NS GP40-2 3046

Friday, November 23, 2012

Me no speak......

Back in 2001, I went to Germany to study and learn some computer stuff. Now a trip anywhere is not complete without foaming. I was somewhere in Germany switching trains when I snapped this picture of this German foamer. He saw me with my little camera and tried talking to me. We just ended up pointing at each other since we had no real way of sharing our train thoughts.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Two Late For Sures.......

Not the best picture, but it does the job for the story and history. Taken on a Saturday in July 1999 at the Amtrak Station in Cleveland, sometime in the 6am time frame. After the Conrail split, CSX and NS had a hell of a time getting Amtrak over the road. On this day, both the east and west Lakeshore would outlaw in Cleveland. The 49 came into the station first to pickup and drop off passengers and then did a reverse move to get over to the other main to allow 48 to come into the station. Both trains that day had a P42/F40 combo. F40 350 was only to be used as a B unit. The side windows were blanked out and seats removed. I would get up at 5am on Saturdays and call Amtrak Julie to check on the status of the trains. For the next few months, I would witness dead trains on the law at the station. The station is now down to one main and the only F40 units on Amtrak are used as cab control units.

Amtraks' Lakeshores at Cleveland, Ohio.  July 1999.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Old Amtrak Coach

When I walked into this coach, I got really excited. This reminds me so much of my family's first Amtrak trip years ago. The red seats, brown carpet and orange curtains. It even had that old heavy duty oil mixed with must smell. The only thing that is missing is a pair of F40 units......

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cleveland is the city where I'm from. Born, raised and schooled; more than one way. Once a midwest powerhouse. Factories used to run three shifts. Fisher Body, LTV Steel, Kirby, Ford, Chevrolet, Sherwin Williams, the list goes on. Some are still here, barely. Huge empty fields serve as reminders of the once mighty powerhouse. Jobs started to go away. No work for the people, Reaganomics was at it’s finest.. The “Just Say No To Drugs” campaign in the mid-80s could not stop a new cheap, powerful drug. Crack-Cocaine was introduced. What a money maker. Who could forget CSU’s Kevin Mackey and the Brown’s Kevin Mack crack issues? It hit hard. Everyone. Color, income, class; it did not matter. CPD was working around the clock raiding spots. Gangs fighting over street corners to make that money. This played out until the early 1990’s. Things started to recover some. Terminal Tower was turned into Tower City in 90. Randall Park Mall was where everyone wanted to be until the gang fights ran people away. The court ordered busing to stop in 96. Go to your local neighborhood school. More people are out of work. Small factories closed. Huge industrial parks in town with vacant space. They make it cheaper in China. Housing boom and crash. If your heart pumped blood, you can get a loan for half a mil. Sign here. Still no real jobs. People lacking skills for the New World Order. A lot left behind. Old drugs are new again. People are still using. Not enough cops to make a dent to get the supply off the streets. Cocaine wars in Mexico has dropped the price to records lows. Watch out, that siding on your home might be coming off soon. They don’t care what you had to do pay for it. Oh, there is a shed that the railroad is not using any more. Little by little, it started to walk away, even the fence. I’ll remove that old crap from your home for cheap because I can dump it over there. Maybe there will be some railcars with some metal in them worth stealing when I dump. This will never end. The names will only change and the location in town. The city will be the city, always. And it will always be a little worse near the railroad tracks. Both sides are on the wrong side of the tracks in the heart of the city.

Monday, June 18, 2012

American Steamship Company's Buffalo

For those who wonder if I take pictures of things other than trains, you are in for a treat. Here is a picture of the Buffalo, a ship used to fiery Taconite from Whiskey Island to the Cleveland Works mill.

American Steamship's Buffalo 6-4-2012.  Cleveland, Ohio.  Cuyahoga River.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Wheeling Way

Wheeling's 663 crew has just secured their train on the Solon Branch after a long day that started in Akron. Two rookie conductors were guided by a nine year vet engineer. They did fine. Safety first, The Wheeling Way. 

Wheeling GP35-3 110.  Solon Branch.  3-29-12

Sunday, February 26, 2012

BNSF SD9 6154

On June 26, 2005, I was able to catch a BNSF SD9 working a CSXT mainline freight. The BNSF power policy that was in place at this time must have allowed anything that ran to pull any type train. These old classics started popping up all over the place, even Toronto. For about two or three weeks, BNSF SD9 6154 roamed around on CSX. I was able to catch it here in Ohio somewhere in Lake County. The engineer had the units notched out, but it was still not enough to make max track speed.

BNSF SD9 6154 trailing a leased SD40 on 6-26-2005.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Warbonnets passing through Collinwood

From time to time on the Western board, someone will post about BNSF GP60M units being used to power locals. I will admit to getting excited when I see them being used with that famous paint. Before BNSF decided to move these units from hotshots to locals, they where still able to stretch their legs for a brief time period. Not hauling time sensitive trailers anymore from Chicago to LA, just general manifest freights now. Somehow, CSX would end up with these BNSF Warbonnets on their freights. I'm pretty sure that CSX would "borrow" them out of Chicago. On a storm filled Saturday morning on June 28, 2003, I was surprised to catch GP60M units 161 & 151 with CSX AC44 575. My only wish is that I had a better digital camera back then to better capture these units......

Warbonnets at Quaker Tower, passing under old Cleveland Union Terminal/NYC cantery

Getting down to business after a brief stop at the east fuel pad to top off.

More to come on BNSF four axle power passing through Cleveland.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wheeling & Lake Erie GP40-3 303

From time to time, a Wheeling GP40 or SD40 can be found on the 663 local. And if that unit is in Rio Grande paint, it only makes the find that much better. Only four units on the Wheeling currently remain in Rio Grande paint. Born at EMD in October 1969 to become DRGW 3085. This unit would only have a brief retirement. Uncle Pete put the 3085 on the sideline in May 2001, the Wheeling picked it up that same year in December. Maybe it was Larry Parsons 21 years with the Rio Grande that played a deciding factor to bring the 3085 east for more action. Rebuilt by Brewster in June 2005 to Q-tron dash-3 standards. The 303 is no longer handling a hot Railblazer, only locals and manifest trains for the Wheeling now.

Wheeling and Lake Erie GP40-3 303 on the Solon Branch. 2-12-2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Last Eastbound Pennsylvanian in Cleveland (maybe)

Amtrak's Pennsylvanian, train # 44.  February 2003

This is what I get for not taking notes when out.  This is either the last or second to last eastbound for Amtrak's Pennsylvanian, train # 44 in February 2003.  When I lived in the dorm at Cleveland State, I used to drive down to station and watch the westbound Pennsylvanian arrive, hoping that the second unit would be a beloved F40.  Things started to heat up when news broke about Skyline Connection.  If my memory serves me right, Norfolk Southern and Amtrak could not agree on a time slot that would allow this trains 45&46 to arrive in Cleveland and a few other cities during the day light.  I even remember student engineers on the Pennsylvanian getting their hours in for the Skyline.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Wheeling GP35-2 103

One day in the future, these old GP35's that currently roam on the Wheeling will be no more. Folks are currently missing the good old days when the SD40 was the standard on almost every train. Just wait, these 35s will be gone. Who knows what will replace them when that time comes. They are indeed a rare beast in today's modern world of EMD's 710Eco and GE's Evo fuel misers. Until that day comes, I'll just keep on snagging these old EMD classics hauling freight on the Wheeling.

W&LE GP35-3 103 at Falls Jct on 2-5-12

W&LE GP35-3 at Falls Junction with the 663 on 2-5-12.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wheeling GP35-3 106

I don't know what it is about these Wheeling GP35 units I like to shoot so much. There is nothing really fancy about them except the Q-Tron system. The control stands are old school EMD, no AAR standard here. Not too long ago, I had to move a trio of them onto a train we interchanged to the WE to keep the air pumped up. No need to have another conductor do a Class 1 test. I notched up that trio of 35s and we started to move. Running these old high hood units is fun. There is something about these old 35s that I can't explain.

Today, I caught 106 on the 663 local shoving cars up the Solon Branch at MP16.5

Wheeling and Lake Erie GP35-3 106   1-22-12

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Wheeling and Lake Erie Hiring Conductors

From time to time, someone will come up my locomotive window and ask they can get hired on the railroad.  If time permits, I explain to them what it is like to work for a railroad and what they should expect.  Then they will receive the run down one the different railroads in the area. Well I just found out that the Wheeling is hiring conductors for the first time in years. For those that want to roam around on the WLE, you can find more at http://www.wlerwy.com/employment.htm.