Posts Tagged ‘Railfanning the Wheeling & Lake Erie’

Rio Grande of the East: Part 3

March 31, 2020

At one point The Wheeling & Lake Erie had seven former Denver & Rio Grande Western engines on its roster and all still were painted for their former owner.

This included one GP35, four GP40s and two SD40T-2s. The GP35 has since been rebuilt and repainted as have two of the GP40s, one of which was destroyed in a wreck. That leaves just four engines still in Rio Grande paint.

Here are some photos of the former Rio Grande units from when they were still painted and lettered for the Rio Grande.

The top photograph was made in Glenwillow, the middle photograph in Parma and the bottom photograph in Carey.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Rio Grande of the East: Part 2

March 30, 2020

Last weekend the Wheeling & Lake Erie sent its two Rio Grande painted tunnel motors to Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

For many years seeing either one of these on the east end was a rarity. It was pokicy to keep them west of Brewster because of their larger wheelbase.

Recently this has changed. As a result of CSX and NS converting to Positive Train control the Wheeling has been equipping many of their engines with PTC to run on those lines.

The two former Rio Grande tunnel motors have not and will not be so equipped.

As a result they will be confined to ares of the railroad that do not require PTC use. I caught the pair leading a train into Connellsville this past Saturday.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

The Rio Grande of the East

March 28, 2020

The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad is considered the “Rio Grande of the East.” It gets this moniker for several reasons.

CEO Larry Parsons worked for the Rio Grande and when he came to the Wheeling he adopted a paint scheme similar to that of the Rio Grande.

Also the territory, especially the east end of the railroad, is very rugged with many tunnels and high steel bridges.

Last Saturday I caught Wheeling train 218 as it exited State Line tunnel on the border of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Engine 301 is a GP40 that is a former Rio Grande engine acquired secondhand by the Wheeling.

Article and Photograph by Todd Dillon

W&LE on the Brewster Subdivision in Orrville

February 7, 2020

Here are a pair of images of one Wheeling & Lake Erie westbound in Orrville on Feb. 3, 2020.

In the top image, W&LE SD40-2 No. 7008 is on the lead as the train navigates the Brewster Subdivision. Notice the trackless ties on the right. There once was a passing siding here.

The bottom image was made at the same location location but much closer to the photographer. The second locomotive is a Denver & Rio Grande Western heritage unit.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Then and Now with W&LE 4602

December 4, 2019

After finishing its work in the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway yard in Akron, Wheeling & Lake Erie GP9R No. 4602 and its train is heading back to Barberton using the ABC’s own track instead of the more commonly used CSX trackage rights.

The top two images were made on Nov. 27. No. 4602 is the only locomotive of this model on the W&LE motive power roster.

It is equipped with remote control switching capability for yard work.

As can be seen in the bottom image, which was made on March 28, 2011, in Orrville, the 4602 once worked for the Grand Trunk Western and for a time still wore its GTW livery, albeit with the name of is former owner blotted out.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Black and White Kind of Day

November 14, 2019

Wheeling & Lake Erie GP35-3 No. 102 is headed westbound in Brewster on Nov. 5, 2019.

While the image was shot in color, the front of the train was in shadow and the back in sun. It made an OK color photo but a much better black and white.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Out of the Ordinary

November 3, 2019

Here is an out-of-the-ordinary pair of images. At first glance there may be little to surprise you. These two photos were taken about two hours apart.

In the top image R.J. Corman SD40T-2 No. 8336 is backing up westbound into the Wheeling & Lake Erie’s yard in Brewster, Ohio, on Oct. 9, 2019, on W&LE tracks at the W&LE/Corman diamond.

In the bottom image, W&LE SD40T-2 Nos. 8795 and 5413 plus one other locomotive are westbound at the west end of the yard.

Yes, 5413 is a Rio Grande heritage unit, but that was not what surprised me.

Nos. 8336, 8795, and 5413 are not only in three different paint schemes, but all three are tunnel motors.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

Working With What You Have

October 8, 2019

There are days when the forces are working against you. The light isn’t great. The train traffic is minimal or, worse, non existent.

Bob Farkas found himself having one of those days during a recent outing.

He didn’t have great light, with only enough side lighting from the back to provide illumination.

But this was the only train that he could photograph on this particular morning.

So here is Wheeling & Lake Erie SD40-2 still wearing a FURX livery leading a westbound train.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

PUCO Approves 12 Grade Crossing Projects

August 4, 2019

Six railroads will install new grade crossing protection equipment at 12 crossing as a result of recent action by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Norfolk Southern will install lights and gates at the Township Road 212 grade crossing in Arcadia by July 30, 2020.

CSX will install lights and gates as well as remove a spur track at the Main Street crossing in the New Bloomington

The Wheeling & Lake Erie will install light, gates and a new crossing surface at the County Road 504 crossing in Creston, as well as install lights and gates, and complete surface reconstruction at the Center Street crossing in New Washington;

The Kanawha River Railroad will install lights and gates at the Carpenter Road/County Road 13 crossing in Albany.

The Columbus &; and Ohio River Railroad will upgrade lights and gates at the Thornwood Drive crossing in Heath and at the Parrot Street crossing in Mt. Vernon. The crossing surface at Parrot Street also will require traffic signal preemption installed and the crossing surface to be reconstructed.

The CSX, W&LE, KRR and C&OR projects are all to be completed by April 30, 2020.

The Akron Barberton Cluster Railway will install LED lights at the Oak Street crossing in Ravenna, as well as at the Tuscarawas Avenue, Fourth Street, Hopocan Avenue, Cleveland-Massillon Road crossings in the city of Barberton.

Those projects are to be completed by July 31, 2020.

Day in Northeast Ohio

July 3, 2019

Northeast Ohio is blessed with numerous railroad lines including some that are among the busiest in the nation in terms of traffic and freight volume handled.

In the top image, an eastbound CSX work train rounds the curve in downtown Clinton. This is track maintenance season and work trains are not an uncommon sight.

In the middle image, CSX C40-9W leads an auto rack train at Clinton, also known as Warwick, on the New Castle Subdivision.

Not to be overlooked is the Wheeling & Lake Erie. SD40-2 No. 7011 leads a train west of Orrville.

No. 7011 was built for the Missouri Pacific and spent time on the roster of the Union Pacific before being acquired by the Wheeling

Photographs by Robert Farkas