Above: The Norfolk Southern Executive Train passes through Fostoria, OH. Photo Credit: Jim Spavins

On The Road to Ohio Again - Club Trip 2008
MPRR Club Trip Archive

On The Road to Ohio Again - Club Trip 2008 Photo Gallery

Above: A CSX freight works west through the diamonds in Deshler, OH. Photo Credit: Jim Spavins

Below: The CSX Executive Train marches through the diamonds in Marion, OH. Photo Credit: Jim Spavins

Above: A pair of helpers drift downgrade with a grain train through Horseshoe Curve. Photo Credit: Jim Spavins

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

Article By: Jim Spavins

Fostoria, OH – After a change of flavor on last years club trip where we went south to Roanoke, VA, this year the club went west once again to Fostoria, OH. Our trip began on Wednesday August 6, 2008 early in the morning with the group meeting in Connecticut and caravanning out west to Ohio. A 15 hour day and 680 miles later, the group arrived in Fostoria. After checking into the hotel, the group wandered down to the Iron Triangle for a little night railfanning to start the trip.

The next day began back where the previous one ended at the Iron Triangle. The trains were rolling fast and furious for the first few hours of daylight. Then there was a lull. Even a lull by Fostoria standards. Almost an hour passed without the sound of a horn cracking the silence. Then, in the distance, the sound of an approaching train cut through the air. As the train can running into view it was apparent that the approaching train was not the usual freight train that passed through the town. The group was treated to a guest appearance of the Norfolk Southern Executive Train. About 2,346 photos later, the lines were opened up and the trains came pouring through the diamonds on all the lines.

Once we were satisfied with our morning in Fostoria, the group packed up and headed west for Deshler, OH. This is another location of a diamond with a railfan park full of amenities. The lines were quiet except for a few priority freights that snuck through while crews worked on repairing the diamond. As the day drew to a close, the weather began to turn. The skies opened up so the group headed back to Fostoria for some dinner while the weather past through. Once the rain, stopped, it was back to the diamonds in Fostoria for some more action.

On Friday morning, the group piled in the cars and went southeast to Marion, OH. A railfan who we ran into in Deshler recommended that we take the journey and we were rewarded. Marion is home to two diamonds by the old train station featuring two CSX lines and one Norfolk Southern line just like Fostoria. After two Norfolk Southern trains passed minutes after our arrival, the lines were quiet for awhile. We assumed that traffic on the line was light, but a local railfan stopped by to inform us that we were going to again be treated to an executive train, this time the one owned by CSX. About 30 minutes later it passed through and then the freight trains started roaring through. We were even treated to a tour of the old station at Marion while we were there and saw many of the artifacts of yesteryear inside.

Before we left, we even caught the CSX Marion local with a caboose on the back. This quick little side trip turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip and most of the club members felt like this would be a great place to come back to.

After a quick stop for lunch, the group was back on the road heading east towards Altoona, PA. After five hours in the cars, the group arrived at the Altoona train station to watch the action until the sun went down. A number of Norfolk Southern freights passed through town before the day came to a close and the group called it a night.

Saturday began bright and early right back where Friday ended at the Altoona train station. The group watched the trains roll by and then headed up to the well known Horseshoe Curve. The weather was perfect and a number of trains rolled through before the group decided it was time for lunch and went to the usual spot at the Cresson, PA, railfan park. Again the group was treated to several trains. The next stop on the trip was supposed to take us to Rockville Bridge in Enola, PA, but the group decided to take a quick detour on the way and head to the Portage Museum and National Park in Altoona. This museum features the original transportation system used to transport people and freight up and over the the mountains in western Pennsylvania.

By late afternoon, the group needed to get on the road and headed to another of our favorite stomping grounds in Enola, PA. When we arrived, we went to Rockville Bridge to spend the beautiful summer evening sitting by the Susquehanna River and watching trains glide over the bridge. Once the sun went down, a number people in the group made their way over to Cove, PA, for some night photography.

Sunday morning was spent in the Enola area watching trains at a number of the groups favorite spots. By the time lunch rolled around, it was time to head back to the northeast. This was another successful trip and plans are in the works for the club trip in 2009. If you want to come, make your reservations now!

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