Follow by Email

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Road to SDI-Columbia City, IN: Day 2


With an afternoon stop at LB Foster to meet with folks regarding the New England Central Railroad rail project, I figured on an O-Dark-Thirty venture from my parent's house west via Gallitzin and Pitcairn.  With no real timeline or objective enroute, I took my time and cruised out US Route 22 across the middle of my home state (Pennsylvania).  The journey allowed me to listen in on what was coming west with hopes of catching something out in the western part of the state.  I wasn't extremely motivated on the journey as the temp and dew point were so tight that it might as well have been complete fog cover.  I realized at this point that I don't miss the haze and air quality alerts that exist down here!  Heading straight for Gallitzin, I wanted to see if I could manage a shot at the long-dormant AR Tower.  On my arrival there, a C95 helper set of rebuilt SD50s-turned SD40E were awaiting their clearance out onto the main to tie on the rear of a train for a shove over Horseshoe curve.

Continuing west via Cresson, I observed all but two of the NS ex-Conrail SD80MACs heading west and assumed that they were heading for their haunt at South Fork, PA.  I noted the time and quickly pulled up the Amtrak Pennsylvanian schedule, did some math and determined I might be able to make South Fork before Amtrak did.  I pulled into town to realize that the SD80MAC consist was holding the main and awaiting their turn to cross over and then pull down the South Fork Secondary.  My guess at this point was that with Amtrak due through here within minutes, I would capture a shot of the 'meet' and then continue on.  The visibility and weather reminded me of being in Maine during the huge Quebec forest fires.  I would obviously have to make due as it is the only weather I'm going to get ;-)  The Amtrak 44/SD80MAC power move meet at South Fork was a success...

With the weather being somewhat of a non-motivational factor, I decided that I'd continue toward Pittsburgh and perhaps get an early meeting before continuing west for points in Ohio and Indiana on the way to Columbia City.  On the way, I did decide that I'd like to check out the Pitcairn, PA area since it has been since 1996 that I last visited.  Essentially - only the names and colors have changed!  Hearing a couple westbound trains in the picture didn't lend itself to at least halfway decent lighting.  The extremely filtered sunlight still favored the eastbound traffic despite being now around 1130-1200 hrs.  Finally hearing an eastbound approaching, I set up for a longer lens view to try and pull in some of the hillside homes that sit distantly to the multi-track NS Pittsburgh Line.  Soon the NS 36A train rolled into view with a nice consist of ES44DC 7719 and SD70M-2 2644 (amazingly out of all the consists I'd see - this set I would see later in the week!).  

I checked with LB Foster and figured on a 1330 arrival, thus necessitating a 1245 hr departure from Pitcairn. Just as I decided that it was time to leave, I heard the NS 20V call the Wing signal just west of Pitcairn.   OK - I have time for one more and thankfully I went for it, as it proved to be advantageous in two regards - a single NS C40-9W would allow more visibility of the train AND of course the big one is the former Pennsy position-light signals in front of the former Westinghouse Brake plant!  

With a straight drive over to the LB Foster headquarters (which by the way is in the same complex as the old Conrail Pittsburgh Division dispatch offices above the WLE Rook Yard!), I observed not only the WLE red/yellow GP35 2662 switching the yard, but an eastbound freight had arrived the yard with WLE 100 (the Ohio Centennial unit...), however the lighting was poor to shoot either and I passed on shots there.  Following my Foster visit, I looked at the map on my iPhone and essentially said - "where should I go now?"   With a few coin tosses, it was Brewster, Ohio bound, via US Route 30 and a short jaunt through the West Virginia panhandle, following the Ohio Central Railroad trackage.  Nothing materialized on the OHCR, however I did run across the RJ Corman / RailPower RP20BD GenSet 5400 at the RJ Corman Cleveland Line yard in Dover, OH.

Back on the road, my arrival in Brewster was greeted with more wrong-way lit and/or poorly lit WLE units.   Next coin toss lead me to Bucyrus, OH.  On my way to Bucyrus, I listened to several trains talking and as I rolled off the exit, I heard the NS 15V calling signals into town.  I headed for the Route 98 crossing by the large grain elevator there in anticipation of getting said 15V...however, Murphy beat me into Bucyrus and the NS 15V derailed as I awaited its arrival.  While not great shots of the derailing train - a quick drive down to a side street and an open field yielded a few shots of the aftermath - quite literally as the dust settled at 1730 hours.


With Bucyrus now blocked up quite nicely, where to next?  Easy choice - head north for Fostoria and hold out the last light of day there before cruising west to Columbia City, IN.  On the way to Fostoria I would traverse Carey, OH and swing in to catch a nice Plymouth 80-Tonner (?) working the National Lime & Stone Co. quarry with a cut of cars.  The STONECO lettered centercab would shove the cut of cars back for an awaiting CSXT crew to retrieve...


Then off to Fostoria!  Arrival in Fostoria found a bottleneck of traffic - at least three trains to go north and two south on the C&O, while NS had several in a holding pattern on its Fostoria District crossing of the CSXT Willard Subdivision.  With a steady stream of trains rolling, I decided to set up and just shoot whatever came my way - from whatever way it came - as the light began getting less with sunset creating that low dusk illumination.  Enjoy the following sequence:

A grain train heads east with the last rays of sunshine casting a glint on the entire BNSF consist.

An eastbound intermodal races westbound at the last light of day, crossing over the Columbus Subdivision.

A NS 172 train rolls across the CSXT Willard Subdivision at dusk.

Following this run, it was off for the remainder of the drive to Columbia City and some sleep before heading to the steel mill for the next full day!


  1. you know about the Easton wheel is smooth, pretty and tougher than your high school gym teacher. It's got a 30mm aluminum rim and bladed spokes that slice through the wind to reduce dragWheels For Sale

  2. Hi thanks for sharing nice information,Apart from renting, you can even choose for leasing the plug and play office space for rent in Bangalore where you can save a lot of money.