Posts Tagged ‘NS Erie heritage locomotive’

Never Weary of Seeing the Erie

July 27, 2017

The Erie heritage locomotive was one of the last of the series of Norfolk Southern heritage locomotives that I saw and photographed. It eluded me for nearly two years before I finally caught it in late December 2014.

It was the last of the 20 H units that I physically saw, but was the penultimate one that I photographed.

I don’t see the Erie that often, but I have managed to catch it a five times since that late 2014 sighting.

I got a text from fellow Akron Railroad Club member Todd Dillon that NS 1068 was leading Norfolk Southern train 22K.

I was expecting the 22K to come through Olmsted Falls in late morning but it was just after 2 p.m. before it finally arrived. Here is sighting No. 7 of the Erie heritage unit.

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Date That Almost Lived in Infamy

July 27, 2017

June 18, 2017, started as a typical Saturday. We were busy at work. My phone chimed that I had a text message around 9 a.m.

Too busy to check it at that time, I continued working. It wasn’t until I got the next vehicle in and was in the process of texting the mileage to our secretary that I read the message.

“Erie leading 25T, 9 a.m. at Johnstown.”

“Holy Cow!”

The 25T usually comes through the Cleveland area in the mid to late afternoon. Today it had the Erie heritage unit leading, one that I have not yet seen, much less photographed.

I texted the Bro back and suggested he keep me informed about its progress.

Work wrapped up and while having lunch at home, I texted Robert for an update.

“At Conway changing crews.”

I had a few errands to run this afternoon that couldn’t wait, but the yard work could. So by 3, I was ready to head trackside.

The last report was Enon Valley at 1 p.m. It would be a family affair to see the Erie today. My nephew Henry and the Grif (his son) were also going along.

Since we had a “tot” with us, we went to the Tot Lot in Bedford. It is located on Palmetto Avenue between the crossings at Grace and Glendale.

We set up here and waited. Norfolk Southern had something happening in the vicinity of CP 86.

Eastbounds were stacked up on both mains waiting to continue east. Our westbound would not be in the picture for a while.

As we waited, Henry got a phone message that the Central of Georgia H unit was coming east on a 66W oil train. It was by Amherst.

It was trailing however, so trail equals fail. But it is still one of the H Units I have yet to see or photograph. This would be a GREAT day if I could get two in one day.

We shot eastbounds for just under three hours: 20E, 20R, 24W, 24M, 18N and a couple of more that I don’t remember the symbol on.

The low man on the pole, or the crew with the most time left to work was M4N. It was sitting at a red board at CP 110 on Track 2 for the entire time we were there.

Grif entertained himself on the slides and ladders of the Tot Lot, stopping only to watch a train go by. He made three new friends who were there with their grandmother.

When the slides became old hat, they took one of Grif’s toy trucks, one a little bigger than a Matchbox, for those who remember Matchbox Cars, and were throwing it over the gym sets.

The first one to get over, under or around to the other side and find the truck got to throw it back over, and the race was on again . . . until they got the truck stuck in the tree.

About now the other kids had to leave. It was pushing 6 p.m.

Henry was convinced that the 66W was the next train but each time he was wrong. Still, he kept insisting.

“Cleveland Terminal to M4N. OK to start heading east; you’ll cross over at CP 107 after one more eastbound.”

The traffic jam was finally subsiding. We had not gotten any more updates about 25T since Enon Valley. Where was it?

As the M4N clumped by and 18N shot past him, Cleveland Terminal cleared up the situation.

“25T, take it easy down to CP 107; got an eastbound crossing over ahead of you. As soon as they clear, you’ll get a light to go west.”

“Hot &%$#”

We loaded up Grif’s toys and his bike that he brought with him and were ready for 25T. We were going to shoot it here and head to Olmsted Falls for another view.

Skies were partly cloudy, so sun wasn’t guaranteed. We had to rub our rabbit’s foots and four leaf clovers to, hopefully, get some luck.

“25T, Clear, CP 107”

Show time was just a few minutes away. We each picked out our spots. As the gates went down at Grace Street, the sun popped out. It would be a sunny shot.

The Erie roared past with its intermodal train in tow. We were off as soon as the last cars cleared the Glendale crossing. Olmsted Falls, here we come.

There had been no further updates on the 66W and we didn’t hear anything about it on the scanner, so what happened to it?

Did it go east on the Nickel Plate to Ashtabula and turn south for Conway there? Is it still around Rockport waiting for a fresh crew? We speculated as we drove west.

As we passed Rockport Yard and the Chicago Line, our questions were answered. They spun the power and the Central of Georgia was now on the lead.

I was hoping for a miracle now, two never before seen H Units in one day . . . wow! We got to the Falls, parked across from the depot and set up shop. We were ahead.

The 25T would be the only train we would see. It came past about 20 minutes after we arrived.

Going back toward the brother’s house, Henry suggested I stop on I-480 and shoot the 66W from the bridge. It would take a long telephoto, but I might get lucky.

