Posts Tagged ‘AC Tower in Marion Ohio’

When AC Tower Was Across the Tracks

September 23, 2022

AC Tower in Marion originally stood on the north side of the Conrail tracks. It would later be moved to the south side and reduced in height by the group that also preserved Marion Union Station. Shown is an eastbound Conrail train on the Indianapolis Line on May 23, 1999. At the end of the month these tracks will be taken over by CSX. In the foreground is the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

EL Monday: Under AC Tower in Marion

March 28, 2022

Erie Lackawanna Alco RS3 No. 1023 pulls a westbound train past AC Tower in Marion in December 1966. AC controlled crossings involving four railroads. Aside from the EL, trains of the New York Central, Norfolk & Western, and Chesapeake & Ohio passed by AC Tower when this image was made.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: An RS3 in Marion

October 19, 2020

Erie Lackawanna RS3 No. 1019 leads a movement through the interlocking plant in Marion in mid 1973.

No. 1019 was built for the Erie by Alco in April 1951. Given that there is a caboose behind the locomotive this might be a local job.

It is crossing the Norfolk & Western and tracks by AC Tower in front of Marion Union Station. Although passenger service by Penn Central had ended two years earlier, the platforms are still in place.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Sampling Marion in Spring 1990

July 31, 2020

A westbound Conrail train on the on ex-Erie on April 29, 1990.

Marion is one of Ohio’s most popular railroad hotspots. At one time four railroads crossed here, the New York Central, Erie, Chesapeake & Ohio, and  Pennsylvania.

Railroad consolidations of the 1970s left just three railroads and today there are two railroads using three rail lines.

Back in 1990, the railroads of Marion included Norfolk Southern, CSX and Conrail.

Here is a sample of some of Ed’s favorites photographs made in Marion in spring 1990.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A northbound CSX train on the former C&O. AC Tower still stood tall on the north side of the tracks in April 1990.

Riding an excursion train pulled by Norfolk & Western 1218 on NS (former PRR) tracks on May 20, 1990.

An eastbound NS train on former Pennsy, later N&W, tracks passing AC Tower.

1987 Catches That Can’t Be Caught Again

June 10, 2020

I had some good catches in the summer of 1987, all of which will never happen again.

In the top photograph, I’m on the Gettysburg Railroad on July 11,1987, in Biglerville, Pennsylvania.

No. 76 is ex-Frisco, ex-Mississippian and now ex-Gettysburg. It was to the late Jerry Joe Jacobson, then sold to Steam Railroad Institute in Michigan with intended to restore it to operating condition.

Years later SRI sold No. 76 and it is now cosmetically  restored as a Baltimore & Ohio locomotive on display in Oakland, Maryland, never to run again.

Next up is Norfolk & Western 1218 on the return leg of a of Bellevue-Columbus roundtrip in Marion on Aug. 15,1987.

This scene can’t be repeated because the signal bridge is gone and AC Tower has been lowered and moved to the south side of the tracks.

Of course No. 1218 is no longer operational and sits in Roanoke, Virginia, at the Virginia Transportation Museum.

No. 1218 is also shown arriving in Bellevue on Aug. 15,1987, between a pair of Pennsylvania Railroad position light signals on the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern.

The Sandusky District is still there but the signals are gone.

The last image shows Huntington & Broad Top No. 38 on the Kinzua Bridge in western Pennsylvania on Sept. 13,1987.

On July 21,2003 a tornado blew down 11 of the 20 bridge towers. The southern portion of the bridge has restored as a scenic state park, but trains will never again cross this bridge.

H&BT 38 is now owned by the Everett Railroad where it awaits restoration.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

ELHS to Hold Annual Symposium in Marion Sept. 27-28

August 5, 2019

The Erie Lackawanna Historical Society will hold its annual symposium in Marion, Ohio,  on Sept. 27 and 28 featuring feature modeling clinics and slide shows.

Registration will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday with a tour of AC Tower set for 4 p.m.

Dinner will be on your own. The first of two slide shows during the symposium titled The EL Through the Lens of Joseph Slanser will begin at 8 p.m.

If time permits ELHS members will be allowed to show their own slides and digital images in a member’s night format following the Slanser show.

On Saturday, Marion Union Station will open at 8 a.m. A modeling clinic presented by John Sweicki titled Modeling the Lackawanna by K Line in O scale will begin at 10 a.m.

A lunch break is scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and will be followed by two model railroading clinics.

Frank Bongiovanni will present Bashing and Scratching Structures at 1 p.m. followed by John Sweicki, Model Airbrushing With Paint That Cannot Be Airbrushed at 2:30 p.m.

At 3:30 p.m. the second part of the program featuring images of the El made by Joseph Slanser will begin.

Dinner will be at 5:30 p.m. at The Warehouse Restaurant with a program at Marion Union Station at 8 p.m. titled The Other Railroads of Marion.

The registration fee for the symposium is $48 per person and included dinner on Saturday night.

More Reflections of CSX

September 1, 2017

CSX train Q254 passes AC Tower in Marion. With the pole line gone, it is easier to get reflection images such as this one.

You go your way and I’ll go mine. An eastbound manifest freight on the CSX Columbus Sub is about to bang the diamonds of the Mt. Victory Sub in Marion.

During a trip to Marion on a Sunday earlier this year I was surprised to find that traffic on the CSX Columbus Subdivision was heavier than on the Mt. Victory Sub. Usually it is the other way around.

Chalk it up to the dispatcher on the Columbus Sub bunching up the traffic as well the precision scheduled railroading plan of the CSX CEO E. Hunter Harrison.

One strategy of the plan is to take commodities that once ran in dedicated trains and add them to manifest freights.

This has been particularly the case with auto racks and aggregates. Earlier in the day, the Q363 came through with what in the past would have been the consists of two trains.

Aside from the usual array of manifest freight, the Q363 had on the rear a very long string of auto racks.

Whenever I see an auto rack train these days on CSX I wonder why it is still running and how much longer it might be running as a single-commodity unit train.

Summerail and Train Watching in Marion

August 14, 2017

Summerail returned to Marion last Saturday and there are indications that it will be back there again in 2018.

Master of ceremonies Ron Flanary announced toward the end of the program that the 2018 event will be held on Aug. 11 at the Palace Theater in Marion, where it was also held in 2016.

Traditionally, Summerail has been held in Cincinnati, but was moved to Marion last year due to construction at Cincinnati Union Terminal.

The move to Marion was expected to be for just two years, but Marion does offer some advantages over Cincinnati, primarily the use of an auditorium with expansive seating.

Past sessions of Summerail have sold out weeks before the event, but the Palace Theater has enough seating to make possible walk-up sales of tickets on the day of the event.

The 22nd edition of Summerail offered 10 multi-media programs with images set to music. Each program was about 45 minutes in duration and featured digital images.

A few programs had introductory commentary and videos embedded amid the usual progression of still images.

None of the programs were presented by Northeast Ohio residents and scenes of railroading from Northeast Ohio were scarce.

I spotted several Akron Railroad Club members in Marion during the day including Peter Bowler, Ron McElrath, Mark Demaline, Jim Mastrommateo, David Mangold, Richard Antibus and Tom Fritsch.

Some of them spent their day watching trains at Marion Union Station rather than viewing the Summerail programs.

The original Norfolk Southern heritage unit led an eastbound NS coal train through Marion in late afternoon, but I missed it because its passage occurred during the last set of afternoon programs.

Some Summerail regulars have a practice of dining at a Skyline Chili restaurant in Cincinnati during the dinner break.

Although Skyline has several franchises outside of southwestern Ohio, there are none in Marion.

Railfan & Railroad magazine arranged a catered Skyline chili dinner at Marion Union Station.

Tickets were $12 with a portion of the proceeds going to the station association.

The dinner was catered by a Skyline franchise in Westerville, a Columbus suburb.

