Posts Tagged ‘Railfanning in North East Pa.’

I Know that Guy

October 12, 2018

If that guy standing on the Bort Road bridge in North East, Pennsylvania, looks familiar, it’s because you know him.

He is Edward Ribinskas, the retired treasurer of the Akron Railroad Club.

Ed and I were getting in some railfanning in North East in late May before heading for a baseball game in nearby Erie featuring the Class AA Erie Seawolves hosting the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

I try to remember to get an occasional image of my railfanning friends to remember the good times that we had.

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Just Dark Clouds

September 12, 2018

Some of the most dramatic railroad photographs I’ve seen involved storm light.

The ideal storm light photograph shows a train whose consist or locomotives are illuminated by sunshine against a backdrop of very dark clouds.

You have to have good fortune and good timing to make such images and I’ve yet to find either.

It is not all good luck, though. Photographers who carefully study weather conditions know when they are most likely to be able to find storm light.

More often than not I’ve encountered situations such as this one made of a westbound Norfolk Southern intermodal train on the Lake Erie District near North East, Pennsylvania.

In this case it was a rising sun spotlighting the motive power against some dark clouds that produced a small amount of rain, but no storm.

It may not be a dramatic storm light image, but I’ll take it any day.

Always a Thrill To See

September 10, 2018

Union Pacific locomotives are far from being a rare sight on trains in Northeast Ohio even though the western carrier does not have any track in Ohio.

But with railroads freely using each other’s motive power, seeing Uncle Pete’s units on CSX or Norfolk Southern is quite common.

It may not be an everyday occurrence, but it is common. Still, I’m pleased when a UP unit is leading a train on either railroad because chances are most the trains I see that day with have the same old, same old owner’s motive power.

The top image has a UP unit leading a pair of CSX locomotives on an eastbound auto rack train.

The bottom photo has a pair of Uncle Petes as the sole source of motive power on a westbound CSX manifest and auto rack train.

Both images were made from the Bort Road bridge near North East, Pennsylvania.

Got There at the Right Time

August 31, 2018

I didn’t journey to North East, Ohio, last spring for the express purpose of photographing the signal bridge at CP 73, which is located east of the Lake Shore Railway Museum.

But since I was there and I noticed that the CSX signal department was out in force putting in new signals, I decided I better get an image of the old signals.

The top and middle images were made on May 23. Note the new signals at the far left of both images are ready to be placed into service.

The bottom image was made eight days later and features Q020 charging eastbound on Track No. 2 of the Erie West Subdivision.

It was a good thing I made this photo because the following week these signals fell. There are only a handful of the old-style Type G signal heads mounted on their original masts or signal bridges left on CSX between Cleveland and Buffalo, New York.

Museum Gets Another GE U Boat

August 16, 2018

The Lake Shore Railway Museum has acquired another historic GE-built locomotive.

This week the museum received a four-axle U36B carrying MCVX reporting marks and the roster number it had when working for CSX (7764).

The museum’s parent organization, the Lake Shore Railway Historical Society said No. 7764 was last with the Firefighters Education and Training Foundation in Massachusetts as a training locomotive for firefighters.

The unit was built in 1970 at GE’s Erie manufacturing facility located in Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania, as Seaboard Coast Line as No. 1776. It was later renumbered 1813.

“The U36B is a very rare GE locomotive model and we are thankful for its inclusion in our collection,” said society President Ray Grabowski Jr. “Its earlier re-purposing as a training unit just enhances Lake Shore’s educational function. Look for it to continue to be used as a teaching tool here soon.”

The North East, Pennsylvania, museum has eight other GE locomotives and one Heisler in its collection.

Gloomy Start to My Day

July 23, 2018

I had a hankering to drive over to North East, Pennsylvania, for a day of railfanning a while back.

The weather forecast looked promising. It would be mostly sunny skies with high temperatures in the upper 60s.

I left early enough to get to Bort Road in time to catch Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited.

But as I motored toward Erie, Pennsylvania, it was obvious that things were not going to work out as I had planned.

Fog shrouded the highway and remained in place until I reached North East.

The fog was not necessarily a bad thing because you can get some interesting effects in fog.

I didn’t have to wait long before a westbound CSX auto rack train came along.

In this case the fog was a good thing because otherwise this train would be coming out of the rising sun.

Notice there is a former CSX unit on the point of a CSX train. Yes, the CSX markings have been blotted out.

The fog did not last long. Amtrak was running late and by the time No. 48 showed up the fog had dissipated. My hopes for a P42DC coming out of the fog evaporated with it.

Night at Museum Set in North East

June 12, 2018

The Lake Shore Railway Historical Society will hold its annual night at the railroad museum event on June 16-17 at the former New York Central passenger station in North East, Pennsylvania.

The museum will open at noon on Saturday and remain open all night and through 4 p.m. on Sunday.

There will be a night photo session with several smaller scenes set up with artificial lighting. The session will cost $20 per photographer.

No details about the scenes to be staged have been listed on the museum’s website or Facebook page.

There will be a public program starting at 8 p.m. focused on Operation  Lifesaver and presented by Scott Daley.

New this year will be a food truck at the museum site. Speeder cars will also be operating on Saturday and Sunday.

Lake Shore Limited ‘Summer Consist’

June 2, 2018

As soon as the eastbound Lake Shore Limited rounded a curve in North East, Pennsylvania, I had the answer to a question I had come here to get answered.

The Chicago-Boston only edition of the train is much shorter than the usual order.

A summer track and bridge project on the route that Nos. 48 and 49 use to access New York Penn Station prompted Amtrak to suspend the New York Section of the train through early September.

Passengers boarding the Lake Shore Limited bound for New York City must make an across the platform transfer in Albany-Rensselaer, New York, to reach the Big Apple and all other points served by No. 48 south of Albany.

I expected a shortened consist for the Lake Shore, but was a little surprised at how short it was.

What I saw on Thursday was a P42DC locomotive, Viewliner baggage car, four Amfleet II coaches, two cafe cars and two Viewliner sleepers.

This is just three cars longer than the normal consist of the Boston section of a Viewliner baggage car, cafe car, Viewliner sleeper and two coaches.

Also different is that the train is operating as Nos. 448/449. Those numbers have long been used by Amtrak to denote cars assigned to the Boston section.

But it was the first time I’ve heard the train use those numbers for operational purposes west of Albany.

Meet Me at Interstate 90

May 30, 2018

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited meets a westbound CSX auto rack train beneath the bridge carrying Interstate 90 over the CSX Erie West Subdivision at the State Line exit on the border of Pennsylvania and New York just outside North East, Pennsylvania.

The auto rack train has Union Pacific motive power and a cut of manifest freight.

No. 48 was operating 43 minutes late when it left Erie, but the New York section made it to Penn Station in New York less than 10 minutes late.

Good Old Bort Road

January 16, 2018

Q363 passes beneath the venerable Bort Road bridge over the CSX Eries West Subdivision tracks near North East, Pennsylvania.

One of my favorite places to railfan is the one-lane rickety bridge carrying Bort Road over the CSX tracks near North East, Pennsylvania.

The bridge has stood there for decades and probably dates well into the steam era.

Such ancient bridges are fast being removed and the Bort Road bridge is not likely to be standing too much longer.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is studying how to replace it. One idea is to build a new bridge at the site of the existing one. Another idea is to build the new bridge further west of the current bridge.

The bridge project will also change the roads in the area, which has aroused some opposition.

One way or another, though, I can’t imagine Bort Road bridge standing too much longer.

I don’t get there often, but last July I made a couple of visits. Most of the action was on CSX, which was to be expected.

Although not shown in this gallery of photographs, Bort Road is one of my “go to” places to photograph Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited. But that’s a morning occurrence and I was here in July in the late afternoon to early evening hours.

Getting a little glint on the Q008. It followed the Q010 by 10 minutes and got the sunlight that eluded the Q010.

Here comes the Q010.

Westbound manifest freight Q389 has a Guilford locomotive tucked away in its motive power consist.

Grain train G309 comes lumbering along.

An Uncle Pete is spliced between two NS units in the motive power consist of the 216. We were hoping to get a westbound on NS but got shut out both times.

NS train 216 passes beneath Interstate 90. A short distance to the left I-90 crosses into New York state.

The classic westbound train shot at Bort Road shows it splitting the milepost 70 markers. Shown is the Q007.

An endless line of auto rack cars on the rear of the Q363. These cars used to move in a dedicated auto rack train.