Posts Tagged ‘W&LE Hartland Subdivision’

Good Catches While Trolling CSX, W&LE

March 3, 2021

I always remember Marty Surdyk using the fisherman’s term of “trolling” when hoping for a good catch.

On May 23, 2008, I had a good day of trolling during the afternoon before an Akron Railroad Club meeting. Craig Sanders and I caught a few unexpected prizes.

In Grafton as in photos one through three we caught CSX (ex Baltimore & Ohio) on the former Cleveland, Lorain & West Virginia) crossing the Big Four. Conrail units were still around but the surprise was the B&O caboose restored to excellent condition.

I also got a railfan (Craig) in the first photo. Often I did that on purpose to document who was on the scene.

Afterwards we were working our way to Spencer and we had a catch by surprise on the W&LE. Photos four and five show former Nickel Plate coaches 62 and 90 of the Midwest Railway Preservation Society being shipped to Wellington for short excursions on the Lorain & Wheeling.

Finally in photos six and seven on the former Akron, Canton & Youngstown we caught an empty Wheeling & Lake Erie stone hopper train headed back west to Carey.

Photo six was made west of Spencer while photo seven was at New London about to get on CSX (ex Big Four) on trackage rights to Greenwich.

Today I consider those heritage unit catches: Wisconsin Central, and Denver & Rio Grande Western.

I always wonder since we had good catches, did I have fish for dinner?

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Sunrise at Yeomans

August 1, 2020

It is a week before Christmas in 2000 and bitterly cold. Someone said the air temperature was 8 degrees.

I was aboard Wheeling & Lake Erie train 340 to gather information to use in an article I would later write about the railroad for Trains magazine.

We’re sitting at Yeomans just outside of Bellevue as the sun is rising under cloudy skies.

A little further down the road we would pass through a snow squall but by the time we reached Spencer the clouds had cleared and sunny skies prevailed.

In case you are wondering, the locomotive is a leased Montana Rail Link SD40-2XR. For a time back then the Wheeling has a small fleet of MRL units.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

So Who Was Bo Bo?

June 2, 2020

Wheeling & Lake Erie SD40-2 No. 4003 is noteworthy for two reasons.

It was the first W&LE locomotive to be repainted into the railroad’s orange and black livery.

However, that livery had a slight variation from what became the standard. It had a different font for lettering, and its pilots and the area round the front number boards were black.

No. 4003 was repainted in 2002 to match the rest of the motive power fleet.

As for the name BoBo that appears on the short hood, it’s not clear who that is but it’s probably a W&LE employee or former employee.

In the top image No. 4002 is shown at Navarre on March 9, 2016.

The bottom image shows No. 4003 in January 2001 in Hartland Yard in its original W&LE livery.

Top Photograph by Robert Farkas

On the W&LE’s West End

October 26, 2018

Much of the west end of the Wheeling & Lake Erie is farm country and numerous rural- and agriculture-related views are available on all of the lines.

A westbound train is shown crossing Bursley Road west of Spencer on the Hartland Sub­division.

The tractor in the foreground narrowly missed getting hit by the train due to an inattentive driver.

The October issue of the Akron Railroad Club eBulletin features a story by Marty Surdyk about railfanning the west end of the Wheeling.

Photograph by Marty Surdyk

Variety on the Wheeling & Lake Erie

December 7, 2017

 

As anyone who has ever photographed the Wheeling & Lake Erie for any length of time knows, you never know what motive power will be on the next W&LE train that you see.

W&LE has a standard livery of black and orange with its name in speed lettering, but it also stables a fleet of locomotives it has acquired from various places and those units tend to spend a lot of time in service with whatever look they came with before being painted into the standard W&LE locomotive livery.

Such was the case with this train coming into Spencer on the Hartland Subdivision. It will drop off a few cars in the yard that are headed for Medina and then get back on its train and continue the journey to Brewster.

Bonus Time in Bellevue

August 15, 2017

The 5413 has a pair of mismatched number boards as it leads its train out of Moorman Yard on Norfolk Southern.

Whenever I go to Bellevue I figure that if I get any Wheeling & Lake Erie trains it’s a bonus.

I go to Bellevue to see Norfolk Southern and if the W&LE comes into or leaves town that is value added to my day.

Such was the case during a recent visit in which my W&LE bonus time began in Monroeville when I spotted the railroad’s business car sitting on a siding.

A few more miles down the road revealed a WE train sitting at Yeomans with its locomotives pointed eastward.

I wasn’t there when this train showed up and when I left town about 9 p.m, that night this train was still sitting where I had last seen it.

There would be yet one more W&LE bonus to be had in Bellevue. The job that interchanges with NS in Moorman Yard came out on the Brewster connection with a former Denver & Rio Grande Western SD40T-2 leading.

I doubt that anyone ever tires of seeing the Rio Grande on the Wheeling, particularly when one is leading or if two of them are paired together.

A closer view of the 5413 and its mismatched number boards as it rumbles onto the Brewster connection.

Stripes on the noses of W&LE 4000 and 6997.

A tunnel motor and a corn field.

Near Ohio Route 4 and sitting beside the trail built on the former New York Central right of way.

W&LE Tunnel Motors Running as a Pair

November 25, 2015

The money shot of the chase was catching the two Wheeling & Lake Erie tunnel motor locomotives crossing the Huron River in Monroeville.

The money shot of the chase was catching these two Wheeling & Lake Erie tunnel motor locomotives crossing the Huron River in Monroeville.

I was watching an outbound Norfolk Southern train slowly make its way westward through the mini plant in Bellevue.

I heard a Wheeling 90 talk on the radio, but it appeared to be switching in the yard.

I looked up and there it was about to enter the Brewster Connection.

I grabbed my camera and sprinted for an open area at the end of East Street.

The train was led by a pair of former Denver & Rio Grande Western tunnel motors. I’ve seen two tunnel motors paired together before, but it is not necessarily a common sight.

The train was moving slowly and there was a track crew ahead working on the rails. I knew I had time to get to Monroeville ahead of the train.

In Monroeville, it was a short walk on the North Coast Inland Trail to the bridge over the West Branch of the Huron River.

The black water of the river reminded me of a line from a Dobbie Brother song, “Oh black water, keep on rollin.’ ”

Both the train and the river did just that.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Making its way onto the Brewster Connection.

Making its way onto the Brewster Connection.

Crossing East Street in Bellevue, which dead ends where I am standing.

Crossing East Street in Bellevue, which dead ends where I am standing.

The going away shot.

The going away shot.

Clear track ahead on the Brewster Connection in Bellevue.

Clear track ahead on the Brewster Connection in Bellevue.

Just starting out on the bridge.

Just starting out on the bridge.

Looking down the North Coast Inland Trail on a bridge once used by New York Central trains.

Looking down the North Coast Inland Trail on a bridge once used by New York Central trains.

Chasing the W&LE Westbound on Saturday

February 11, 2015

The view of the Wheeling & Lake Erie from the Ohio Route 18 overpass at Norwalk.

The view of the Wheeling & Lake Erie from the Ohio Route 18 overpass at Norwalk.

I ended up chasing the Wheeling last Saturday and here is the story.

After having lunch at a diner in Wellington, we headed west toward Bellevue.

Just west of town at Quarry Road we found a parked Wheeling & Lake Erie train with a colorful motive power lash-up.  It was waiting to cross CSX but didn’t seem to be going anywhere fast.

We continued west and saw another Wheeling train slowly going west.

This train had two SD40-3s up front and one on the rear.  I later discovered that this is standard procedure now for trains crossing the NS at Bellevue.

Instead of doing a backup move on the wye tracks, which is how the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society passenger cars derailed last summer, the crew changes the locomotive they control instead.

Not only does this prevent possible derailments, it also saves time.

This train picked up a cut of freight cars at Hartland yard just east of Norwalk before continuing on to Bellevue.

We set up on the Ohio Route 18 overpass and then at the Huron River bridge in Monroeville.

These were the same locations where I photographed the Nickel Plate Road No.765 during a chase last fall.

After that we headed for home as it was starting to get late.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Crossing the Huron River in Monroeville.

Crossing the Huron River in Monroeville.

At Quarry Road in Wellington.

At Quarry Road in Wellington.

The locomotive on the rear was not a helper.

The locomotive on the rear was not a helper.

In Hartland Yard.

In Hartland Yard.