Posts Tagged ‘Berea Ohio’

Amtrak Relics

July 20, 2020

Some Amtrak trains in the late 1990s to early 2000s resembled freight trains with their long strings of box cars carrying express shipments.

But what you see above is actually a CSX train in Berea on April 4, 2013.

The two silver-colored boxcars are former Amtrak express cars that are now owned by another company but continuing to do what they were designed to do, which is carrying freight.

The new owner did not see a need to have the cars repainted other than to remove the Amtrak markings.

As these cars traveled the country they were a reminder of an era in Amtrak history that was once billed as promising to enable the passenger carrier to fly a glide path to profitability.

That journey was never completed as designed.

Daylight Capitol Limited in Berea

June 23, 2020

My recollection is that it was late afternoon when I made this photograph of Amtrak’s westbound Capitol Limited in Berea, Ohio.

That would make Train No. 29 about 12 hours late. I don’t know what happened to cause the delay.

It is July 1996 and the Capitol reflects a transition period for Amtrak motive power.

On the point is a new P40 locomotive wearing the Phase III livery. Behind it is an F40PH.

Between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s the F40 was the primary road locomotive used to pull Amtrak’s long-distance trains. Most corridor trains  outside the Northeast Corridor also F40s on the point.

This mixing of Genesis units and F40s would not last long. The P42DC began to join the fleet and away went Phase III paint and F40s aside from a few that were rebuilt into cab control units without prime movers.

F40s Were Still the Motive Power of Choice

December 6, 2019

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited saunters through Berea, Ohio, on March 30, 1996.

No. 48 was running late that day although I no longer remember how far behind scheduled it was.

At the time, F40PH locomotives were the motive power of choice on the Lake Shore.

But not for much longer. Already P40 units were on the property and Amtrak would begin taking delivery of P42DC locomotives starting in August 1996.

For those who like to pay attention to consists, Nos. 48 and 49 in this era was a mixture of three equipment types. Heritage fleet baggage cars, sleepers and dining cars co-mingled with Viewliner sleepers and Amfleet coaches and cafe cars.

The Lake Shore also had a healthy load of material handling cars tacked on the rear carrying mail and express shipments.

That is a Conrail auto rack train passing No. 48 on Track No. 1.

Here Comes Amtrak No. 48

June 22, 2019

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited passes BE Tower in Berea, Ohio, in the Cleveland suburbs on a late spring morning.

The train was operating just over two hours behind schedule at the time.

BE Tower was closed several years ago by Conrail but the building continues to stand.

Morning Contrasts

June 16, 2019

The eastbound Lake Shore Limited was running more than two hours late.

By the time it reached Berea, Ohio, in suburban Cleveland the sun had been up for more than an hour but shadows from bridges and building still enveloped the tracks of Norfolk Southern used by Train No. 48.

But much of the rails themselves were in sunlight and that created an interesting effect that I had not planned.

The image shown above was an afterthought. My plan was to use my longest telephoto lens to shoot through the chain link fence of the Front Street overpass to capture the Lake Shore passing the former BE Tower.

I did get that image and it turned out well. But as the train got closer I decided to make one more image just to see how it would turn out.

What I got was a nice contrast between the sunlight illuminating the nose and flanks of lead P42DC No. 129 and the shadows on both sides of the tracks.

I was fortunate that the encroaching shadows did not creep up the side of the train.

There is also some contrast between the silver and blue of the locomotives and the green leaves on the trees on the north side of the tracks.

A two-hour late train is not good news for its passengers and crew, but it worked out well for me.

Tis The Season for Late Trains

January 23, 2019

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited is running five hours late as it rushes through Berea, Ohio, on Jan. 22 on Norfolk Southern tracks.

No. 48 was 3.5 hours late leaving Chicago Union Station the night before and was expected to reach New York Penn Station at 11:57 p.m. on Tuesday night, having lost another half hour en route.

Note that No. 48 has its winter consist of one coach for the Boston section and two coaches to New York. The Boston baggage car is gone.

Also in the consist is Viewliner diner Montgomery, a city in Alabama that Amtrak has not served in several years.

Swinging Around the Curve

December 28, 2017

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited was late. OK, I hear some of you saying “so what’s new?” They don’t call it the Late Shore Limited for nothing.

But on this day 2007, No. 48 was several hours late when it came through Berea, Ohio, in a snowstorm.

But this snow didn’t fall in December or January or February. It fell on April 7. Snow in April in Northeast Ohio isn’t rare, even if it tends not to last long.

I’m not sure why No. 48 was so late on this day. By the time it reached Cleveland it was late morning. Maybe the weather had something to do with it.

The Opposite of the Short Season of Summer

June 23, 2017

The calendar officially rolled over to summer this week. But if you live in the northern regions of the United States you know that scenes such as this one of a very late Lake Shore Limited in Berea, Ohio, are never far from mind and will be here all too soon.

This image was made on April 7, 2007. I didn’t know No. 48 was coming until it showed up.

Usually the first week of April is the season of spring, but in Northeast Ohio having snow, including heavy snow, is not unheard of during early April.

But as I post this summer has arrived and its time to get out and enjoy it.

Westbound Pennsylvanian in Berea, Ohio

November 27, 2016

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Amtrak’s westbound Pennsylvanian passes through Berea, Ohio, on May 29, 1999, in late afternoon.

The train is in its first years operating west of Pittsburgh. Amtrak rescheduled the train to operate between Chicago and Philadelphia on Nov. 7, 1998, and thought it could pay for the expansion with increased mail and express revenue.

Ultimately, Amtrak decided to get out of the head-end business and in February 2003, the Pennsylvanian reverted to New York-Pittsburgh operation.

For a while, though, Nos. 42/43 were the only daylight Amtrak trains in Cleveland, the Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited calling between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Amtrak Special Rolls Through Cleveland

October 11, 2016

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On Sunday, Oct. 2, a seven-car American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners special went west through Cleveland.

The special consisted of Amtrak P42DC’s 134 and 190; Pennsylvania 120; Juniata Terminal’s Warrior Ridge; Morristown and Erie’s Alexander Hamilton; former New York Central 43, Mount Vernon; former Pullman Pacific Home; and former NYC Babbling Brook.

I caught the special going through Berea and thought it looked somewhat like the Great Steel Fleet that the New York Central ran in the postwar era.

I probably should have gone to a more representative location such as Olmsted Falls with the depot but sometimes you take what you can get.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

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