these days to its sleeping car passengers under its contemporary dining program.

The latest member of the collection of GE diesels that were built in Erie is on display at the Lake Shore Railway Museum.

The former Chicago, South Bend & South Shore “Little Joe” is another Erie-built GE unit on display in North East.

The westbound CSX trash train has a full load as it passes Bort Road under overcast skies.

Different Point of View on Arcade & Attica

May 29, 2017

Akron Railroad Club members Edward Ribinskas and Jeff Troutman ventured to New York State on Saturday to chase the Arcade & Attica steam tourist train.

They’ve been there before but what was different this time was that A&A was celebrating its 100th anniversary by operating its 2-8-0 Alco No. 18 with its nose facing west rather than east as is the custom.

In the top photograph, No. 18 is read to depart from Curriers, New York. In the bottom photograph No. 18 rests at Curriers during its first run.

The A&A ran two trips last Saturday, both of them departing from Arcade, New York.

Photographs by Jeff Troutman

Ex-Soo Line Unit Pays Visit to Northeast Ohio

February 24, 2015


On paper the Soo Line Railroad still exists. But it is owned and operated as Canadian Pacific. Few locomotives still wearing Soo Line colors are still in operation.

But one that still carries Soo markings, SD60M No. 6061,  made an appearance in Northeast Ohio on Sunday.

It was the lead unit of CSX train Q378 bound for Buffalo, N.Y. It reached Collinwood around 3:30 p.m. and then tied up later that evening near Beidler Road in Willoughby after the crew exceeded its hours of service.

Akron Railroad Club member Jeff Troutman spotted the 6061 on Monday at 8:30 a.m. in Mentor and sent along this grab shot.

Amtrak Superdome Makes Brief Appearance

September 24, 2009

Akron Railroad Club member Jeff Troutman reported that Amtrak Superdome car No. 10031 was on the rear of Wednesday’s (Sept. 23, 2009)  eastbound Lake Shore Limited as it cruised through Northeast Ohio en route to New York and Boston.

No. 10031 was to be dropped off at Albany-Rensselaer where it will be running the Adirondack for six weeks this fall. The car, which is the only dome car left on the Amtrak roster, will be assigned to the Adirondack between Albany and Montreal between October 1 and November 10.

Orginally built for service on the pre-Amtrak Empire Builder, No. 10031 is normally based on the West Coast and used in charter service. It seldom operates east of the Rocky Mountains, Amtrak said in a news release.

The car left Los Angeles on September 19 on the Southwest Chief for Chicago.

Jeff also reported that two private cars were on the rear of Thursday’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited. They were a former California Zephyr car and a round-ended observation car that carried a “The Chief” drumhead.

Last month ARRC members spotted former Frisco sleeper Cimarron River on the rear of No. 48 near North East, Pennsylvania, during the overnight outing there.

Steamy Encore on the AC&J

July 17, 2009
Rain and cloudy skies didn't stop Viscose Company No. 6 from putting on a good show on the Ashtabula, Carson & Jefferson on July 11. This image was made near the baseball field complex on the north side of Jefferson. (Photograph by Barbara Cormell)

Rain and cloudy skies didn't stop Viscose Company No. 6 from putting on a good show on the Ashtabula, Carson & Jefferson Railroad on July 11. This image was made near the baseball field complex on the north side of Jefferson. (Photograph by Barbara Cormell)

There is something about a steam locomotive. Hundreds of people turned out on July 11-12, 2009, to help the Ashtabula, Carson & Jefferson Railroad celebrate its 25th anniversary by riding one of the seven public trips pushed and pulled by Viscose Company tank engine No. 6.

The O-4-0T, owned by Scott Symans of Dunkirk, New York, was making its second appearance on the AC&J. In 2008, about 900 people rode behind the 30-ton locomotive. Judging by the crowds on Sunday, there were close to that many turning out this year, although rainy weather on Saturday may have dimmed the interest of some.  

Built by Baldwin in November 1925 for a Viginia rayon manufacturing company, No. 6 did yard work for decades before being retired in the 1950s. Symans rescued No. 6 from a scrap yard and spent more than two years restoring it.

No. 6 arrived in Jefferson aboard a truck trailer specially designed to carry it. The locomotive makes about six appearances a year.

Akron Railroad Club member Jeff Troutman was the fireman on many of the runs that No. 6 made, four on Saturday and three on Sunday.

The first Saturday trip was drenched by a thunderstorm, but there was plenty of sunshine for the Sunday trips as people of all ages rode the train over former New York Central System rails.

No. 6 wasn’t designed to pull passenger trains and it was limited to traveling just 4.5 miles north of Jefferson to Morgan Road. That was done, Troutman explained, because there is a grade north of there and the crews feared that No. 6 might run out of water before it could return to Jefferson.

The operating procedure was for No. 6 to push the train northward out of Jefferson and pull it back on the return. Passengers could peak into the cab of the locomotive from the vestibule of the first coach. What they saw was the engine rocking and rolling, and one hard working, but happy, crew.

Between runs, the locomotive was cut away from the train — which consisted of three coaches and a baggage car — and taken to a spot just south of East Jefferson Street, where it received water from a nearby fire hydrant. A small front end loader restocked the coal bunker. The engine holds about 1,200 gallons of water.

In addition to the steam locomotive, the AC&J also had on display an S-2 diesel locomotive and two cabooses. All three were open to the public.

Symans has purchased a second Baldwin steam engine that he is in the process of restoring. Perhaps it will eventually make an appearance on the AC&J. He has a section of 90 feet of track at his New York home, but told the Ashtabula Star Beacon that he doesn’t get to run No. 6 himself very much, relying instead on experienced railroaders.

For the AC&J trips, the railroad’s co-owner Bob Callahan told the Star Beacon that he lined up crew members who had steam engine experience. Troutman previously worked on Grand Trunk Western No. 4070 when it was pulling trains for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in the 1980s.

Troutman has written an article about his experiences firing No. 6. Titled “A Celebration and Fresh Popcorn,” it can be found on the ARRC blog as part of the “Trackside Tales” pages.

No. 6 will be making an appearance July 23-26, 2009,  at the steam festival in Owosso, Michigan.