Posts Tagged ‘snow photography’

EL Monday: An F3A in Kent

March 13, 2023

Erie Lackawanna F3A No. 8044 and two other units are eastbound in Kent in the late 1960s. The 8044 was built for the Erie Railroad in July 1947. The train is passing through the yard, which was one of the largest on the former Erie in Ohio.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

What It Would Have Looked Like

December 24, 2022

Friday and Saturday were the type of days I will not venture out anymore except to the mailbox and to feed the birds.

Why I didn’t really need to go trackside is because I am more than satisfied with the results I got in Perry in March 2013 in similar conditions. However, things were worse on Friday than they were in March 2013 when there was heavy lake effect snow but not the extreme cold.

Of course I wouldn’t have been able to see Amtrak No. 48 anyway if I had gone out since it was cancelled. Stay warm everyone.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Trestle Tales: The End Less Photographed

February 9, 2022

Most of the images Ed Ribinskas has made of the former Nickel Plate Road trestle over the Grand River in Painesville were made at the east end of the bridge.

He stayed away from the west end for several years to avoid trespassing on the property of Coe Manufacturing. Another factor was that it would be a tight shot because of tree growth that dated back to the end of the steam locomotive era.

After Coe Manufacturing closed and its building were razed, Ed felt more comfortable scouting for photo angles at the west end.

Nonetheless, it was still a tight shot. The best time of year to photograph the west end of the trestle was during the winter.

“Probably the very few times I photographed there resulted in my best and favorites,” Ed wrote.

The bottom two photographs were made of westbound manifest freight 145 at about 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 2, 2014 (Super Bowl Sunday).

With Ed that day were fellow Akron Railroad Club members Marty Surdyk and Craig Sanders.

The top two images were made in early afternoon on May 6, 2018.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Super Outing, Super Memories

June 4, 2021

Marty Surdyk, Craig Sanders and myself had a super bowl hours before the NFL game started on February 2, 2014.. All of our photos from that day were all keepers thanks to the unique weather conditions from that day. I miss seeing the “late” former Nickel Plate Road trestle every time I see Norfolk Southern train 206 in the top photo. Seeing NS train 145 in the middle and bottom images always brings a smile to my face.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Looks More Like January Than March

May 11, 2021

On March 16, 2013, which was a day of the train show at Lake Land College in Kirtland, Craig Sanders and I started  out in Perry in extreme winter conditions as a lake effect squall dumped heavy snow on the area.

We were fortunate to get great photos in a 24-minute span, which included a late Amtrak No. 48. The top image of a Norfolk Southern train illustrates the fierce elements.

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited showed up at 8:42 a.m. and a CSX eastbound came along at 8:51 a.m.

We then retreated to the warm car. Later we would catch a train Painesville before heading to the rain show to work the Akron Railroad Club’s table. By then the snow had stopped.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Dashing Through Some Snow

March 15, 2018

The first day of spring is March 20 when the spring equinox occurs in the Northern Hemisphere at 12:15 p.m. EDT, but this week has felt more like January than the cusp of spring.

At least where I live there is still considerable snow on the ground and snow showers were frequent throughout Northeast Ohio on Tuesday.

Light snow was falling as a Greater Cleveland RTA Green Line car made its way toward downtown Cleveland after making stop at the station on Warrensville Road in Shaker Heights.

It will run parallel to Shaker Boulevard all the way to Shaker Square in Cleveland.

Winter Afternoon in Peninsula

January 30, 2018

It had been a while since I’d been able to get out with my camera. Car troubles and other matters had kept me at home as winter fell on Northeast Ohio in early January.

More than a week into the month, I finally got everything squared away and was able to get out of the house to go do some winter photography.

I had plans to go watch a college basketball game in Akron on a Tuesday night so I left the house early and stopped by Peninsula to see what I might find.

I knew better than to expect to catch a train on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. That operation was on hiatus until later in the month. But you can still do a lot without a train.

Several years ago I photographed the Peninsula train station during winter when it had icicles hanging on it. That was not the case on this day because the sun had melted them.

A step box on the platform had accumulated some snow and the platform area had footprints made by visitors to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Snow no longer covered the rails, but in the late day sunlight the ties on the siding were barely visible as the snow had that sunken look.

At the far north end of town sat a baggage car that had been used as a prop when the Polar Express trains were operating before Christmas. Beneath that car was bare ground.

There weren’t many people around on this day. It was still cold and winter is not a time of year when many people want to visit the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.


Railroading as it Once Was: One Day in Hudson

October 27, 2016


A UCI train (Cleveland Electric Illuminating) has outlawed at Hudson on a cold February 1979 afternoon.

The caboose of a Conrail eastbound is just clearing the CEI units. Hudson station still had an operator at this point who controlled this busy location.

The Cleveland & Pittsburgh mains, the crossovers, the wye to the Akron Branch (several trains a day), and the westward and eastward siding switches were handled by the operator as well as the Servo machine.

Today this former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline is as busy as ever, but the wye is only used to spin power. The branch is out of service 400 feet south of the point switch.

The eastward siding is gone and the westward siding is stub-ended and little used.

The station has been leveled and the “Yellowbirds” are no longer Cleveland Electric units.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Not Much of a Winter

March 28, 2016

How about some frosted used railroad ties?

How about some frosted used railroad ties?

Although most people probably are not complaining, I missed the winter of 2016.

I didn’t make a single image of railroad operations during a snowstorm. I was only able to create a handful of images of railroads and the aftermath of a snowfall and those weren’t much. By the time I could get out, most of the snow had melted.

Nonetheless, here is a gallery of some of what I was able to record during weekend walks on the Portage Hike and Bike Trail near Kent.

Presumably, next winter there won’t be an El Nino and there will be more seasonable levels of snow. Of course we’ll all be complaining about it.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Looking west on the former Erie Mainline at Ravenna Road.

Looking west on the former Erie Mainline at Ravenna Road.

There was plenty of snow covering the former Erie Railroad mainline near Lake Rockwell Road even if the snow had melted most everywhere else.

There was plenty of snow covering the former Erie Railroad mainline near Lake Rockwell Road even if the snow had melted most everywhere else.

They are now railroad tracks, but the snow left in these tire tracks resembles a railroad track.

They are now railroad tracks, but the snow left in these tire tracks resembles a railroad track.

Sitting Duck at Edwards Road on the Carey Sub

March 18, 2015

WE Edward Road 1a

The barn at left and the tractor tire tracks in the foreground made this image compelling.


A simple cross buck and snow covered fields are hallmarks of rural Ohio in winter.

A simple cross buck and snow covered fields are hallmarks of rural Ohio in winter.

Looking down the tracks. Was the crew looking back?

Looking down the tracks. Was the crew looking back?

A few low hanging branches of a big old tree help frame the motive power consist, which itself shows some variety.

A few low hanging branches of a big old tree help frame the motive power consist, which itself shows some variety.

Had I not glanced to my right I might have missed it. But I look around a lot while I’m driving and as a result I spotted the covered hopper cars on the nearby Wheeling & Lake Erie’s Carey Subdivision west of Greenwich.

I started looking for the motive power, which was stopped a little west of Edwards Road. So I made a right turn off U.S. Route 224 and drove toward the tracks.

It was a grain train that I presumed was stopped to wait for CSX to give it permission to enter its line at GN Tower in Greenwich.

Because the train was sitting still, I was able to photograph it from multiple angles, including the usual angles of looking down the tracks and shooting from the side at about a 45-degree angle.

Photographing this train was a challenge. Although a cloud cover had moved in, there was just enough sunlight coming from the southwest to create some back lighting.

It was late in the day so the ambient light was diminishing. Add to that a snow cover on the surrounding fields and you don’t have ideal lighting conditions.

Yet in other ways the scene could not have been more ideal. There was more going on here than a stopped train on a single track line that doesn’t see much rail traffic on any given day. There was a story to tell with images.

There was personal interest in the lead unit, No. 6989, an SD40-2 that still wears a BNSF livery even if the lettering of the former owner has been painted over.

I had photographed this locomotive back in January on a very cold morning in Akron. It had been sitting by itself in Brittain Yard in the engine service area. Now, it was sitting in front of me just like it had been on that frigid January day.

That January portrait also had been the result of a fortuitous glance at the right time. Do you think that the 6989 wants me to find it?

I noticed some tracks in the snow heading toward the tracks before making a sharp right turn and running parallel to the railroad tracks. The tire tracks appeared to have been made by a tractor.

Those tire tracks intrigued me. They show winter and give the image some movement. The viewer’s eyes naturally follow the tractor tire tracks toward the railroad tracks and then toward the train.

The tractor tire tracks also lead the viewer toward a weathered barn on the other side of the railroad tracks.

This might have been a nice image even without the barn, but it makes for a left framing object and reinforces the sense of place. The fields, the barn, the stubble of last year’s crops poking through the snow, and the open space work together to show that this is farm country.

It is slumbering now, but soon the snow will gone and it will be time to get back into the fields to plant this year’s crops.

Some of the original images were dark so I had to work them in Photoshop. I’m still not sure that I’m happy with the results, but I got what I wanted, which was to draw out the tractor tire tracks and the clouds of an approaching front.

There is just enough light showing through the clouds to give the sense that it is late day and sunset would come in another hour or less.

I didn’t notice until I began to work with the image that there is another set of tracks in the top image, too. There are footprints that cross the tractor tire tracks and lead somewhat toward the train.

Those footprints add a sense of mystery. Why would someone have been out walking in this field?

It is the type of image that I may never be able to replicate here again because I might not have the same combination of factors that came together to make this image what it is, namely the snow cover, the tire tracks and a sitting train.

I didn’t want to spend much time here. I faced a long drive and I wanted to get home. Had I been willing to spend more time working the scene I might have come up with something even better.

Still, I was quite pleased with what I was able to make. a winter day series that started with a simple glance to my right.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders