Posts Tagged ‘NS Fort Wayne Line’

Wabash H Unit Leads NS OCS

November 15, 2020

Norfolk Southern’s executive train made a pass through Northeast Ohio on Saturday led by the Wabash heritage locomotive.

It traveled the Fort Wayne Line and reported by Crestline at 7:32 a.m. and Orrville at 12:38 p.m.

The six-car train was headed back to its home base in Altoona, Pennsylvania, where it arrived around 11 p.m.

It is shown above passing through Canton.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

When the Pennsylvanian Saw Daylight in Northeast Ohio

November 15, 2020

I enjoyed the few years that Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian ran through Ohio in the late 1990s to early 2000s.

I rode from Cleveland at least twice with family members to Harrisburg and return.

I also rode to Altoona, twice to Pittsburgh and several times just to Alliance. When I wasn’t riding I would be trackside to photograph, make video or just watch.

Here are some of my favorite trackside images of the Pennsylvanian in Ohio.

In the top image, the westbound train is arriving in Alliance where a group of us will board to return to Cleveland during an Akron Railroad Club outing on May 16, 1999.

Next up is a westbound at Hines Hill Road in Hudson on July 25, 1999, followed by the eastbound passing the former Pennsylvania Railroad station in Sebring on Sept. 9, 2001.

In the final image of the sequence, Marty Surdyk introduced me to the Garfield sag after we caught the Pennsylvanian  in Sebring on Sept. 9.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Autumn in the Trench

October 30, 2020

It’s an early November day in Pittsburgh. An eastbound Norfolk Southern manifest freight is passing beneath a dramatic canopy of green and gold gingko tree leaves in West Park.

This section of the Fort Wayne Line is also known as the trench and is a favorite of railroad photographers, particularly when those gingko trees turn colors in the fall.

As nice as this image is, it could have been better. In another week or less all the remaining leaves will have turned gold and the falling leaves will leave a golden carpet on the four-track mainline.

But my window of opportunity to photograph here was limited to the weekend. Still, I was pleased with my results.

Eastbound at Mace

October 15, 2020

An eastbound Norfolk Southern tank car train rattles the switches at Mace interlocking on the west side of Massillon.

The Fort Wayne Line crosses the R.J. Corman here although the interlocking is structured so that Corman trains move through on a series of switches rather than on a diamond.

The image was made on Nov. 25, 2015.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

2 For Tuesday Heritage Units in Alliance

September 22, 2020

It is not common to see Union Pacific heritage locomotives in Northeast Ohio.

Of course Norfolk Southern heritage units are regular visitors to the region given that it is served by one of the railroad’s busiest main lines.

But to get two heritage locomotives of different railroads in the same place on the same day is quite a feat.

In the top image, the Norfolk Southern H unit of NS is shown headed westbound through Alliance on Nov. 16, 2015.

On that same day another NS westbound had the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (a.k.a. as the Katy) heritage locomotive in the motive power consist.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

New Symbols on the NS Fort Wayne Line

July 27, 2020

Railroading is constantly changing with traffic patterns constantly evolving for a variety of reasons.

Many of the railroads serving Lake Erie used to carry iron ore from the docks to the steel mills.  Most of this traffic has dried up as the mills have closed.  Some of this change is by the railroads themselves as they try to become more efficient.

Today’s example is Norfolk Southern train 13Q.  This train and counterpart 14Q run from Conway Yard near Pittsburgh to Elkhart, Indiana, although not on the direct route through Cleveland and Toledo.

Instead they run via Mansfield, Bellevue and Fort Wayne, an interesting routing for sure.

They replace trains 12V and 15V which ran Bellevue to Conway and serving Mansfield and Canton along the way.

The new trains also serve Mansfield and Canton but no longer originate or terminate in Bellevue as NS is diverting traffic from that terminal.

Just a few years ago Norfolk Southern expanded the yard at Bellevue expending tremendous amounts of capital in the process.

With the new pattern of operations that money probably could have been saved or spent elsewhere but that is the way of the corporate world railroads included.

Anyhow I caught the first movement of the new 13Q at Attica, Ohio, with the Savannah & Atlanta Heritage unit leading.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Eastbound in Alliance

June 24, 2020

The photographer is standing to the east of the Amtrak station in Alliance at the far end of the interlocking.

NS 9255 leads an eastbound on the morning of Oct. 14, 2016, onto the Fort Wayne Line.

The interlocking controls moves between the Fort Wayne Line and Cleveland Line, which accounts for the majority of movements in Alliance.

The signal heads with the letter “C” on them are for trains whose lead unit is not equipped with working cab signals.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

The Classic Alliance Pose

May 26, 2020

If you hang around the Amtrak station in Alliance to watch trains on the Fort Wayne Line and Cleveland Line of Norfolk Southern you probably have several images similar to the one above.

The image above shows an eastbound on the Cleveland line taking the connection to the Fort Wayne Line to continue its journey toward Pittsburgh.

This particular image was made on May 19, 2012, but the scene is timeless.

Photograph by Robert Farkas


AAO Protests NS Ft. Wayne Line Changes

April 17, 2020

All Aboard Ohio is trying to drum up public opposition to the plans of Norfolk Southern to remove some of the double track on its Fort Wayne Line in Ohio.

The rail passenger agency is protesting NS’s recent move to route tank car trains off the Fort Wayne Line and onto lines that pass through more populous areas, including Cleveland and Toledo.

NS rerouted the trains carrying crude oil and ethanol on April 7.

A month earlier it filed papers with the Federal Railroad Administration seeking approval to remove 33 miles of double track in three segments between Crestline and Alliance.

AAO said the tank car trains not only operate through more populous areas, but mix with and operate next to Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited, as well as Cleveland Regional Transit Authority trains.

In a statement published on its website, AAO cited instances in which trains carrying hazardous materials have derailed, caught fire and exploded, and resulted in the evacuation of hundreds from their homes.

The statement also suggested that such incidents could endanger waterways and drinking water sources, including Lake Erie.

AAO said the City of Cleveland and other local governments are considering resolutions that would urge that all hazardous materials shipments by whatever mode of transportation not originating or terminating in their communities be moved to less populous routings wherever and whenever physically possible.

The advocacy group described the Fort Wayne Line as the only route NS has that bypasses Greater Cleveland and northern Ohio.

It also said the Fort Wayne Line is NS’s only reliever route between Chicago and Pittsburgh.

“Resolutions and letters of opposition to NS’s actions and proposed actions should be forwarded to Norfolk Southern Corp. (c/o Marque Ledoux, vice president, government relations), the Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Surface Transportation Board, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Ohio Rail Development Commission, appropriate members of Congress, as well as Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, plus all appropriate members of the Ohio General Assembly,” AAO said.

Tank Trains Routed Off Ft. Wayne Line

April 13, 2020

Norfolk Southern earlier this month began routing crude oil and ethanol trains off the Fort Wayne Line in favor of other routes that will take them through Cleveland.

An online report indicated that NS rerouted the trains to avoid making trackage rights payments to the Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern, which operates the Fort Wayne Line in northern Indiana and western Ohio.

NS also said it wanted to solve crew balancing problems with the divergence of loaded and empty routings.

The tank car trains began using the Fort Wayne line around 2014 when congestion on the Chicago Line brought traffic to a near standstill at times.

The trains used the CF&E to and from Chicago via Fort Wayne, Indiana.

These trains sometimes operated with motive power from the originating railroad, hence the need to have an NS lead unit equipped with cab signals for travel east of Cleveland.

The current operating plan is to route the tank car trains via Bellevue where they will receive locomotives equipped with cab signals.

Between Chicago and Bellevue, these trains can be routed either via Fort Wayne on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline or to Toledo on the Chicago and thence to Bellevue on the Toledo District via Oak Harbor and Fremont.

After receiving a cab signal equipped locomotive in Bellevue, the tanker trains will operate on the former NKP to Vermillion and take the connection to the Chicago Line.

It is thought that trains leaving Chicago with solid NS motive power consist can take the Chicago Line between Chicago and Cleveland.

The empty tank cars will operate on the reverse routes via Bellevue.

In the past, eastbound tank car trains using the Chicago Line have sometimes added cab signal equipped NS units at Berea siding or near Rockport Yard in Cleveland.

This practice is expected to continue if Bellevue lacks a cab signal equipped unit for a particular train.

The Fort Wayne Line was at one time the former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline between Chicago and Pittsburgh. It runs in Ohio through Bucyrus, Crestline, Mansfield, Wooster, Orrville, Massillon and Canton.

East of Alliance, the Fort Wayne Line is a busy railroad handling NS traffic off the Chicago Line at Cleveland that is bound for Pittsburgh and points east.

West of Alliance the Fort Wayne Line has far less traffic, including manifest freights that operate Conway Yard-Bellevue and Conway Yard-Chattanooga, Tennsessee. There is also a local between Canton and Mansfield.

Trains affected include the 66R, 66X and 66Z, which traditionally have originated on, respectively, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific and BNSF.