Posts Tagged ‘Galion Ohio’

Galion Depot Open House Set for May 22

May 10, 2021

The Galion railroad depot will conduct a Depot Day festival on May 22.

Events include pavilion displays and depot tours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Also slated are a presentation by All Aboard Ohio on passenger rail at 1 p.m., a concert by the Galion Community Band at 2 p.m., and a talk about interurban railways by Brett Dunbar at 3 p.m.

Food trucks will be on hand and mini trackless train rides will be offered in front of the depot.

The Galion station was built by the New York Central and last hosted a scheduled passenger train on April 30, 1971.

A few chartered Amtrak trains have stopped at the depot over the years. The CSX Mt. Victory Subdivision passes by the station.

July Morning in Galion

February 26, 2018

CSX U700 passes the Galion depot en route to Crestline and a crew change.

I haven’t done much photography in Galion. As I wrote in a post last summer, it is too easy to drive through Galion when Marion is not far away and promises to provide far more train traffic.

But last July I made it a point to stop in Galion to photograph CSX trains with the former New York Central station as a backdrop.

At one time Galion was a busy place. The New York Central’s lines to St. Louis and Cincinnati split here and the Erie Railroad mainline between Chicago and the East passed through.

But the Erie is gone now and CSX owns the former NYC routes. Even before E. Hunter Harrison took over CSX there was talk that the line between Galion and Columbus would be spun off to a short-line railroad or only maintained to branch line standards.

CSX still has a moderate level of traffic on the line to St. Louis and Indianapolis so that route isn’t going to change.

But as I expected, it took awhile before I got my first train, the Q363. It was a long, slow-moving creature that had a long cut of auto rack cars on the rear.

Welcome to the world of precision scheduled railroading under the “master” E. Hunter Harrison.

It would be an even longer wait to catch the next train, the eastbound U700. After it passed by about 10:30 a.m., I decided to head for Marion. That was a good choice.

It would be several hours before another eastbound headed through Galion.

The motive power of the Q363.

The rear of the Q363 passes the station.

Another view of the motive power pulling CSX train U700.

Stately Station in Galion

January 11, 2018

The former New York Central passenger station in Galion, Ohio, is slowly being restored. The different colors of the siding is evidence of this being a work in progress.

Galion, Ohio, is one of many countless towns across America that the railroads have left behind.

Not literally, though, as there are still CSX trains passing through Galion, although fewer of them.

When railroads scale back operations in a town, they typically rip out unused tracks and raze abandoned buildings.

Somehow, though, the former New York Central depot in Galion has escaped that fate.

The last scheduled passenger train to serve this station halted on April 30, 1971. Penn Central served Galion with a nameless pair of trains between Cleveland and Indianapolis, and another pair between Cleveland and Columbus.

Since then, there has been a lot of talk and numerous studies about reviving intercity rail passenger service between Cleveland and Cincinnati over the 3-C corridor.

But those efforts have been blocked by anti-passenger train sentiment in the Ohio legislature and within the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Amtrak has operated some chartered trains that stopped for passengers in Galion, but otherwise these rails have been freight only.

During a visit there last July, it was apparent that the NYC depot in Galion is in a state of transition.

There was evidence of a restoration project in progress, but it seems to have a long way to go.

One of the more intriguing artifacts at the station site is a former station sign post.

NYC stations had brass plates with the name of a town affixed to a pole somewhere along the passenger platform.

The one in Galion has been moved away from the tracks and is missing its name plate.

But seeing it took me back to the days when such trains as the Ohio State Limited, Southwestern, Missourian, and Knickerbocker would pause here to pick up and discharge passengers.

Oh, the passenger history that this pole and lamp fixture have seen.

This post once told passengers that their train had stopped in Galion.

At Last I Can Check Galion Off My List

August 19, 2017

Photographing an eastbound CSX train passing the former Big Four passenger station in Galion has been on my “to do” list for a long time.

How long? I was still shooting slide film when I first became interested in getting the image.

I’ve been digital since July 2011 so that is at least six years. And I know photographing in Galion has been on my mind for at least a few years before that.

I’ve driven through Galion numerous times while en route to Marion. But I never stopped to get the Galion photograph.

Marion has far more traffic than Galion. Yes, everything that passes through Marion on the Mt. Victory Subdivision also goes through Galion.

And Galion gets some traffic off the Columbus Line, which joins the Mt. Victory Sub in Galion a short distance south of the Big Four station.

But Columbus Line traffic has dwindled to a trickle. There is a stack train that originates in Columbus (Q022) and some other traffic here and there.

Getting the Galion image I wanted comes with a small window. It must be done in the morning and it works best for an eastbound.

It also takes determination and not giving into the temptation to say “the hell with it I’m going to Marion” after an hour of waiting and hearing nothing on the radio.

I arrived in Galion around 8:30 a.m., which I feared might be too late to catch the Q022. It must have been because I never saw it.

I waited for nearly an hour before catching a train, the westbound Q363. It was a monster freight that kept traffic waiting at the grade crossings for a long time.

It would be nearly an hour before another train came along. It was the eastbound U700, a coal train.

I debated about whether to photograph on the east side of the tracks or next to the umbrella shed that runs the length of the platform on the west side of the tracks.

I liked that view better, but it would mean one side of the train would be in shadows. I opted for the east side to get all of the train in sunlight.

After the passage of the U700 I headed for Marion. That was a wise decision. There would not be another eastbound go through Galion until around 3 p.m., by which time the sun had shifted to the west side of the tracks.

I’d still like to go back to Galion and get that umbrella shed shot and take my chances with the shadows.

One thing I know is that it will take some patience and maybe arriving earlier than I did on this trip.

CSX May Balk on PTC for the Columbus Line Sub

April 12, 2016

CSX is considering downgrading its Columbus Line Subdivision between Galion and Columbus and rerouting the through freights on the route elsewhere rather than pay the estimated $6 million cost of installing positive train control.

All Aboard Ohio, a rail passenger advocacy group, said that if CSX downgrades the Columbus Line it could have adverse consequences for development of the Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati passenger corridor.

CSX logo 1The freight railroad currently routes five to 10 trains per day over the Columbus Line and the route meets the federal threshold for requiring PTC.

A rail route must have a PTC system if it handles more than 5 million gross tons of traffic a year, hosts passenger service, or sees shipments of materials defined as toxic by inhalation.

If CSX downgrades the route rather than install PTC, it would maintain the track to Class 2 standards with a top speed of 30 mph for passenger trains and 25 mph for freight. CSX might also remove or turn off the block signals used on the route.

PTC costs an average of about $100,000 per mile, depending on the physical characteristics of the terrain being traversed.

The 60-mile Columbus Line between Galion and Columbus is currently maintained to Class 4 standards of 80 mph for passenger and 60 mph for freight.

CSX has the option of rerouting through freights now operating over the Columbus Line in a dog leg fashion via the Scottslawn Subdivision between Columbus and Ridgeway and thence over the Mt. Victory Subdivision between Ridgeway and Galion.

A remote-control connecting track between the Scottslawn and Mt. Victory subdivisions already exists in the southeast quadrant of the diamond.

AAO reported that CSX might lease the Columbus Line to short line operate Genesee & Wyoming, which already has a base of operations in Columbus.

The largest freight customer on the Columbus Line is an Anheuser-Busch brewery in Worthington on the north side of the Columbus metropolitan region.

The Columbus Line represents about a quarter of the proposed 3C Corridor. AAO noted that the line between Columbus and Delaware has been discussed as a possible commuter rail operation because it lies in the busiest commuting corridor in central Ohio.

The Columbus Line has not hosted passenger trains since a pair of Penn Central trains between Cleveland and Columbus were discontinued on May 1, 1971, with the coming of Amtrak.

AAO has described the 3C corridor as one of the most promising intercity rail routes in the nation.

Ohio received a $400 million federal grant to use toward establishing Cleveland-Cincinnati Amtrak service, but Gov. John Kasich canceled the 3C Quick Start plan shortly after being elected in 2010.