Posts Tagged ‘Fostoria Iron Triangle Rail Park’

Making the Best of the Fostoria Iron Triangle Park

July 24, 2014

So far this summer I’ve had two chances to visit the Railfan Park in the Iron Triangle at Fostoria.

Some fans have complained about the set up, but you have to look beyond the park and look at the big picture.

On July 4, the bro and I spent the better part of 10 hours hanging around Fostoria and the park, waiting patiently for a southbound on the former C&O.

We wanted to shoot the grain elevator at Upper Sandusky. To make a long story short, we arrived about 9 a.m and finally got our quarry, the Q349, at 7 p.m.

While we waited, we used the park as a base of operations,  relocating to get various shots around town as the train action permitted.

The chief complaint about the park is that it is not set up to shoot anything on the former B&O, which I feel is the least photogenic of the three rail lines that pass through town.

At the park, you can see that CSX has a maintenance base along the B&O in the triangle formed by the connection on the northwest corner to the C&O. With all of that clutter, all of the signals and poles, plus the fact that it is on the north side of the tracks, why would you want to shoot anything on the B&O from the park?

If you need to shoot a train on the former B&O, you can move to the Poplar Street crossing or to the Tiffin Street overpass. You’re not chained to the park.

The park is good for viewing NS movements and trains on the former C&O. In fact a CSX train on the northwest connection surrounds the park, with flanges squealing and horns blaring. It is a little like being at Horseshoe Curve.

The park may see some additions in the future; there is room for add-ons. But they made the most of what they had to work with. Since the better side of the park was the NS side, it is what they concentrated on.

I think it is well thought out and we should enjoy it for what it is, a safe haven to WATCH trains.

If you’re there to photograph trains then you need to do some homework and know the spots and when to do them.

Fostoria has a good thing going for it so let’s congratulate them for their efforts. Not many towns are willing to cater to a group of people that spend their time watching and photographing trains.

Article by Marty Surdyk


Road Trip to the Fostoria Railfan Park

April 29, 2014


After last week’s Akron Railroad Club meeting, Dennis Taksar and I decided to travel out to Fostoria the next morning to see the new railfan park for the first time.

Departing sleepy eyed at 6 a.m., we headed over a route that was adjusted slightly through Bellevue to pick up some “secret” donuts.  We didn’t bother to look for trains.

Along the way we made a brief stop at a quarry in Maplewood, I think that it was, to see if we could get shots of their three switchers.

Only one SW class unit was in reach of my lens.  Our first mainline encounter was on the Norfolk Southern. It was one engine and one car. Model train consists are longer that than.

We arrived in Fostoria around 8 a.m., to greetings from Camcorder Sam and a couple of familiar faces from the Columbus area who were already excited about the mornings parade of trains past the park.

And it was quite a parade. CSX was running through like rush hour buses through Public Square.

Seldom was there as much as a 10 minute wait between trains. The former Chesapeake & Ohio tracks were almost exclusively BNSF power including four war bonnets leading their charges.

I would guess at least 80 percent of that morning’s CSX trains had foreign power, including Union Pacific, BC Rail and various leasers.

This was our first visit to the new train park and we found it to be quite nice. You could almost stand on a lazy Susan and spin around to easily catch all the action.

The pavilion has nice rest facilities as well as benches and tall tables under the canopy. The landscaping will add a nice touch once it takes hold without interfering with the sight of the passing trains.

I fear, however, that dedicated parking may become a premium. Parking along the entry drive should help without block views too badly.

In the background all morning was the consent chatter among the photographers about a special movement that was imminent.

Traffic slowed a bit after lunch so Dennis took me around town to see other rail interests. We stopped by a very large grain elevator on the north edge of Fostoria where we photographed a new Critter the faculty recently received. It looked to be a mid-sized General Electric unit.

Then we ventured to the southwest side of town to a giant landfill operation where we saw a sorry looking SW switcher in early CB&Q colors marshaling trash cars about. It was an odiferous experience.

Upon return to the train park, we had a surprise meet up with Dennis’ dad and information about

the special movement.

We crammed Dad into the back seat and achieved train chase speeds westward.

The special movement was the Nickel Plate Road 765 on a test run from Fort Wayne to Leipsic Junction

I guess they wanted to see if anything will fall off before the trip between Elkhart and Bryan later this week. This encounter was a neat bonus to sweeten the trip to northwest Ohio.

If you look carefully in the first photo of the 765, you’ll see a strange white thing. It is a drone that a youngster had. The 21 century has a new wrinkle to train photography.

