The Leaves Were Not all that Was Orange

Bessemer & Lake Erie No. 907 leads a southbound stone train into Springboro, Pa., on Saturday, Oct. 13. The train is passing Springboro Park and approaching Beaver Street.

We were in Ashtabula on Saturday morning looking for Norfolk Southern’s Illinois Terminal heritage unit. We found it, but the lighting wasn’t good. So we decided to move on and look for something else and come back later.

We drove to Conneaut with the idea that we might catch the outbound Bessemer & Lake Erie train. But a check of the yard showed a fairly empty facility and no sign of a train. Then the radio came to life and we heard a CN dispatcher talking to a train about taking the high line, checking the switches and other dispatcher speak that we didn’t understand.

I suggested that we go down to Albion to look at the signals in the event that it was a nortbound headed for Conneaut. If nothing else we might hear a detector go off. Or we could check some other signals someplace to see if a train was lined up.

As we came to downtown Albion, Adam said he saw a Bessemer train up ahead. I thought he was joking, but sure enough there was one. It was a southbound passing through town. We got some grab shots out the window then got ahead and set up in Springboro for a shot coming past some nice fall foliage at a city park.

Heavy traffic prevented us from getting to Conneautville in time so it was on to Hartstown for the classic bridge shot coming past the lakes and wetlands. Traffic hung us up again due to a festival of some sort at Lake Conneaut. It was a good thing that we weren’t chasing a northbound as cars were backed up a good half mile to a mile waiting to enter the parking lot.

We got to Hartstown with about 10 minutes to spare. A red vehicle with two railfans pulled up behind us just ahead of the train. Then it was on to KO Junction where a third vehicle with a railfan showed up.

The train had SD40-3 in the lead with trailing units 867, 905 and 866. The 867 and 866 are SD38AC units while the 905 is also an SD40-3. Neither of us could recall seeing a B&LE train before with four locomotives.

By the time we got to the Osgood viaduct near Greenville, Pa., there seemed to be a posse of railfans giving chase, one of whom was former ARRC member Cody Zamostny and two friends.

We snapped the train crossing over Werner Road and the former Erie Railroad mainline,  now operated by Norfolk Souther as far east as Meadville.

We followed Cody to KY Junction, a spot neither Adam or I had visited before. That turned out to be the last place that we caught the train. We tried to catch up with it again, but we didn’t know the roads and got turned around. Instead, we headed into Greenville for lunch from Sheetz. We’ll explore south of KY on another day.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Coming past the lakes and wetlands into Hartstown where there was a touch of color next to the tracks.

For reasons known only to the dispatcher, our train was lined into and out of the siding at KO Junction.

Crossing over Norfolk Southern, nee Conrail, nee Erie Lackawanna, nee Erie, on the Osgood viaduct near Greenville, Pa. A pair of railfans had set up shop next to the tracks.

Locomotive No. 907 takes a signal indication of red over flashing yellow at KY Junction near Kremis.

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