Posts Tagged ‘short line railroads of Ohio’

ABC on CSX in Akron

May 21, 2021

Akron Barberton Cluster GP40 No. 4005 is eastbound on CSX in Akron on May 12, 2021. The unit was acquired in July 2019 and rebuilt at the Wheeling & Lake Erie shops in Brewster. It was released for revenue service in January 2020.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Ohio Short Line Added to Ready List

October 1, 2020

Short line railroad holding company OmniTRAX has added the Northern Ohio & Western to Rail-Ready Sites program.

The move is an effort to boost the efforts of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership in northwestern Ohio.

In a news release, OmniTRAX said the Rail-Ready program helps connect companies looking to improve supply-chain performance with railroads.

OmniTRAX and the economic group will market three initial sites on the NO&W, with property parcels ranging from 14 to 72 acres.

NO&W interchanges with Norfolk Southern and CSX and hauls such commodities as limestone, lime and pressed board.

Vestige of the Rock on the ABC

September 24, 2020

On Wednesday I caught the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway local returning from Ravenna. it had GP40 No. 4005, which was formerly Rock Island 4700. It is shown passing the former Erie Railroad passenger depot, now a restaurant named Treno, in Kent.

Photograph by Todd Dillon

W&LE Gets Grant to Rebuild Bridge

March 29, 2020

The Wheeling & Lake Erie has received a grant from the Ohio Rail Development Commission to be used to repair a bridge on its Carrollton branch.

The grant of $235,225 will be used to rehabilitate the century-old Oneida Bridge at milepost 16.78 in Oneida.

In a news release, the ORDC said the project will ensure the bridge is in safe working condition.

The release said the W&LE has committed to maintaining the bridge in operable condition for 10 years after completion of the project.

Jeff Sunderland, the W&LE’s assistant vice president, business development, said in the news release that the railroad will continue to provide service to new and current customers in Carrollton.

Among them is Griffeth & Son, a trucking company that is extending a rail spur to be used to unload carloads of crushed limestone.

The ORDC gave the trucking company a $100,000 ORDC grant and it also received an award of $200,000 from JobsOhio and $50,000 from the Carroll County Community Improvement Corporation.

The W&LE will bring in the stone to the unloading facility on a weekly basis once the project is completed.

The limestone is now being trucked to Carrollton from a quarry near Carey.

James Griffeth told the The Repository of Canton last October that the number of trains bringing limetone to Carrollton might increase to two or three a week if demand rises.

The ORDC news release said work on the Oneida bridge is expected to be done this year.

The Repository story of last October said at the time that Carroll County did not have any active rail shippers.

Seeing Red on the Grand River Railway

December 26, 2019

The Grand River Railway uses a caboose as a shoving platform during its moves.

It is former Conrail N2 class No. 21202 and was owned by CSX before joining the GRR roster.

Earlier this year it was repainted red, given GRR markings and roster number 21.

It is shown near the Morton Salt facility north of Grand River earlier this week.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Y&S Completes Purchase of Line it Operates

November 6, 2019

The Youngstown & Southeastern Railroad has completed acquisition of a 36-mile rail line that runs from Youngstown to Darlington, Pennsylvania.

The rail line was sold by Mule Sidetracks, an affiliate of MarkWest Energy Partners, which had purchased the line in 2013 from the Columbiana County Port Authority for $3 million.

Although the sale price of the railroad to Y&S was not disclosed, The Business Journal of Youngstown reported that public records show Mule Sidetracks sold land along the tracks in Columbiana County to Y&S for $1,815,507 and sold Y&S 14 parcels in Mahoning County for $809,153.

MarkWest, which is based in Denver, had acquired the rail line with the expectation of developing business related to exploration of the Utica shale oil and gas fields.

The Port Authority was hoping that MarkWest would construct a processing plant in Columbiana County.

Y&S has been providing rail service on the line since 2006 under lease from the Port Authority and later by contract with MarkWest.

Y&S is an affiliate of Indiana Boxcar Corporation of Connersville, Indiana. The Class III railroad has annual revenue of less than $5 million.

It connects with NS in Youngstown and CSX in Lowellville.

Evening Sighting of the Grand River Railway

June 27, 2019

It was a warm and sun-splashed Friday evening. I was talking with Ed Ribinskas outside Brennans Fish House in Grand River

We had eaten dinner there with our respective wives and were doing some socializing.

I heard a train horn and knew a Grand River Railway was coming. But from which direction?

The Grand River operates down River Street in Grand River. Brennans is located on west side of the street while Pickle Bill’s Lobster House is on the east side.

Some patrons of the latter park next to front of the restaurant and that can cause a clearance issue for the GRR, which hauls salt from a Morton facility north of Grand River to an interchange with CSX in Painesville.

Ed borrows Ursula’s cell phone and snapped the four images shown here.

In the top image the train has entered the street running and is passing Pickle Bill’s. Note the Grand River Police Department cruiser keeping watch on the street.

The shadows in the various images belong to Ed, myself, Ursula and my wife, Mary Ann.

If Horizon Rail GP10 No. 8420 looks familiar that might be because it pulled trains on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in 2015 and 2016 before being return to its owner.

It is only the third ime I’ve seen the GRR running down the street in its namesake city.

One of those times was a couple years ago when Mary Ann and I were having dinner at Brennans and it rolled past the window.

Yet another time we were eating on the deck at Pickel Bills when I heard locomotive horns and went out to take a look and there the train was.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Ohi-Rail Caboose

March 22, 2018

To most people, this is a caboose. But to a railroader it could be either a caboose or a shoving platform. There is a difference, but only those who know the rules of the Federal Railroad Administration know what it is.

Ohi-Rail, a short-line railroad based in Minerva, Ohio, uses both a shoving platform and a caboose for its moves to Bayard.

Also shown are a couple of former Norfolk Southern locomotives that Ohi-
Rail bought during an NS garage sale.

Photograph by Pete Poremba

Fresh Look for Ohi-Rail GP9

January 29, 2018

Small short-line railroads must by financial necessity shop the used locomotive market. This often results in a rag-tag locomotive fleet of units wearing Spartan liveries.

Or it might mean a “heritage fleet” of locomotives still wearing in whole or in part the colors and markings of a former owner.

Within the past month, Minvera-based Ohi-Rail Corporation has placed into revenue service a former Chesapeake & Ohio GP9 that has a fresh new look.

When the unit went into the shop for repainting, the C&O initials and name were bleeding through the black paint.

When it came out, No. 53 had a new coat of paint, an inverted V-shaped stripe of  gold and white on its nose and something you won’t see on many, if any, other locomotives.

The herald of the Future Farmers of America on the side of the nose is in tribute to the work put in by members of the Minerva FFA chapter in helping to restore the locomotive.

Thanks for a tip from Akron Railroad Club member Pete Poremba, who works for Ohi-Rail, I was able to photograph No. 53 shoving a cut of empty tank cars from Minerva to Bayard to interchange to Norfolk Southern.

Ohi-Rail uses tracks that were once branch lines of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central. It also interchanges on occasion in Minerva with the Wheeling & Lake Erie.

A caboose converted to a shoving platform is used on the east end of trains headed for Bayard.

It comes with lights and a horn and from a distance you would swear that it was a locomotive horn, which it used to be.

The Whistle Was Too Close to be NS

January 4, 2017



These were taken on the spur to the Rock Tenn plant a Ravenna with an iPhone. We were out on the bike trail when I heard a whistle too close by to be Norfolk Southern. They were pulling two boxcars up the line switching to pull in the siding by Oakwood Street. I got these two photographs of the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway on the return journey.

Photographs by Jeffrey Smith