Between the Woods and Frozen Lake

An eastbound Norfolk Southern intermodal train cruises past the small lake just east of Lake Rockwell Road near Brady Lake on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012.

The run of good weather that Northeast Ohio experienced over the weekend no doubt had most railfans out trackside with their cameras. I was able to get out on Sunday for a few hours.

My plan was to park on the Main Street bridge in Kent and catch CSX westbounds with what I thought would be some interesting cloud patterns in the background. But upon arrival there, I noticed that the clouds in the northern sky did not look nearly as dramatic or interesting as they had on the drive down.

It turned out to be a moot point. I sat for a couple of hours or so and saw just one CSX train. And it was headed eastward.

With CSX apparently still out of sorts in the wake of the Friday derailment in Indiana, I decided to go over to Norfolk Southern, which presumably was running as normal.

I went for a walk on the trail adjacent to the former Erie Lackwanna line that now goes no further east than Ravenna. I noticed that the lake next to the NS tracks that I could see through the bare trees was still frozen. Hence, I was able to capture a couple of intermodals across the ice. Aside from snow what else says winter other than ice?

By now most of the clouds had passed on and the NS tracks were bathed in nice winter low light.

But after catching a pair of intermodals, NS went into snooze mode and trains became rather scarce. I continued to monitor the CSX radio frequency and heard just one train. So I wasn’t missing anything in Kent.

With the sun sinking lower in the later afternoon sky, it was time to head home for a cold beer and watching Tim Tebow and his Broncos overcome the Steelers. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad day afterall.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

If you’re going to shoot across this lake, you better like having tree limbs helping to frame your photos.


The shade helped keep this patch of snow around a while longer as the rear of an eastbound NS RoadRailer is about to pass beneath Ravenna Road.

The Erie Lackawanna isn’t running today, nor, for that matter, is the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway, whose trains infrequently shine these rails.

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