Posts Tagged ‘Railfanning in Galion’

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.

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.