Posts Tagged ‘railroad street running’

Running Down the Street in Erie

January 11, 2021

Over the years areas east and west had popular locations that were attractive for railfanning.

One spot was the Norfolk Southern (ex-Nickel Plate Road) 19th Street trackage in Erie, Pennsylvania.

It was in place for over 100 years from 1882 until October 2001. Anytime we were in the area we always found photo and video opportunities if trains were nearby.

The trains we saw included regular freights and excursions pulled by Norfolk & Western steam locomotives 611 and 1218.

There was one time Robert Surdyk was with me and we were about a minute too late to photograph NKP 765. As Maxwell Smart would say, we missed it by thatmuch.

The street running in Erie would be eliminated by relocating the route to parallel the CSX (ex-New York Central) right of way that was north of 19th Street.

When word got out that street trackage would be eliminated we made several trips to document its remaining days.

The final NS freight ran down the street on Sept. 27, 2001. On Oct. 12, 2001, a four-car special that included the NS Exhibit Car ran down the street. After it passed, a rail on each end of the street running was turned over to mark taking the line out of service. It was the formal end of the street running.

Above are photographs of a westbound on Sept. 17, 2001. Being a school day in the afternoon, kids on the way home from school are witnessing the last days of street running.

Twenty years later, I still miss the 10 mph trains on 19th Street.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Right Down the Street

December 9, 2020

Perhaps one of the lesser known examples of railroad street running is in Elwood, Indiana, where the Frankfort District of Norfolk Southern runs down the middle of C Street for four blocks.

This is former Nickel Plate Road (Lake Erie & Western) territory and rail traffic is light. You can sit for hours here and not see a train.

My first visit to Elwood, located in central Indiana about 43 miles north of Indianapolis, didn’t net any trains in the street but I did catch an NS hi-railer headed westbound as seen above.

Town Plans Changes to NS Street Running Street

April 15, 2020

The city of Warsaw, Indiana, is planning to make changes to the street running of the Marion Branch of Norfolk Southern.

Plans are to make Hickory Street one way for two blocks on each side of Center Street.

Hickory would be one way north from Center Street and one way south from Center.

The city also wants to install curbs to allow for parking in the direction of traffic on both sides of the street.

The intent of doing this is to stop motor vehicles driving on the rails except crossing them to park across the track.

The city expects this practice to remove opposing vehicle traffic with one car on the rails.

The rails are expected to remain in the street.

The street running begins on Hickory at East Main Street and extends for four blocks south to East Market Street.

Tracks Being Removed from Street in Indiana City

October 15, 2019

The Nickel Plate Road ran down the middle of Noblesville, the county seat of Hamilton County, Indiana. These tracks are in the process of being removed.

Cross off another section of street running from a dwindling list of such places in the United States.

Workers on Monday began removing the tracks from Eighth Street on the square in downtown Noblesville, Indiana.

For decades a former Nickel Plate Road line from Indianapolis to Michigan City, Indiana, ran through Noblesville in the street between Conner and Division streets.

However, except for the occasional excursion train hosted by the Indiana Transportation Museum the tracks have gone unused.

Noblesville was the home of the ITM until June 2018 when the museum was evicted from its longtime Forest Park home.

Workers had earlier this year removed the ex-NKP rails between the southern edge of Noblesville and 96th Street in Fishers in preparation for transforming the right of way into a hiking and biking trail. The track being removed had opened in March 1851.

Chasing South Shore Geeps Down the Street

April 2, 2015

A South Shore light power move has just entered the street running on 11th Street in Michigan City, Ind.

A South Shore light power move has just entered the street running on 11th Street in Michigan City, Ind.

One of our objectives in visiting Michigan City, Ind., recently was to photograph the street running done by South Shore trains. Getting a passenger train was all but assured because they run on a published schedule.

But getting a freight train in the street would take having some luck. In a literal sense, we didn’t get that.

But we did get a light power move of two South Shore freight GP35s running down 11th Street. We chased them for a while and got them meeting a passenger train near the Beverly Shores station.

We began our quest by “visiting” the South Shore yard and shops on the east side of town. I say visit in quotations marks because we never went onto the property.

Instead, we viewed the sights from a road bridge that goes over the facility. There were several South Shore freight locomotives in the service area, but nothing seemed to be moving or about to move.

We spent some time photographing Amtrak trains and heard a South Shore crew talking to the dispatcher. The crew said it had No. 2000 facing west and No. 2005 facing east.

Those are freight unit numbers and it gave us hope that a freight train would be operating.

After the passage of an Amtrak train, we swung past the South Shore yard again. Crossing the tracks by the Carroll Avenue Station, we could see that No. 2000 had its headlights and ditch lights on. It must be getting ready to move.

Another radio conversation with the dispatcher confirmed that this crew was headed westward to do some work.

