Posts Tagged ‘Wheeling & Lake Erie’

Heading For the ABC Interchange

September 29, 2022

Wheeling & Lake Erie GP35-3 No. 112 is heading west on CSX in Akron toward Barberton to interchange cars on Feb. 28, 2012.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Finds on the Wheeling & Lake Erie

September 12, 2022

Last Saturday was a nice day weather wise but I didn’t have a specific plan for railfanning.

I went to Berea and then saw on social media that an eastbound Wheeling & Lake Erie train was powered by the Rio Grande tunnel motor pair.

I drove to Wellington in hopes of catching it. I then saw it was still waiting for a crew so I drove to Bellevue following the line just in case.

I got there about 11 a.m. and found them sitting outside of town where I took these photos.  I stayed at the railfan platform hoping they would get a crew and then chase them east.

Another Wheeling train from Norwalk showed up about 3:30 p.m. and went into the Norfolk Southern yard.

I took photos of that, also.  I waited until dark but, sadly, no crew ever showed up so I drove home.

Later I found out that the other Wheeling train combined the trains together on the return to Norwalk.

W&LE 5412 was formerly Rio Grande 5391 but was renumbered last winter.  Sister unit 5413 retains its original Rio Grande unit number.

I also can confirm that NS is indeed using the hump at Bellevue yard again.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Back in Service on CSX

August 17, 2022

On Monday afternoon I got word that a B183 empty coke train (formerly K183) was coming east on CSX.  Leading it were two engines still in YN2 paint.

Even better the lead engine was a GE C40-8W, which are extremely rare in Class 1 service. In fact all other Class 1s have retired this class, including CSX. But CSX has pulled some of these units out of the dead lines in the past year.  

My first catch was not that train but a Wheeling & Lake Erie train that was about to head west from Akron. 

I waited at a crossing west of the yard but when it finally came what had been a brightly lit scene was covered in clouds.

Fortunately, he was merely doubling up the train and not leaving just yet and the sun returned for his backup move. The motive power of two SD40-3s including the 7001 – a 50th anniversary Operation Lifesaver tribute unit – and an ex-FURX unit still in silver and green paint made a nice lash-up.

Next we waited at Howard Street but the clouds and then rain came but not the train.

By now the CSX train was nearing Akron so I went to the Tallmadge Road overpass.  It was still raining when the train arrived climbing the grade to Cuyahoga Falls.

Of course, it quit raining and the sun returned a few minutes after the train had gone by. But that’s Ohio weather for you.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

NEO Rail Operations on a July Day

August 12, 2022

Here are three images made in Northeast Ohio on July 10, 2022. Wheeling & Lake Erie SD40-2 No. 7002 is shown in the top image in Copley. Because I did not want to move the cone, this is the best angle I could get. The middle image is a nose shot of the 7002. In the bottom image, CSX AC44CW No. 412 leads a westbound auto rack train in Barberton.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

At the Start of the Restoration

August 7, 2022

It is a late November day in 2006 in Lodi. I’ve been waiting for the eastbound Wheeling & Lake Erie manifest freight to show up so I could capture it passing the depot built by the original W&LE in the late 1880s.

It amazed me that that structure was still standing. It probably only survived as long as it did because it was used for maintenance of way purposes. The original W&LE had discontinued passenger service on July 17, 1938.

By the time I discovered this station it was in dilapidated condition. But at least it was still standing and I worked it into several images of W&LE freight trains and Orrville Railroad Heritage Society excursion trains.

The sign on the side of the station when this image was made is the first inkling that a restoration movement was afoot.

The restoration has since been completed and the depot is now the home of the Lodi Railroad Museum.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

PUCO Approves Grade Crossing Projects

August 2, 2022

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has approved grade crossing projects in four counties.

Norfolk Southern will install gates and flashing lights at the Walter Street crossing in East Liverpool. The work is to be completed by April 27, 2023, and will receive funding of $402,613.

The Wheeling & Lake Erie will install gates and flashing lights at the Eberhart Road crossing in Lawrence Township in Tuscarawas County. The work is to be completed by April 27, 2023, and receive funding of $279,697.

CSX will improve the Ohio Route 57 crossing in Grafton and the Morse Road crossing in Liberty Township in Union County.

In Grafton, CSX will reconstruct the crossing surface and upgrade the warning devices to LED lights by Jan. 27, 2023. It will receive funding of $70,480.

The Liberty Township project involves the installation of gates and flashing lights by April 27, 2023, with funding of $284,207.

In a news release, PUCO said federal grants will provide the funding for the projects.

W&LE Two for Tuesday

July 25, 2022

Here is a pair of images of Wheeling & Lake Erie action from 2013.

In the top image, W&LE No. 106 is eastbound on CSX after passing the eastbound signal for CP Lambert on the Akron-Barberton border June 6, 2013.

As for the bottom image, no this is not a W&LE Heritage paint job. It is WE No. 5413 Notice the small letters on the cab.

This unit was formerly Denver & Rio Grande Western 5413. The second unit is a W&LE locomotive while the third unit is another former D&RGW locomotive. The train is eastbound in Creston on June 15, 2013.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: Headed Home Through Copley

July 23, 2022

This image of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-2 No. 765 was taken across the street from the former Akron, Canton & Youngstown depot in Copley. The Berkshire is running westbound on the Wheeling & Lake Erie on a return home to Indiana after pulling several excursions for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s 2015 “Steam in the Valley. The view is looking railroad east.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

W&LE Receives ORDC Grant for Spencer Project

July 23, 2022

The Wheeling & Lake Erie will receive a $490,626 grant from the Ohio Rail Development Commission for track work on four subdvisions.

In a news release,  ORDC said the grant will fund a reconfiguration of connecting tracks among the Hartland, Akron, Brewster and Carey subdivisions in Spencer.

The ORDC grant matches a $6.8 million federal Consolidated Railroad Infrastructure and Safety Improvement awarded to the project last month.

The project is designed to alleviate traffic congestion while increasing operational fluidity, ORDC officials said in a press release.

In a related development, ORDC approved a $50,000 grant to Renewable Lubricants to help develop a transload facility in Kent that will be served by the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway.

The facility will be located in southwest Kent and involves various input oils that will be shipped by rail and transferred to truck for final movement to Hartville. 

The facility project’s total cost will be $600,000. The facility will have two spurs and a total capacity of 20 to 30 rail cars. ABC is a W&LE subsidiary.

What a Motive Power Lash-up

July 15, 2022

Last Saturday I caught the Wheeling & Lake Erie Train 262 at Akron. The 262 is a daily train between Akron and Brewster.

On Saturdays it ferries locomotives to Brewster that need maintenance and it can have a large lash-up. Saturday’s train did not disappoint with 12 engines total.

They included Nos. 7012, SD40-3, ex Milwaukee Road; 7011, SD40-3; 7024, SD40-3, 30th Anniversary unit; 7015, SD40-3, unrecorded, SD40-3; unrecorded, SD40-3; 6997, SD40-3, ex Union Pacific still in UP paint; Akron Barberton Cluster 4005, GP40, ex-Rock Island; 4602, GP9R, ex-Grand Trunk Western; 303, GP40, ex-Rio Grande still in D&RGW paint; 108, GP5,  high hood ex-Southern; and 301, GP40, ex-Rio Grande.

I chased this train south but due to shadows I really didn’t get any better photographs than I did at Akron. Still, it was an interesting train.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon