At the crossovers at CP 286 (MP 286.9), the speed limit rises to 60-30 and an east leg of a wye from the former B&O (CH&D) line trails in and the East Toledo Yard begins on the south side of the line, and ends at Rockwell Junction, where the former Hocking Valley (later C&O) line departs on the south side. A 22,948 ft. siding begins at the crossovers at CP 285 (MP 285.4), where a former Toledo Terminal line crosses at grade, past detectors at "Millbury" (MP 282.9), where the speed limit rises to 79-80-60-50, to crossovers at CP 281 (Millbury Junction, MP 280.9), where the siding ends, a line to Bellevue once continued straight ahead, and the DT, Rule 261, main line turns east, past Clay Center (MP 277.0), where it turns just south of east, Martin (MP 276.1), detectors at "Graytown" (MP 272.9), Graytown (MP 271.6), Rocky Ridge, and crossovers at CP 268 (MP 268.3).
The former Wheeling & Lake Erie bridges overhead as the main line turns east, past Oak Harbor (MP 265.7), detectors at "La Carne" (MP 260.9), La Carne (MP 260.2), a spur north to Camp Perry, crossovers and a moveable bridge (with speed limit 50 mph over the bridge) over an inlet at CP 256 (MP 255.9), Port Clinton (MP 254.5), crossovers at CP 253 (MP 253.6), Gypsum (MP 251.2), and detectors at "Gypsum" (MP 251.1). The line turns south-southeast, with passenger speed limit briefly 75 mph, past a former wye with the erstwhile Lakeside & Marblehead Railroad at Danbury, across Upper Sandusky Bay on the causeway with crossovers at CP 248 (MP 248.5) and the moveable bridge at Bay Bridge (MP 248.0), with speed limit 50 mph across the bridge, and southeast past crossovers at CP 244 (MP 244.8) and Venice, and east where the former Lake Erie & Western and former Big Four once crossed at grade, past crossovers at CP 242 (MP 242.8), where the former PRR line from Columbus now owned by NS crosses at grade, the speed limit is 50-40 across the crossing, and a 10,296 ft. siding starts, the passenger station at Sandusky (MP 241.6), on a 6,4415 ft. siding, and the former flat crossing with a former B&O line south to Willard at BO Tower, to the crossovers at CP 240 (MP 240.7), where both sidings end. The main line runs generally along the south edge of Lake Erie, with a lake port at Sandusky, once served by Lake Erie & Western, the Big Four, PRR and B&O, but now served only by NS on the line that railroad acquired from PRR in 1964.
The Water-level Route passes detectors at "Sandusky" (MP 239.3), and turns southeast, just south of the lake shore itself, past crossovers at CP 234 (MP 234.4), Huron (MP 232.3), where passenger speeds are only 70 mph and there is a bridge over the former Nickel Plate (now NS) line to Huron Harbor, on the lake, detectors at "Ceylon" (MP 228.6), where the line turns east-northeast, following the lake, Ceylon (MP 228.5), passenger speed limit of 75 between MP 226.2 and 225.7, detectors at Vermilion (MP 220.9), crossovers at CP 219 (MP 219.7), where the 15,312 ft. "Vermilion" siding starts, a turn east-southeast, a bridge carrying the ex-Nickel Plate line overhead, crossovers at CP 216 (MP 216.8), where the siding ends, Fairlane (MP 215.9), Millers (MP 215.3), where a spur to a Ford factory heads north, Amherst (MP 213.2), where there is a 16,898 ft. siding, crossovers at CP 212 (MP 212.7), a location where the Lorain & West Virginia once bridged overhead, and crossovers at CP 207 (MP 207.9), where there was once a wye with a line headed southwest and still is a flat crossing with the former B&O line to the Lorain Dock, with connectors in all but the northeast quadrants and speed limit of 50 mph across the crossing.
The line turns just north of east, with speed limit 50 mph between MP 207.3 and 206.7, and passenger speeds of only 70 mph and freight speeds of 55-50, thence to MP 202.5, past Elyria (MP 206.5), where there is a 23,840 ft. siding, and east at the west end of Elyria Yard, where there is a wye on the north side with a line north to Lorain, the yard itself on the north side of the line, the east end of Elyria Yard (MP 204.6), crossovers at CP 203 (MP 202.9), Shawville, detectors at Olmstead Falls (MP 199.8), crossovers at CP 197 (MP 197.8), where an 18,041 ft. siding begins, speed limits fall to 50 mph at MP 194.8, and the line turns northeast to the former location of Berea Tower (MP 194.3), where there are crossovers and the siding ends, the (CSX) former Big Four line from Columbus trails in from the southwest and continues northeast (now owned by NS), and the Water-level Route turns north-northeast. Following the breakup of Conrail, this is the location where the Water-level Route changes from NS ownership (to the west) to CSX ownership (to the east).
A substantial break in environment occurs overnight on the passenger trains between Chicago and New York City or Boston, between the mid-Western farmland and the "rust belt" of the industrial East. On an eastbound Lakeshore Limited, daylight begins along the upper tier of upstate New York, along the former New York Central's "Water-level Route", in the vicinity of Rochester, NY. Westbound, the Lakeshore Limited is in darkness from somewhere east of Rochester to somewhere west of Cleveland. For the Capitol Limited, the eastern points are somewhere southeast of Pittsburgh, on the western slope of Sand Patch.