Posts Tagged ‘Reading Heritage Locomotive’

Recent Norfolk Southern H Unit Sightings

August 28, 2014




Of late, it has been a good time to see Norfolk Southern heritage units in Northeast Ohio. Here are a few miscellaneous heritage unit grabs from the past couple of weeks. Nos. 1071 and 1067 haul North Carolina-bound coal past the former Amtrak station in Canton. The train is the NS 746. Although this motive power consist was still together this week, it did not return via Ohio. The 8114 is shown leading the 20R by Motor Yard in Macedonia. It ia slso shown meeting the 15K.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

Triple Heritage Tuesday in Northeast Ohio

July 30, 2014
First came the Southern heritage locomotive . . .

First came the Southern heritage locomotive . . .

 . . . followed by the combination of the Reading and Central of New Jersey units.

. . . followed by the combination of the Reading and Central of New Jersey units.

Where there are heritage  units there will be photographers. Shown are (from left) Ben Pozmann, Brenda Long and Roger Durfee.

Where there are heritage units there will be photographers. Shown are (from left) Ben Pozmann, Brenda Long and Roger Durfee.

No, the environmental compliance sticker on this locomotive was not a mistake.

No, the environmental compliance sticker on this locomotive was not a mistake.

Tuesday proved to be a good day for catching Norfolk Southern heritage power. Two NS freights with a total of three heritage paints came through Northeast Ohio within minutes of each other.

One was a 64V oil train for the East Coast, which had the Southern heritage unit leading.

Following right behind was Q47 an extra 747 empty coal train for the mines south of Pittsburgh.  This had the Reading and Central of New Jersey units for power.

As if those weren’t interesting enough, I caught a recently painted SD40-2 on another train. This engine, oddly, had a General Electric emissions sticker that is normally seen on Gevos and Dash 9s.

Well, this was not a shop person’s error but a legitimate paint scheme. GE makes parts for the EMD 645 motor and if the engine was overhauled with these parts, it receives the GE compliance sticker.

Further research showed that this engine, No. 3584, was purchased secondhand by NS. It was originally BN No. 7281 built in 1980.  Railfanning never gets old. I learn something new every day.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Red, White and Late

July 5, 2014



Amtrak’s many troubles over the past couple of days were described at length in a posting on this site on Friday morning. I followed the progress of the eastbound Lake Shore Limited as it made its way eastward on Friday with an eye toward photographing it at Olmsted Falls.

No. 48 came breezed through the Falls at 12:15 p.m. It arrived at the Cleveland Amtrak station at 12:35 and departed 10 minutes later, nearly seven  hours off schedule.

After bagging No. 48, I then went up to Avon Lake where the Reading heritage locomotive has been reported to be reposing on the wye by Miller Road on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline.

It arrived there a few days ago on a coal train and railfan scuttlebutt was that it would spend the long July 4th holiday weekend there.

It was still there when I got there but who knows how long that will last. For now, it is tethered to a Union Pacific unit.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders






Reading Reflections

April 18, 2014





With the weather dreary as the Reading heritage unit made its way west out of Conway last week pulling a coal train, I debated about even going out.

The draw of catching one of my favorite heritage unit won out, so off I went. As I made my way to the Alliance area, I started thinking of places to catch it.

I elected to try the Smith Goshen crossing that’s located in the middle of the Garfield Sag near Beloit.

There is a pond there that could add some interest in the form of a reflection on that otherwise cloudy afternoon.

On all but the very longest days of summer the sun angles don’t favor the north side at this location, so I figured I’d put the overcast to good use to even out the light.

A 15K was running around the coal drag at CP Murph while the helpers cut away. The coal train would be on Track 1 so I hoped the freighter would clear in time.

As you see, it did. I tried a couple different angles on the two trains. As luck would have it, some filtered sunlight occurred at the right moment.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

A Double “Bee” Chase

October 15, 2013


I took off Friday from work to head for the “All Aboard Altoona” event, but due to the horrid weather over that way most of the weekend I elected to go west and try to catch the 65R that had departed Conway that morning with the 1067/1069 heritage duo.

My first stop was at Oak Harbor where I set up and waited, shooting other trains until the 65R arrived.

After getting my initial photos, the chase was on. I had planned on heading straight for Toledo, but scanner talk indicated our train was getting held up behind a couple of other moves waiting to get through Toledo.

I found the colorful duo sitting at signal 274 near Martin, Ohio. After about a half-hour, the traffic ahead started moving, so another spot a bit west of 274 was found for some additional photos which included an across the field meet with an eastbound.

After those it was off to the depot in Toledo in hopes of getting them passing the old passenger station.

In a bit of “railfan’s luck,” another westbound stack train departed just ahead of the 65R on main No. 2 and blocked the desired photo.

