Posts Tagged ‘Rails’

The Wheels on the Car go Round and Round

February 16, 2018

Shown is a set of wheels on an empty well car in the consist of an eastbound Norfolk Southern stack train in Gallitzin, Pennsylvania. The car and train are going through the tunnel that can be seen from the railfan park in town.

No Trains Here Today

January 27, 2018

The Grand River Railway operates irregularly and probably not at all on Sundays.

So when I visited Grand River, Ohio, a while back in search of winter photographs, getting a train wasn’t on my expectation list.

We were actually hoping to find a switch engine out in the open that the GRR had been leasing, but it was nowhere to be seen near the Morton Salt Plant where the railroad stores its motive power.

But the trip wasn’t a bust because while in Grand River the town to make some images of the ice-covered Grand River the river, I liked how the snow was covering up the rails in some places.

The top image was made at a grade crossing that leads to a city park and a few private businesses. It has been a while since a train ran here.

The middle image is looking toward the street running in “downtown” Grand River. Note Pickle Bill’s restaurant on the right, whose entrance is by the tracks. Also note the boats in winter storage in the distance.

The bottom image was made from River Street, which ascends a hill alongside the tracks. The view is looking southeastward.

Straight Down the Tracks

December 14, 2017

The advance signals on the Cleveland District of Norfolk Southern for the location west of Vermilion where the connecting track to the Chicago Line diverges.

There is a group on Flickr titled Tracks Without Trains. I’ve posted there a few times because I like to make photographs of empty tracks.

I like the look of rails going off into infinity, which seems to invite you to travel.

Sure, I’d prefer to be photographing a train here instead, but sometimes the rails are all you get.

The first two images below were made of the former Erie Railroad mainline between Kent and Brady Lake. The piece of track was lying on the former right of way of the Akron, Canton & Youngstown west of New London. The bottom image is the Cleveland District of Norfolk Southern west of Vermilion.

 

There is a Lake Out There

October 5, 2017

Norfolk Southern train 375 had a stop signal at CP Drawbridge on the Chicago Line. It would wait for the 20E to go around it and then a light power move of the locomotives that earlier that day had powered the BF10 from Motor Yard to Rockport.

Then the empty coal train would continue eastward, crossing from Track 1 to 2 at Drawbridge before entering the Cleveland Line on the other side where the track numbering scheme reverses from New York Central practice to Pennsylvania Railroad practice.

In the top photograph, Lake Erie is visible on the other side of the couplers and air hoses of two cars.

The bottom photo was made after the train stopped. The sailboats are off the shore of Cleveland’s Edgewater Park.

Both images were made in the Battery Park neighborhood.

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

 

New Rails, I Presume

January 19, 2017

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

I presume that these rails lying on the ballast in Olmsted Falls are new. That’s because they are rusty and do not look worn.

I spotted them last July near the crossing of the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern and Mapleway Drive.

I was waiting for an eastbound manifest freight to arrive and decided to get make a “detail” image.

I never checked to see if the rails were, indeed, installed at this location. I can only presume that they were.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Labor Day Wanderings: 2

September 7, 2016
The hogger at the throttle of Amtrak P42DC No. 12 gave me a toot of the horn as he blasted past at track speed on Track No. 2 of the Erie West Subdivision of CSX.

The hogger at the throttle of Amtrak P42DC No. 12 gave me a toot of the horn as he blasted past at track speed on Track No. 2 of the Erie West Subdivision of CSX.

Unlike the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, Sunday followed a tightly scripted plan. I got up before dawn and drove to North East, Pennsylvania, to catch Amtrak 48 at Bort Road.

My motivation for doing that was multi-fold. First, I have only seen Amtrak just once in 2016. Yes, that’s right. The guy who lists Amtrak as his second favorite railroad behind the Illinois Central, has hardly seen it this year.

Second, I have not seen the Lake Shore Limited since it went to single locomotive operation last spring.

Third, there are reports that the Bort Road bridge may be razed and not replaced. That might be a year or more away, but you never know.

The character of Bort Road as a place to photograph trains would change even if a replacement bridge is built because it likely would have fences.

The existing bridge is a throwback to an earlier era when the tracks belonged to the New York Central and the Nickel Plate Road and each had a fleet of steam locomotives.

I made better time than expected, arriving at Bort Road before the sun rose over the horizon. That turned out to be a bonus because I was able to get good sunrise images.

My first train was a short Norfolk Southern No. 145. It had two locomotives and that was it.

It was the second time that I’ve seen the 145 this year running light. That also might have been on a Sunday.

There was just enough light from the rising sun to create an image, one of the more interesting photographs that I’ve created this year.

I was hoping to get a CSX westbound with the rising sun behind it. I sort of got that, but the sun was higher in the sky than I would have liked. But it still turned out well.

Two CSX westbounds passed by before Amtrak began talking on the radio. Amtrak Julie had reported that No. 48 was expected to arrive in Erie on time at 7:20 a.m. but depart three minutes late. I don’t know how she knew that.

After Amtrak blew past, I hung around until 9 a.m. There were no trains on NS during that time and two westbounds ran on CSX. Nothing ran east, which was too bad because the light favored eastbounds.

I did some experimenting with the westbound trains and was able to produce some images that I liked.

My plan was to drive to Westfield, New York, and add another Great Lakes lighthouse to my collection.

This one stands over Barcelona Harbor and is a stately stone structure. It is the eighth new for me lighthouse I’ve photographed this summer.

I wound up at the Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East where I spent the rest of the afternoon.

The light was not favorable for photographing any NS trains, so I just watched them go by. I was able to do a little photography with CSX despite some tough lighting conditions during my time there.

Interestingly, I was able to make two images I had wanted to do during my last visit to the museum but couldn’t due to a lack of westbound traffic.

With CSX these days, it is difficult to tell if it is having a good or bad day traffic wise. There seemed to be more auto rack trains than I expected and, by the end of the day, about the same level of intermodal traffic as I would have expected.

But the manifest freights seemed fewer in number and longer than usual. The first CSX train I saw, the Q393, had 696 axles according to the detector at Ripley, New York.

About 3 p.m. I decided to heading for home, stopping at a Wegman’s grocery store in Erie on the way for a couple of items I can’t get in Cleveland.

Despite some miscues on Saturday, it had been a good weekend with sunny skies and warm but not hot temperatures. I could not have asked for better weather.

There had been some unexpected and pleasant surprises and I came away pleased, overall, with what I was able to find.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

NS train 145 is running light, really light, as another day dawns in the northeast corner of northwest Pennsylvania.

NS train 145 is running light, really light, as another day dawns in the northeast corner of northwest Pennsylvania.

Here comes the sun, which is just climbing over the horizon and casting the first light of day on CSX rails.

A golden glow to the rails of the NS Lake Erie District.

The sun rises above the head end of CSX Q393, which was a monster-size manifest freight.

The sun rises above the head end of CSX Q393, which was a monster-size manifest freight.

Conditions were ideal for early morning light glint shots. Note the second unit of this westbound CSX grain train is from BNSF.

Conditions were ideal for early morning light glint shots. Note the second unit of this westbound CSX grain train is from BNSF.

The grain train passes grape vineyards. Not much grain is grown around here.

The grain train passes grape vineyards. Not much grain is grown around here.

Auto rack cars catch the early morning light.

Auto rack cars catch the early morning light.

How much longer will vehicles be able to traverse this old one-lane bridge over the CSX tracks?

How much longer will vehicles be able to traverse this old one-lane bridge over the CSX tracks?

I've always like the panoramic perspective afforded from the Bort Road bridge of the grape country of Pennsylvania along Lake Erie.

I’ve always like the panoramic perspective afforded from the Bort Road bridge of the grape country of Pennsylvania along Lake Erie.

There were no private cars on the back of Amtrak No. 48 today.

There were no private cars on the back of Amtrak No. 48 today.

An eastbound CSX auto rack train chugs through North East.

An eastbound CSX auto rack train chugs through North East.

Three museum visitors inspect an eastbound CSX auto rack train.

Three museum visitors inspect an eastbound CSX auto rack train.

A CSX stack train passes the baggage cart on display at the former Lake Shore & Michigan Southern station in North East.

A CSX stack train passes the baggage cart on display at the former Lake Shore & Michigan Southern station in North East.

It's a meet. An eastbound CSX manifest freight clears just as a Canadian Pacific run-through train arrives.

It’s a meet. An eastbound CSX manifest freight clears just as a Canadian Pacific run-through train arrives.

A CP unit passes a former Great Northern dining car. Both seem to be out of place in Pennsylvania.

A CP unit passes a former Great Northern dining car. Both seem to be out of place in Pennsylvania.

This Erie-built New York Central until probably never hauled a passenger consist that looked like this.

This Erie-built New York Central until probably never hauled a passenger consist that looked like this.

A caboose is supposed to be red, right? I end this report with this caboose in the collection of the Lake Shore Railway Museum.

A caboose is supposed to be red, right? I end this report with this caboose in the collection of the Lake Shore Railway Museum.

 

Sunset on the NS Toledo District

August 31, 2016

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You could sit trackside for hours on the Toledo District of Norfolk Southern northwest of Oak Harbor and not see a train.

Although an important route to NS, it is not the railroad’s major traffic artery in and out of Toledo. But it is the only route into Toledo used by the Wheeling & Lake Erie, which has a pair of trains each day on the line that interchange traffic with Canadian National.

That the route is important to the Wheeling seems appropriate because it is part of the original W&LE route between Toledo and Wheeling, West Virginia.

It fell into the hands of the Nickel Plate Road when that railroad acquired the W&LE in 1949. Of course the NKP was acquired by the Norfolk & Western which evolved into Norfolk Southern.

For a few days in July, the sun sets right down the Toledo District tracks near Oak Harbor. But you need to know when that is in order to gt it.

Photographer Peter Bowler was a little late this year, but he still came home with a very nice image.

Photograph by Peter Bowler

Steel Wheels on Steel Rails

March 7, 2016

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You don’t see many photographs like this one either online or in railroad club programs. And yet its shows the basics of what makes a railroad a railroad.

It is steel wheels on steel rails. Without it, you don’t have a railway operation.

The wheels belong to a well car in a westbound CSX train at Greenwich, Ohio.

I’m wondering, though, what that tag hanging down says.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

They Make Great Doorstops or Paperweights

August 21, 2015

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Marion (rails2)-x

I usually make it a point to observe the consists of manifest freights because you never know what you might see. I’ve seen cabooses and passenger cars in the mix, although those are not common sights.

The contents of this gondola caught my eye. Pieces of rail have been cut up into short sections.

I don’t know where this cargo was going, but my guess is that it was being sent to a scrap yard to be recycled.

I saw this car in an eastbound train on the former Big Four in Marion earlier this summer.

Railroads are not known for selling or even giving away short pieces of rail to the public, but it they did and if you could get it home, it could have any number of uses.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders