Posts Tagged ‘Wheeling & Lake Erie locomotive power’

Relics of the Past Near Bellevue

August 13, 2021

I see a number of things when I look at this image made east of Bellevue on the Wheeling & Lake Erie’s Hartland Subdivision near Young Road.

I see smoke from the locomotives as the engineer throttles up. I see farms and fields that are typical of this region of Ohio.

And I see a pole line and a signal mast that has been shorn of its signal heads. The latter is due to the Wheeling receiving regulatory approval to decommission a centralized traffic control system that once was operational between Bellevue and Brewster.

CTC dated back to the days when the Nickel Plate Road owned these tracks.

Pole lines were once ubiquitous on rail lines with significant levels of traffic but have rapidly vanished in recent decades as railroads move to other forms of communications technology.

You may also notice that the three locomotives of this train reflect former owners Kansas City Southern and Wisconsin Central.

That long has been a hallmark of the W&LE. It has leased or acquired second-hand motive power that it took months if not years to repaint into its black and orange tiger stripes livery.

My memory is that I was with Marty Surdyk and, I believe, his brother Robert, when I made this image on July 13, 2008. It was made at mid day so the lighting is rather harsh.

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

Some Color on the ABC in Kent

February 3, 2021

Although Akron Barberton Cluster motive power typically has handled the ABC job that serves Kent and Ravenna, locomotives from parent Wheeling & Lake Erie often has pitched in to help when needed.

Such was the case on Nov. 4, 2005, when GP35 No. 2662 worked the job. Apparently the crew had not cars to take back to Akron on this day.

No. 2662, one of two locomotives to received this striking red and gold livery, is passing the former Erie Railroad passenger station in Kent.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

Another Wheeling 2 for Tuesday

September 29, 2020

Here are a pair of Wheeling & Lake Erie locomotives that each feature a touch of another railroad.

In the top image SD40-2 No. 6316 still wears is Wisconsin Central livery as it helps pull a westbound in Navarre on September 5, 2016.

In the bottom photo, GP35-3 No. 107 pays tribute to the Akron, Canton & Youngstown. It is shown in Canton on Nov. 4, 2011.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Another Wheeling Twofer

August 25, 2020

Wheeling & Lake Erie GP40-3 No. 302, wearing a variation of the Denver & Rio Grande Western livery, is shown in the top image rolling westbound past the old scale house just east of their yard in Brewster on Oct. 20, 2010.

Today this is single track, and the scale house has been removed.

No. 302 was built in August 1968 for Penn Central and was on the Conrail roster before being sold to the D&RGW.

In the bottom image, a dramatic portrayal of SD40 No. 3032 find the former Missouri Pacific unit running westbound through Navarre on Sept. 8, 2014.

It’s a good example of how light and shadows can enhance an image.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

 

Wheeling 2 for Tuesday: Seeing Gray

August 18, 2020

This week’s Wheeling & Lake Erie two for Tuesday takes us to the southern end of the Cleveland Subdivision to capture a couple of images of a “gray ghost.”

In the top image SD40-2 No. 6357 leads an eastbound crossing over R.J. Corman tracks near Brewster on Sept. 25, 2014.

The same train is seen in the bottom photograph at Harmon.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Checking Out Trash and Stone Switchers

August 11, 2020

Here are some more photographs from RRE Fostoria day.  I went to Carey and got some interesting images.

Just south of Fostoria is a landfill that receives trash from CSX and has an SW1 and a couple of trackmobiles (top photograph).

There was another switcher on my last visit here but I did not see it this trip.  I don’t know what happened to it.

Carey is the current end of track of the former Akron, Canton & Youngstown line now operated by the Wheeling & Lake Erie.

Stone is the major business here as there are two quarries, including National Lime and Stone, which has several switchers, and Shelly Materials, which has one switcher, either an EMD SW1500 or SW1000.

Interestingly this engine doesn’t have ditch lights but the National Lime and Stone engines do..

Stone is hauled in a variety of open top hopper cars some dating back to the 1950’s while others are much newer and even have solar panels for electric power.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Tuesday Twofer: W&LE Motive Power

August 11, 2020

One interesting facet of the motive power fleet of the Wheeling & Lake Erie is that you can expect to get some variety.

The railroad is known for putting into service leased and newly purchased used locomotives still wearing their last livery.

Eventually the new units find their way to the paint booth to get the black and orange “Tiger” look but it can be years before some units arrive there.

The top image SD40-3 No. 3034 is westbound on CSX tracks in Akron on July 1, 2011. Trailing it is a former Union Pacific SD40-2 that looks like it is wearing primer paint.

In the bottom image, W&LE SD40-2 No. 6315 is in Akron on Oct. 21, 2009, still wearing its Wisconsin Central colors.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

So Who Was Bo Bo?

June 2, 2020

Wheeling & Lake Erie SD40-2 No. 4003 is noteworthy for two reasons.

It was the first W&LE locomotive to be repainted into the railroad’s orange and black livery.

However, that livery had a slight variation from what became the standard. It had a different font for lettering, and its pilots and the area round the front number boards were black.

No. 4003 was repainted in 2002 to match the rest of the motive power fleet.

As for the name BoBo that appears on the short hood, it’s not clear who that is but it’s probably a W&LE employee or former employee.

In the top image No. 4002 is shown at Navarre on March 9, 2016.

The bottom image shows No. 4003 in January 2001 in Hartland Yard in its original W&LE livery.

Top Photograph by Robert Farkas

The Rio Grande of the East: Part 4

April 2, 2020

The east end of the Wheeling & Lake Erie is known for its many tunnels and high steel bridges.  Probably the best known is Speer trestle over the Monongahela River.

Completed in 1929, Speer is a masterpiece of iron and steel and uniquely was built to house two different rail lines, including the former Pittsburgh & West Virginia on top and the Monessen Southwestern on the lower deck.

The Pennsylvania Railroad objected to this and the lower track was never completed but it makes for a unique design nonetheless. I have caught a coupe trains here over the last few weeks.

The first two pictures are of the Denver & Rio Grande Western pair heading back to Pittsburgh from Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

The last two photographs are of a train heading to Connellsville. The typical operation is a train running Pittsburgh to Connellsville one day and returning the next.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon