Posts Tagged ‘Railfanning in Vermilion Ohio’

Over and Under

October 16, 2017

We were hanging out at the boat launch in Vermilion watching trains on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern cross the Vermilion River.

Someone heard on their scanner an eastbound call a signal on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline, now the NS Cleveland District.

Ron McElrath and I started walking up toward the grade crossing near the boat launch while everyone else decided to photograph the train crossing the river.

I’d done that before, but I’d never photographed from the grade crossing. I didn’t get there in time to get into the position I wanted.

As the eastbound was blowing for the crossing, I heard another horn. The timing of the sounds reminded me of my childhood days in Illinois when the New York Central had locomotives whose horns alternated high and low pitches.

It turned out there was a westbound stack train on the Chicago Line blowing for another crossing.

I wished that I had more focal length on my zoom lens and that that highway bridge wasn’t in the foreground. But you work with what you have and I ended up with a over-under sequence.

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Boats and NS Trains in Vermilion

September 8, 2017

If you like to watch boats, Vermilion is a good place to go. If you like to watch trains, Vermilion is a good place to be.

But it is not an either-or choice if you plan a visit to the city on the shore of Lake Erie that is also noted as being the home of a famous French restaurant.

If you hang out at the South Street boat launch on the Vermilion River you can see trains and boats at the same time.

The Akron Railroad Club recently had its annual day in Vermilion and we spent all morning and part of the afternoon at the boat launch.

Here is a look at some of the action involving boats and trains.

10 ARRC Members Make Trek to Vermilion, Amherst

August 28, 2017

Don Woods places the first burgers on the grill at the Amherst depot Saturday afternoon as Marty Surdyk watches. (Photograph by Todd Dillon)

Ten Akron Railroad Club members participated in the outing on Saturday to Vermilion and Amherst.

The day began in Vermilion at the South Street boat launch where various birds, boats and even some Norfolk Southern trains occupied our attention.

We had plenty of opportunities to photograph NS trains crossing the Vermilion River on the Chicago Line.

Although the day was sunny throughout, the wind off Lake Erie had a chill to it that was particularly noticeable when you were in the shade.

During our time at the boat launch, NS sent one eastbound through town on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline, a manifest freight on what is now called the Cleveland District.

Around mid afternoon, our host Todd Vander Sluis took a couple ARRC members in his Dodge Ram pickup truck to inspect the new connection being built from the Chicago Line to the Cleveland  District west of Vermilion near the Vermilion Country Club.

The connection will enable eastbound trains on the Chicago Line to eastward on the Cleveland District.

Progress on the project has been slow and the site looked much as it did a year ago.

The path of the connection has been graded and some panel track has been placed along it, but otherwise work seems to have stalled.

The ARRC NS heritage units curse continued. Our hopes had been raised by an online report that the Leigh Valley H unit was leading train 18A eastbound and its progression would have put it through Vermilion in early to mid afternoon.

But it turned out the 18A was headed for Bellevue. Another H unit, the Central of New Jersey, was also reported heading east on the Chicago Line in Indiana, but it was bound for Detroit.

Wouldn’t you know it that if we had been in Vermilion the next day we would have seen the Wabash H unit leading the 21G in mid to late afternoon.

Just one train had foreign power leading. An eastbound grain train was led by a pair of BNSF units.

We did spot two Kansas City Southern “Belles” trailing in the motive power consist of an eastbound manifest freight.

As the afternoon wore on, ARRC members began migrating to the restored former New York Central freight station in Amherst where Chef Martè was manning the grill for the annual summer picnic of the Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts.

The RRE had invited the ARRC to attend its picnic and partake of some burgers and hot dogs.

Alas, NS pretty much died during the picnic. By the time things picked up again, it was nearly 9 p.m. and just about everyone had gone home, was about to head home, or was on his way home.

NS Put on Its Usual Show in Vermilion

September 2, 2016
The classic eastbound crossing the Vermilion River on the Chicago Line image.

The classic eastbound crossing the Vermilion River on the Chicago Line image.

Before anyone had left home we missed the Conrail and Monongahela heritage locomotives of Norfolk Southern and the GoRail commemorative unit.

All three had passed through Vermilion before dawn.

But there was plenty of other NS traffic to watch during the Akron Railroad Club’s fourth annual day in Vermilion hosted by ARRC member and Vermilion resident Todd Vander Sluis.

Six ARRC members and guests made the trek to the Vermilion on Aug. 27.

ARRC President Craig Sanders was the first to arrive at 10:30 a.m. and was joined by the day’s host not long after that.

The group soon included Rick Houck and Todd Dillon. We set up folding chairs on the grassy strip near the boat launch along the Vermilion River.

It was a warm, sunny day and there was a steady parade of boats in both directions during the time we hung out by the river.

The NS Chicago Line was its usual self with an array of intermodal and manifest traffic with a few unit commodity trains added to the mix.

We saw just two trains slip through town on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline, both of them eastbounds.

At about 2 p.m. someone noticed on his smart phone that a heavy band of rain and thunderstorms was about to slam Toledo.

It looked like it was headed our way and Todd wanted to go to the barn where he and his sister keep their horses and bring them in.

The four of us piled into Todd’s Dodge Ram truck and off we went.

That gave us a chance to meet Todd’s horse Fancy (registered name: I’m a Fancy Chip) whose stall includes a nameplate on the door.

After Todd took care of business at the barn, we headed west of town to check the status of the connection NS is building between the Chicago Line and the Cleveland District.

When finished, it will enable eastbound trains to diverge from the Chicago Line west of Vermilion and go either east or west on the Cleveland District.

Reportedly, such intermodal trains as 22K and 206 will use this connection rather than the Cloggsville connection in Cleveland to access the former NKP mainline.

The right of way for the connection appears to be finished and track panels were stacked up nearby. But no ballast has yet been laid and it had yet to be brought in.

We had ideas of catching a train on the Chicago Line and started scouting for photo locations.

As we did Marty Surdyk sent Todd a text asking “where are you guys hiding?”

Todd’s truck can link to his cell phone and read out loud a text to him.

Marty’s text triggered a round of joking and laughter about us being underwater in nearby Lake Erie.

I sent Marty a reply text reading, “glub, glub,” which he didn’t get because he wasn’t in (yet) on the inside joke.

With nothing apparently moving on the Chicago Line we headed back into town. Of course that was when something finally moved on the Chicago Line.

We joined Marty at the railfan platform at Victory Park in downtown Vermilion.

That storm that passed through Toledo was approaching Vermilion and Todd and I went to Sherod Park west of town to see in coming in off the lake.

But other than gale force winds and dark clouds, the storm skirted Vermilion.

Back we went to the railfan platform where we hung out until about 6:30 p.m.

There was another storm coming from the southwest that had passed over Dayton and that one did hit Vermilion.

We decided that would be a good time to head over to Quaker Steak and Lube for dinner.

It was dark when we finished, but Marty, Todd and myself spent some more time at the railfan platform where we saw five trains pass by in about an hour’s time.

We had heard a 20E calling signals west of town. Or so we thought. But 20E wasn’t showing up.

It turned out the 20E was stopped near CP 222 where the connection from the Cleveland District joins the Chicago Line.

We were amazed to learn that NS had held the 20E, which carries trailers for UPS and thus is a higher priority train, for the L13, the daily Bellevue to Rockport Yard turn.

The L13 was a very long train for a local and we speculated it had been combined with another manifest freight that goes to Bellevue.

The L13 had been sent west on Track 2, the same track the 20E was using.

Other westbound traffic was running on Track 1 and the 20E was the train that got stabbed.

About 10 p.m. things got quiet on NS and it was time to head for home.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The only set of all foreign power that we saw was pulling train 23K.

The only set of all foreign power that we saw was pulling train 23K.

The first of two trains that passed through Vermilion on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline. If there were others we missed them.

The first of two trains that passed through Vermilion on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline. If there were others we missed them.

We saw plenty of boats during our day in Vermilion.

We saw plenty of boats during our day in Vermilion.

An NS tanker train probably had barely gained the attention of the boater on the Vermilion River returning to the dock.

An NS tanker train probably had barely gained the attention of the boater on the Vermilion River returning to the dock.

An eastbound auto rack train crosses the Vermilion River on the Cleveland District.

An eastbound auto rack train crosses the Vermilion River on the Cleveland District.

The L13 noses by the railfan platform in Vermilion.

The L13 noses by the railfan platform in Vermilion.

We never did learn the symbol of this one unit wonder that was pulling stacks and racks past the railfan platform in Victory Park.

We never did learn the symbol of this one unit wonder that was pulling stacks and racks past the railfan platform in Victory Park.

Work is well along on the new connection west of Vermilion from the Chicago Line to the Cleveland District.

Work is well along on the new connection west of Vermilion from the Chicago Line to the Cleveland District.

The storm over Lake Erie ended up passing by Vermilion.

The storm over Lake Erie ended up passing by Vermilion.

Fancy does some fancy stepping as she heads for the barn.

Fancy does some fancy stepping as she heads for the barn.

4th Vermilion Outing Set for Aug. 27

August 23, 2016

The Akron Railroad Club’s fourth annual outing to Vermilion to watch Norfolk Southern trains on the Chicago Line has been set for Saturday, Aug. 27.

The host for the day is ARRC member and Vermilion resident Todd Vander Sluis. As at past gatherings, we’ll initially assemble by the public boat launch on the Vermilion River just south of the Chicago Line.

ARRC logo 2The boat launch is located just off West River Road. There is ample parking in the lot above the launch site, although there are usually spaces available along the river to the east of the boat launch ramp.

We might get lucky and get a train or two on the NS Cleveland District, which is the former Nickel Plate Road mainline located south of the boat launch.

Sometime during the afternoon, we’ll move over to the Vermilion Mainline Rail viewing platform in downtown Vermilion in Victory Park between Main and Exchange streets.

As the shadows get long in early evening we’ll then go have dinner at Quaker Steak and Lube on Liberty Avenue (U.S. Route 6) just east of the river.

We can expect to see a wide range of traffic on the Chicago Line, including intermodal trains, manifest freights and unit trains.

With any luck at all, we might even catch an NS heritage locomotive during the day. During the 2013 outing, we spotted the Central of New Jersey heritage unit, but had to go to Avon Lake to photograph it during daylight.

After having dinner that night, we saw Miss Liberty going west on the Chicago Line in darkness.

In 2014, the NS GoRail unit came through in late morning.

In the event of inclement weather, the Vermilion outing will be rescheduled to a later date as occurred last year when it wound up being held in October.

There Was Lots of Dihydrogen Monoxide on Hand at the ARRC Outing in Vermilion Last Saturday

October 13, 2015
We needed some angry beavers to clear those trees blocking our view of the east end of the bridge carrying the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern over the Vermilion River last Saturday.

We needed some angry beavers to clear those trees blocking our view of the east end of the bridge carrying the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern over the Vermilion River.

Four Akron Railroad Club members found nice weather and plenty of rocks, angry beavers, cranes and dihydrogen monoxide to occupy their time during the rescheduled outing in Vermilion last Saturday.

Oh, and we also spotted 24 Norfolk Southern trains on the carrier’s busy Chicago Line to watch and photograph.

Say what? What is all this about rocks, angry beavers, cranes and dihydrogen monoxide? You had to be there, but we’ll try and explain it.

Rick Houck was the first on the scene, setting down his chair at the edge of the Vermilion River in the marina at about 9:30 a.m.

President Craig Sanders joined him at about 11:30, just missing by 10 minutes an eastbound on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline.

That keeps alive his streak of “just missing” something significant during the Vermilion outing.

He blamed the delay on a long line of vehicles stacked up at the exit from the Ohio Turnpike onto Baumhart Road.

If you don’t have an EZ pass you need to go through the single-lane with a machine that takes your ticket and money.

There was an turnpike attendant on duty, but instead of taking tolls she was giving instructions about how to use the ticket machine. Traffic would have moved much faster and smoother had she just taken tolls and handed out change.

Event host Todd Vander Sluis arrived shortly after Craig. As the three of them chatted, they agreed that there were too many trees blocking the view of the east end of the bridge carrying the Chicago Line over the river.

What was needed was a crew of angry beavers to paddle over there and gnaw those trees down. That would open the view immensely.

The beavers might also keep going to remove all of the trees between the river bank and the tracks. That would really provide an open view.

Traffic was fairly steady on the Chicago Line into the early afternoon. Among the highlights was a pair of Union Pacific locomotives leading a westbound crude oil tankers train.

A high hood former Southern Railway GP38-2 led the L-13 on its return trip to Bellevue from Rockport Yard in Cleveland. You seldom see today a high hood leading a train on the main.

Not long after Todd Dillon showed up during the afternoon, a westbound came through town on the former NKP.

At that point, traffic died for a while. We kept busy by watching a crane in the water in front of us fishing for lunch.

However, it turned out that the crane was actually a great egret. It was still entertaining to watch.

About 4 p.m. we relocated to the railfan platform in downtown Vermilion. By then traffic had picked up on the Chicago Line.

At the platform we met a guy and his grandson from Cedar Hill, Ohio, a small town near Dayton.

He makes annual trips to Vermilion to railfan and while there he buys a box of chocolates from a downtown candy store.

He asked if anyone knew how late the chocolate shop was open. No one knew. Although he lives in Vermilion, Todd has never been there.

We joked later that even if the store was closed, you could still get your chocolate fix by throwing rocks through the window to “open” the store.

We later learned that the chocolate shop is open until 7 and the Cedar Hill man returned with his box of candy.

The sunlight was starting to get low when the long awaited westbound coke train that Todd said he’d seen that morning near CP Max finally arrived.

Behind it was a westbound crude oil tanker train with Canadian Pacific motive power. Crude oil trains on the NS Chicago line with CP power are not common sights.

Alas, no heritage units made an appearance and, in fact, none were even in the region.

With the sun sinking, we made a visit to the Vermilion lighthouse on the shore of Lake Erie and then adjourned to Quaker Steak and Lube for dinner.

As for dihydrogen monoxide, you’ll have to come to the October ARRC meeting and watch Todd’s program to get a complete explanation of what it is.

But here is a hint. All four of us enjoyed a glass of it spiked with some alcohol while at Quaker Steak.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

There was a hint of color in the trees lining the bank of the river opposite of the Vermilion marina. Our crew of angry beavers will make short work of those trees once they show up.

There was a hint of color in the trees lining the bank of the river opposite of the Vermilion marina. Our crew of angry beavers will make short work of those trees once they show up.

A pair of Uncle Petes lead a crude oil train westward.

A pair of Uncle Petes lead a crude oil train westward.

Mostly sunny skies greeted us during the Vermilion outing. It was a little cool, but still quite pleasant conditions for watching trains on the Chicago Line. We even saw a few boats and some waterfowl.

Mostly sunny skies greeted us during the Vermilion outing. It was a little cool, but still quite pleasant conditions for watching trains on the Chicago Line. We even saw a few boats and some waterfowl.

I missed the eastbound, but not the westbound crossing the Vermilion River on the former Nickel Plate Road bridge. It was the first train I've ever photographed crossing this bridge.

I missed the eastbound, but not the westbound crossing the Vermilion River on the former Nickel Plate Road bridge. It was the first train I’ve ever photographed crossing this bridge.

A high-hood geep leading a manifest freight caught us by surprise. These units are not common sights on the Chicago Line.

A high-hood geep leading a manifest freight caught us by surprise. These units are not common sights on the Chicago Line.

A westbound stone train was something a little out of the ordinary. The dispatcher told the crew to take it easy down to CP 234 for there was traffic ahead that needed to get into Sandusky.

A westbound stone train was something a little out of the ordinary. The dispatcher told the crew to take it easy down to CP 234 for there was traffic ahead that needed to get into Sandusky.

Your next photograph of an NS RoadRailer might be your last. NS will end the service except on one route next month. That route will not pass through Vermilion or anywhere else in Northeast Ohio.

Your next photograph of an NS RoadRailer might be your last. NS will end the service except on one route next month. That route will not pass through Vermilion or anywhere else in Northeast Ohio.

The long-awaited coke train finally showed late in the afternoon.

The long-awaited coke train finally showed late in the afternoon.

A candy apple red Canadian Pacific unit put the cherry on a day of railfanning in Vermilion along the Chicago Line of NS.

A candy apple red Canadian Pacific unit put the cherry on a day of railfanning in Vermilion along the Chicago Line of NS.

The setting sun catches the sides of the tank cars of a westbound tranker train.

The setting sun catches the sides of the tank cars of a westbound tanker train.

ARRC is Going to Vermilion on Sept. 12

September 8, 2015

Akron Railroad Club member  Todd Vander Sluis has again invited the ARRC to spend some quality railfanning time in his home town of Vermilion on Saturday, Sept. 12.

Todd has hosted an event for the past couple of years and we’ve enjoyed it, so we’re going back.

Vermilion is located on the busy Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern at milepost 222, making it 28 rail miles west of Berea.

The Chicago Line sees a steady diet of intermodal, merchandise and bulk commodity trains

Recent track work and general congestion on the Chicago Line has lead NS to move some trains back to the former Nickel Plate Road tracks through Vermillion.

This may mean some photo opportunities that previously have not been available for several years, providing you get enough advance notice of a train on that line.

The main railfan hangout in Vermilion is the railfan platform, located adjacent to Victory Park, just to the south of the downtown area. The park is bordered on the west by Ohio Route 60, so finding it is a breeze.

Downtown Vermilion features restaurants and shops for those who like more than trains.

If there is a drawback to Vermilion, it is the fact that the two main crossings in town are quiet zones. No horns are blaring as trains blast through town.

But on the bright side, morning light shooting trains crossing the bridge over the Chicago Line bridge over the Vermilion River is very good. The vantage point is a public boat launch south of the railroad bridge over the river.

If you wish to spend the day watching trains at the railfan platform, go ahead and do so. The photographers in the group may be off shooting in other areas before returning to the platform for a break.

As with all of our other activities, the day begins when the first person arrives and ends when the last person leaves.

At the end of our Vermilion Day, we’ll have dinner at the Quaker Steak and Lube restaurant in town.

Veteran Tribute Locomotive in Vermilion

March 1, 2015

Vet in Vermilion

Norfolk Southern’s locomotive paying tribute to America’s veterans made a pass through Northeast Ohio on Saturday morning. It was on the lead of train 11V.

My friend Adam and I were headed for Vermilion to get some images of the bridge carrying the NS Chicago Line over the Vermilion River by the boat launch.

As we cruised westward on I-480, we saw NS 6920 on a train at CP Max.

The river was frozen enough to walk out on, but to photograph the 11V, we stood on one of the concrete piers at the boat launch.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

ARRC Members See 32 NS Trains in Vermilion

August 18, 2014
An eastbound train crosses the Vermilion River during the Akron Railroad Club outing to Vermilion on Saturday. Club members spent the morning and early afternoon hours at the Vermilion marina.

An eastbound train crosses the Vermilion River during the Akron Railroad Club outing to Vermilion on Saturday. Club members spent the morning and early afternoon hours at the Vermilion marina.

It was a day that had just about a little of everything. With mostly sunny skies and a nice breeze, the weather was near ideal. Aside from an hour-long lull in early afternoon, there was plenty of train traffic. And the variety was about as good as you could hope for on the Norfolk Southern Chicago Line.

There was even a bonus just after 3 p.m. when fellow Akron Railroad Club member Dave Mangold led the 26E past us.

It was all in a day’s outing in Vermillion that was attended by seven ARRC members – eight if you count Dave’s short appearance – and which netted 32 trains over a 12-hour period that at least one attendee was able to spot.

It was the ARRC’s second outing to Vermilion, which is the hometown of member Todd Vander Sluis.

Rick Houck was the first to arrive at about 9 a.m. The host dropped in around 11, about the same time that Paul Tait.

ARRC President Craig Sanders pulled into the upper level parking lot for the Vermilion marina around 12:30 p.m. and much to his displeasure he was greeted with the westbound 21T rumbling across the bridge over the Vermilion River before he could get his camera out.

Why the fuss? Because the stacker was led by NS 6963, the GoRail locomotive.

ARRC Bulletin editor Marty Surdyk jointed the party just after 4 p.m. By then, we had moved from the marina to the railfan platform in Victory Park in downtown Vermilion.

Joining us to round out the attendance were Don Woods and Dave Shepherd, who had been out roaming with their cameras.

Aside from the steady parade of trains that NS fielded, we were also entertained by the harried Toledo East Dispatcher who was having a tough time finding open track to run all of the trains crowding her territory.

Crews were outlawing, the crossing gates were broken at a crossing east of our location, and there was traffic congestion in Cleveland and Toledo. Westbound trains were stacking up around CP 232 on Track No. 1.

As the dispatcher was explaining her plight to someone over the radio, a voice could be heard saying “you’re gonna die!”

Another light moment occurred when the 65R, an empty crude oil train, called the dispatcher to ask if he should move further west. The dispatcher replied “yes,” but it seemed as though crew and dispatcher were talking past each other.

Finally, the dispatcher said, “if you don’t accept the signal [at CP 219] I can’t move anything.”

At that point, there were trains standing still on both tracks on both sides of Vermilion. If the 65R would just move up to behind the 15N then the 64R, a loaded crude oil train, could move eastward as could the 24M, an intermodal train with several UPS trailers.

Aside from the GoRail unit, there was also some variety in motive power with BNSF, Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific units to be seen. Most of those were trailing, but a lone BNSF unit was leading an empty coal train westward.

The crew of that train was going as far as Sandusky where it would disembark to be taken back to CP 219 to move the 25V, which was tied down there on Track No. 1 after its crew ran out of time.

We never did see the 25V. That westbound train of coal hoppers was the last train we were able to photograph as the light of day was dying.

Perhaps the day’s highlight was 26E pass by just after 3 p.m. It was just your run of the mill intermodal train except that fellow ARRC member Dave Mangold was at the controls.

How did we know it was him? Well, Dave spent a lot of time talking with the 14K ahead of him and with the Toledo East dispatcher. We recognized his voice.

After bagging our last train, we headed for the nearby Quaker Steak and Lube. There were five of us left and only three made it to the Lube.

Rick’s car battery was dead and, fortunately for him, he was able to flag down Paul. The two of them finally made their way to Quaker Steak to join us.

Being the nice guy that he is – as well as being part owner of auto repair shop – Marty offered to help Rick jumpstart his Toyota Prius.

Marty hasn’t don’t much work on hybrid cars and he needed to bone on up the Prius. He consulted his go-to source of information: YouTube.

Not only did Marty learn how to jumpstart a Prius, he also learned how to clean out a garage.

All ended well. Marty got Rick’s car started and everyone made it safely home.

Next Sunday we’ll be back on the road again, this time spending the day in Alliance and Sebring. Maybe this time we’ll bag a bona fide NS heritage unit.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

There were plenty of boats to watch as well as trains by the Vermilion marina.

There were plenty of boats to watch as well as trains by the Vermilion marina.

NS is phasing our RoadRailers and there are just two of these trains left on the Chicago Line. No. 261 heads for Sandusky in front of the Vermilion railfan platform on Saturday afternoon.

NS is phasing our RoadRailers and there are just two of these trains left on the Chicago Line. No. 261 heads for Sandusky in front of the Vermilion railfan platform on Saturday afternoon.

The former Vermilion passenger station stands watch as the 21G forwards its containers westward.

The former Vermilion passenger station stands watch as the 21G forwards its containers westward.

The 15N had one of the more colorful motive power consists. Behind the lead NS unit is motive power of Canadian Pacific, BNSF and Union Pacific.

The 15N had one of the more colorful motive power consists. Behind the lead NS unit is motive power of Canadian Pacific, BNSF and Union Pacific.

The Vermilion water tank looms as a westbound manifest train rolls through town.

The Vermilion water tank looms as a westbound manifest train rolls through town.

The crew of the 65R finally accepted the signal at CP 219, crossed over to Track No. 1 and took its place waiting in line behind at least two other westbound trains.

The crew of the 65R finally accepted the signal at CP 219, crossed over to Track No. 1 and took its place waiting in line behind at least two other westbound trains.

A faded BNSF war bonnet leads the 64R through downtown Vermillion This train would need an NS locomotive to lead it out of Cleveland into cab signal territory on the Cleveland Line.

A faded BNSF war bonnet leads the 64R through downtown Vermillion This train would need an NS locomotive to lead it out of Cleveland into cab signal territory on the Cleveland Line.

It's glint shot time.

It’s glint shot time.

The sun gleams on the last tank car of the 64R as it heads for Cleveland. But not for long. The train stopped at CP 203 because the dispatcher did not have a route for it into Cleveland.

The sun gleams on the last tank car of the 64R as it heads for Cleveland. But not for long. The train stopped at CP 203 because the dispatcher did not have a route for it into Cleveland.

Last train of the day that we were able to photograph. The last rays of sunlight illuminate the nose of a BNSF unit leading a load of empty coal hoppers.

Last train of the day that we were able to photograph. The last rays of sunlight illuminate the nose of a BNSF unit leading a load of empty coal hoppers.

The sun was about to set as the ARRC party arrived at the Quaker Steak and Lube, located next to the Vermilion River. It made for a nice ending to the day.

The sun was about to set as the ARRC party arrived at the Quaker Steak and Lube, located next to the Vermilion River. It made for a nice ending to the day.

Vermilion11

ARRC to Make Return Trip to Vermilion

August 11, 2014

We had such a good time there last year that Akron Railroad Club member Todd Vander Sluis has invited us back to his home town of Vermilion for a day of railfanning along the busy Norfolk Southern Chicago Line.

Vermilion features a pavilion for railfanning in downtown and a boat launch that can be used for shooting the NS bridge over the Vermilion River.

Our day will begin in the morning with a rendezvous at the boat launch. Here you can shoot NS trains in good light most of the morning.

As afternoon rolls around and the light shifts to the west, we will move uptown to the railfan pavilion for the remainder of the day.

The NS Chicago Line is constantly busy with intermodal, manifest and crude oil trains. And who knows? We might get a heritage unit. Last year we scored the Central of New Jersey on our Vermilion outing.

Between trains at the boat launch, there is a steady parade of boats going up and down the river, and watching the weekend mariners launching their crafts is entertaining as well. Some get it, some don’t.

Last year we ended our day at The Quaker Steak and Lube in Vermillion. This year’s destination will be up to those who attend.

The day begins when the first person get there, and ends when the last person leaves.