Posts Tagged ‘railroad tracks’

Chicago Line Sunrise Two for Tuesday

January 18, 2022

I’m standing in the rear door of a coach on Amtrak’s westbound Capitol Limited watching the sun rise as the train charges along on Norfolk Southern’s Chicago Line. Sunrise occurred just before we reached Edgerton, Ohio.

It was the first leg of a circle trip I made out of Cleveland in May 2014 that involved No. 29; the westbound Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle; a Cascades Service Talgo train from Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia; VIA Rail Canada’s The Canadian from Vancouver to Toronto; the Maple Leaf from Toronto to Syracuse, New York; and the Lake Shore Limited back to Cleveland.

I had never done a trip quite like it before and might not do another one again.

Both images above were made between Edgerton and Butler, Indiana.

Can You Wash Locomotives, too?

December 30, 2021

I was driving in Clifton, Illinois, a small town located on the Chicago Subdivision of Canadian National, when I spotted this car wash located right next to a spur leading to a grain elevator complex. I was a little surprised at how close the business was to the track even if this line may be used sparingly. It also led me to wonder if a crew could wash its locomotive here. Probably not but it’s fun to think of the possibilities. A bay for locomotives could easily be added on to the building.

One Day at Akron Union Depot

April 18, 2021

It is the late 1960s and the wayback machine has landed us on the Akron Union Depot passenger platform looking railroad west.

In the far center is Erie Lackawanna’s McCoy Street Yard and on the right is EL’s passenger station. The siding in front of us was often used for mail cars.

The tracks are from left to right: Penn Central siding to switch industries, PC branch from Hudson, Baltimore & Ohio eastbound main, B&O mail car siding, B&O westbound main, and the EL eastbound main.

On the other side of the EL platform are the EL westbound main and a siding reaching a few places including Quaker Oats.

This image provides a rich amount of detail. Take, for example, the B&O mail siding. Notice the steam line coming out of the ground, a throwback to its former role as a set out track for passenger cars.

At one time this track was used for set off or pick up sleepers to and from trains arriving in Akron in the middle of the night.

Passengers could board the car at a decent hour and go to sleep well-ahead of train time, or remain on one that had arrived and been set out in the middle of the night until daylight. 

In later years it came to be where mail cars were left for pick-up.  There was a similar siding on the other end of the platform for eastbound trains.

At one time these set off sleepers were a common passenger railroading practice.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Sunset at Scipio

December 23, 2020

It was the end of what had been a long and productive day of railfanning on the CSX Willard Subdivision and Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern in July 2008.

There were still a couple more CSX trains to catch, including a grain train and a coke train. The light was fading fast.

But I had one more image to make. You are looking westward on the former Baltimore & Ohio mainline near Scipo, Ohio.

When the sun gets low you can always go for glint shots and sunset images. If executed well, they make dramatic photographs.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

Catching a New York Central Alco Cab Unit

March 12, 2020

It is late February1968 along the ex-New York Central mainline between Cleveland and Painesville, and Penn Central 1052, an Alco FA-2 that is a former NYC unit is is the last locomotive in its lash up.

Penn Central is less than a month old and largely looking like its predecessor railroads.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Boarding in Waterloo

November 25, 2019

Their train was late and it had to make two stops at the station in Waterloo, Indiana.

That’s because when Amtrak operates on Track 2 on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern it doesn’t halt next to the platform.

Instead, passengers board and disembark from a much smaller platform between the two tracks.

Such is life on a busy freight line and on this morning the NS was very busy with faster trains relegated to Track 2 and slower unit trains to Track 1.

So the westbound Capitol Limited made two stops in Waterloo, one for sleeping car passengers and the other for coach passengers as shown above.

With the busy Thanksgiving travel period getting underway this week Amtrak trains and platforms are going to be crowded with holiday travelers.

Erie Lackawanna in SW. Akron

August 5, 2019

Erie Lackawanna U33C No. 3301 is eastbound in southwest Akron in the winter of 1968/1969. This looks like it was taken east of the intersection of Coventry Road and Fairview Avenue a few hundred feet east of where the mainlines of the Baltimore & Ohio and EL separated to go to Sterling, Ohio.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Feast for the Birds

September 7, 2018

Leaking doors of covered hopper cars are good news for birds and other animals that eat grain.

A sparrow sits at the table — in this case a railroad crosstie — in Marion to enjoy some corn that fell from a passing CSX train on the Mt. Victory Subdivision.

Used to be a Yard Here

June 15, 2018

The Erie Railroad once had a large yard, roundhouse and shops in Kent. All of that is gone now and has been for many years.

This view is looking northeastward at the area where the yard used to be.

The one track left is owned by Portage County and used by the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway to serve a tar company in Kent and cardboard box company in Ravenna.

It can be difficult to imagine that at one time at all hours of the day men worked here sorting freight cars and servicing engines.

The beginning of the end was when the Erie gave up steam locomotive power in the early 1950s, but the decline sharply accelerated after the Erie Lackawanna decided to do in Marion much of the work done in Kent.

Today, trees and brush grow where there used to be yard tracks. Rather than the sound of bumping freight cars and shrieking steel wheels there is the blowing wind and whatever ambient noise is emanating from the city.

The Portage Hike and Bike trail skirts the edge of the complex and it was from that trail that I made this image.

Meet Me at Interstate 90

May 30, 2018

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited meets a westbound CSX auto rack train beneath the bridge carrying Interstate 90 over the CSX Erie West Subdivision at the State Line exit on the border of Pennsylvania and New York just outside North East, Pennsylvania.

The auto rack train has Union Pacific motive power and a cut of manifest freight.

No. 48 was operating 43 minutes late when it left Erie, but the New York section made it to Penn Station in New York less than 10 minutes late.