Posts Tagged ‘W&LE 6987’

Waiting and Waiting

June 28, 2017

Railroads spend a lot of time waiting, often to get permission from a dispatcher or yardmaster to move ahead.

If you work for the Wheeling & Lake Erie, it is almost a given that you’ll spend time waiting in Bellevue for Norfolk Southern to give the OK to move onto NS tracks.

With NS owning most of the trackage in Bellevue and with NS trains often coming and going, the Wheeling doesn’t have the highest priority.

During the Akron Railroad Club’s longest day outing in Bellevue last Sunday, the W&LE job that interchanges at Moorman yard arrived a little after 8:30 a.m.

It then sat on the Brewster connection for the next three hours.

Finally, shortly after 11:30, the Bellevue dispatcher lined the signal for the Wheeling to enter the mini plant and proceed eastward into the yard.

The motive power consist of the W&LE train included a pair of green, silver and black FURX sD40-2s that were numbered consecutively 6986 and 6987.

The third unit was “tiger stripe” 6351, which once starred as an Allegheny and West Virginia locomotive in the movie Unstoppable.

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Getting Lucky on the Wheeling & Lake Erie

June 22, 2016
The head end of the eastbound stone train was stopped just short of Section Line Road near Bellevue.

The head end of the eastbound stone train was stopped just short of Section Line Road near Bellevue.

I’ve long said that the Wheeling & Lake Erie is most often something I catch when I’m looking for something else.

That was particularly the case on a recent Saturday when I spotted four W&LE trains while just driving around and not chasing a Wheeling train.

The saga started at mid morning as I was cruising toward Bellevue on U.S. Route 20/Ohio Route 18. I spotted a very slow moving westbound W&LE manifest freight on the nearby tracks.

I figured to have plenty of time to get into Bellevue and into position to get it.

After passing the head end of the westbound, I noticed a short distance later that an eastbound Wheeling stone train had stopped and been cut so as not to block the Ohio Route 4 crossing.

I turned down Section Line Road to get into position to get the two trains meeting on the double track southeast of Bellevue. One of those tracks is the Yeoman’s siding.

Neither train had a locomotive wearing the W&LE’s black with orange speed lettering and stripes livery.

The westbound stopped just short of the Section Line crossing and a crew member got off to flag the crossing. For some reason the gates were not working.

After the westbound cleared Section Line Road, I headed for Monroeville, planning to get the stone train crossing the West Branch of the Huron River.

But nothing happened and the radio was silent. Apparently, the stone train did not have a crew on board. As I was driving back to Bellevue, the stone train was still sitting where I had last seen it and still in two sections.

I was almost into town when I spotted a third Wheeling train. This one was sitting on the Lake Shore Connection.

After getting photographs of that train I drove into town but didn’t see the train I had seen earlier. It was already in Moorman Yard of Norfolk Southern, but I’ve seen W&LE trains sit for hours waiting to get into that yard.

The train on the Lake Shore Connection had two locomotives on the other end so it must have been a Toledo train. I didn’t know, though, if it was coming or going to Toledo, where it interchanges with Canadian National.

I spend the next few hours chasing Norfolk Southern and CSX, returning to Bellevue just after 3 p.m. A bridge was out on Ohio Route 269, which caused me to alter my route.

I took Ohio Route 4 with plans to go into town on U.S. Route 20. But as I approached the W&LE crossing of Route 4, I noticed a headlight to the west.

Instead of going into Bellevue, I made a right turn and drove to Monroeville. The eastbound manifest train was getting a new track warrant as it reached Monroeville.

I got into position and photographed my fourth Wheeling train of the day as it crossed the Huron River. This train had the same motive power set that the first W&LE train of the day had.

The same unit that led that train into Bellevue was leading it out of town so the power must have been spun in the yard.

With that train in the bag, it was time to move on back to Bellevue. The stone train and Toledo train were now gone.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

A wider perspective of the array of liveries on the motive power consist of the W&LE stone train sitting near Bellevue.

A wider perspective of the array of liveries on the motive power consist of the W&LE stone train sitting near Bellevue.

A crew member is on the ground to flag traffic as the westbound train crawls over the crossing of Section Line Road.

A crew member is on the ground to flag traffic as the westbound train crawls over the crossing of Section Line Road.

It's the first time I've seen two W&LE trains meet on this stretch of track southeast of Bellevue.

It’s the first time I’ve seen two W&LE trains meet on this stretch of track southeast of Bellevue.

One end of the W&LE Toledo train on the Lake Shore Connection parked just west of Prairie Road in Bellevue.

One end of the W&LE Toledo train on the Lake Shore Connection parked just west of Prairie Road in Bellevue.

The other end of the W&LE Toledo train.

The other end of the W&LE Toledo train.

The last W&LE train of the day had the motive power that had graced the consist of the first Wheeling train of the day I had seen.

The last W&LE train of the day had the motive power that had graced the consist of the first Wheeling train of the day I had seen.

WE June 11 10-x