Above: A CSX freight pounds the diamonds eastbound during the morning rush through Fostoria, OH. Photo Credit: Clark Pritchett

Points West 2006
MPRR Club Trip Archive

Points West 2006 Photo Gallery

Above: A CSX freight works through the fog in the morning at Fostoria, OH. Photo Credit: Stu Dom

Below: A CSX freight heads south through the diamonds in Deshler, OH. Photo Credit: Clark Pritchett

Above: A Norfolk Southern stack train drifts downgrade through Horseshoe Curve. Photo Credit: Jim Spavins

Below: A Norfolk Southern rail train crosses Rockville Bridge. Photo Credit: Jim Spavins

Article By: Jim Spavins

Fostoria, OH - Another year and another trip out west. During July 12-16, members of the Mohegan Pequot club ventured west on the annual club trip. This year's trip followed the same itinerary as last year. The first day, the club met bright and early in Connecticut to begin the trip west. For twelve hours, the club battled traffic and drizzle from the Northeast to the Midwest. The group arrived late Wednesday evening into Fostoria. Due to the long trip, the group decided that the train watching would begin on Thursday and headed to the hotel rooms for the night.

Thursday begin bright and early with the short ride from the hotel to the famous Iron Triangle. The group poured out the vehicles, unpacked their lawn chairs, and set up for a long day of train watching. The trains rolled all morning long. Every type imaginable from stack trains, to coal trains, to general freights passed through. At about 11:30, part the group managed to peal themselves away from the tracks to find a grocery store. There was bar-b-queing to do in Deshler.

Around noon, the group reconvened in Deshler for a group cookout. The group fired up the grill and watched the trains roll by. The day was barely half over, but the group was already well into vacation mode, thoroughly relaxed and enjoying themselves. One club member Jonathan Harger and his wife met up with the group on his way back from his trip to Colorado. Jonathan was able to spend a few hours with the group before he had to head north on his trip but the group was glad he could stop in for a little while. After a few hours in Deshler, the group picked up their belongings and headed back to Fostoria. Once back in Fostoria, the group meet Ellen Gatrell, the Secretary and Treasurer of the Fostoria Rail Preservation Society. She talked to the group about the Fostoria Rail Festival coming on October 14, 2006. More information about this group and this event at fostoriatrains.org. The group spent the rest of the day at the Iron Triangle and finally called it a night after seeing about 60 trains in day two.

Day three began back at the Iron Triangle. This spot has quickly become a favorite place for the members who go on the trip. There is so much action that some trip goers actually got bored with seeing trains! That's quite a feat. The group stayed until noon before venturing over to Bellvue Yard for a quick look to see what was happening. After a brief stop, the group decided to say good bye to Ohio and started the journey back east. The next stop was Altoona, PA. The first stop was to check into the hotel. Then the group headed for its annual Friday night dinner at Ruby Tuesdays. After sharing stories and laughs over a steak dinner, the group headed to the Altoona train station to finish out the evening. A few trains later, the group called day three a success and headed back to the hotel.

Day four started at the same place day three ended, the Altoona train station. day four started at a more leisurely pace as the group was looking forward to heading up to Horseshoe Curve. The park at Horseshoe Curve opens at 10 am and the group would have a surprise when they arrived. You see Al, who was supposed to have spent the entire trip with the club, over slept on Wednesday when the group departed from Connecticut so he was left behind. Fortunately for him, I was planning on heading down to surprise the group on Saturday morning. So Al and I drove down to Altoona, and with some careful planning with Dan met up with the group in Altoona. We could tell just how much fun the group was having when we did met up with them. Despite overcast weather, we caught a dozen trains in three hours at the Curve before heading to the final destination: Enola, PA.

By the time we arrived in Enola, the skies had parted and the sun was shining. The group stopped at the famed Rockville Bridge, the world's longest stone and concrete arch bridge at just over 3,800 feet in length. The group pulled out their lawn chairs and spent an enjoyable evening down by the Susquehanna River watching trains roll by. Once the sun went down, some of the group decided to head up to Cove, PA while some decided to call it a day.

The final day of the trip, the group went to the former Reading Bridge in downtown Harrisburg, PA. There is a park that runs along the Susquehanna River where we were able to sit and watch the trains run in and out of Harrisburg. After seeing a couple of trains, the group headed back to Rockville Bridge for the rest of the morning. Traffic was busy and we caught five more trains before finally deciding to call it a day and head back to Connecticut. The group just didn't want to quit and decided to eat lunch in Cove, PA, to see one final train. After the Norfolk Southern stack train, the group packed up the cars and headed back to Connecticut. This was another successful trip and plans are in the works for Club Trip 2007. Will we go back to Fostoria or to somewhere new? Check back next year and if you want to come, make your reservations now!

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