Picnic Ties Record with 21 CSX Trains

Marty places the first burger on the grill.

Marty places the first burger on the grill.

Don Woods gets the first two burger with J. Gary Dillon not far behind.

Don Woods gets the first two burger with J. Gary Dillon not far behind.

We stayed dry, but there was heavy rain for a while as a storm passed through Clinton.

We stayed dry under the pavilion, but there was heavy rain for a while as a storm passed through Clinton.

I would have never expected that we would tie the record for most trains seen during an Akron Railroad Club picnic at Warwick Park in Clinton.

But we did indeed do that last Sunday by logging 21 trains. Of course, our record covered a period of time of more than 16 hours and was helped by Rick Houck arriving at the park at 4 a.m. and Club President Craig Sanders and Bulletin Editor Marty Surdyk staying until 8:30 p.m.

Rick saw four trains before the next ARRC member arrived but also had to endure a lull of nearly four hours. No trains passed by Warwick Park between 6:30 a.m. and 10:16 a.m.

But once the drought ended, it was nearly non-stop trains with four westbounds and two eastbounds over the next two hours.

Chef Martè fired up the grill at 12:25 p.m. and was serving the first burger about a half-hour later.

By the time he killed the fire that evening Chef Martè had served 22 ARRC members and guests.

We had just started to eat when a storm swept through. It produced little in the way of thunder and lightning, but it did dump some heavy rain at times.

Sunday was a hot and sticky day so there were times when the wind accompanying the storm felt like air conditioning.

For some picnic attendees, the highlight of the day was catching the Pennsylvania Railroad heritage locomotive leading Norfolk Southern train 12V on the Fort Wayne Line in Massillon.

Four ARRC members caught NS 8102 passing the Pennsy position light signals at CP Mace from the Cherry Road NW bridge.

The mix of CSX traffic was typical of the New Castle Subdivision with nine manifest freights, four auto racks, four intermodal trains, three coal trains and a Herzog ballast train. The traffic direction was 11 westbounds and 10 eastbounds.

Just one of those 21 trains had any foreign power. The lone interloper was a Union Pacific unit on a late-day westbound auto rack train.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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