Posts Tagged ‘NS in Orrville Ohio’

Fort Wayne Line Memories

April 9, 2020

An eastbound Conrail RoadRailer train approaches the diamonds with the Indianapolis Line in Crestline on Sept. 12, 1998.

The news that Norfolk Southern plans to reduce the infrastructure of its Fort Wayne Line between Alliance and Crestline brought back a lot of memories of the trains I over the years on that route.

That sent me into my photo collection where I discovered I had a surprisingly wide variety of trains and types of motive power.

I say surprising because the Fort Wayne Line has not often been a place where I’ve spent a lot of time, particularly west of Alliance.

East of Alliance the Fort Wayne Line is a busy railroad hosting a extensive assortment of NS traffic operating between the Midwest and East Coast.

But west of Alliance is another story. It was a moderately busy place in the Conrail era because traffic coming east from Columbus, Indianapolis and St. Louis joined the Fort Wayne Line at Crestline.

But after NS and CSX split Conrail, traffic on the Fort Wayne line plummeted.

It wasn’t always that way. The Fort Wayne Line was a principal freight and passenger artery to Chicago for the Pennsylvania Railroad, hosting many of the railroad’s Blue Ribbon fleet passenger trains.

Conrail downgraded the Fort Wayne Line west of Crestline in the late 1980s, a move that sent Amtrak’s Broadway Limited and Capitol Limited onto other routes in November 1990.

I first experienced the Fort Wayne Line on June 12, 1995, during the Orrville Railroad Days festival.

Conrail would send a locomotive to display and you could visit the cab.

The Orrville Railroad Heritage Society would operate track cars and a passenger train on a siding that was the original Wheeling & Erie mainline before the Orrville bypass was constructed.

You could count on seeing a few Conrail freights pass during the late morning hours.

I got lucky during the June 1998 festival and caught the rear head end of an eastbound W&LE train passing over the top of the rear of an eastbound Conrail manifest freight on the west side of Orrville.

I got even luckier by scoring cab rides twice in the battered F unit the ORHS used to pull the excursion train during that era.

During the final years of Conrail I got out with Dan Davidson to railfan the Fort Wayne Line and we nabbed some good photographs of Big Blue in Crestline and Orrville.

The railroad days festival later moved to August and one year the Akron Railroad Club had a table at a train show held in a pole barn owned by a lumber company.

By then NS owned the Fort Wayne Line and trains were far fewer in number so my forays there were limited to outings when I knew something out of the ordinary was coming.

The Fort Wayne Line was among the favorites of the late ARRC member Richard Jacobs, who lived not far from in Apple Creek.

Jake was active in the ORHS and spent a lot of time in Orrville. He therefore knew when the locals could be expected to arrive.

Jake and I twice photographed the NS locals in Orrville and caught an R.J. Corman train on the Fort Wayne Line once.

Corman uses the Fort Wayne Line to reach its isolated operation in Wooster, a remnant of a former Baltimore & Ohio secondary line, where it serves a Frito Lay plant.

Fellow ARRC member Paul Woodring and I also caught the NS local in Orrville in June 2008 when it had a caboose. Or should I say it had a shoving platform?

Paul and I would railfan the Fort Wayne Line four years later when we chased a ferry move of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

We picked up the chase in Massillon where I recreated a scene that the late ARRC member Robert Redmond had made decades earlier of a westbound PRR steam train coming off the fabled curved bridge over the Tuscarawas River.

Getting the NKP 765 in the same location was tough because by the time it arrived I was photographing right into the sun. But I got the shot.

We later captured the 765 east of Mansfield and at North Robinson passing a pair of classic Pennsy position light signals.

I photographed a number of noteworthy visitors to the Fort Wayne Line over the years.

There was the NS executive train on April 30, 2011, as it made its way to the Kentucky Derby with the F units that have since been sold.

I chased it with Roger Durfee, getting it at Maximo and Orrville.

Then there was Bennett Levin’s Pennsylvania Railroad E8A Nos. 5711 and 5809, which were headed back to Philadelphia after pulling a private car special during the Dennison railroad festival on the Ohio Central in August 2004.

And there was the time during the 2016 ARRC picnic in Warwick Park in Clinton when we learned that the NS Pennsylvania Railroad heritage locomotive was leading eastbound manifest freight 12V.

We followed its progress on social media throughout the day and several of us headed for Massillon in late afternoon to get it.

I chose to catch NS 8102 splitting the PRR position light signals at CP Mace. It just might be my favorite Fort Wayne Line photograph made west of Alliance.

NS increased its use of the Fort Wayne Line around 2014 by diverting some crude oil and ethanol trains that had been using the Chicago Line.

Thinking there might be enough increased traffic to make a day outing worthwhile I drove to Orrville one Saturday morning on a photo safari.

The day got off to a promising start when an eastbound crude oil train with helpers on the rear came through shortly after I arrived.

I heard the crew of that train talking on the radio to another train, which I presumed was in Massillon meeting the tanker train at CP Mace, where the Fort Wayne Line becomes single track to Orrville.

However, it would be an hour before that westbound, a coal train, showed up.

Once it passed through it would be four hours before another train came along, an eastbound crude oil train.

It was a good thing I brought plenty of magazines to read.

None of the four regular manifest freights that use the Fort Wayne Line through Orrville showed up during my time there on this day.

My last photo outing to the Fort Wayne Line was more productive. On Sept. 3, 2016, Adam Barr and I had gone to Alliance to railfan but got word that the Southern heritage unit was leading a westbound coal train over the Fort Wayne Line and would meet the 64T at Mace.

The 64T was being led by a Union Pacific unit and had the Erie heritage unit trailing.

We drove over there and caught both trains as planned. A bonus was a northbound R.J. Corman train waiting to cross at Mace.

It couldn’t get much better than that.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

You could always count on seeing some Conrail action in late morning in June during the Orrville Railroad Days festival. In a view made from Orr Tower a westbound RoadRailer comes through town.

The late Richard Jacobs and I caught the NS local working in Orrville on a couple of occasions including November 2010 when it was backing off the Fort Wayne Line and onto a remnant of the former Cleveland, Akron & Columbus line.

En route to see the thoroughbreds run in the Kentucky Derby, another thoroughbred strikes a classic pose in Maximo on April 30, 2011.

A touch of the Pennsy passes a former PRR passenger station in Orrville as Bennett Levin’s E8A locomotives return to Philadelphia.

It may be trailing but at least I caught the Erie Railroad heritage locomotive at CP Mace.

This just might be my favorite photograph that I’ve made on the Fort Wayne Line. The Pennsylvania Railroad heritage unit leads the 12V at CP Mace in Massillon.

The lighting was tough but I managed to recreate with Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 an image similar to one made of a Pennsy steam locomotive by Bob Redmond leading a train west from the curved bridge in Massillon.

NS Action in Orrville

February 22, 2020

The late Richard Jacobs often photographed Norfolk Southern trains in and around Orrville.

Jake lived not far from there so Orrville and Sterling were in his backyard.

Bob Farkas has been picking up where Jake left off in keeping us reminded of the railroads of Wayne County.

Here is a series of images that he created on Feb. 19 in Orrville, which was once the junction of two Pennsylvania Railroad lines, including the branch that ran through Akron between Hudson and Columbus.

In the top image is eastbound manifest freight 12V.

The middle and bottom images were made of the local that works in Orrville.

The middle image shows the local going westbound past one of the few ex-PRR position light signals left on the Fort Wayne Line.

In the bottom image, the local has passed but it motive power on both ends in this view looking westward in downtown Orrville.

Notice the Orrville Union Station, the ex-PRR interlocking tower, and the ex-PRR cabin car in the far left background.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Waiting on Switch Repairs in Orrville

October 15, 2019

Norfolk Southern local CO6 is shown above with GP38-2 Nos. 5208 and 5321 sitting on the far east end of the industrial park trackage in Orrville on Oct. 9.

