Posts Tagged ‘Railfanning in snow’

Dashing Through the Snow in Ravenna

December 24, 2020

There is still some snow left on the tracks of the CSX New Castle Subdivision a day or two after a winter storm passed through the area in March 2008.

Shown is an eastbound auto rack train approaching the Diamond Street crossing in Ravenna.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

Snowy Day in Akron on the B&O

September 11, 2020

It’s snowing in downtown Akron as Baltimore & Ohio GP30 No. 6915 leads an eastbound past the Erie Lackawanna station in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

Trailing is another GP30 along with an F7B, F7B, and F7B.

As this image was posted in mid July a snow storm might be a welcome relief from temperatures in the 90s and a heat index in triple digits.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

C-C-Cold Brings Late Amtrak Trains

January 2, 2018

The cold temperatures combined with several derailments made for some late Amtrak trains this past weekend. The top photo was made on Jan 1 and shows train 48 at Berea. The middle photo is also from Jan 1 and shows train 48 at East 40th Street in Cleveland. The bottom image was made on Dec 31 and shows train 49 at Olmsted Falls.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Despite Massive Snow NJT Still Ran On Time

February 10, 2017

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A severe snow storm hit New Jersey on Thursday. Since I live within walking distance of the old Erie/Erie Lackawanna Bergen County Line I wandered down to the station at the height of the storm to see the action. All the trains I saw (except for one) were on time to the minute. Our station is seeing its 88th winter, still doing its job sheltering passengers from the weather. The trains keep rolling on the old Erie, moving passengers just like they have for over a century.

Photographs by Jack Norris

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Yes, Where Was Spring?

July 8, 2016

An eastbound tanker train on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern in Olmsted Falls.

An eastbound tanker train on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern in Olmsted Falls.

A meet between an eastbound grain train and a westbound stack train.

A meet between an eastbound grain train and a westbound stack train.

Yes, where was spring?

Yes, where was spring?

With some very hot and humid weather having taken hold in Northeast Ohio in the past few days, I thought I would remind everyone of how it wasn’t that long ago that snow was falling.

I was out of town on the Sunday morning in May when snow fell on Northeast Ohio and even accumulated enough on the east side to cover some of the grass.

But I was very much on hand in early April when show covered the ground. For a winter that was unusually mild, the winter of 2016 sure had a way of hanging around.

In case you’ve forgotten, here is what spring looked like earlier this year. All of the images were made in Olmsted Falls.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

What McKay Day Could Have Looked Like

April 10, 2016

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When I raised the prospect at the March meeting of the Akron Railroad Club of seeing snow on the April 2 Dave McKay Day in Berea, some in the audience grimaced. It was as though they thought I was jinxing the event.

In fact, there was snow on McKay Day, although it didn’t arrive until the mid-afternoon hours.

We were fortunate, though, that our outing in Berea was on April 2 and not April 9.

I spent a few hours in Berea on Saturday and not only was there snow on the ground and in the air, but the temperatures were in the high 20s.

It might have been chilly on McKay Day, but it was downright cold the Saturday following.

There has been snow and even heavy snow on McKay Day before, most notably during the first one and during a subsequent outing. But recent years have seen early April being dry and even pleasantly warm.

But not this year, though. Here are a few scenes of what might have been had the ARRC annual outing in Berea been the second Saturday in April this year.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Yes, Snow is Coming Sooner Rather Than Later

November 19, 2015

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With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away winter can’t be far behind. As I write this, Northeast Ohio has had a string of days with temperatures reaching into the 60s.

But that can’t last too much longer. We don’t live in Tennessee, after all.

In case you’ve forgotten or have done quite well in forgetting, here is a look at what awaits us. Yes, that is snow covering those rails. But, hey, it has a beauty all its own.

The top photograph was taken on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad at Brecksville. I trudged through the deepest snow I’ve ever experienced in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to get this scene on the south side of Chippewa Creek.

The photos below were all taken at Brady Lake on the former Erie Lackawanna (Erie Railroad) line near where it crosses over Norfolk Southern.

