I Thought I Had Seen a Ghost
Sometimes a trip begins a week or more before you make it. Such was the case with an April 20 outing that had begun the previous weekend.
The weather on Saturday, April 21 had been terrible weather, so I had gone to the train show in Columbus.
I stopped at the Ohio Railway Museum in Worthington just to see what remained. The museum had been shut down).
As I drove in, an Illinois Terminal PCC rumbled overhead on the Route 161 overpass.
I was like, WTH? Did I just see a ghost?
The museum is open on Sundays from noon to 4, but this was Saturday and what I had seen was a special Boy Scout event.
We waited almost an hour for the streetcar to run again, but to no avail. I filed this information away for a future weekend outing with nice weather.
Fast forward to the Akron Railroad Club April meeting. Marty Surdyk presented a program of slides from the collection of the late Doc Smith program that included a segment on the Illinois Terminal. The program had included this car, the No. 450).
I really had to go now. A quick weather check for Sunday’s weather showed it would be 66 and sunny in Columbus. That sealed it.
On the way, I stopped at Chippewa Lake and photographed some of the equipment there. Calling it derelict is probably too kind; this stuff needs to be properly buried.
The photos I got would only be good for the Flickr “Ruins and Rust” group.
I continued my journey and stopped at Bellville, Ohio, to get a photograph of the Norfolk & Western 2-8-0. It one of three that sat for decades at a scrapyard in Roanoke, Va.
It doesn’t have the original tender but it was still nice to see it.
Then it was on to Worthington.
The weather was as advertised and the museum was open and running. Rides are at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m).
I photographed pretty much everything there including an old Cleveland Airporter car that I probably rode as a kid. I even got the streetcar on the overpass, a shot that had I failed to get last weekend.
The next stop of the journey was near Buckeye Lake, Ohio.
I had seen photos posted of streetcars rusting away in a farmer’s field. Somebody had geotagged the location, so off I went.
When I got there the cars were missing but a track was still there, apparently an old branch line that had been left in place.
I rounded a corner and there they were, several PCCs of Cleveland and Pittsburgh ancestry, including including one with a funny nose. It was an interurban freight motor and a wooden street sweeper.
I was only able to get photos from the fence line but it looked like more than 20 streetcars were on the property.
Why and what they are doing here I don’t know. Possibly it was a museum that went bust or just never got going. But it was interesting all the same.
Going home I drove along U.S. 40, the National Road, and found an old railroad piggyback trailer now being used for storage.
It is an Erie Lackawanna 40-foot trailer and still had the EL diamond logos on the front and rear. The larger side logos had been removed. It was still another neat find.
From Zanesville I followed an old Wheeling & Lake Erie branch line—it is now Ohio Central—that looks well used but there were no trains today.
This took me up by Sugar Creek where Jerry Jacobson’s new roundhouse looks completed. I look forward to when this is open for tours as it appears to be a very fine facility.
Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon