Posts Tagged ‘Wheeling & Lake Erie locomotive power’

Getting Lucky in Lodi Two for Tuesday

November 30, 2021

Somehow the passenger station in Lodi, Ohio, built by the original Wheeling & Lake Erie survived for decades after passenger service ended. By the time I first encountered it, the Lodi depot no longer served any function for the railroad.

The two images shown above were both made on Nov. 22, 2006, and feature eastbounds on the W&LE Brewster Subdivision passing the weathered structure.

I made several photographs with this depot over the years including some with the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society Santa train.

The ORHS Santa trains are only a memory now, but the depot has fared better. A local group acquired it and has renovated it. Today it looks pretty sharp and serves as a railroad museum.

Tribute Locomotives on the Wheeling & Lake Erie

November 21, 2021

A pair of Wheeling & Lake Erie tribute units lead a westbound through Navarre, Ohio, on Nov. 6, 2011. They are No. 107, which pays tribute to the Akron, Canton & Youngstown; and No. 200, the Ohio Bicentennial unit.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Jim’s Favorite Railroad

November 19, 2021

The Akron Railroads blog today features a remembrance of Jim Mastromatteo who died this week at age 60. Jim was a longtime member of the Akron Railroad Club and served as its secretary from 2016 to 2020. He counted a number of railroads as among his favorites but, arguably, the Wheeling & Lake Erie was his most favorite.

The photograph above is one he made in downtown Akron on the W&LE’s Akron Subdivision. I chose it in part because one of my memories of Jim was seeing his sitting next to this line near Summit Street one afternoon waiting for a train to come.

I also had considered using this image in my second Akron Railroads book and it was one of the last ones to be dropped from consideration. It is scanned from a slide. As far I know Jim always used slide film and never made the transition to digital photography.

Photograph by Jim Mastromatteo

Plenty of Horsepower

November 18, 2021

It was an odd site seeing two Wheeling & Lake Erie locomotives teaming up to move a lone gondola filled with scrap metal on the Hartland Subdivision northwest of Spencer.

I didn’t record any information about this train, which I found on Aug. 7, 2009, but it probably is the Cleveland steel train that runs to and from Campbell Road Yard in Cleveland via CSX and Norfolk Southern trackage rights.

W&LE No. 301 was at this time painted in a livery that combined elements of the Wheeling and Denver & Rio Grande Western.

In fact this GP40 was once a D&RGW locomotive although it had been built for Penn Central. The unit was rebuilt by the W&LE into a GP40-3 and has been given a W&LE livery.

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