Posts Tagged ‘Toledo National Train Day’

NS to Have Loco at Toledo Train Day Event

May 3, 2017

The organizers of the Toledo National Train Day festival have confirmed that a Norfolk Southern locomotive will be on display on Saturday, but it is not clear yet if it will be a heritage unit, tribute unit or just a work-a-day locomotive.

What is certain is that Amtrak will not have any equipment at Toledo Central Union Terminal for the 10th edition of the event.

Amtrak last year announced it would no longer support National Train Day, but did send Phase I livery P42DC heritage locomotive No. 156 to the event along with a baggage car, Viewliner sleeper, café car and an Amfleet coach.

Watco Companies has agreed to display its Ann Arbor heritage unit at the festival.

Also present at Martin Luther King, Jr., Plaza, as the station is now called will be exhibits and programming that will include track car rides, operating model-train layouts, and a drawing for free Amtrak tickets aboard the Lake Shore Limited to a destination east of Toledo.

There are expected to be five model-train layouts and various vendors in the station’s former main concourse.

Operation Lifesaver will sponsor children’s rail-safety workshops and Boy Scouts who pre-register can participate in a railroading merit badge workshop.

Local food trucks and vendors will be on hand selling their wares.

The track car rides are being offered by the Ohio Valley Railcar organization.

The hours of the free event are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the station at 415 Emerald Ave. Scheduled speakers during the opening ceremony will include:

  • Peter LeCody, chairman of the board for the National Association of Railroad Passengers in Washington.
  • Rick Harnish, executive director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association in Chicago.
  • Ken Prendergast, executive director of All Aboard Ohio.
  • Eric Thurlow, commercial manager of the Watco/​Ann Arbor Railroad.
  • Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson.
  • Toledo City Councilman Peter Ujvagi.

Following the opening ceremony there will be roundtable discussion featuring many of the speakers.

Toledo National Train Day Set for May 6

April 12, 2017

Toledo still plans to hold a National Train Day this year, although it will not apparently have the headliner external exhibits that it has had in the past.

The event will be held on May 6 at the former Central Union Terminal – now known as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza – between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. There is no admission charge.

Thus far the only announced railroad exhibit will be Ann Arbor Railroad GP38 No. 3879.

Built in 1969, the locomotive has been painted in a commemorative livery to honor the history of the Ann Arbor, which is now a Watco Companies property.

This year’s event will be the 10th National Train Day celebration in Toledo.

Past events have featured heritage and special livery locomotives of Norfolk Southern as well as an Amtrak exhibit train.

It is not clear yet if either NS or Amtrak will be participating in the event.

The event’s sponsors say on their Facebook page that as in past years the festival will feature vendors, model railroad displays, children’s train rides, a safety workshop oriented to children, food and train watching of the nearby NS Chicago Line from the Amtrak station platforms.

The Intricate Detail of NS 9-1-1

June 4, 2016
NS 9-1-1 on display at Central Union Terminal in Toledo for National Train Day. 2016.

NS 9-1-1 on display at Central Union Terminal in Toledo for National Train Day. 2016.

I had seen Norfolk Southern 9-1-1 once before. It was pulling a Safety Express train and fellow Akron Railroad Club member Peter Bowler and I chased it from Bellevue to Bedford.

Since then, the first responders tribute locomotive has been through Northeast Ohio several times, but never when I was able to go trackside.

Some might say that when a locomotive is on display as the NS 9-1-1 was in early May at Toledo National Train Day, it is an artificial environment because the train is not really working.

Maybe so, but such displays enable the photographer to hone in on details you might miss when it zooms past you at track speed.

Although not a heritage unit per se, the 9-1-1 is an honorary member of the heritage locomotive family because it doesn’t look like your run of the mill NS engine.

It’s nose is about as colorful as any locomotive snout gets on any railroad with its bright red accented with white stripes, which creates a striking appearance.

The red is so dominant that it is easy to overlook the fact that most of the unit is actually painted black and the nose and cab have as much white as they do red.

NS 9-1-1 is one of those rare locomotives that also must be seen from the top down as from a bridge in order to truly appreciate the all-encompassing nature of its livery.

Presented here are a series of images showing various facets of the NS 9-1-1, including detail that might otherwise escape a trackside viewer.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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Toledo17 May 7-x

A view from the rear forward nicely shows the detail of the flanks

A view from the rear forward nicely shows the detail of the flanks.

Hundreds of images were made of NS 9-1-1 during the Toledo National Train Day festival.

Hundreds of images were made of NS 9-1-1 during the Toledo National Train Day festival.

A reminder of who is being honored with this locomotive.

A reminder of who is being honored with this locomotive.

A chance to see the rear of the unit uncovered.

A chance to see the rear of the unit uncovered.

At Last, I ‘Landed’ Amtrak P42DC No. 156

May 23, 2016
Amtrak No. 156, the Phase I heritage locomotive, led a train of a Viewliner baggage car, an Amfleet II coach, an Amfleet cafe car and a Viewliner sleeper.

Amtrak No. 156, the Phase I heritage locomotive, led a train of a Viewliner baggage car, an Amfleet II coach, an Amfleet cafe car and a Viewliner sleeper.

Until early this month, I had seen Amtrak P42DC just once. That occurred as I was leaving Chicago Union Station aboard the eastbound Capitol Limited and I got a glimpse of the 156 sitting in the coach yard south of the depot.

My memory is that it went out later that night on the point of the eastbound Lake Shore Limited.

I’m one to think that Amtrak’s Phase I livery was its best. In particular, I liked how it looked on the SDP40F locomotives, but the E and F units looked nice in the “pointless arrow” scheme, too.

The Phase I livery did not look so good on GG1 electric motors, but I never saw any of those other than in photographs.

No. 156 has been all over the country, but our paths have never crossed. I’ve seen scores of photographs of it, including some made in Cleveland.

Some guys I know in the Akron Railroad Club have caught No. 156 more than once. I, though, never even had as much as a near miss with the 156.

I didn’t know that it would be in Toledo for this year’s National Train Day event until Friday afternoon before the event when I saw a posting about it on Facebook. Needless to say, that had me quite excited.

My friend Adam and I arrived in Toledo just after 8 a.m. and there was, at long last, the 156.

Yes, I took a lot of photographs of it. To be sure, it was just sitting there, providing hotel power for an Amtrak display train.

But that didn’t matter. It’s nose was open and it looked like it was pulling a train.

Now that I finally have it, the next challenge is to catch it actually leading a train on the road. That might take some time and a little bit of luck as well.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Of course I made a roster shot of Amtrak 156.

Of course I made a roster shot of Amtrak 156.

The nose needs a little touch-up painting to cover some scratches and dings from life on the road.

The nose needs a little touch-up painting to cover some scratches and dings from life on the road.

The passenger side of the platform with the display train.

The passenger side of the platform with the display train.

If the fuel outlet is where the edge of the "pointless arrow" is supposed to go, no problem. Just paint over it.

If the fuel outlet is where the edge of the “pointless arrow” is supposed to go, no problem. Just paint over it.

Roger’s Take on Toledo National Train Day

May 11, 2016
Among the first responders who posed with Norfolk Southern 9-1-1 were a Toledo Fire Department Truck . . .

Among the first responders who posed with Norfolk Southern 9-1-1 were a Toledo Fire Department Truck . . .

 . . . an a Norfolk Southern police vehicle.

. . . an a Norfolk Southern police vehicle and officer.

The former BNSF speeder that I rode.

The former BNSF speeder that I rode.

The far east end of Toledo Central Union Terminal as seen from a speeder.

The far east end of Toledo Central Union Terminal as seen from a speeder.

NS 9-1-1 and Ann Arbor 3879 lined up for display.

NS 9-1-1 and Ann Arbor 3879 lined up for display.

An Amtrak Thruway bus features the Amtrak logo as well as the markings of its owner/operator.

An Amtrak Thruway bus features the Amtrak logo as well as the markings of its owner/operator.

Greyhound now serves Toledo Central Union Terminal.

Greyhound now serves Toledo Central Union Terminal.

I stayed overnight in Toledo on Friday and then spent Saturday at the annual National Train Day festival. Here is a selection of special photographs that I made.

BNSF No. 336 is the speeder I rode. The station photo showing the old platforms  at the east end was taken from the speeder.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

NS 9-1-1, Amtrak 156, Ann Arbor Heritage Unit Shine Under Friday Night Lights at Toledo C.U.T.

May 9, 2016
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Amtrak’s Phase I heritage locomotive was on the point of a four car display train that mimicked the consist of the Lake Shore Limited.

Here is a selection of the night photos from Toledo’s National Train Day festival that were made on Friday night.

The engineer is Engineer Steve, one of the main driving forces behind the National Train Day in Toledo and the one who set up the equipment. Lighting was provided by David Patch, a transportation reporter with The Blade of Toledo.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

Norfolk Southern's  first responders tribute unit looks spiffy. Behind it is Ann Arbor GP38 No. 3879.

