Posts Tagged ‘Toledo’

Passenger Two for Tuesday

December 1, 2020

This week’s two for Tuesday takes us to Central Union Terminal in Toledo back on Nov. 29, 1968.

A Detroit-bound Chesapeake & Ohio passenger train is making its station stop in Toledo.

At the time time the only C&O varnish scheduled into Toledo was Nos. 46 and 47, which operated between Detroit and Ashland, Kentucky, and were a section of the George Washington.

These trains also stopped in Columbus, Marion and Fostoria, and carried through coaches between Detroit and Washington.

One of the coaches was a food bar coach that operated between Detroit and Ashland serving light meals and beverages.

The presence of a Union Pacific sleeper on the rear of the train is something of a mystery.

Nos. 46 and 47 were not assigned sleeping cars in late 1968.

The car shown is one of the Star series of UP sleepers. These cars were built in 1956 by Pullman Standard as City series sleeper-lounge cars with five double bedrooms and a buffet lounge.

Seven of those cars were converted in 1965 into the Star series with 11 double bedrooms. All seven of these cars were leased to Seaboard Coast Line in late 1970 and eventually ended up on Amtrak’s roster.

It may be that this car would later pass through Toledo on the Lake Shore Limited.

As for this car in 1968, it may have been on the C&O as a special move or a chartered car.

A footnote to this story is that the photographer and two friends were making their first overnight journey together.

They had planned to stay for the night in Toledo but instead would up in London, Ontario.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Grand Trunk Memories

December 1, 2020
A Grand Trunk Western train crosses the Conrail Chicago line at Vickers in Toledo on April 29, 1984

With the recent debut of the Canadian National Heritage schemes, I looked back in my photo collection knowing I had examples from years ago.

I found from several photographs of Grand Trunk Western motive power that I made while railfanning with Marty Surdyk in Toledo and Durand, Michigan.

There are, of course several locomotives still wearing Grand Trunk and Illinois Central liveries that are in pretty good condition. 

In this post are some photographs from 1984 and 1985, including images made during a railfan outing on April 29, 1984, to Toledo.

Also shown are excursions sponsored by the Bluewater Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society from Toledo to Durand for the May 5, 1985, Durand Railroad Days.

During that event a caboose train offered train rides.

In addition to Toledo and Durand, some photographs were made in Michigan at Luna, Monroe, Wyandotte and Corunna.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

The caboose of the GTW train at Vickers
A Bluewater Michigan NRHS chapter excursion at Toledo on May 5, 1985.
At Luna, Michigan
At Monroe, Michigan
At Wyandotte, Michigan
At Durand, Michigan
The caboose train at Durand
At Corunna, Michigan

Little Red Caboose

September 17, 2020

Can you guess who owns this caboose? Here is a hint. The photograph was made in Toledo on July 6, 1980. No. 90 belongs to the Toledo Terminal.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Catching an NYC Pair in Toledo

August 26, 2020

Both of these are New York Central locomotives even if just one of them still wears the markings of the Mighty Oval.

Penn Central GP9 has been given its PC look as it sits in Toledo on Nov. 29, 1968, just 10 months after the merger of the NYC and Pennsylvania Railroad created PC.

However, NYC F3A No. 1633 still has its cigar band livery as it awaits its next assignment.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Trains Tying Up Toledo Crossings for Long Periods

November 5, 2019

Some Toledo motorists are growing impatient over what they term long delays due to grade crossings being blocked by longer trains.

The Blade newspaper of Toledo noted that blocked crossings are not new in East Toledo, but with Norfolk Southern having adopted the precision scheduled railroading operating model the time that crossings are blocked has lengthened as the trains have become longer.

“It wasn’t really that bad until they started doing something different,” resident Tom Salona told the Blade.

Another resident, Chris McCrory, said delays have stretched to a half hour and even an hour.

Nick Fuzinski said the problems started getting bad last spring. “It used to be just five minutes. Then they’d be on their way,” he said.

Toledo City Councilman Peter Ujvagi, whose district includes East Toledo, said he has received numerous complaints about long blocked grade crossings.

“People have complained, because for a very long time that one single [track] line was not used much at all,” he said. “But now we have these extended blockages, and you can’t get around them.”

He was referring to the fact that CSX also has a rail line a few blocks from the NS track in question.

The Blade said the NS trains in question are headed in and out of Evans Yards, formerly known as Homestead Yard, in Oregon.

In the past, NS ran shorter trains and departing trains could conduct an air test without blocking any streets.

In particular, the Blade reported, the train that is blocking crossing the most originates in Bellevue and has a few blocks of cars for Evans Yard and the Air Line Yard in Central Toledo.

That train also interchanges traffic to the Ann Arbor Railroad in North Toledo.

The Blade said that this train typically arrives at Evans Yard in the middle of the morning to drop off cars and then picks up cars bound for Air Line Yard.

Most of the cars NS interchanges to the Ann Arbor Railroad are auto racks and that results in consists that are more than a mile long.

That is long enough to block most, if not all, crossings between Burger and York streets as the crew does switching and performs an air break test before departing for Air Line Yard.

To reach Air Line, the train must get onto the NS Chicago Line near East Broadway and Oakdale Avenue.

If it has to wait for traffic before getting onto the Chicago Line that means more time blocking crossings.

What has changed is that the auto racks are no longer handled in separate trains as they were in the past.

Likewise, NS used to run a train from Bellevue with just cars bound for Evans Yard.

A yard crew at Evans would then build another train with cars bound for Air Line Yard.

But now all of those movements have been consolidated into a single train.

Yet another complication can occur if an NS train is blocking a diamond with CSX at Ironville Junction.

That has a ripple effect with CSX trains blocking crossings in North and East Toledo as it waits it turn to proceed across the diamonds.

Ujvagi said he might write a letter to Norfolk Southern and perhaps one to U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur to see what help she might be able to offer.

Railfanning Vickers Described in Newspaper Article

September 12, 2019

The popular railfanning hot spot of Vickers on the east side of Toledo was recently featured in a story published by The Blade of Toledo.

Written by Blade reporter and well known Ohio railfan David Patch, the article gave an overview of railroad operations at the crossing of the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern and the former Toledo Terminal route now owned by CSX and also used by Canadian National.

Four Amtrak trains a day also pass through Vickers, which sees about 100 train movements per day.

The story notes that Northwood police occasionally enforce a city ordinance that bans parking on raised roadways, a reference to two bridges over the tracks built in the vicinity in recent years.

Those bridges led to two roads ending as dead ends near the tracks, which has worked to the advantage of railfans.

You can read the story at

An Ann Arbor Memory

August 28, 2019

The Ann Arbor Railroad had most of its track in Michigan, but it’s southern terminus was in Toledo.

The “Annie” as many called it, had 294 miles of track at its peak and a car ferry operation across Lake Michigan.

The AA filed for bankruptcy protection in 1973 and ceased operating in 1976 when Conrail took it over.

But soon the State of Michigan acquired the AA and later sold it in pieces to various short-line railroads.

Shown is Ann Arbor No. 301, an RS2 that was photographed in Toledo on June 21, 1983, during the time when it was operated by the Michigan Interstate Railway, a division of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Toledo Council OK Rail Passenger Study Funds

November 13, 2018

An ordinance approved by the Toledo City Council will contribute $30,000 toward the cost of a study of reinstating rail passenger service between Toledo and Detroit.

The funds would come from the Division of Transportation general-fund budget.

The Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments earlier agreed to contribute $20,000 to the $50,000 study.

The Toledo-Detroit route has been without intercity rail passenger service since Amtrak discontinued the Toledo leg of the Chicago-Toledo Lake Cities in April 1995.

Toledo Rail Bridge Being Dismantled

October 20, 2018

A high-profile but out-of-service railroad bridge in Toledo is being dismantled.

The bridge over the Maumee River adjacent to the Ohio Turnpike is being removed after the Wood County Port Authority was unable to give it away.

Known as the Upper River Bridge, it once carried the Toledo Terminal Railroad between South Toledo and Perrysburg Township.

A few components of the bridge will be preserved and displayed in a park being developed in South Toledo.

Trains haven’t used the 116-year-old bridge in more than 30 years and the tracks were earlier removed by CSX.

Officials said the steel on the bridge is expected to be removed by late December. The park is expected to open by June 1, 2019.

Officials considered using the 1,400-foot bridge as part of the Chessie Circle Trail that is being developed on part on former TT right of way.

But an engineering study determined that although the bridge could support the weight of pedestrians and bicyclists, it might not have been strong enough for use by emergency vehicles.

The structure of the bridge was found to be too poor to make restoration practical.

The Westside Corridor Coordinating Committee, a consortium of public agencies organized to develop the Chessie Circle Trail, is considering building a bridge in the footprint of the Upper River Bridge, but currently lacks the funding to do so.

The Ohio Department of Transportation’s Office of Environmental Services determined in 2009 that the center swing spans of the Upper River Bridge were eligible for the National Register of Historic Places “as a surviving example of an uncommon type of bridge technology.”

The pivot mechanism built beneath those spans is rare and will be preserved and displayed in the park.

But officials are uncertain if the bridge was ever opened for river traffic because there is no evidence that motors or controls were installed.

Toledo Short Line Sold

August 24, 2018

United Rail has purchased U S Rail Holdings, a short-line railroad in Toledo.
The Toledo short line offers transloading, private industrial rail car switching, track maintenance services, rail car repair, and rail car storage.

It also leases and operates about 72 miles of rail lines in Kokomo, Indiana, that United Rail plans to consolidate under the United Rail brand.

The Toledo offices of U S Rail will become the operations hub for the acquired companies into the United Rail network.

In a news release United Rail said it expects to operate five railroads by the end of the year.