Posts Tagged ‘NS stack trains’

Going Green

October 28, 2018

A lot of companies with which you do business through the mail are trying to entice you to switch to online payment of bills.

They often use the slogan “go green,” to make it seem as though paying online is environmentally sound.

It might be in the sense that it creates less paper, but I’ve always suspected that the real motivation is cost cutting.

This image of a westbound Norfolk Southern stack train rumbling through Olmsted Falls gives another meaning to the phrase “going green” as the first block of containers are all painted green.

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Short Stack

September 1, 2018

Although CSX has become well known for its long trains in the past year, all Class 1 railroads have followed a trend of longer trains.

From a management perspective, that means fewer crews, fewer locomotives and less expense. Wall Street analysts like it, too, because they are fixated on cost cutting.

Some of these monster trains approach or exceed two miles in length.

So when this stack train passed through Olmsted Falls last March on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern, it got my attention for being so short.

I was able to easily fit the entire train into my viewfinder. Apparently, NS decided that moving this cargo outweighed holding it a day to make up a longer train. There might be other explanations for why this train is so short.

But it is the exception and not the rule for traffic patterns these days.

There’s a Rain Coming Down

July 24, 2018

I was sitting in Berea a while back watching trains but also an approaching storm.

The clouds to the northwest were getting darker by the minute.

The clouds opened just before a westbound NS stack train arrived. I wasn’t able to react quick enough to get the motive power in the rain, but I was able to roll down my window long enough to capture the heavy rain on some of the containers.

The storm proved to be brief and the rain soon stopped. Then it was back to normal.

There’s a Rain Coming Down

June 29, 2018

I could see the storm coming. The clouds to the northwest kept getting darker. A story was brewing in Berea.

Sure enough the storm struck, dumping a heavy rain. It came about the time that a westbound Norfolk Southern stack train passed through.

I made the photo above by rolling down a window and then getting the image.

I’ve photographed many a train in snowy conditions, but rarely when it was raining.

The rain didn’t last long and soon enough it was merely cloudy.

That Western Look

May 12, 2018

I caught Norfolk Southern intermodal train 234 three times this spring in Bellevue or on the Sandusky District and all three times it had western railroad motive power.

Two of those times it had Union Pacific locomotives in the lead. The third time the train had BNSF motive power upfront.

Train 234 is an easy one to catch. It originates at Landers Yard in Chicago and follows the former Nickel Plate Road mainline to Bellevue where it turns south onto the Sandusky District.

It’s ultimate destination is Norfolk, Virginia. It tends to reach the Bellevue area in late morning to early afternoon.

In the top photograph, the 234 is on the move off the Fostoria District after getting a new crew. It is making its way through a set of crossovers to get to the connection to the Sandusky District, which can be seen in the lower left-hand corner.

In the middle image, the head end is about to cross Slaughterhouse Road. In the bottom image it is skirting a farm as it rounds the connection to head toward Bucyrus, Marion and Columbus.

Double Shot of Western Motive Power

March 1, 2018

I was listening to my scanner in Bellevue last Sunday when I heard a train call a signal that indicated it was taking the connection from the Fostoria District to the Sandusky District to head toward Columbus.

At the time, I was sitting across from Wheeling Tower and couldn’t see it.

Curiosity got the better of me and I drove over to Slaughterhouse Road in time to see the last containers on the train coming around the connection.

It was Norfolk Southern intermodal train 218, which originates at Calumet Yard in Chicago and travels to Linwood, North Carolina.

I gave chase, catching up with it just north of Attica Junction. The lead unit was BNSF, making it the second train heading east on the Sandusky District I had seen that day with BNSF power on the point.

The 218 was slowing as it neared West Attica and I could see that it was passing a stopped eastbound intermodal train, the 234.

On the point of the 234, which originates in Chicago (Landers Yard) and travels to Atlanta, was a Union Pacific unit.

It would have been nice to have photographed the two units side by side waiting at West Attica, but the 234 was too far back to get a good shot, even with a telephoto lens.

Both trains were waiting for an eastbound CSX stack train to cross ahead of them at Attica Junction. I spotted the CSX stacker as I crossed over its tracks in Siam, but didn’t wait around for it.

I set up by the former Toledo & Ohio Central depot in Bucyrus for the NS intermodal trains. I did not have a long wait. First came the 218 followed several minutes later by the 234.

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.

No Injuries in NS Sandusky District Derailment

January 24, 2018

No injuries were reported after a westbound Norfolk Southern stack train derailed late Monday near Attica on the railroad’s Sandusky District.

The Chicago-bound train derailed at 10:45 p.m. near Township Road 122. NS and R.J. Corman crews spent much of Tuesday cleaning up the derailment site.

NS spokesman Jonathan Glass said nine rail cars derailed. No hazardous materials were spilled during the incident.  The train had three locomotives and 53 cars. No cause for the derailment has been released.

With traffic backing up on Ohio Route 162 in Attica, the Ohio Department of Transportation set up a detour that was expected to be in place through Wednesday morning.

One lane of the road was blocked during the derailment cleanup.

Consolation Prizes on a Frustrating Day

January 5, 2018

I found the three images posted here in a folder while going through another folder in which I store images that I want to post online.

Like so many images that get sideline, I had forgotten what I had until I opened this folder during a house-cleaning operation.

All three images were made in Perry during an outing I had with Peter Bowler last May.

It had been a frustrating day. We missed an opportunity to photograph a late running eastbound Lake Shore Limited because we neglected to check if No. 48 was running on time or late.

Then we heard on the radio that the Norfolk Southern local to Fairport Harbor was operating today. Despite multiple efforts, we never could find it in a place where we could photograph it.

Our last “failure” occurred in Perry while waiting for it to return to home rails and go back to Conneaut.

We ran out of time. The consolation prize was getting a few CSX and NS trains on the mainlines that run through Perry.

Although you have to look for it, in the middle photograph, CSX locomotive 5327 has the Western Maryland “fireball” emblem.

Late Summer in Vermilion

December 27, 2017

NS train L13 passes the railfan platform in downtown Vermilion on the Chicago Line.

The Akron Railroad Club has in recent years held an all-day outing in Vermilion. Most of the action is focused on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.

The NS Cleveland District also passes through Vermilion, but has little traffic through town. Most trains that use the Cleveland District diverge west of town to a connection to the Chicago Line.

The Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts also held a day in Vermilion this past September, but it was poorly attended.

It’s not that the ARRC Vermilion day gets great attendance, either, but it does attract a core of regulars.

The typical modus operandi for ARRC outings in Vermilion is to begin the morning at the boat launch along the Vermilion River.

The attraction here is the Chicago Line bridge over the river. The Cleveland District bridge over the river is nearby in case there is any traffic there.

In the afternoon, we then move to the railfan platform in downtown Vermilion although some of us have a tradition of heading west of town to photograph trains.

Many of the images in this gallery were made west of the city at the Joppa Road grade crossing on the Chicago Line. The crossing is located toward the middle of a curve, which adds a little interest to your images.

Back in town at the railfan platform the classic images feature either the water tower or the former New York Central passenger station.

The latter is now privately owned, by a church I believe, but can be worked into photographs in late day light once the sun has crossed the tracks.

NS68D and the Vermilion water tower in a classic Vermilion pose.

NS westbound 25T chases the setting sun as it passes the former Vermilion passenger station.

The late day light illuminates the interior of the cab of the lead unit pulling NS westbound M1K.

It’s the M1K again, this time passing the Vermilion station.

Rails have been removed and cut off for disposal near Joppa Road.

Westbound stack train 21Q approaches the Joppa Road crossing in a two-shot sequence.

The rear of eastbound train 16E leans into the curve. The train is carrying sand used in fracking operations.