These rails are now owned by Portage County and used by the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway.

All images shown were made in late February this year.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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Sitting Duck at Edwards Road on the Carey Sub

March 18, 2015

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The barn at left and the tractor tire tracks in the foreground made this image compelling.

 

A simple cross buck and snow covered fields are hallmarks of rural Ohio in winter.

A simple cross buck and snow covered fields are hallmarks of rural Ohio in winter.

Looking down the tracks. Was the crew looking back?

Looking down the tracks. Was the crew looking back?

A few low hanging branches of a big old tree help frame the motive power consist, which itself shows some variety.

A few low hanging branches of a big old tree help frame the motive power consist, which itself shows some variety.

Had I not glanced to my right I might have missed it. But I look around a lot while I’m driving and as a result I spotted the covered hopper cars on the nearby Wheeling & Lake Erie’s Carey Subdivision west of Greenwich.

I started looking for the motive power, which was stopped a little west of Edwards Road. So I made a right turn off U.S. Route 224 and drove toward the tracks.

It was a grain train that I presumed was stopped to wait for CSX to give it permission to enter its line at GN Tower in Greenwich.

Because the train was sitting still, I was able to photograph it from multiple angles, including the usual angles of looking down the tracks and shooting from the side at about a 45-degree angle.

Photographing this train was a challenge. Although a cloud cover had moved in, there was just enough sunlight coming from the southwest to create some back lighting.

It was late in the day so the ambient light was diminishing. Add to that a snow cover on the surrounding fields and you don’t have ideal lighting conditions.

Yet in other ways the scene could not have been more ideal. There was more going on here than a stopped train on a single track line that doesn’t see much rail traffic on any given day. There was a story to tell with images.

There was personal interest in the lead unit, No. 6989, an SD40-2 that still wears a BNSF livery even if the lettering of the former owner has been painted over.

I had photographed this locomotive back in January on a very cold morning in Akron. It had been sitting by itself in Brittain Yard in the engine service area. Now, it was sitting in front of me just like it had been on that frigid January day.

That January portrait also had been the result of a fortuitous glance at the right time. Do you think that the 6989 wants me to find it?

I noticed some tracks in the snow heading toward the tracks before making a sharp right turn and running parallel to the railroad tracks. The tire tracks appeared to have been made by a tractor.

Those tire tracks intrigued me. They show winter and give the image some movement. The viewer’s eyes naturally follow the tractor tire tracks toward the railroad tracks and then toward the train.

The tractor tire tracks also lead the viewer toward a weathered barn on the other side of the railroad tracks.

This might have been a nice image even without the barn, but it makes for a left framing object and reinforces the sense of place. The fields, the barn, the stubble of last year’s crops poking through the snow, and the open space work together to show that this is farm country.

It is slumbering now, but soon the snow will gone and it will be time to get back into the fields to plant this year’s crops.

Some of the original images were dark so I had to work them in Photoshop. I’m still not sure that I’m happy with the results, but I got what I wanted, which was to draw out the tractor tire tracks and the clouds of an approaching front.

There is just enough light showing through the clouds to give the sense that it is late day and sunset would come in another hour or less.

I didn’t notice until I began to work with the image that there is another set of tracks in the top image, too. There are footprints that cross the tractor tire tracks and lead somewhat toward the train.

Those footprints add a sense of mystery. Why would someone have been out walking in this field?

It is the type of image that I may never be able to replicate here again because I might not have the same combination of factors that came together to make this image what it is, namely the snow cover, the tire tracks and a sitting train.

I didn’t want to spend much time here. I faced a long drive and I wanted to get home. Had I been willing to spend more time working the scene I might have come up with something even better.

Still, I was quite pleased with what I was able to make. a winter day series that started with a simple glance to my right.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Afternoon of Sun and Snow on CSX in Kent

March 7, 2015

It is a view in Kent that I've photographed in many seasons, but not with snow covering the ground.

It is a view in Kent that I’ve photographed in many seasons, but not with snow covering the ground.

I had not been in Kent yet this winter and with a sunny day in store it was time to get down there.

My primary objective was to make the top image shown here. I’ve photographed this view of a westbound on the CSX New Castle Subdivision coming past the dam on the Cuyahoga River many times in good weather, but I couldn’t remember doing it with a snow cover on the ground.

I didn’t have to wait long for a westbound. I did, though, have to trudge through rather deep snow along the fence to get to the vantage needed to make the image.

Not long after the passage of the westbound auto rack train, I heard the IO dispatcher tell it that he would see two eastbounds.

I don’t know if that meant while waiting at Lambert or en route to Lambert in the far southwest corner of Akron.

The first of those was an eastbound auto rack train while the second was a Q372 that I was later told was a rerouted train.

As it was getting to be late afternoon, I was hoping for one more westbound. Yet what I heard on the radio was an eastbound that turned out to be a light power move. I wondered if it was the power from the D750 headed back home.

I also heard a K train call the signal at Ravenna. The light power move passed the K train somewhere in the eastern reaches of Kent.

The K train turned out to be an ethanol train with a CEFX unit leading and a Canadian Pacific unit trailing.

By now the Cuyahoga River covered in shadows and only small slivers of light were making their way to the CSX tracks.

That turned out to be a good thing because it illuminated the nose of the CEFX 1044. That image turned out to be my favorite one of the day and I went home feeling satisfied.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The second of two auto rack trains that I would see on this day. Wonder how cold that water is in the Cuyahoga River.

The second of two auto rack trains that I would see on this day. Wonder how cold that water is in the Cuyahoga River.

An HLCX rent a write led the detouring Q372.

An HLCX rent a write led the detouring Q372.

A light power move passes beneath the former Erie passenger station.

A light power move passes beneath the former Erie passenger station.

The going away shot of the light power move. Can't you tell?

The going away shot of the light power move. Can’t you tell?

I've seen these CEFX wide cab units here and there but don't recall getting one on the lead before.

I’ve seen these CEFX wide cab units here and there but don’t recall getting one on the lead before.

My favorite image of the day.

My favorite image of the day.

A parting shot of the ethanol train rounding the curve as it heads for Akron and then I headed for home.

A parting shot of the ethanol train rounding the curve as it heads for Akron and then I headed for home.

 

 

Mission Accomplished in Frozen Vermilion

March 5, 2015

An eastbound train of coal hoppers rattles the bridge over the Vermilion River in the river's namesake city. Or is the city named for the river?

An eastbound train of coal hoppers rattles the bridge over the Vermilion River in the river’s namesake city. Or is the city named for the river?

Zooming in on a westbound intermodal train. The river was frozen enough to walk on and snowmobilers and ATVs were racing along as can be seen by their tracks.

Zooming in on a westbound intermodal train. The river was frozen enough to walk on and snowmobilers and ATVs were racing along as can be seen by their tracks.

An R.J. Corman boxcar adds some bright red to the scene of white.

An R.J. Corman boxcar adds some bright red to the scene of white.

Several years ago Marty Surdyk showed a slide of a Norfolk Southern train crossing the frozen and snow-covered Vermilion River at the boat launch site in that community on the shore of Lake Erie. The image was made on a sunny day.

I was impressed with the scene and made a mental note to put creating my own winter scene at Vermilion on my “to do list.”

As I said, that was several years ago. My objective of photographing in Vermilion in the winter on a sunny day got put on a shelf and several winters passed by.

There were several reasons for that. More than likely, I would only be able to get to Vermilion on a weekend day and how many  of those would have the combination of sun, snow and ice that I needed?

Last Saturday all of the necessary components fell into place and I made my way to Vermilion. I parked in the upper parking lot, turned on my scanner and waited.

I missed the first train that got to the bridge much faster than I expected after calling the signal west of town where the connection to the former Nickel Plate Road mainline is located on the Chicago Line.

I  missed the second train because it took  longer than I expected to walk down the steps and trudge through deep snow to the river’s edge.

Finally I got smart and decided to park below next to the water even though the parking lot down there still had quite a bit of snow in it.

When the third train came along I was ready. Check another one off the list.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders