Posts Tagged ‘NS on Painesville Trestle’

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

RoadRailer Rambles

July 19, 2020

An eastbound Norfolk Southern RoadRailer train passes through downtown Cleveland on Aug. 6, 1989.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s the Norfolk Southern RoadRailer was sort of the in thing as the heritage units are currently.

I was never able to see the Conrail or Union Pacific RoadRailers and missed an opportunity to see the CSX rendition. We were set up in Kentucky to catch the CSX RoadRailer train led by the F-units but it was out of service on this day.

However I did have good luck with NS and  here are some of my favorite catches.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Crossing the Grand River in Painesville on April 16, 1989.

Soaring over Conneaut Creek and the Bessemer & Lake Erie tracks in Conneaut on April 16, 1989.

In Bellevue on April 30, 1989.

In April 1989 the former Nickel Plate still crossed the former Wheeling & Lake Erie in Bellevue on a diamond.

At Spring City, Tennessee, on June 28, 1989.

Going into the siding at Conneaut on Aug. 12, 1989, as a westbound steam special waits.

Did It Really Happen?

May 9, 2020

I’ve had terrible luck trying to catch Norfolk Southern 8103, the Norfolk & Western heritage unit.

Five years ago an eastbound blocked the westbound 8103 at the tot lot in Bedford. A couple years ago a slow shutter cut the nose off when I tried to photograph it in Painesville.

On Friday as I was doing chores around the house I periodically checked

About 2:20 p.m. I looked at the site expecting to see nothing near me.

I couldn’t believe it. A post at 2:14 p.m. for a sighting of NS 8103 had it at Euclid on the lead of NS manifest freight 310.

I put the dish washing on pause and told Ursula, “I have an emergency. I shouldn’t be gone long.”

Grabbing my camera, keys and jacket I rushed to the NS Lake Erie District bridge over the Grand River near Riverside Drive.

Others were already present and another vehicle arrived soon after I got there.

At train time at 2:51 p.m. everyone was very social distancing, which was easy to do at this location.

Aside from the heritage unit, No. 310 had two DPU units in the middle.

I still don’t believe I finally got it. That post for 310 at Euclid was the first post for that train. Even though it was gloomy with flurries I didn’t care. I’m still pinching myself.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

I Still Enjoyed Seeing NS 8101 Even in the Gloom

March 17, 2020

Maybe you’ve seen my photograph of the Central of Georgia No. 8101 of Norfolk Southern that I made on May 6, 2018, at west end of the old Nickel Plate Road trestle over the Grand River in Painesville.

I’m pretty sure No. 8101 was leading train 287 at 1:50 p.m. I always loved that photo because the lighting was absolutely perfect and it showed the new bridge under construction.

On Monday the 8101 showed up pulling Train 316 en route to Buffalo, New York, just after 6 p.m. on a gloomy Monday.

It wasn’t as clean as it was when I got it a couple years ago yet I still enjoyed seeing it.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Valley Girl Makes Couple Passes Through NEO

July 31, 2019

Sometimes you only get one heads up that something out of the ordinary is coming. That was the case with the Lehigh Valley heritage unit of Norfolk Southern.

Ed Ribinskas reported that he saw a report on that NS 8104 was approaching Berea at 9:50 a.m. on eastbound stack train 206 on Monday.

No additional sightings were reported to until 10:53 a.m. when the 206 was passing through Willoughby.

By then Ed had already located to the bridge over the Grand River near his home in Painesville where he got the 206 just after 11 a.m.

Another railfan was there watching trains but didn’t know the “Valley Girl” was coming.

Perhaps he was the guy who reported the 206 through Painesville at 11:05 a.m.

Previous reports on HU showed the 8104 was leading NS train 23M westward late Sunday.

So it would have gone through Cleveland in the wee hours of the Monday morning.

Photograph by Edward Ribinskas

First Train on the New NS Painesville Bridge

October 2, 2018

Ursula and I were coming home from our day in the Cuyahoga Valley chasing Nickel Plagte Road No. 765. I decided to cross the tracks at Ohio 84) since it just reopened on Friday because it was the last crossing rebuilt with the new alignment.

When we crossed I looked west  at the curve and saw the original NKP main had been cut and connected to the new alignment.

When we got to Riverside Drive I saw the railfan crowd and knew what was happening. I was told that all rail traffic was held about 12 hours while the new alignment was connected.

The first train to cross the bride was the 206 shortly before sunset at 10 mph with railroad personnel at the end of bridge watching to make sure all was OK.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Worth the Wait

May 7, 2018

I saw on Sunday morning that Norfolk Southern train 287 would have the Central of Georgia No.  8101 leading.

Before I went to church in the morning I saw that it was in the Buffalo, New York, area so I was able to attend mass then come home for an update.

After I got home the next post was North East, Pennsylvania, at 9:56 a.m. I figured under normal circumstances it would show around 11:30 a.m. It obviously was held in Conneaut until 206 and 22K passed it.

Because of the delay, the lighting was perfect at 1:50 p.m. at the west end of the Painesville trestle over the Grand River.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinksas

The Old and the New in Painesville

January 26, 2018

The new bridge that Norfolk Southern is building over the Grand River in Painesville is starting to take shape.

Workers have poured the concrete for the piers that will support the yet to be installed deck of the single-track bridge.

Being built just south of the existing trestle erected decades ago by the Nickel Plate Road, the new bridge is expected to open this summer.

Shown above is NS eastbound manifest freight 316 crossing the old trestle.

Erie Heritage Unit Leads 22K

July 16, 2017

I saw on Saturday morning that Erie 1068 was on 22K. I had things to do and got home about 2 p.m. and, luckily,  it wasn’t by yet. I got it at 3:20 p.m. at the Painesville trestle. Each week it will be a different view with all the construction of the new bridge underway.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas