Posts Tagged ‘Wellington Ohio’

Catching 3 on the Wheeling & Lake Erie

October 24, 2022

An unidentified Wheeling & Lake Erie train at Wellington.
The same train seen above at Spencer.
Train 291 east of Spencer.
Train 261 in Akron.

I started Saturday by going to Willard trying to catch the new CSX Operation Lifesaver unit. Unfortunately, it went west about 20 minutes before I arrived.

I then went to Bellevue for a few hours and caught about 10 Norfolk Southern trains.  On the way home I followed the Wheeling Lake Erie Hartland Subdivision.

Stopping in Hartland, I found a couple of parked engines but no activity. Continuing to Wellington, an eastbound train was sitting just west of the Lorain County Fairgrounds.

Assuming it was waiting for clearance to cross the CSX Greenwich Subdivision, I waited east of the diamonds.  After a CSX train went west it quickly came, making a lot of smoke in doing so.

I chased this train to Spencer where it continued on to Brewster. I got word on social media that a 291 was coming west from Medina.

I set up at a crossing east of Spencer and caught this train.  I then proceeded to Akron where I caught 261 with seven engines doubling back into the yard.

Not a bad finish for a less than promising start to the day.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Tourist Railroad in Wellington

August 6, 2021

The Lorain & West Virginia is a tourist railroad based in Wellington where this photograph was made on Sept. 12, 2017. E8A No. 101 was built for the Chicago & North Western in 1950.

The railroad ran Easter trips in April and its website shows several dates for which tickets are available in October. Santa Claus trains are slated to run in November and December.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Before the Meeting: W&LE Iron Ore Train

June 25, 2021

The chase begins in Wellington with the Wheeling & Lake Erie iron ore train getting a clear signal to cross the CSX Greenwich Subdivision.
Somewhere between Wellington and Spencer we got the ore train again. Note the old style milepost.
You won’t find these searchlight signals in Spencer anymore.
Our last look at the iron ore train in Spencer. SD40 No. 4001 was on the rear.

Back in the day I usually would get in some railfanning before attending Akron Railroad Club meetings.

The tradition began when the late Dave McKay would suggest we hang out for a while at Voris Street in Akron before getting dinner at Steak ‘n Shake and then heading to the club meeting at the Summit County Historical Society’s carriage house.

I continued those before the meeting railfan outings after Dave’s death in December 2004 although I now had more time on meeting day and could extend my range.

On many of those outings the club’s then treasurer Ed Ribinskas was with me.

Our destinations depended on how much time we had and my interests at the moment. I shared images from some of those outings during an ARRC member’s night program in March 2019 titled Before the Meeting.

The photographs above were not part of that program, which to date is the last one I’ve given at an ARRC event.

I just scanned these slides recently as part of a project to scan my collection of slides and color negative film photographs of Wheeling & Lake Erie operations.

The date of these images is March 29, 2008. This would be the first of three before the meeting outings Ed and I made that year to catch W&LE trains.

The March outing began in Wellington where we caught a few CSX trains before an eastbound W&LE iron ore train showed up.

After getting the ore train in Wellington, we chased it out of town, photographing it once along the way and in Spencer.

The train had an all Wheeling look with an SD40 on each end and W&LE lettered hopper cars in between.

Those locomotives, Nos. 4025 and 4001, are still on the W&LE locomotive roster although they have been rebuilt to SD40-3 specifications.

Both units were built for the Missouri Pacific and operated for other railroads before the Wheeling acquired them.

A few elements in the above scenes have changed in the 13 years since these images were made. Chief among those changes is the removal of the search-light type signals in Wellington and Spencer.

You might also notice the lettering on No. 4025 is smaller than what the Wheeling uses now. The current lettering scheme is visible on trailing unit No. 4001.

Otherwise, these images are timeless and some could have been made this year.

Before driving to Akron on this day we wrapped up our outing in Sullivan where we caught a westbound train on the CSX New Castle Subdivision.

I don’t recall where we had dinner that night but a check of the ARRC Bulletin shows that the late Richard Jacobs gave the program, presenting slides of Colorado narrow gauge railroads that he made in 1992 and then various images made in 2007 in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Workers Cleaning Up Wellington Derailment

May 30, 2019

Workers were on the scene Wednesday of a CSX deailment in Wellington to clean up the mess.

Traffic began flowing through town although CSX said in a statement that some trains had been rerouted due to the derailment that occurred early Tuesday morning.

CSX said in a statement that 22 cars and two locomotives derailed. Although the train carried some hazardous materials it was not contained in any of the derailed cars.

Much of the freight in the derailed cars was produce and building materials.

Emergency workers also cleaned up some diesel fuel that spilled from some derailed cars. Some of that fuel got into the town’s sewer system and workers are monitoring it.

Officials said no injuries occurred and there was no threat to public safety.

On Wednesday railroad officials told local news media that the cleanup of the derailment would take several days.’

Wellington Fire Chief Bill Brown told reporters that the two CSX crew members aboard the locomotive said they were trying to slow their train as it approached downtown Wellington when the derailment occurred.

Most of the derailed cars were located toward the front of the train.

A car carrying onions caught fire and burned for much of Tuesday. Firefighters said they had difficulty reaching the fire because it occurred beneath pallets and spilled produce.

A video posted at the website of television station Fox8 Cleveland shows the train derailing. The video reportedly came from a home security camera.

It can be viewed at

CSX said the cause of the derailment remains under investigation, but the video shows that it appeared to originate with the third locomotive in the motive power consist.

The reefer cars behind it can be seen derailed and buckling in the video.

“It seems like this was the best-case scenario of a bad situation,” said Hans Schneider, mayor of Wellington in an interview with The Chronicle of Ellyria. “I’m just thankful that obviously things like this could be a lot worse, and I’m just really happy with the response from the village and that it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as it cold have been.”


No Injuries in CSX Derailment in Wellington

May 28, 2019

No injuries were reported in an early Monday morning derailment of a CSX manifest freight in Wellington on the Greenwich Subdivision.

The derailment was reported at 6 a.m. and for nearly two hours authorities had Ohio Routes 58 and 18 closed in town.

CSX said 22 cars and all three locomotives of the eastbound train derailed. The train had 89 loads, most of which was produce and building materials. There were 28 empties.

An online report identified the train as Q590 and many of the cars were Union Pacific reefer cars.

CSX said no hazardous materials were being carried by the train.

The derailment occurred near the intersection of Magyar and Wheeling streets, and also blocked the tracks of the Hartland Subdivision of the Wheeling & Lake Erie.

Fire broke out in at least one of the derailed cars and authorities said some diesel fuel was spilled.

Circle Trip of Reservoirs and Railroads

June 5, 2018

My original plan for railfanning on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend was to drive down to New London and “recreate” a memorable Akron Railroad Club outing of 2006.

I remember that outing for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that it was billed as a trip to Greenwich but started out in New London because that is where Marty Surdyk wanted it to begin.

We did get to Greenwich, eventually, but not until mid to late afternoon.

I had never been to either location so I had to rely on Marty for directions on getting there.

My memories from that day include seeing the CSX executive train headed westbound through Greenwich, seeing a caboose on an eastbound manifest freight at New London and catching a BNSF warbonnet leading a train at New London.

There was also the emphatic manner in which the late Tim Krogg suggested that it was time to get some bleeping lunch and how Peter Bowler schooled us in how a flock of buzzards is known as a kettle.

I enjoyed that outing so much that I suggested in 2013 that we do it again. It was scheduled, but I was the only person who showed up.

As I was heading west on Interstate 480 I decided to modify my plans.

I would make this a reservoir circle trip with stops in Wellington, New London and Attica. By day’s end I wanted to have photographs of trains and water at four reservoirs, three of them located above ground.

This would hinge, of course, on the cooperation of CSX, which since the onset of scheduled precision railroading has reduced the number of trains it operates. Those that do run tend to be much longer.

Sure enough, CSX was dead when I arrived in Wellington. I would wait 45 minutes before finally hearing an eastbound stack train calling signals on the radio.

Making images of an above-ground reservoir and trains is a challenge because of the distance between the shoreline and the tracks.

If you feature the shoreline that is closet to the rails, you have to use a wide-angle lens, which guarantees you’ll only get a portion of the water. In proportion to the scene the train will be small.

The latter doesn’t bother me but it does some railfan photographers.

You can also try to shoot across the water with a telephoto lens but you might not get the train. Remember, these are above ground reservoirs.

My first catch of the day in Wellington was an eastbound stack train with a pair of BNSF locomotives running elephant style. Not bad.

It was late morning so I decided to move on to New London. But as I was walking toward my car I heard the westbound Q163 stack train calling signals and decided to wait for it.

I tried a different angle, going for the north shoreline that is perpendicular to the tracks. The downside of this view is that I could get very little of the train into the image. Interestingly, the Q163 also had BNSF motive power.

I arrived in New London during another CSX lull that also lasted about 45 minutes.

I could hear other CSX trains on the radio, but nothing that would be coming through New London.

I also heard a Wheeling & Lake Erie train get track authority from Hartland to Spencer, meaning I would have seen it had I stayed in Wellington.

I finally got a train just before noon, an eastbound crude oil train with three BNSF units.

Hmmmm. I’m starting to see a pattern here. Did BNSF buy CSX and I didn’t know about it? Fat chance of that.

My idea was to shoot this train in the same manner that I did the Q163 at Wellington. It would have worked had I been paying more attention to the water and less to the locomotives.

I managed to create an image that didn’t show any of the water.

That would not be the case with the next train, a W&LE train off the Carey
Subdivision carrying stone in gondola cars and a few covered hoppers.

I heard this train get permission from the IP dispatcher in Jacksonville to enter CSX track at Greenwich at GN Tower.

At the time time, I thought this was fantastic news. I would be getting a Wheeling train after all.

Yet when the train showed up, it’s locomotives were both running long hood forward.

At least I got some water in this image and the lead unit is a former BNSF locomotive still in its BNSF colors. That sort of kept my BNSF motive power streak alive.

That streak was snapped when the Q348 showed up with CSX motive power. It stopped at CP 47 to allow the Q008 to pass.

