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Railfanning Northern Ohio - Day 2
  To continue my railfanning in Northern Ohio, I took a drive out to Vermillion which is east of Sandusky. My first stop was at the foot of Decatur Street where there was a parking lot where I could park the car (it's a good idea though to get permission there because all the vehicles that were in that lot other than mine were police cars, and yes, I was granted permission). Unfortunately, I was on the wrong side of the tracks for light so I left there and headed into town on Main Street where there was a mini station platform on display showing the different spots in Vermillion that are good for railfanning! A few trains came by here and I noticed that this must be a quiet crossing as trains didn't blow the horn here and there were crossing gates that covered both sides of the road. I then drove over to a nearby Boat Dock and got one photo of a train there before driving out to Coen Road where the connector from the Chicago Line to the old Nickel Plate line is located. Unfortunately, there was no place to park the car there so I didn't take any pictures while there. Included here are photos taken in the vicinity of Vermillion on a day with absolutely perfect May weather! Enjoy...
This westbound NS manifest comes through as seen on a banked curve near Decatur Street with C40-9W #9911 on the lead.
Next up was eastbound NS Train 20E with GE C40-9W #9279 on the lead.
This kiosk is on display near Main Street in Vermillion and it features a place to get out of the sun and relax
as well as a map with locations of good railfanning spots in Vermillion.
Train #67Q, an ethanol train comes through Vermillion with C40-9W #9963 on the head end.
Here is an example of a "Quiet Crossing" with crossing gates that block the entire road, not just one lane. There is also a digital
sign with an "X" on it that is visible in the far left of this photo behind the crossing gate on the left side that is part of the system
that allows trains to pass through here without blowing the horn.

Next up is eastbound autorack train #18N with C40-9W #9251 for power.
This unit features a special Operation Lifesaver paint scheme.

I think this crossing is very well protected!!!
Now at the City Boat Launch Ramp, we have westbound autorack train #29J with GE ES44AC #8071 for power.
I know what's meant by tying down a train, but how do you tie down a Jeep Wrangler??? Oh, put a cone on the hood and cover
it up with lots of caution tape! Obviously someone was having a good time playing a joke on somebody at the marina!!!
  After spending some time at the City Boat Dock, and driving out to Coen Road (as I mentioned earlier, I got no pictures from that location), I decided to head west for Oak Harbor which would be close to an hour drive from Vermillion. Upon arriving in Oak Harbor, I saw the old New York Central depot that is still used by Norfolk Southern, likely as a maintenance facility. A quick drive down South Railroad Street and I met up with a few railfans from Michigan who were in the area as well. We all drove over to a nearby location on the NS Toledo sub to photograph one train going over the Portage River there before I eventually headed back to the Oak Harbor Depot for a few photos and later drove back to Sandusky.
  Just before I left Oak Harbor, NS reported problems with the lift bride over Sandusky Bay which was blocking all freight traffic on the Chicago Line in both directions. As I was driving back to Sandusky over Sandusky Bay on Route 2, I could see the railroad bridge in question, stuck open! It must not have been closed for very long as I only saw one train in Sandusky when I drove back there from Oak Harbor, or possibly some freights could have been diverted down onto the ex-Nickel Plate line (Thanks to the Conrail breakup in 1999, NS has 2 mainlines in this area). After eventually calling it a day, this would be it for railfanning as tomorrow morning, Cedar Point opens! For now, here's some photos from Oak Harbor and Sandusky...
NS GE C40-8 #8782 leads this van train heading north on the Toledo sub over the Portage River in Oak Harbor.
The former New York Central (originally Lake Shore & Michigan Southern) freight depot in Oak Harbor. This station was built
in 1872 and today is used by Norfolk Southern Railway to house some maintenance of way equipment in the area.
Another view of the above station looking east complete with a couple NS signal maintainer vehicles. I wonder what this
station must have looked like when it was an actual freight station on the New York Central??? I'm glad to see its still in
use at least in some capacity in 2012 though!
And this would be the final train I would photograph today, with NS GE C40-9W #9321 on point. I would call it a day after this
train came by as I had to wash 2 1/2 days worth of dead bugs off my car and get ready for Cedar Point's Opening Day!