Posts Tagged ‘NS Toledo District’

A Place Time Forgot on the Toledo District

February 16, 2017

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One in a periodic series of images that I made last summer.

I wound up at this rural grade crossing on the Toledo District of Norfolk Southern by happenstance.

We were checking out potential sites to photograph a train even through there were no trains that we knew of to photograph on this line.

The crossing is near Williston, Ohio. I immediately liked this location because it had that quality of a place that time forgot.

The block signals in the distance guard the east end of Williston siding and are the search light type signals once common on the Nickel Plate Road.

Off to the side of the tracks is a pole line. Yes, the wires don’t seem as connected as they once were, but along many mainlines the pole line has been removed altogether.

Searchlight signals and pole lines remind me of another time. I have memories of riding in the backseat of my Dad’s car going and the road running parallel with railroad tracks.

I remember seeing searchlight signals and pole lines. You can still find those in some places, but they are not as common as they used to be.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The NS Toledo District Parking Lot

September 5, 2016
This Norfolk Southern train on the Toledo District is stopped short of a grade crossing north of Kingsway where the double track becomes single track.

This Norfolk Southern train on the Toledo District is stopped short of a grade crossing north of Kingsway where the double track becomes single track.

Back in July, fellow Akron Railroad Club member Peter Bowler and I headed west along the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.

Our journey took us to Oak Harbor and we ended up pursing three eastbounds on the Toledo District.

We noticed that all three of those trains stopped and waited a while just north of Kingsway where double track goes to single track.

I don’t know if this is standard operating procedure or was just an aberration on this particular day.

I’m not sure if I had the correct radio frequency for this line so I never heard any chatter between the trains and the dispatcher.

My first guess was that the trains were stopped because of congestion in Bellevue, which isn’t that far away. It wasn’t for opposing traffic. Someone else suggested later that it could have been because the Fremont local was working and had the mainline tied up.

The first of the three trains we had initially spotted in Graytown. We didn’t realize it was taking the connection at Oak Harbor to the Toledo District until we heard it call the signal for the connection.

We gave chase and thought we had lost the train, which had a pair of Union Pacific units pulling it.

About to give up, I spotted the rear of the train, which appeared to be slowing. It came to a halt just north Kingsway and short of a rural road crossing.

We waited around a while, thinking an opposing train was coming. But that didn’t happen and back to Oak Harbor we went although that for very long.

A grain train on the Chicago Line called a signal that indicated it, too, was diverging onto the connection to the Toledo connection.

We moved over to Union Cemetery in Oak Harbor and got this train crossing the Portage River.

Then it was on the road to see if we could catch it. Like the train we had seen earlier, the grain train stopped short of Kingsway.

We made some more photographs once again headed back to Oak Harbor. To my surprise, I spotted a third eastbound on the Toledo District.

We turned around and intercepted it at a crossing where the gates were going down as we arrived.

The crossing was at the west end of Sewell and the train was headed into the Kingsway siding.

For the third time, we motored to that crossing north of Kingsway where the grain train was still sitting.

After making some photos of the trains sitting side by side, it was back to Oak Harbor as time was getting short and we still wanted to photograph the lighthouse at Marblehead and then get the sunset from Catawba Island State Park.

Somewhere in there we also needed to get something for dinner.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Crossing the Portage River at Oak Harbor.

Crossing the Portage River at Oak Harbor.

A barn or shed pays tribute to America.

A barn or shed pays tribute to America.

There are lot of grain hoppers behind that motive power.

There are lot of grain hoppers behind that motive power.

The home on the west side of the tracks had an expansive and well-maintained lawn.

The home on the west side of the tracks had an expansive and well-maintained lawn.

That home on the other side of the tracks did not appear to be occupied.

That home on the other side of the tracks did not appear to be occupied.

The third eastbound that we saw on the Toledo District.

The third eastbound that we saw on the Toledo District.

One advantage of being on the wrong side of the light was being able to make this image of the train passing a nearby field.

One advantage of being on the wrong side of the light was being able to make this image of the train passing a nearby field.

Almost into the siding at Sewell.

Almost into the siding at Sewell.

A long string of boxcars on the rear.

A long string of boxcars on the rear.

The manifest freight we had seen earlier pulls up alongside the still waiting grain train.

The manifest freight we had seen earlier pulls up alongside the still waiting grain train.

Waiting side by side.

Waiting side by side.

A parting shot of the grain train.

A parting shot of the grain train.

Sunset on the NS Toledo District

August 31, 2016

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You could sit trackside for hours on the Toledo District of Norfolk Southern northwest of Oak Harbor and not see a train.

Although an important route to NS, it is not the railroad’s major traffic artery in and out of Toledo. But it is the only route into Toledo used by the Wheeling & Lake Erie, which has a pair of trains each day on the line that interchange traffic with Canadian National.

That the route is important to the Wheeling seems appropriate because it is part of the original W&LE route between Toledo and Wheeling, West Virginia.

It fell into the hands of the Nickel Plate Road when that railroad acquired the W&LE in 1949. Of course the NKP was acquired by the Norfolk & Western which evolved into Norfolk Southern.

For a few days in July, the sun sets right down the Toledo District tracks near Oak Harbor. But you need to know when that is in order to gt it.

Photographer Peter Bowler was a little late this year, but he still came home with a very nice image.

Photograph by Peter Bowler