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Railfanning At Berea Tower in Berea, OH
Today would be my "relaxation day", if you will after spending three incredible days at Cedar Point. I decided to do something relaxing...GO RAILFANNING!!! I drove out to Berea, OH which is a suburb of Cleveland to get in some railfanning near the Berea Tower which is an interlocking tower located between 2 former New York Central mainlines. Behind the tower is the Chicago Line, now owned by Norfolk Southern and in front of the tower is the Big Four line which is now owned by CSX. Since my last visit here in 2011, the Berea Passenger Station located just to the east of the tower now has a restaurant inside. You can get some good eats now at the Berea Union Depot Tavern which features trackside views from inside its dining area. I hung out at Berea for a bit, chatting with a local railfan and photographing some trains. I then headed inside the restaurant to have a House Salad and a burger called "The BBCO" which had barbecue sauce and onion straws on it, along with shoestring French fries and a Diet Pepsi. All of the food was very good. After lunch, I headed back to my rental car and hung out in Berea for another hour and photographed a few more trains before driving back to Sandusky. Included here are photos taken while railfanning at what is one of the most popular railfanning hot spots in Northeast Ohio...
The first train today was this eastbound NS carrying a fleet of new Case tractors pulled by GE C40-8W #8391.
The same train as above, passing by Berea Tower with more tractors and telephone poles in the consist!
Next up is CSX Train X-100 with EMD SD40-2 #8160 handling power duties.
Berea Tower which today sits on Norfolk Southern property next to the Chicago Line. A sign of the times is the fact that the signals
next to the tower are new NS signals yet the old New York Central signals are still on the now CSX-owned Big 4 line.
Next up is this NS westbound manifest with EMD SD60E #6930 leading. This is a former SD60 with a new wide cab. This photo
was created courtesy of having an 18 megapixel camera as it was the center of a much larger picture!
Here we have another eastbound NS manifest, this time lead by GE C40-9W #9560.
CSX GE ES40DC #5295 leads this eastbound stack train on the Big Four line.
A wide-angle view of the tower and surrounding area.
Next up is this eastbound NS carrying steel coils with GE ES44AC #8153.
Two NS freights passing each other near the tower. Unfortunately, it was tough to hear train symbols on the
scanner today so I don't have the names of all the trains.
Just east of the tower sits the Berea New York Central passenger station which is now the Berea Union Depot Tavern. Next to the
station is this former Pullman car named "Berean". It is a former Pennsylvania Railroad Club Car known as "The Rotary Club".
The Berea Union Depot Tavern restaurant. Good eats and lots of trains!!!
After a good lunch, it was back to railfanning. Here we have CSX Train Q-384 with EMD SD60M #8772, a former Conrail unit leading.
Here we have an eastbound NS van train with GE ES44AC #8036 on the head end.
GE C40-9W #9917 leads NS Train 14N heading east.
Eastbound NS Train 14N passes westbound NS Train 65R at Berea.
Hiding behind Train 14N's cars is NS Train 65R with 2 EMD SD70ACe's with #1080 leading, heading west.
And finally, EMD SD70ACe #1075 is the pusher on the end of Train 65R.
  After some good railfanning, I drove back to Sandusky to get ready for the next leg of this trip as I will be heading to Chicago and ultimately, the west coast on Amtrak tomorrow morning. I eventually headed to McDonald's for a quick dinner then drove the rental car back to Enterprise while they were still open. Thankfully, this year will NOT be a repeat of last year. On that trip, I dropped the car off late in the evening then walked 6 miles back to the hotel and ended up burning myself out! The end result once I got to Missouri was I ended up getting a nasty cold which really scaled back my plans once I got to La Plata. Enterprise drove me back to the hotel and I started doing laundry. I actually intended to get a decent amount of sleep before my cab picks me up at 3:30am tomorrow morning (or so I thought, please read on).   While I was doing laundry, I continued writing this travelogue. I began checking on the status of my next train using the Amtrak app on my iPhone. According to the app, Train #449 from Boston arrived early into Albany, but Train #49 was very late arriving from New York into Albany. This had the potential of possibly effecting my travel plans if the train continued to lose more time. I decided to call and adjust the time of my cab to 4:30am due to the train getting later (I decided to do this once the combined Train #49 finally got out of Albany). Train #49's reason for being so late into Albany was due to severe storms which caused delays for several trains running between New York and Albany. This was the same storm system that blew through Sandusky on Sunday. I decided to try to go to bed early after the laundry was done as I had already packed up most of my gear. As I checked periodically with Amtrak to see the status of Train #49, it only kept getting later as it moved across New York State. To a degree, this train's lateness ended up being a blessing in disguise as you'll soon find out! Click the link below...