Posts Tagged ‘NS in Alliance Ohio’

Winter Day in Alliance

February 12, 2022

The 14N (left), 170 and an eastbound intermodal in Alliance.
Train 170 heading west.
Train 64N on the Alliance runner.
Train 6K4 taking the Cleveland single.  It would get a new crew about 7 p.m. then reverse back onto the mainline to continue east.

Last Saturday (Feb. 5) I spent the day in Alliance.

Upon arriving I found an eastbound intermodal sitting on Track No. 1 and another eastbound moving slowly on Track No. 2.

The reason for this soon became apparent as train 14N was sitting on Track 1 blocking every railroad crossing in town. It had broken several air hoses and had gone into emergency. 

Also sitting on Track 2 east of town was the 170 waiting to go west.  The slowly moving EB train was taking the runner track, a long siding for parking trains, to get around the 170.

After about an hour, the 14N was able to get moving and continue east; However it would need a new crew before reaching Conway.

Once the 14N cleared, the 170 was able to continue west. The 170 takes the Fort Wayne line to Canton and 14N was blocking his move.

The 170 crew was also on short time and ended up tying down at Freshley Road west of town.

Other trains had backed up behind the 14N including 64N an oil or ethanol train.

This train then took the Alliance runner previously used by the intermodal and tied down to wait for a  new crew. 

A little later train 6K4, another oil or ethanol, took the Cleveland single and tied down on the Mahoning siding south of town. 

An empty coal train came an hour or so later, which picked up this crew.  The 6K4 had a GP38-3 leading some Canadian National engines, which was interesting.

Another train that I had hoped to get was the 171 which had the Virginian heritage unit.  Alas it sat in Canton all afternoon before getting a new crew and going through Alliance about 5 p.m.  I had left by then. 

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Hanging Out With NS in Alliance

February 26, 2021

Under normal circumstances the Akron Railroad Club would be holding its February meeting tonight. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic the club won’t be meeting. In fact it last met in February 2020 and who knows when the next meeting will be.

In past years I sometimes would drive to Alliance on the afternoon of ARRC meetings and spend a couple hours watching NS trains there.

In late afternoon I’d put the camera and scanner away and head north out of town and eventually west on Interstate 76, stopping for dinner at the Cracker Barrel in Ravenna or the Bob Evans on Gilchrist Road in Akron right around the corner from the club’s meeting site.

Shown above is an eastbound headed by SD70 No. 2563. The train is about to take the connection from the Cleveland Line to the Fort Wayne Line as it continues its trip toward Pittsburgh.

This locomotive was built for Conrail and Chris Toth’s NS locomotive website reports it has since been retired.

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

Empty Table

November 14, 2018

Alliance is a good place to watch Norfolk Southern action because it is the junction of two mainlines.

Most of the traffic through Alliance transitions from the Cleveland Line to the Fort Wayne Line or vice versa.

Few moves take the Fort Wayne Line straight through town. Even rarer are trains going to and from the Cleveland line east of Alliance via Bayard.

Shown is eastbound intermodal train 24M making the transition from the Cleveland Line to the Fort Wayne Line.

I made this image before an Akron Railroad Club meeting and because it was winter I was the only railfan present at the time.

Out of the Ordinary Sighting in Alliance

May 9, 2018

It was about time to leave after spending a few hours on a Friday afternoon in Alliance.

But the 12V was coming and I decided to stay around for it because it was coming east on the Fort Wayne Line.

I had heard some chatter on the radio from the Cleveland Line dispatcher about a helper set tying on to the head end of the 12V and then going to Conway Yard near Pittsburgh.

The helper set was on the Alliance runner and I figured the 12V could cross the Cleveland Line at the diamond and continue east on the Fort Wayne Line.

Instead, the 12V made the turn and went from the Fort Wayne Line to the Cleveland Line and would be going to Conway by way of Bayard.

Leading the 12V were a pair of Union Pacific locomotives. It is not unheard of for foreign power to lead a train into Alliance.

If the train goes from the Fort Wayne Line to the Cleveland Line and out of town toward Bayard, there is no need for a lead unit with cab signals.

I can only recall seeing a train go around the connection from the Cleveland Line to the Fort Wayne Line and that was during an Akron Railroad Club outing in August 2005 when a work train did it.

Quite an Interesting History

May 5, 2018

I was in Alliance recently and found this Sperry Rail Service car sitting in the remains of the yard across from the former Pennsylvania Railroad station.

Some Sperry rail cars began life as passenger cars and No. 136 proved to be one of those.

It was built by Brill in 1928 as a doodlebug for the New York Central, which gave it roster designation M-11. It joined the Sperry fleet in April 1948.

Its appearance has changed over the years as has the technology used to inspect track.

SRS 136 never moved an inch during the three hours or so that I spent in Alliance.

Just this past week I saw a Sperry Rail Car in action on CSX in Berea headed eastbound. It was dark and I didn’t catch the roster number of the car.

Some Wheeling & Lake Erie in Alliance

March 9, 2018

Alliance is a Norfolk Southern town. But on a Friday afternoon before an Akron Railroad Club meeting I found a bit of the Wheeling & Lake Erie there.

Shown is one of the many W&LE hopper cars on NS train 424, which is headed toward Bayard on the original Cleveland Line.

It would not go very far. The Cleveland Line dispatcher instructed the crew to pull into the Mahoning siding and wait for a westbound.

I never saw the westbound as I had left to go have dinner and then attend the ARRC meeting.

Way Too Early for Amtrak

February 28, 2018

It would be nice to be able to use the Amtrak station signs in Alliance to frame the Capitol Limited arriving into the station.

But No. 29 is scheduled in at 1:39 a.m. and No. 30 at 3:05 a.m. Given Amtrak’s habit of being tardy at intermediate stations, it probably doesn’t happen often that either train arrives at exactly those times.

I’ve yet to be in Alliance railfanning in the middle of the night and I’ve never had any luck getting Amtrak arriving in Alliance several hours late.

So framing a Norfolk Southern westbound stack train at the Amtrak station is the next best thing.

These images were made on the afternoon of the January Akron Railroad Club meeting.

Getting His Train on Video

November 27, 2017

Akron Railroad Club member Tom Kendra keeps on eye on Norfolk Southern eastbound intermodal train 26W as it rolls through Alliance.

Tom was railfanning in Alliance on the afternoon of the November ARRC meeting.

The lone GE ET44AC is plenty of power to pull the short intermodal train toward Pittsburgh on the Fort Wayne Line.

Look Ma, No Wide Cabs

November 21, 2017

Wide cab locomotives are ubiquitous on North America’s Class 1 Railroads. It is not necessarily rare to see a motive power consist with one or more narrow-cab locomotives, but it is not common either.

Hence, I stood up and took notice when NS C80 showed up in Alliance with three narrow cab units. It was a light power move and I’m not sure why this power was in town.

The locomotives came in on Track 2, stopped west of the home signal for CP Alliance, and then moved onto the runner before vanishing off to the east.

After the crew tied the units down, it was picked up by a crew van whose driver had a tough time finding the crew even with the assistance of a GPS.

The individual units have some interesting history behind them. All three were on the Conrail motive power roster with two of them having been built for CR.

RP-E4C No. 712 was rebuilt by NS from a GP38 that was built for Penn Central. SD40E No. 6347 was rebuilt from an SD50 built for Conrail. In the middle of the consist was GP40-2 No. 3014.