Late Afternoon on the NS Sandusky District

Sandusky District Chatfield-x

An eastbound NS manifest freight is stopped north of Chatfield waiting on a signal on the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern.

The same train shown in the image above captured earlier south of Attica.

The same train shown in the image above captured earlier south of Attica.

Crossing the Wheeling & Lake Erie in Chatfield.

Crossing the Wheeling & Lake Erie in Chatfield.

It doesn’t have mountain or any hills to speak of other than some mild rolling terrain. The tracks don’t pass any large bodies of water. In short, the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern between Bellevue and Bucyrus is a bit, well, nondescript.

Yet, it is one of my favorite places in Ohio to railfan. Maybe that is because it reminds me a lot of east central Illinois where I grew up.

I had just finished photographing a Wheeling & Lake Erie train in Monroeville. It was almost 3:30 and I had less than a couple hours of daylight left.

I headed for the Sandusky District, taking a route I’d never traveled before.

I was going to Bucyrus and keeping an eye out for trains. Just south of Attica I saw a headlight behind me on the NS tracks.

I raced down Township Road 44 and did an across the field shot.

The train slowed to a stop north of Chatfield, presumably for a meet. That enabled me to get it a second time.

I continued to Bucyrus, seeing a second train stopped north of town, but I couldn’t find a road to the tracks that would come out by the head end of the train.

After taking care of some business in town, I headed back north. Clouds were moving in, the first sign of a front that would bring winter weather to Ohio over the next couple of days.

I stopped to photograph the grain elevator in Chatfield that sits next to the Wheeling & Lake Erie (ex-Akron, Canton & Youngstown) tracks.

As I got out of my car I heard the rumbling of locomotives. It was that train I had caught earlier finally getting the signal to proceed.

I wanted to get a down-the-W&LE tracks image. The locomotives had already passed before I could get into position. So I took what I could get.

It was time to head back east and it was getting dark. The chase had been short, but productive.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

 

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