2010 Longest Day in Bellevue


Auto rack train 288 passes the photo line at Cemetery Street. Shown are Jim Mastromatteo (left) and Alan Savage (red shirt).

Auto rack train 288 passes the photo line at Cemetery Street. Shown are Jim Mastromatteo (left) and Alan Savage (red shirt).


Cemetery Street was the most popular place for ARRC members to watch trains because of its shade trees. Watching are (from far left) Bob Redmond, Rick Houck, Jim Mastromatteo (standing) and Paul Wooding (by car). They are observing NS train No. 272.

The photo line has reformed as NS No. 304 chugs out of the yard behind a former Conrail unit, now NS 8353. Shown ready to caption the train are (left to right) Robert Surdyk, Tim Krogg and Marty Surdyk.

At least 20 Akron Railroad Club members spent part of Sunday, June 27, 2010, watching and photographing more than 30 Norfolk Southern and Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway trains during the club’s annual longest day outing.

The action proved to be steady all day despite the Toledo District being tied up for much of the afternoon after the 29G went into emergency at Clyde. Traffic did get moving on the mostly single-track Toledo line in late afternoon and when it did, it was steady.

Also complicating things was a series of late afternoon thunderstorms that raked the area with heavy rain, although the worst of the storms appeared to have passed to the north and south of Bellevue.

Peter Bowler was the earliest arrival, getting there at 5:30 a.m. in hopes of taking some sunrise photographs from the Route 4 bridge over the yard. Most other club members began arriving after 7:30 a.m.

Although club members gathered in three locations, the most popular proved to be at the end of the Cemetery Street due to its abundance of large shade trees. Those came in handy on a sultry day that saw the mercury rise into the high 80s.

The photographers, though, spent little time in any one location. They were in constant motion in search of trains and prime photo locations. There were plenty of both.

Perhaps the prize catch of the day was the Wheeling & Lake Erie train to Toledo, which sported a pair of the railroad’s former Denver & Rio Grande Western tunnel motor SD40s, Nos. 5391 and 5413, still wearing their D&RGW livery.

Unlike some W&LE trains, which operate with locomotives on each end of the train, the tunnel motors were placed back-to-back on the head end.

This meant the train had to do a “spin” move, using the New Haven Connection and the connection between the Fostoria and Sandusky districts along Slaughterhouse Road.  The Wheeling train had 75 cars, making it one of the longest W&LE manifests that you can expect to see.

Another W&LE train, the inbound manifest freight from Hartland to Belleveue Yard, boasted three locomotives on the head end, two SD40s and a high hood GP35.

Most NS trains had NS power, but foreign units from Union Pacific, BNSF and Canadian National made enough appearances to keep things interesting. The CN units appeared on train 184, which routinely arrives in Bellevue with CN power.

Normally reaching Bellevue by late morning, the 184 did not arrive until late afternoon due to the tieup at Clyde. Heavy to moderate rain was falling as the 184 eased into town.

After another thunderstorm struck about 7 p.m., those ARRC members still on hand decided to call it quits and head for the Bob Evans restaurant in Norwalk for dinner. As the group of six finished dinner, the sun finally emerged as the back edge of the storm began moving through. From the restaurant’s parking lot, the group enjoyed the sight of a full rainbow. Somehow that proved to be a fitting end to a most enjoyable day.

The list of trains recorded by Richard Thompson between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the longest day outing:

217 – NS 9720 & NS 9424

170 – NS 9348 & NS 5445 (CR)

288 – UP 5334

17K – BNSF 5286 & BNSF 5087

262 – NS 9762 & NS 9252 (Operation Lifesaver Unit)

218 – NS 9422 & NS 2684

178 – BNSF 4997 & NS 7130

29G – NS 9881 & NS 9120

10E – NS 7639 & UP 2435

KL90 – WE 6351, WE 106 & WE 4000

303 – NS 3336 (CR) & NS 3326

272 – NS 2626 & NS 9445

304 – NS 8353 (CR), NS 2544 & NS 5047

185 – NS 9098 & NS 8985

LV08 – NS 9326 & NS 8945

KL93 – WE 5391 & WE 5413

18M – NS 9195, NS 2632, NS 8309 & NS 5130

306 – NS 9923

265 – NS 9737 & NS 8399 (CR)

M3Q – UP 4660 & UP 5334

UNK – NS 9326 (light unit)

184 – CN 8819 & CN 5549

418 (?) – BNSF 9889 & BNSF 9990

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