Posts Tagged ‘NS motive power’

Whole Lotta Locomotives Rolling Along

April 13, 2018

Last Saturday during the annual Dave McKay Day of the Akron Railroad Club in Berea, all cameras were out as manifest freight 17N approached on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.

On the point was the GoRail locomotive. But the rest of the motive power consist held some interest, too.

Immediately behind the GoRail unit was a former CSX locomotive with a line drawn through its markings. It is now a lease unit owned by a locomotive leasing company.

The motive power consist itself was out of the ordinary long, comprised of seven units. Perhaps 17N was ferrying locomotives as well as cargo.

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Bare for Now

April 12, 2018

Thus far it has felt like the winter that refuses to go away. Although March didn’t feature much deep snow, it did have endless days of high temperatures in the 30s and below freezing air at night.

April hasn’t fared much better with occasional snow and a continuation of 30-degree weather.

But spring is here already. The calendar says so. It just doesn’t feel like it.

Or at least it hasn’t felt much like it to date. But that is going to change today as warmer air pushes daytime highs into the low 70s.

With that might come an explosion of spring with trees budding and leafing out.

That will render a thing of the past such sights as this one of a lone Norfolk Southern locomotive in Berea on the Dave McKay Day of the Akron Railroad Club backing onto the consist of the M6G in the Berea siding.

Spring can’t come too soon.

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.

 

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.

Trying Something Different in Berea

February 27, 2018

I’ve been going to Berea to watch trains for more than 20 years. I’ve pretty much exhausted about every photo angle I can think of short of trespassing on railroad property.

About the only thing new to get in Berea is to catch a particular locomotive or rail car that I haven’t photographed there before. Or so I thought.

While in Berea not long ago on a rare sunny winter day, I had the idea of photographing trains splitting the signals that have been installed within the past couple of years.

In the top image, eastbound Norfolk Southern intermodal train 206 has a Canadian National unit leading. Although not visible, the trailing unit belongs to Union Pacific.

In the middle image, westbound NS manifest freight 309 is framed by the signals on the Toledo connection between NS and CSX. Behind the lead unit is the Wabash heritage unit.

The bottom images shows a westbound NS stack train framed by several signals, including the westbound home signals for CP 194 on the Chicago Line.

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.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Day

December 26, 2017

A westbound NS coal train passes the former New York Central passenger station in Olmsted Falls in early evening last August.

Nothing is finer in Olmsted Falls than to be there in early evening on a summer evening. The golden hour light makes everything seem to be a little brighter.

Summer is not the only season during which you can find warm light bathing westbound trains in the Falls.

Some of the images in this gallery were made in autumn and one was made in winter.

Late day light comes earlier in October. Shown is NS train 287.

It was really late when this auto rack train showed up.

A westbound coke train. That is Marty Surdyk waiting for the train at the crossing in his Jeep.

Autumn late day light illuminates the westbound 17N.

Traces of what turned out to be the last significant snow fall of the winter of 2016-2017 still hangs on in shady areas.

 

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.

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.