Posts Tagged ‘RRE turkey shoot’

NS Dominates Turkey Bowl 15-7

December 12, 2022

Vehicle traffic was light as I made my way from my apartment in Parma to the railfan parking lot near BE Tower in Berea on Thanksgiving morning.

The last few years I’ve stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast before arrival at Berea, but this year they were CLOSED.

I parked across CSX from the tower and settled in. The scanner was quiet for now. After about 10 minutes some transmissions could be heard on a Norfolk Southern radio channel. I couldn’t understand a word they were saying.

Then a headlight came around the corner at the west end of the interlocking. An eastbound was coming. Its leader was NS 4432. There were five other black units behind the leader, so I wasn’t expecting any mid-train units.

As the last cars of the mixed train passed I noticed that it had a locomotive on the rear. BNSF 7322 was bringing up the markers. This happened at 6:52 a.m.

It took a little over 30 minutes for the next train to pass, this being NS 66X behind Canadian Pacific 9816 and Kansas City Southern 4016. They were instructed to at stop at Rockport Yard and pick up a cab signal-equipped unit, which would be NS 7266.

By now Steve LaConte and Mark Demaline had arrived and were greeted by the passage of NS intermodal train 269 from Buffalo. Most of the cars had snow packed into their recesses, the remnants of the 6 plus feet of lake effect snow that hit western New York a few days prior. The 269 was led by NS 8054 and two other black units.

CSX finally got into the act of running trains at 8:08 a.m. with the passage of an eastbound mixed freight behind CSX 3418 and CSX 9039.

Forty minutes later at 8:48 a.m. NS intermodal train 27P rolled by behind NS 4283 and NS 4409.

CSX was next with back-to-back westbound mixed freights. The M363 went by on Track 2 behind CSX 3263 and CSX 95. As its last cars passed a headlight was seen on Track 1. This was CSX M635 behind CSX 4565 on the lead and CSX 3458 half way back.

NS frac sand train 61X was next at 9:04 a.m. behind NS 4516 and CSX 4553. In the middle was NS 1139 and CP 8804. It looked like this may have been two trains put together because of its excessive length.

Ten minutes later CSX had M634 to run. This mixed freight was led by CSX 531 and three additional units.

While the M634 was going by NS L15 slipped by going east. It was led by NS 4064 and NS 4284. L15 is an intermodal turn job that hauls cars to and from the Maple Heights intermodal facility. It originates in Sandusky.

Next up 12 minutes later was NS mixed freight 148. It had NS 4327 and NS 9486 up front.

The crowd was growing as the attendees who went to breakfast at Bob Evan’s began to arrive. Jerry Jordak and Terry Chicwak had their drones in the air. Yes, both were flying legally having received permission from the FAA to fly in Hopkins Airport air space, something that is done via a phone app.

The last train of the 9 o’clock hour was NS 32N at 9:50 a.m. This eastbound mixed freight was led by NS 9574 and NS 4337.

The 10 o’clock hour began with another NS eastbound, the 66E tanker train led by NS 7659 ahead of BNSF 3990 and BNSF 685. The latter is still in Santa Fe red and silver and is tracked on Steve LaConte reported its whereabouts to that site.

The crew of the 66E was very short on time. The dispatcher wanted them to make it to the West Park Industrial Track to tie down.

The crew didn’t think they’d make it and have time to tie the train down. They ended up stopping at CP Max and left the train there until later when a yard crew came out and moved it to the West Park.

The train sat there the rest of the day and most of the rest of the weekend, not making it to Conway until sometime Sunday.

CSX auto rack train M205 was next on the scene behind CSX 3447 and CSX 844. Our second two at a time occurred at 10:18 a.m. as CSX I158 and NS 265 passed at the same time. The CSX train had CSX 376 and CSX 3474. Sorry, I did not catch any engine numbers on the NS 265.

After the doubleheader, we had about 20 minutes to catch our breath before CSX got busy again with the passage of M364 behind CSX 3248 going solo.

