‘Honey Creek’ on the NS Sandusky District

A chase of the Norfolk & Western heritage unit earlier this year on Norfolk Southern’s Sandusky District gave me the opportunity to explore some new photo locations.

Just geographically south of Attica, the Sandusky District dips into the valley of Honey Creek and through the farming community of Caroline.

In recent years, some new photo spots have come to light in this area. Since the Sandusky District is usually busiest in the afternoon and these spots are west of the tracks, they are something to look for.

As you leave Attica, there is a new reservoir where you will find an elevated view of passing trains in either direction. The signals that are adjacent to the reservoir are called by NS crews as “Honey Creek.”

The next spot is visible from the reservoir looking to the south. A small sign on Ohio Route 4 at the bridge over Honey Creek, says “Honey Creek Park.” The park is just a couple of picnic tables and a basket on a post that can be used for some type of game with a ball.

But the park extends back to the tracks. The shot here is from below track level, which is not something that everyone cares for, but you can with a short telephoto lens include the top of the Attica Elevator in your photo. You need a southbound on the westerly track, which is designated as No. 1.

Northbounds can be shot crossing the bridge over Honey Creek, but you don’t get much of the train, just the motive power.

A third spot is right across the creek from the park. This is the original Attica Reservoir. Here you can shoot across the water and, when the water is calm, get a nice reflection.

Parking for the reservoir is the first driveway to the left after crossing Honey Creek while heading south on Route 4.

Sometimes the locals will be out drowning worms in the water, but they can be worked into your photo if you ask them. During the spring, a couple of pairs of Canada honkers had nests near the tracks. They didn’t appreciate me getting too close to the little honkers, but they, too, could be used as photo props as well.

While railfanning around Honey Creek, remember the railroad is timetable east/west. Southbound trains are going east. The tracks are numbered Pennsylvania Railroad style with the “south” track being designated as No. 1.

NS trains often get held in this area while waiting to get across CSX (the former Baltimore & Ohio) at Attica Junction (Siam) or when the Bellevue yard has no room for them.

The latter was the case with the N&W heritage unit when we saw it earlier this summer.

They moved up one train length every two hours. We had time to run into Bellevue and refuel my Jeep during one of the waiting periods.

While this doesn’t always happen, it could and does on occasion. So be prepared to shoot some interesting photos in the area around Honey Creek.

Article by Marty Surdyk

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