Posts Tagged ‘Santa Fe motive power’

Retired in Erie

August 4, 2021

The hulk of Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Alco HH 1000 No. 2314 sits outside the GE Erie locomotive assembly plan in the late 1960s. The switcher was a trade-in for other motive power.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

It’s Western Ohio, Not Kansas

April 10, 2020

On Wednesday I chased the Napoleon, Defiance & Western in Western Ohio. This is a short line that runs a former Wabash line between Woodburn, Indiana, and Napoleon, Ohio.

They roster about a half dozen engines including two GP20s still lettered for the Santa Fe.

We chased it from Okalona, Ohio, to Napoleon where it switched a Campbell’s food warehouse and then returned to Defiance.

In the top photography the train is leaving Okalona. Then it is shown leaving Napolean after switching and passing the elevator at Okalona.

The next set shows the train crossing the Maumee River at Defiance, a pair of the GP20s in  Defiance and the return trip at Okalona.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Some Railroad Sights From Joliet, Illinois

April 13, 2017

Amtrak 62 is a French Turboliner that Amtrak used out of Chicago in the mid-1970’s. Here she is in front of Joliet Union Station on June 15, 1974.

Rock Island 654 leads three other Rock Island E8s approaching the crossing with the AT&SF on August 18, 1973.

AT&SF 314C was in Joliet on April 14, 1973. By then some passenger units were on freights as well as on Amtrak.

Mike Ondecker had heard about how Joliet, Illinois, was an excellent location to railfan and wanted to railfan it.

Never did I realize it would become a favorite location and a mandatory stop on westward trips.

Here are three photos taken when Mike and I visited Joliet on different occasions.  By this time Mike had stopped taking photos, but thankfully his being employed by the Erie Lackawanna and his knowledge of railfan locations helped each trip be a great experience.

Of course the fact that Mike loved driving and drove all the time gave me more time to try and navigate to the next location as well as check out the scenery for things of interest. We truly got along well.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

Catching Up With the Cleveland Commercial

August 26, 2016

Here comes the Cleveland Commercial job bound for Cleveland making its way through Bedford.

Here comes the Cleveland Commercial job bound for Cleveland making its way through Bedford.

If I want to see a train but don’t want to drive a long distance, I go to Bedford. The city created a small children’s park on Palmetto Street, which runs parallel with the Cleveland Line of Norfolk Southern.

Railfans have been known to park in the small parking lot of the park to watch trains go past.

The “tot lot” as it’s often called, is about a half-hour from my home and if there is something out of the ordinary coming on NS I might buzz down to Bedford to catch it.

Such was the case earlier this week when NS No. 4000, the DC to AC conversion locomotive with the blue nose came through town leading train 11K.

But before the feature train of the day arrived, the Cleveland Commercial Railroad put in an appearance.

The CCR uses the former Conotton Valley, which for much of its life was the Cleveland line of the Wheeling & Lake Erie. Later, it was the Nickel Plate Road and then Norfolk & Western.

It eventually reverted back to the modern W&LE, which has been leasing it north of Glenwillow to various short line operators, the CCR being the latest.

At times before an Akron Railroad Club meeting, Ed Ribinskas and I have hung out at the tot lot, primarily to see NS in action, but we never minded when the CCR came along.

During one of those sightings the CCR train was rocking back and forth so much that I thought it might derail.

That prompted us to dub the CCR “the rock and rollers.” I wish I had a video of it.

It has been quite a while since I last saw the CCR and as I was waiting for the NS 11K to get the OK to head west through a single-track work zone, we heard horns in the distance.

Your best opportunity to catch the CCR is during late afternoon when the train to Cleveland rumbles through.

Apparently, the CCR has done some track work because the train was hardly rocking and rolling at all.

Of course with short lines such as the CCR, track conditions are relative. The track is still slow speed, but better than it was.

All but one of the cars being toted by the two locomotives of the CCR were gondolas. My guess is that most of them will be filled with scrap metal.

You won’t see ethanol, crude oil, grain, automobiles, containers or coal traveling the rails of the CCR. Perhaps it handles some boxcar traffic, but I don’t see its operations enough to know that.

Those gondolas are batter and bruised, having been around a long time in industrial service. Yet those that fill then have a need for rail service and the CCR provides it, presumably well.

Railroads such as the CCR serve a niche in the American railroad scene. They may not get the attention that the Class 1 and large regional roads get, but their work is no less indispensable to shippers and interesting to observe.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The motive power for the CCR is former Union Pacific and former Santa Fe, both in their original colors with the ex-ATSF unit still wearing Santa Fe markings. The unit, though, is owned by LTEX.

The motive power for the CCR is former Union Pacific and former Santa Fe, both in their original colors with the ex-ATSF unit still wearing Santa Fe markings. The unit, though, is owned by LTEX.

I thought this image of the CCR train and its gondolas summed up what this railroad is all about.

I thought this image of the CCR train and its gondolas summed up what this railroad is all about.

As the CCR train was in Bedford, NS train 68D, which had a load of limestone bound for Shelly Materials in Twinsburg. The head end of the CCR job can be seen just beyond the signals on the NS Cleveland Line.

As the CCR train was in Bedford, NS train 68D, which had a load of limestone bound for Shelly Materials in Twinsburg, also passed by. The head end of the CCR job can be seen just beyond the signals on the NS Cleveland Line.

Looking southward toward the head end of the NS stone train and the rear end of the CCR train.

Looking southward toward the head end of the NS stone train and the rear end of the CCR train. It is not common to get a CCR and NS train at the same time.

NS Acquires 7 Stored Santa Fe Warbonnets

September 13, 2014

Santa Fe red, yellow and silver is about to turn into Norfolk Southern black and white. NS has acquired seven former Santa Fe EMD SD75Ms wearing the warbonnet livery. The first two of these units has been removed from storage at National Railway Equipment in Silvis, Ill., and will be interchanged to NS at East Peoria, Ill.

The locomotives have been given temporary spray painted reporting marks and numbers (2803 and 2801). They are among the last new locomotives delivered in the warbonnet livery befefore the BNSF merger. The ex-AT&SF units will be moved to the NS Juniata locomotive shop at Altoona, Pa., to be prepared for service.

Allen Rider, Norfolk Southern’s manager of locomotive engineering says the locomotives may or may not be repainted before hitting the road. It will depend on the workload at the paint shop.

NS does not plan any major upgrades of the SD75Ms, which the AT&SF acquired to haul stack trains between Chicago and Southern California.

The locomotives along with the current BNSF numbers and projected NS numbers are:

  • BNSF 8202, to become­ NS 2800
  • BNSF 8209, to become NS 2801
  • BNSF 8218, to become­ NS 2802
  • BNSF 8222, to become­ NS 2803
  • BNSF 8225, to become­ NS 2804
  • BNSF 8229, to become­ NS 2805
  • BNSF 8230, to become­ NS 2806

Onetime Glamour Girls Still Soldiering On

October 10, 2013

DSCF3292

When Bob Rohal sent this photo of a CSX train with an ex-Santa Fe warbonnet on the point, I was reminded of Grizabella in the musical Cats. As a pair of warbonnets pass beneath new pedestrian bridge at Crain Avenue in Kent last Saturday, cue the chorus:

Memory — all alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto

May 23, 2013

The late afternoon Cleveland Commercial Railroad train trundles through the town square in Bedford on a Friday afternoon.

The late afternoon Cleveland Commercial Railroad train trundles through the town square in Bedford on a Friday afternoon.

The Cleveland Commercial Railroad is one of those local operations that you tend to take for granted and make little effort to document. That’s unfortunate because the CCL tracks are about a half-hour from my house and the northbound Monday through Friday train has a fairly reliable schedule.

The crew comes on duty at Falls Junction in Glenwillow in mid to late afternoon and the train passes through Bedford at about 5 p.m.

On a recent Friday afternoon, I was hanging out at the Beford Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks watching and photographing trains on the adjacent Cleveland Line of Norfolk Southern.

I heard a horn that I knew was the CCL train heading north. I scurried over to the former Wheeling & Lake Erie passenger station on the Bedford town square.

I had barely enough time to jump out of the car and shoot because the train was almost on top of me.

A couple months ago, the CCL picked up LTEX 2519, a GP35u that had been built in March 1964 for the Santa Fe. It is the type of four-axle power that was once common on Santa Fe locals all over the system, including on the railroad’s web of branches in Kansas.