The last five trains of the day, at least for me, were NS. First up was eastbound intermodal train 28P behind a very clean Union Pacific 8616 and UP 6380. It was recorded at 10:50 a.m.

Just five minutes after 28P went by NS ran intermodal train 265 west behind BNSF 6998 and BNSF 7003.

About 10 minutes passed before another NS eastbound tanker train was heard and then seen. Train 6E4 was led by NS 9570, Canadian National 3859 and CN 2652.

At 11:35a.m. NS ran westbound stack train 23G. It was led by NS 7601, NS 9667 and UP 7206.

My last train, NS eastbound double-stack 268, went by at 11:44 a.m. behind NS 7579 and UP 2627.

I had set a noon deadline to head home and get ready to head out for Thanksgiving dinner at my niece’s house. I actually left at 12:05 p.m. after six-and-a half hours and 22 trains with motive power from all seven Class I North American railroads. Not bad. And add to that sunny skies with unseasonably warm temperatures.

This was the best weather and train count day we’ve had in quite a few years. See you next year.

Article by Marty Surdyk

RRE Sets Annual Turkey Shoot in Berea for Nov. 24

November 21, 2022

The Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts will conduct its annual turkey shoot outing on Thanksgiving morning in Berea on Nov. 24.

Attendees will meet in the west end of the parking lot of the Berea Depot restaurant and watch and photograph trains until late morning.

The action will include trains of CSX and Norfolk Southern at one of northern Ohio’s busiest hot spots.

An optional breakfast has been set at the Bob Evans at West 130th Street and Brookpark Road at 8 a.m. when the restaurant opens.

In past years some RRE members have eaten at the nearby Bob’s Big Boy but it won’t open on Thanksgiving morning until 9 a.m.

The turkey shoot outing has been an RRE tradition since 1975.

The 6 O’Clock Alarm Was Most Welcome

December 5, 2021

There’s a song by The Monkees titled Daydream Believer that has a line that goes “the 6 o’clock  alarm would never ring.”

On most mornings that I don’t have to work that would be a good thing, but on Thanksgiving morning, the 6 a.m. alarm had better ring; I’ve got trains to watch.

Up and out the door ASAP, I could hear a train rumble off in the distance as I headed to my Jeep in the parking lot of my apartment complex.

I turned on the scanner to hear “eye oh 20, Clear 14, two east”

“Take it easy approaching the tunnels eye oh 20; eye 157 is coming west and he’ll go first,” the
CSX dispatcher announced.

I decided to head straight to Berea, with a stop at the drive-thru at Dunkin’ Donuts for some
breakfast along the way.

I took one bite of my croissant sandwich when a headlight appeared to the east on CSX. I 157 was
approaching. At 6:54 a.m. the first train of the day was logged. CSX 4551 and CSX 5389 were
heading a train of stacks and racks.

I had breakfast finished by the time the time the next move came by. It was NS 13Q. This mixed
freight was lead by a trio of NS 1189, NS 1184 and CSX 490.

As the last cars of 13Q were going by a headlight on CSX heralded an eastbound. This was Q560 with CSX 5346 and . . . “hey, what’s that last unit,” I thought to myself.

I caught the number as 4006. It was painted like an American Flag on the front and camouflage on the rear. “Have to look that up when I get home.”

About 10 minutes later NS had a hi-rail truck patrolling No. 1 track from Berea down to
CP Drawbridge. NS would be single tracking for the near future.

The scanner was quiet, and I was getting tired of sitting, so I walked down Depot Street to
Rocky River Drive and looked over the bridge replacement that NS is doing where Rocky River
Drive goes under their tracks.

A couple of hundred feet short of my Jeep, a light rain started to fall. This would be with us
most of the day.

The brief lull was broken by back-to-back CSX ethanol trains. The first was led by Union Pacific 2660 and NS 4027. The second had Canadian National 8963 up front and CN 3048 on the rear.