At least the offending train had a neat UP leader. Since my destination was now Butler, Ind., I tried for more photos of the 65R.

I managed one nondescript photo at Crissey (not shown) and then one last photo splitting the 311 mileposts. All in all, it was a spirited chase of this colorful train.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee








Take a Drive to See the Reading

October 2, 2013



I saw a report online Tuesday afternoon that the Reading Lines heritage unit was the DPU on Norfolk Southern train Z4R.

I drove out to Olmsted Falls to intercept it. It had been reported out of the Toledo area at 2 p.m. and I figured it might reach the Falls by sometime in the 4 p.m. hour.

Shortly after I arrived, the 11V went past and promptly stopped at CP 197 a short distance west of the depot. I would soon hear the Cleveland Terminal dispatcher tell a following train that the Toledo East dispatcher was single tracking and there was no railroad for westbounds out of Cleveland.

I could only pick up bits and pieces from hearing the Toledo East dispatcher, but I was able to discern that the 14N was having some type of trouble and that trains were not getting the signal at CP 207.

For the next nearly two hours nothing moved on NS past my location. Westbound trains were stacking up in Cleveland and eastbounds were backing up west of Elyria.

I called Roger Durfee to see what he knew, which was that the Z4R was by Amherst at 4:30 p.m. Roger was at Rootstown, hoping to catch the Reading unit there, but it didn’t look promising.

The NS Cleveland Line dispatcher was single tracking between Alliance and Ravenna.

Finally, an eastbound intermodal train came by and about 20 minutes or so later came the Z4R. By now the clouds had moved out and nice late day sunlight was bathing the tracks.

I had predicted the Z4R would get to my location at 6:10, but it actually was 6:05.

Why that time? The last NS heritage unit I photographed at Olmsted Falls, was the Norfolk & Western unit, which I saw at 5:10 p.m.

Shown below are a selection of westbound trains that I also captured once the logjam had broken.

I would learn after getting home that the Penn Central heritage unit passed through not long after I left. But it was trailing on the 64R and the light would not have been good for an eastbound train.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders


After waiting at Lewis Road, the 21G is finally on the move westward with its load of containers.


There is a hint of fall color toward the top of the tree at far left. Fall foliage scenes are coming.


Trains meet in the fading light at Olmstead Falls.

Sticking it Out ’till Dark to Catch the Reading

June 27, 2013


After tracking Norfolk Southern train 65R all day on Monday, I headed to Alliance to try and catch it. The Reading heritage unit was in the lead. 

The 65R is an empty oil train and it seems a good portion of the NS heritage fleet is in that service. As I write this the DLW, NKP, RDG, PC, IT, and MGA units at least, and maybe others, are on oil trains.

Arriving at the railfan parking lot after 6 p.m., I discovered the 65R had left Conway 20 minutes earlier.  I figured it should take about an hour for the train to cover that distance or about 7 p.m. approximately. 

I headed behind the PTC Alliance steel plant to see if I could catch their SW1 plant switcher.  During my last visit it was nowhere to be found but this time it was parked out back in good afternoon light.

Next I headed north and caught up with a westbound NS freight at Atwater. Then I settled in at MP 70.8, a nice open spot with plenty of sunlight.  Several trains passed and then the 16N went east. It had the NS 8114 heritage unit trailing, a good start but not what I was after.

A couple of other railfans joined me in the wait, but  7 turned to 7:30 with no further updates as to the 65R’s location.  About 7:45 we saw Roger Durfee drive by heading for home. 

That was not a good sign. If he was giving up the train must not be close. 

Finally we got an update that the 65R had just cleared Enon Valley at 7:45 p.m. Enon Valley is across the state line in Pennsylvania. It is no wonder that Roger went home.

The sun had dipped behind some trees but we still had ambient light if the train could come. We might get something, so we waited. Then 9 p.m. came and went and I was really pushing the ISO on my camera. At 9:10 p.m., we heard a horn but were dismayed to realize it was coming from the Fort Wayne line. We were on the Cleveland line, which is a different set of tracks. 

By now we had too much time invested in this chase so we decided to stick it out and at least watch the Reading unit even if no photos could be had.

Finally, at just before 9:30, the 65R showed up. I decided to try a photo anyway.  I was at ISO 3200, the maximum that my camera can go and found myself wishing for one of those 66,000 ISO cameras.

At f2.0 and 1/15 I could only try a pan shot. Although not the photo that I wanted, it wasn’t too bad and better than no photo at all. 

I later found out that NS had basically single tracked 30 miles of line between Alliance and Pennsylvania for track work.  The 65R took three hours to go 19 miles. But that’s the breaks.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon