Posts Tagged ‘Railroad yards’

A BAR Two for Tuesday

March 29, 2022

Bangor & Aroostook Nos. 30, 32 and 31 were being leased by Lehigh Valley when they were found by the photographer working the yard in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on July 8, 1973. Note the plethora of fallen flag railroads represented on the boxcars in the yard.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

The Way It Used to be in Dennison

May 2, 2021

Dennison, Ohio, was a key point on the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Pittsburgh-Columbus line. In this series of images. most of which were made in summer 1967, we visit the Dennison yard during the final hours of Pennsy operation.

The top image shows the roundhouse in an image made with a Mamiya C# twin lens reflex camera. That is the late Mike Ondecker standing in front.

Next up are some facilities that were still in place that once serve steam locomotives. What you see might be double sanding towers as I have never seen concrete water towers.

The next image is looking west toward Columbus. Dennison saw all of the PRR’s elite New York-St. Louis passenger trains, including the Spirit of St. Louis.

Continuing on we get another view of the roundhouse, which looks to be in rather rough condition.

Let’s step back a year. “I made the next image from the side window of my parents’ 1965 Ford as we passed the yard in 1966. I was using my Minoltina 35mm rangefinder.”

Moving back to 1967, we know you want to see some Pennsy trains so here are a couple. In the first image we see an eastbound passing the yard.

You have to wonder if any of those locomotives and boxcars visible on this train are still around. They sure don’t look like anything you’d see today.

Finally, we view PRR U25B No. 2608 switching the yard.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Cleveland’s Collinwood Yard in 1968

July 22, 2020

We’ve taken another drive up the road to Cleveland and with the help of the wayback machine landed in mid 1968 at Collinwood Yard. It was a New York Central facility until earlier this year when it became part of Penn Central. Here is a scenic view of the venerable yard and shops complex.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

NS to Change Operations at Moorman Yard

June 5, 2020

NS trains classify cars at the hump in Bellevue in August 2015.

Norfolk Southern is planning to change operations later this month at Moorman Yard in Bellevue but has yet to say what those changes will entail.

The changes are part of a larger review the railroad is undertaking of yard operations throughout its system Chief Marketing Officer Alan Shaw said in a letter to shippers.

The letter indicated that NS has completed its review of Moorman Yard, which is the largest classification yard in the East and second largest in the country behind Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska.

NS may idle hump operations in Bellevue and convert it to flat switching.

Since 2008, NS has closed five humps including two in the past year as part of its transformation to the precision scheduled railroading operating model.

Closed were humps in Sheffield, Alabama, and Allentown, Pennsylvania. More recently, NS changed operations at Linwood Yard in North Carolina by taking the hump out of service and furloughing 85 workers.

NS Chief Financial Officer Mark George said during an investor conference last month that those moves would save $10 million to $15 million annually.

Aside from the move to PSR, NS is also being motivated by falling carload traffic, which has declined 33 percent to date in the second quarter.

In his message to shippers, Shaw said there will be service modifications later this month pertaining to Bellevue and that shippers would be notified of those changes.

“We are reaching out to affected customers directly over the next two weeks to discuss the planned changes,” Shaw wrote.

“We are especially mindful of first- and last-mile changes, and we plan on working closely with you as we implement these steps.”

Bellevue was a major terminal for the former Nickel Plate Road and its successor, Norfolk & Western, built a larger classification yard there in 1967.

NS expanded the yard in 2014 to add a second hump and classification bowl that doubled the yard’s maximum classification capacity to 3,600 cars a day.

Earlier this year NS Chief Operating Officer Mike Wheeler said NS was looking at its yard and terminal network with an eye toward determining what it can live without.

He did not officer specifics as to which terminals and yards must be closed or trimmed in size.

Although NS has suffered the largest decline in carload traffic among Class 1 railroads, its management has said that was because it is more closely tied to industrial sectors that have been hard hit by the economic downturn, including the auto industry and steel mills.

Shaw noted in his letter that NS was conducting a review of its network before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

“The current economic disruption is a challenge for all of us, but we are using this time to find additional ways to streamline our operations,” Shaw said.

He said NS is seeking to make its network more efficient while “providing a platform for growth.”

This includes routing shipments more directly to their destinations with fewer handlings and classifications along the way.

When Stanley Yard Still Had a Hump

January 23, 2020

I’ve only photographed Stanley Yard in Toledo once and that was one of those outings where I was out to get one thing and happened to get a few others along the way.

Stanley was built by the Toledo & Ohio Central in the early 1900s and later served New York Central, Penn Central, Conrail. It is now owned by CSX.

CSX tried closing Stanley in early 2004 but had to reopen it when the freight congestion in nearby yards became too much.

In March 2017 CSX closed the hump at Stanley, which can be seen above although at the time I was there it was idle.

At right is a Canadian National transfer run that is arriving off the former Toledo Terminal on May 13 2012.

When Pennsy Had a Yard in Akron

April 7, 2017

Perhaps you will have the same feeling of disbelief as I had when I looked at these two Mike Ondecker images.

Where was this heavily industrialized area? I didn’t know, but the sign on one of the factories matched a company in Cleveland, so I labeled this as Cleveland.

Much to my surprise, several railfans said this was Akron!

It was only upon close observation that I realized this was taken from a Firestone building.

On the left where a stone company now is located was once the Pennsylvania Railroad yard in Akron.

The building on the left is part of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Erie No. 517 is most likely bringing a cut of cars back to the Erie Lackawanna McCoy Street Yard.

This Akron of the early 1960s is totally unlike today’s railroad/industrial scene, but thanks to Mike these memories come alive again.

Article by Robert Farkas, Photographs by Mike Ondecker


An Hour or So at East Conway

January 7, 2017


Three trains came out of Conway Yard and then backed up to switch tracks during my time there.

The title of this post notwithstanding, I don’t know how much time I spent at East Conway near Pittsburgh in early December.

Hanging out there was not on our agenda when my friend Adam and I ventured toward Pittsburgh. It just sort of happened.

We thought we might be able to catch westbound train 21Q, which was being led by the Pennsylvania Railroad heritage locomotive.

Earlier in the year we had caught the New York Central H unit at East Conway. Given that the PRR and NYC merged in  1968 to form Penn Central, there was a certain symmetry to photographing the PRR and NYC heritage locomotives in the same place in the same year.

As it turned out, we spent more time at East Conway than expected. The 21Q had to wait for a new crew to arrive and there was opposing traffic coming in and out of Conway Yard.

We had been told by local railfans on another trip to Pittsburgh that it is all right to hang out on the bridge over the East Conway interlocking.

The bridge carries a street into the yard and, we were told, it is a public street.

I’m not sure about that, but during the two times that we spent on that bridge in 2016 no one from NS told us to leave and there were always a number of locals there making photographs.

NS has installed security cameras on the bridge, although that may have more to do with checking who and what is coming in and out of the yard.

Getting images of Conway Yard from this bridge had been on my “to do” list for some time.

So everything seemed to work out during this visit. It would have been nice had it not been overcast, but I can live with that.

Now that I’ve made numerous images at the East Conway bridge, I’m not sure I’m all that motivated to go back there except, perhaps, to photograph something specific, like say, the Penn Central heritage unit. I’ve pretty much documented operations there.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Four movements at one time at East Conway.

Four movements at one time at East Conway.

A light power move comes out of the yard for head room.

A light power move comes out of the yard for head room.

Keeping watch ahead for a light power move returning to the yard.

Keeping watch ahead for a light power move returning to the yard.

Keeping watch from a gondola as a manifest freight backs up at East Conway.

Keeping watch from a gondola as a manifest freight backs up at East Conway.

An eastbound stack train has a new crew and is ready to go east.

An eastbound stack train has a new crew and is ready to go east.

An eastbound stack train passes a manifest freight backing into Conway.

An eastbound stack train passes a manifest freight backing into Conway.

The EL’s Invisible Yard in Akron

February 10, 2014


Did you know that the Erie Lackawanna had an almost invisible railroad yard in Akron?

When we look at the bus transfer center, that area is flat, yet at one time there was a second lower yard called the Belt Yard.

From this 1967 photo taken from the pedestrian bridge over the EL, this yard seems to work BF Goodrich.

I believe this was filled in to make the EL’s Akron intermodal yard. The mainline-level High Yard blocked the view from the east looking west and the buildings along South Broadway Street helped block the view from the west looking east.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas