Posts Tagged ‘railroad signals’

Early Morning at CP 367

April 3, 2022

It is early on a Sunday morning in late March in Waterloo, Indiana, on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern. An eastbound manifest freight has a clear signal on Track 2 at CP 367, which controls a set of crossover switches, one of which can be seen in this image.

I didn’t get the symbol for this freight but chances are it originated in the classification yard in Elkhart, Indiana, 55 miles to the west.

I made this image while standing on the Amtrak boarding platform. The Chicago Line was busy with eastbounds on this morning, In less than an hour’s time I caught four of them, including a coal train, two intermodal trains and the manifest freight shown above.

Not a bad way to begin a day of railfanning.

Grinding Along at Pawnee

January 4, 2022

I am standing on the rickety wood bridge carrying River Corners Road over the CSX New Castle Subdivision west of Lodi.

A westbound CSX coke train rumbles along past the venerable Baltimore & Ohio color position light signals at a location the crews call Pawnee when calling the signal indication over the radio.

You will notice the mast for the signal on Track 2 has a letter plate “G” which denotes grade. If an eastbound gets a red signal here the crew may continue at restricted speed prepared to stop until the next signal. That is because the train is on a grade.

A number of things have changed at this location since this image was made on May 23, 2008.

The CPLs have been replaced by newer signals that can be seen standing shortly to the east. Interestingly, those “newer” signals have themselves since been replaced.

In 2008 the bridge on which I am standing was still a one-lane wood structure. It has been placed by a modern concrete two-lane bridge.

However, that bridge has a high chain link fence that makes getting photographs here a challenge.

The signal is likely named for Pawnee Road, which once crossed over the tracks on a wood bridge to the east of here. That bridge was removed in conjunction with the project that led to the replacement of the River Corners Road bridge.

The highway to the right is U.S. Route 224 and it is still the two-lane road it was when this image was made.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

New London Coming/Going Two for Tuesday

December 28, 2021

It is late afternoon on Oct. 21, 2007, and the sunlight is warm and illuminating. I’m standing on the bridge carrying Biglow Parkway over the CSX Greenwich Subdivision.

The bridge spans the CP 47 interlocking where the Wheeling & Lake Erie’s Carey Subdivision joins with CSX to Greenwich before Wheeling trains either continue west on CSX to Willard to interchange cars or get back on the Carey Sub to continue their trip.

At one time this location was called Hiles and a tower guarded the diamonds where the Akron, Canton & Youngstown crossed the New York Central (Big Four). But the former AC&Y is gone between here and Greenwich in favor of trackage rights on CSX.

In the top image, the rear of an eastbound auto rack train has passed the westbound CP 47 home signals. But look in the distance and you’ll see the headlight of a fast approaching westbound intermodal train.

In the bottom image the intermodal is about to knock down the signal on Track 2 and blast through the interlocking and New London.

In the distance can be seen the rear of the auto rack train. Note, also the set out track north of the signals.

The road visible on the left side of the frame is North Railroad Street but become Griffin Road a short distance north of here. It runs parallel to the tracks until ending at Chenango Road, which crosses both the CSX and W&LE tracks.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

First Train of the Day

December 7, 2021

Getting that first train of the day during a photography outing can feel special, particularly if it comes along shortly after you’ve reached trackside.

Shown is NS train 25A at Ball interlocking in Cowan, Indiana, on the New Castle District. Ball is a set of crossovers toward the middle of a long passing siding south of Muncie, the home of Ball State University and a glass jar manufacturer in whose honor the college is named.

I had first spotted the 25A in Muncie and hustled out here to make this image. I’ve photographed several westbounds in Cowan but never an eastbound.

This train is typical of railroading in the precision scheduled railroading era. The 25A is, in theory, an intermodal train operating from Calumet Yard in Chicago to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

It did have some containers in the consist but these days you can find just about anything in the consist of many trains.

The 25A would not be operating very much further beyond Ball before halting near York Point, where the siding ends. The 142 was coming west.

I didn’t wait around to see that meet. I was heading back into Muncie to catch the 142 on a bridge over the White River.

Clear at CP 412

June 24, 2021

The crew of Norfolk Southern container train 294 is looking at a clear signal indication on Track 2 of the Chicago Line at CP 412 in Goshen, Indiana.

In the distance a tie gang is working on Track 1 and the foreman had given the 294 permission through his work limits at 25 mph with instructions to make some noise.

The tie gang had Track 1 out of service until 5 p.m. on this Tuesday from CP 412 to CP 397.

The downside to track work season is traffic is generally reduced during work hours. The upside is the trains that are allowed to go through the work zones must identify themselves to the foreman in charge to get verbal permission through the zone.

Not far behind the 294 was the 22W, another eastbound intermodal train with stacks and trailers. But before these two trains showed up there had been a lull of more than an hour.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Friendly Wave at Alliance

May 30, 2021

It’s July 1972 in Alliance. The fireman of Penn Central Alco C628 No. 6314 is giving a friendly wave as the train enters the Bayard Branch on its way to Conway Yard near Pittsburgh. Also in the motive power consist are PC 6314, 6300, and 6317. The track under the rear trucks of No. 6314 is the Fort Wayne Line to Canton and Chicago.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

In the Middle of a Lap Siding

May 10, 2021

CSX has removed some of the lap siding on the Toledo Subdivision that the Baltimore & Ohio installed years ago, but it kept the one in Cairo, Ohio. Shown is steel train K596 coming out of the northern end of the siding and onto the main.

If you look carefully, you will see that the dwarf signal is giving a train in the southern end of the siding a clear signal to come out onto the main.

Out of view is CSX manifest freight that is meeting the K596 here.

Note that lead unit SD40-2 No. 4008 has one of the square cabs CSX gave some of these units when they were rebuilt. This locomotive was originally built for the Seaboard Coast Line.

Nice Way to Start the Day

April 29, 2021

We had driven up Interstate 69 to Waterloo, Indiana, which would be our first stop during a day-long railfan outing.

Scarcely had we arrived when the detector west of town on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern went off on Track 2, likely indicating an eastbound was coming.

Through my telephoto lens I could tell the lead unit was not NS black and for a moment I thought that, maybe, it was a heritage unit.

It tuned out to be a BNSF pumpkin with a Southern Belle of Kansas City Southern trailing. That’s not a bad catch although I wished the order of the units had been reversed.

It was train 880, which had come into Chicago from the Power River Basin of Wyoming and been turned over to an NS crew at Cicero, Illinois. The train was bound for Trenton, Michigan.

In the view above, it is splitting the westbound home signals of CP 367 and passing the former New York Central passenger station, which is now owned by the city and contains a waiting room for Amtrak passengers.

Steam Saturday: NKP 765 Has the Signal

April 24, 2021

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. is putting on a show as it cruises westbound at milepost 123.2 on Norfolk Southern east of Orrville on June 21, 1983. These rails were originally laid by the Wheeling & Lake Erie and then for several years were part of the Nickel Plate system. Now they are again owned by the modern W&LE.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

The Right Direction This Time

April 20, 2021

About a week ago I was chasing trains on the New Castle District of Norfolk Southern in southwestern Ohio when we wound up in Somerville.

The tracks cross Sevenmile Creek there on a nice looking bridge. I was able to photograph a train here but it was a westbound manifest freight.

The images were fine yet not what I would have ideally wanted.

So last Sunday we got wind that an eastbound was coming and made our way to Somerville to wait on it.

The wait was worth it and the resulting image more what I wanted to get here.

Shown is manifest freight 143 on its way from Eklhart, Indiana, to Chattanooga, Tennessee.