NS Dominates Turkey Bowl 15-7

Vehicle traffic was light as I made my way from my apartment in Parma to the railfan parking lot near BE Tower in Berea on Thanksgiving morning.

The last few years I’ve stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast before arrival at Berea, but this year they were CLOSED.

I parked across CSX from the tower and settled in. The scanner was quiet for now. After about 10 minutes some transmissions could be heard on a Norfolk Southern radio channel. I couldn’t understand a word they were saying.

Then a headlight came around the corner at the west end of the interlocking. An eastbound was coming. Its leader was NS 4432. There were five other black units behind the leader, so I wasn’t expecting any mid-train units.

As the last cars of the mixed train passed I noticed that it had a locomotive on the rear. BNSF 7322 was bringing up the markers. This happened at 6:52 a.m.

It took a little over 30 minutes for the next train to pass, this being NS 66X behind Canadian Pacific 9816 and Kansas City Southern 4016. They were instructed to at stop at Rockport Yard and pick up a cab signal-equipped unit, which would be NS 7266.

By now Steve LaConte and Mark Demaline had arrived and were greeted by the passage of NS intermodal train 269 from Buffalo. Most of the cars had snow packed into their recesses, the remnants of the 6 plus feet of lake effect snow that hit western New York a few days prior. The 269 was led by NS 8054 and two other black units.

CSX finally got into the act of running trains at 8:08 a.m. with the passage of an eastbound mixed freight behind CSX 3418 and CSX 9039.

Forty minutes later at 8:48 a.m. NS intermodal train 27P rolled by behind NS 4283 and NS 4409.

CSX was next with back-to-back westbound mixed freights. The M363 went by on Track 2 behind CSX 3263 and CSX 95. As its last cars passed a headlight was seen on Track 1. This was CSX M635 behind CSX 4565 on the lead and CSX 3458 half way back.

NS frac sand train 61X was next at 9:04 a.m. behind NS 4516 and CSX 4553. In the middle was NS 1139 and CP 8804. It looked like this may have been two trains put together because of its excessive length.

Ten minutes later CSX had M634 to run. This mixed freight was led by CSX 531 and three additional units.

While the M634 was going by NS L15 slipped by going east. It was led by NS 4064 and NS 4284. L15 is an intermodal turn job that hauls cars to and from the Maple Heights intermodal facility. It originates in Sandusky.

Next up 12 minutes later was NS mixed freight 148. It had NS 4327 and NS 9486 up front.

The crowd was growing as the attendees who went to breakfast at Bob Evan’s began to arrive. Jerry Jordak and Terry Chicwak had their drones in the air. Yes, both were flying legally having received permission from the FAA to fly in Hopkins Airport air space, something that is done via a phone app.

The last train of the 9 o’clock hour was NS 32N at 9:50 a.m. This eastbound mixed freight was led by NS 9574 and NS 4337.

The 10 o’clock hour began with another NS eastbound, the 66E tanker train led by NS 7659 ahead of BNSF 3990 and BNSF 685. The latter is still in Santa Fe red and silver and is tracked on HeritageUnits.com. Steve LaConte reported its whereabouts to that site.

The crew of the 66E was very short on time. The dispatcher wanted them to make it to the West Park Industrial Track to tie down.

The crew didn’t think they’d make it and have time to tie the train down. They ended up stopping at CP Max and left the train there until later when a yard crew came out and moved it to the West Park.

The train sat there the rest of the day and most of the rest of the weekend, not making it to Conway until sometime Sunday.

CSX auto rack train M205 was next on the scene behind CSX 3447 and CSX 844. Our second two at a time occurred at 10:18 a.m. as CSX I158 and NS 265 passed at the same time. The CSX train had CSX 376 and CSX 3474. Sorry, I did not catch any engine numbers on the NS 265.

After the doubleheader, we had about 20 minutes to catch our breath before CSX got busy again with the passage of M364 behind CSX 3248 going solo.

The last five trains of the day, at least for me, were NS. First up was eastbound intermodal train 28P behind a very clean Union Pacific 8616 and UP 6380. It was recorded at 10:50 a.m.

Just five minutes after 28P went by NS ran intermodal train 265 west behind BNSF 6998 and BNSF 7003.

About 10 minutes passed before another NS eastbound tanker train was heard and then seen. Train 6E4 was led by NS 9570, Canadian National 3859 and CN 2652.

At 11:35a.m. NS ran westbound stack train 23G. It was led by NS 7601, NS 9667 and UP 7206.

My last train, NS eastbound double-stack 268, went by at 11:44 a.m. behind NS 7579 and UP 2627.

I had set a noon deadline to head home and get ready to head out for Thanksgiving dinner at my niece’s house. I actually left at 12:05 p.m. after six-and-a half hours and 22 trains with motive power from all seven Class I North American railroads. Not bad. And add to that sunny skies with unseasonably warm temperatures.

This was the best weather and train count day we’ve had in quite a few years. See you next year.

Article by Marty Surdyk

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: