One in a periodic series of images that I made last summer
There are some days when you just want to camp out in one location along a busy railroad line and let the trains come to you.
I had one of those days last July. My plan was to spend the morning at Olmsted Falls and move onto Berea in early afternoon.
It would not quite work out that way and I wound up staying in the Falls all day.
Berea has more traffic, but I’ve always felt Olmsted Falls was a better place to railfan because you can hang out on either side of the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.
Berea has two railroads whereas Olmsted Falls has one, but NS alone provide enough traffic throughout the day to keep things interesting.
I also wanted to spend a day in one place to get a sense of the NS traffic flow these days.
With traffic generally down this year, railroads have been seeking to cut costs by operating longer and fewer trains.
That trend seems more pronounced on CSX but NS has not been immune from it.
Coal and crude oil traffic in particular has fallen off on both railroads and there have been some days this year when I spent hours railfanning and didn’t see a coal and/or oil train.
On this particular day, though, I would see pretty much all of the traffic that NS operates.
I tried to keep a log of all of the trains I saw, but gave that up after logging 21 trains.
I’ll have more to say about that in the second part of this report.
The weather was sunny skies and warm temperatures. It was in many ways an ideal day to be trackside.
I didn’t see much in way of motive power that was out of the ordinary. No NS heritage units came past, whether leading or trailing.
Foreign power was, in general, scarce. What little foreign power there was was trailing.
The busiest time on NS was during the morning hours. It was quite busy shortly after I arrived around 8:30 a.m.
As a bonus, aircraft landing at nearby Cleveland Hopkins International Airport were landing to the northeast, meaning they made their final approach over Olmsted Falls.
I spent a fair amount of time between trains photographing landing jetliners.
Accompanying this report are some of my best images made between my arrival and early afternoon.