Posts Tagged ‘railroad tracks’

Little Progress Made on NS Vermilion Connection

August 29, 2017

In a view looking west from Risden Road, the grading has been done for the connection to the Chicago Line, but little else has been finished.

In a view looking east, the Chicago Line is at the far left while the path of the connection curves to the right.

The new connection once finished will reach the Cleveland District in the far distance to the right.

Last year during the Akron Railroad Club’s outing in Vermilion a few of us made the trek west of town to inspect the progress of a new connection being installed by Norfolk Southern.

Once complete, the connection will enable eastbound trains on the Chicago Line to directly access the Cleveland District, which is the former Nickel Plate Road mainline.

Those expected to use the connection include intermodal trains 22K and 206.

Of course, the connection will also benefit westbound trains on the Cleveland District headed for the Chicago Line, such as intermodals 23K and 205..

For several years there has been a connection between the two routes at CP 222 on the Chicago Line, but it is oriented toward westbound trains on the Chicago Line going to the Cleveland District and eastbound trains on the Cleveland District going to the Chicago Line.

The new connection is located at Risden Road near the Vermilion Country Club.

Last year workers had completed grading the route of the connection and panel track had been deposited at the site.

A year later work has not progressed much beyond that. Track is still on the ground waiting to be put into place.

No significant progress has been made in creating the turnout from Track No. 2 of the Chicago Line to the connection.

Perhaps when the ARRC goes back to Vermilion in 2018 more work will have been done.

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Restore the AC&Y!

August 24, 2017

The former Akron, Canton  & Youngstown track between New London and Greenwich was removed several years ago in favor of the Wheeling & Lake Erie using trackage rights over the parallel CSX Greenwich Subdivision.

West of New London the ex-AC&Y right of way is still in place, although largely overgrown with weeds.

During a recent railfan outing to New London, I noticed that a piece of panel track had been placed on the former AC&Y right of way near the CSX crossing at the northwest corner of the New London above ground reservoir.

Could it be part of a plan to put the AC&Y back in? That’s not likely. It was probably left there by a CSX maintenance of way gang.

Roll em Salad Shooter, Roll em

August 13, 2017

Running as L090, the salad shooter approaches Bort Road in North East, Pennsylvania.

The white refrigerated reefers on the end are a hallmark of the salad shooter.

Q090 passes has just passed the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, Pennsylvania.

Qo90 is one of those trains that I can go for months without seeing and then I go through a spell where I see it regularly.

I seem to be in the latter mode this summer with the train that some CSX crews have nicknamed the salad shooter, a handle that has stuck in the railfan community.

It is a train of perishable produce that originates in California and the Pacific Northwest on Union Pacific with the two sections joining somewhere on the UP network.

Operating on an expedited schedule, the train is handed off to CSX in Chicago which takes it to a warehouse near Albany, New York.

I have rarely seen the return trip, which operates as Q091. I don’t believe this is a daily train. Almost always when I’ve seen it it has been a Sunday.

I’ve never seen the salad shooter have anything other than UP motive power.

In past years, the train had a fairly uniform consist of white refrigerated boxcars.

Those along with the UP motive power was a tell-tale sign that the train you were seeing was the Q090.

But in recent sightings, the consist has included what appear to be regular boxcars, many of them lettered for Golden West Service.

The cars appear to be marshaled in a series of cuts, which might reflect a series of loading docks and/or shippers.

I’ve never seen the Tropicana Juice train, but in my mind the salad shooter plays a similar role across the northern tier of CSX between Chicago and the Middle Atlantic. Both are a specialized service moving products that need to get there in a hurry in order to stay fresh.

Another Look at Lodi in 1985

August 11, 2017

Here are the last three photos that I made in Lodi in August 1985. In the top photograph is the now-removed tracks crossing New Railroad Street. Notice the telltail on the left. In the middle image is the now-removed track was between a silo and warehouse. In the bottom image is a small glimpse of track.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Along the N&W in Lodi in 1985

August 8, 2017

 

Here are some more railroad-related photos taken Lodi in August 1985. When compared with today, it is amazing how little of this still exists.

In the top image, The Norfolk & Western station still exists, but notice the track in the foreground. This track is missing now.

In the middle image, the N&W station is on the left, and a formerly railroad-served warehouse is on the right.

The bottom image features a trackside view of the warehouse.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

 

Along the Chessie in Lodi in 1985

August 7, 2017

Here are some images from Lodi in November 1985. These four images are on
the Chessie System. Images one to three are images of the freight house and image four is the team track.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

 

Here Comes Amtrak

June 20, 2017

This time I didn’t miss. More than a week ago I told the story of how I was railfanning with fellow Akron Railroad Club member Peter Bowler in Willoughby when a very late Amtrak No. 48 came charging through town.

We had no inkling the eastbound Lake Shore Limited had yet to come through because we had not bothered to check to see if it had.

A week or so later I decided to make amends for that during a planned trip to North East, Pennsylvania.

I left home to get to Bort Road in plenty of time to catch Amtrak, which was running about 45 or so minutes late.

Here it is passing through the vineyard country near the shore of Lake Erie along the Pennsylvania-New York border.

How Soon We Forget What Might Have Been

March 2, 2017

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It was about this time a year ago that E. Hunter Harrison and Canadian Pacific were making a play to acquire Norfolk Southern.

Harrison came at NS hard, but came up short. The NS board of directors opposed the merger and Harrison ran into a buzz saw of opposition from shippers, labor unions and political figures.

The time was not ripe to institute what some see coming as the final round of Class 1 mergers in North America.

Since failing to acquire NS, Harrison has retired (again) and the financier Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital has also left the CP board.

Now Harrison has teamed up with hedge fund Mantle Ridge to try to shakeup CSX management and install Harrison  as CEO.

While railfanning in Berea back in November I photographed a CP unit trailing on a westbound NS train as a reminder of what might have been had Harrison prevailed.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

What We’ve Lost over Time on the EL in Kent

February 18, 2017

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Sometimes when a railroad becomes a fallen flag, much of the rails and other infrastructure disappear and only memories are left. Compare this view of the Erie Lackawanna trackage in Kent in the late 1960s with what the Wheeling & Lake Erie operates now. We are looking toward West Summit Street and into downtown Kent. What a difference almost half a century makes.

Article and Photograph by Bob Farkas

 

A Place Time Forgot on the Toledo District

February 16, 2017

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One in a periodic series of images that I made last summer.

I wound up at this rural grade crossing on the Toledo District of Norfolk Southern by happenstance.

We were checking out potential sites to photograph a train even through there were no trains that we knew of to photograph on this line.

The crossing is near Williston, Ohio. I immediately liked this location because it had that quality of a place that time forgot.

The block signals in the distance guard the east end of Williston siding and are the search light type signals once common on the Nickel Plate Road.

Off to the side of the tracks is a pole line. Yes, the wires don’t seem as connected as they once were, but along many mainlines the pole line has been removed altogether.

Searchlight signals and pole lines remind me of another time. I have memories of riding in the backseat of my Dad’s car going and the road running parallel with railroad tracks.

I remember seeing searchlight signals and pole lines. You can still find those in some places, but they are not as common as they used to be.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders