Posts Tagged ‘W&LE Cleveland Subdivision’

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

Sun, Snow and the WE

January 30, 2013
A northbound Wheeling & Lake Erie train rumbles northward near Mogadore on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. It was the first opportunity that we had to catch this train.

A northbound Wheeling & Lake Erie train rumbles northward near Mogadore on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. It was the first opportunity that we had to catch this train.

Roger Durfee and I got out about mid morning this past Sunday morning to take advantage of some sunshine and last week’s snowfall. Roger has been schooling me about the finer points of winter weather shooting and today would be no exception.

I never thought I’d hear him say it, but he was complaining about there being sunshine. That was because shortly after picking up breakfast a Mickey  Ds we heard a Wheeling & Lake Erie train get a track warrant to head north on the Cleveland Subdivision. The sun angles would work against us most for most of the chase.

What Roger really wanted was to have seen the same train the day before. It had been cloudy and snowing on Saturday morning and the fresh snowfall covered the rails and trees. Alas, there had been no train to photograph. The Cleveland Sub has two trains a day and they sometimes run at night or not run at all.

By Sunday morning the snow had sunk, thus exposing the rails, and had fallen off the trees. But you take what you can and hope for better luck on your next outing. Of course, we didn’t do all that bad on this outing. In a few places the tracks curve eastward into the light, but otherwise we had to content ourselves with side shots and shadows.

When we heard the WE train get the track warrant, we were in Cuyahoga Falls and the train was in Mogadore. We caught up with the train north of Mogodore but couldn’t get to our first photo spot in time.

It was amazing how “fast” a train traveling 10 mph can go. You might think we would get well ahead of the train, but we didn’t, thus missing out on a few photo locations.

We worked our way north through Kent. Our last photo location would be the Judson Road bridge north of Kent. We had heard some Norfolk Southern radio traffic and hoped to get some NS action kicking up the snow near Brady Lake. It didn’t work out that way because the NS trains overnight had blown the right of way clean of snow.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Coming out of a tunnel of trees at Sunnybrook Road in Brimfield Station.

Coming out of a tunnel of trees at Sunny Brook Road in Brimfield Station.

The same location but closer to the grade crossing.

The same location but closer to the grade crossing.

Leaning into the curve at Sunny Brook Road in Brimfield Station. This had been the first train to travel these tracks in at least 24 hours.

Leaning into the curve at Sunny Brook Road in Brimfield Station. This had been the first train to travel these tracks in at least 24 hours.

Cruising toward Howe Road just south of Kent. This was one of the few times when we go well ahead of the train and had to wait a few minutes for it to arrive.

Cruising toward Howe Road just south of Kent. This was one of the few times when we go well ahead of the train and had to wait a few minutes for it to arrive.

Crossing over the top of the former Erie Lackawanna Railroad tracks in Kent. It’s not a great shot, but I was intrigued by the snow on the former Erie property.

Crossing over the top of the former Erie Lackawanna Railroad tracks in Kent. It’s not a great shot, but I was intrigued by the snow on the former Erie property.

Approaching the Judson Road overpass through a slight cut coming out of a curve.

Approaching the Judson Road overpass through a slight cut coming out of a curve.

A straight shot north. In less than a mile, the W&LE tracks will pass beneath the NS Cleveland Line.

A straight shot north. In less than a mile, the W&LE tracks will pass beneath the NS Cleveland Line.

Mother Nature applied a layer of frosting to the boxcars.

Mother Nature applied a layer of frosting to the boxcars.

Shooting in a Winter Wonderland

December 31, 2012
The first train of the day was a westbound CSX manifest freight that we caught on the Middlebury Road bridge west of Kent.

The first train of the day was a westbound CSX manifest freight that we caught on the Middlebury Road bridge west of Kent.

On Sunday, Dec. 30, I met up with fellow Akron Railroad Club member Roger Durfee and we went out in his jeep to do some winter photography in Northeast Ohio.

The chase began with a drive past Brittain Yard in Akron. Nothing was stirring on the Wheeling & Lake Erie, so we decided to mosey north along the W&LE’s Cleveland Subdivision to see if there was evidence of a train having passed. The indentations in the snow at the grade crossings indicated that there something had rolled over these rails not too long ago.

We heard a westbound CSX train on the scanner and decided to hot foot it for the bridge carrying Middlebury Road over the CSX New Castle Subdivision. This is the Chicago-Pittsburgh mainline of the former B&O.

As luck would have it, the last car on the train was a boxcar. While processing this image this morning in Photoshop, I discovered that it looked virtually the same in black and white as it did in color. So I left it in B&W.

After the passage of the l-o-n-g westbound CSX manifest freight, we resumed our hunt for the W&LE train. It seemed too early in the day for that train to have left Akron for Falls Junction in Glenwillow, but this was the day before the day before a holiday and perhaps schedules were all out of whack.

The CSX road channel came to life again and we heard a train calling a signal at Kent. RAD wasn’t sure if we had enough time to get back to the Middlebury Road bridge, but he gave it a shot. Call the “race” a tie.

I jumped out as we got to the crest of the bridge, which is located coming out of a curve if you are headed southward. I got a going away shot of the intermodal train as it approached a clear signal at CP 120, which is a set of crossovers that have been installed in the past year as part of the upgrade of the New Castle Sub to handle double stack container trains. That work hasn’t been completed yet.

As we were approaching the bridge, he had heard another train call an approach signal east of Kent. This meant there was a third westbound in the picture. We stayed put until the passage of that train.

The third of the flurry of westbounds was also an intermodal train. Both intermodal trains had long strings of empty spine or well cars.

With CSX going quiet again, we resumed the search for the elusive W&LE train. As we headed north (again) we heard the W&LE dispatcher talking to a track car. We also heard the dispatcher talk with the crew of a train, saying that the bus would be a little late in getting to them.

That suggested that the train to Falls Junction had, indeed, gone north early today and that the crew would be picked up and returned to Brewster. More than likely, it also meant that the W&LE train would be sitting at or near Falls Junction.

Roger decided to take Ohio Route 43 north and as we crossed the Norfolk Southern tracks in Twin Lakes, we spotted an eastbound manifest freight on the Cleveland Line.

After capturing the NS train, we continued the search for the Wheeling, figuring that perhaps it would be parked next to the depot at Glenwillow, which is undergoing a restoration. We zig- zagged our way along the tracks, stopping a couple of times to get some winter shots. It was snowing heavier the farther north we went as we got into the fringes of the Lake Erie snowbelt east of Cleveland.

The W&LE train wasn’t at the Glenwillow depot. But we did find it parked in an industrial park that the W&LE serves that is located on the remains of the Chagrin Falls branch.

After capturing the Wheeling train on megapixels, we returned to Falls Junction to get a few shots of the Cleveland Commercial Railroad power spending the weekend snoozing in the snow. The CCR usually does not operate on weekends.

It was nearly noontime. We headed back south, stopping at a Steak and Shake at Streetsboro to get some sandwiches to go. We ate them while sitting next to the NS tracks at Towner’s Woods Park.

The radio was quiet. After about an hour, we heard some scratchy transmissions on both the CSX and NS road channels. Much to our surprise and dismay, a westbound NS train suddenly appeared. But the element of surprise caught us off guard and we didn’t get any photos. Usually, you can hear the Rootstown detector go off from here, which provides plenty of warning to get into position. But not today for some reason.

Maybe that wasn’t a bad thing. The trailing unit was one of the few original Conrail locomotives still on NS. Roger said had we missed that train with the Conrail unit in the lead he would have been upset.

We moved into Kent and took up watch on the Main Street bridge. We got two eastbound trains before calling it quits for the day. The lighting conditions were horrible with heavy overcast. It had long since stopped snowing. Still we were pleased with our results for the day.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Snow dusts the tops of a string of tank cars as the westbound CSX freight passes through CP 120.

Snow dusts the tops of a string of tank cars as the westbound CSX manifest freight passes through CP 120 on the CSX New Castle Subdivision.

As luck would have it, the last car on the westbound CSX manifest freight was a boxcar.

As luck would have it, the last car on the westbound CSX manifest freight was a boxcar.

The second of the three CSX westbound trains that we caught at Middlebury Road was this intermodal train, which is about to take a clear signal at CP 120

The second of the three CSX westbound trains that we caught at Middlebury Road was this intermodal train, which is about to take a clear signal at CP 120

Would you like a little frosting on your container?

Would you like a little frosting on your container?

The third of the westbound flurry that we photographed at Middlebury Road on CSX. This train was running on the block of the train ahead of it.

The third of the westbound flurry that we photographed at Middlebury Road on CSX. This train was running on the block of the train ahead and getting approach signals indications.

An eastbound Norfolk Southern manifest freight emerges from a cloud of snow at Twin Lakes.

An eastbound Norfolk Southern manifest freight emerges from a cloud of snow at Twin Lakes.

 

The eastbound NS train is about to pass beneath Ohio Route 43. Note that the second unit is a Union Pacific locomotive.

The eastbound NS train is about to pass beneath Ohio Route 43. Note that the second unit is a Union Pacific locomotive.

 

While following the W&LE tracks northward to Falls Junction, we took the time to get some snow images. Shown is the W&LE Cleveland Sub tracks looking railroad south.

While following the W&LE tracks northward to Falls Junction, we took the time to get some snow images. Shown is the W&LE Cleveland Sub tracks looking railroad south.

The W&LE train we had been seeking was parked in the industrial park on the reamains of the Chagrin Falls branch.

The W&LE train we had been seeking was parked in the industrial park on the reamains of the Chagrin Falls branch.

The Cleveland Commercial Raiilroad usually doesn't operate on weekends. Two CCR locomotives collect snow on the siding at Falls Junction.

The Cleveland Commercial Raiilroad usually doesn’t operate on weekends. Two CCR locomotives collect snow on the siding at Falls Junction.

Back in Kent, the snow has stopped falling. An eastbound auto rack train passes the former Erie Railroad depot.

Back in Kent, the snow had stopped falling. An eastbound auto rack train passes the former Erie Railroad depot.

The last train of the day was like our first train of the day -- a long manifest freight. Here is glides along the Cuyahoga River in downtown Kent.

The last train of the day was like our first train of the day — a long manifest freight. An eastbound CSX train glides along the Cuyahoga River in downtown Kent.