Posts Tagged ‘Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway’

Double Shot of AC&Y Heritage

June 9, 2022

Wheeling & Lake Erie GP35-3 No. 107, the Akron, Canton & Youngstown heritage unit, leads a train over the ex-AC&Y bridge in downtown Akron on Oct. 8, 2014. The trestle spans the Ohio & Erie Canal.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

2 Ohio Rail Projects Awarded CRISI Grants

June 8, 2022

Two Ohio railroad projects have been awarded Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement grants.

The grants are being awarded by the Federal Railroad Administration, which said 46 projects in 32 states and the District of Columbia will share $368 million in CRISI grants.

In a news release, the FRA said the projects are designed to improve and expand passenger-rail service and fund conventional and high-speed rail lines, as well as increase supply-chain resilience and fluidity, support short lines, invest in new technology and safety advancements and benefit rail industry workforce development and training activities.

In Ohio, the Wheeling & Lake Erie Spencer Connection Project will receive up to $6,868,768 to be used to construct a new connecting track and extension of yard tracks in Spencer.

The project goal is to eliminate switching movements and allow trains to directly access the yard from the Brewster and Akron subdivisions.

Work will include construction of a third connecting track between the two subdivisions and construction of eastward extensions of the existing transfer and pass tracks.

This work will include new turnouts and track relocations, as well as new ballast and drainage improvements. The revised layout will eliminate a number of reversing movements for trains and expand overall capacity.

The Ohio Rail Development Commission and W&LE will provide a 30 percent match.

In Cincinnati, the River Road Highway/Rail Grade Crossing Safety Improvements will receive up to $6,067,200.

The project will make safety improvements to four crossings on CSX and Central Railroad of Indiana including new signal equipment. The City of Cincinnati will provide a 20 percent match.

Two CRISI grants went to rail projects in Michigan.

The Great Lakes Corridor Improvement will receive up to $21.3 million, to rehabilitate track and rail assets of the Great Lakes Central.

Work will involve rebuilding track just north of Ann Arbor, including installing 4.25 miles of new rail, eliminating joints on an additional 41.25 miles, replacing or rehabilitating 11 bridges and culverts, and installing approximately 30,000 ties on mainline and siding track.

The project will eliminate 16 slow orders covering 45 miles of the 260-mile mainline corridor and will result in fewer track defects, derailments, and other maintenance problems associated with rail joints.

The Michigan Department of Transportation and GLC will provide a 50 percent match.

A grant of up to $8,697,910 will be used by the West Michigan Railroad for track rebuilding.

The project involves 10 miles of track in Southwest Michigan. Specific improvements include rail and cross-tie replacements, reconstructed roadbeds, bridge and turnout repairs, upgrades and replacement of two at-grade crossings, and rebuilding approximately 5.6 miles of track.

The work will upgrade portions of the line from 5 mph excepted track to at least FRA Class 2 speeds up to 25 mph and ensure the line can continue to handle 286,000-pound rail cars.

MDOT and WMR will provide a 35 percent match.

In Indiana, the Connecting the Crossroads of America project will receive up to $8,383,761 for track improvements to the Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern Railroad main line and Decatur Subdivision.

The project will replace ballast and ties along a 54-mile segment of the main line and install 115-pound rail, ties, ballast, and surfacing on a 14-mile segment of the Decatur Subdivision. Additionally, 43 at-grade crossing surfaces are to be replaced with rubber seal/asphalt design for handling heavier loads, longevity of construction, and improved efficiency of travel at crossings.

When finished, the work will enable trains to operate at higher speeds. The Indiana Department of Transportation and CF&E will provide a 51 percent match.

Also in Indiana, the Elkhart & Western will receive up to $2,618,173 to be used to relocate an interchange track with Norfolk Southern, upgrade the 9-mile Elkhart Branch line to Class 1 track safety standards, expand rail siding capacity, and replace three grade crossing surfaces within Elkhart.

This interchange will be relocated out of the city center and into an industrial area. Currently, E&W and NS track intersect two roadways, and when a train is more than nine rail cars long, it blocks the roadway for approximately 15 minutes while trains interchange cars.

The proposed track relocation would eliminate the blocked crossing and improve grade crossings with deteriorating conditions.

The project will receive a 50 percent match from the E&W, INDOT, the City of Elkhart, and the St. Joseph County Redevelopment Commission.

 In West Virginia, the Appalachian & Ohio Railroad will receive up to $1,617,824 to improve its 42-mile railroad corridor from Grafton to Buckhannon.

The project will replace an antiquated traffic control system and install a new and modern broken rail detection system on the entire signaled section of the A&O rail line. The existing traffic control system has reached the end of its useful service life. The A&O will provide a 39 percent match.

Wheeling 4000 in Navarre

April 28, 2022

Wheeling & Lake Erie SD40-3 No. 4000 is eastbound in Navarre on April 3, 2012. The unit has spent time on the motive power rosters of the Grand Trunk Western and Canadian National.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

W&LE Two for Tuesday

March 22, 2022

The Wheeling & Lake Erie provides our two for Tuesday this week. It is Oct. 1, 2021, and we are in Brewster. GP35-3 No. 103 and GP9R No. 4602 are leaving eastbound for the Gambrinus, Yard near Canton. These view show the duo coming and going.

Photographs by Robert Farkas.

Some Wheeling Action in Spencer

February 13, 2022

Wheeling & Lake Erie SD40-3 No. 4025 pulls around the connection from the Spencer Yard to the Hartland Subdivision on Oct. 6, 2011. The 4025 wears the second W&LE “tiger stripe” livery, which features smaller roster numbers and lettering on the long hood. Originally built for the Missouri Pacific the locomotive also spent time on the Union Pacific roster.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Made in Ohio, Not Out West

December 1, 2021

Although this may look as if it were taken out west, this is an eastbound Wheeling & Lake Erie train headed for Rook Yard in Pennsylvania. On the point is SD40T-2 No. 5413. Note the very small “WE” above the number on the cab’s side. The train was photographed east of Harmon on Sept. 21, 2010.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

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

Crossing the AC&Y Trestle Over the Canal

November 19, 2021

The heritage of the Wheeling & Lake Erie’s Akron Subdivision dates Northern Ohio Railway, which would later become part of the Akron, Canton & Youngstown that began operations in 1912.

One lasting feature of the AC&Y is a 13-span 690-foot trestle built in 1926 over the Ohio & Erie Canal in downtown Akron.

This image was made on Aug. 22, 2006, in early evening. My memory is that I was on my way home after a trip to Coshocton to discuss an upcoming Akron Railroad Club steam excursion behind Ohio Central No. 1293.

I’m not happy about the utility pole in the image, but I couldn’t get into a better position to get both locomotives. The view is at the far eastern end of the bridge.