Late Day Blessings on NS at Amherst

The nose of NS No. 2515 glistens in the late day light just after 8 p.m. in Amherst. It would be a pleasing end to a day that had not quite worked out as we had hoped that it would.

The nose of NS No. 2515 glistens in the late day light just after 8 p.m. in Amherst. It would be a pleasing end to a day that had not quite worked out as we had hoped that it would.

The day had not gotten off to the best of starts. As we left Marty’s house there was light rain and overcast conditions.

It was a Saturday afternoon in early August and Marty Surdyk, Tim Krogg and myself were headed for a picnic in Amherst at the former New York Central depot. It is now owned by Nordson Corporation and used as a community center.

But we also had reason to be optimistic. Somewhere to the east the Norfolk Southern executive train was coming our way. The Penn Central heritage unit was also leading a train westward as well. And behind that was another westbound that was reported to have the original Norfolk Southern heritage locomotive on the point.

It just might turn out to be one of those days where you walk away feeling like it was Christmas morning with so many gifts having been passed your way.

But it didn’t quite turn out that way and the lousy weather was the first clue that our results would not match our optimism. But more often than not railfanning is like that.

It did stop raining and we did see the NS executive train, although under cloudier skies than we would have liked. It was the first time that Marty had ever photographed the NS OCS with its classy-looking F units in their “tuxedo” livery.

But the Penn Central H unit never showed while we were there and the NS H unit was too far east into Pennsylvania to get to our location during daylight hours.

Around 7 p.m., after everyone had had their fill of burgers and dogs, Marty and I ventured up to the nearby Jackson Street overpass of the NS Chicago Line.

Nearly all of the clouds had moved out and late day sunlight illuminated the tracks. We might not have been lucky in getting those heritage units that we coveted, but NS did send a fairly steady stream of westbound traffic into that golden light.

After more than an hour of train watching, photography and conversation, it was time to go. It had turned out to be a good day and we had been blessed after all.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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