The old NYC Water Level Route mainline at Baumhart Road between Elyria and Vermilion, OH. June 1976. The spur leads to the Lorain Ford Assembly plant. The third rail in the foreground services same. Image © 1976-2002 Jeff Knorek.
My Aunt Eunice lives on Vermilion Road between the Ohio Turnpike and SR 2, just south of Vermilion, Ohio. In the mid-Seventies my parents found themselves having to care for their ailing kin in nearby Lorain, which meant nearly weekly visitations to take care of family business. We would stay with Aunt Eun at her place out in the country, go fishing on her lake, and if I was really lucky, go watch trains on the Penn Central (I have other relatives who live near the old Nickel Plate in Lorain, but that is another story for another time). The distant sounds of trains in the night lulled me to sleep many an evening during those awful, torturous, hormonally sodden years.
Vermilion and Amherst, OH, as seen on the Northern Ohio portion of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern RR route map from The 1891 Grain Dealers and Shippers Gazetteer © 1999-2002 Pam Rietsch
In 1976 I secured my driver license and was therefore able to catch the merest of glimpses at Conrail during the first few months of its existence. The same teenage distractions mentioned earlier, plus a very healthy dose of parental disapproval, kept my railfanning to a minimum. After all, I still had to ask permission to use the car.
What you see here are moments that were quite rare for me at the time: just hanging out by the railroad tracks, waiting for a train to come by. Reading a book or just daydreaming, listening to the bumblebees and watching the clouds roll by, totally unconcerned with school or girls...
Okay, so just totally unconcerned with school.
Reid, Robert H., Penn Central System Bi-Annual (1973).
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