Posts Tagged ‘NS Conrail heritage locomotive’

Conrail H Unit Passes through N.E. Ohio

August 8, 2016

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The past several weeks the Conrail heritage unit of Norfolk Southern has been leading trains through Northeast Ohio.

Two weeks ago I caught it going by Berea tower (top photograph). This is a significant location both locally but also for the Conrail system.

Conrail’s route structure was basically an X with the lines crossing at Cleveland and, specifically, at Berea tower.

On Saturday, I caught the Conrail H unit leading again, this time at East Conway (middle and bottom photographs). Conway Yard was an important point on the former Pennsylvania Railroad ever since it opened in 1957. This continued through Penn Central and Conrail and remains so with Norfolk Southern.

Many photos have been taken throughout the years at this iconic spot and I thought this would be a worthy inclusion with those.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

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Some Conrail Heritage and Some Spring

April 29, 2015
The Conrail heritage locomotive of Norfolk Southern leads an eastbound intermodal train through Bedford, Ohio, on April 27, 2015.

The Conrail heritage locomotive of Norfolk Southern leads an eastbound intermodal train through Bedford, Ohio, on April 27, 2015.

It has become something of a tradition. On the afternoon of the April meeting of the Akron Railroad Club I swing by the Bedford Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks to catch some Norfolk Southern action on the Cleveland Line as well as make some photographs that show trains and spring.

Last Friday, I spent just over an hour there. Rail traffic was good and the trees were starting to bud. However, they were not in full bloom as has been the case in the past. Chalk it up to a late spring triggered by the long and tough winter that we had.

Two days later reports made their way into the railfan cyberspace world that the NS Conrail heritage locomotive was leading a 20E intermodal train across Ohio.

It would reach Cleveland in late afternoon so I headed again for Bedford where I knew I would be able to catch the NS 8098 in good side lighting. As had been the case on Friday, the weather was sunny and nice.

I heard the 20E calling a signal shortly after I arrived. It would be held briefly at CP 114 for a westbound crude oil tanker train that was crossing over from Track 1 to Track 2.

The Cleveland Line dispatcher informed two trains holding near Motor Yard in Macedonia that they would be following the 20E because of single tracking on the Cleveland Line heading out of Cleveland.

I sought to duplicate with the NS 8098 a similar photo setup that I had made with the Penn Central heritage locomotive. I had photographed it during spring in Bedford on the lead of an eastbound train.

In both instances, I photographed the lead locomotive as it traveled over the plate girder bridge carrying the trains over the access road into the Bedford Reservation.

The results with the NS 8098 can be seen above. It could easily be a scene from the 1990s when this was still Conrail territory.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The 20E approaches on the high line passing through Bedford. It is at least the fourth NS heritage unit that I've photographed here.

The 20E approaches on the high line passing through Bedford. It is at least the fourth NS heritage unit that I’ve photographed here.

The trees are budding and blooming at last in Northeast Ohio.

The trees are budding and blooming at last in Northeast Ohio.

The lead unit of an eastbound crude oil train.

The lead unit of an eastbound crude oil train.

An eastbound intermodal train meets a westbound RoadRailer in Bedford on Friday, April 24.

An eastbound intermodal train meets a westbound RoadRailer in Bedford on Friday, April 24.

 

Conrail Tribute Unit Meets Ex-Conrail Unit

April 27, 2015
The 20E (left) passing the 16G  on Norfolk Southern.

The 20E (left) passing the 16G on Norfolk Southern.

I was out Sunday afternoon waiting for Norfolk Southern train 20E, which had No. 8098, the Conrail heritage unit, leading. Due to a rail train in Ravenna around CP 86 (Rave), traffic was backed up a bit. Train 16G showed up with one of the former CSX ex-Conrail SD80MACs leading and stopped close to MP 104 in Macedonia waiting for some railroad. Along came that 20E on the adjacent main, making for a Conrail heritage meet of sorts.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

Side by side Conrail heritage.

Side by side Conrail heritage.

The 16G stopped at MP 104 .

The 16G stopped at MP 104 .

Roster view of the 7226.

Roster view of the 7226.

After the Conrail-Penn Central ‘Breakup’

January 30, 2015
A zoom in shot showing 8098 and the 195 signal bridge.

A zoom in shot showing 8098 and the 195 signal bridge.

Due to work obligations I wasn’t able to get the Conrail/Penn Central heritage duo together when they returned to Cleveland on Wednesday, but I did manage to catch them both after they were separated.

First it was the 27N with the Conrail H unit now doing its solo gig at Lewis Road in Olmsted Falls passing under the 195 signal bridge.

Then it was back over to Rockport Yard in Cleveland to photograph the sitting duck PC unit. Prior to the 27N showing up, the 15N headed west with three BNSF units.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

Closer view of Big Blue.

Closer view of Big Blue.

Roster view of the 1073.

Roster view of the 1073.

PC unit with 14N and the Rockport yard office in the background. Note CR coil car behind the 1073 that is still in a patched PC green.

PC unit with 14N and the Rockport yard office in the background. Note CR coil car behind the 1073 that is still in a patched PC green.

It is one busy railroad at Lewis Road.

It is one busy railroad at Lewis Road.

The 15N with the three BNSF units heads west.

The 15N with the three BNSF units heads west.

 

 

Conrail, PC H Units Split up in Cleveland

January 29, 2015

The pairing of the Conrail and Penn Central heritage locomotives of Norfolk Southern came to an unceremonious end on Wednesday afternoon in Rockport Yard in Cleveland.

The duo came into town around 1 p.m. leading the 27N, an auto rack train bound for Fairlane Yard near Amherst.

At Rockport, the NS 1073 (Penn Central) and NS 1011 were removed and the 27N left town behind only the NS 8098 (Conrail).

Online reports indicate that a small number of fans were gathered in Berea to witness the second coming of the Conrail/Penn Central duo but had to settle for just Conrail.

The Conrail and PC pair had emerged last Sunday from Chicago leading the 24M, an intermodal train bound for Baltimore.

After arriving there on Monday, the pair along with NS 1011 were cut off and subsequently assigned to the 33A, which operated to Enola Yard near Harrisburg, Pa.

That brought them to their last assignment together, the 27N.

Black and Blue at Brady Lake 36 Years Apart

January 26, 2015

 

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Once I got word that the Conrail/Penn Central heritage duo would be through my area in daylight (thanks to all for updates), the choice of location was a no brainer for me.

I have been photographing from this location since the 1970s, all through Conrail’s existence.

It’s been said “you can’t go home again,” but the Norfolk Southern heritage program provides a close stand-in for how the past might look like today.

The top photo is, of course, the 24M from Sunday and the second photo is from January 1979 of a Conrail eastbound with an earlier blue/black duo. Who’d a thunk it?

Overgrowth has hidden the former Lake Erie & Pittsburgh (New York Central) northern flyover track and the trough truss bridge came out in the clearance project of the mid 1990s.

The south connection is still in as the Hugo lead for about two miles but is currently out of service.

Also included in the sequence are two more earlier Conrail photos from Brady Lake that were created in February 1979.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

Double Bonus Sunday on NS Chicago Line; Conrail and Penn Central H Units Plus Something New

January 25, 2015
It was a family portrait at Olmsted Falls on Sunday with a Pennsy cabin car, New York Central station, the Penn Central heritage locomotive and the successor of all of them, the H unit honoring Conrail.

It was a family portrait at Olmsted Falls on Sunday with a Pennsy cabin car, New York Central station, the Penn Central heritage locomotive and the successor of all of them, the H unit honoring Conrail.

Early Sunday morning I got an email giving me a heads up that an unusual pairing of Norfolk Southern heritage locomotives had left Chicago in the predawn hours heading east.

The 24M had on the point the NS 8098 (Conrail) and NS 1073 (Penn Central) with the NS 1011 as the third unit. All three units were facing east.

The 24M is an afternoon train in Cleveland and I kept checking online sources to follow its progress. I really didn’t want to miss this train.

First, the Conrail H unit is the only one NS heritage locomotive that I’ve never seen and, second, because of the unique pairing of successor and predecessor.

I left home at about 12:15 p.m. and headed for Olmsted Falls. The 24M had been reported past Millbury 30 minutes earlier.

This is a hot train and it was making good time on a dreary day. The railfan cyberspace world was buzzing.

As I drove west on Interstate 480, I spotted the eastbound Canadian Pacific intermodal train that uses CSX rails between Chicago and Buffalo, N.Y. I took that to be a good sign.

Shortly after I arrived in Olmsted Falls I got another unexpected treat. The M8A called a signal on Track No. 2 at CP 197.

I got into position couldn’t believe my eyes. On the lead was the CREX 1324. It was the first time I’ve been in a position to photograph one of these Citirail ES44AC units leading a train.

Now I knew that it was going to be a special day.

About a half hour later I heard the 24M key up the Toledo East dispatcher to discuss a less than clear signal indication. She told the crew to keep coming, that the signal would come in shortly.

The headlight came into view and there it was. One of two NS heritage locomotives that I have yet to photograph was in my viewfinder.

I wasn’t necessarily thinking of it at the time, but one of my images was an “all in the family” portrait with a Pennsylvania Railroad cabin car (a.k.a. a caboose), a former New York Central station, the Penn Central heritage locomotive and the Conrail heritage locomotive.

Indeed a guy on an email list to which I belong said that all three railroads that he had worked for were represented in that image.

There was talk on Trainorders.com that this motive power consist was a setup. The units were clean and NS company photographer Casey Thomason was out photographing it.

Intentional of not, the pairing these two heritage locomotives together was a stroke of good fortune for those lucky enough to see it.

I had work to do at home so I left shortly after the 24M passed. I had seen two trains in less than two hours and each had something I had never photographed before. I’d call that a quite successful day.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The 24M is motoring through Olmsted Falls just west of the depot.

The 24M is motoring through Olmsted Falls just west of the depot.

A throwback to the early Conrail era. But I'll bet the PC units were not as clean back then as the NS 1073 was on Sunday.

A throwback to the early Conrail era. But I’ll bet the PC units were not as clean back then as the NS 1073 was on Sunday.

Before the main event, the warm up act was pretty special for me. The CREX 1324 leads the M8A. This train received an NS leader at CP Max.

Before the main event, the warm up act was pretty special for me. The CREX 1324 leads the M8A. This train received an NS leader at CP Max.

The M18 had a BNSF unit trailing.

The M8A had a BNSF unit trailing.

Some Conrail and Erie Heritage in Akron

August 3, 2014

Despite the clouds and it’s trailing position I ventured out to see the NS Conrail heritage unit pass through Akron on CSX.

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It had led going east but went through Akron in darkness. CSX train Q359 is shown from the Miller Avenue overpass in Akron, a spot where I saw many a blue unit pass underneath on the then joint Chessie/Conrail line from AY to Warwick.

The dirt path off to the left is where the Erie was. Speaking of the Erie, the new dorm facility and parking deck located off Broadway near Exchange Street is almost complete.

In a nice nod to the heritage of the property the “E in diamond” stone/cement logos that were on top of the old Erie freight house that was torn down were saved.

They now are located on a monument outside of the new “Depot” building. I wonder how many of today’s students will even know what that “E” stands for?

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

Heritage Units Sunday

May 13, 2013

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No less than five members of Norfolk Southern’s heritage locomotive fleet traversed northern Ohio on Sunday. The Pennsylvania Railroad unit was with Nickel Plate Road No. 765 of course and had I thought about it more I could have probably gotten them all.

As it was I managed to miss the Savannah & Atlanta heritage unit, but I did get three others plus the two Rio Grande painted tunnel motors that the Wheeling & Lake Erie has.

