It Worked Out in the End

Myself and a couple buddies were planning on going to Blissfield, Mich., on Sunday for its railroad days event. The problem was that we realized it had been on Saturday so we worked out a plan B.

A quick check on for the whereabouts of the Norfolk Southern heritage units yielded this post by Terry Chicwak: “NS/PRR 8102 leading NS 544 Conway/Detroit west of Berea at 8:07 a.m.”

Well it was now 8:13 a.m., so we were minutes behind him. We hopped in the SUV and headed west, figuring we could intercept the train at Sandusky.

I wasn’t certain what type of train the 544 is. I don’t pay attention to the symbols. I simply take pictures.

I texted Cody Zamostny and he replied that it was a coal train. Upon crossing the Sandusky Bay bridge an NS train was also crossing westbound. This wasn’t the 544 but made for a nice photo at the overpass at west end of the bay.

After a quick stop at McDonalds, we continued west, following a coal train. Sure enough this was our target.

We got a quick grab shot on the U.S. 2 overpass at Port Clinton to confirm that it was our train. We then headed to Oak Harbor.

Once there we waited and waited and waited. A couple trains took the connection heading to Bellevue including one with a CN dash 9 leading and an Illinois Central SD70 trailing.

That would normally warrant a chase in itself but we had another target.

Finally, after an hour’s wait, a headlight appeared and we got him going past the elevator. We then proceded further west.

Our next stop was Millbury where the 8102 was stopped east of town. Here we ran into the railfan chase group including Roger Durfee.

Once the train got moving (slowly), we were able to get multiple photo spots between Millbury and Vickers including a three-way meet at Vickers.

Here he sat in the siding so we decided to go to Blissfield anyway. The local model railroad club was open and had a very nice HO scale double-deck layout.

Even though the Adrian and Blissfield wasn’t running, we checked out the equipment. I haven’t been there in a few years and they had some new equipment including a dome observation car from The Canadian.

Also, an ethanol plant has opened, giving them a lot of new traffic. Covered hoppers were everywhere.

I’ll have to get up there on a weekday when they are switching.

Coming back through Toledo we found the 8102 parked on a siding and got some sunlit views. It was pretty overcast in the morning.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

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One Response to “It Worked Out in the End”

  1. Marty Surdyk Says:

    Nice elevator shot at Oak Harbor, I thought Todd didn’t take Grain Elevator shots?

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