Deep Snow in Perry

An eastbopund Norfolk Southern intermodal train splits the signals at Perry on Monday, Jan. 16,2012.

As much snow as we get in Northeast Ohio, it is not always easy to get snow photographs. There’s always something keeping me from getting out, including work obligations, family obligations and bad timing. When there is pristine snow and sun, I’m usually tied up.

But such was not the case on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, when everything lined up. It was a holiday at work and the forecast called for sunny conditions in the morning before a front moved in. Fellow Akron Railroad Club member Ed Ribinskas had Monday off on his regular work rotation and we made plans to meet at Ed’s house and mosey over to Perry to get some snow action shots.

On the previous Saturday, Lake County had been hammered with lake effect snow and with warmer tempertures and rain on the way we wanted to photograph the deep snow while we could.

We were not disappointed. The CSX action was fairly brisk after our arrival with a series of eastbound trains. CSX also put one westbound through during our time there. Norfolk Southern was not as busy, but then it usually isn’t. We had missed a westbound NS train shortly before leaving Ed’s house in Painesville. But after 11 a.m. NS put three eastbounds through the area during the next two hours.

We had hoped to get the Fairport local because the tracks of the former Fairport, Painesville & Eastern had not seen a train since the storm hit on Saturday, burying some parts of Lake County in 2 feet of snow.

But it was not to be. The Fairport local did not operate during  our time trackside.

The CSX trains put on a nice show with swirling snow. Although there was still quite a bit of snow still on the tracks, the locomotives lacked the snow packed on the noses that you see on trains that have navigated through snow storms.

We also observed a CSX maintenance crew plowing out the immediate sides of the main tracks and removing snow from the siding at Perry.

As expected, shortly after high noon the clouds began gathering. The front had arrived and it soon became overcast. The snow photography was over for the day. But we will be back again.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The first of three CSX eastbound intermodal trains rushes through town. Note the plowed "road' next to the tracks.

We took advantage of one of the "roads" that CSX crews had plowed to walk down to the long unusued signal bridge spanning the tracks. Shown is an eastbound intermodal train.

The only westbound CSX train that we observed was the daily trash train from the East Coast.

The middle of the three eastbounds that we saw on NS was this manifest freight. Normally, there are two eastbound intermodals on the former Nickel Plate between 10 a.m. and noon. But this train caught us by surprise.

A CSX front end loader plows out the siding as another maintenance truck plows the lane on the south side of the tracks.

The front end loader has reached the street. No, he didn't just dump the snow in the road. Instead, he turned toward us and then deposited the snow on the side of the road on railroad property.

An intermodal train sprays a snowy mist as it rushes through town. Seeing the clouds of snow mist as trains approached was one of the highlights of the day.

Having finished plowing the deep snow off the siding, the CSX maintenance workers now had to dig down to find the rails. They used a shovel, a broom and a leaf blower.

Snow may be a nuisance, even a hazard, to motorists and railroaders, but it also presents a beauty not found in any other season. An eastbound NS intermodal train leans into the curve at the east end of Perry, passing a snow-covered ditch.

One Response to “Deep Snow in Perry”

  1. jake Says:

    Craig, Ed,
    I believe the westbound CSX trash train was q641 out of Buffalo. When it reaches Cleveland, it will turn down the CL&W sub to Sterling and then east on the New Castle sub to pittsburgh and Cumberland. I usually see it at Sterling after supper.

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