Just before the 9 o’clock hour was to begin, an NS westbound mixed freight made an appearance. They weren’t calling signals, so I didn’t get the symbol, but it had NS 7592, UP 5302 and
NS 7553 up front.

Next up at 9:47 an NS 16G made an appearance. This mixed freight was lead by NS 9546 and UP 8611. By now some of the attendees who had gone to breakfast at Bob Evans were arriving.

“Did you see the KCS Veteran’s Unit go by?” one of them asked. “So that’s what that was.”

NS had double stacks to run next at 10:13 a.m. as 20T rumbled past behind NS 7575/ NS 7577
and NS 1178.

Before 20T could clear, a fast charging I 166 slammed past behind CP 8502 up front and CP 8777 about half way back.

At 10:32 a.m. we watched NS 26E go by behind NS 4268, NS 8006 and NS 9956. The 26E
is a doublestack train.

I had to think about leaving soon, so I was off, but I did catch two additional CSX trains on the way home. These included a westbound mixed freight went that went under Front Street as I was going over, and I got stopped at Holland Road crossing by an eastbound stack train that turned out to be I 158. It had CSX 9045 leading one other CSX unit.

So if you’re keeping score, it was CSX 7, NS 6. Not a bad four hours of railfanning, with motive power from six of the seven Class 1 railroads. No BNSF this year.

I just wish the weather would cooperate and we could have a sunny Turkey Day. Maybe next year.

Article by Marty Surdyk

Scenes From RRE 2021 Turkey Shoot

December 5, 2021

RRE members watch I 166 pass through Berea. That is Marty Surdyk’s silver jeep behind them.
Bob Todten takes shelter from the rain in his vehicle.
Here comes the I 166 as NS train 20T passes nearby.
An eastbound NS manifest freight with Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific motive power passes through Berea.

Despite the cool temperatures and steady rain, a few brave Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts members still made it to Berea for the 46th Annual Turkey Shoot on Thanksgiving Day, Nov 25, 2021.

Marty Surdyk and Bob Todten arrived first, followed by another five members.

Both CSX and Norfolk Southern ran a few trains, including the I 166, the Canadian Pacific run through train on CSX with a 1+1 pair of CP GE’s which looked like they had previously been in coal train service, given their coating of what looked like coal dust on their car bodies.

In the photographs above, that is Marty’s  silver Jeep behind the group and Bob Todten, sitting in his SUV, avoiding the then-steady downpour. 

Back in 1975, Bob and I started what has become this annual tradition.

Article and Photographs by Mark Demaline

RRE Sets Annual Turkey Shoot in Berea

November 22, 2021

The Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts will conduct its annual turkey shoot outing on Thanksgiving morning in Berea on Nov. 25.

Attendees will meet in the west end of the parking lot of the Berea Depot restaurant and watch and photograph trains until late morning.

An optional breakfast has been set at the Bob Evans at West 130th Street and Brookpark Road at 8 a.m. when the restaurant opens.

In past years some RRE members have eaten at the nearby Bob’s Big Boy but it won’t open on Thanksgiving morning until 9 a.m.

Busy Morning at Berea During RRE Turkey Shoot

December 8, 2020

As I pulled into the parking lot at Berea on Thanksgiving morning across from BE Tower the clock in my Jeep read 6:33 a.m.

Why was I up so early on a holiday morning? Some traditions must go on no matter what is trying to impede them. 

Since the 1970s members of the Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts group in Cleveland have been meeting in Berea on Thanksgiving morning for the annual turkey shoot.

In past years they would meet for breakfast at Bob’s Big Boy restaurant and spend the morning photographing trains in Berea.

I came directly to Berea from home due to some scratching on the CSX radio channel. They might have a train to run.

Turns out they didn’t. It must have been the train working at Parma Yard that I heard as I headed out to the car from my apartment.

Today was one of those days; it was heavily overcast with a light mist coming down.

There would be no daybreak, no dawning of a new day. Days like this just happen.

