Posts Tagged ‘NS Chicago Line’

A UP Kind of Day

September 10, 2021

This past Wednesday was a Union Pacific kind of day. It began with catching a former Union Pacific 10-6 sleeping car on the rear of Amtrak’s westbound Lake Shore Limited in Chesterton, Indiana.

The car, now owned by Webb Rail, was built in June 1950 by Budd. In its current reiteration, it read “Pullman” in the letterboard and “Pacific Union” in the car name space.

A few hours later I had ventured further east to Otis, Indiana, where I caught Norfolk Southern train 39E coming around a curve with a pair of UP motors.

The train originates in Elkhart and goes to the UP at Proviso Yard in Chicago.

Sunset in Olmsted Falls

August 12, 2021

I switched to digital photography in late July 2011 and my early weeks in the digital world were spent seeing what my camera could do.

On Sept. 24, 2011, I spent some time photographing Norfolk Southern trains in Olmsted Falls. My time there extended into the darkness hours so I tried my hand at some sunset images.

NS cooperated by sending an eastbound my way just as the sun was hovering above the trees in the distance. Here was the result.

Stuck Bridge Disrupts NS Chicago Line Traffic

July 28, 2021

Traffic on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern was disrupted this past Sunday after a failure of the drawbridge over Sandusky Bay.

The bridge became stuck in the up position and when the operator was finally able to lower it it would not lock into place. The bridge, located at milepost 248 is controlled remotely.

Some marine traffic because stranded when the bridge wouldn’t lock into place and boaters anchored their vessels and called friends to pick them up.

Smaller watercraft were able to pass beneath the bridge despite a warning light being illuminated that there was insufficient clearance.

The drawbridge failure lasted for more than three hours and halted train traffic on a line that hosts more than 50 movements a day including Amtrak’s Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited.

However, Amtrak was unaffected by the failure because its trains pass over it between midnight and 6 a.m.

NS maintenance forces were able to repair the bridge and it resumed normal operation.

The bridge was built in 1929 and is a double-track rolling Scherzer-type drawbridge

Clear at CP 412

June 24, 2021

The crew of Norfolk Southern container train 294 is looking at a clear signal indication on Track 2 of the Chicago Line at CP 412 in Goshen, Indiana.

In the distance a tie gang is working on Track 1 and the foreman had given the 294 permission through his work limits at 25 mph with instructions to make some noise.

The tie gang had Track 1 out of service until 5 p.m. on this Tuesday from CP 412 to CP 397.

The downside to track work season is traffic is generally reduced during work hours. The upside is the trains that are allowed to go through the work zones must identify themselves to the foreman in charge to get verbal permission through the zone.

Not far behind the 294 was the 22W, another eastbound intermodal train with stacks and trailers. But before these two trains showed up there had been a lull of more than an hour.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Pole Line Remnants

June 3, 2021

There was a time when major railroad lines had poles carrying code lines used in communications systems. Newer forms of technology did in pole lines and many railroads have removed the poles and wires.

The latter in particular were often targeted by thieves seeking to steal the copper wire to sell at a salvage yard.

When pole lines were common, some railroad photographers disliked them, seeing them as clutter. But I’ve come to view pole lines or what is left of them in a different way.

Where they exist they add a sense of railroad history to a scene.

The photographs above were made on May 29 on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern just west of Brimfield, Indiana.

I had heard the eastbound 20E calling signals over the radio and looked for a grade crossing at which to catch it. When I saw the remnants of a pole line here I knew this was the place.

It also was nice to have some adjacent farm fields in which the corn is coming up for another harvest season.

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.

It’s a Caboose!

April 25, 2021

They used to be on every freight train but then technology and labor reductions consigned them to a long list of things that used to be but are no more on America’s railroads.

But the caboose has a more romantic aura about it and was better known to most Americans than, say, an interlocking tower or trackside telephone booth.

Today the caboose is all but gone, primarily found on local trains. And even then it may not be a caboose per se but a shoving platform even if it used to be a caboose and still looks like one.

Shown is westbound Norfolk Southern local B23 in Goshen, Indiana, on the Chicago Line. The local originates in nearby Elkhart and works only as far east as Goshen before returning to the yard.

When I made this image on April 22, the B23 had two covered hopper cars and a caboose.

It may be battered and bruised but NS 555616 still has the classic look of a caboose and it’s still something out of the ordinary.

NS Reopens Chicago Line in Amherst

December 4, 2020

Norfolk Southern has reopened its Chicago Line in Amherst, which had been blocked on Tuesday by the derailment of an eastbound manifest freight.

Railroad officials said on Wednesday they restored one mainline track at 5 a.m. and a second mainline track would be restored by early afternoon on the same day.

Workers continued to clear wreckage from the scene even after the tracks reopened.

The derailment occurred at CP 212 near the intersection of Middle Ridge Road and Dewey Road.

Amherst Fire Chief Jim Wilhelm said his department responded to the derailment, but NS refused their assistance, saying it would handle and cleanup on its own.

An NS spokeswoman said the cause of the derailment remained under investigation.

No hazardous material was involved in the derailment and no one was injured.

The train involved, No. 310, was en route from Eklhart, Indiana, to Binghamton, New York.

Running Westbound at Brimfield

November 25, 2020

Earlier this month I was in Brimfield when a westbound Norfolk Southern manifest freight came along.

No, not the Brimfield in Portage County but the town of the same name in Indiana on the Chicago Line between Kendallville and Goshen.

A portion of the pole line is still in place, but I would think it has been years since it was used.

Today it is nothing more than a nice photo prop that is a throwback to another era.

Red Nose in Edgerton

November 5, 2020

Norfolk Southern eastbound ethanol train 64R passes the grain elevator in Edgerton, Ohio, on the Chicago Line this past Tuesday.

Since ethanol is derived at least in part from grain, it seems suitable to capture an ethanol train passing a grain elevator.

The Canadian Pacific leader on this train would not stay in that position past Toledo where an NS unit with cab signals was put on the point.

Thus when the 64R passed through Northeast Ohio en route to Reybold, Delaware, it had an NS leader.

The trailing unit in the image above is a CSX locomotive.