Posts Tagged ‘NS Lake Erie District’

What It Would Have Looked Like

December 24, 2022

Friday and Saturday were the type of days I will not venture out anymore except to the mailbox and to feed the birds.

Why I didn’t really need to go trackside is because I am more than satisfied with the results I got in Perry in March 2013 in similar conditions. However, things were worse on Friday than they were in March 2013 when there was heavy lake effect snow but not the extreme cold.

Of course I wouldn’t have been able to see Amtrak No. 48 anyway if I had gone out since it was cancelled. Stay warm everyone.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Saturday Morning Surprise

November 28, 2022

I saw on HeritageUnits.com on Saturday morning that NS Train 265 (23K) was through North East, Pennsylvania, at 8:03a.m. with the NS Penn Central heritage unit leading. I looked at

the North East webcam to verify. About 9:20 a.m. I was set up at Riverside Drive in Painesville. About 9:30 I heard horns but they were coming from the west. I crossed the street and shot Train 316 with superb lighting.

I now had time to go to Perry and set up at Maple Street to get NS No. 1073. I got it at 10 a.m. Take note of the engineer’s side number board.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Western Pacific Visitor in Northeast Ohio

October 7, 2022

Early on Wednesday I saw that Union Pacific No. 1983, the Western Pacific heritage unit, was trailing on 14M, which operates from Conway Yard near Pittsburgh to Buffalo, New York.

Word was that it would lead the next day on 15M, a Buffalo-Conway train.

At 11 a.m. on Thursday I confirmed it had passed the North East, Pennsylvania, webcam at 10:51 a.m.

I left the house at 11:15 a.m. for Ashtabula. Just before noon I crossed State Road east of the Ashtabula River trestle.

A clear signal was showing for an eastbound, which I assumed would be 28B (formerly 206). I figured to head for Conneaut.

I scouted the south side of the yard and saw no activity. Based on that, my guess was that 15M would be in the siding east of Woodworth Road and the Conneaut Creek trestle to wait for 28B to pass.

I crossed the tracks east of the yard and my guess was confirmed as fact. I drove down Main Street to cross the former Bessemer & Lake Erie and, sure enough, there was a photo line for the Conneaut Creek trestle photo angle.

I went to the east side of the trestle on Woodworth Road where another group was waiting. Shortly before 12:30 p.m. I heard the 28B and it soon arrived crossing the trestle as in photo 1.

As soon as it passed the switch rolled over and the long-awaited show was ready to begin. Photo 2 at 12:42 p.m. shows UP 1983 coming out of the siding at Woodworth Road. 

Photo 3 shows the crew change just east of the yard at Chestnut Street. Photos 5 and 6 are the train crossing the Youngstown line diamond at 1:36 p.m.

Photo 7 is the backup move to the Youngstown line at 2 p.m. The remaining photos are 15M passing underneath Interstate 90 and passing through Carson yard just after 3 p.m.

Several fans continued the chase, but I was more than satisfied with my results.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

An Enjoyable Outing to Start 2022

April 9, 2022

This past Sunday Marty Surdyk and I drove to Erie to see an Erie Otters minor league hockey game.

After Marty picked me up at my house in Painesville, we stayed close to both railroads on either Route 84 or Route 20 Between Madison and Geneva.

We heard on the scanner that Norfolk Southern intermodal train 22K was near and we set up at Brown Road midway between Geneva and Saybrook.

The top two images above are what I captured of the 22K at this location.

Heading east we wanted to check out a rumor that Marty heard recently that the Norfolk Southern (ex-Nickel Plate) trestle at Conneaut would be replaced just as the trestle in Painesville was a few years ago. 

We also heard on the radio that 22K would take the siding at Woodworth Road east of the Conneaut Creek trestle to allow approaching 206 to pass it.

What we found was that a construction road has been cut through the trees off Main Street at creek level before the road started uphill out of the valley.

Then on Woodworth Road on the east end we spotted construction equipment and markers on the south side of the trestle for the new bridge. Over the next year I’m sure we will return to view and photograph the progress.

We then headed east and set up at Lucas Road near East Springfield, Pennsylvania, to await NS 206. Lucas Road is the last of back-to-back road crossings. The third photo above was made at that location.

Our last photo op would be the next crossing at Townline Road west of Girard, Pennsylvania. Photo 4 shows the 22K after it came out of the siding several miles back.

It was a gloomy day but we did enjoy an exciting hockey game in which the Otters defeated the Kitchener (Ontario) Rangers 6-2.

The arena is adjacent to the ballpark for the Class AA Erie SeaWolves. Actually the arena is the left field wall for the ballpark.

I always had a nickname for that when we’ve attended baseball games there. Fenway Park has the famous Green Monster. Erie has the Arena Monster.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Trestle Tales: The End Less Photographed

February 9, 2022

Most of the images Ed Ribinskas has made of the former Nickel Plate Road trestle over the Grand River in Painesville were made at the east end of the bridge.

He stayed away from the west end for several years to avoid trespassing on the property of Coe Manufacturing. Another factor was that it would be a tight shot because of tree growth that dated back to the end of the steam locomotive era.

After Coe Manufacturing closed and its building were razed, Ed felt more comfortable scouting for photo angles at the west end.

Nonetheless, it was still a tight shot. The best time of year to photograph the west end of the trestle was during the winter.

“Probably the very few times I photographed there resulted in my best and favorites,” Ed wrote.

The bottom two photographs were made of westbound manifest freight 145 at about 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 2, 2014 (Super Bowl Sunday).

With Ed that day were fellow Akron Railroad Club members Marty Surdyk and Craig Sanders.

The top two images were made in early afternoon on May 6, 2018.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Trestle Tales: Finding the Out of the Ordinary

February 7, 2022

Rivers are not static. They shift course and their levels rise and fall. These developments can damage bridge abutments as happened in spring 1985 when NS had to reroute some trains and issue slow orders for others until the Painesville trestle over the Grand River could be repaired (top photo).

Over time, some bridge abutments have been replaced, the results of which can be seen in the images of the Triple Crown RoadRailer trains crossing the trestle in April 1989.

The former Nickel Plate Road route between Cleveland and Buffalo never had the high level of traffic as the parallel CSX and former New York Central route, but it had its share of out-of-the ordinary sightings.

On Oct. 27, 2004, Norfolk Southern sent an Operation Lifesaver train from Rockport Yard in Cleveland to Ashtabula and back.

The encroaching vegetation is evident on the east end of the bridge as compared to what it was in the views recorded 15 years earlier.

Another unique movements that crossed the trestle was the eastbound Lake Shore Limited using the NS route due to a CSX derailment in Painesville. Amtrak Train 48 was photographed on Oct. 13, 2007.

On July 23, 2015, a large crowd of railfan photographs turned out to photograph Nickel Plate Road 2-8-2 no. 765 cross another NKP institution on a ferry move from Cleveland (Rockport Yard) to Ashtabula to be in position to pull public excursions between Ashtabula and Youngstown.

Finally, on Aug. 3, 2016, the NS business train led by F units passed through Painesville.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Trestle Tales: Vestiges of the N&W

February 6, 2022

The Nickel Plate Road built a steel trestle over the Grand River in Painesville in 1905. It continued to stand through two changes in railroad ownership, the transition from steam to diesel power, and the end of passenger service.

But even a structure as imposing as a steel trestle is not forever. In March 2017 contractors hired by Norfolk Southern began building a new bridge largely constructed of pre-cast concrete.

That 1,318-foot structure opened to rail traffic on Sept. 30, 2018, when eastbound intermodal train 206 was the first train to use it.

The contractor then began removing the trestle, which was located north of the new bridge, and before the end of the year it was gone.

Since 2003 Ed Ribinskas has lived minutes away from the Painesville trestle. He attended Riverside High School, which was and still is a stone’s throw away from the trestle’s location.

The trestle appears in many of his railroad photographs made on the Nickel Plate Road mainline in Painesville.

This is the first of series of articles with photographs showing how the environment around the trestle and rail operations on the ex-NKP mainline between Cleveland and Buffalo have changed over the years.

Today, Ed looks back to the late 1980s during the first decade of NS operation.

In that era, the trestle was mostly clear of trees and brush. The top two images are thought to be train CN 90 and were made on March 29, 1986.

The CN 90 is shown the next day in the third photograph running long hood forward, which was the usual operating practice during the Norfolk & Western era of the 1970s and 1980s.

The last photo shows Norfolk & Western Class J No. 611 headed to Erie, Pennsylvania, on a ferry move on Aug. 1, 1986.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Here Comes the NS 145 in Painesville

January 30, 2022

For several years in late January or early February, I would get together with Ed Ribinskas and Marty Surdyk for a day of railfanning in Lake County. Sometimes Jeff Troutman would join us.

We would spend much of the day on the CSX Erie West Subdivision and the Lake Erie District of Norfolk Southern in and near Perry.

This being Northeast Ohio, we always expected winter weather. By that I mean snow. But not every year saw bountiful snow on the ground despite Lake County being in a region of Ohio known for heavy snow.

During a few of those outings, the day was dark and dreary with little evidence of the beauty of winter.

That was not the case, though, during our outing of Feb. 2, 2014.

Overnight it had rained and then snow fell as the temperatures dropped.

The wet conditions meant that snow clung to just about everything in sight and pretty much stayed that way all day.

The result was one of the best winter railfanning outings I’ve ever had.

Several image from that day I’ve posted on this site before and Marty has shown during Akron Railroad Club programs some of the slides he made that day.

Ed won a monthly “best photograph” contest at Dodd Camera and received a free framed enlargement of that image that he has hanging on a wall of the dining room of his house.

That winning image was made late in the afternoon of westbound NS manifest freight 145 crossing the trestle over the Grand River in Painesville.

Last week I was rummaging through some of my digital file folders from early 2014 when I came across the images I made on Feb. 2.

Much to my surprise, I’ve only posted a few of those images on my Flickr page.

So I spent a couple days selecting and processing in Photoshop some images that had never been processed.

Shown above is a three-image sequence of the 145 crossing the now replaced Grand River trestle.

We were standing just beyond the west end of the bridge with all of us taking slightly different angles. What I liked about this series is how each image offers a different perspective.

The sequence begins with the train approaching the trestle from the east end, which captures that sense of anticipation that something memorable is about to happen.

It continues with an image of the train about halfway across the trestle and offers that compressed view common with images made with a telephoto lens.

The final image is what many would consider the money shot. Ed won the photo contest with an image similar to this one.

The train has reached the west edge of the bridge but is not yet off of it. The image combines the elements of a close train with a wide scenic view in a sort of convergence.

When I originally processed that image nearly eight years ago I converted it to black and white. There wasn’t much color in the scene and the conditions just seemed to say “black and white world.”

But after working with the image in color I decided it looks good in that form, too.

This day was one of the very few times I ever photographed NS operations on the Painesville trestle at the west end. I have numerous images from the east end, but rarely sought to do the west end.

The trestle had been built decades earlier by the Nickel Plate Road and was one of those structures that was always there even though ownership of the railroad changed to Norfolk & Western and then to Norfolk Southern.

It was always there even after the steam locomotives were retired, after the passenger trains were discontinued and after one generation of diesel locomotives had made way for another.

Generations of railroaders hired out and later retired after having crossed this bridge countless times during their long careers.

And then, so it seemed, one day the trestle was gone, replaced by a bridge that seems nondescript by comparison.

When viewed in this context, I’m even more pleased that we took the time in 2014 to get the photographs that we did of the 145 crossing the trestle.

Interestingly, that day was the only time I ever photographed an NS train crossing the trestle from ground level. But that is a story for another day.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Catching it on the Rebound With a Little Luck

August 4, 2021

Back on July 25 Jeff Troutman and I photographed Canadian National 8952, the Grand Trunk Western heritage unit, leading eastbound CSX train K614.

We caught it in Perry just after 7 p.m. The sun angles at that time of the early evening were not ideal. 

Last Sunday, Marty Surdyk and I drove to the Mahoning Valley to visit the Cornerfield Model Railroad in Huntsburg, and watch a Mahoning Valley Scrappers ballgame in Niles.

We also did some railfanning, but the only train we photographed was the local sitting in Perry (bottom photo above) that was probably getting its crew the next day.

We were hoping that we might get lucky and the GTW heritage unit would be returning. But it turned out to be not that day.

Two days later Heritage Units.com showed that westbound CSX train K615 had the GTW heritage unit leading.

What would be the chance it would get into my neighborhood in time before dark? With tons of luck it showed up near the same time as it had on July 25.

It was about 6:30 p.m. and the sun was nearly at the same angle as it had been on July 25th making it absolutely perfect for westbounds. I’m happy.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

It Just Might Be My Photo of the Year

July 20, 2021

Over the years I’ve seen excellent photos at this location on Erie Street in Willoughby. It appears in one of the Morning Sun books featuring the photography of the late Dave McKay. I’m sure he had several shots at this spot.

I’m pretty sure others have had good luck here as did Roger Durfee. I’m hoping this entree will allow me entry into the club of great photos. My entree is of the Denver & Rio Grande Western heritage unit of Union Pacific on Norfolk Southern eastbound intermodal train 206 on Monday at 11:22 a.m.

Article and Photograph by Edward Ribinskas