After our short visit with the big Berkshire, we returned to Fostoria via Deshler, a location that I had never been before.

Our brief stay in Deshler netted only one westbound train and as the sun began to set we returned to Fostoria to drop off Dad before finding much needed food before a long and weary trip back

Article and Photographs by Alex Bruchac











Fostoria Railfan Park to Open on Friday

November 12, 2013

The railfan park in Fostoria, Ohio, will open on Friday, Nov. 15 in a 3 p.m. ceremony.

The city of Fostoria, Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, and the Fostoria Rail Preservation Society will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by a reception at the BANKquet Hall on the corner of Main and Tiffin streets.

The park is located in Fostoria’s “Iron Triangle” bounded by two CSX routes and a Norfolk Southern line.

Whitta Construction of Fostoria began work on the park this past April. The park has a viewing pavilion for train watchers, a parking lot with access from South Poplar Street, lighting for nighttime photography and a heated restroom.

“We’ve had people since day one asking when the rail park is going to be done,” Fostoria Mayor Eric Keckler said. “I’ve had calls from people all over the country.”

The rail park cost about $1.1 million of which 80 percent was paid for by a $815,760 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Site preparation work began in 2007. A former pork-packing plant was razed in December 2010. A $300,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant helped the city clear the site.

The five-acre site is large enough to support additional features for the park. Future possibilities include a gift shop or museum.

Fostoria Awards Contract to Build Railfan Park

March 25, 2013
Thjis weed-infested field will be transformed this year into a railfan park. The lead unit of a westbound CSX train has just crossed the diamonds at F Tower during the Akron Railroad's Club's June 24, 2012, longest day outing.

Thjis weed-infested field will be transformed this year into a railfan park. The lead unit of a westbound CSX train has just crossed the diamonds at F Tower during the Akron Railroad’s Club’s June 24, 2012, longest day outing. (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

Construction of the Fostoria railfan park is expected to begin soon. The city last week awarded a $1.1 contract for the building of the Iron Triangle Visitor’s Center. The facility is expected to be finished late this year.

Fostoria is at the junction of two CSX routes and one Norfolk Southern mainline. The east-west CSX route is former Baltimore & Ohio while the north-south route is ex-Chesapeake & Ohio. The heritage of the NS route is the Nickel Plate Road.

Approximately 100 trains a day pass through Fostoria. The railfan park will be built on the site of a pork processing plant that was demolished more than a year ago at a cost to the city of $300,000.

The site is located in the northwest quadrangle of the crossing of the two CSX routes at F Tower, just south of the crossing of the NS line with the north-south CSX route.

The Akron Railroad Club visited Fostoria in June 2012 during its longest day outing. At that time, the railfan park was little more than a weed-infested field with a picnic table and portable restroom.

The campaign to establish the railfan park has been ongoing for the past 10 years.

The railfan park will become part of the city’s park system, but may be granted extended hours to enable railfans to watch trains at night.

Fostoria Rail Park in the Design Phase

December 4, 2009

Fostoria city officials have completed a preliminary drawing of the Fostoria Iron Triangle Rail Park.

“We’re on the right track and all on board for the project,” Fostoria Mayor John Davoli told The Review Times of Fostoria.

A public hearing on the plan was held in November at which railroad enthusiasts presented suggestions for the park’s design.

“The rail fans ended up giving us a lot of great information,” said city engineer Dan Thornton, noting that fans wanted a change in the planned platform.

“They told us they would like the platform back a little further. We thought they would like to be as close to the track as possible, but more distance is better for them, which is good news for safety, too,” said Thornton.

The park will have an open-air visitor center with rest rooms and concessions, a park shelter which may be located from Portage Park, lawn space for exhibitions and a model railroad garden, a viewing platform and a relocated depot for future use as a railroad museum.

Fostoria city officials will meet next week with the Ohio Rail Development Commission to discuss rail safety issues. “We’ll kick off the final design at that point. We’re just waiting for that meeting to happen,” said Thornton.

The final design will be reviewed by the Ohio Department of Transportation and the project will then be opened for bidding, probably late summer 2010.

Fostoria received a $815,760 grant money to transform the former 5-acre Boneyard into a railroad park. The grant will fund 80 percent of the $1 million project. The city’s cost of the project is $163,152.

The city also received a $300,000 grant to clean up the rail park site. City workers began clearing debris from the site last month.

Fostoria is one of the most popular railfanning locations in Ohio. Two CSX lines (both former Baltimore & Ohio) and a Norfolk Southern route (former Nickel Plate Road) cross here.




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