I got the PRR heritage unit several times between Cleveland and Bellevue and I managed to miss the S&A by less than an hour. It met the Southern heritage just south of Bellevue and had I not been chasing 765 I could have gotten it.

Oh, did I mention there was a steam fan trip today? Well that’s another story. I did chase down the Southern and while I was doing that the Conrail heritage returned from National Train Day duties in Chicago.

I was hoping to get the Southern unit at Route and then go to Vermillion and get it and the Conrail unit but, the Conrail locomotive was just too fast.

It led a hot intermodal train that cleared Sandusky at 1 p.m. when the Southern was still sitting in the middle of the yard. I decided to bail out and did a high speed run back to Berea. I pulled in just after 2 p.m. only to find that I had just missed it. No problem. I was off to Macedonia where I finally got him.

In retrospect I could have gave up on 765 earlier and gotten the Southern/S&A combo and then stuck around to photograph the original Norfolk Southern heritage unit that was trailing in the motive power consist of a coal train that went through Mansfield. I could have then headed to Alliance or somewhere else and gotten the Conrail unit. Still, I was very pleased with what I did get.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

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Hope For Ohio’s Worst Maintained Railroad

January 7, 2013

A crew on the newly-formed Napoleon, Definance & Western does some work in the second of its namesake cities on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013.

For my first trip of 2013, I headed to Northwestern Ohio to check out the Maumee & Western shortline – MAW for short – which is now operating under new ownership.

Pioneer Rail Corp. took over operations on the first of the year and changed the name to Napoleon, Defiance & Western. The new owners want to aggressively fix up the plant and turn it into a first-class operation.

The previous owners did practically zero maintenance on the line. Just search “world’s worst maintained railroad” on Youtube.com or Google and you’ll see what I mean.

We headed west to Defiance on Interstate 80 and the newly opened U.S. 24 west of Toledo.

We quickly passed through Maumee where Norfolk Southern serves an Anderson grain facility. There was not much activity here so we continued west.

There are several miles of an old Wabash Railroad branch, which is the same trackage that makes up the former MAW further west. This was filled with stored unit coal hoppers due to lowered coal use.

Arriving at Defiance yard we found idling the No. 5, a former Santa Fe GP7. We took this to be a positive sign.

We checked the other end by the CSX diamonds and found work crews busily replacing ties. There was a PREX No. 3054, A GP20, also an ex-Santa Fe, working the interchange. We watched the crews work for about an hour and got many good pictures.

We then continued west toward Ft Wayne, Ind., following the line. There was not much activity although we did see No. 7, a former Illinois Central Paducah rebuilt geep. The tracks are in really bad shape so Pioneer has its work cut out in fixing them.

At Ft Wayne we checked out the local NS yard and saw little activity. A local was tied up east of the yard and another train was waiting on a crew but little else. We did photograph a freshly-painted caboose and an old N&W snowplow.

On the way home, we did some nighttime photography. At Clyde, Ohio, we caught an NS unit grain train north of town. This is a remnant of the Big Four’s Sandusky-Bellfontaine line.

Next we tried some pictures of the Ohio Route 4 bridge at Bellevue. These turned out OK.

As a bonus, the Conrail heritage was up front here. Night photography is something I never really mastered with film cameras but with a digital camera I can take hand-held night shots.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

The tie gang takes a break. Wonder who Jim and Joe are.

Doing interchange work is a common assignment on short line railroads.

Still wearing with pride its Santa Fe markings.

Does this show you why the MAW was known as the world’s worst maintained railroad?

This Paducah rebuilt geep was still wearing its Illinois Central colors.

A freshly-painted Norfolk Southern caboose in Fort Wayne, Ind.

A freshly-painted Norfolk Southern caboose in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The Conrail heritage locomotive was front and center in Bellevue Yard.

The Conrail heritage locomotive was front and center in Bellevue Yard.