Posts Tagged ‘Summerail in Marion’

Summerail To Return to Marion on Saturday

August 8, 2022

After a hiatus of two years Summerail will return this Saturday to the Palace Theater in Marion.

The event begins at 10 a.m. with a railroadiana show in the pavilion of the theater, located at 276 West Center Street.

Marion Union Station and AC Tower will be open the same day for tours and train watching. Both are located two blocks west of the theater.

Food trucks will arrive and set up starting at 11 a.m. on the street next to the theater.

The multimedia shows will get underway at 1 p.m. with doors to the theater seating area opening at noon.

There will be a dinner break between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. followed by more multimedia shows running through 10 p.m.

Tickets for the multimedia shows and railroadiana show are $30. A railroadiana show ticket only is $5.

Presenters and their program titles are: Bruce Barrett, Yellow Box Moments; Steve Barry, Pennsylvania Steam; Charlie Dischinger, Country Roads; Michael Harding, Evolution On The FEC; Jeff Mast, Ann Arbor, The Final Years; Jeff and Andrew Nelson, Da’ C&NW Program; Dave Oroszi; Big O’s Shorts-1970s; David Patch, Cancel All Plans — How I Foamed the Pandamic; Steve Smedley, Alco Heaven: and Craig Willitt and Mike Schafer, The Photography of Jim Boyd.

On Friday, Marion Union Station and AC tower will be open throughout the day for tours and railfanning.

Both are located at the junction of the CSX Mt. Victory Subdivision with  the CSX Columbus Subdivision and the Norfolk Southern Sandusky District.

There will be slide shows Friday evening in the station. There is no admission charge but donations are encouraged.

More information including a detailed description of the programs and presenters is available at

Summerail 2022 Program Slate Announced

March 4, 2022

The program slate for Summerail 2022 was announced this week and Ohio railfan photographers will be well represented with at least three.

The event will be held from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Aug. 13 at the Palace Theater in Marion.

Tickets are $30 per person and must be paid in cash. There will be no credit card sales.

The price of admission includes access to the railroad show and sale set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the pavilion of the theater. A $5 railroad show only ticket will be available.

All tickets will be sold at the door on the day of the event and there will be no advance ticket sales.

This year’s presenter lineup and the titles of their programs is as follows:  Bruce Barrett (Yellow Box Moments), Steve Barry (Pennsylvania Steam), Charlie Dischinger (Country Roads), Michael Harding (Evolution On The FEC); Jeff Mast (Ann Arbor, The Final Years), Jeff and Andrew Nelson (Da’ C&NW Program), David P. Oroszi (That 70’s Show), David Patch (Cancel All Plans – How I Foamed the Pandemic), Steve Smedley (Alco Heaven), and Craig Willett and Mike Schafer (The Photography of Jim Boyd—some of our favorites).

All programs will be multimedia digital presentations of images set to music and/or narration. There will be a dinner break between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

During the event the Marion Union Station and AC Tower will both be open for visitors. A Friday night slide show is also planned inside the depot.

Summerail was last held in 2019. It was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summerail Canceled for 2021

April 26, 2021

Summerail 2021 has been canceled due to the linging effects of the CVOID-19 pandemic.

The committee overseeing the event held in August at the Palace Theater in Marion said the event was canceled due to “the many variables and unknown conditions that the COVID-19 virus has beset upon us.”

In an announcement sent via email to past attendees and participants, the committee said those conditions include a potential lack of vendors for the railroadiana show and several presenters canceling their participation due to family and job obligations.

As a result, the committee said, there was a danger that moving ahead with the event could result in a fiscal failure that would endanger its ability to hold future events.

The email indicated that Summerail operates on a tight budget and barely breaks even.

Summerail 2020 also was canceled due to the pandemic. The event was last held in August 2019.

Summerail and Train Watching in Marion

August 14, 2017

Summerail returned to Marion last Saturday and there are indications that it will be back there again in 2018.

Master of ceremonies Ron Flanary announced toward the end of the program that the 2018 event will be held on Aug. 11 at the Palace Theater in Marion, where it was also held in 2016.

Traditionally, Summerail has been held in Cincinnati, but was moved to Marion last year due to construction at Cincinnati Union Terminal.

The move to Marion was expected to be for just two years, but Marion does offer some advantages over Cincinnati, primarily the use of an auditorium with expansive seating.

Past sessions of Summerail have sold out weeks before the event, but the Palace Theater has enough seating to make possible walk-up sales of tickets on the day of the event.

The 22nd edition of Summerail offered 10 multi-media programs with images set to music. Each program was about 45 minutes in duration and featured digital images.

A few programs had introductory commentary and videos embedded amid the usual progression of still images.

None of the programs were presented by Northeast Ohio residents and scenes of railroading from Northeast Ohio were scarce.

I spotted several Akron Railroad Club members in Marion during the day including Peter Bowler, Ron McElrath, Mark Demaline, Jim Mastrommateo, David Mangold, Richard Antibus and Tom Fritsch.

Some of them spent their day watching trains at Marion Union Station rather than viewing the Summerail programs.

The original Norfolk Southern heritage unit led an eastbound NS coal train through Marion in late afternoon, but I missed it because its passage occurred during the last set of afternoon programs.

Some Summerail regulars have a practice of dining at a Skyline Chili restaurant in Cincinnati during the dinner break.

Although Skyline has several franchises outside of southwestern Ohio, there are none in Marion.

Railfan & Railroad magazine arranged a catered Skyline chili dinner at Marion Union Station.

Tickets were $12 with a portion of the proceeds going to the station association.

The dinner was catered by a Skyline franchise in Westerville, a Columbus suburb.

A railfan sits at the operator’s desk in AC Tower as CSX train Q007 passes by.

BNSF motive power leads an eastbound grain train on the Columbus Subdivision of CSX.

Some Summerail attendees spent part of their dinner break watching trains. An eastbound NS manifest freight passes the photo line.

CSX westbound stack train Q007 had a pair of Kansas City Southern “Belles” in the motive power consist.

As westbound Q007 passes AC Tower, NS train 234 waits in the background.

The rear of NS train 234 passes the Erie Lackawanna caboose, which sits at the site of a former Erie Railroad division headquarters building.



NS 961, a light power move from Columbus to Bellevue, passes AC Tower.

Master of ceremonies Ron Flanary introduces a program.

Dishing out the Skyline Chili.

Railfan & Railroad editor Steve Barry dives into a cheese coney in the waiting room of Marion Union Station.

Summerail 2017 Lineup Set, Tickets Available

March 15, 2017

Tickets are now on sale for Summerail 2017 to be held on Saturday, Aug. 12 at the Palace Theater in Marion, Ohio, at 276 West Center Street.

It is the same location as the 2016 event, which was moved from Cincinnati Union Terminal due to a renovation project being undertaken there.

Tickets are $25 apiece and can be ordered from Bill Haines, 305 Lamar Court, Vandalia OH 45377. Make checks payable to Marion Union Station Association.

The main program will feature multimedia programs of images set to music and narration.

The 10 presenters and their programs are: Marshall Beecher (My Metra Life), Mike Biehn  (Bluegrass Boats – TTI), Steve Carter (Autumn Days and Autumn Nights; Night Tracks),

Steve Glischinski (SPUD’s 90th Anniversary), Scooter Hovanec (Hills, Mills and Mines), Barry Lennon (Natural Resources), Garland McKee (L&N in Eastern Kentucky), Eric Miller (My Appalachian Odyssey), Don Toon (Toon’s B&W Scanning Chronicles), and Lance Wales (Nine Inch Rail).

The programs will be presented between 1 p.m. and 10 p.m. with a dinner on your own break between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The traditional railroadiana show and sale will be conducted in the pavilion of the theater from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A railroad show only ticket is available for $5.

Tickets also will be available at the door on the day of the event.

Free parking will be available to behind the theater and to the northeast behind the Marion County Building.

Marion Union Station and AC Tower will be open all day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 11-13).