ARRC Vermilion Day Outing is Saturday

The early hours of the Akron Railroad Club outing to Vermilion this week will find us getting images such as this one from the 2017 outing. An eastbound Norfolk Southern train crosses the Vermilion River by the boat launch.

The Akron Railroad Club will return to Vermilion on Saturday, Aug. 25 for a day of railfanning Norfolk Southern.

Vermilion features two NS lines, the busiest of which is the Chicago Line, an ex-New York Central route. Also passing through is the former Nickel Plate Road line that is now the Cleveland District.

The Cleveland District through Vermilion traditionally has host far less railroad traffic than the Chicago Line, but traffic has risen with the completion of a new connection from the eastbound Chicago Line to the Cleveland District a couple of miles west of Vermilion.

Intermodal trains 205, 206, 22K and 23K are expected to be regular users of the connection.

The Chicago Line hosts 40 to 50 trains daily with a traffic mix of intermodal, mixed freights, tanker trains, coal trains and Amtrak.

We will begin our day at the boat launch located on West River Road between the two railroad bridges over the Vermilion River.

Being summer there should be ample boat traffic on the river to watch between trains.

An eastbound on the bridge is the prized shot for this location. Shooting a westbound these days is tough. You will need a wide-angle lens.

But don’t let that deter you from enjoying some time at the boat launch. It is an enjoyable experience.

After lunch, when the light shifts to a more westerly direction, we will move to the railfan pavilion downtown.

This spot sets up well for westbounds with the city’s water tank as a backdrop.

Eastbounds can be shot with the Vermilion station that sits just to the east of the pavilion. This is also a wide-angle shot due to some pine trees along the tracks.

Still, it is a nice place to hang out and watch trains. The crossings in town are quiet zones, so there is no horn blowing.

Train crews know that the crossing protection is working if the “X” at the top of the poles at each crossing is flashing.

Once evening arrives, those of us still there will head to Quaker Steak and Lube for dinner.

As with most ARRC activities, the event begins when the first person arrives and ends when the last one leaves. Spens a few hours or the entire day, just plan to spend Saturday in Vermilion.

To get to the boat launch go into Vermilion on Ohio Route 60. As you enter town and after crossing the single-tracked former NKP tracks, Route 60 will make a right turn at a flashing light.

About a block to the east, Route 60 will turn left but continue straight ahead on South Street to the stop sign at West River Road.

The entrance to the boat launch is a little left of straight across from that intersection. Park at the far end of the lot near the picnic table. You will have both railroad bridges over the Vermilion River in sight.

The Railfan pavilion, known as Vermilion Mainline Rail, is on Route 60 where it crosses the NS Chicago Line at the north end of Victory Park.

From the boat launch, go back west on South Street to Route 60 north at Main Street and make a right. The pavilion is on the right just before crossing the tracks.

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