Traffic was heavy on I-480 and I couldn’t get over fast enough to pull over on the bridge. They were still sitting there. Not a word was said about the 66W, so how long they were going to be there was anyone’s guess.

I dropped off the rest of the clan and headed home for dinner.

After dinner I had an idea. I needed to go to the airport post office, so I thought I’d check on the 66W’s progress, or lack thereof.

This time I would come up onto I-480 from the airport freeway, making the pull over onto the bridge over the Chicago Line much easier.

The 66W was still sitting there, but they were sitting short of the signal bridge at CP Max and the shadow of the signal bridge was on the C of G and they were a little too far away for my 300mm lens. It was a good idea that fizzled.

The radio finally crackled with chatter about the 66W. A fresh crew was aboard, but they were having trouble getting their marker linked up to the 8101 and other assorted problems.

They would not be departing any time soon, and the sun was now getting pretty low in the sky.

I called it a day at this point, happy about the Erie, but frustrated by the C. of Ga. Hopefully, I’ll have better luck next time.

Article by Marty Surdyk

Erie Heritage Unit Leads 22K

July 16, 2017

I saw on Saturday morning that Erie 1068 was on 22K. I had things to do and got home about 2 p.m. and, luckily,  it wasn’t by yet. I got it at 3:20 p.m. at the Painesville trestle. Each week it will be a different view with all the construction of the new bridge underway.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Colorful NS Motive Power Duo

September 15, 2016

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It wasn’t an all heritage locomotives consist, but Norfolk Southern train 64T had an unusual motive power consist when it passed through Northeast Ohio during the morning hours of Monday, Sept. 12.

Leading the train was the Erie Railroad heritage locomotive while the tailing unit was the DC to AC conversion No. 4000.

The same duo had led the train or tank cars westbound through the region last Saturday, but that was during early morning hours and NS 4000 had been leading.

Reports on HeritageUnits.com indicated that on Monday the 64T was reported at Alliance at 11:06 a.m.

No reports were made for the time that train passed through Cleveland.

Rich Thompson was able to get to Hines Hill Road near Macedonia to capture the 64T as it made its way east on the NS Cleveland Line.

Photographs by Richard Thompson

That Erie H Unit, DC-AC 4000 Conversion Unit Combination Made a Grand Sight in Pennsylvania

September 6, 2016

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You mentioned on the Akron Railroad Club blog the Erie Heritage unit of Norfolk Southern and DC to AC conversion unit No. 4000. My girlfriend caught the two together on Sunday. An engine train must have made a power swap between you and Cresson, Pennsylvania. The ethanol train you photographed was now being led by the Erie unit with the 4000 trailing.

Article by Jack Norris, Photographs by Starlene Van Dunk

Catching the Erie H Unit, Again

May 7, 2016

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There was a time when I was frustrated at my inability to catch the Erie heritage locomotive of Norfolk Southern.

When it was coming through Cleveland I was unable to get out to the tracks with my camera. I remember sitting at the Akron Railroad Club table at the Berea train show and seeing an HO model of the Erie heritage unit leading a train around a layout across the aisle. It was my first time “seeing” NS 1068.

I finally photographed the real thing, although it was the trailing the first time that I saw it in person. Then I got it leading a train into Bellevue last August, in an image was that all right, but not great.

Within the past month, the Erie heritage locomotive has been a regular visitor through Northeast Ohio on the 22K eastbound and the 23K westbound.

Sometimes it leads and sometimes it trails. If it goes east to Massachusetts leading, it will return leading.

But then it will go east and west in the trailing position, only to reverse course the next time through.

On a recent Saturday it was the leading east turn. I thought about going somewhere east of Cleveland to get it but for various reasons I wound up in Olmsted Falls instead.

It seems appropriate that trailing the two-tone green Erie tribute locomotive was a cut of green containers.

I could get used to a regular rotation featuring this heritage locomotive. You just don’t know how your luck might turn and something that seemed out of reach for so long suddenly become attainable.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Pair of Good Catches in Lake County

May 5, 2016

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Here are a couple of catches I’ve been able to make recently out in Lake County.

I was able to get Erie heritage locomotive No. 1068 last Saturday on 22K just moments before I left for work. The location is at Madison Avenue in Painesville.

On Wednesday morning I was able to get double heritage on a 45-minute late Amtrak No. 48.

I saw last night that the Amtrak exhibit train was going to be combined with the eastbound Lake Shore Limited.

No. 48 being slightly late helped Jeff Troutman and myself get excellent lighting at the new Shamrock Boulevard overpass just west of the Ohio Route 44 overpass.

Leading No. 48 was Phase IV heritage locomotive P42DC No. 184 followed by P40 N o. 822 and NPCU 406, a former F40PH. The latter two units wear the Phase III heritage livery.

The consist of the exhibit train was cars 10020, 10093, 10094, 10095 and 85999, followed by baggage 61032, Viewliner sleepers 62029,62035,62031, Heritage diner 8524, Amfleet lounge car 28004 and Amfleet II coaches 25065, 25117, 25107, 25008 and 25120.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Erie Heritage With the Erie H Unit in Cleveland

April 30, 2016

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The Erie Railroad heritage unit has been assigned to Norfolk Southern intermodal trains 22K and 23K for about a month now. Sometimes it leads, sometimes not, but until today (April 30), I had not been able to catch it.
One challenge in chasing H units is to somehow work in the actual railroad the heritage engine represents.

Catching the New York Central on the NYC or the Pennsylvania on the Pennsy is like a double bonus. Getting the Erie on the Erie is difficult to do in northeast Ohio.

But the 22K, which the Erie lea today, traverses the former Nickel Plate Road east of Cleveland and it passes former although now abandoned tracks that the Erie used.

The Cleveland Union Terminal hosted passenger trains from the NYC, Baltimore & Ohio, NKP and Erie.

This is appropriate as the Erie heritage is based on the two-tone green colors of Erie passenger engines and trains.

Another Erie connection is the Terminal Tower complex seen in the background. Passenger trains ended their run here but Erie also had its headquarters located in this complex.

The Erie at one time was a Van Sweringen road. The Van Sweringen brothers owned a consortium of railroads including the Nickel Plate, Erie, Chesapeake & Ohio and Pere Marquette.

They were also responsible for building the massive Terminal Tower complex, a Cleveland landmark.

Their intent was to merge these holdings into a giant rail system. Alas, these plans fell through and while Pere Marquette did merge with the C&O, the Nickel Plate and Erie went their separate ways.

I wonder how today’s rail network would look had this merger happened. It would likely have been a dominant player in the rail scene.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

My Only Snow Shot of the Season Was the Erie Heritage Locomotive on Painesville Trestle

April 12, 2016

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On Sunday after I got home from church I checked HeritageUnits.com and saw that Norfolk Southern 1068 — the Erie heritage unit — was on the 22K.

Here are my shots at 11:20 a.m. at the Painesville trestle. Actually, these are my only snow shots this season. Also, the trestle is much more visible at this time as compared to mid-summer like when Nickel Plate Road 765 came through last July.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

In This Case, Trail Equaled Triumph

December 23, 2014

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Of the thousands of photographs that have been made of the Erie heritage locomotive of Norfolk Southern, the three appearing on this page will not rank among the best.

In fact, they are likely to rank in the bottom quartile because they violate the cardinal rule of photographing NS H units: Trail Equals Fail.

Not only is NS 1068 trailing it is the middle of three units. That is about as desirable as sitting in middle seat on a long flight between two burly men on each side of you.

No way would I post these images on Trainorders.com.

About the only thing these images have going for them is that they are sharp, exposed well, feature nice composition and were made on a sunny day.

But these images having something that no other images of NS 1068 have. They are mine. They are the first images I’ve ever made of the Erie heritage unit.

Until this past Monday, NS 1068 was one of three NS heritage units I had not photographed and one of two that I had not seen.

The closest I’ve come to seeing the Erie H unit was an HO model pulling a train on a layout at the Berea train show this past October.

I don’t know how many times the Erie H unit has been through Northeast Ohio, but it is several. On none of those occasions was I able to get out to photograph or even watch it.

I never lost hope that someday I’d be in the right place at the right time and/or be able to get there.

But having hope and seeing what you wish for come to fruition are not the same thing.

My breakthrough came in an email message this past Monday saying that the NS 1068 was at Toledo at 7:30 a.m. on the 206, an intermodal train that takes the ex-Nickel Plate route east of Cleveland to Buffalo, N.Y.

It was a rare sunny day and I had time to get out. So off to Olmsted Falls I went.

It took the 206 a while to show up. Around 11 a.m. I thought I heard a radio transmission that said in part “NS 206.”

I made my way to the other side of the tracks and waited.

Until I actually saw it I couldn’t know for sure that I hadn’t missed it.

Like so many things in life, you want something for a long time and it seems as though it will never come or is out of reach.

Then one day when you are not expecting it the opportunity comes along.

I kept glancing down the tracks until finally a headlight appeared. Minutes later I could see green between the two black NS units. I was not going to be denied.

Months of frustration vanished into thin air. I saw and photographed the Erie heritage unit.

I wasn’t expecting to get a great shot. There is a reason for the “trail equals fail” bromide and there wasn’t anything I could do in Olmsted Falls to transform an average photo into a stellar one short of taking extraordinary methods that would require resources that I don’t have.

The 206 was really moving so my glimpse of the NS 1068 was brief.  I only saw it through my camera’s viewfinder.

Of course, I now want to get this thing leading a train. But who knows when that opportunity will come if it comes at all.

But I now have the NS 1068 in my collection. That leaves just the Central of Georgia and Conrail H units on my list of “yet to photograph.”  I’ve seen the former, but not the latter.

Five of the 18 H units that I’ve photographed were trailing so I only sort of have them.

There will be more missed opportunities and frustration in the pursuit of the final two and getting all of the “trailing 5” onto the lead.

But that is for another day. I want to savor the sweet taste of success at finally corralling the Erie H unit.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders