Last Hour Trains

The last train of the day during the 2017 Akron Railroad Club’s longest day outing passes Wheeling Tower as it rumbles in off the Fostoria District.

We would not get shut out during the last hour of the ARRC longest day outing. This train from the Fostoria District made sure of it.

The Akron Railroad Club longest day outing to Bellevue was winding down. It was the last hour of the day and the crowd of about a dozen people had dwindled to just five of which four would have dinner at the Bob Evans restaurant in Norwalk once the train watching was done.

The last hour of a railfanning expedition has a distinctively different feel than the first hour.

When the day begins, you’re filled with optimism. Anything can happen. Who knows what we will see today?

By the last hour that optimism has given way to a hard-edged realism. Unless it has been one of those rare days where everything you touch has turned to gold, the realization has set in that those sighting you had thought possible at the start of the day are not going to materialize.

The best images of the day — whatever they might have been — have probably been made and now the best you can hope for is one last surprise or at least one last good photo before calling it quits.

We ended the day having not seen any NS heritage units. There had been a Wheeling & Lake Erie sighting and I was pleased with what I was able to get during an afternoon foray south of town on the NS Sandusky District.

We had decided to stick it out until 7 p.m. and then move on to Norwalk and dinner. Truth be told I would have been OK with going to dinner an hour earlier had that been the majority view.

Everything seemed quiet in Bellevue and there was no guarantee we would be seeing any trains.

But within that last hour a couple of manifest freights came in from the Fostoria District, so the longest day outing had a good outcome and we were able to make a last round of photographs.

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