Posts Tagged ‘NS Central of New Jersey heritage unit’

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

My Very Few Highlights Around Thanksgiving

December 2, 2021

For most of my years while I was working, I very rarely had the opportunity to railfan on or around the Thanksgiving holiday.

If I wasn’t working, then I had family related activities. I did find a couple days I was able to sneak away for a few moments.

One of those was Thanksgiving of 1983. I was able to use vacation time for a family trip to Libertyville, Illinois for a holiday outing with my sister Janet.

The day after Thanksgiving I went to the ex-Milwaukee Road tracks near Rondout, Illinois , hoping to see and photograph Amtrak No. 8, the Empire Builder.

This was long before cell phones and the Internet. I was hoping No. 8 would be close to advertised. I do remember a bit of prayer was evident.

The Empire Builder did show up pretty close to schedule.

Two days after Thanksgiving 2017, I photographed the Central of New Jersey heritage unit, No. 1071, coming out the siding at Unionville, Ohio, on Norfolk Southern train 316.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Filthy and Clean CNJ Units

April 19, 2021

All the times I photographed the Central of New Jersey heritage locomotive of Norfolk Southern, No. 1071 was always filthy.

That can be seen in the top two photographs, both of which were made at Unionville, Ohio, on November 25, 2017. The dirt is particularly evident on the head end.

The next two images I made in Painesville on March 8, 2020, on an outing with Marty Surdyk just prior to the statewide shutdown after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In these images, Lady Liberty is barely visible on the front side.

In looking through my collection, I found that back on June 21, 2008, I shot photos of clean CNJ F3s, actually ex Bangor & Aroostook, at Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, during a Reading & Northern 425 steam excursion.

Photo 5 is taken from the train upon arrival at Jim Thorpe while photo 6 was made during the layover.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

An H of a Day (Heritage, Heritage and Hockey)

March 13, 2020

As I rolled east into a bright early morning sunrise over Lake County, I didn’t have any inkling as to what kind of day this would be.

Ed Ribiniskas and I were going to spend some time trackside around Painesville and then head to the afternoon’s Mentor Ice Breakers Hockey game.

Ed called me Saturday evening and pushed our rendezvous time back to sometime after 9:15. We originally had an 8:30 call time at his house in Painesville.

I stayed on my original schedule and decided to spend a few minutes at the former New York Central depot in Painesville before heading to Ed’s house.

I wanted to see what, if any, photo angles could be had of the Painesville depot from the south side of the tracks.

Between the fences and vegetation that surround the depot, photo angles were few. A westbound mixed freight running as the Q561 was the first train to pass.

Shortly after its EOT blinked past, an eastbound ethanol train shot past. I managed to shoot the eastbound. It had a single CSX GE up front and a BNSF SD70 on the rear.

It was now about quarter past nine so I was off to Ed’s house. He was ready to go and he had some news on Norfolk Southern heritage units.

The Pennsylvania Railroad H unit was leading NS train 149. It had been reported a few minutes ago at Kingsville waiting for a meet with an eastbound.

Ed only lives a couple of minutes from the new NS Painesville trestle over the Grand River. We were heading there to hang out.

While we waited at the trestle for something to go by, CSX ran an eastbound. We heard him calling signals and heard the horns off in the distance.

NS was quiet for a few more minutes when horns to the west alerted us the arrival of intermodal train 206.

We shot the 206 on the trestle in perfect light. Since we knew that the 149 wouldn’t be coming soon, we headed to Perry to find a better sun angle for a westbound in these morning hours.

Lately out here in Lake County, I have had problems hearing any radio chatter on NS. I wondered if they had changed the radio frequency out here. I hoped to find out. I don’t like running silent.

When we got to Perry another railfan was parked trackside. As we pulled up beside him, his scanner picked up 206 calling a signal. He had the right radio channel so I asked him what it was.

He said that a while back NS had changed the frequency on the former NKP east of Cleveland to 161.085.

I plugged that number into both scanners and PRESTO we could hear what was going on on NS.

I thanked the gentleman for the information and we headed to the Maple Street crossing in Perry to wait for the 149.

CSX wasn’t really busy this morning. They ran only one eastbound double-stack while we staked out the 149.

That eastbound was lead by No. 765. I asked Ed if he wanted to give chase but his focus was on the PRR H unit.

While checking for updates on the website, Ed also noticed that another H unit, the Central of New Jersey, was leading NS train 310.

The 310 also would be coming our way. Since the report was at Amherst it would be along, hopefully, before too long.

The 149 was now heard calling signals as it approached our vantage point.

The PRR is one of the H Units that I had seen but never got a photo of on the lead. It shot by us at track speed heading for a meet with the CNJ on 310 somewhere ahead.

From here it was back to the Painesville trestle to await the arrival of the 310. I have shot the CNJ before.

It made an appearance on train 287 during an Aug. 11, 2013, Akron Railroad Club outing to Vermilion when we got it in Avon Lake.

It was now past 1 p.m. and the sun was starting to shift to the west. The NS trestle over the Grand River is on an east-west alignment so, hopefully, the 310 would get here before too long. We weren’t the only railfans here; two other carloads of fans and one large black dog were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 310.

Eventually the NS channel came to life. Something was in the neighborhood.

Turns out it was the 310. A few minutes later horns. to the west confirmed show time was at hand.

Unlike the PRR H unit, which was fairly clean, the CNJ H unit was rather filthy. But we shot it anyway. We didn’t come here to be picky.

The 310 had two motors on the lead and two more in the middle. He had a good-sized train. I lost track of his car count (ran out of fingers and toes). I would estimate about 150-180 cars.

With the rail action finished we were off to lunch and the hockey game.

The Mentor Ice Breakers were playing the Delaware Thunder. That’s Delaware as in the state of, not the town near Columbus.

Mentor was outplayed in the first period and was lucky to be down only 2-1.

At the 16:23 mark of the second period three things happened. Right in front of our seats at the blue line a Mentor player was leveled by Delaware player. It took our attention away from the action which featured Mentor scoring the tying goal.

Also at that time the scoreboard went blank. Play was halted as they tried to resolve the issue. A “rain delay” for lack of a better term of over an hour ensued.

After a conference between the officials and the team coaches, it was decided the game would resume at the adjacent east rink. Mentor plays their games in the west rink, which features a much larger seating area.

Everyone moved over to the other rink and play resumed. Mentor’s play after the delay was much more spirited and they skated to a hard fought 6-5 win.

After the game I dropped Ed off at his house and headed back home. I did pause to shoot a sunset shot at the crossing at the east end of the Painesville trestle.

The sky was ablaze with orange and yellow as the sun dropped behind the trees and out of sight. It had been quite a day.

Article by Marty Surdyk, Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Pleasant Surprise Pushing on the Rear

September 27, 2018

Norfolk Southern train 14K is known for having helper locomotives. You might find one in the middle of the consist or on the rear.

I was talking with fellow railfan Sheldon Lustig in Berea a while back when the 14K lumbered through.

Fortunately, I had my camera with me because on the rear was a pleasant surprise, the Central of New Jersey heritage unit.

It is at least the third time I’ve been trackside when a train showed up with a heritage unit that I did not know was coming.

I’ve also caught the Penn Central and Interstate H units that way.

Miss Liberty may not have been leading the 14K, but she wasn’t trailing either.

NS OCS Passes through NE Ohio

May 25, 2018

On Wednesday the Norfolk Southern office car special came through Northeast Ohio. I caught it at Alliance. I was about to head home when I heard a report that the Central of New Jersey heritage unit was leading NS train 15V. This train takes the Fort Wayne line at Alliance. I went to Louisville where I got him at the MP94 signals which are still a Pennsylvania Railroad design.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

And There Was the CNJ Heritage Unit

July 3, 2016

Norfolk Southern train 52V passes the grain silos in Attica with the Central of New Jersey heritage unit in tow.

Norfolk Southern train 52V passes the grain silos in Attica with the Central of New Jersey heritage unit in tow.

There are few things more pleasing when railfanning than lucking into a find you weren’t expecting, particularly when it involves a Norfolk Southern heritage unit.

It hasn’t happened to me often, but it occurred late on a Saturday morning in Bellevue.

I had seen at a distance a pair of trains that appeared to be waiting north of the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum, so I went up there to have a look.

One of the trains was a grain train — the 52V it turned out — and there was some color behind the lead locomotive.

Upon closer inspection I realized I had just stumbled onto the Central Railroad of New Jersey heritage locomotive.

I walked along a city street to get a closer view when the train started moving. That was all right because I had made all the photographs I wanted to make of it in Bellevue.

Fellow Akron Railroad Club member Todd Dillon was railfanning in Bellevue with a friend and he waved at me as they drove off.

Was the 52V going out on the Sandusky District or the Fostoria District?

I had to wait for the 52V to clear before I could cross the tracks, get in my car and give chase. While crossing the Ohio Route 269 bridge over the NS tracks I could see the train taking the Sandusky District.

I gave chase and my first effort to get it ended in failure at Flat Rock. There was not enough time to get out to make a photograph at the crossing where I was.

I was able to catch up and get ahead of it, turning down a rural road and getting it at a crossing. I’m not sure of the name of the road, but it is just south of milepost 88.

I resumed the chase and caught a break because the train had to wait for a signal at West Attica. That enabled me plenty of time to go into Attica and scout photo locations.

I finally settled on an across-the-field shot from the grass parking lot at the fairgrounds.

The dispatcher told the crew of the 52V that it would meet one at Chatfield. That turned out to be a rolling meet.

Satisfied with what I had, I broke off the chase and went on to other pursuits.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

What's that color behind the lead unit of NS train 52V? Why, it's a heritage unit.

What’s that color behind the lead unit of NS train 52V? Why, it’s a heritage unit.

Here comes the 52V at milepost 88 on the Sandusky District.

Here comes the 52V at milepost 88 on the Sandusky District.

A crew member is either striking a pose or trying to see if he can get me to fall for the old "look over there" trick.

A crew member is either striking a pose or trying to see if he can get me to fall for the old “look over there” trick.

Miss Liberty Dodging Snowflakes in Vermilion

February 22, 2015

The snow is flying as the NS 65V with the Central of New Jersey heritage unit in the lead passes through Vermilion. The former New York Central station is the right.

The snow is flying as the NS 65V with the Central of New Jersey heritage unit in the lead passes through Vermilion. The former New York Central station is the right.

The wind-angle perspective of NS 1071. The Vermilion railfan platform is the far right.

The wind-angle perspective of NS 1071. The Vermilion railfan platform is the far right.

My friend Adam and I were doing to get in some railfanning before attending a banquet Saturday night in Berea.

As we drove out that way we saw an online report that the Central of New Jersey heritage locomotive was leading a westbound 65V and getting a new crew at CP Ram in Cleveland.

Our plan was to intercept this train in Olmsted Falls. It was snowing steadily and traffic on I-480 was slow. As we were passing by Cleveland Hopkins Airport Adam saw an online report that the NS 1071 had just passed trough Berea.

We would never make it to Olmsted Falls in time. Plan B was to drive to Vermilion. We easily got ahead of hit despite the snowy conditions.

Much to my delight the snow continued to fall as we waited beneath the overhang of a shop on the north side of the NS Chicago Line.

After waiting longer than expected, the headlight of the NS 1071 came into view to the east. That gal looked good in the snow.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Recent Norfolk Southern H Unit Sightings

August 28, 2014




Of late, it has been a good time to see Norfolk Southern heritage units in Northeast Ohio. Here are a few miscellaneous heritage unit grabs from the past couple of weeks. Nos. 1071 and 1067 haul North Carolina-bound coal past the former Amtrak station in Canton. The train is the NS 746. Although this motive power consist was still together this week, it did not return via Ohio. The 8114 is shown leading the 20R by Motor Yard in Macedonia. It ia slso shown meeting the 15K.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

It’s Been a Good Week for Heritage Units

August 1, 2014





It has been a good week for Norfolk Southern heritage units with several in and around the Cleveland area.

I elected to skip the Nickel Plate Road unit on a stone train last Sunday due to the fact that the Wheeling & Lake Erie depot in Kent was being moved that same morning. That trumped an H unit in my book.

There were back-to-back trains with H unit power early in the week. These included the Southern unit leading an oil can train followed by a double H set on empty hoppers, both seen at Hudson.

On Wednesday the Penn Central heritage locomotive led an oil train that is seen here at Atwater. The GoRail also paid a visit and the original NS unit was due through on Thursday night.

Although not an NS heritage unit, this ex-Pennsylvania Railroad E8A could be called heritage. It’s nothing special as far as photos go, but I just wanted something on a piece of track that doesn’t see much action. That’s the Interstate 480 Valley View bridge in the background.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee