Posts Tagged ‘passenger trains’

Train Time at Canal Exploration Center

November 4, 2017

I’ve photographed the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad multiple times at all of its stations except two.

I had never been to the CVSR station at Hillside Road, which CVSR refers to as the Canal Exploration Center station.

The visitor’s center is actually located on the east side of the Cuyahoga River whereas the tracks are on the west side.

You have to take a trail that spans the river on a dedicated bridge. Otherwise CEC is just like any other CVSR station.

I decided to visit the CEC station after disembarking at Rockside Road station from a steam excursion train pulled by Nickel Plate Road No. 765.

The CVSR website designates CEC station as a bike aboard station. But on the day of my visit a large crowd was on hand to board the train and they were not bicyclists.

It was probably a tour group that had been to the visitor center there and had made arrangements to ride the train.

In the top image, cell phone cameras are out as the train approaches. In the middle image some passengers are heeding the call of a notice in some CVSR stations to wave at the engineer if they plan to board the train.

The bottom image was made from the farm south end of the station platform.

Now the only station where I need to photograph the CVSR in action is Big Bend in Akron.

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Where Have You Been CVSR 365?

October 30, 2017

CVSR Alco C420 No. 365 leads the National Park Scenic at Brecksville station on Oct. 21.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad locomotive No. 365 was the railroad’s first locomotive that I ever photographed.

The date was June 19, 2004, and the location was at the Lincoln Highway station in Canton. It would be the southern-facing unit on a trip I made to Akron, which was the second time that I rode the CVSR.

I would encounter No. 365 a few times in subsequent years, but I wasn’t making many images of the CVSR then.

No. 365 was on the north end of an Akron Railroad Club CVSR excursion of Sept. 22, 2007, behind Ohio Central steam locomotive No. 1293. The 365 pulled us back to Rockside Road station from Botzum.

The C420 would perform the same duties a year later on Sept. 27 on another ARRC outing on the CVSR behind OC 1293, this time returning us to Rockside from Indigo Lake.

The 365 began life in June 1965 when it was built by American Locomotive Company for the Seaboard Air Line.

It would later work for Seaboard Coast Line, the Louisville & Nashville and a handful of short-line railroads before being acquired by the CVSR in 2001.

No. 365 was a CVSR mainstay until 2010 when it was sidelined with a bad generator.

The 2012 CVSR annual report said the 365 was awaiting being sent out to be rebuilt with “green technology.”

But it didn’t move until June 2013 when CVSR interchanged it to the Wheeling & Lake Erie in Akron en route to Ohio Locomotive Works in Lorain.

The W&LE handed the 365 off to Norfolk Southern in Bellevue, which took it to Lorain.

For the rest of 2013, the 365 underwent a thorough rebuilding. That work continued through September 2014 when the unit began getting a new paint job in the current CVSR livery.

Photographs made by Fred Stuckmann and posted at rrpicturearchives.net documented the rebuilding of the 365. It was displayed at an open house held in late September 2014 at OLW.

Among those on hand to view the 365 on that day was Siegfried Buerling, one of the men who incorporated the Cuyahoga Valley Preservation and Scenic Railway Association in February 1972.

And then it is was though the 365 vanished into thin air. No more photographs of it were posted online and the unit apparently still needed more work.

In the intervening years, the CVSR leased motive power from LTEX and Horizon Rail but no word emerged on the 365.

A couple of weeks ago I heard a report that the 365 was back in the Valley. I don’t know how long it has been there.

I didn’t see it when a CVSR train I rode in mid September went past the Fitzwater yard and shops. Maybe it was inside getting prepared for revenue service.

I finally caught up with the 365 in Brecksville on Saturday, Oct. 21. Fellow ARRC member Todd Dillon had caught the 365 the previous day.

On the north end of the Scenic was B&O No. 800. Gotta say that it’s good to see you again 365.

 

 

Leaf Peepers Special at Deep Lock Quarry

October 27, 2017

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has been running an autumn foliage special on weekends during October.

Known as the Fall Flyer, it is scheduled to depart Rockside Road station in Independence 45 minutes behind the National Park Scenic in the morning and 40 minutes behind it in the afternoon.

The Fall Flyer operates non-stop to Indigo Lake before returning to Rockside.

Presumably, it was created to take pressure off the National Park Scenic, which often ran well behind schedule during October due to the large number of bikers and sight seers riding the train.

The Fall Flyer will make its last trips on Oct. 29. It is shown above on Oct. 21 coming and going near Deep Lock Quarry south of Peninsula.

On Second Thought Glad He Was There

October 11, 2017

I was set up to photograph the arrival of the ferry move that would make up the first Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad National Park Scenic run of the day from Rockside Road station.

The space between myself and the tracks was open. I planned to use a low-hanging tree branch to frame the lead locomotive.

Then the inevitable happened. Three people walked into the grassy area that stood between my lens and CVSR FPA-4 No. 6771.

I was not pleased, but I made the photographs anyway.

As I reviewed them on the display screen of my camera, I saw that the guy closest to me was waving at the train.

I would still rather not have had those folks in my image, but if they were going to be there, at least the buy waving added a human interest tough that, dare I say, enhanced the image.

Michigan Central Depot to Host Detroit Event

September 14, 2017

Michigan Central Station in Detroit will host the annual Detroit Homecoming this year, the first significant event to be held in the vacant depot since the middle 1980s.

The 104-year-old station in the Corktown neighborhood has been the subject of various renovation plans, the most recently being backed by the Moroun family of companies.

They have spent more than $8 million in the past two years making repairs that have included constructing a freight elevator in the shaft of the depot’s original smoke stack and installing 1,100 windows.

Matthew Moroun described the station development as a marathon, but insisted the race is well underway. His father, Matty, purchased the depot in 1995.

For years, the Morouns made few moves to restore the Detroit landmark, which once hosted passengers trains of the New York Central and tenants Canadian Pacific and Baltimore & Ohio, the latter using the terminal between 1946 and 1963.

After taking office in 2014, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan sought to improve what he termed the “somewhat checkered” relationship the Morouns have had with past city administrations.

Matthew Moroun and the mayor have discussed a list of issues involving the depot.

Although that list has not been made public, one known item is a request to replace the building’s numerous broken windows.

The mayor had made it known that he was tired of a former train station with broken windows defining the image of Detroit in national news stories about the city.

“I said, ‘I want you to put windows in the train station. And if you do that, everything else will be just fine.’” Duggan said.

The Morouns installed the windows in 2015 at a cost of $4 million.

Since the the windows went in, Matthew Moroun said he’s had more interest from developers with “hundreds of great ideas” for a building that has sat vacant since 1988 when Amtrak ceased passenger service there.

Moroun estimates it would renovating the station will cost more than $100 million.

“We’re looking for the right idea that’s not only popular and motivating, but also economically viable,” Moroun said. “We’re getting closer all of the time.”

Among the ideas that Duggan has for the station is housing a corporate headquarters or building high-end lofts on the 18th floor, which has a 360-degree view of greater downtown Detroit and the waterfront.

“I’m not the one who has to make the numbers work,” Duggan said. “When the day comes, I’m going to do everything I can to help make the numbers work.”

Plans Set for Annual New River Train

August 10, 2017

Plans have been announced for the annual New River Train, which will roll on Oct. 21, 22, 28, and 29 between Huntington, West Virginia, and Hinton, West Virginia, through the New River Gorge.

New this year will be a consist of all heritage cars from private owners.

Gone are the Amtrak Amfleet and Horizon  coaches that have characterized the makeup of past trains.

All of the 30 cars on the New River Train will come from private owners. Three Amtrak P42DC locomotives will pull the train.

Some of the passenger cars expected to be in the consist include California Zephyr vista-dome car Silver Solarium, Pullman-built Milwaukee Road Super Dome, Budd-built full-length dome car Summit View, the Overland Trail, a former Southern Pacific barber shop car, and Great Northern full-length dome car Prairie View.

Other cars will include lounge and passenger cars built for the New York Central, Pennsylvania Railroad, Baltimore & Ohio and Central of Georgia Railway

Sponsored by the the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, the 51st running of the New River Train will travel CSX’s Kanawha and New River subdivisions, both of which are former Chesapeake & Ohio.

The train has a capacity of 1,200 passengers per day and usually sells out by early September. Some heritage coach tickets remain at $179 per person.

When Varnish Was Common in Massillon

July 14, 2017

Penn Central was still running passenger trains through Massillon, Ohio, in the late 1960s. Here is the westbound mid-afternoon Fort Pitt with PC 4292 on the point racing through the super-elevated curve, which actually comes through the bridge over the Tuscarawas River.

I believe it was October 1969 and the red “P”/white “”C” had only been painted on a handful of E units, making this a rarer photo.

Today a Norfolk Southern office car special sometimes gives a similar scene, but it is hard to imagine even in the late 1960s passenger trains such as this were somewhat common on this line.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

The Other LSL Did Much Better

July 7, 2017

Sunday, July 2, was not a good day to be a passenger aboard Amtrak’s westbound Lake Shore Limited.

First, the train was delayed for five hours due to flooding and track inspections between Albany and Utica, New York.

Then it ran into a Norfolk Southern work window in Ohio by which it had to make a roundabout detour move that added four more hours of delay.

By the time it reached Chicago at 7:27 p.m. it was nine hours, 42 minutes late.

But those riding the eastbound Lake Shore Limited only had to deal with the “standard” delays.

It was a mere 30 minutes late reaching New York Penn Station although it was over an hour late at some stations in New York state.

It it shown above cruising through Painesville, Ohio, east of Cleveland after departing the latter station 40 minutes off the advertised.

A noteworthy point about this train is that the P42DC locomotives pulling it are consecutively numbered 15 and 14.

