Take a Drive to See the Reading



I saw a report online Tuesday afternoon that the Reading Lines heritage unit was the DPU on Norfolk Southern train Z4R.

I drove out to Olmsted Falls to intercept it. It had been reported out of the Toledo area at 2 p.m. and I figured it might reach the Falls by sometime in the 4 p.m. hour.

Shortly after I arrived, the 11V went past and promptly stopped at CP 197 a short distance west of the depot. I would soon hear the Cleveland Terminal dispatcher tell a following train that the Toledo East dispatcher was single tracking and there was no railroad for westbounds out of Cleveland.

I could only pick up bits and pieces from hearing the Toledo East dispatcher, but I was able to discern that the 14N was having some type of trouble and that trains were not getting the signal at CP 207.

For the next nearly two hours nothing moved on NS past my location. Westbound trains were stacking up in Cleveland and eastbounds were backing up west of Elyria.

I called Roger Durfee to see what he knew, which was that the Z4R was by Amherst at 4:30 p.m. Roger was at Rootstown, hoping to catch the Reading unit there, but it didn’t look promising.

The NS Cleveland Line dispatcher was single tracking between Alliance and Ravenna.

Finally, an eastbound intermodal train came by and about 20 minutes or so later came the Z4R. By now the clouds had moved out and nice late day sunlight was bathing the tracks.

I had predicted the Z4R would get to my location at 6:10, but it actually was 6:05.

Why that time? The last NS heritage unit I photographed at Olmsted Falls, was the Norfolk & Western unit, which I saw at 5:10 p.m.

Shown below are a selection of westbound trains that I also captured once the logjam had broken.

I would learn after getting home that the Penn Central heritage unit passed through not long after I left. But it was trailing on the 64R and the light would not have been good for an eastbound train.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders


After waiting at Lewis Road, the 21G is finally on the move westward with its load of containers.


There is a hint of fall color toward the top of the tree at far left. Fall foliage scenes are coming.


Trains meet in the fading light at Olmstead Falls.

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