I got the Q008 passing the manifest freight and some water.

The chatter on the radio indicated that more trains were coming, including the Q010 so I stayed a little longer at New London.

That paid off when a westbound auto rack train came past with a CREX (Citirail) ES44AC in the lead.

I’ve always like the color scheme of these Citirail units, but I’ve seldom been able to catch them leading a train.

The trailing unit of the auto rack train, by the way, was, you guessed it, a BNSF unit, which would be the final binsiff I would see on this day.

After the passage of the Q010, I set out for Attica but distractions along the way kept me from getting to the Attica reservoirs until late afternoon.

First, I stopped in Greenwich to photograph an eastbound CSX auto rack train whose headlight I saw in the distance as I crossed the Mt. Victory Subdivision tracks on U.S. Route 224.

Upon crossing the Sandusky District tracks of Norfolk Southern in Attica, I saw the rear of an eastbound and decided to check it out.

It turned out to be a grain train with three Canadian National units for motive power that I wound up chasing to Bucyrus where I got it going around the connection to the Fort Wayne Line.

I made further stops near Chatfield to photograph across a field a stopped eastbound NS manifest freight and to make some non-rail photographs in Chatfield of a hardware store that is going out of business.

By the time I got to the lower Attica reservoir, the Sandusky District had been turned into a parking lot because of a malfunctioning switch at Colsan in Bucyrus.

I waited a while before catching the eastbound 188 passing the reservoir, which had surprisingly smooth water for a windy day. That yielded a nice reflection image.

I had heard the 20E calling signals and thought I’d get it at the upper Attica reservoir a short distance away.

The dispatcher had told the 188 to stop at County Line Road and maybe the 20E would stop behind it.

I drove up to the top of the upper Attica reservoir, but there was no 20E. It was getting late and I didn’t want to get home too late, so I decided to forgo getting an image from my fourth reservoir of the day.

Although I looked, I never did see the 20E. Either the train I photographed at the lower Attica reservoir had been the 20E or it slipped past me as I was driving through Attica.



Reminder of a Past ARRC Outing

May 30, 2017

Westbound CSX manifest freight lumbers beneath the eastbound home signals for CP 37 and the water tower in Wellington.

Wellington is one of those places that is not that far away yet far enough that I don’t get there that often.

It is closer than Bellevue, Fostoria or Marion, but not as close to my home as Berea and Olmsted Falls.

Sometimes you just don’t have a good reason for neglecting to spend more time at a place that you really like.

I recently spent a few hours in Wellington and as I sat at the Lorain County Fairgrounds on the west side of the CSX Greenwich Subdivision I was reminded of the one and only Akron Railroad Club outing to Wellington during my time in the club.

That day was not necessarily the best or most exciting ARRC outing I’ve attended over the years, but I still remember it fondly.

It occurred on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009. I no longer remember why we chose to go to Wellington. Maybe at the time we were making an effort to visit what the Bulletin termed secondary hotspots in Northeast Ohio.

The report in the Bulletin indicated that 10 members showed up during the day and 22 CSX trains passed through. The W&LE sent just one train through town.

While sitting in Wellington recently I thought about some of the things that have changed since that 2009 outing.

I was using slide film exclusively then but have since switched to digital photography. Five of the 10 who attended no longer belong to the ARRC with Richard Jacobs among them having passed away.

Marty Surdyk was driving a Dodge Nitro then, but has since downsized to a smaller Jeep Patriot, I think it is.

Despite logging 22 CSX trains, I only made and/or saved eight 10 slides of CSX trains from that day, one of which is strikingly similar to the image that accompanies this article.

I had forgotten until I looked up the report of the outing published in the October 2009 Bulletin that Marty, myself and Rick Houck piled into the Nitro and chased the W&LE hopper train, getting it three times.

We speculated that it was a coke train that the Wheeling had picked up in Toledo from Canadian National. At the time, the W&LE was hauling coke that CN forwarded to Detroit.

I also had forgotten that when the outing began that morning a heavy rain was falling and that kept us in town rather than climbing the reservoir on the east side of the CSX tracks.

That also might explain why I have so few images from that day of CSX action.

The Bulletin report said we had lunch at Subway — where else? — and that by afternoon the skies had turned mostly sunny.

The report ended with the proclamation, “Let’s do it again, soon!” But that hasn’t happened and it probably won’t occur again as an ARRC activity.

Yet that won’t stop me from paying a return visit sooner rather than later. There are more memories there waiting to be made.

The Red Grain Elevator of Wellington

May 19, 2017

A certain member of the Akron Railroad Club is known for his passion for photographing trains and grain elevators.

I know that in particular he likes the red grain facility in Wellington alongside the Greenwich Subdivision of CSX.

It makes for a dramatic  image in late afternoon sunlight. From what I can see, the facility is no longer served by rail.

I didn’t go there on a recent outing just to capture the red grain elevator. As much as anything I went there because Wellington wasn’t being covered  by clouds.

CSX cooperated beautifully by sending a pair of westbounds through town, a stack train and an ethanol train.

The ethanol train shown at top was the second of the pair and I tend to like that image the best of the two.

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