Catching Up With Arcade & Attica No. 18

July 6, 2017

Arcade & Attica No. 18 approaches Genesee Road near Arcade, New York, during its last run of the day.

For years the Arcade & Attica has operated its 2-8-0 Alco steam locomotive with its nose facing northward on its excursion from Arcade to Curriers.

The engine runs around the train at Curriers and returns to Arcade with its tender leading.

But on two weekends this year the New York-based tourist railroad has reversed that.

It turned No. 18 on a wye behind its shop in Arcade and ran tender first to Curriers and had the nose pointed southward for the 7.16-mile return trip.

From a photography standpoint, it is better to have the locomotive nose pointed southward because the lighting is better.

One of those weekends when the nose was pointed southward preceded Independence Day. Ed Ribinskas and I piled into Marty Surdyk’s Jeep Patriot to make the trek to Arcade for a day of steam locomotive chasing.

It had been 25 years since Marty had been to the A&A. My last visit had been in September 2012. Ed saw No. 18 pointed southward just over a month ago during Memorial Day weekend.

By the time we caught up with No. 18 it was in Curriers where the A&A excursion train has a layover.

Chasing the A&A is easy because it travels at about 10 miles per hour.

But there aren’t that many places to photograph a train en route because most of the grade crossings are in Arcade.

There is Genesee Road, but not much else. Marty thought he remembered there being two crossings, but other than Genesee Road all other crossings are on private roads outside of Arcade.

Our primary concern in chasing the first return trip of the day to Arcade was cloudy skies. Large, puffy clouds filled the sky and sun breaks were infrequent and short-lived.

Trips leave Arcade at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. After chasing the first of those, we headed for a Subway in a shopping center located next to a Topps grocery store.

Subway is Marty’s official railfanning restaurant so of course that was where we would go. He also got to eat his entire foot-long meatball sandwich.

During the Akron Railroad Club longest day outing in Bellevue Marty had ordered a foot-long meatball sub. He placed half of it on his vehicle as he was eating the other half back at the mini plant.

But the wind blew it onto the ground. In Arcade, we ate inside the restaurant and there was no danger of half of Marty’s sandwich being blown by the wind onto the floor.

Photographing at Genesee Road had reminded me of Genesee beer, a brand I’ve heard about but never tasted.

As Ed and Marty were finishing their sandwiches, I walked over to the Tops grocery store to see if I could buy a couple of “Gennies.” But Genesee beer wasn’t being sold by the bottle there or, or that matter, by the six pack.

I ended up instead buying two bottles of IPA beer from two different Buffalo craft breweries and some large chocolate chip cookies for the guys.

The A&A had already left Arcade by the time we got rolling after lunch.

By now the weather had much improved with the clouds breaking up and ushering in mostly sunny skies.

There had been a pack of railfans chasing and photographing No. 18 earlier in the day, but they were mostly nowhere to be found during the afternoon trip when the locomotive was bathed in sunlight.

We got to Curriers just ahead of the train and got photographs of it coming and going.

Then it was off to do some across the field shots from along Curriers Road.

That was followed by stops at Genesee Road, the Arcade fire station and the street south of the depot where we caught No. 18 going back to the shop.

It was an easy chase that yielded some quite pleasing images.

The train was in the station at Curriers when we first encountered it.

The first photo op at Genesee Road occurred as the sun hid behind a cloud.

Crossing Cattaraugus Creek in Arcade during the return trip.

Doing the runaround move in Arcade. After getting this image it was Subway time.

Patrons are lined up to make a visit to the cab of No. 18 during the layover in Curriers.

A baggage cart load of flowers, a depot and a steam locomotive make for a pleasing sight.

Getting underway at Curriers to return to Arcade while blowing the whistle for Chaffee Road.

Leaving behind a trail of smoke.

Yonder comes a steam train in a view that could have been made several decades earlier.

Skirting the driveway of the fire station.

The train at Curriers as seen in the sunglasses of a trainman wearing a Penn Central conductor hat.

Watching the tracks ahead from the engineer’s seat.

Back in Arcade the locomotive has cut away from its trains as passengers disembark at the station platform.

Heading back to the shop at the end of the last trip.

Yes, it’s an Alco.

At the end of the day at the shop in Arcade.

 

Here Comes Amtrak

June 20, 2017

This time I didn’t miss. More than a week ago I told the story of how I was railfanning with fellow Akron Railroad Club member Peter Bowler in Willoughby when a very late Amtrak No. 48 came charging through town.

We had no inkling the eastbound Lake Shore Limited had yet to come through because we had not bothered to check to see if it had.

A week or so later I decided to make amends for that during a planned trip to North East, Pennsylvania.

I left home to get to Bort Road in plenty of time to catch Amtrak, which was running about 45 or so minutes late.

Here it is passing through the vineyard country near the shore of Lake Erie along the Pennsylvania-New York border.