Posts Tagged ‘Marion Ohio’

Better Than I Initially Recognized

September 9, 2017

There have been times when I’ve given a second or even third look to an image I made and concluded that it had something going for it that I failed to see the first or second time.

Such was the case with this eastbound Norfolk Southern manifest freight cruising through Marion.

I had been walking back to Marion Union Station with fellow Akron Railroad Club member Richard Antibus during the dinner hour of Summerail.

I had a little bit of time before the evening shows were to begin.

This is not the location from which I would have preferred to have captured this train.

Given the position of the sun, I would have liked to have been on the west side of the tracks.

But just as we got near the tracks, the gates started going down. My practice is to not to dash across tracks if the crossing warning devices have activated.

I zoomed in on the train to get it crossing the CSX Mt. Victory Subdivision by AC Tower.

I then zoomed back to get a wider perspective, which was what I initially though to be the best image that I made. That image was the one that I posted online shortly after I got home.

Yet while thinning out images from that day and moving them into storage on an external hard drive, I took another look at the image above.

What I saw that time that I had missed earlier was the nice contrast between the light playing on the nose of SD70M No. 2587 and the shadows on both sides of the tracks.

Light and shadows adds tension to an image as well as visual interest.

The contrast extends to the rails that No. 2587 and its train are about to traverse. Ditto for the rest of the train, which can be seen enveloped in shadows in the distance.

The light is also illuminating the heads of the railfans along the fence watching the train pass.

I wouldn’t categorize this as the best railroad photograph I’ll make this year and many might see it as just another train picture.

Maybe so, yet it reminds me that sometimes you have to look at an image multiple times to really see it.

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Pair of Uncles Petes Minutes Apart in Marion

July 13, 2017

NS train 175 pounds the diamonds with the CSX Mt. Victory Subdivision as it passes AC Tower in Marion, Ohio, on the NS Sandusky District.

NS Train 195 approaches AC Tower in Marion.

Union Pacific motive power is hardly a rarity on the Norfolk Southern lines radiating from Bellevue.

What might be a little out of the ordinary is seeing two trains led by UP locomotives in a span of less than five minutes.

That was the treat for trackside observers in Marion last Sunday afternoon when train No. 175, a Bellevue to Macon, Georgia, (Brosnan Yard) manifest freight cruised through town and past AC Tower with a pair of faded UP units on the point.

The 175 met at South Marion the 195, a Linwood, North Carolina, to Bellevue manifest freight that was led by a newer UP unit.

Minutes after the 175 cleared AC Tower, the 195 came roaring past.

Reflections of CSX

July 12, 2017

Sometimes an idea for a doing something different with your camera just comes to you.

That was how I came to make the image shown at the top of this posting.

I was standing next to the fence waiting for a CSX work train to arrive in Marion on the Columbus Subdivision.

It would be something different as I don’t recall ever photographing a weed sprayer train.

I just happened to turn around toward the station and saw a reflection of the approaching train in a window. Now that’s different.

I made three images of the train before turning back to face it for a more traditional head-on image. The one  you see is the middle one.

Because the train was reflected in the window, everything is backward. I could have easily fixed that in Photoshop, but the resulting image would not have reflected (pun not intended) what I actually saw.

Penn Central Memories Bleeding Through

January 16, 2017
A double set of Penn Central mating worms logos can be seen on the nose of a former New York Central E8A rusting away in the collection of the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue.

A double set of Penn Central mating worms logos can be seen on the nose of a former New York Central E8A rusting away at the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue.

Penn Central disappeared as a railroad on April 1, 1976, when many of its railroad assets were absorbed by the newly-formed Consolidated Rail Corporation.

But Penn Central as a corporate entity continued to exist because it had extensive real estate holdings.

The railroad of the name Penn Central is far better known than the Penn Central Corporation, which continue to hold and manage the non-rail assets owned by the railroad that Conrail didn’t want.

A decade after Penn Central, the railroad, ceased to operate, Penn Central, the corporation, continued to sell and manage those assets. It even reorganized itself on Oct. 24, 1978, when it adopted the Penn Central Corporation moniker, and on March 28, 1994, when it was renamed American Premium Underwriters.

That suggests an insurance company, which is exactly what it was. It had its headquarters in Cincinnati and later was acquired by American Financial Group.

But enough history of Penn Central the financial company. Penn Central the railroad best known for seeking bankruptcy protection in June 1970 still lives if you look for it.

You can find vestiges of PC in the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum as well as on the sides of covered hopper cars.

I present here a gallery of Penn Central memories that were still living that I found in the past year and a half at various locations in Ohio.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Look closely and you'll find evidence of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Penn Central, Conrail and the Wheeling & Lake Erie. The car is shown sitting on the lead to a grain elevator in Monroeville.

Look closely and you’ll find evidence of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Penn Central, Conrail and the Wheeling & Lake Erie. The car is shown sitting on the lead to a grain elevator in Monroeville.

The Penn Central logo is bleeding through over a Pennsylvania Railroad keystone logo.

The Penn Central logo is bleeding through over a Pennsylvania Railroad keystone logo.

A covered hopper in the consist of a Norfolk Southern train at Marion still wears its PC green and markings.

A covered hopper in the consist of a Norfolk Southern train at Marion still wears its PC green and markings.

Few More From the Longest Day in Marion

July 6, 2016
A corner of the model board and CTC panel from F Tower in Fostoria is visible as an eastbound CSX train passes Marion Union Station on the Mt. Victory Subdivision.

A corner of the model board and CTC panel from F Tower in Fostoria is visible as an eastbound CSX train passes Marion Union Station on the Mt. Victory Subdivision.

As I said in a report, the 2016 longest day outing in Marion was a fairly average affair. But it provided the opportunity to photograph and watch nearly 30 trains of CSX and Norfolk Southern.

Here are a few more of my favorite images from the outing.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

An eastbound NS train meets the caboose painted in Erie Lackawanna colors and markings.

An eastbound NS train meets the caboose painted in Erie Lackawanna colors and markings.

A lone CSX locomotive is able to handle a westbound manifest freight on the Columbus Subdivision.

A lone CSX locomotive is able to handle a westbound manifest freight on the Columbus Subdivision.

For my last photo of the day I decided to emulate an image I made as my last photo of the day at the 2009 Marion longest day outing. However, in 2009 I was still using slide film.

For my last photo of the day I decided to emulate an image I made as my last photo of the day at the 2009 Marion longest day outing. However, in 2009 I was still using slide film.

A CSX locomotive is trying hard to emulate a steam locomotive. The second unit making all of the smoke is on the Q366, which is about to cross over at the crossover in the foreground.

A CSX locomotive is trying hard to emulate a steam locomotive. The second unit making all of the smoke is on the Q366, which is about to go through the crossover in the foreground.

The Spirit of Louisville was one of four "feature" locomotives that we spotted that are tracked on HeritageUnits.com. I didn't know that CSX had a unit honoring Louisville, Kentucky, until I saw it.

The Spirit of Louisville was one of four “feature” locomotives that we spotted that are tracked on HeritageUnits.com. I didn’t know that CSX had a unit honoring Louisville, Kentucky, until I saw it.

NS Operation Lifesaver locomotive No. 9252 leads eastbound train No. 175 through Marion in mid morning.

NS Operation Lifesaver locomotive No. 9252 leads eastbound train No. 175 through Marion in mid morning.

ARRC Longest Day Outing is Sunday in Marion

June 22, 2016
A westbound CSX auto rack train approaches the diamonds with the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern in Marion this past April.

A westbound CSX auto rack train approaches the diamonds with the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern in Marion this past April.

The longest day of the year in terms of hours of daylight was June 20, but the Akron Railroad Club will hold its longest day outing on Sunday, June 26 in Marion.

As always there is no start and end time. The event begins when the first person arrives and ends when the last one leaves.

We’ll be hanging out at the restored Marion Union Station, which has good views of two CSX and one Norfolk Southern route.

As with any hot spot, Marion can have its share of lulls, but otherwise traffic should be fairly steady throughout the day.

Foreign power can be found on trains on all three railroad lines, so who knows what might come down the track.

The NS Sandusky District is the busiest of the three lines and features an array of coal, intermodal, manifest and unit trains. With any luck, we might catch an NS heritage unit during the day.

The CSX Columbus Subdivision has, historically, been the least busy of the three mainline routes through Marion.

But traffic on this former Chesapeake & Ohio line seems to be picking up. It also features manifest, coal and unit trains with an occasional intermodal move.

The CSX Mt. Victory Subdivision can run hot and cold. It carries traffic originating in St. Louis and Indianapolis.

The traffic mix includes auto rack, manifest and intermodal trains. One of the more interesting intermodal operations on this line is a run-through train interchanged in St. Louis with Kansas City Southern that terminates in Marion.

At times, this train has operated with KCS run-through motive power. It is scheduled to arrive in Marion in the very early morning hours, but has been seen coming into town around mid morning with a KCS Southern Belle on the point. That happened the  last time the ARRC held its longest day outing in Marion.

It is almost a sure bet, though, that during our time in Marion the Q008 will come through on the Mt. Victory Sub. It is one of the hottest intermodal trains on CSX because it has UPS shipments.

In past years, ARRC members who were still on hand when evening arrived had dinner on the way home, often at the Bob Evans restaurant in Bucyrus. That tradition may well continue this year.

Train Time in Marion

June 14, 2016
A CSX westbound auto rack train bangs the diamonds of the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern.

A CSX westbound auto rack train bangs the diamonds of the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern.

The view of an eastbound NS manifest freight as seen from the stops of AC tower.

The view of an eastbound NS manifest freight as seen from the stops of AC tower.

And a ground level view of an eastbound NS manifest freight on the Sandusky District.

And a ground level view of an eastbound NS manifest freight on the Sandusky District.

In less than two weeks it will be time for the Akron Railroad Club to set out on its annual longest-day outing and this year we’re going to Marion.

The busy railroad junction northwest of Columbus was the site where the ARRC held its first longest day venture in the 1980s. We’ve been back there several times.

This past April I stopped by Marion for a few hours on my way home from the Columbus train show.

Traffic was about what you would expect although nothing out of the ordinary passed through during my time there.

Here is a sample of what I saw, which should preview what we can expect to see on June 26 during the longest day outing.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Union Tank Car Opens Marion Retrofiting Facility

March 2, 2016

Union Tank Car company has established a retrofitting facility in Marion near its existing Marion repair shop.

The company said on Tuesday that the new shop will retrofit existing DOT-111 and CPC-1232 specification railroad tank cars with new safety features that will enable them to attain a DOT 117R specification. That latter is needed for the cars to be used to carry flammable liquids.

Union Tank CarDuring the retrofitting, each car will receive top fittings protection, thermal insulation, an 11-gauge steel jacket, full ½-inch thick head shields, and a bottom outlet valve handle that disengages from the valve when the car is in transit.

The trucks of DOT-117R cars also will be reconditioned for 286,000-pound gross rail load service.

The retrofitting work will occur in a 125,000-square foot building that had been used for heavy manufacturing and is less than two miles from an existing Union Tank Car shop.

Union said that the retrofitting facility has more than 1,000 feet of in-grade standard gauge rail, heavy lift cranes, and a turntable with scale capability that is capable of rotating a 66-foot-long tank car inside the building.

A drum welder is used for fabrication of the tank jackets. Cars are moved through the plant by battery-powered cart caddies.

Cars entering the plant are cleaned, inspected, and qualified as “Marion 1” before being moved to the new “Marion 2” shop for the in-line conversion.

When the re-manufacturing work is finished, the car returns to Marion 1 for fittings reapplication, paint and stenciling.

Union’s re-manufacturing plant has Association of American Railroads certification and is currently conducting two DOT-117R conversions per day.

That number is expected to increase as Union trains and certifies more technicians.

Getting the EL and the 9-1-1 Locomotives

October 17, 2015

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I drove to Mansfield on Friday to catch the NS 1700 a former Erie Lackawanna SD45-2 that has been restored to its original paint.  I did get it, but unfortunately it developed problems and needed a mechanic to look at it.

This meant it would sit for a while. While waiting, I saw that the 9-1-1 First Responders unit was leading a train north from Columbus.  I drove to Marion where it finally showed up at quarter to six.

I then gave chase north catching up to it at Chatfield and again at Attica.  By now it was nearly dark so I headed back home.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

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One Hand on the Throttle

August 14, 2015

Marion (CSX engineer)-x

The steps to the restored AC Tower in Marion afford a view into the locomotive cabs of passing CSX trains on the former Big Four/Erie mainline.

If a train is on the near track and headed eastbound, you can almost reach out and shake hands with the engineer as the train passes.

I’ve never actually tried to do that, but I have from time to time made photos inside the office of the lead locomotive.

It is as close as I’ll ever get to a cab ride on this piece of railroad.

Photograph by Craig Sanders