Posts Tagged ‘unit grain trains’

Country Crossing

November 5, 2019

The fact that there are cross bucks and not flashing lights and gates says something about the level of train traffic here.

It is located north of Greencastle, Indiana, on the CSX Monon Subdivision, which is named for the former Monon Railroad.

The ex-Monon in this area doesn’t see much traffic and catching this northbound grain train was a stroke of good fortune.

We had heard it headed east on the St. Louis Line and get permission to enter the Monon Sub at Greencastle en route to a grain facility at Roachdale, Indiana.

Notice the pickup truck waiting on the other side to get across. The scene is the essence of rural life and the railroad.

It won’t be long before the corn in that field behind the truck might be traveling on these rails en route to some distant market.

NS Bridges of Oak Harbor

February 7, 2017

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One in a periodic series of images that I made last summer

The Toledo District of Norfolk Southern in Oak Harbor has two bridges that make for good photo props.

One bridge carries the tracks over the NS Chicago Line on the west side of town while the other carries the Toledo District over the Portage River.

In the top and middle photograph above, a westbound NS tanker train cruises westbound on the Chicago Line and ducks beneath the Toledo District.

I don’t know the age of that plate girder bridge but it might have been installed by the original Wheeling & Lake Erie. The modern day NS Toledo District was back in the day the W&LE’s mainline to Toledo.

A lot of trains of the New York Central, Penn Central, Conrail and now NS have passed beneath that bridge.

The modern W&LE has trackage rights on the NS Toledo District so you can still see Wheeling trains on the bridge.

The bottom photograph shows an NS train crossing the bridge over the Portage River in a view that was made from the Oak Harbor cemetery.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Getting Lucky in Graytown

October 18, 2016

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One in a periodic series of images I made last summer.

I had never been to Graytown until last July. I knew of it because Marty Surdyk has photographed there a few times.

You might have guessed by now that Marty knows of Graytown because it has a large grain elevator on the north side of the Norfolk Southern Chicago Line.

My fellow Akron Railroad Club member Peter Bowler and I were in Graytown to get the elevator and a westbound auto rack train. That image is featured in another post.

During our time in Graytown, we caught a couple of eastbounds, one of which is shown passing the westbound auto rack train in the top photo.

The second train, which had Union Pacific motive power, was a grain train that later headed down the Toledo District at Oak Harbor.

We got lucky and were able to get the grain train passing the Luckey Farmers Inc. facility located across the road from the grain elevator.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Atop the Wellington Reservoir on a Winter Day

March 22, 2015
The Lorain Country fairgrounds and the tail of the grain train on the connection track looms behind the motive power of that train in Wellington.

The Lorain Country fairgrounds and the tail of the grain train on the connection track looms behind the motive power of that train in Wellington.

It wasn’t an easy climb to get to the top of the reservoir at Wellington. That’s because I approached it from the north side where there was still plenty of snow.

On the west side much of the snow had melted. Want to guess which side I used to get down?

I’ve always enjoyed the view from the top of the reservoir that if affords of the CSX Greenwich Subdivision tracks. Trains almost look like HO models as they trundle past.

I spent around a hour atop the reservoir on a recent Sunday. It was midday and but the light favored westbound trains. I did get one westbound, but I also saw three eastbounds.

A grain train with CSX motive power was sitting on the connection between CSX and the Wheeling & Lake Erie that loops around the Lorain Country Fairgrounds. There was no crew aboard and who knows when that train would be moved.

On this day, the reservoir was still frozen and I saw at least one guy ice fishing. A couple of men and a boy walked across the ice in the distance, appearing to look for a place to go ice fishing.

I had other locations in mind to visit, so my visit was not long. I’ll be back, I’m sure, in the spring.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

An eastbound manifest freight catches up to the grain train parked on the W&LE connection track.

An eastbound manifest freight catches up to the grain train parked on the W&LE connection track.

There is no harness racing today at the racetrack at the Lorain Country Fairgrounds. August and the fair are still a ways off.

There is no harness racing today at the racetrack at the Lorain Country Fairgrounds. August and the fair are still a ways off.

The only westbound to come past during my visit was this ethanol train with a Norfolk Southern leader. It is the first NS locomotive I've seen on a CSX train at Wellington.

The only westbound to come past during my visit was this ethanol train with a Norfolk Southern leader. It is the first NS locomotive I’ve seen on a CSX train at Wellington.

A closer view of the westbound ethanol train showed that it  had a Canadian National unit lettered for Illinois Central beneath the cab window. But this was never an IC locomotive.

A closer view of the westbound ethanol train showed that it had a Canadian National unit lettered for Illinois Central beneath the cab window. But this was never an IC locomotive.

Winding Line of Covered Hopper Cars in Ohio

March 10, 2015

Winding hopper cars

It is common to see photographs of trains winding around in mountainous areas, particularly in the Western United States.

But such views in Ohio are unusual because most railroad lines here are pretty much straight due to the flat terrain. So I was struck by the sight that I saw atop the reservoir in Wellington on Sunday.

A grain train with CSX motive power was parked on the connecting track between CSX and the Wheeling & Lake Erie. This track loops around the Lorain County Fairgrounds.

The grain train, which did not have a crew on board, was waiting to get onto CSX. In the image above, the view is looking northwestward.

The motive power is just out of sight to the right and the tail end of the train is visible in the distance.

This is the first time I’ve seen a grain train on this connecting track. I wonder if interchanging grain trains with CSX is a recent development for the W&LE.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

‘Tis Getting to be the Season for Grain Trains

September 13, 2014
Norfolk Southern train 42R has a solid consist of covered hopper cars as it cruises through Brady Lake.

Norfolk Southern train 42R has a solid consist of covered hopper cars as it cruises through Brady Lake.

The first official day of fall isn’t here yet but already one harbinger of autumn has begun to show up on Norfolk Southern. I spotted two grain trains on back-to-back days during recent outings.

Grain, of course, is shipped year around, but we most associate its transport with the harvest season that gets underway in earnest in the fall. Soon, farmers will be in their fields to reap corn, soybeans and other grains, and will be trucking their bounty to market.

Some media reports say that there will be a record harvest this year, which is going to put pressure on the railroads to move the grain. Already there has been discontent in North Dakota and Canada over the lack of availability of covered hopper cars to move grain sitting in storage facilities.

Although Northeast Ohio is not a huge grain producing region, we can expect to see more trains such as these rolling through our region.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

On another day, a train of covered hopper cars is parked in the Berea siding just west of Mapleway Drive in Olmsted Falls, with its Canadian Pacific leader basking in the sunlight. CP is a major hauler of grain in North Dakota over former Soo Line routes.

On another day, a train of covered hopper cars is parked in the Berea siding just west of Mapleway Drive in Olmsted Falls, with its Canadian Pacific leader basking in the sunlight. CP is a major hauler of grain in North Dakota over former Soo Line routes.

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Heritage to Build Agriculture Facility in Marysville

June 4, 2014

Heritage Cooperative has announced plans to build an agriculture campus and research farm in Marysville, Ohio, that will include a CSX unit train grain loading operation.

Scheduled for completion by September 2015, the campus will feature a 30,000-ton dry fertilizer warehouse and a 10,000-ton liquid nitrogen fertilizer storage facility.

Rail access will include a loop track facility that will be the second of its kind in Ohio. The 8,600-foot loop track will enable trains to load or unload grain while maintaining rail traffic flow on main tracks.

“The collaboration between CSX and Heritage on this facility is a perfect example of the power of partnership, working closely together through every step of development to leverage the efficiency and reliability of rail service to best meet Heritage’s needs and support growth in the community and the region,” said Tim McNulty, CSX’s assistant vice president of industrial and agricultural sales and marketing in a news release.