Action on North and South Ohio Rail Lines

Most rail lines in Ohio are oriented east-west and are dispatched as such. But even some rail lines that physically operate on a north-south orientation are dispatched as east and west rather than north and south.

This can be seen in Marion where former Chesapeake & Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad routes come through town on a north-south orientation but are dispatched as east-west routes.

In western Ohio, a couple of rail lines are dispatched north and south. Shown above are some images made on the CSX Toledo Subdivision (former Baltimore & Ohio) and the Indiana & Ohio (former Detroit, Toledo & Ironton).

In the top image a southbound CSX auto rack train, the Q203, is approaching Hook-Watz Road north of Cairo, Ohio. It has just passed beneath a signal bridge visible in the distance that still holds a B&O color position light signal.

Next up is southbound steel train K596, which is moving from the north end of a lap siding at Cairo to the main.

Moving farther south, we find southbound manifest freight Q509 rolling along south of Wapakoneta. Note the B&O position signals in the distance. These are still several of them on the Toledo Sub.

Skipping even further south, we find the Q561 in Hamilton, Ohio, on the joint track used by CSX and Norfolk Southern.

Now let’s check out some I&O trains starting with a southbound that has just left the yard in Lima. It is crossing the former Pennsylvania Railroad’s Fort Wayne Line at Sugar Street.

We head back north to Ottawa where we find an I&O train getting off its own rails and onto the CSX Toledo Sub. The former DT&I is abandoned between here and Lima.

Not far down the road that same I&O train is passing the grain elevator complex in Columbus Grove. At one time, the Akron, Canton & Youngstown crossed the B&O here although the crossing was farther south from the grain elevator.

Finally, we end the series with an oldie. This southbound I&O train was captured on its own tracks south of Hamler on July 19, 2009, and was scanned from a slide.

You wouldn’t know this was the I&O from the motive power being used. In fact you might not think you were even in Ohio.

All the other images in this series were made this past April.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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