The scanner was quiet, almost too quiet. Hunger drove me over to a nearby Dunkin Donuts for a trip through the drive through.

A bacon, egg and cheese bagel, and two frosted donuts would have to suffice until our turkey day feast at 1 p.m.

The quiet was briefly broken by the passing of a hi-rail truck on NS Track No. 1.

Then the NS Toledo East channel began to scratch. This could be a train coming.

As the radio signal got stronger, it sounded like “2014, clear, 200, two east.”

Something was coming, but I just was not sure what.

After the eastbound called “clear, 195, two east,” the Cleveland East Dispatcher cleared up things.

The train was 24Z and was going to be held for a couple of minutes at CP Max for the hi-railer to clear up at CP Drawbridge in downtown Cleveland.

The 24Z would go over to No. 1 track at CP Max. The dispatcher also mentioned that 11N and 414 were at the drawbridge patiently waiting for 24Z to pass.

Also about now 15N radioed in for permission into Rockport Yard. The yardmaster gave them yarding instructions. There would be action today.

The 24Z behind NS 4352 plus four other units glided past at 7:39 a.m.

The 11N, a solid auto rack train was next at 8:13 a.m. behind NS 2766 doing it solo.

A few minutes behind 11N was loaded coke train 414 behind NS 1207 plus one. They were OSed at 8:37 a.m.

CSX finally came to life with the passing of a K Train. This solid train of tankers carrying 1267 placards, which is crude oil if I’m not mistaken, passed by westbound at 8:58 a.m. behind CSX 35 plus one.

The 9 o’clock hour was led off by a CSX eastbound at 9:14 a.m. Q158 with double stacks was led by CSX 3185 plus one.

Fifteen minutes behind the stacker was CSX auto rack train Q204, which was lead by CSX 5359 plus one.

The latter minutes of the 9 o’clock hour saw a flurry of action on both lines.

 It began with Q634, a manifest freight eastbound. As it lumbered by, seemingly forever, CSX ran Q517 west on the other track.

While this was happening NS 15N was heading west with a huge consist.

On the other side of the 15N a westbound NS intermodel train went by. It was not quite four at a time, but close.

For those keeping score, Q634 had CSX 3224 plus one. Q517 had what sounded like CSX 809 as its leader. I didn’t catch the engine number as it went by or catch the engine numbers for 15N or the intermodal.

All this happened in a seven-minute stretch from 9:43 to 9:50 a.m. It would take until 10:13 a.m for the next train to go by, another CSX K train with 1267 on the tanks.

This one was lead by BNSF 5846 solo on the lead and Canadian Pacifuc 8145 solo on the rear.

Ten minutes later NS 21Z passed behind 4263 plus one. The 15N was being held at CP 197 for 21Z and the earlier intermodal that passed it as it came past BE Tower.

The 15N crew radioed in for a “how long we going to be here? We’ve got Olmsted Falls completely blocked.”

I’m not sure where their head end was, but the last few cars were still in the interlocking at BE.

“”You’ll go west after 21Z. Recrew at Fairlane.”

A very short and inefficient 26E was next at 10:31 a.m. with 8085 plus one. Ten minutes behind them was I2K, a second section of 22K, which rolled by behind NS 4111 plus one.

I had 11 a.m. pegged as my departure time, but scratching on the CSX radio channel as the bells at St. Adelbert’s Church sounded the hour kept me there for a few more minutes.

CSX has another K Train, tankers with 1267 placards, the third one of the day. This one was led by CSX 5378 plus one. It was OSed at 11:08 a.m.

There was more action in the pipeline with NS 309 working Rockport. Akron Railroad Club president Todd Dillon texted me that NS had an oil train coming west at Hudson where he was hanging out.

But it was now time for me to leave. Attendance at this year’s turkey shoot was down from previous years, which is not surprising due to the virus concerns.

Yet it was still an enjoyable morning of train watching at a busy location. Let’s hope for better times next year.

Article by Marty Surdyk