I took my camera with during a late November outing in Berea, even though I wasn’t expecting to photograph all that much.
There were no Norfolk Southern heritage units that were likely to come through when I was there and nothing out of the ordinary came past on CSX. Yet it was a mostly sunny day so I kept my camera nearby just in case I saw something interesting.
It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving and the railroads didn’t seem to be quite back to their normal operations. All of the trains that I saw on CSX were intermodal trains.
But with CSX the way it is these days who can say what is normal. Nonetheless, on a typical day in Berea, CSX can be expected to send through at least a handful of manifest freights.
But none operated on this Sunday afternoon when I was around.
Although NS had a more diverse traffic mix, most of its offerings also were intermodal trains. The most unusual sight that I saw on NS was a tanker train with its lead unit running long hood forward.
The train had arrived at CP Max near Rockport Yard with three units, but the lead unit was cut off because the power desk needed to assign it to a train that needed cab signal leader.
I don’t know if there was any discussion about running a westbound train with a lead unit whose cab faced east. I just know what I saw when the train came through Berea.
With the sun low in the sky, I decided to stick it out until sunset. I was hoping to get a westbound on CSX with low light on the nose of the lead unit.
As the day got late, things starting falling into place to get the image I wanted.
The sunlight reflection on a signal box indicated that the lighting was just what I wanted. To the east I could see the headlight of an approaching intermodal train.
But clouds were gathering to the west and by the time the CSX train arrived, the sunlight was heavily filtered and I was unable to get the image as I had wanted it. I would been able to get it had the train had arrived a couple minutes earlier. Maybe next time.
Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders