Posts Tagged ‘KCS motive power’

Nice Way to Start the Day

April 29, 2021

We had driven up Interstate 69 to Waterloo, Indiana, which would be our first stop during a day-long railfan outing.

Scarcely had we arrived when the detector west of town on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern went off on Track 2, likely indicating an eastbound was coming.

Through my telephoto lens I could tell the lead unit was not NS black and for a moment I thought that, maybe, it was a heritage unit.

It tuned out to be a BNSF pumpkin with a Southern Belle of Kansas City Southern trailing. That’s not a bad catch although I wished the order of the units had been reversed.

It was train 880, which had come into Chicago from the Power River Basin of Wyoming and been turned over to an NS crew at Cicero, Illinois. The train was bound for Trenton, Michigan.

In the view above, it is splitting the westbound home signals of CP 367 and passing the former New York Central passenger station, which is now owned by the city and contains a waiting room for Amtrak passengers.

Finding 4 Trains on the ex-LE&W in Muncie

September 23, 2020

Muncie, Indiana, is the junction of two former Lake Erie & Western routes and a crossing with the CSX Indianapolis Line (former Big Four).

Also once serving the city was a Pennsylvania Railroad branch and the Chesapeake & Ohio of Indiana line. However, both of the those have been abandoned.

I was lucky enough during a visit to Muncie last weekend to get four trains, all on the ex-LE&W routes.

First was the 123 with ex-Kansas City Southern power in tow, which is shown crossing CSX in the top photograph.

Next was a NS train 142 which goes west on the Frankfort district then north on the Marion Branch at Alexandria.

Third up was NS 216, an intermodal that goes north on the New Castle District to Fort Wayne and then west to Chicago

It had the Norfolk &Western heritage painted unit and DC to AC conversion unit No. 4000 in special blue and gray paint.

I found a bridge on the Cardinal Greenway, which is built on the former C&O right of way, to get this on but it didn’t quite work for both engines.

Last was the 122 bound for Decatur, Illinois, which had the Lehigh Valley heritage unit trailing.  I got this at Tipton as reported in my earlier post.

I also found a nice depot which was formerly C&O and some abandoned bridges which were ex-PRR and ex-C&O.

The former C&O depot is now a trail head for the Cardinal Greenway.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

NS train 142 crosses the White River and West Side Park in Muncie.

NS intermodal train 216 to Chicago crosses the White River on the New Castle District.

The former C&O passenger station in Muncie, Indiana, sits alongside the Cardinal Greenway, a hiking and biking trail built on the former C&O right of way. Amtrak’s Cardinal stopped at this station between September 1974 and April 1986.

The PRR’s branch between Muncie and Converse, Indiana, crossed the White River in Muncie on this bridge. The former Pennsy branch is now abandoned.

Good Locomotive, Bad Light

June 22, 2018

I had time to get in some afternoon railfanning before the May Akron Railroad Club meeting so I took my camera with me during a hike on the Portage Hike and Bike Trail near Kent.

I also took my scanner and sat on bench on the trail next to the CSX New Castle Subdivison and waited for a train to show up.

In my experience, afternoons can be slow on the New Castle Sub. and today was no exception.

There was a track gang at work somewhere nearby and approaching trains had to call the foreman on the radio to get authority through the work zone.

I thought I heard a train identifying itself as Q015, a stack train, calling the foreman. That was good news because I really wanted to get a westbound coming around a curve and into some good later afternoon light.

I got up and got into position. Soon I heard the rumbling of prime movers of an approaching train.

But it seemed to be coming from behind me. It got louder and finally I looked around to discover that I had actually heard the Q016 approaching.

The good news was that on the point was a beautiful Southern Belle of Kansas City Southern. Such units are not unheard of in Northeast Ohio, but not common either.

The bad news was the the lighting was unfavorable. I made the photograph anyway even though I didn’t have much time to get a better composition.

Some days are like that. Not far behind the Q016 was an eastbound auto rack and stack train. I never did see a westbound during my time on the trail that afternoon.

Belle of a Day (Part 1)

February 7, 2018

Norfolk Southern coal train 888 gains speed as it leaves the siding at PA east of Conneaut, Ohio.

I had high hopes for getting some winter weather action photographs last Sunday. The forecast called for an 80 percent chance of snow with one to three inches of accumulation.

I had visions of catching trains dashing through the snow.

It might have happened if the temperatures had managed to dip below freezing. But they hovered around 33 for most of the day and we got rain mixed with snow and no accumulation.

I was out in Lake County with fellow Akron Railroad Club members Marty Surdyk and Ed Ribinskas in a reprise of our railfanning on Super Bowl Sunday outing.

There is nothing out of the ordinary about railfanning on the day of the NFL championship game, but we’d done it before and had some good luck getting dramatic winter weather images.

However, the snow and rain mix wasn’t heavy enough to create much effect and the overcast skies made for flat light. Nonetheless, it turned out to be one Belle of a day.

We began where our past Super Bowl day outings had begun sitting next to the CSX Erie West Subdivision in Perry.

For about an hour nothing was moving and there wasn’t any chatter on the radio.

We passed the time reminiscing about past railfan outings to faraway places and listening to  Marty describe how he came to put together his program for the February ARRC meeting titled The Power of Four.

Tired of sitting and looking at air, we decided to check the signals on Norfolk Southern. The eastbound home signal  showed an approach indication, suggesting that the dispatcher intended to hold an eastbound at CP Davis and put a westbound into the siding.

Off we went toward the Painesville trestle over the Grand River, where a new bridge is under construction. Marty wanted to get an image of a train with the old and new bridges.

We didn’t make it. The eastbound, which turned out to be coal train 888, called the intermediate signal at Madison Avenue east of Painesville as we cruised westbound on Ohio Route 84.

We turned around to chase it, not sure where we could get it. We could see it at times and were pleased to see that the lead unit was a Kansas City Southern “Belle.”

That is not something you see very day in Northeast Ohio and getting this train gave our day a focus it had been lacking.

We got on Interstate 90 at Madison and motored over to North Kingsville for our first photo op with Miss Belle.

Then it was into Conneaut where we would wait for the 888 to change crews and work in the yard. This isn’t an ordinary coal train. The coal comes from West Virginia and the train picks up its symbol at Portsmouth, Ohio.

After going west on the Sandusky District, it gets onto the former Nickel Plate Road in Bellevue and takes that to Buffalo, New York.

It drops cars in Conneaut that are interchanged to CSX for delivery to Erie Coke in Erie, Pennsylvania. The remainder of the train is interchanged to the Buffalo & Pittsburgh in Buffalo.

It took awhile for the 888 to complete its work in Conneaut. In the meantime, we saw a Bessemer & Lake Erie train roll into town and that would become the focus of the latter part of our day.

The 888 called the NS Pittsburgh West Dispatcher to let him know it was ready to leave Conneaut.

The dispatcher told the crew to depart on signal indication. The 888 would be going into the siding at Woodworth to meet a westbound or get out of the way of an eastbound that had higher priority.

After photographing the 888 rumbling over ice-covered Conneaut Creek, we learned that intermodal train 206 would pass the 888 in the siding that extends from Woodworth to PA.

We quickly hatched a plan to photograph the meet at Rudd Road, which is a couple miles or so inside Pennsylvania.

Much of the property surrounding that area is state game land, but some is private property. Someone was firing weapons on that property. The sound of nearby gunshots was a little unsettling.

The 206 soon came into view, but it had just a run of the mill NS wide-cab unit.

Shortly after the 206 cleared the switch at PA, the dispatcher lined it for the 888 to come out of the siding.

On our way back to Conneaut we listened to the crew of the 888 tell the dispatcher about how the KCS unit was experiencing excessive wheel slip, in part due to the wet rails.

They agreed to put another unit online. The crew followed that up with a conversation with an NS power desk representative about the wheel slip issue.

In the meantime, we slipped back into Conneaut and waited at the Old Main Street crossing for the Canadian National train to slip out of town and the start of another chase.

Our first photo op of the KCS Southern Belle leading NS train 888 came at North Kingsville.

NS 888 crosses the icy Conneaut Creek on its way out of town.

NS intermodal train 206 (left) overtakes train 888 at PA.

The 206 splits the signals at PA.

Now it is the turn of the 888 to split the signals at PA.

Summerail and Train Watching in Marion

August 14, 2017

Summerail returned to Marion last Saturday and there are indications that it will be back there again in 2018.

Master of ceremonies Ron Flanary announced toward the end of the program that the 2018 event will be held on Aug. 11 at the Palace Theater in Marion, where it was also held in 2016.

Traditionally, Summerail has been held in Cincinnati, but was moved to Marion last year due to construction at Cincinnati Union Terminal.

The move to Marion was expected to be for just two years, but Marion does offer some advantages over Cincinnati, primarily the use of an auditorium with expansive seating.

Past sessions of Summerail have sold out weeks before the event, but the Palace Theater has enough seating to make possible walk-up sales of tickets on the day of the event.

The 22nd edition of Summerail offered 10 multi-media programs with images set to music. Each program was about 45 minutes in duration and featured digital images.

A few programs had introductory commentary and videos embedded amid the usual progression of still images.

None of the programs were presented by Northeast Ohio residents and scenes of railroading from Northeast Ohio were scarce.

