Railroads: CSX (former Baltimore & Ohio) and R.J. Corman (former B&O). Ohio Central reaches Warwick via trackage rights on the Corman.
Traffic: CSX has about 20 trains a day. The Corman line averages two trains a day.
Radio Frequencies: CSX, 160.230 (road), 160.320 (dispatcher); Corman, 160.455 (road and dispatcher)
Highlights: Tucked away in the far southwest corner of Summit County, Warwick, located within the village of Clinton, offers a good mix of mainline and regional railroading in a bucolic setting. A few modest hills surround the town, which also boasts plenty of trees, the Tuscarawas River and the remnants of the Ohio & Erie Canal.
To be sure, neither the R.J. Corman nor the Ohio Central operates to Warwick daily and they only come here to interchange cars with CSX. But the good news is that when the two regionals do come to town, it is usually in daylight. If you are lucky, both will come to Warwick on the same day. But don’t count on that.
You won’t find the name Warwick on a highway map. It refers to a tower, now closed but still standing, and a yard on the former B&O. Once upon a time, the Pennsylvania Railroad and B&O had a joint route between Warwick and Akron. At Warwick, the Pennsy line diverged southwestward to Columbus while the B&O went westward to Chicago. The B&O and PRR also had paired tracks between Warwick and Massillon.
A lot of the trackage in Warwick is abandoned. The PRR routes to Columbus and Massillon are gone, although you can still see the right of way in town. Even some B&O track is gone. The only single-track segment on CSX’s New Castle Subdivision is between Warwick and Lambert in southwest Akron. This nine miles of single track can be a bottleneck with trains having to wait at Warwick or Lambert for opposing traffic.
The regional railroads offer variety, but CSX is the main show. The former B&O Chicago-Pittsburgh route sees a mixture of intermodal, manifest, grain and mineral traffic. Like anywhere else on the New Castle Sub, there can be long lull periods lasting for hours. Then three trains might show up in the next 30 minutes.
CSX train crews call signals, which is the best way to be forewarned of an approaching train. There is a detector a few miles west of Warwick at Easton (MP 148). It is common for the IO dispatcher in Indianapolis to talk to trains approaching Warwick, particularly if a train needs to work the yard or must wait for opposing traffic.
The Corman is a dark railroad, but crews announce on the radio when they enter a block. You might hear a northbound enter the Warwick block. The radios in Ohio Central locomotives have great range and can be picked making transmissions from locations well south of Massillon. The radios in Corman locomotives tend not to have that much range.
Both Corman and Ohio Central trains usually call the IO dispatcher before reaching Warwick to get permission to enter the yard and obtain instructions for picking up and setting off cars. While on CSX, Corman trains use symbol Z613 whereas Ohio Central trains use symbol Z610.
Typically, the trains of the regionals arrive, do their work and depart the same day within a couple of hours. Before departing they sometimes call the IO dispatcher to ask for a signal to leave the yard. But not always. One clue that a Corman or the Ohio Central train is ready to leave is that the crews cease chattering on the radio as they did while making switching moves.
Corman typically operates three days a week, often Monday, Wednesday and Friday, arriving in Warwick in early morning. However, as needed, Corman might operate to Warwick on Sunday. Ohio Central typically arrives in early afternoon. Although the OC once operated to Warwick daily, that has been less the case in the past year.
Warwick offers many vantagepoints for photographing trains. A good place to start is Warwick Park, located next to the CSX tracks. The mainline curves slightly at both ends of the park, which makes for a nice approaching telephoto shot. With eastbound trains, “downtown” Clinton offers a backdrop whereas a stand of pine trees is the backdrop for westbound trains.
If you just want to watch trains, the park is a good place to hang out. Park on the grass beneath a shade tree next to the tracks, read a book, magazine or newspaper and wait for the trains to come to you. The park has portable restroom facilities and a covered pavilion with grills and picnic tables.
In years past, railfans hung out by the tower, but CSX has posted the property with no trespassing signs. Railroad officials will order you to leave if they catch you there. Likewise, it is not a good idea to drive into the yard, which otherwise cannot be easily photographed. Ohio Route 21 passes over the yard, but parking near the bridge is limited. This is best done as a grab and go shot.
The area around the Silver Cricket Lounge north of the tracks opposite the tower is a one place to check out. There are plenty of photo vantagepoints over there and you can park on a city street.
West of Clinton, there are nice photographic vantagepoints at the grade crossings at Black Diamond and Coal Bank roads. A controlled siding that crews call the non-directional runs between the east and westbound mainlines. This siding features a weigh-in-motion scale.
East of Clinton, is a grade crossing at the intersection of Clinton and Cleveland-Massillon roads that offers a nice view of westbounds coming out of stretch of tangent track. With some creativity, you could work the Tuscarawas River into a shot. You will need to park at a nearby lumber and hardware business or drive a couple of blocks and park in the lot for the Ohio & Erie Canal park and walk to the crossing. From the park’s lot you could take a short hike on the towpath trail that runs parallel to the CSX tracks. However, photographic vistas along this trail are limited.
As for photographing the Corman line, there is a city street on the westside of the track nearly opposite Warwick Tower. There plenty of room to park and photograph trains entering or leaving the yard. Trains leaves the yard on a curve.
The Corman tracks run parallel to Clinton Road southward to Canal Fulton. At times the road and tracks are just a few feet apart. You will need to pull over into a driveway into a farmer’s field to get photographs as the shoulder of the road is rather narrow here.
Just south of Clinton, there is a private residence with a large pond between Clinton Road and the Corman tracks. There is room to park on the shoulder and get a shot of a train as it crosses the bridge over the Tuscarawas River with the pond in the foreground. Be sure to respect the owner’s property and stay by the side of the road while getting this image.
Trains on the Corman line do not move at high speed, so it do-able to chase a train between Clinton and Massillon. There are a few photographic vistas in Canal Fulton and at the grade crossing at Butterbridge Road a few miles north of Massillon. See the Massillon page for more information on the latter location.
Food and beverages: Clinton is a village with few restaurants or no convenience stores. The Silver Cricket, formerly the Top Cat Lounge, serves food, and food and beverages can be found in nearby Canal Fulton. Otherwise the closest sources of food and drink are in Massillon or Akron.