Posts Tagged ‘NS Fairport Harbor branch’

Super Sunday Memory

February 13, 2022

For a few years in the decade of the 2010s. Ed Ribinskas, Marty Surdyk and myself got together during the winter for a day railfanning in Lake County. Some of those outings occurred on Super Bowl Sunday. It wasn’t planned that way. It just happened.

Perhaps the most memorable of those Super Bowl Sunday outings occurred on Feb. 2, 2014. It had rained the day before and then snowed overnight. The result was some of the most beautiful winter conditions I’ve seen during a railfan photo outing. Nearly everything was coated in snow and it stayed that way throughout the day.

CSX was rather busy on that 2014 Sunday. It was the height of the crude oil by rail boom from the Bakken Formation of North Dakota and Montana. Several of the trains we photographed were tank car trains led by BNSF motive power. Let me tell you pumpkins look good in the snow.

But today I am spotlighting an image made early during our outing. Marty had picked me up at my house and we had just picked up Ed at his house in Painesville. We were on our way to the CSX crossing at Bowhall Road when we crossed the former Painesville, Fairport & Eastern.

This is now a Norfolk Southern branch line to Fairport Harbor to serve a chemical plant and, perhaps, a few other customers.

I probably made this image by rolling down the driver’s side window and getting some grab shots as we crossed the tracks, which are now known as the Fairport Industrial Track. You will note in the image above milepost 3, which is measured from Perry where the ex-FP&E connects with the NS Lake Erie District.

At one time the FP&E extended beyond Perry to Unionville but that track is now gone.

As nice a setting as the ex-FP&E line is at Bowhall Road was, I knew the odds of getting a train here were slim to none because the local out of Conneaut that serves the branch didn’t run on Sunday. So I made a few photographs on the fly and we continued on to a busier rail line.

The Artistry of Winter on the Rails

March 8, 2013

The trains have blown most of the snow off the tracks, but there is enough left on the CSX Cleveland-Buffalo line to make things interesting. Note the shadows in the distance and the signals of CP 148.

The trains have blown most of the snow off the tracks, but there is enough left on the CSX Cleveland-Buffalo line to make things interesting. The shadows in the distance are shrouding the signals of CP 148 west of Perry.

Trains battling their way through the worst of winter weather conditions can make for some powerful images. We all admire photographs of trains blowing misty clouds of snow or showing snow caked to locomotive noses and wheel sets after having plowed through miles of the deep white stuff.

Yet winter conditions also offer rare beauty when the trains are not around. Take a look at the patterns of snow on the rails after the trains have passed.

There’s an artistry here that invites you to spend some time studying the scene and letting your imagination work a little bit.

Shown here are a number of images that I captured in a short period of time near the crossings of CSX and Norfolk Southern at Lane Road in Lake County in early February.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Snow clings to the westward faces of the utility poles lining the NS branch to Fairport Harbor.The next train over this line won't be until the next day.

Snow clings to the westward faces of the utility poles lining the NS branch to Fairport Harbor.The next train over this line won’t be until the next day.

The crossing gate signal at Lane Road casts a shadow over the NS tracks..

The same clouds that brought lake effect snow today also created intereting patterns as they broke up a bit while moving over the area.The view is looking west toward Fairport Harbor.

The same clouds that brought lake effect snow today also created intereting patterns as they broke up a bit while moving over the area.The view is looking west toward Fairport Harbor.

Snow covered rails reach toward the horizon as they await the next train to come and brush the snow off the tracks. Until then, I took the time to enjoy nature's winter beauty.

Snow covered rails reach toward the horizon as they await the next train to come and brush the snow off the tracks. The CSX main is visible to the far right. No snow covered rails there.