Posts Tagged ‘Railfanning in Youngstown Ohio’

Monday Rail Traffic at Center Street in Youngstown

November 12, 2020

While getting photographs of trains and fall colors on Monday, Todd Dillion also stopped by Center Street in Youngstown to check out the action there.

He bagged an Ohio Central train going to Norfolk Southern, a CSX auto rack train, a CSX local with two big GE units running nose to nose and a CSX coal train with a new EMD ST70AH.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Railroading as it Once Was: A Youngstown Snapshot Shows How I Remember this City

November 23, 2016


In defense of the grab shot, here is one I snapped in the summer of 1975. It was one of those stop the car, jump out, point and press, so I wasn’t expecting museum quality results.

I just wanted a shot of that Alco C425 as this was one of my first trips to Brier Hill in Youngstown.

Tucked away with all the other less interesting negatives, I took another look at this image recently and decided to scan it.

It is, indeed, a snapshot of what the everyday Erie Lackawanna looked like back then in that area.

From what I can see all equipment is lettered either Erie or EL. That’s the old Division Street bridge and what I think was the YS&T furnaces beyond the bridge.

EL Alcos moving ore hoppers surrounded by the mills: That’s the snapshot of Youngstown I’d like to remember.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Some Strange Bedfellows Showed up in Early Conrail Days

August 18, 2016

EL caboose and loco

There were some strange bedfellows in Conrail’s first year or two as the newly merged railroad was leasing anything it could beg, borrow, or even steal for a day or two.

In this August 1976 example we see a former Erie Lackawanna caboose being moved by a former Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Alco RS-3 (renumbered as BN 4065) at Brier Hill Yard, a former EL facility, in Youngstown.

West Coast meets East Coast in the shadow of the YS&T steel mill. In a few short years, Conrail would get its act together and these SP&S/BN units would make their way back to Washington State.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: When Center Street in Youngstown Had a Variety of Signal Types

April 6, 2016

Younstown Center Street

Like railroad signals? If so, then Center Street in Youngstown was the place to go to see a variety of them.

Take a look around this scene. There is a Pennsylvania Railroad style position light signal, a target signal and Baltimore & Ohio style color light position signals.

At left is CH Tower and the Chessie System yard. The train is a Conrail local sorting out idler cars.

The lead unit is a former Penn Central Alco C425 that still wears its PC livery, albeit modified, and carries its PC roster number.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Two Once Common Sights That are no Longer Seen in Younstown

March 23, 2016

B&O units in Youngstown

The Chesapeake & Ohio gained stock control of the Baltimore & Ohio in 1963, but the B&O still lived on paper for years to come. Locomotives and rollings stock continued to bear the B&O herald and markings.

As far as the public was concerned, the B&O never went away because the two railroads even maintained separate timetable listings for their passenger trains and operated as independent entities.

Shown are a pair of B&O GP-9s pulling a transfer j ob from Conrail to the Chessie System yard at Center Street. In the background is the hulking presence of the Republic Steel blast furnaces.

Today, the B&O and the Republic Steel plant are both only memories and there are fewer tracks at this location in Youngstown.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Youngstown Was the Place if You Wanted to See Alco Power in Action

March 2, 2016

LV in Youngstown

There was some magic about the early years of Conrail, a blending of old and new. OK, so there was more old than new, but Conrail combined both by taking veterans locomotives and giving them some minor changes to show who operated the locomotive now even if the previous operator was still obvious.

And if you wanted to watch old Alco locomotives in action, Youngstown was the place to be. Motive power assignments saw large number of Alcos roaming the rails in the Mahoning Valley.

The former Erie Lackawanna Brier Hill locomotive shop was a mandatory stop to check out what was laying about, particularly in the early years of Conrail.

In the photograph above, former Lehigh Valley, Penn Central and Erie Lackawanna units gather at the EL Brier Hill locomotive shop in Youngstown in 1977.

The old and new is apparent with this former Lehigh Valley C-628. The LV name has been painted over and the initials “CR” applied to the nose. But the heritage of the unit remains unmistakable.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Chasing the Y&S Was My Plan D for Monday

September 16, 2014

On the original PL&W east of Rogers, Ohio.

On the original PL&W east of Rogers, Ohio.

I had taken off work on Monday to chase the Nickel Plate Road No. 765 ferry move back west.  I was planning on chasing locally and westward as far as Bellevue or even Fostoria.

Well, it turned out that Norfolk Southern had a major derailment near Fort Wayne and the ferry move was cancelled for this week.

What to do?  Plan B, obviously, but chasing the 765 had been my plan A, B and C.  OK, time now for plan D.  I headed for North Lima (across the state from Lima where the 765 was built) to check on the Youngstown & Southern.

The power was missing which was a good sign. Now the question was which way did the train go?

Normally it will head north to Youngstown one day then south to Darlington the next.  I guessed south. The line is more scenic and I could backtrack if need be.

I guessed right as I caught the train returning around Negley. This trackage dates to 1852 at the earliest going through many incarnations until becoming the Pittsburgh, Lisbon & Western in 1896.

he PL&W didn’t reach Pittsburgh but terminated at New Galilee, Pa.; also, it never did build west of Lisbon.

The original Youngstown & Southern was built in 1902 as an interurban between Youngstown and Columbiana, Ohio. Later an extension was built to Leetonia and in 1936 a connection was built to Signal connecting with the PL&W.

All of these disparate lines were merged into the Youngstown & Southern in 1945.  By 1951 the electric operations had ceased and the remaining trackage was dieselized.

I chased the return trip over PL&W tracks, the new 1936 line, and the original interurban tracks back to North Lima.

On my way home I stopped by Midwest Steel in Youngstown.  This is an industrial concern that primarily scraps freight cars and has two switchers.

I saw on the property an ex-Conrail SW1 still in blue paint and a former Providence & Worcester SW1200. The SW1200 was switching today. This trackage is inherited from another Youngstown area short line, the Youngstown & Northern.

The northernmost part includes the diesel shop that is owned by LTEX. The middle part has been abandoned and the south end has morphed into a giant scrapping operation.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

A scenic view near Rogers, Ohio.

A scenic view near Rogers, Ohio.

The Route 558 overpass on the newest 1936 built Columbiana-Signal connection.

The Route 558 overpass on the newest 1936 built Columbiana-Signal connection.

The original Y&S former interurban at Columbiana. The short siding was not for freights but for the interurban cars.

The original Y&S former interurban at Columbiana. The short siding was not for freights but for the interurban cars.

The former Y&N is now Midwest Steel at Youngstown.

The former Y&N is now Midwest Steel at Youngstown.