A railfan sits at the operator’s desk in AC Tower as CSX train Q007 passes by.

BNSF motive power leads an eastbound grain train on the Columbus Subdivision of CSX.

Some Summerail attendees spent part of their dinner break watching trains. An eastbound NS manifest freight passes the photo line.

CSX westbound stack train Q007 had a pair of Kansas City Southern “Belles” in the motive power consist.

As westbound Q007 passes AC Tower, NS train 234 waits in the background.

The rear of NS train 234 passes the Erie Lackawanna caboose, which sits at the site of a former Erie Railroad division headquarters building.

 

 

NS 961, a light power move from Columbus to Bellevue, passes AC Tower.

Master of ceremonies Ron Flanary introduces a program.

Dishing out the Skyline Chili.

Railfan & Railroad editor Steve Barry dives into a cheese coney in the waiting room of Marion Union Station.

Pair of Uncles Petes Minutes Apart in Marion

July 13, 2017

NS train 175 pounds the diamonds with the CSX Mt. Victory Subdivision as it passes AC Tower in Marion, Ohio, on the NS Sandusky District.

NS Train 195 approaches AC Tower in Marion.

Union Pacific motive power is hardly a rarity on the Norfolk Southern lines radiating from Bellevue.

What might be a little out of the ordinary is seeing two trains led by UP locomotives in a span of less than five minutes.

That was the treat for trackside observers in Marion last Sunday afternoon when train No. 175, a Bellevue to Macon, Georgia, (Brosnan Yard) manifest freight cruised through town and past AC Tower with a pair of faded UP units on the point.

The 175 met at South Marion the 195, a Linwood, North Carolina, to Bellevue manifest freight that was led by a newer UP unit.

Minutes after the 175 cleared AC Tower, the 195 came roaring past.

Just Another ‘Routine’ Day in Marion

April 14, 2017

One highlight of my day in Marion in early March was this Kansas City Southern “Belle” helping to pull the Q106.

Every time that I plan a day railfan outing I’m always hoping for something out of the ordinary to occur.

Typically, I hope for something other than the same old, same old in motive power or train consists.

By that standard, my outing to Marion in early March was pretty average. Norfolk Southern didn’t send any heritage or special tributes through town during the nine hours that I was there.

No foreign units led any of the 30 trains that I logged. There were foreign units trailing in three motive power consists, one of which was the Q106, a run-through intermodal train from the Kansas City Southern.

The second unit in the motive power consist of that train was a KCS Southern Belle. I would have liked for it to have been leading. I would liked even more for that motive power set to have gone back west that afternoon, but it didn’t.

Motive power matters aside, I considered the outing to be a success. Train traffic was steady throughout the day. CSX was its usual hit and miss, but it provided 12 trains, although nothing ran west on the CSX Columbus Subdivision.

It took longer than I expected for the temperatures to warm to a comfortable feeling, but the skies were mostly sunny. That alone can make it a good day.

I had not been in Marion since last August when I attended Summerail so I wasn’t aware of a major change that has improved photography there.

CSX has removed the poles on the south side of the Mt. Victory Subdivision. One of those used to block the sight lines of photographs made from AC Tower.

A stub of a pole by the diamonds of the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern with the Mt. Victory Sub holds station identifier signs for NS. It looks kind of funny, but it is what it is.

Here is a selection of some of my better images of the day.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The first “foreign” locomotive that I spotted was a BNSF unit trailing a CSX leader on a westbound auto rack train on the Mt. Victory Sub.

An eastbound NS coal train approaches the junction with CSX.

CSX grain train G646 is about to rattle the diamonds as it rumbles eastward on the Columbus Sub.

Without poles along the CSX tracks, the sight lines from AC Tower are now open for shooting eastbound trains passing Marion Union Station on the Mt. Victory Sub. The train is the Q008.

Remember that pole that you used to have to shoot around from the steps of AC Tower? I can’t say that I miss it.

An NS engineer gives a wave to railfans in Marion.