Posts Tagged ‘NS in Olmsted Falls’

Good Timing

April 3, 2018

One of the the most frustrating things that can happen is when an auto rack trains on a double or triple track mainline and is on the track closest to you.

It means that anything that passes on other track(s) is going to be blocked from view.

It has happened to me numerous times in Berea over the years, particularly when a CSX auto rack train blocks the view of something going by on Norfolk Southern.

You know it is your day, though, when just as the auto rack train clears your position you can see something else coming.

That isn’t quite what happened here, but the auto rack train cleared before the stack train passed the depot in Olmsted Falls on the NS Chicago Line.

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Still Some Snow Left

March 16, 2018

There was still some snow left in Olmsted Falls when I made this image of an eastbound stack train rolling down Track No. 2 of the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.

The snow that remained was primarily in area that are cast in shadows for much of the day.

I didn’t catch the train symbol but it might be train 206, which operates via the former Nickel Plate Road mainline between Cleveland and Buffalo, New York.

The 206 originates in Chicago at the 47th Street terminal and terminates in Buffalo.

 

There Will Be a Brief Delay

February 24, 2018

The new crew was on board and ready to head west out of the Berea siding in Olmsted Falls.

They called the Toledo West Dispatcher and got the OK to take ’em west.

There would, though, be a slight delay at CP 197. The dispatcher had given higher priority to a westbound stack train that is shown catching up to the rear of the departing manifest on the Berea siding.

The delay would be brief and the manifest would follow the stack train on Track No. 1.

Looks Like We Got Ourselves a Convoy

January 19, 2018

I was railfanning in Olmsted Falls on a Friday afternoon last year when an eastbound Norfolk Southern manifest freight came rolling by.

Tucked into the consist were several flats cars of military equipment. On occasion you’ll find a dedicated military train, but you also are liable to find military equipment being moved on regular trains as was the case on this day.

I have no idea where this equipment originated or where it was going. Maybe it received special handling and maybe NS treated it as nothing more than another load of freight.

But it made for something out of the ordinary to see amid the usual parade of intermodal trains, unit trains and manifest freights.

Red and Orange in Olmsted Falls

December 29, 2017

NS train 60E not only has a Canadian National leader, it is a narrow cab one to boot.

You  can pretty much count on most trains passing through Olmsted Falls on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern having NS locomotives on the lead.

That’s because most of the traffic is going to or coming from the Cleveland Line, which has cab signals. Most foreign locomotives are not equipped with a cab signal device compatible with the Cleveland Line.

One exception to this NS-only locomotives rule is trains going to or coming from the Cleveland District toward Buffalo, New York. They diverge by Rockport Yard and don’t need a unit on the point with cab signal capability.

On occasion a train will come in with a foreign unit and be shunted into the Berea siding to await a cab signal equipped leader to come out and hook on.

So when you get the chance to photograph a train on the Chicago Line in the Falls with foreign power leading, better grab it.

My Shortest Day Outing

December 22, 2017

CSX crude oil train K048 has a pair of BNSF units and a badly faded Union Pacific motor as it passes westbound NS manifest freight 309 in Berea.

NS local B14 heads west to do some work in Olmsted Falls. It is shown passing through Berea.

It’s the westbound manifest freight 35N with a standard NS motive power consist as it slices through Olmsted Falls en route from Conway Yard near Pittsburgh to Decatur, Illinois.

For several years the Akron Railroad Club has had a tradition of holding a “longest day” outing in June, usually on a Sunday after the summer solstice.

I’ve often thought if we have a longest day outing why not have a shortest day outing.

However, the winter solstice falls in December just before Christmas when winter weather is a good possibility. The ARRC is in slumber mode for most of December.

Undeterred by that, I held a “shortest day” outing of my own on Wednesday in Berea and Olmsted Falls.

The actual winter solstice was on Thursday, but I had a doctor’s appointment that day and other plans for the afternoon.

Besides, the weather was better on Wednesday with mostly sunny skies and mild temperatures. Maybe I should have put the word “mild” in quotation marks because some might question whether temperatures in the 30s qualify as mild.

But coming on the heels of a week with temperatures in the teens and wind chills in the low single digits, it felt downright balmy outside.

