Posts Tagged ‘CSX in Fostoria Ohio’

A Few From RRE’s Fostoria Outing Last Saturday

August 10, 2020

The Southern Railway heritage locomotive of Norfolk Southern is on the point of eastbound train 148, which is crossing the Toledo-Columbus line.

Last Saturday the Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts had a meet at the Fostoria Iron Triangle Rail Park.

I’m not sure how many attended. I saw a few members although the park was packed in the afternoon.

There was a decent amount of traffic on all the lines, at least 15-20 trains that I saw.

We stayed at Fostoria in the morning and drove down to Carey after lunch, catching some switchers and Wheeling & Lake Erie power, then came back for a few more trains at Fostoria.

We headed to Bellevue trying to chase an eastbound NS grain train.

The Norfolk Southern line used to be the Fort Wayne Division of the Nickel Plate Road.

It was famous for their Berkshires running freight trains as fast as 70 m.p.h.

This train was trying its best to emulate that as we got it a Maple Grove only to watch it roll by without getting any pictures.

Anyway here are a few pictures that I took.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

A CSX train coming into Fostoria on the line linking Toledo and Columbus.

David Kachinko looks to get a photograph of a CSX train turning west off the line to Columbus and onto the line to Chicago.

A northbound CSX train on the Columbus Subdivision led by Union Pacific motive power.

Dodging Clouds During Longest Day Outing

June 27, 2018

A former Burlington Northern “Grinstein” unit looking good aside from some exterior dirt leads train 234 through Fostoria during the Akron Railroad Club’s longest day outing.

Fostoria was as good as advertised last Sunday in terms of rail traffic as a thin crowd of Akron Railroad Club members turned out to watch trains at one of Ohio’s busiest railroad junctions.

Between 8:45 a.m. and 4:35 p.m., 36 trains rumbled past the Iron Triangle Railfan Park while at least one ARRC member was present.

Marty Surdyk and his brother Robert were the first to arrive, pulling in at 8:45 a.m.

One minute later they logged their first train, an eastbound manifest freight on Norfolk Southern.

Rick Houck arrived later as did ARRC President Craig Sanders. That was the extent of ARRC participation.

The day featured good weather that was not too hot, not too cool and not too humid.

But there were quite a few clouds and the often 50-50 sky conditions meant that the Surdyk brothers, both of them confirmed film users, often watched a train pass by with a shrug of WWTF because of the shadows cast by the clouds.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term WWTF it doesn’t incorporate in part the phrase “what the” but instead means “why waste the film.”

Traffic was fairly steady through Fostoria during the time that ARRC members were on hand. The longest lull was about a half-hour.

Not surprisingly, most of the trains belonged to CSX. Fostoria is the crossing of former Baltimore & Ohio and Chesapeake & Ohio mainlines with the ex-B&O handling most CSX traffic between the Midwest and Atlantic Coast.

CSX put 22 trains through Fostoria, using all of the connecting tracks between the ex-B&O and ex-C&O.

The vast majority of traffic on the ex-C&O was going to or coming from the ex-B&O with most of it taking the ex-C&O north of town.

Just one train made a straight move through town on the ex-C&O, a southbound (railroad eastbound) grain train that featured some of the most weathered covered hopper cars you will ever see.

No trains came into Fostoria from the south on the ex-C&O other than the yard job’s motive power, which was turning its locomotive to face a different direction.

It was a good day to see foreign motive power with units from Union Pacific, BNSF, Canadian Pacific and Canadian National leading trains past the railfan park.

An eastbound NS stack train, the 234, came in with a former Burlington Northern “Grinstein” unit, which is now owned by a locomotive leasing company Progress Rail. But no NS heritage units made an appearance.

CSX eastbound intermodal train Q010 had as its second unit a Chessie System sticker unit No. 7765. It looked like an oversized bumper sticker.

Traffic was a mixture of intermodal, manifest freight, auto racks and tank car trains. Noticeably absent were coal trains.

Throughout the day Robert Surdyk was monitoring the progress of the NS executive train, which had left Altoona, Pennsylvania, about 8:30 a.m. en route to Chicago.

About 5 p.m., Robert, Marty and Craig decided to head north to Oak Harbor to intercept and photograph the NS F units.

And with that the longest day shifted for another two hours to a new location.

The Q507 was another one-hit wonder, albeit a colorful one.

I took 18 minutes for auto rack train Q253 to round the curve from the ex-B&O to the ex-C&O.

A mother and her son eye an NS light power move.

NS westbound train 11Q had a load of tank cars.

Grain train E781 was the only move straight through town on the former C&O. It is shown crossing Columbus Street.

NS train 10E comes around the curve with a brace of Union Pacific motive power.

The newest addition to the railfan park is a former B&O caboose.

The Chessie System sticket on the nose of CSX No. 7765.

 

ARRC Longest Day Outing is Sunday in Fostoria

June 21, 2018

A CSX train takes the connection from the former B&O to the former C&O in Fostoria during the ARRC’s 2015 longest day outing. F Tower stands in the background.

The Akron Railroad Club’s annual longest day outing this year will take us to a very well known railfan hot spot, Fostoria.

Three major mainlines converge on Fostoria and all cross each other at grade creating an “iron triangle.”

Two of the three lines are owned by CSX. The busiest of the two is the east-west former Baltimore & Ohio from Willard to Chicago.

The other CSX line is the former Chesapeake & Ohio line from Toledo to Columbus.

Connections on all sides of the B&O/C&O diamonds allow trains to go all possible directions.

If you stay long enough, you should see one on each connecting track during the day.

Norfolk Southern gets into the act at Fostoria with the former Nickel Plate Road mainline from Bellevue to Chicago.

It crosses, first, the former C&O, then the former B&O on its way to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and Chicago.

The Iron Triangle Railfan Park in Fostoria sits near the NKP/C&O diamonds.

You can easily see the B&O/C&O diamonds from the park. The B&O/NKP diamonds are about two blocks to the west.

Fostoria is not short on trains. Even with the recent CSX downsizing there will be plenty of action to keep the rails shiny. However, the trains will be much longer than you have been used to seeing.

The C&O north of Fostoria at times resembles an automotive pipeline as many of the trains that ply these rails carry newly-made automobiles from Detroit area assembly plants to all parts of the country.

The other commodity of note on the former C&O line is coal. Coal from mines in West Virginia and Kentucky move to Lake Erie via this line.

Between the auto rack trains and the coal trains, the mixed freights can have a tough time finding track to run on.

The former B&O looks like an intermodal corridor with multiple double stack and single stack trains passing each day.

Mixed freights are more common on this line moving to and from the CSX yard at Willard.

NS also has a nice variety of trains. The intermodals mostly run before daybreak, but there will be plenty of mixed freights along with seasonal grain trains.

As with all ARRC longest day outings, the day begins when the first person arrives and ends when the last person leaves.

Members will most likely be there from just after sun up to sun down. So come for the day, or a morning, or just an hour, but plan on spending some time in Fostoria on Sunday June 24.

Article by Marty Surdyk

No Injuries in CSX Fostoria Derailment

April 18, 2016

No injuries were reported when a Willard to Toledo CSX freight derailed in Fostoria on Monday morning.

The manifest freight derailed 11 cars near Township Road at about 6:33 a.m.

CSX logo 1At least nine cars reportedly overturned but none of them was carrying hazardous materials.

The train was moving through the northeast connection from the ex-Baltimore & Ohio east-west mainline to the ex-Chesapeake & Ohio north-south route.

CSX spokesperson Gail Lobin said the train had 232 cars, including 157 empties and 75 loaded freight cars. Five locomotives were on the head end.

“Several of the cars have been re-railed and that east-west rail traffic is moving,” Lobin said.

The freight being hauled included plywood, cardboard, fertilizer, railroad ties and scrap steel.

CSX, NS Trains Nearly Collide in Fostoria

December 1, 2015

Railroad officials are investigating a near miss collision in Fostoria that was witnessed by railfans watching trains on Sunday at the Fostoria Iron Triangle Rail Park.

Trains magazine reported that the near miss involved a loaded Norfolk Southern ethanol train and westbound CSX manifest freight.

The magazine cited railfans saying that CSX train Q355 was on a connecting track leading from the Willard Subdivision to the Pemberville Sub en route to Walbridge Yard near Toledo.

NS train 66N was operating eastbound on the Fostoria District.

One of the railfans, who was described by Trains as a former railroad employee, said the engineers of both trains applied their emergency brakes.

The witness said “the NS train hit the air right about Poplar Street” after seeing the approaching CSX train. “CSX landed about 50 feet from NS,” the witness said.

Another NS train, the westbound 412, had just cleared the diamond of the Fostoria District and the Pemberville Sub before the near miss occurred. The connecting track on CSX passes behind F Tower.

Norfolk Southern spokesman David Pidgeon confirmed the incident.

“An eastbound NS train approached the diamond at Fostoria with a clear signal and when the crew spotted a northbound CSX train approaching the diamond, the NS crew put their train into an emergency brake (application),” Pidgeon told Trains.

CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle said the incident is under investigation.

It took about an hour for officials from both railroads to arrive on the scene. Ten CSX trains that were approaching Fostoria were delayed.

Rail traffic through Fostoria is controlled by the CSX IP dispatcher in Indianapolis.

On the Curve in Fostoria

August 29, 2015
The second unit is a former Union Pacific and the first freight car is also UP.

The second unit is a former Union Pacific and the first freight car is also UP.

A container train out of the North Baltimore intermodal facility is heading for Detroit.

A container train out of the North Baltimore intermodal facility is heading for Detroit.

With connections in all four quadrants, the crossing of the CSX Willard Subdivision with the Columbus Sub offers many opportunities to see trains rounding tight curves in Fostoria.

But only the northeast and northwest connections are easily photographed. The northwest connection between the Willard Sub and the Pemberville Sub is the most accessible because it curves around the Iron Triangle Railfan Park.

During a late June outing I was able to get a pair of trains coming off the Willard Sub and onto the Pemberville Sub. For the historically minded, that is going from the Baltimore & Ohio to the Chesapeake & Ohio.

My vantage point was the sidewalk along Columbus Avenue, using a telephoto lens.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Few More From Fostoria

August 20, 2015
A stack train splits the eastbound home signals for the diamonds by F Tower. Morning light in the summer if reasonably good for shooting eastbound trains on the CSX Willard Subdivision from the Iron Triangle railfan park.

A stack train splits the eastbound home signals for the diamonds by F Tower. Morning light in the summer if reasonably good for shooting eastbound trains on the CSX Willard Subdivision from the Iron Triangle railfan park.

The Akron Railroad Club’s longest day outing to Fostoria was more than a month ago, but here are a few more images that I made of CSX operations during my time at the Iron Triangle Railfan Park.

It was a busy outing with trains passing by throughout the day. A track project on the CSX Willard Subdivision had Track No. 1 out of service and that backed up traffic on all three mainlines through town.

As expected, there was a mix of traffic and motive power. On CSX I spotted locomotives of Union Pacific, BNSF and Canadian Pacific.

A UP unit led a westbound on Norfolk Southern and we were also treated to the NS Savannah & Atlanta heritage unit.

It was a good show during an all-day outing.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

A colorful set of red and blue containers brings up the rear of a Detroit-bound stack train.

A colorful set of red and blue containers brings up the rear of a Detroit-bound stack train. The tracks in the foreground are the NS Fostoria District.

A southbound (railroad eastbound) crosses over on the just north of the diamonds where the Pemberville Sub crosses the NS Fostoria District. It was the second of two trains in rapid succession to come down the Pemberville Sub and continue across the diamonds with the Willard Sub at F Tower and onto the Columbus Sub.

A southbound (railroad eastbound) crosses over on the just north of the diamonds where the Pemberville Sub crosses the NS Fostoria District. It was the second of two trains in rapid succession to come down the Pemberville Sub and continue across the diamonds with the Willard Sub at F Tower and onto the Columbus Sub.

A light power move has just cleared Columbus Avenue as it heads northward (railroad eastbound) on the CSX Pemberville Sub.

A light power move has just cleared Columbus Avenue as it heads northward (railroad eastbound) on the CSX Pemberville Sub.

An almost graffiti free Pan Am Railways boxcar on an eastbound manifest freight on the Willard Sub.

An almost graffiti free Pan Am Railways boxcar on an eastbound manifest freight on the Willard Sub.

Three flatcars carrying large pipes made for an interesting and out of the ordinary sight. The train was moving from the Willard Sub through the northeast connection to the Pemberville Sub.

Three flatcars carrying large pipes made for an interesting and out of the ordinary sight. The train was moving from the Willard Sub through the northeast connection to the Pemberville Sub.

C&O Sentinels Still Standing in Fostoria

August 8, 2015
The C&O style block signals still protect eastward movements over the Norfolk Southern tracks in Fostoria on the Pemberville Subdivision.

The C&O style block signals still protect eastward movements over the Norfolk Southern tracks in Fostoria on the Pemberville Subdivision.

Stack trains did not exist when these signals were put up decades ago.

Stack trains did not exist when these signals were put up decades ago.

Photographers who like older railroad block signals have been scrambling in the past few years to make images of training passing those veteran sentinels.

Class 1 railroads have been active of late in replacing signals that have stood for decades and whose design reflected the heritage of the long-time owner of the line.

Some signals have even been associated with a particular railroad. So it is with the Chesapeake & Ohio. It is not that the signals used by the C&O were unique, but they did have a look about them that said C&O.

CSX has been replacing the C&O style signals along the ex-C&O mainline between Toledo and Columbus. The former C&O signals are now all gone in Marion and some of them have been replaced in Fostoria.

But not all of them. The eastward home signals on the CSX Pemberville Subdivision for the diamonds with Norfolk Southern’s Fostoria District were still standing when I visited Fostoria in late June.

If CSX has plans to replace these signals, it is not evident. No new masts or support structures were in place next to the C&O signals.

In time, the C&O signals will probably be removed. As the old adage goes, get your photos while you can.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

On Photography: On the Periphery of the Mainline Lie Some Interesting Operations

July 15, 2015

Fostoria (CSX coming out of mixing center)-x

Railroad photographers in Northeast Ohio are fortunate to have easy access to some of the busiest mainline railroad routes in the United States. These routes can be counted on to provide variation in motive power and train consists.

But not far from the mainline are railroad operations that offer some interesting images if you have patience and an eye for detail.

Consider the image shown above. It shows a CSX local pulling auto racks out of the Ford Motor Company mixing center in Fostoria. The racks are being taken to a yard on the Columbus Subdivision located south of F Tower.

Now the first thing that many viewers will see is that the locomotive is running long hood forward. That might cause some to want to “turn the page” so to speak on this “boring” or “ho hum” scene.

But look around some more, paying attention to the rich detail beyond the locomotive itself.

Notice those dwarf signals? They have probably been there for many years and despite the veteran signals on the nearby mainlines being replaced by modern signals, those dwarfs are likely to continue to be in place for years to come.

Indeed, it was the dwarf signals that attracted me to this photo in the first place.

I also noticed that there is some sort of sign placed behind and slightly above the dwarf signal facing the camera. It has the appearance of a semaphore blade and I’m not sure what it’s purpose is whether it be to mark a boundary or give a signal indication.

Whatever the case, it is a little detail that I had not seen before.

I also found interesting the sharp curve that the train must navigate. I had seen a train on this track in a visit to Fostoria a few years ago and was pleased to get another one.

I like photographing trains on sharp curves, particularly when you can seen the cars that trail the locomotive(s).

Siding and industrial spurs often have the quality of being more integrated into their neighborhoods than do mainlines. Buildings and even houses are close to the tracks and the railroad must coexist with other enterprises that occupy the same neighborhood.

You get a sense of that on the far right of photo where there is a fence and shed that are is part of someone’s backyard. I tried to work some of the nearby homes into the shot, but the space was too tight to show much more than the locomotive nose.

Although not obvious in this image, I am standing in the parking lot of a small business to make this image. The business was closed on Sunday when I was there.

CSX probably uses these tracks just once a day. I was fortunate that the local went into the mixing center during daylight hours. Some spur and industrial operations occur at night.

Hence you have to be lucky and/or study operations in a given location to know when you are likely to catch a train.

Chances are that once you’ve worked a location a few times, you’ll have exhausted most if not all of the possible photo angles to be found there. Tracks such as these are not going to feature much variation in the motive power used or the freight cars moved except over a long period of time.

Yet these peripheral operations can add some variety to your photo collection and to a photo outing.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

 

Ready, Set, Stop

July 11, 2015

Fostoria Drag 11

Three CSX trains are stopped on the Columbus Subdivision in Fostoria waiting for clearance to proceed. Track work being performed on the CSX east-west Willard Subdivision made waiting trains a common sight on CSX and Norfolk Southern.

The train on the left was awaiting clearance to take the southeast connection to go east on the Willard Sub. The train in the middle wanted to go north (railroad west) across the Willard Sub and onto the Pemberville Subdivision to Toledo. The train on the right wanted to take the southwest connection and go west on the Willard Sub.

If you look carefully on the far right edge, you’ll see a fourth CSX train, a yard job between assignments.

Photograph by Craig Sanders