We waited in a parking lot toward the east end of the street running on 11th Street. When we saw the crossing gates going down for East Michigan Avenue, it was time to get into position.

Initially, I was standing in the street, but as the train approached I stepped back up onto the curb. That was a good thing because right as the locomotive arrived and we had finished getting out “coming” photos, a white car passed going the opposition direction of the train and it would have hit me had I not moved.

After photographing the train coming and going, Adam suggested that we chase it down the street. I made some photographs from the passenger seat.

It wasn’t the first train I’ve shot from a moving vehicle, but it was the first one that I photographed that was going down the street ahead of me.

We chased the train west of Michigan City, getting it waiting for a passenger train at the west end of a section of double track. With that we returned to Michigan City to get more photographs and to have lunch.

If you’re ever in Michigan City, I highly recommend the Shoreline Brewery on Wabash Street. It features great food and beer. Besides, how can you go wrong at a place whose logo is shaped and has the same colors as the herald of the South Shore Line?

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Slipping through a residential neighborhood. The houses are on Maple Street.

Slipping through a residential neighborhood. The houses are on Maple Street.

The going away shot with late morning sun illuminating the nose.

The going away shot with late morning sun illuminating the nose.

You've heard of a steeple cab, but how about a steeple coming out of a cab?

You’ve heard of a steeple cab, but how about a steeple coming out of a cab?

I like this image because it conveys a sense of a railroad track running down a street complete with all of the urban clutter of traffic signals, street signs and utility poles. If you look to the right of the nose of No. 2005 you'll see milepost 34 attached to a utility pole.

I like this image because it conveys a sense of a railroad track running down a street complete with all of the urban clutter of traffic signals, street signs and utility poles. If you look to the right of the nose of No. 2005 you’ll see milepost 34 attached to a utility pole.

We've caught up with the South Shore geeps and are pacing them down the street, hanging back a little ways.

We’ve caught up with the South Shore geeps and are pacing them down the street, hanging back a little ways.

That grade crossing signal that you see is to warn traffic about trains on the track that is parallel to them. The light power move is shown making a job during which it will transition onto 10th Street for more street running. In the process, it will cross Kentucky Street and Chicago Street as well as Amtrak's Michigan District. If you don't stop behind that yellow sign you might get clipped as a train comes around the curve.

That grade crossing signal that you see is to warn traffic about trains on the track that is parallel to them. The light power move is shown making a job during which it will transition onto 10th Street for more street running. In the process, it will cross Kentucky Street and Chicago Street as well as Amtrak’s Michigan District. If you don’t stop behind that yellow sign you might get clipped as a train comes around the curve.

The signals at the left edge of the image was the eastward home signals for Amtrak's Michigan District, which crosses the South Shore on a diamond on the edge of 10th Street.

The signals at the left edge of the image was the eastward home signals for Amtrak’s Michigan District, which crosses the South Shore on a diamond on the edge of 10th Street.

The crew has stopped just short of Lake Shore County Road. The crossing gates remained down and when a vehicle approached a crew member would come out of the cab and wave them across.

The crew has stopped just short of Lake Shore County Road. The crossing gates remained down and when a vehicle approached a crew member would come out of the cab and wave them across.

The engineer of No. 2000 has moved down slightly to block Lake Shore County Road as the passenger train approaches in the distance.

The engineer of No. 2000 has moved down slightly to block Lake Shore County Road as the passenger train approaches in the distance.

South Shore freight meets South Shore passenger.

South Shore freight meets South Shore passenger.

With the passenger train out of the way, the light power move has the signal to move onto the single track in Beverly Shores.

With the passenger train out of the way, the light power move has the signal to move onto the single track in Beverly Shores.

The Monongahela Lives On

June 17, 2012

A couple of Monongahela Railway cabooses are still used in work train service. Shown is one of them in the street at West Brownsville, Pa., on June 13, 2012.

The Monongahela Railway disappeared into Conrail in 1993, but it has been given a new sliver of life with the painting of a Norfolk Southern 30th anniversary heritage locomotive in Mon colors.

Although Mon locomotives vanished years ago, not so a pair of Mon cabooses that are still used in work train service on former Mon lines. I caught one of them on Tuesday, June 13, 2012, running down the street in West Brownsville, Pa.

I was there in hopes of catching two NS heritage units that were known to leading a coal train loading at Bailey mine on the former Monongahela Manor Branch. The first train that we saw was a southboud work train.

We didn’t know this bay window caboose was on the end, so it was a pleasant surprise, a sort of heritage piece of rolling stock.

And, yes, we caught the heritage units in the street, too. See the post below.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

The Monongahela logo is still visible on the side of this Mon caboose.

The first vehicle “tailgating” the Norfolk Southern work train at West Brownsville is an NS MOW truck.