Posts Tagged ‘Railfanning in Bucyrus Ohio’

Waiting for Some Money and TLC

August 9, 2016

Bucyrus caboose 2-x

Bucyrus caboose-x

It sits by itself on a track to nowhere awaiting restoration in Bucyrus.

Built in February 1969 by International Railway Car Company in Kenton, Ohio, this model M930 caboose once carried Norfolk & Western roster number 518541.

Norfolk Southern gave it number 555541 and it remained in service through at least 2004.

At some point, it was donated to the Bucyrus Station Association, which would like to restore it. The car has been in Bucyrus since at least late summer 2012.

Although I didn’t see it during my visit, an online report indicated that there is a sign on the caboose seeking donations for the restoration project.

That seems to be the way it is with railroad restoration. There is always an ample supply of restoration opportunity and not enough money to make it happen.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

Larger Than They Might Appear

June 21, 2016
No longer standing tall, but still tall nonetheless.

No longer standing tall, but still tall nonetheless.

Weeds are now growing up through the signal head.

Weeds are now growing up through the signal head.

One of the amber lights. It could have been used to signal clear block or an approach indication.

One of the amber lights. It could have been used to signal clear block or an approach indication.

The red lights only displayed a stop indication.

The red lights only displayed a stop indication.

Railroad block signal heads don’t look all that large when viewed from ground level or a distance. Unless you are willing to trespass or else you work as a signal maintainer chances are you’ve never stood next to a signal head as it sat on its support pole.

The size of the heads of Pennsylvania Railroad style position light signals seem small when viewed from ground level.

But stand next to one of those head when it is lying on the ground and you might be surprised at how large it is.

There was a former PRR position light signal lying on the ground in Bucyrus when I paid a visit there a while back.

Aside from its size, I was amazed at how beat up and rusty that it was.

Granted, this signal might have been out of service for several years, but still, it looked like it had not been painted in more than a decade.

Countless train crews depended on this signal to safely guide them home or to their destination terminal. But now its work is done and I presume it will be cosmetically restored and displayed at the small railroad museum that is part of the depot in Bucyrus.

This town used to be, after all, a major junction point on the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Something Out of the Ordinary

June 15, 2016

Bucyrus March 26-x

Bucyrus2 March 26-x

Norfolk Southern has nine D8.5-40CW locomotives on its roster. A website maintained by Chris Toth and devoted to NS motive power reports that eight of the units are currently stored, although still active.

They carry roster numbers 8500 to 8509. All of the units were rebuilt in 2015 and in the process received new cabs. And that is how No. 8508 came to took so distinctive.

It was sent out on the system with its new cab in primer paint. At first glance, the primary appears to be a light shade of blue.

I was hanging out in Bucyrus on Easter Eve earlier this year when NS train 194 rolled into town.

No. 8508 was the third unit. An online report said it was bound for Roanoke, Virginia.

My fellow Akron Railroad Club member Todd Dillon had spotted No. 8509 in Bellevue a few days earlier. He wrote that this rebuild program had not been successful and has been suspended.

Although the 8508 isn’t much to look at, I photographed it anyway because it is something out of the ordinary.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

 

Hanging Out with NS in Bucyrus

February 13, 2016
A pair of bright red Canadian Pacific units lend some to an otherwise black crude oil train rolling eastbound through Bucyrus.

A pair of bright red Canadian Pacific units lend some to an otherwise black crude oil train rolling eastbound through Bucyrus.

In an earlier post, I described how I spent a day in Bucyrus last fall searching for the ultimate shot that would combine the former Toledo & Ohio Central depot with a train on the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern.

That quest remains a work in progress, but the station that once served New York Central System passenger trains was not the only object of my photograph efforts.

I caught a crude oil train on the Fort Wayne Line and a move going from the Sandusky District to the Fort Wayne Line.

The latter caught me by surprised because I wasn’t sure if anything comes up from Columbus anymore and heads toward Pittsburgh.

NS is not the only user of the Fort Wayne Line. The Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern also uses the route to interchange with CSX at Crestline.

Or so I was told a few years ago. The Wheeling & Lake Erie even has trackage rights over the Fort Wayne Line through Bucyrus.