I spotted several Akron Railroad Club members in Marion during the day including Peter Bowler, Ron McElrath, Mark Demaline, Jim Mastrommateo, David Mangold, Richard Antibus and Tom Fritsch.

Some of them spent their day watching trains at Marion Union Station rather than viewing the Summerail programs.

The original Norfolk Southern heritage unit led an eastbound NS coal train through Marion in late afternoon, but I missed it because its passage occurred during the last set of afternoon programs.

Some Summerail regulars have a practice of dining at a Skyline Chili restaurant in Cincinnati during the dinner break.

Although Skyline has several franchises outside of southwestern Ohio, there are none in Marion.

Railfan & Railroad magazine arranged a catered Skyline chili dinner at Marion Union Station.

Tickets were $12 with a portion of the proceeds going to the station association.

The dinner was catered by a Skyline franchise in Westerville, a Columbus suburb.

A railfan sits at the operator’s desk in AC Tower as CSX train Q007 passes by.

BNSF motive power leads an eastbound grain train on the Columbus Subdivision of CSX.

Some Summerail attendees spent part of their dinner break watching trains. An eastbound NS manifest freight passes the photo line.

CSX westbound stack train Q007 had a pair of Kansas City Southern “Belles” in the motive power consist.

As westbound Q007 passes AC Tower, NS train 234 waits in the background.

The rear of NS train 234 passes the Erie Lackawanna caboose, which sits at the site of a former Erie Railroad division headquarters building.

 

 

NS 961, a light power move from Columbus to Bellevue, passes AC Tower.

Master of ceremonies Ron Flanary introduces a program.

Dishing out the Skyline Chili.

Railfan & Railroad editor Steve Barry dives into a cheese coney in the waiting room of Marion Union Station.

Looks Like Shreveport Has Moved to Ohio

September 4, 2014

Norfolk Southern train 23K passes the 859 at Rockport Yard in Cleveland.

Norfolk Southern train 23K passes the 859 at Rockport Yard in Cleveland.

The other day it kind of looked more like Shreveport, La., than Rockport Yard, Ohio, with back-to- back Kansas City Southern leaders. Norfolk Southern train 23K had a pair of Belle ACes and 145 had a solo GEVO.

I was only able to grab a quick nose comparison photo of the 23K and 859, but that 145 got a delay waiting for his lift to get worked. That allowed some after-work grabs in front of the tower. Sun was hard to come by, but I did get a little filtered light on the 4836.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

CSX Y122’s power next to the KCS power of the NS 145. I sure wish the sun would have been out for that one.

CSX Y122’s power next to the KCS power of the NS 145. I sure wish the sun would have been out for that one.

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Pretty Locomotive Pulling an Ugly Train

September 2, 2014

A KCS "Southern Belle" leads a westbound beneath the home signals for CP 37 in Wellington early last Saturday afternoon. Seeing this unit was a nice surprise.

A KCS “Southern Belle” leads a westbound beneath the home signals for CP 37 in Wellington early last Saturday afternoon. Seeing this unit was a nice surprise.

In years past, the top of the reservoir at Wellington had been one of my favorite places to watch and photograph trains. The CSX mainline (former Big Four) route passes between the reservoir and the Lorain County Fairgrounds and the elevated view gives the aura of seeing a model railroad.

The Wheeling & Lake Erie tracks pass to the north although photographing W&LE operations from atop the reservoir is far from ideal.

It has been a while since I’d been to the reservoir. In fact, the last time that I was there with a camera was back in the days when I was making images on slide film. I’ve been digital since July 2011.

Last Saturday I decided to go to Wellington and the reservoir. It was a warm, humid day and a strong wind was whipping the water about.

I got a later start than I had hoped due to waiting in Olmsted Falls for two hours longer than I expected for a late Amtrak train.

By the time I got to Wellington, it was high noon. I hung around for more than an hour and was rewarded with steady traffic on CSX, two eastbounds and three westbounds.

The westbound fleet included a train of garbage containers that was pulled by a Southern Belle locomotive of Kansas City Southern.

I almost wasn’t ready for the Belle. An eastbound auto rack train was passing through and its rear had just cleared the home signal for the CP 37 interlocking when there was the Belle and its train.

Behind the garbage train was the L091, the run-through train of reefers bound for Union Pacific and an all UP motive power consist.

Seeing these foreign units reminded me of the early years following the Conrail split when foreign power of various railroads was plentiful on CSX.

Being on the reservoir also brought back pleasant memories of past trips to the reservoir and I decided that I need to not let so much time pass before I make a return visit. Next time I’ll get there earlier.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The L091 saunters through Wellington having been slowed by an approach signal.

The L091 saunters through Wellington having been slowed by an approach signal.

It was surprising to see a string of five cars that were free of graffiti. These cars must be new. Will they still be pristine when they make the return journey?

It was surprising to see a string of five cars that were free of graffiti. These cars must be new. Will they still be pristine when they make the return journey?

This eastbound train probably originated on Union Pacific given the consist of the freight cars. Several of the boxcars still bore Southern Pacific markings.

This eastbound train probably originated on Union Pacific given the consist of the freight cars. Several of the boxcars still bore Southern Pacific markings.

The Q371 rounded out the westbound trains that I saw during my time in Wellington. The Lorain County Fairgrounds in the background were largely quiet.

The Q371 rounded out the westbound trains that I saw during my time in Wellington. The Lorain County Fairgrounds in the background were largely quiet.

I made a brief side trip to New London and its reservoir. En route, I encountered a parked eastbound Wheeling & Lake Erie manifest freight just west of the Ohio Route 162 crossing. The train might have been waiting for a track car to clear up.

I made a brief side trip to New London and its reservoir. En route, I encountered a parked eastbound Wheeling & Lake Erie manifest freight just west of the Ohio Route 162 crossing. The train might have been waiting for a track car to clear up.

Suprise Visitor Helps Open Stone Season

April 10, 2014

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The first Shelly Materials stone train of the season off CSX arrived in Kent early Wednesday morning and was unloaded the same day. The west-facing unit was a nice surprise, a Kansas City Southern AC44CW.

Once the train was empty and put back together it sat waiting on a CSX crew to back it onto the CSX main in Kent and return to Carey for another load of rocks. I arrived just as “Flash” was cutting away from the train as seen in the top photo.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

Waiting on the connection for the CSX crew.

Waiting on the connection for the CSX crew.

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For the number crunchers, KCS 4591 was delivered as KCS 2016 in November 1999. It was renumbered sometime in late 2005 or early 2006.

For the number crunchers, KCS 4591 was delivered as KCS 2016 in November 1999. It was renumbered sometime in late 2005 or early 2006.

KCS 4591 basks in the sun while stacks roll west on the CSX former B&O main. That's the former Erie main to the right of the train.

KCS 4591 basks in the sun while stacks roll west on the CSX former B&O main. That’s the former Erie main to the right of the train.

The Belles of New London

December 29, 2013

CSX train Q377 with four new Kansas City Southern locomotives in tow passes the reservoir west of New London on Saturday afternoon.

CSX train Q377 with four new Kansas City Southern locomotives in tow passes the reservoir west of New London on Saturday afternoon.

Word filtered out Saturday afternoon that CSX train Q377 had something special in its consist: four new Kansas City Southern locomotives wearing the striking Southern Belle livery.

I had been out with fellow Akron Railroad Club member Roger Durfee trying to get some “winter” photographs when we got word about the Q377. The clouds were starting to roll in from the southwest and Roger had considered packing it in and heading for home as it seemed to be getting darker by the second.

But there were still blue skies to the northeast and perhaps we could intercept the Q377 up by New London before the high pressure system moved out.

That turned out to be a good move because there were some breaks in the clouds and still nice sunshine in the New London area.

The Q377 was following traffic that included a tanker train (K011) and a stack train. The dispatcher informed the Q377 that it would cross over to Track No. 1 at CP 47 in New London and then would be waiting at CP 54 (Greenwich) for a train to come up the single track of the former Big Four and move east onto the New Castle Subdivision of the former Baltimore & Ohio.

The latter would give us the opportunity to get over to Greenwich in time for another photograph of the Belles.

After recording the Q377 in Greenwich, we headed back to Akron, our day’s work done.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The low angle sunlight reflects off the lettering on the flank of No. 4813,

The low angle sunlight reflects off the lettering on the flank of No. 4813,

These Belles will probably be interchanged to their new owner in St. Louis.

These Belles will probably be interchanged to their new owner in St. Louis.

After waiting for a while for opposing traffic to clear at Greenwich, the Belles were on their way again.

After waiting for a while for opposing traffic to clear at Greenwich, the Belles were on their way again.

The Belle of Marion

June 25, 2013

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The Akron Railroad Club had its annual longest day outing this past Sunday. This year’s Ohio hotspot that we visited was Marion.

The catch of the day was the inbound Q106, a run-through train from Kansas City that originates on the Kansas City Southern. This train hauls containers to the Schneider National intermodal terminal on the east side of Marion.

Some of the containers, though, are shuttled from Marion to the CSX intermodal facility at North Baltimore, Ohio.

The Q106 usually arrives in Marion in the wee hours of the morning, but it was running late on this day for some reason, arriving in Marion at 10:04 a.m.  This was much to the delight of myself, Marty Surdyk and Todd Vander Sluis. We were the first club members to arrive, getting to the Marion Union Station at 8:29 a.m.

We’ll have a further report on the longest day later this week.

Photographs by Craig Sanders