A maintainer had been called to fix the switch at the other end of this trackage so the CO6 could enter the mainline, reverse, and head east.

This industrial park trackage is the last remaining part of the now-removed line that ran from Warwick to Orrville and was once known as the Cleveland, Akron & Columbus.

After the maintainer had fixed the switch, the CO6 backed onto the main, reversed directions, and left Orrville to return to Canton.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

 

 

 

Catching NS on the Fort Wayne Line in Orrville

July 12, 2019

Traffic on Norfolk Southern’s Fort Wayne Line through Orrville, Ohio, can be hit and a lot of miss.

It’s a secondary line for NS that doesn’t have as much traffic as the route did during the Conrail era.

Recently, Bob Farkas was able to catch some NS action in Orrville. The top image and the one immediately below the text were made on June 12, 2019.

Note that the former Pennsylvania Railroad position light signals are still standing.

The day before that, he caught NS No. 6307 leading a westbound through Orrville.

That same day he also photographed another eastbound passing the PRR position signals as well as the former Union Depot, which is now the headquarters of the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society.

 

 

 

 

C27 Leaving Orrville on a Sunny Afternoon

March 26, 2015
NS 5827 leads the C27 Orrville local onto the Fort Wayne line from the former CA&C on March 25, 2015.

NS 5827 leads the C27 Orrville local onto the Fort Wayne line from the former CA&C on March 25, 2015.

I stopped trackside in Orrville on my way to supper. The Norfolk Southern C27 local was leaving the Orrville Secondary (former CA&C) after switching Smuckers. It looked nice in the afternoon sun.

Photograph by Richard Jacobs

NS Making Additions in Orrville

July 13, 2013
A new Norfolk Southern office building takes shape next to the Fort Wayne line at CP-ORR on June 14, 2013. The ORHS 1868 depot is across the way.

A new Norfolk Southern office building takes shape next to the Fort Wayne line at CP-ORR on June 14, 2013. The ORHS 1868 depot is across the way.

Norfolk Southern has two things happening in Orrville.

Smuckers has added a new railroad car unloading facility for tank cars containing oil and fruit that is essentially a clean rom.

The room has two tracks with a capacity of six cars each. There is a large door that is opened only during NS switching moves.

Local C27 moves the cars as needed, removes the empties and enters the loads. In order to accommodate this, NS built additional sidings at the Smuckers plant.

The former Cleveland, Akron & Columbus (ex-Pennsylvania) line extends further to the large Purina elevator (which NS also switches) at the north edge of Orrville in the Orrville Industrial Park. The old Purina elevator in town is not used for grain storage anymore.

The other development is that NS is building a new office and communications building next to the Fort Wayne line across from the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society depot.

I am not sure why, but it is not for passengers, even though it looks like it. Orrville is about half way between Alliance and Crestline on the Fort Wayne line.

Article and Photographs by Richard Jacobs

NS local C27 enters the former CA&C (PRR) mainline from the new Smucker railroad car unloading facility in Orrville on June 18, 2013.

NS local C27 enters the former CA&C (PRR) mainline from the new Smucker railroad car unloading facility in Orrville on June 18, 2013.

NS local C27 shoves tank cars into the new Smuckers facility at Orrville on June 18, 2013.

NS local C27 shoves tank cars into the new Smuckers facility at Orrville on June 18, 2013.

NS local C27 is switching the new Smuckers 12 car unloading facility in Orrville.

NS local C27 is switching the new Smuckers 12 car unloading facility in Orrville.

An NS freight train is eastbound on the former PRR Fort Wayne line at CP ORR in Orrville. It is passing the new NS office building on July 2, 2013.

An NS freight train is eastbound on the former PRR Fort Wayne line at CP ORR in Orrville. It is passing the new NS office building on July 2, 2013.