Train Sightings

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by 2-8-2, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    I live in a small town, which was built around the railroad back in the good ole' days. Jackson Center, Ohio is roughly one square mile in size, with the tracks running through middle of the village. From what I can tell, the tracks were most likely laid by DT&I. I remember the orange locomotives passing through when I was a kid. Now CSX owns the trackage.

    90% of the time I see CSX consists with mostly automobile carrier cars. The only nearby industries that require rail service are a small fertilizer dealer and a huge plastics factory, both located just outside the city limits. Plastipak Packaging makes bottles for Proctor and Gamble (Era, Tide detergents, some others) and they also make plastic bottles for Pepsi. Plastipak manufactures more than 1/2 of Pepsi's bottles. They receive plastic pellets and powders by railcar.

    Today the train parked a few cars at Plastipak for them to unload, then backed up to park while they were being unloaded. The length of the train would've blocked 5 grade crossings otherwise. I took this opportunity to drive up and get some interesting pictures. Thumbnail pics are listed, click the image to view it full-sized.

    This was the lead engine: NYSW - New York, Susquehanna and Western #4052, a SD70M. According to their website, they have connections with Norfolk Southern, Canadian Pacific, and CSX.


    The next engine was SP - Southern Pacific #9392, a SD45T-2. This paint scheme is called "Speed Lettered" according to a fan site I came across.


    Next was NREX - National Railway Equipment Co. #5597, an SD40-2. From my research, this engine was originally a CP unit. NREX remanufactures locomotives and components.


    Last was an unlettered engine. From the looks of the paint scheme, this was probably a CP unit at one time. I don't know for sure what kind of engine this is, however it looks like a GP series.


    When doing research on these engines, I came across several railfan pics that had this configuration. The SP unit wasn't on any of the other pics, but the trio of NYSW/NREX/former CP has been sighted several times around Ohio.
  2. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Those units are all owned by or leased to the Indiana & Ohio. CSX no longer runs through Jackson Center; it's operations on that line were transferred to the I&O a while ago.

    The NYSW unit is one of three on lease to the I&O for over five years now, I believe. They are numbered 4050, 4052, and 4054. The units were offered for long-term lease by the NYSW after the Conrail split put a major dent in their bridge traffic.

    The "Southern Pacific" unit is in fact owned by CEFX (who doesn't do a good job of identifying their equipment) and leased to the I&O along with a number of other engines.

    The NREX unit, like the CEFX, is on lease to the I&O.

    The "unlettered" unit is owned by the I&O and painted in the RailTex standard paint. The reporting marks and road number are under the cab window. The I&O was formerly owned by RailTex before it was purchased by RailAmerica. The I&O and sister road CFE both use the old RailTex red and grey as their standard paint scheme.
  3. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Well the SP unit is a tunnel motor that EMD and SP collaborated on the design. SP had problems with their engines shutting down in the tunnels and snow sheds so the radiator and air intake were redesigned to draw the cooler air from lower down in the tunnel compared to the hot air and gasses at the top. SP also had SD40T-2's and Rio Grande picked up a large batch of the 40T-2's. UP has sold off a lot of the tunnel motors and repainted some into UP yellow. The tunnel motors are now used by short lines across the country and the B&LE picked up some which at least one has been repainted in CN paint scheme. Also the SD40T-2 has been sold to Brazil to be rebuilt for their narrow gauge railroads down there.
    Your last unit is a SD40-2 and is Canadian. The single rear headlight is the give away there. Also look at the roof, 3 radiator fans then 2 more over the dynamic brakes, another identification feature for when you can’t see the trucks.

    Interesting pictures.

    Greg Elems
  4. railohio

    railohio Active Member

  5. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Yes, it is a former Canadian Pacific snoot unit. He could never tell that, however, by it's current paint scheme, and it's surely not a GP-anything!
  6. geeez that nys&w is a tad way from home (utica ny) some of her sisters are here waiting for her. tell them she needs to come homeannounce1 great pics tho thanks for sharing.
  7. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    I don't pretend to keep up with what company owns/leases what tracks, but I do know that CSX trains run through this town at least 3 times a week. The reason I went out to take these pictures in the first place was because the lead engine wasn't something I'd seen before, as I'm used to seeing CSX blue and yellow out there.

    These pictures are my first "railfan" attempts. Any information I posted was from what I looked up online, which mostly came from other railfan sites. Thanks to Brian and Greg for properly identifying what these pictures are.
  8. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    2-8-2 Great Photo's.:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  9. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Actually, the more that I think about it, I was wrong, too. Jackson Center is where the Airstreams are from, right? For some reason I had it confused with Washington Courthouse way downstate. CSX has never run through Jackson Center as it is on the former DT&I mainline. The I&O did lease two CSX units, an SD40-2 and an SD50, over the last few years, however. CSX has also provided power for unit grain trains interchanged with the I&O on occasion, too. However that line was never CSX at any point in its history.
  10. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member


    Yes, Jackson Center is home to Airstream. Hard to believe that the famous RVs that are used by NASA, and what most movie stars prefer when on-set, are built in this podunk town. I used to work there when I was younger. The facility doesn't get rail service, it's located on the western edge of town.

    I did a little digging around, and from what I can tell the tracks are indeed owned by IORY. Here's a link to a map I found, which needs Adobe Reader to view. I also found an IORY subdivision listing. Jackson Center is listed under the DT&I Middle Subdivision at mile marker 153.5, where Plastipak Packaging is shown to receive xxx inbound plastic cars per week.

    CSX owns trackage (according to the same map source above) about 15 miles west of here. Both lines run through Lima, Ohio. Now I'm curious. I heard a train horn at 1:00am and went out to was a CSX engine pulling mostly CSX cars. Another rumbled through at around 3:00am. Again, CSX engine with mostly CSX cars. Both trains were southbound.

    I'm not trying to argue with you, Brian. Please take my postings as curiousity. I've always thought the rails here in Jackson Center were CSX, because that's what normally runs on them. Is there some kind of trackage agreement? I believe you when you say IORY has leased a couple units from CSX, but I find it hard to believe that a handful of units could account for the rail traffic here.

    I'll have to start keeping an eye out for engine numbers as they pass through.
  11. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Engines #1 and #4 came rumbling through town again today. The train consisted of mostly car carriers, the majority marked CSX/ETTX. There were some GT, CN, and a few other named cars as well, but I noticed most had leasing company reporting marks on them.
  12. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Ah yes, auto racks. In a nutshell, most of the flatcars are owned by TTX Corp; they'll show up yellow and have a variety of reporting marks. The railroads own the racks themselves that are fitted to the leased cars. It's a tricky situation, but it's the one that works the best. Some railroads, namely the two Canadian systems and their subsidiaries, own the entire car because they are not a part owner of TTX like the American roads.
  13. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Yeah, I did a little research on GATX and TTX last night. I've been looking to add some leased rolling stock to my little N scale fleet. Anyway...

    Were you ever able to find out what the deal is with trackage rights in Jackson Center? I haven't been able to dig up anything on why I see so many CSX trains through here.
  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    2-8-2,Maybe CSX retain trackage rights over I&O or they are units on lease from CSX..

Share This Page