Posts Tagged ‘Railfanning in Wellington Ohio’

Reminder of a Past ARRC Outing

May 30, 2017

Westbound CSX manifest freight lumbers beneath the eastbound home signals for CP 37 and the water tower in Wellington.

Wellington is one of those places that is not that far away yet far enough that I don’t get there that often.

It is closer than Bellevue, Fostoria or Marion, but not as close to my home as Berea and Olmsted Falls.

Sometimes you just don’t have a good reason for neglecting to spend more time at a place that you really like.

I recently spent a few hours in Wellington and as I sat at the Lorain County Fairgrounds on the west side of the CSX Greenwich Subdivision I was reminded of the one and only Akron Railroad Club outing to Wellington during my time in the club.

That day was not necessarily the best or most exciting ARRC outing I’ve attended over the years, but I still remember it fondly.

It occurred on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009. I no longer remember why we chose to go to Wellington. Maybe at the time we were making an effort to visit what the Bulletin termed secondary hotspots in Northeast Ohio.

The report in the Bulletin indicated that 10 members showed up during the day and 22 CSX trains passed through. The W&LE sent just one train through town.

While sitting in Wellington recently I thought about some of the things that have changed since that 2009 outing.

I was using slide film exclusively then but have since switched to digital photography. Five of the 10 who attended no longer belong to the ARRC with Richard Jacobs among them having passed away.

Marty Surdyk was driving a Dodge Nitro then, but has since downsized to a smaller Jeep Patriot, I think it is.

Despite logging 22 CSX trains, I only made and/or saved eight 10 slides of CSX trains from that day, one of which is strikingly similar to the image that accompanies this article.

I had forgotten until I looked up the report of the outing published in the October 2009 Bulletin that Marty, myself and Rick Houck piled into the Nitro and chased the W&LE hopper train, getting it three times.

We speculated that it was a coke train that the Wheeling had picked up in Toledo from Canadian National. At the time, the W&LE was hauling coke that CN forwarded to Detroit.

I also had forgotten that when the outing began that morning a heavy rain was falling and that kept us in town rather than climbing the reservoir on the east side of the CSX tracks.

That also might explain why I have so few images from that day of CSX action.

The Bulletin report said we had lunch at Subway — where else? — and that by afternoon the skies had turned mostly sunny.

The report ended with the proclamation, “Let’s do it again, soon!” But that hasn’t happened and it probably won’t occur again as an ARRC activity.

Yet that won’t stop me from paying a return visit sooner rather than later. There are more memories there waiting to be made.

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The Red Grain Elevator of Wellington

May 19, 2017

A certain member of the Akron Railroad Club is known for his passion for photographing trains and grain elevators.

I know that in particular he likes the red grain facility in Wellington alongside the Greenwich Subdivision of CSX.

It makes for a dramatic  image in late afternoon sunlight. From what I can see, the facility is no longer served by rail.

I didn’t go there on a recent outing just to capture the red grain elevator. As much as anything I went there because Wellington wasn’t being covered  by clouds.

CSX cooperated beautifully by sending a pair of westbounds through town, a stack train and an ethanol train.

The ethanol train shown at top was the second of the pair and I tend to like that image the best of the two.

Atop the Wellington Reservoir on a Winter Day

March 22, 2015
The Lorain Country fairgrounds and the tail of the grain train on the connection track looms behind the motive power of that train in Wellington.

The Lorain Country fairgrounds and the tail of the grain train on the connection track looms behind the motive power of that train in Wellington.

It wasn’t an easy climb to get to the top of the reservoir at Wellington. That’s because I approached it from the north side where there was still plenty of snow.

On the west side much of the snow had melted. Want to guess which side I used to get down?

I’ve always enjoyed the view from the top of the reservoir that if affords of the CSX Greenwich Subdivision tracks. Trains almost look like HO models as they trundle past.

I spent around a hour atop the reservoir on a recent Sunday. It was midday and but the light favored westbound trains. I did get one westbound, but I also saw three eastbounds.

A grain train with CSX motive power was sitting on the connection between CSX and the Wheeling & Lake Erie that loops around the Lorain Country Fairgrounds. There was no crew aboard and who knows when that train would be moved.

On this day, the reservoir was still frozen and I saw at least one guy ice fishing. A couple of men and a boy walked across the ice in the distance, appearing to look for a place to go ice fishing.

I had other locations in mind to visit, so my visit was not long. I’ll be back, I’m sure, in the spring.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

An eastbound manifest freight catches up to the grain train parked on the W&LE connection track.

An eastbound manifest freight catches up to the grain train parked on the W&LE connection track.

There is no harness racing today at the racetrack at the Lorain Country Fairgrounds. August and the fair are still a ways off.

There is no harness racing today at the racetrack at the Lorain Country Fairgrounds. August and the fair are still a ways off.

The only westbound to come past during my visit was this ethanol train with a Norfolk Southern leader. It is the first NS locomotive I've seen on a CSX train at Wellington.

The only westbound to come past during my visit was this ethanol train with a Norfolk Southern leader. It is the first NS locomotive I’ve seen on a CSX train at Wellington.

A closer view of the westbound ethanol train showed that it  had a Canadian National unit lettered for Illinois Central beneath the cab window. But this was never an IC locomotive.

A closer view of the westbound ethanol train showed that it had a Canadian National unit lettered for Illinois Central beneath the cab window. But this was never an IC locomotive.

Winding Line of Covered Hopper Cars in Ohio

March 10, 2015

Winding hopper cars

It is common to see photographs of trains winding around in mountainous areas, particularly in the Western United States.

But such views in Ohio are unusual because most railroad lines here are pretty much straight due to the flat terrain. So I was struck by the sight that I saw atop the reservoir in Wellington on Sunday.

A grain train with CSX motive power was parked on the connecting track between CSX and the Wheeling & Lake Erie. This track loops around the Lorain County Fairgrounds.

The grain train, which did not have a crew on board, was waiting to get onto CSX. In the image above, the view is looking northwestward.

The motive power is just out of sight to the right and the tail end of the train is visible in the distance.

This is the first time I’ve seen a grain train on this connecting track. I wonder if interchanging grain trains with CSX is a recent development for the W&LE.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Pretty Locomotive Pulling an Ugly Train

September 2, 2014
A KCS "Southern Belle" leads a westbound beneath the home signals for CP 37 in Wellington early last Saturday afternoon. Seeing this unit was a nice surprise.

A KCS “Southern Belle” leads a westbound beneath the home signals for CP 37 in Wellington early last Saturday afternoon. Seeing this unit was a nice surprise.

In years past, the top of the reservoir at Wellington had been one of my favorite places to watch and photograph trains. The CSX mainline (former Big Four) route passes between the reservoir and the Lorain County Fairgrounds and the elevated view gives the aura of seeing a model railroad.

The Wheeling & Lake Erie tracks pass to the north although photographing W&LE operations from atop the reservoir is far from ideal.

It has been a while since I’d been to the reservoir. In fact, the last time that I was there with a camera was back in the days when I was making images on slide film. I’ve been digital since July 2011.

Last Saturday I decided to go to Wellington and the reservoir. It was a warm, humid day and a strong wind was whipping the water about.

I got a later start than I had hoped due to waiting in Olmsted Falls for two hours longer than I expected for a late Amtrak train.

By the time I got to Wellington, it was high noon. I hung around for more than an hour and was rewarded with steady traffic on CSX, two eastbounds and three westbounds.

The westbound fleet included a train of garbage containers that was pulled by a Southern Belle locomotive of Kansas City Southern.

I almost wasn’t ready for the Belle. An eastbound auto rack train was passing through and its rear had just cleared the home signal for the CP 37 interlocking when there was the Belle and its train.

Behind the garbage train was the L091, the run-through train of reefers bound for Union Pacific and an all UP motive power consist.

Seeing these foreign units reminded me of the early years following the Conrail split when foreign power of various railroads was plentiful on CSX.

Being on the reservoir also brought back pleasant memories of past trips to the reservoir and I decided that I need to not let so much time pass before I make a return visit. Next time I’ll get there earlier.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The L091 saunters through Wellington having been slowed by an approach signal.

The L091 saunters through Wellington having been slowed by an approach signal.

It was surprising to see a string of five cars that were free of graffiti. These cars must be new. Will they still be pristine when they make the return journey?

It was surprising to see a string of five cars that were free of graffiti. These cars must be new. Will they still be pristine when they make the return journey?

This eastbound train probably originated on Union Pacific given the consist of the freight cars. Several of the boxcars still bore Southern Pacific markings.

This eastbound train probably originated on Union Pacific given the consist of the freight cars. Several of the boxcars still bore Southern Pacific markings.

The Q371 rounded out the westbound trains that I saw during my time in Wellington. The Lorain County Fairgrounds in the background were largely quiet.

The Q371 rounded out the westbound trains that I saw during my time in Wellington. The Lorain County Fairgrounds in the background were largely quiet.

I made a brief side trip to New London and its reservoir. En route, I encountered a parked eastbound Wheeling & Lake Erie manifest freight just west of the Ohio Route 162 crossing. The train might have been waiting for a track car to clear up.

I made a brief side trip to New London and its reservoir. En route, I encountered a parked eastbound Wheeling & Lake Erie manifest freight just west of the Ohio Route 162 crossing. The train might have been waiting for a track car to clear up.