Posts Tagged ‘river’

Rocky River and Its Railroad Bridges

October 18, 2019

It was only in recent years that I discovered there is a part of Berea and its railroads that few railfans either know about or have sought to photograph.

Many railfans know that CSX and Norfolk Southern span the East Branch of the Rocky River on bridges that were built in the early 20th century.

But there are some nice images to be had involving those bridges if you take the time to explore the Rocky River Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks.

This image was made from a  trail that leads to Berea Falls, which is just north of the NS Chicago Line bridge.

The CSX bridge is the farthest and the NS bridge the closest.

In the middle is the abandoned Lake Shore & Michigan Southern bridge.

The bridges are an interesting study in design. I can’t image a railroad today creating a bridge that uses stones as the LS&MS bridge does or even concrete arches as the does the CSX and NS bridges.

Presumably, these bridges are structurally sound enough to bear the heavy rail traffic they see every day.

It probably is a matter of time before the bridge departments of these two railroads will begin discussing replacing them.

Perhaps those discussions have occurred already. Bridges don’t last forever.

Yet they are expensive to replace and given the high volume of traffic on these routes would also entail extensive planning.

Their replacement will likely be put off until absolutely necessary.

Wandering Far for Wolverines

December 2, 2017

Amtrak Train No. 353 crosses the Huron River on the northwest side of Ann Arbor.

Amtrak passes through Northeast Ohio four times a day, but unless you have a tripod and are adept at night photography, you probably don’t have many images of the Capitol Limited or Lake Shore Limited that you made here.

That’s because those trains are scheduled through Cleveland during the darkness hours.

Sure, during the summer the eastbound Lake Shore passes through some locations in early morning light. At times the trains run excessively late, which puts them through in daylight hours.

But if you have a hankering to photograph Amtrak at other times of the year you going to be making a road trip to Pennsylvania or Michigan.

And that is why I ventured to Ann Arbor on a recent Sunday to photograph three Wolverine Service trains.

The two shown here are regularly scheduled runs that pass through the home of that school up north between noon and 1:30 p.m. The third was a Thanksgiving extra section that I showed in another post.

In doing some research on Amtrak in Ann Arbor, I ran across some nice images online of the train passing a dam located in the Barton Nature Area, a.k.a. Barton Park. So I checked it out.

The dam located on the Huron River was built in 1912-1913 to generate electricity. One of four dams in Ann Arbor on the Huron River, it is the only one still used to generate power. The city sells that power to Detroit Edison.

The former Michigan Central line between Chicago and Detroit that Amtrak uses is owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation, which acquired it from Norfolk Southern.

The tracks cross the Huron River just south of the dam on a bridge with open sides. My vantage point was a footbridge over the river that is part of a trail in the park.

The view is quite open, but the downside to photographing from the bridge is that when joggers come past the bridge shakes. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case when Amtrak time came.

The first train was the Chicago-bound No. 353, scheduled into Ann Arbor at 12:15 p.m. Despite it being a Sunday of a holiday travel period, No. 353 arrived on time.

Less than an hour later came Pontiac-bound No. 350 from Chicago, which arrived a little early.

It was the first time I’ve heard Amtrak Julie proclaim that a train was expected to arrive ahead of its 1:05 p.m. scheduled arrival time.

For this train I moved down the bridge a little bit and zoomed in closer to the lead locomotive.

Wolverine Service trains operate with a single locomotive and feature a mixture of Amfleet and Horizon equipment.

This location is easily accessible. There is a parking lot off West Huron River Drive just beyond Bird Road. Follow the walking trail from the parking lot into the woods and you’ll come to the footbridge over the river.

Heritage coaches mingle with Amfleet equipment on No. 353.

The power house for the Barton Dam is visible behind the cafe car on No. 353.

Zooming in on the head end of eastbound No. 350.

Horizon Fleet cars tend to dominate the consists of Midwest corridor trains, including those in the Chicago-Detroit corridor.

 

 

Extra Helping of Thanksgiving Trains in Michigan

November 28, 2017

Amtrak in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Transportation operated 10 extra trains to handle Thanksgiving travelers this year.

That included an extra section of the Pere Marquette that ran on two days between Chicago and Holland, and an extra section of the Wolverine Service that operated on three days between Chicago and Ann Arbor.

I ventured up to Ann Arbor for the opportunity to catch three Amtrak trains in a single day during daylight hours.

Shown is eastbound No. 356, the extra section of the Wolverine, crossing the Huron River in Barton Park on the northwest side of Ann Arbor.

In the top photo, the head end of the train is crossing the river. In the middle is part of the consist, which was a mixture of Amfleet and Horizon equipment.

In the bottom photograph, P42DC No. 33 brings up the rear. Unlike the regularly scheduled Wolverines that operate between Chicago and Detroit (Pontiac), the Wolverine Extras operated with locomotives on each end due to the lack of turning facilities in Ann Arbor and a turnaround time of 51 minutes.

No. 356 arrived into Ann Arbor about 12 minutes late on the day that I saw it.

Belle of the Cuyahoga

November 25, 2017

I had just photographed a Norfolk Southern dimension train crossing the Cuyahoga River near Lake Rockwell and had turned to return to my car.

Then came the loud rushing sound of another train, which was the 20E, an intermodal train.

One of the locomotives was a bright color so I put my camera to my eye to get a picture.

Those bright colors belonged to a “Southern Belle” of the Kansas City Southern. Such locomotives are not necessarily rare in Northeast Ohio, but not common, either.

That “Belle” sure was a pretty sight.