2014 Dave McKay Day
Approximately 15 Akron Railroad Club members and their guests turned out for the 10th annual Dave McKay Day outing at Berea, which was held on Saturday, April 5. During the time at lest one ARRC member was on hand, Norfolk Southern and CSX sent more than 60 trains past the Dave McKay memorial.
Club president Craig Sanders was the first to arrive at about 8:15 a.m. Other club members showed up through the morning and early afternoon hours.
Traffic was fairly steady, although CSX trains went into a major lull late in the afternoon. Fortunately, NS kept up a steady pace of traffic during that time.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was the spotting of the first NS heritage unit that we’ve seen pass through during a McKay Day. NS 1070, which pays tribute to the Wabash Railroad, was the second unit in a two-unit motive power consist that pulled the 15N through Berea.
ARRC members also were treated to several BNSF locomotives, a handful of Union Pacific locomotives and one Canadian National unit. Around mid afternoon, the Wheeling & Lake Erie train arrived, led by one of the railroad’s “Gray Ghosts.” But at least it wasn’t running long hood forward.
Traffic was the usual mix of manifest freights and intermodals with a few tanker trains thrown in. After sunset, NS also sent a stone train past our location. Of course there were a number of auto rack trains on both railroads.
At about 6:30 p.m., six club members walked over to the Berea Union Depot Taverne for dinner. We sat at a round table by a window and observed eight trains pass during the most enjoyable meal.
The weather for the McKay Day can be quite unpredictable. We’ve seen everything from snow to temperatures in the 80s. We’ve also shivered in the cold. The 2014 edition of McKay Day was a mix of weather. During the morning, skies were overcast and the wind had enough of a bite to it that those on hand spent the time between trains in their vehicles.
The clouds began breaking up in early afternoon and by mid afternoon the skies had turned mostly sunny. It was pleasant to be out, but when the wind gusted it still carried a slight chill.
As always, though, it was a time for fellowship, telling tales and watching trains. You can’t beat that.
Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders