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