But I didn’t see anything from those two regional railroads and, frankly, I was not expecting it.

Bucyrus is about as good a place as any to catcher NS heritage locomotives, but none were in the region on the day that I visited.

The most colorful locomotives I saw were the Canadian Pacific units leading an eastbound crude oil train through town on the Fort Wayne Line.

Like any other hotspot, Bucyrus can have it lulls and one of those broke out around midday.

It did not last too long, though.

More trains were on their way, but I had to leave about mid-afternoon. I’ll have to add making a return trip here to my list of things to do in 2016.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

A container train crosses the Fort Wayne line en route to Columbus. Have stack trains ever operated on the Fort Wayne Line?

A container train crosses the Fort Wayne line en route to Columbus. Have stack trains ever operated on the Fort Wayne Line?

Back in the day, the Toledo & Ohio Central crossed the bridge in the foreground over the Lincoln Highway and then crossed the Pennsylvania Railroad branch from Columbus to Sandusky. The T&OC is gone, but a small portion of it still exists on the northwest side of town to serve some industries.

Back in the day, the Toledo & Ohio Central crossed the bridge in the foreground over the Lincoln Highway and then crossed the Pennsylvania Railroad branch from Columbus to Sandusky. The T&OC is gone, but a small portion of it still exists on the northwest side of town to serve some industries.

After crossing the Fort Wayne Line, eastbound trains on the Sandusky continue around a curve.

After crossing the Fort Wayne Line, eastbound trains on the Sandusky continue around a curve.

A manifest freight up from Columbus on the Sandusky District make the turn to go east on the Fort Wayne Line.

A manifest freight up from Columbus on the Sandusky District make the turn to go east on the Fort Wayne Line.

Once the route of the Broadway Limited, the Fort Wayne Line is now the home of eastbound crude oil trains from the west.

Once the route of the Broadway Limited, the Fort Wayne Line is now the home of eastbound crude oil trains from the west.

NS and the T&OC Station in Bucyrus

January 30, 2016
An eastbound container train passes the former Toledo & Ohio Central depot in Bucyrus, Ohio.

An eastbound container train passes the former Toledo & Ohio Central depot in Bucyrus, Ohio.

Marty Surdyk introduced me to the restored Toledo & Ohio Central station in Bucyrus several years ago.

He was showing me the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern when we went into Bucyrus to take a look around.

I was impressed with that station the first time I saw it. I might have exposed a slide film frame or two, but I made a mental note that I’ve got to get back here someday to see what I could do with that station and the trains on the adjacent Sandusky District.

NS logo 2Bucyrus is one of those places that is not too far away, yet just far enough to be somewhere you don’t get to all that often.

Marion is nearby and if you are going to drive that far you might as well go to a place that features more rail traffic.

Bucyrus has crossing rail lines, too, but one of them is the NS Fort Wayne Line and it doesn’t’ have that much traffic.

I did get to Bucyrus once on an outing with Peter Bowler, but we didn’t hang around there all that long.

In July 2012, I was in Bucyrus when the Nickel Plate Road 765 was pulling NS employee appreciation specials that turned on the wye.

But during none of those trips did I have the opportunity to hang out and try to make the T&OC station the focus of my photography efforts.

That changed last fall when I drove to Bucyrus on a warm, sunny day with the priority of getting images of the station and NS trains.

I had noted during a previous trip that that might be more difficult to do than it might seem because the T&OC station is not right on the Sandusky District or the Fort Wayne Line.

In the old days, the T&OC tracks were on the east side of the station. The Sandusky District, which used to be a Pennsylvania Railroad branch, had its own station that is now long gone.

Bucyrus is not a bad place to spend a day. There is ample parking right by the depot and the Sandusky District has a high level of traffic.

The Fort Wayne Line, which used to be the rail route in Bucyrus, remains a lightly-used rail line, although I did see three trains on it during my visit.

As I suspected, it is possible to make images that include the T&OC station and NS trains on the Sandusky District, but it takes some work because of the tough photo angles.

I’ll have to get back to Bucyrus sometime this year and try it again. Some things just take multiple efforts to work out.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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