Posts Tagged ‘Nickel Plate Road’

NS Resumes Using ex-NKP West of Cleveland

January 18, 2023

Norfolk Southern has resumed using the Cleveland District west of Cleveland for through freights.

Earlier this week we reported that in the past couple of months NS use of the former Nickel Plate Road mainline had been minimal.

Reportedly, NS has set a freight tonnage quota for the line and stopped running through freights there in late 2022 after the quota was exceeded. But with a new year underway the quota has been reset.

The route in question extends from Vermilion to Cloggsville via Lakewood and Rocky River.

Manifest freights 315 and 316 were the most frequent users of the route in the past.

NS Making Minimal Use of ex-NKP West of Cleveland

January 17, 2023

Norfolk Southern appears to have stopped operating through freights on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline between Vermillion and Cloggsville.

Local freight trains continue to serve shippers along the route, which passes through Lakewood and was the subject of controversy more than two decades ago when NS and CSX acquired Conrail.

At the time the discussion about concerns that NS would increase the number of trains on the former NKP, which has multiple grade crossings in Lakewood.

The last through freights known to use the ex-NKP, known as the NS Cleveland District, were Trains 315 and 316. Reportedly, those trains have operated between Vermilion and Cloggsville on an irregular basis.

In other Cleveland rail news, some of you may have noticed last fall two SW1500 switchers parked in Parma on CSX.

The units were painted in the livery of Canadian National but carried LTEX markings.

The units have been acquired by Cleveland Cliffs and have been spotted of late working industrial tracks in the Cleveland Flats.

The units are expected to receive Cleveland Cliffs colors and may be repainted at the facility of the Midwest Railway Preservation Society.

One of the switchers once worked for the Soo Line while the other came from the Kentucky & Indiana Terminal.

Grand Opening Set for Renovated Indiana Station

June 9, 2022

Indiana tourist railroad Nickel Plate Express and officials in Noblesville, Indiana, will hold a grand opening on Saturday to celebrate the renovation of the historic Hobbs Station.

The depot is in Forest Park where it has stood since being moved there in 1967.

It was built in 1948 to serve the Nickel Plate Road in Tipton County and was for several years part of the now defunct Indiana Transportation Museum.

The Noblesville Parks & Recreation Department spent $1.6 million to renovate the station, which officially opened on June 6.

The renovation included landscaping and walking paths, a restroom addition, historic signs and paved parking. A covered platform was constructed in the boarding area.

The station will serve as the southern terminus of the 12.4-mile Nickel Plate Express, which operates between Noblesville and Atlanta, Indiana.

During the grand opening on Saturday, the Nickel Plate Express will have departures from Hobbs Station at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person for the 45-minute excursions.

The first 200 passengers will receive a commemorative Hobbs Station lapel pin.

Trestle Tales: Heritage on Steel

February 8, 2022

In the past decade, Ed Ribinskas has considered tracking Norfolk Southern heritage locomotives to be one of his many everyday chores.

If an H unit was leading a train that would pass through Painesville, he would grab his camera and head over to the Riverside Drive grade crossing if he could.

The Nickel Plate heritage locomotive made an appearance on March 30, 2013. Others that have passed by included the Southern H unit on April 26, 2014, the New York Central H unit on May 27, 2015, and the Erie H unit on April 10, 2016.

After construction of the new bridge over the Grand River got underway in March 2017, Ed sought to be a little creative in his photo composition by working the construction activities into his image as can seen above.

Some examples included catching the Erie heritage unit on July 15, 2017, the Savannah & Atlanta H unit on June 2, 2018 and the Central of New Jersey H unit on Nov. 25, 2018.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Trestle Tales: Finding the Out of the Ordinary

February 7, 2022

Rivers are not static. They shift course and their levels rise and fall. These developments can damage bridge abutments as happened in spring 1985 when NS had to reroute some trains and issue slow orders for others until the Painesville trestle over the Grand River could be repaired (top photo).

Over time, some bridge abutments have been replaced, the results of which can be seen in the images of the Triple Crown RoadRailer trains crossing the trestle in April 1989.

The former Nickel Plate Road route between Cleveland and Buffalo never had the high level of traffic as the parallel CSX and former New York Central route, but it had its share of out-of-the ordinary sightings.

On Oct. 27, 2004, Norfolk Southern sent an Operation Lifesaver train from Rockport Yard in Cleveland to Ashtabula and back.

The encroaching vegetation is evident on the east end of the bridge as compared to what it was in the views recorded 15 years earlier.

Another unique movements that crossed the trestle was the eastbound Lake Shore Limited using the NS route due to a CSX derailment in Painesville. Amtrak Train 48 was photographed on Oct. 13, 2007.

On July 23, 2015, a large crowd of railfan photographs turned out to photograph Nickel Plate Road 2-8-2 no. 765 cross another NKP institution on a ferry move from Cleveland (Rockport Yard) to Ashtabula to be in position to pull public excursions between Ashtabula and Youngstown.

Finally, on Aug. 3, 2016, the NS business train led by F units passed through Painesville.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

New Kid on the Block

November 24, 2021

I found this freshly painted GP15-1 in a sharp livery for the New Castle Southern Railroad in its namesake city in Indiana.

It was at the head of a cut of covered cars that had been positioned on a siding next to a city street and a portable unloading device.

The NCSR began operating in September a 21-mile former Nickel Plate Road branch between New Castle and Beesons.

The short line leases the track from Norfolk Southern which earlier this year canceled the lease held by the C&NC Railroad, a.k.a., Connersville & New Castle, which had operated the branch since Dec. 22, 1997.

At Beesons the C&NC and now the NCSR make a connection with the Big Four Terminal, which operates a former New York Central (Big Four) branch to Connersville.

A portion of that former NYC route south of Connersville is now used by the White Water Valley tourist railroad to Metamora.

NCSR No. 1671 is owned by Indiana Boxcar Corporation and I was unable to determine its heritage.

Some Varnish on a Wheeling & Lake Erie Train

November 15, 2021

The Wheeling & Lake Erie Lima train No. 430 had a special consist of five passenger cars and a former Nickel Plate Road GP30 added to its compliment of freight cars on Sunday.

I caught it at several location with what turned out to be the first significant snowfall of the year.  The 430 was led by Wheeling No. 5314, an ex-Denver & Rio Grande Western tunnel motor.

The GP30 and passenger cars are going to Brewster to run employee Santa trips the day after Thanksgiving

The first two images were made at Upper Sandusky. The third image shows former Nickel Plate passenger car City of Chicago.

In the fourth photograph are the new signals at North Robinson, Ohio.  These look like Pennsylvania Railroad style position light signals but in fact are new replacements with LED lights

The bottom photograph was made under the signal bridge at Crestline. All of these images were made on the rails of the Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

NKP Depot to be Fixed Up, New Uses for NYC, PRR Depots

November 4, 2021

A former Nickel Plate Road station in Veedersburg, Indiana, will be renovated with the help of two grants.

One grant of $20,000 came from the Grainger Foundation while the Efroymson Family Fund provided a $10,000 grant.

Veedersburg was located on the former Toledo, St. Louis & Western, better known as the Clover Leaf. The track through Veedersburg was abandoned by Norfolk Southern in the late 1980s.

In other railroad station news, the former New York Central station in Bryan, Ohio, is now a barbeque restaurant known as the Third Rail Saloon. It is located next to the NS Chicago Line.

A former Pennsylvania Railroad freight house in Eaton, Ohio, will become a bakery. The station is located on the NS New Castle Subdivision, which once hosted PRR passenger trains between Chicago and Cincinnati.

The PRR passenger station in Eaton is now a liquor store.

NKP 765 Back Home Again in Indiana

October 7, 2021

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 returned home to New Haven, Indiana, On Monday after spending much of September in Ohio.

The Berkshire-type locomotive pulled excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in Northeast Ohio and then put in an appearance at the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue.

While in Bellevue, the 765 was reunited with one-time running mate NKP 757, which is being cosmetically restored by the Mad River museum.

It was the first time two NKP Berkshire locomotives were coupled together since the early 1960s when many steam locomotives were lined up waiting to be scrapped.

Museum officials said that more than 2,000 purchased tickets for caboose rides, hostling tours, and a night photo session.

They said several hundred more showed up just to see the two locomotives together.

During the event, the 765 crew ran a steam line to No. 757 to allow the latter’s whistle to sound. During the night photo session, a third Berkshire made a temporary appearance with No. 765 assuming the cosmetic role of Wheeling & Lake Erie No. 828, whose whistle has been featured on the 765 previously.

Some cosmetic changes to the 765 were undertaken to give it the appearance of a W&LE steamer.

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, which owns the 765 said planning is underway to celebrate the locomotive’s 50th anniversary next year.

Society officials said they are talking with various possible hosts in locations the 765 might be able to visit.

FtWRHS Vice President Kelly Lynch said next year also is the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, so plans for a special Steam in the Valley experience are in the works.

Repainting Finished in Time for NKP Convention

September 29, 2021

Just in time for the annual convention of the Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society the Cincinnati Scenic Railway finished repainting a restored GP30 in a NKP livery.

No. 902 pulled an excursion on Sept. 24 for the NKP historical society on the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad in Southwest Ohio.

The locomotive was built for the NKP in 1962 but of late had been painted in a livery of the Great Miami Railroad.

CSR had hired a contractor to repaint No. 902 but the job was delayed by several days of rain. As late as the evening before the NKP convention was to begin the contractor was still applying lettering and nose striping.

The next day No. 902 along with sister ex-NKP geep No. 901 pulled an excursion train for convention attendees that went from Lebanon to Mason and then to Monroe before returning to Lebanon.

That evening, No. 902 pulled a fundraising special to Mason and back to raise money to pay for the painting cost.

No. 901 also is painted in a NKP livery and has been used to pull Ohio Rail Experience excursion trains, which CSR oversees.

CSR owns Chesapeake & Ohio GP7 No. 5704 and a former Illinois Central GP10 that is in Conrail colors and numbered 7544.