Posts Tagged ‘passenger trains’

Steam Saturday: Steamin’ in Independence

July 24, 2021

We’ve set the wayback machine to the era when former Grand Trunk Western 2-8-2 No. 4070 was the primary motive power pulling Cuyahoga Valley Line excursion trains through the then-named Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area.

In the photo above,l the 4070 and a Baltimore & Ohio torpedo tube Geep are southbound in Independence on Oct. 18, 1980. It was common in that era for a Chessie System diesel to accompany the CVL trains.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Accelerating in Waterloo

June 27, 2021

Amtrak’s westbound Capitol Limited is picking up speed as it accelerates away from its station stop in Waterloo, Indiana, one hour and 15 minutes late.

It is the first image I’ve made of the Capitol in well over a year and getting this photograph took good timing and fast acting.

Before leaving home I had checked the status of Amtrak trains through Waterloo. There wasn’t enough time to get there before the Lake Shore Limited arrived and chances were good I would miss No. 29 by 15 minutes or so.

It had been reported out of Cleveland an hour and 20 minutes but Amtrak’s website projected No. 29 would make up a good chunk of that and arrive in Waterloo 59 minutes late.

If that held, I had no chance. But I also knew Amtrak can get delayed between Waterloo and Toledo.

As I neared Waterloo I checked the Amtrak website again. No. 29 was now projected to arrive in Waterloo at 7:46 a.m. I figured to miss by that about five minutes.

The exit ramp for Waterloo onto U.S. Route 6 from Interstate 69 is just beyond the bridge over the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.

As I passed the exit signs for Route 6 it was 7:47 a.m. on my car’s clock. I slowed for the bridge and exit ramp and looked toward the east. No headlight was in sight.

That was a good sign This just might work after all.

Nearly a month earlier as I had driven over that same bridge I had seen the headlight of a fast approaching Amtrak 49. I was going to fast to get to the side of the road in time to try to get a grab shot and a pickup truck also getting off at the exit was right on my tail.

So close and yet so far away.

This time I drove to a road that crosses the Chicago Line at grade shortly after I got onto Route 6. The gates were up. Another good sign.

I checked the Amtrak website and saw No. 29 was now projected to arrive in Waterloo at 7:53 a.m., three minutes from now. Did I have time to get to the station?

I began driving down a road that runs parallel to the tracks. Then there it was up ahead. I immediately pulled to the side of Lincoln Street, grabbed my camera and dashed into the weeds to make this image.

There was no time so think about what I wanted to do. I barely was able to get all of the train in the frame.

Photographing the Capitol Limited is a challenge because much of its journey occurs at night. On the western end of the route the train is always operating in the wrong light. Only on the eastern end can you get 29 or 30 in good light.

In Northeast Ohio, No. 30 is scheduled into Cleveland at 1:45 a.m. and No. 29 at 2:53 a.m.

Still, you can get an interesting image on the western end of the route if you work it right.

The glint off P42DC No. 190 was happenstance but I also knew that this time of year the early morning light would favor the north side of the train.

I’m hoping it won’t be another year before I can photograph the Capitol Limited again.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Erstwhile Capitol Limited Comes Through

June 11, 2021

The CSX office car special ran between Cleveland and Indianapolis on Thursday. I was able to catch it at Greenwich.

It has recently been repainted into Baltimore & Ohio colors along with a pair of F40PH units to match. 

Unfortunately the F40s had technical issues and a pair of tier 4 GEVOs were added to the head end. This was a bit disappointing but it was still a sharp looking train reminiscent of the B&O Capitol Limited.

Of interest is Moonlight Dome a former B&O dome car which CSX purchased last year for the OCS train.

The car was built for the Chesapeake & Ohio for use on its ill-fated Chessie streamliner. But after that train was cancelled before it began operations,

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Steam Saturday: The Classic Brecksville Image

April 10, 2021

It is the classic Brecksville photograph. A train coming south on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, the Ohio Route 82 and the Cuyahoga River reflecting it all.

In this image, we’ve gone back to Oct. 2, 1982, when the CVSR was known as the Cuyahoga Valley Line and former Grand Trunk Western 2-8-2 No. 4070 was the main attraction.

