Above: A CSX freight heads east by the former Fostoria, OH, train station. Photo Credit: Stu Dom

Club Trip 2010
MPRR Club Trip Archive

Club Trip 2010 Photo Gallery

Above: A freight led by Union Pacific power heads south through Marion, OH. Photo Credit: Stu Dom

Below: An Amtrak train pulls into the Altoona, PA, train station. Photo Credit: Stu Dom

Above: A stack train passes through Cove, PA. Photo Credit: Stu Dom

Below: Group Photo at Horseshoe Curve. Photo Credit: Stu Dom

Article By: John Waller

Seven intrepid members gathered in the dawn’s early light on Tuesday August 3 and set off for Fostoria: Bill Badgett, Dan Delany, Stu Dom, Bill Evans, Bob McGregor, Larry Southwick, and John Waller. Stu and Larry did the driving. There was much roadwork on Route 80 going west, which delayed us somewhat, so we arrived at Fostoria a bit late, but still saw three trains before we quit for the night with rail fanning.

On Wednesday we spent some of the time at Fostoria and some at Deshler. At the latter, train frequency was higher than we can remember. At Fostoria, repair crews were working on that incredible diamond that is an amazing conglomerate of rails, bolts, and other fixtures. No matter what they do, trains make a terrible noise crossing the diamond.

On Thursday, we set off for Marion. I was disappointed that the piles of broken crossing gates had been removed since 2008! Lunch at the restaurant between the crossings was excellent. Then off to Altoona to spend two whole days there. The Museum at the station is really outstanding. The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) was the largest in the world, and the movies at the Museum depict how a steam locomotive was built from raw materials from scratch. The division of labor was interesting. Masons did one range of tasks, Knights of Columbus did another range, and so on, with very strict boundaries. Now we would decry such divisions, but maybe it was part of the PRR’s success. In those days, the USA was the greatest manufacturing country in the world; imports were largely confined to raw materials. This allowed the USN to decimate the Japanese fleet at Midway, almost exactly six months after Pearl Harbor. But what would happen now?? All this crossed my mind at the Museum. But the PRR tried to maintain steam service by designing the ultimate in steam locomotives. It was not to be; the diesel engine quickly showed maintenance requirements were a fraction of those for steam engines.

Another great visit was to the Portage Museum, set in the trees, with boardwalks carrying the visitor to its various components. A young man demonstrated how ties were cut from the raw timber by hand. A movie was shown which was a reconstruction of what took place before the railroad crossed the Alleghany Mountains.

All in all, it was a successful trip and the mebers are looking forward to another adventure in 2011!

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