Posts Tagged ‘NS Cleveland District’

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.

RRE Cancels October Meeting, Will Hold Railfan Outing in Vermilion on Oct. 10 Instead

October 5, 2020

The Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts has canceled its October meeting but instead will conduct a railfan outing in Vermilion.

The Cleveland-based group had been set to meet on Oct. 9 but will go to Vermilion on Oct. 10 weather permitting.

Norfolk Southern has two routes through Vermilion, the busy Chicago Line and the far less busy Cleveland District.

Plans are to meet in the morning at the boat launch on the Vermilion River and then move to the railfan platform downtown on Main Street in mid afternoon.

The boat launch is located off West River Road with parking in either the upper lot or at river level.

The railfan platform is located in Victory Park on the south side of the Chicago Line.

The FCD/RRE also announced that it will hold its annual turkey shoot on Thanksgiving morning in Berea.

However, rather than meet at a local restaurant for breakfast as members have traditionnaly done they plan to get coffee, donuts and breakfast sandwiches at the Dunkin’ Donouts on Front Street in Berea if it is open that day.

Trying to Stay Dry on Vermilion Day

August 29, 2018

An eastbound coal train crosses the Vermilion River on the Chicago Line at about 4:30 p.m. during the Akron Railroad Club outing in Vermilion. Where was a boat on the river when we needed it?

It started with rain and ended with rain. In between we managed to see some Norfolk Southern action interspersed with long periods of waiting.

And that in a nutshell summarizes the 2018 Akron Railroad Club day in Vermilion that was attended by eight members.

As we expected, most of the action was on the Chicago Line, which boasted its usual assortment of manifests, intermodals and single commodity trains.

But the iffy weather meant that few boats were plying the Vermilion River by the boat launch that was our base of operations for much of the day.

No NS heritage units came through but the 9-1-1 unit made an appearance late in the afternoon trailing in the motive power consist of a coal train.

Two ARRC members saw it from the rail platform in downtown Vermilion, but three of us missed it because we were in Huron seeking photographs of trains passing beneath the old signal bridge with its Type G signal heads that NS is about to replace.

It took a long wait before an eastbound and westbound came through Huron.

In the meantime, we heard the Toledo East dispatcher talking to trains east of us and multiple trains coming onto the Chicago Line and turning west in Sandusky from the Sandusky District.

Those of us in Huron missed the 9-1-1 unit because its train diverged from the Chicago Line west of Vermilion and went to the Cleveland District en route to Bellevue.

The Cleveland District, which is the former Nickel Plate Road mainline, was largely quiet during the day.

As I arrived in the Vermilion area I spotted an eastbound stack train east of town on the Cleveland District.

Presumably it was either the 206 or the 22K and had taken the new connection west of Vermilion that allows eastbound trains on the Chicago Line to move onto the Cleveland District.

Otherwise, the only other train on the Cleveland District was eastbound manifest freight 210, which had one locomotive on each end, something we’d never seen on this train.

One eastbound coal train came past with BNSF motive power and a few trains had former CSX units still wearing their CSX colors.

The rain stopped around mid day and gradually the clouds moved out to afford us alternating sunny skies and conditions of sun and clouds.

But as the five of us who had dinner at Quaker Steak and Lube came out of the restaurant about 9:45 p.m. light rain was falling and continued to fall throughout my drive home. Maybe that was a fitting way to end our day.

ARRC member Todd Vander Sluis (blue shirt) watches the L13 as it passes the former passenger station in Vermilion.

ARRC member Alan Nagy gets video of westbound NS stack train 25V as it races through Vermilion. It was the last train we saw before going to dinner and then calling it a day.

The Old and the New in Painesville

January 26, 2018

The new bridge that Norfolk Southern is building over the Grand River in Painesville is starting to take shape.

Workers have poured the concrete for the piers that will support the yet to be installed deck of the single-track bridge.

Being built just south of the existing trestle erected decades ago by the Nickel Plate Road, the new bridge is expected to open this summer.

Shown above is NS eastbound manifest freight 316 crossing the old trestle.

NS to Expand Maple Heights Intermodal Yard, Complete New Vermilion Connection in 2018

January 13, 2018

Norfolk Southern plans to expand its intermodal yard in Maple Heights in 2018 and finally finish a new connection in Vermilion.

Those projects are among the capital spending plans for the railroad this year.

Work on the Vermilion connection began a couple of years ago but stalled due to lack of funding.

NS is installing connections between the Chicago Line (former New York Central) and Cleveland District (former Nickel Plate Road) that will enable trains from either line to access the other and go east or west.

There is currently a connection between the two lines, but it does not enable an eastbound train on the Chicago Line to go westward on the Cleveland District toward Bellevue or a train from Bellevue to go westward on the Chicago Line.

NS said it will also increase mainline capacity in Buechel, Kentucky; Charleston, South Carolina; and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Intermodal capacity will be expanded in Kansas City, Missouri; and at Calumet Yard in Chicago.

Tie and rail replacement will remain in 2018 at the same levels of 2017. NS will lay 272.7 miles of dual rail and 177.3 miles of single rail. That equals 86,492 tons of rail of which 88 percent will be new 136-pound rail.

Track gangs are expected to put down 2.48 million new crossties and 2.13 million tons of ballast.

NS officials have could not provide a total capital spending figure because the company has not yet finalized its 2018 capital budget.

Consolation Prizes on a Frustrating Day

January 5, 2018

I found the three images posted here in a folder while going through another folder in which I store images that I want to post online.

Like so many images that get sideline, I had forgotten what I had until I opened this folder during a house-cleaning operation.

All three images were made in Perry during an outing I had with Peter Bowler last May.

It had been a frustrating day. We missed an opportunity to photograph a late running eastbound Lake Shore Limited because we neglected to check if No. 48 was running on time or late.

Then we heard on the radio that the Norfolk Southern local to Fairport Harbor was operating today. Despite multiple efforts, we never could find it in a place where we could photograph it.

Our last “failure” occurred in Perry while waiting for it to return to home rails and go back to Conneaut.

We ran out of time. The consolation prize was getting a few CSX and NS trains on the mainlines that run through Perry.

Although you have to look for it, in the middle photograph, CSX locomotive 5327 has the Western Maryland “fireball” emblem.

Straight Down the Tracks

December 14, 2017

The advance signals on the Cleveland District of Norfolk Southern for the location west of Vermilion where the connecting track to the Chicago Line diverges.

There is a group on Flickr titled Tracks Without Trains. I’ve posted there a few times because I like to make photographs of empty tracks.

I like the look of rails going off into infinity, which seems to invite you to travel.

Sure, I’d prefer to be photographing a train here instead, but sometimes the rails are all you get.

The first two images below were made of the former Erie Railroad mainline between Kent and Brady Lake. The piece of track was lying on the former right of way of the Akron, Canton & Youngstown west of New London. The bottom image is the Cleveland District of Norfolk Southern west of Vermilion.


NS 9-1-1 Spotted in Northeast Ohio

December 1, 2017

Akron Railroad Club member Jeff Troutman spotted Norfolk Southern locomotive 9-1-1 on Thursday morning at 11:06 in Painesville.

The Honoring First Responders SD60 was on the point of manifest freight 316 headed eastbound on the Cleveland District to Buffalo, New York.

Over and Under

October 16, 2017

We were hanging out at the boat launch in Vermilion watching trains on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern cross the Vermilion River.

Someone heard on their scanner an eastbound call a signal on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline, now the NS Cleveland District.

Ron McElrath and I started walking up toward the grade crossing near the boat launch while everyone else decided to photograph the train crossing the river.

I’d done that before, but I’d never photographed from the grade crossing. I didn’t get there in time to get into the position I wanted.

As the eastbound was blowing for the crossing, I heard another horn. The timing of the sounds reminded me of my childhood days in Illinois when the New York Central had locomotives whose horns alternated high and low pitches.

It turned out there was a westbound stack train on the Chicago Line blowing for another crossing.

I wished that I had more focal length on my zoom lens and that that highway bridge wasn’t in the foreground. But you work with what you have and I ended up with a over-under sequence.