The river and Route 82 bridge are still there but the 4070 lies disassembled in Cleveland undergoing what could best be termed a slow and long-term restoration to operating condition.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Pennsy Heritage Two for Tuesday

March 23, 2021

We’ve traveled back to Aug. 1, 2004, in Orrville. Former Pennsylvania Railroad E8A Nos. 5711 and 5809, both owned by Bennett Levine, are heading eastbound home to Philadelphia on  the Fort Wayne Line of Norfolk Southern.

In the top image, the train is about to cross Ohio Route 57. In the bottom image it is passing the restored Orrville Union Depot along with the former tower and a PRR cabin car on static display.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

The Fort Pitt in Canton

January 9, 2021

Penn Central E8A No. 4309 is heading the westbound Fort Pitt through Canton on May 30, 1968. You’ve already noticed that it still wears its Pennsylvania Railroad markings.

Indeed, it was built by EMD for the Pennsy in January 1951 as No. 5809. This unit would later join the Amtrak motive power roster where it held roster numbers 315 and 498.

It then became Conrail 4020 and helped to pull that railroad’s executive trains. It then became Juniata Terminal No. 5809 where it was repainted back into PRR colors and markings.

In the image above you can also see Wandle interlocking in the background where the Norfolk & Western (former Wheeling & Lake Erie/Nickel Plate Road) crossed the Fort Wayne Line of the Pennsy.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Passenger Two for Tuesday

December 1, 2020

This week’s two for Tuesday takes us to Central Union Terminal in Toledo back on Nov. 29, 1968.

A Detroit-bound Chesapeake & Ohio passenger train is making its station stop in Toledo.

At the time time the only C&O varnish scheduled into Toledo was Nos. 46 and 47, which operated between Detroit and Ashland, Kentucky, and were a section of the George Washington.

These trains also stopped in Columbus, Marion and Fostoria, and carried through coaches between Detroit and Washington.

One of the coaches was a food bar coach that operated between Detroit and Ashland serving light meals and beverages.

The presence of a Union Pacific sleeper on the rear of the train is something of a mystery.

Nos. 46 and 47 were not assigned sleeping cars in late 1968.

The car shown is one of the Star series of UP sleepers. These cars were built in 1956 by Pullman Standard as City series sleeper-lounge cars with five double bedrooms and a buffet lounge.

Seven of those cars were converted in 1965 into the Star series with 11 double bedrooms. All seven of these cars were leased to Seaboard Coast Line in late 1970 and eventually ended up on Amtrak’s roster.

It may be that this car would later pass through Toledo on the Lake Shore Limited.

As for this car in 1968, it may have been on the C&O as a special move or a chartered car.

A footnote to this story is that the photographer and two friends were making their first overnight journey together.

They had planned to stay for the night in Toledo but instead would up in London, Ontario.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Looking in on the Byesville Scenic

November 15, 2020

Keeping with our theme today of passenger trains we take a trip to southern Ohio to check out the Byesville Scenic Railway, a tourist train operation that bills itself as “the route of the Black Diamond.”

Trains traveled the former Marietta Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad for 2.5 miles between Byesville and Derwent over what is said to be the longest straight stretch of the branch.

SW1 No. 211 is shown pulling a pair of passenger cars in Byesville on June 15, 2007.

Operations of the Byesville Scenic were halted in 2011 and the railroad’s website indicated they have not yet resumed.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Michigan Passenger Proposal Still Alive

November 10, 2020

Michigan transportation officials say they continue to pursue a proposal to institute rail passenger service between Ann Arbor and Traverse City, Michigan.

But their efforts have been hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hans Voss of the Ground Center for Resilient Communities said the tracks to be used by the train, which has been dubbed ARTC, largely have been upgraded to accommodate passenger trains.

Funding for the service remains unresolved. Voss said the long-term effects of the pandemic on rail passenger travel are also a major question mark.

Initially, the service is envisioned as being operated as excursions for major events, such as the events like Traverse City’s National Cherry Festival, and for fall foliage excursions.

CDC Recommends Masks for Train, Transit Travel

October 21, 2020

Passengers and crew members aboard passenger trains and public transit vehicles should wear masks the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week.

The interim guidance directive said the recommendation is designed to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The recommendation applies to those waiting for trains or working at stations as well as while traveling aboard trains for the duration of travel. 

CDC recommended that operators refuse boarding to anyone not wearing a mask.

In a statement, the CDC said it issued the directive because of how interconnected most transportation systems are across the nation and the world.

Therefore local transmission can grow quickly into interstate and international transmission when infected people travel on public conveyances without wearing a mask and with others who are not wearing masks, CDC officials said.