Posts Tagged ‘North East Pennsylvania’

Chasing Train 291 on NS in July 1997

November 4, 2020

In July 1997 Marty Surdyk, his brother Robert, and Ed Ribinskas chased train 291 on Norfolk Southern’s ex-Nickel Plate Road mainline.

This train was known for its New York, Susquehanna & Western motive power on most days.

The chase began in North East, Pennsylvania, and ended in Vermilion

Here is a sampling of images from that chase that included stops in North East, Swanville (Pennsylvania), Cleveland the Vermilion.

At Swanville, the tracks cross Walnut Creek, in Cleveland they cross the Cuyahoga River and in Vermilion they span the Vermilion River.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

CSX Tribute Locomotives to Visit Lake Shore Museum

October 3, 2019

The Lake Shore Railway Historical Society said this week that it will host a visit on Oct. 12 and 13 of the three CSX Pride in Service locomotives at its museum in North East, Pennsylvania.

The GE units, which were all built at the nearby Erie locomotive assembly plant, honor America’s military veterans, first responders, and police.

In a news release posted on its website, the museum said it open at noon on both days and host a night photo session with the three visiting locomotives and its own collection of General Electric locomotives.

The three tribute locomotives were built between between 2008 and 2015 at the Lawrence Park plant when it was owned by GE. The plant is now owned by Wabtec.

The units were repainted in special liveries by CSX workers at its locomotive shops in Huntington, West Virginia.

Those same workers also recreated the “Chessie Cat” Chessapeake & Ohio Railroad paint scheme on GE locomotive No. 8272 that CSX donated to museum in 2017.

Additional information about the museum event can be found at https://lakeshorerailway.com/

CSX Tribute Unit(s) to Visit Lake Shore Museum

September 23, 2019

At least one of the CSX tribute locomotives is expected to be at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 12 and 13.

The museum said on its Facebook page that it hopes to have all three of the CSX Pride in Service units that weekend but there is no guarantee that will be on hand.

Local fire departments and police departments will be bringing their equipment to the museum during the weekend and a night photo shoot is being planned.

Details on the latter will be announced later, the museum said. The night photo shoot will also focus on the museum’s GE-built Little Joe electric locomotive.

The museum will not be offering on-site parking during event. Visitors will need to park on nearby streets.

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 HeritageUnits.com 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.

I Know that Guy

October 12, 2018

If that guy standing on the Bort Road bridge in North East, Pennsylvania, looks familiar, it’s because you know him.

He is Edward Ribinskas, the retired treasurer of the Akron Railroad Club.

Ed and I were getting in some railfanning in North East in late May before heading for a baseball game in nearby Erie featuring the Class AA Erie Seawolves hosting the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

I try to remember to get an occasional image of my railfanning friends to remember the good times that we had.

Just Dark Clouds

September 12, 2018

Some of the most dramatic railroad photographs I’ve seen involved storm light.

The ideal storm light photograph shows a train whose consist or locomotives are illuminated by sunshine against a backdrop of very dark clouds.

You have to have good fortune and good timing to make such images and I’ve yet to find either.

It is not all good luck, though. Photographers who carefully study weather conditions know when they are most likely to be able to find storm light.

More often than not I’ve encountered situations such as this one made of a westbound Norfolk Southern intermodal train on the Lake Erie District near North East, Pennsylvania.

In this case it was a rising sun spotlighting the motive power against some dark clouds that produced a small amount of rain, but no storm.

It may not be a dramatic storm light image, but I’ll take it any day.

Always a Thrill To See

September 10, 2018

Union Pacific locomotives are far from being a rare sight on trains in Northeast Ohio even though the western carrier does not have any track in Ohio.

But with railroads freely using each other’s motive power, seeing Uncle Pete’s units on CSX or Norfolk Southern is quite common.

It may not be an everyday occurrence, but it is common. Still, I’m pleased when a UP unit is leading a train on either railroad because chances are most the trains I see that day with have the same old, same old owner’s motive power.

The top image has a UP unit leading a pair of CSX locomotives on an eastbound auto rack train.

The bottom photo has a pair of Uncle Petes as the sole source of motive power on a westbound CSX manifest and auto rack train.

Both images were made from the Bort Road bridge near North East, Pennsylvania.

Got There at the Right Time

August 31, 2018

I didn’t journey to North East, Ohio, last spring for the express purpose of photographing the signal bridge at CP 73, which is located east of the Lake Shore Railway Museum.

But since I was there and I noticed that the CSX signal department was out in force putting in new signals, I decided I better get an image of the old signals.

The top and middle images were made on May 23. Note the new signals at the far left of both images are ready to be placed into service.

The bottom image was made eight days later and features Q020 charging eastbound on Track No. 2 of the Erie West Subdivision.

It was a good thing I made this photo because the following week these signals fell. There are only a handful of the old-style Type G signal heads mounted on their original masts or signal bridges left on CSX between Cleveland and Buffalo, New York.

Amtrak 448 at Bort Road

August 14, 2018

Bort Road is one of those countless rural roads in America that most people will never travel or know about.

It has a timeless quality about it, as though time has forgotten it.

Yet to the engineers in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bort Road is well known.

It crosses the CSX Erie West Subdivision on a one-lane bridge that was built decades ago when these tracks were owned by the New York Central.

In recent years the bridge has received some repairs and been closed for several weeks at times.

PennDOT would like to replace the bridge, possibly by moving it closer to the town of North East.

Perhaps some day in the not too distant future they’ll do that. But for now passenger trains continue to pass beneath this bridge just as countless NYC and Penn Central trains did in the years before Amtrak.

Shown is Amtrak’s Boston-bound Lake Shore Limited in late May.

The crossing signals in the background are for the Lake Erie District of Norfolk Southern, which Bort Road crosses at grade.

Gloomy Start to My Day

July 23, 2018

I had a hankering to drive over to North East, Pennsylvania, for a day of railfanning a while back.

The weather forecast looked promising. It would be mostly sunny skies with high temperatures in the upper 60s.

I left early enough to get to Bort Road in time to catch Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited.

But as I motored toward Erie, Pennsylvania, it was obvious that things were not going to work out as I had planned.

Fog shrouded the highway and remained in place until I reached North East.

The fog was not necessarily a bad thing because you can get some interesting effects in fog.

I didn’t have to wait long before a westbound CSX auto rack train came along.

In this case the fog was a good thing because otherwise this train would be coming out of the rising sun.

Notice there is a former CSX unit on the point of a CSX train. Yes, the CSX markings have been blotted out.

The fog did not last long. Amtrak was running late and by the time No. 48 showed up the fog had dissipated. My hopes for a P42DC coming out of the fog evaporated with it.