Norfolk Southern train 52V passes the grain silos in Attica with the Central of New Jersey heritage unit in tow.
There are few things more pleasing when railfanning than lucking into a find you weren’t expecting, particularly when it involves a Norfolk Southern heritage unit.
It hasn’t happened to me often, but it occurred late on a Saturday morning in Bellevue.
I had seen at a distance a pair of trains that appeared to be waiting north of the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum, so I went up there to have a look.
One of the trains was a grain train — the 52V it turned out — and there was some color behind the lead locomotive.
Upon closer inspection I realized I had just stumbled onto the Central Railroad of New Jersey heritage locomotive.
I walked along a city street to get a closer view when the train started moving. That was all right because I had made all the photographs I wanted to make of it in Bellevue.
Fellow Akron Railroad Club member Todd Dillon was railfanning in Bellevue with a friend and he waved at me as they drove off.
Was the 52V going out on the Sandusky District or the Fostoria District?
I had to wait for the 52V to clear before I could cross the tracks, get in my car and give chase. While crossing the Ohio Route 269 bridge over the NS tracks I could see the train taking the Sandusky District.
I gave chase and my first effort to get it ended in failure at Flat Rock. There was not enough time to get out to make a photograph at the crossing where I was.
I was able to catch up and get ahead of it, turning down a rural road and getting it at a crossing. I’m not sure of the name of the road, but it is just south of milepost 88.
I resumed the chase and caught a break because the train had to wait for a signal at West Attica. That enabled me plenty of time to go into Attica and scout photo locations.
I finally settled on an across-the-field shot from the grass parking lot at the fairgrounds.
The dispatcher told the crew of the 52V that it would meet one at Chatfield. That turned out to be a rolling meet.
Satisfied with what I had, I broke off the chase and went on to other pursuits.
Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders
What’s that color behind the lead unit of NS train 52V? Why, it’s a heritage unit.
Here comes the 52V at milepost 88 on the Sandusky District.
A crew member is either striking a pose or trying to see if he can get me to fall for the old “look over there” trick.