I didn’t spend as much time trackside as I would on a longest day outing. I got to Berea about 10:30 a.m. just as a westbound intermodal train was passing through on Norfolk Southern.

A few minutes later an eastbound stack train came roaring through on CSX.

By the time the 11 o’clock hour arrived, I had seen five trains. Four more came past before noon.

Then things died on both railroad lines. I wouldn’t see another train until 1 p.m. By then I had shifted to Olmsted Falls, primarily because with the wind out of the north that meant aircraft landing at Cleveland Hopkins Airport would landing to the northeast.

On the rails, nothing out of the ordinary came by. It was the usual mix of intermodal trains with a couple of crude oil trains thrown in and a pair of manifest freights on NS.

Aside from a pair of BNSF units leading a CSX eastbound crude oil train, the motive power was the same old, same old. No NS heritage units were anywhere in the picture.

In all, I spotted 16 trains, although that number rises to 17 if I double count NS local B14, which I saw twice. Both times it had one locomotive and three boxcars.

I had to leave just after 3 p.m. because of an obligation at home. On the whole, it was a nice day.

See the Train, Mommy

December 21, 2017

A mother and her young son watch the approaching steel coil train 60W in Olmsted Falls on a late September day. The woman and her two children spent time train watching before moving on to other things. Notice that her other child is watching the train from the rear of the vehicle.

Let Those Stackers Roll

December 20, 2017

Stacker is a term that some railfans use to describe a double-stacked container train. These trains are ubiquitous on all Class 1 North American railroads although they are more common on some lines rather than others.

If stack trains are your passion, you would do well to spend time along the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern in Olmsted Falls.

Unlike such routes as the CSX New Castle Subdivision, which has just one pair of stack trains a day through Northeast Ohio,  there are a dozen or more stack trains on the NS Chicago Line.

If you spend any amount of time on the Chicago Line no matter the time of day you’ll will see a stack train go by eventually.

Most of the stack trains on the Chicago line are bound for or coming from Chicago. Some will run through as interchange trains with other railroads while others will originate or terminate in the Windy City.

Although stack trains tend to have a uniform appearance, there is some variation in the colors and markings of the containers hauled on the trains.

And I’ve always wondered what was in those containers. Probably just about anything you can imagine that moves by rail.

The Almost Always Reliable L13

December 6, 2017

If you hang out in Olmsted Falls or Berea in the afternoon, chances are you’re going to see the Norfolk Southern rain L13. Sure, there is a fleet of other regularly scheduled trains that you can count on seeing during the afternoon hours, but those are primarily intermodal trains with fairly standard consists.

The L13 is a Bellevue to Rockport Yard turn. It typically arrives in Cleveland in late afternoon and departs in early evening. During the summer months you can catch it going both directions in daylight.

On occasion the crew will run out of time and the L13 won’t return to Bellevue until the next morning.

The consist of the L13 can vary widely. I’ve seen it running light and I’ve seen it with enough cars to appear to be a regular manifest freight.

For a good part of this year, the L13 had one or more “triclops” units for power. Those are SD60M units that were built for Burlington Northern and feature a unique looking three-piece windshield.

The rendition of L13 shown here doesn’t have triclops in the motive power consist, but it does seem to nearly as many locomotives as freight cars. Some of the units may might be being ferried to Rockport for assignment.

By the Glint’s Late Day Light

December 4, 2017

I had a trunk load of railfan magazines to convey to Marty Surdyk to be sold at trains shows at which the Akron Railroad Club has a table.

We arranged to exchange the magazines one evening last summer in Olmsted Falls, which is a favorite railfanning haunt for both of us.

After transferring the magazines, we settled in to do some evening railfanning. I had brought my tripod to try some night photography.

But before you get to darkness you get to that time when the low sun angle makes for some nice glint lighting.

Of course you need a train to show up when the light is just right to go glint hunting.

On this evening NS cooperated by sending eastbound manifest freight 16G at just the right time. As a bonus, the Norfolk Southern heritage locomotive was on the lead.

Strictly speaking, the going away shot of the NS 8114 below is not a glint shot. But I liked it and included it in the gallery because it is part of the story.