Did No. 2519 ever work in Kansas? I can’t say for sure, but it might have. Now it is enjoying a second life in Northeast Ohio running over former Wheeling & Lake Erie and Erie Railroad tracks.

Coupled with the 2519 was LTEX 2372, a GP39-2 built in June 1984 for the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) and later repainted in Union Pacific colors. Although the UP lettering and logo have been painted over, the 2372 still has a UP appearance.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

LTEX 2519 is the trailing unit on a CCL light power move in Bedford. Note that the crossing gate for the next grade crossing is just dropping as the train slowly makes its way north.

LTEX 2519 is the trailing unit on a CCL light power move in Bedford. Note that the crossing gate for the next grade crossing is just dropping as the train slowly makes its way north.

A side view of LTEX 2519 taken on March 28 in Beford. Unlike LTEX 2372, which has lost its Union Pacific lettering and logo, the 2519 still proudly proclaims itself to be an Atchison, Topke and Santa Fe locomotive.

Santa Trains II — Daylight Polar Express

December 18, 2012

LTEX 2436 at Peninsula . . . I mean the North Pole.

LTEX 2436 at Peninsula . . . I mean the North Pole.

On Sunday, Dec. 16, I checked out the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s daylight Polar Express runs. The Polars are generally run in the evenings, but on the weekend before Christmas they operate a pair in daylight.

With the Alco/MLW units just not being as dependable as they once were, the CVSR leased a couple of units from LTEX.

Former Santa Fe GP30u No. 2436 was on the south end of the Akron section with FPA4 No. 6771 on the north end.

Former Norfolk Southern GP15 No. 1420 was on the south end of the Cleveland section with one of the RDCs on the north end resulting in a “push mode” operation on the trip from Peninsula to Rockside.

The Akron train stopped at the North Pole (a.k.a. Peninsula) first with the section out of Rockside doing its stop after the Akron train cleared. For about a half-hour Peninsula was a busy place! It was mostly overcast, but I did get a peek of the sun in Peninsula.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

A multitude of elves entertain the children on the train during the station stop.

A multitude of elves entertain the children on the train during the station stop.

Santa’s sleigh has steam power to take him to the train.

Santa’s sleigh has steam power to take him to the train.

The Cleveland section arriving at the North Pole.

The Cleveland section arriving at the North Pole.

I followed the train back to Akron for a bit, shown here passing MP 43.

I followed the train back to Akron for a bit, shown here passing MP 43.

Good Old Fashioned Train Chase

November 18, 2012

The chase begins as we intercept the light power move west of Attica Junction, a.k.a. Siam, Ohio.We barely were able to get into position to get this shot.

I caught up with fellow Akron Railroad Club member Roger Durfee on Saturday morning in Macedonia for what turned out to be a good old fashioned train chase on CSX. The railroad was hosting a light power move of 11 former Santa Fe locomotives, most of them GP30s.

The retired locomotives were part of a group of 22 purchased by LTEX and being moved over CSX into two batches. Saturday’s move operated as symbol X791.

It seemed liked dozens of railfan photographers turned out to record the move. Here are nine images from among the many that I shot during our chase.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

Coming into Willard Yard along a still to be harvested corn field along Town Line Road 12 west of the town.

After about an hour in Willard, during which time the train changed crews, the X791 was on the move east again. The train is about to duck under Cornwell Avenue (Ohio Route 99).

No chase of a train on the former Baltimore & Ohio east of Willard is complete without an across-the-field shot after the crops have been harvested. This image was taken along Boughtonville Road west of the road’s namesake village.

Approaching the grade crossing east of Boughtonville with Boughtonville Road.

The X791 got delayed for about an hour west of Greenwich waiting on three westbounds. Track work on the New Castle Subdivision apparently had that line down to single track. Finally, X791 got a signal and proceeded east. Fortunately for the photographers, the last locomotive was facing the “right” direction.

Nova Tower still stands. Who knows how many Santa Fe and ex-Santa Fe locomotives have passed by it all these years.

Catching up with the X791 before it reached Akron seemed out of the question so we made a beeline for there. Our final images of the X791 would be from the Thronton Street overpass.

The Akron skyline looms in the background as the X791 takes the signal at Exchange Street and continues its trek to LTEX at Lordstown.