Norfolk Southern’s
first responders tribute unit looks spiffy. Behind it is Ann Arbor GP38 No. 3879.

Watco brought out its Ann Arbor heritage locomotive, a GP38.

Watco brought out its Ann Arbor heritage locomotive, a GP38.

Engineer Steve poses at the controls of SD60E No. 9-1-1 on display at Toledo Central Union Terminal.

Engineer Steve poses at the controls of SD60E No. 9-1-1 on display at Toledo Central Union Terminal.

Engineer Steve climbs aboard Amtrak P42DC No. 156 as he "goes to work."

Engineer Steve climbs aboard Amtrak P42DC No. 156 as he “goes to work.”

NS 9-1-1 and the photographers that captured it under the lights.

NS 9-1-1 and the photographers that captured it under the lights.

 

Sights at Toledo National Train Day

May 8, 2016
The NS 9-1-1 and Watco No. 3879 sit on display at Toledo Central Union Terminal.

The NS 9-1-1 and Watco No. 3879 sit on display at Toledo Central Union Terminal.

Honing in on the Ann Arbor heritage GP38, which is now operated by Watco.

Honing in on the Ann Arbor heritage GP38, which is now operated by Watco.

Getting "nosey" with NS 9-1-1, an SD60E that honors the nation's first responders.

Getting “nosey” with NS 9-1-1, an SD60E that honors the nation’s first responders.

Amtrak No. 156, the Phase I heritage locomotive, led a train of a Viewliner baggage car, an Amfleet II coach, an Amfleet cafe car and a Viewliner sleeper.

Amtrak No. 156, the Phase I heritage locomotive, led a train of a Viewliner baggage car, an Amfleet II coach, an Amfleet cafe car and a Viewliner sleeper.

Toledo held its annual National Train Day festival on Saturday (May 7) at Central Union Terminal. Among the exhibits were Norfolk Southern Southern 9-1-1, the first responders tribute locomotive; Watco GP38 No. 3879, which is painted in an Ann Arbor Railroad heritage livery; Amtrak P42DC No. 156, which is painted in the Phase I heritage livery; and an Amtrak display train that was a miniature version of the Lake Shore Limited.

There also were speeder rides; model train layouts; vendors selling videos, books and other railroad related items; and informational displays by various organizations.

Several Akron Railroad club members were on hand as either visitors or vendors.

Here is look at the major prototypes that were on display.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

Amtrak Display Train, NS 9-1-1 to Headline 9th Toledo National Train Day Celebration on May 7

May 2, 2016

National Train Day

A display of Amtrak equipment will join the Norfolk Southern first responders’ tribute locomotive at the National Train Day event in Toledo on Saturday, May 7.

Amtrak has agreed to send a P42 locomotive, a new CAF Baggage Car, a Viewliner sleeper, a dining car and an Amfleet II coach.

Also on display will be NS SD60E No. 9-1-1 and a Watco GP38-2 painted in Ann Arbor heritage colors .

The free event will be held at Toledo Central Union Terminal, now known as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The plaza is located at 415 Emerald Ave. Free parking will be available at the Port Lawrence garage next to Huntington Center. A shuttle will take event attendees to and from the train station.

An opening ceremony is set for 9:30 a.m. in Children’s Park, which is across the street from the entrance to the station.

It will be the ninth National Train Day in Toledo. Other attractions will include model train layouts, handcars and speeders, a train trip drawing, displays, vendors, food, music, an Operation Lifesaver kids rail safety event, a Chuggington play area and a kids zone featuring a Children’s train ride

On Friday (May 6), the Friday Night by the Tracks event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on the third floor of the grand lobby of the station.

The event will feature a tour of the NS 9-1-1 locomotive and the Amtrak display train along with hors d’oeuvres, soft drinks, a cash bar and live entertainment by The Villains

Dress is business casual and attendees must be at least age 21. Ticket are $30 per person or $50 per couple.

All proceeds will go to the Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association and the Toledo Design Center.

For information visit: www.facebook.com/NationalTrainDayToledo

The Tribute Units Were Nice, But it was an F40 That Stole My Heart at Toledo National Train Day

May 5, 2015
It can't pull a train anymore, but F40PH No. 406 still looks the part.

It can’t pull a train anymore, but F40PH No. 406 still looks the part.

Sure, seeing the Norfolk Southern GoRail locomotive motivated me to drive to Toledo last Saturday for the National Train Day event.

But what I really wanted to see was Amtrak P42 No. 42. It is dressed in a striking livery that honor’s America’s veterans. It was every bit as classy looking as I expected it be and it was my first time seeing it in person.

And then there was Amtrak No. 406. Built in July 1988 by EMD, this F40PH has since had its traction motors removed and been converted to a NPCU, meaning that it can provide head-end power and be used to control a locomotive, but it can’t pull a train.

Yet for appearances, it looks just like it did when it came out of the EMD factory, complete with a Phase III livery.

Last Saturday it provided HEP for the Amtrak exhibit train and I found myself being transported back a decade or two when the F40 was the king of the Amtrak diesel fleet.

During their heyday, the F40 was the Rodney Dangerfield of locomotives.

A lot of railfans didn’t care for them. They made a lot of noise when standing in the station and they were diminutive in stature compared with their big six-axle freight cousins.

Not too many people are going to say they prefer the look of an F40 over the sleek streamlining of an EMD E or F unit.

I’ve always been partial to the short-lived SDP40Fs that Amtrak purchased in 1973 and 1974, but the F40 proved to be the locomotive that enjoyed the longer life even if it had been designed with corridor service in mind.

So I spent some time looking over the 406 and remembering all of the trips I made behind the F40 fleet until it began to be replaced in the middle 1990s.

It’s funny how something that was so common two decades can seemingly vanish overnight.

In time the same will likely happen with the P42. Will I someday have pangs of nostalgia upon seeing one of those? Probably, yes I will. But that day hasn’t come yet.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

What I came to see.

What I came to see.

It's almost highball time for the next Amtrak train to New York at Toledo's Central Union Terminal. If only it were true.

It’s almost highball time for the next Amtrak train to New York at Toledo’s Central Union Terminal. If only it were true.

A father and his daughter spend some quality time in the Sightseer lounge, imagining they are taking a train trip.

A father and his daughter spend some quality time in the Sightseer lounge, imagining they are taking a train trip.

Built in 1950 for Union Pacific, sleeper Pacific Bend has racked up thousands of miles and seen a lot of places in its lifetime. No longer carrying revenue passengers, it is now assigned to the Amtrak exhibit train.

Built in 1950 for Union Pacific, sleeper Pacific Bend has racked up thousands of miles and seen a lot of places in its lifetime. No longer carrying revenue passengers, it is now assigned to the Amtrak exhibit train.

Amtrak's latest slogan on the side of former baggage cars turned exhibit cars.

Amtrak’s latest slogan on the side of former baggage cars turned exhibit cars.

The gray of P42 No. 42 is a throwback of sorts to the days of New York Central vanish sitting on these very same tracks.

The gray of P42 No. 42 is a throwback of sorts to the days of New York Central vanish sitting on these very same tracks.

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No Escaping Me This Time

May 3, 2015
Norfplk Southern No. 6963 at National Train Day in Toledo.

Norfplk Southern No. 6963 at National Train Day in Toledo.

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Last August during the Akron Railroad Club outing in Vermilion, I arrived just in time to watch a westbound train led by Norfolk Southern No. 6963, the GoRail tribute locomotive.

On that day it went flying past me before I could get my camera out of the bag. I was not pleased.

On Saturday I had another opportunity to catch the 6963 and this time there was not missing. No. 6963 sat on static display as part of the National Train Day celebration in Toledo.

I had not known that the SD60E locomotive had begun life as a Chicago & North Western SD60 No. 8004 in August 1986. NS acquired it from Helm in 2012 and subsequently put it through the SD60E conversion process at the Juniata shops in Altoona, Pa.

The Go Rail unit livery was designed to pay tribute to GoRail, a non-profit organization founded in 2004 with the support of the nation’s railroad and railroad suppliers to promote shipping by rail.

NS unveiled the unit in March 2014 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

In a news release, NS described the design this way: “The SD60E model features a paint scheme combining the infinity lines of the Norfolk Southern livery with the tracks of the GoRail logo. The lines end in an arrow to depict movement, and the GoRail colors carry through the modified speed lines to show the unity of GoRail and Norfolk Southern, creating the look of land as seen from above and signifying freight movement.”

In Toledo, No. 6963 was placed between a locomotive from the Ann Arbor Railroad (out of sight to the left) and the Amtrak veteran’s tribute P42 locomotive.

Toward the end of my time at the Toledo festival I encountered fellow ARRC member Todd Vander Sluis, a Vermilion resident who had suggested the club have an outing in his hometown.

I had half forgotten my missed encounter with the NS 6963 until he reminded me of it and noted I wouldn’t miss it this time. Indeed, I did not.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders