A Tie Back to the 2010 Longest Day in Bellevue

Life has a way of circling back to previous events in our lives at times when we’re not expecting it.

I found myself in one of those moments during a June 15 trip to Bellevue where the Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts held an annual outing that takes the place of the monthly meeting.

I had gone over to the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum grounds to see the group’s latest acquisition, Nickel Plate Road Berkshire-type No. 757, which is on display in the coach yard by Southwest Street.

It was not a great day for photography with overcast skies and periodic rain showers that became a more steady rain later.

The lighting was so iffy that Marty Surdyk proclaimed it one of those WWTF days. That’s “why waste the film” for those who were wondering.

I made a couple of images of the 2-8-4 and was ready to head back to the Kemper Railfan Park when a headlight on the Toledo District got my attention.

It was an inbound ethanol train that would take the Mad River Connection to continue its journey on either the Sandusky District or Fostoria District.

I noticed a large puddle next to the tracks and thought a reflection photograph might work. It did.

Seeing that image reminded me of another railroad club outing to Bellevue on June 27, 2010, when the Akron Railroad Club held its longest day outing there.

That day began with ample sunshine and an activity report written at the time noted that it was a sultry day with many members spending their time in the shade of some large trees at the foot of Cemetery Street to escape temperatures in the high 80s.

By contrast, the weather this year saw temperatures hovering in the high 60s with a southwest wind that at times made it seem colder.

Going back to 2010, by afternoon the first of a series of thunderstorms passed through, leaving a puddle in about the same location as the one I saw during this year’s RRE outing.

Back in 2010, there were two signals standing next to the track and I remember trying to make a reflection shot using those signals and a reflection in the puddle. The results were satisfactory.

We didn’t get a hard count of how many people attended that 2010 outing, but the report published on the blog said it was at least 20.

Those thunderstorms ultimately brought the outing to a close about 7 p.m. when those still there decided to head for dinner at a Bob Evans restaurant in Norwalk.

This year rain and cold combined with hunger prompted Marty Surdyk and I to call it a day around 6:15 p.m. and head for that same Bob Evans restaurant.

Back in 2010 when we walked out after dinner we were greeted by a rainbow to the east. This year as Marty and I left there wasn’t a rainbow, but there was a hint of the sun trying to peak through the clouds off to the northwest

This year the ARRC plans to return to Bellevue for its longest day, an outing that has been set for June 23.

Unless something dramatic happens to tie up the mini plant for long periods of time, those who make the trip should expect steady train action throughout the day.

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