Posts Tagged ‘railroads in snow’

Super Sunday Memory

February 13, 2022

For a few years in the decade of the 2010s. Ed Ribinskas, Marty Surdyk and myself got together during the winter for a day railfanning in Lake County. Some of those outings occurred on Super Bowl Sunday. It wasn’t planned that way. It just happened.

Perhaps the most memorable of those Super Bowl Sunday outings occurred on Feb. 2, 2014. It had rained the day before and then snowed overnight. The result was some of the most beautiful winter conditions I’ve seen during a railfan photo outing. Nearly everything was coated in snow and it stayed that way throughout the day.

CSX was rather busy on that 2014 Sunday. It was the height of the crude oil by rail boom from the Bakken Formation of North Dakota and Montana. Several of the trains we photographed were tank car trains led by BNSF motive power. Let me tell you pumpkins look good in the snow.

But today I am spotlighting an image made early during our outing. Marty had picked me up at my house and we had just picked up Ed at his house in Painesville. We were on our way to the CSX crossing at Bowhall Road when we crossed the former Painesville, Fairport & Eastern.

This is now a Norfolk Southern branch line to Fairport Harbor to serve a chemical plant and, perhaps, a few other customers.

I probably made this image by rolling down the driver’s side window and getting some grab shots as we crossed the tracks, which are now known as the Fairport Industrial Track. You will note in the image above milepost 3, which is measured from Perry where the ex-FP&E connects with the NS Lake Erie District.

At one time the FP&E extended beyond Perry to Unionville but that track is now gone.

As nice a setting as the ex-FP&E line is at Bowhall Road was, I knew the odds of getting a train here were slim to none because the local out of Conneaut that serves the branch didn’t run on Sunday. So I made a few photographs on the fly and we continued on to a busier rail line.

Winter Day in Alliance

February 12, 2022

The 14N (left), 170 and an eastbound intermodal in Alliance.
Train 170 heading west.
Train 64N on the Alliance runner.
Train 6K4 taking the Cleveland single.  It would get a new crew about 7 p.m. then reverse back onto the mainline to continue east.

Last Saturday (Feb. 5) I spent the day in Alliance.

Upon arriving I found an eastbound intermodal sitting on Track No. 1 and another eastbound moving slowly on Track No. 2.

The reason for this soon became apparent as train 14N was sitting on Track 1 blocking every railroad crossing in town. It had broken several air hoses and had gone into emergency. 

Also sitting on Track 2 east of town was the 170 waiting to go west.  The slowly moving EB train was taking the runner track, a long siding for parking trains, to get around the 170.

After about an hour, the 14N was able to get moving and continue east; However it would need a new crew before reaching Conway.

Once the 14N cleared, the 170 was able to continue west. The 170 takes the Fort Wayne line to Canton and 14N was blocking his move.

The 170 crew was also on short time and ended up tying down at Freshley Road west of town.

Other trains had backed up behind the 14N including 64N an oil or ethanol train.

This train then took the Alliance runner previously used by the intermodal and tied down to wait for a  new crew. 

A little later train 6K4, another oil or ethanol, took the Cleveland single and tied down on the Mahoning siding south of town. 

An empty coal train came an hour or so later, which picked up this crew.  The 6K4 had a GP38-3 leading some Canadian National engines, which was interesting.

Another train that I had hoped to get was the 171 which had the Virginian heritage unit.  Alas it sat in Canton all afternoon before getting a new crew and going through Alliance about 5 p.m.  I had left by then. 

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

National Park Scenic in the Snow

February 10, 2022

Last Sunday I did a quick chase of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

After a major snowstorm Thursday and Friday things were pretty much cleared out by Sunday.

CVSR ran a plow train on Friday and with the regular runs of the National Park Scenic on Saturday I did not expect to have any snow buildup at crossings.

Imagine my surprise when the train hit a snow bank at Boston Mills.  It was not a very large one but it still made for a nice photo.

The train itself was covered in ice and snow reminding me of Snowpiercer, a dystopian novel in which the earth has been covered in a global freeze and the last survivors ride a train that circles the planet once a year. 

This has been adopted into a movie and most recently a TV show. As with most sci-fi works you must suspend disbelief (like who maintains the track for instance?) but otherwise are enjoyable programs.

Anyhow I thought you might enjoy these.

Article and Photographs byTodd Dillon

Trestle Tales: The End Less Photographed

February 9, 2022

Most of the images Ed Ribinskas has made of the former Nickel Plate Road trestle over the Grand River in Painesville were made at the east end of the bridge.

He stayed away from the west end for several years to avoid trespassing on the property of Coe Manufacturing. Another factor was that it would be a tight shot because of tree growth that dated back to the end of the steam locomotive era.

After Coe Manufacturing closed and its building were razed, Ed felt more comfortable scouting for photo angles at the west end.

Nonetheless, it was still a tight shot. The best time of year to photograph the west end of the trestle was during the winter.

“Probably the very few times I photographed there resulted in my best and favorites,” Ed wrote.

The bottom two photographs were made of westbound manifest freight 145 at about 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 2, 2014 (Super Bowl Sunday).

With Ed that day were fellow Akron Railroad Club members Marty Surdyk and Craig Sanders.

The top two images were made in early afternoon on May 6, 2018.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Here Comes the NS 145 in Painesville

January 30, 2022

For several years in late January or early February, I would get together with Ed Ribinskas and Marty Surdyk for a day of railfanning in Lake County. Sometimes Jeff Troutman would join us.

We would spend much of the day on the CSX Erie West Subdivision and the Lake Erie District of Norfolk Southern in and near Perry.

This being Northeast Ohio, we always expected winter weather. By that I mean snow. But not every year saw bountiful snow on the ground despite Lake County being in a region of Ohio known for heavy snow.

During a few of those outings, the day was dark and dreary with little evidence of the beauty of winter.

That was not the case, though, during our outing of Feb. 2, 2014.

Overnight it had rained and then snow fell as the temperatures dropped.

The wet conditions meant that snow clung to just about everything in sight and pretty much stayed that way all day.

The result was one of the best winter railfanning outings I’ve ever had.

Several image from that day I’ve posted on this site before and Marty has shown during Akron Railroad Club programs some of the slides he made that day.

Ed won a monthly “best photograph” contest at Dodd Camera and received a free framed enlargement of that image that he has hanging on a wall of the dining room of his house.

That winning image was made late in the afternoon of westbound NS manifest freight 145 crossing the trestle over the Grand River in Painesville.

Last week I was rummaging through some of my digital file folders from early 2014 when I came across the images I made on Feb. 2.

Much to my surprise, I’ve only posted a few of those images on my Flickr page.

So I spent a couple days selecting and processing in Photoshop some images that had never been processed.

Shown above is a three-image sequence of the 145 crossing the now replaced Grand River trestle.

We were standing just beyond the west end of the bridge with all of us taking slightly different angles. What I liked about this series is how each image offers a different perspective.

The sequence begins with the train approaching the trestle from the east end, which captures that sense of anticipation that something memorable is about to happen.

It continues with an image of the train about halfway across the trestle and offers that compressed view common with images made with a telephoto lens.

The final image is what many would consider the money shot. Ed won the photo contest with an image similar to this one.

The train has reached the west edge of the bridge but is not yet off of it. The image combines the elements of a close train with a wide scenic view in a sort of convergence.

When I originally processed that image nearly eight years ago I converted it to black and white. There wasn’t much color in the scene and the conditions just seemed to say “black and white world.”

But after working with the image in color I decided it looks good in that form, too.

This day was one of the very few times I ever photographed NS operations on the Painesville trestle at the west end. I have numerous images from the east end, but rarely sought to do the west end.

The trestle had been built decades earlier by the Nickel Plate Road and was one of those structures that was always there even though ownership of the railroad changed to Norfolk & Western and then to Norfolk Southern.

It was always there even after the steam locomotives were retired, after the passenger trains were discontinued and after one generation of diesel locomotives had made way for another.

Generations of railroaders hired out and later retired after having crossed this bridge countless times during their long careers.

And then, so it seemed, one day the trestle was gone, replaced by a bridge that seems nondescript by comparison.

When viewed in this context, I’m even more pleased that we took the time in 2014 to get the photographs that we did of the 145 crossing the trestle.

Interestingly, that day was the only time I ever photographed an NS train crossing the trestle from ground level. But that is a story for another day.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Super Outing, Super Memories

June 4, 2021

Marty Surdyk, Craig Sanders and myself had a super bowl hours before the NFL game started on February 2, 2014.. All of our photos from that day were all keepers thanks to the unique weather conditions from that day. I miss seeing the “late” former Nickel Plate Road trestle every time I see Norfolk Southern train 206 in the top photo. Seeing NS train 145 in the middle and bottom images always brings a smile to my face.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Rounding the Bend in Kent

January 28, 2021

It used to be that Crain Street in Kent crossed over the CSX New Castle Subdivision tracks on its own bridge. A sidewalk on the north side of the bridge offered an expansion view of westbound trains rounding a curve before heading south through downtown Kent.

A road construction project several years ago removed the Crain Street bridge and instead extended Fairchild Avenue over the CSX tracks.

That bridge came with fence. However, a pedestrian bridge located where the Crain Street bridge used to be still offers some photo angles.

The image above was made on March 23, 2008, from the old Crain Street bridge. A westbound is about to pass a remnant of pole line that once graced this former Baltimore & Ohio line.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

Coal Train in Boughtonville

January 3, 2021

There had been a winter storm a couple of days earlier that left some snow along the CSX Willard Terminal Subdivision between Greenwich and Willard.

I met up with Roger Durfee and Peter Bowler and we made a foray out to CSX territory.

It was the last winter in which I would be making photographs with slide film and it was a cold but sunny day.

Traffic on CSX was heavy on this day, which was the norm then. Sure, there are still a lot of trains to be found on this line today but not as many as there was back in January 2011.

We’ve heard of an eastbound coal train coming so we’ve set up in Boughtonville, a hamlet located not far from Willard.

On the point is a former Burlington Northern SD70MAC still wearing its Grinstein green and cream with Alizarin red striping. The BN logo has been erased from the nose and a BNSF reporting mark affixed below the cab windows. A standard BNSF “pumpkin” is trailing.

The train is at the crossovers but is making a straight move on No. 1 track.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Snowy Day in Akron on the B&O

September 11, 2020

It’s snowing in downtown Akron as Baltimore & Ohio GP30 No. 6915 leads an eastbound past the Erie Lackawanna station in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

Trailing is another GP30 along with an F7B, F7B, and F7B.

As this image was posted in mid July a snow storm might be a welcome relief from temperatures in the 90s and a heat index in triple digits.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Winter Arrives Early, LSL Arrives Late

November 13, 2018

Akron Railroad Club member Ed Ribinskas write that he did his first winter photography earlier this week. He landed the new Amtrak Phase II heritage unit at about 10:40 a.m. as a trailing unit in a 4-hour late eastbound Lake Shore Limited.

In the top image, not the Painesville sign on the former New York Central station, which has been undergoing restoration.

Ed also reported that the old Nickel Plate Road trestle over the Grand River is now completely gone.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas