Fireworks and Trains

Fireworks burst over the Orrville switch tower and N5C Cabin car on Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 9:24 p.m.

Saturday, July 7 was a noisy night in Orrville, Ohio. The grand fireworks display concluded a week of fun celebrating our nation’s Independence Day. The festivities kicked off on Tuesday with the July 4th parade. There were flags, bands, floats and of course fire trucks. The Orrville Firefighters are the chief sponsor of the celebration.

The Orrville Railroad Heritage Society set up its popcorn tent along the parade route, offering popcorn, cold soda and water for the onlookers. A carnival was set up Tuesday – Saturday near the town center with the usual rides, games and fair-type food. The week of fun came to a conclusion on Saturday night with a spectacular fireworks display. Many folks came to Orrville from out of town for the fireworks.

Several members of the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society and their families gathered trackside at the 1868 Orrville Union Depot, a former Pennsylvania Railroad station, to view the fireworks aerial display. Barbara and I joined the group and set up our lawn chairs to await the fireworks show start. I walked down the NS Pittsburgh – Bucyrus mainline and set up my tripod and camera to capture the action.

Just as the first fireworks burst over Orrville, a Norfolk Southern westbound manifest charged through with much horn blaring. Two Amtrak coaches were on the tail end. They were probably being ferried since they were dark.

After getting some of the bursts over the ORHS Orrville tower and former PRR N5C cabin car, I then moved to capture more fireworks over the depot. I finished off my photo night with bursts behind the PRR signals on the Orrville secondary.

As the fireworks ended, NS ran an eastbound manifest by the depot. After that, things quieted down.

For those interested, I set my Sony A330 DSLR on aperture priority of 7.1 and 3200 ISO speed setting. I tried a 2 second delay on the shutter for steadiness, but ended up missing the fireworks bursts. I then used the camera’s continuous capture mode recording several photos with each shutter release. That worked much better.

Article and Photographs by Richard Jacobs

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