Locals, Locals, Locals in Marion

The caboose says "Conrail," but the train is very much CSX.

The caboose says “Conrail,” but the train is very much CSX.

Although I’ve been to Marion several times over the years, it was always on a Saturday or Sunday. Recently I had the opportunity to make a weekday visit to one of Ohio’s top railroad hot spots.

The rail traffic was pretty much what you would see on a weekend with one notable exception. I saw three CSX locals pass the Marion Union Station, including a local on the Columbus Subdivision that I didn’t know existed.

The first local left the yard west of the station and went east not long after I arrived in late morning. It is the same local that sometimes operates on weekends and has a caboose.

In years past this caboose has carried Erie Lackawanna markings, but the current car is wearing faded Conrail colors and markings. It scooted past with four covered hopper cars to work in the eastern part of town.

It returned about three hours later with a like number of covered hoppers. That is when things got interesting.

As the first local was backing into the Marion yard, a second local was prepared to leave the yard to head east with two covered hopper cars.

South of town on the Columbus Sub, a local had finished working and was headed north for Harpster, where it would turn and head back home to Columbus.

None of the locals were going to move until eastbound Q008 passed through town on the former Big Four. The Q008 is a hotshot intermodal train that carries UPS trailers.

After it ambled through, the two-car local followed it and then the Columbus Sub local got the signal to cross the ex-Big Four.

All of the locals had four-axle power with the two-car local having just one unit.

The consists of these trains may not have been out of the ordinary, but seeing three locals in the space of an hour was something different.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The first local backs its way across the diamonds and into Marion Yard. The view was made from the top steps of AC tower.

The first local backs its way across the diamonds and into Marion Yard. The view was made from the top steps of AC tower.

The noses of three CSX trains are looking eastward from Marion Yard. The train on the far left is the Q008, which is just passing through.

The noses of three CSX trains are looking eastward from Marion Yard. The train on the far left is the Q008, which is just passing through.

With the priority traffic out of the way, the second local can leave the yard and get to work. Once it clears, the first local can do some switching operations in the Marion yard.

With the priority traffic out of the way, the second local can leave the yard and get to work. Once it clears, the first local can do some switching operations in the Marion yard.

Switching tracks just before banging across the diamonds.

Switching tracks just before banging across the diamonds.

The third of the three locals to pass Marion Union Station was the job that works north out of Columbus.

The third of the three locals to pass Marion Union Station was the job that works north out of Columbus.

A string of tank cars brings up the rear of the northbound local on the CSX Columbus Sub.

A string of tank cars brings up the rear of the northbound local on the CSX Columbus Sub.

 

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