Posts Tagged ‘attica junction’

Sunday Afternoon Foray to the Sandusky District

July 4, 2017

Norfolk Southern train No. 175 seems to be skimming the tops of the corn plants south of Flat Rock on the Sandusky District.

It was mid-afternoon of the Akron Railroad Club’s longest day outing in Bellevue.

Todd Vander Sluis asked Marty Surdyk if there was somewhere else we could go for a change of scenery. I was game to come along.

We had spent all morning and a couple of hours of the afternoon photographing a steady parade of trains through the mini plant.

It’s good to see rail traffic, but the mini plant is not the most photogenic location. After a while, all of your photographs look alike.

Marty said that once train 175 was ready to go east then we would head out on the Sandusky District to chase it and, perhaps, catch another train or two or three.

By then the sun would have shifted to the west of the tracks.

No. 175 originates in Bellevue and terminates in Brosnan Yard in Macon, Georgia.

It left town around 2:30 p.m. although we easily got out ahead of it in Marty’s Jeep Patriot.

The first photo stop was in a small rural cemetery south of Flat Rock where the corn wasn’t too high to prevent an across-the field image.

Marty is an old hand when it comes to railfanning the Sandusky District and he claims to know it like the back of his hand.

As we headed south on Ohio Route 4, we could see the 175 in the distance. It was slowing because there was a train ahead of it at West Attica waiting for a signal to cross CSX at Attica Junction.

CSX was doing track work and had a single-track railroad on both side of Attica Junction. Trains of both railroads faced long waits, with some NS trains waiting more than an hour to get across.

We set up west of the Ohio Route 163 crossing to catch the 175 again, working barns into the shots to give them added interest and a rural feel.

In the meantime, westbound NS train 195, a Linwood, North Carolina (Spencer) to Bellevue train finally had gotten the signal at Attica Junction after a long wait.

We stayed along Route 162 to get the 195 coming north, using an old barn and the fields as photo props. It was one of one of those afternoons of sun and clouds and I sought to emphasize clouds in some of my images.

But those clouds were dense and when a train came past I often got cloud skunked.

After the passage of the train 195, we continued our trek southward with the objective of getting the 175 at the old Attica reservoir at Caroline.

But CSX decided to run some more eastbound traffic, including the “salad shooter,” which we saw from a distance.

As we approached Attica, we saw NS train 29G, a Norfolk to Detroit stack train pass us headed west.

The radio traffic on the NS road channel indicated that the 29G would have to wait at Attica Junction for, it turned out, an eastbound CSX auto rack train. Then it would be allowed to cross.

But the 175, which was waiting at West Attica, would stay put. We surmised that the short length of the 29G enticed the CSX dispatcher to clear the signal for it.

We saw most of the CSX auto rack train while stopped at the crossing in Siam, the hometown of Attica Junction.

Marty wanted to catch the 29G near County Road 24 (Seneca County), but missed the turn. We ended up instead getting it at Township Road 126.

There is a home next to the tracks there and a guy was out on a riding mower cutting the grass. That added a touch of human interest.

After the passage of the 29G, we headed back toward Caroline with a few diversions along the way.

We saw from a distance a westbound CSX manifest freight finally get the signal at Attica Junction to cross the NS tracks. We had seen that train sitting at the signal twice while passing through Siam.

After an hour and 25-minute wait, the 175 finally got the signal at West Attica and Attica Junction.

In the meantime, Paul Woodring had called Marty to report that a potash train had left Bellevue headed for the Sandusky District.

Train 60U, I think it was, caught a break. It was allowed to cross CSX at Attica Junction following the 175.

We photographed both trains at the reservoir in Caroline. My image of the 60U skirting the reservoir would be my favorite image of the day.

After the passage of the 60U it was 5:30 p.m. and time to make our way back to Bellevue to rejoin what remained of the nearly dozen ARRC members who had ventured west for the longest day outing.

Train 175 as seen between a pair of barns along Ohio Route 162 near Omar.

This wold not be out last view of the 175.

I made good use of that old barn, this time to frame westbound train 195.

In the foreground is NS train 195. In the distance on the other side of those trees is the rear of the 175, which is waiting at West Attica.

I wonder why those trees are there as the motive power of NS train 195 passes by.

Working the sky and clouds with NS train 195.

Getting a bead on the 29G.

Saying farewell to the 29G.

A CSX westbound manifest freight has the signal at Attica Junction. NS trains, meanwhile, continued to cool their heels.

This turned out to be my favorite image of the day. The 60U skirts the old reservoir at Caroline.

One Saturday Afternoon at Attica Junction

June 18, 2016
At the time I made this photograph I thought it would be a one and done deal. It wasn't, but that is how unpredictable railfanning can be.

At the time I made this photograph I thought it would be a one and done deal. It wasn’t, but that is how unpredictable railfanning can be.

I was driving south on Ohio Route 4 while chasing a Norfolk Southern train on the Sandusky District when I spotted a waiting eastbound CSX manifest freight at Attica Junction.

The NS train was well behind me and didn’t have the signal yet at Attica Junction, so I stopped, snapped a few photos of the CSX train and moved on.

At least I’d be able to say that I photographed one CSX train today.

I got my photos of the NS train I was chasing and then puttered around some more along the Sandusky District before heading back to Bellevue.

As I came into Attica Junction — which on a highway map is the village of Siam — I saw another CSX train sitting at the eastbound home signal.

As I crossed the tracks I saw another CSX train waiting at the westbound home signal. It had some color on its nose so I circled back to get a look.

I determined through my telephoto lens that the westbound had a BNSF unit on the lead. My thinking was to photograph the westbound as it crossed the NS tracks.

In reviewing my photos taken here earlier in the day, I determined that the eastbound was the same train I had photographed an hour and a half earlier.

NS trains crossed the CSX tracks in each direction and I expected both CSX trains to get a clear signal momentarily. It didn’t happen.

After awhile I gave up on this CSX photo opportunity and started to resume my trip to Bellevue. But shortly after leaving Siam on an impulse I turned west.

The eastbound CSX train had the first grade crossing west of Attica Junction blocked so that seemed like a good place to wait it out until the westbound with the BNSF unit came along.

Not long after I arrived, the dispatcher told the eastbound — whose symbol I didn’t record — that it would go behind another train into the yard at Willard.

Could it be that both trains were waiting not for NS traffic but for a third CSX train?

I was hearing a train calling signals over the radio in the distance and then a nearby defect detector went off.

Sure enough, an eastbound stack train came along on Track No. 1, passed the eastbound manifest sitting on Track No. 2 and then crossed over in front of it and the westbound coal train with the BNSF power.

The intermodal train had a new ET44AH locomotive on the point.

Shortly after the stack train passed, the manifest freight and the coal train each began moving. The BNSF unit I had seen from a distance turned out to be an SD70ACe built in August 2014.

For two of the trains I had just seen, the motive power was still fairly new.

I wasn’t quite done with Attica Junction just yet. An eastbound NS train was waiting at West Attica for a signal and I decided it get it splitting those signals.

Two more CSX trains passed by before the NS train could go. And with that I finally was ready to leave for Bellevue. Or so I thought.

The gates for the NS tracks started going up, but then came back down again. A westbound NS train was in the circuit, so I photographed it out the window from the driver’s seat.

When it cleared, I really did leave and drive to Bellevue. It was seven trains later than I expected, but what a story that turned out to be.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

More than an hour later this eastbound has turned a wheel.

More than an hour later this eastbound CSX manifest freight had yet to turn a wheel.

NS crosses at Attica Junction while CSX waits. Later it would be the other way around.

NS crosses at Attica Junction while CSX waits. Shortly after making this image, another NS train came past in the opposition direction, passing each other on the diamonds.

The lead unit of this eastbound stack train is compliant with the Tier 4 emission standards of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The lead unit of this eastbound stack train is compliant with the Tier 4 emission standards of the Environmental Protection Agency.

A pair of BNSF units lead a loaded coal train westward. My guess is this coal came from southwestern Pennsylvania, perhaps from a mine along the former Monongahela.

A pair of BNSF units lead a loaded coal train westward. My guess is this coal came from southwestern Pennsylvania, perhaps from a mine along the former Monongahela.

I waited for NS to clear for CSX. Now I'm waiting for CSX to clear for NS. Such is life at Attica Junction.

I waited for NS to clear for CSX. Now I’m waiting for CSX to clear for NS. Such is life at Attica Junction.

The clouds gathered and they threatened, but they never developed into thunderstorms. A westbound passes the eastbound home signals at West Attica.

The clouds gathered and they threatened, but they never developed into thunderstorms. A westbound passes the eastbound home signals at West Attica.

 

Smart Phone App Helped in 765 Chases

July 23, 2012

The southbound (railroad east) NS employee appreciation trip behind Nickel Plate Road No. 765 is about to duck beneath the U.S. 30 overpass north of Bucyrus on Saturday, July 21, 2012.

In chasing the Norfolk Southern employee appreciation trips, we had a new tool in the railfan arsenal: a smart phone with the 765 app.

This is very useful—at least when it’s working. It gives accurate GPS maps as to where the train is and even its speed.

Unfortunately, the GPS wasn’t keeping up the entire day so had to use old school methods of tracking the train.

We chased all three trips. The middle trip was in high noon sun so those pictures weren’t very good. However, the morning and afternoon trips were stellar.

Every self-respecting foamer within 500 miles was chasing these trips or so it seemed. We talked to one guy who lives in Oklahoma and was going to New York to visit family and another from St. Louis.

Bellevue,  Attica Junction and Bucyrus were all foamer fests but good photos could still be had if you worked it.

Of course, I got the obligatory grain elevator shot for Marty and had some fun including other foamers in my photos.

BNSFBEN from Michigan read one license plate. It was a pretty fun day of chasing and a lot of Akron Railroad Club members were out as well.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

This one is for you Marty Surdyk. The 765 and the grain elevator on the north side of Bucyrus.

The 765 Smart Phone app was handy tool–when it worked.

Railfans from near and far lined the NS Sandusky District to photograph the NKP 765. It was a rare crossing that didn’t have at least one fan with a camera to record the train as it rolled past.

A southbound trip finds the 765 putting out a plume of smoke as it passes Honey Creek Park on the far south edge of Attica.

Passing over Honey Creek and headed for Bucyrus.

The last trip of the day approaches the reservoir at Attica.