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Ohio and Pennsylvania Railfan Locations

Fostoria Railfan Page

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a CSX eastbound crosses NS tracks

Fostoria Oh. is one of the greatest places to watch trains. The flow of trains seems to be never-ending except for the usual slow period around lunch from about 12:30pm and 2:00pm but that provides a break to get food and rest at the hotel for a while.

Trains role through about every 5-10 mins. Listening to the scanner one will find there are usually traffic jams outside of town. Fostoria sees between 90 and 120 trains in 24 hrs. Since the Conrail merger with CSX and NS traffic has increased in the past few years some days there may be 100-150 trains.

There are many locations in and around Fostoria to view the action, the simplest and safer location is the Amtrak Station and parking lot. It is adjacent to the CSX ex B&O Line and NS Fort Wayne Line junction. Signals are easily viewable for the CSX Line. The newest location will be the new railfan park a block east of the station. The park should be completed by 2010 with the area being open for railfans sooner.

Talk with the local railfans that live in the town they will help sort out the confusion... even experienced railfails will benefit greatly, it can be overwhelming. 

 Note: There is a slight danger being so close to the trains, watch small children and don't act like a child yourself!. Speaking of kids, to satisfy the kid in all of us there is a delectable ice cream shop- Whippy Dip, a short 2 min walk from the station. Location rating 10 (PERFECT)

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An Autorack and Intermodal meet at Fostoria's Amtrack Station

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CSX eastbound through Fostoria With an ex Southern Pac. onboard.

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A unique Western visitor to Fostoria.

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map of Fostoria's Iron Triangle

Marion OH is another great location about an hour south of Fostoria. This is another must-see when railfanning Ohio. A good idea is to go to Columbus for a day and stop at Marion. The Station is being fixed up by a local club and sometimes it's open. if it is- please support the station preservation fund, Marion and the Station is a unique place and a historiacal site that needs to be preserved! The station and railfan park sits in a "box" between the CSX Columbus Sub and NS Sandusky Line, both running N-S, parallel through Marion. Both Paralle lines cross CSX (ex Conrail) Indianapolis Line running E-W Through Marion. 60-100 trains per day, Location Rating 9 

Deshler OH. is about a 40-minute drive on route 18 west from Fostoria. I call route 18 "Railfan Road" The road and CSX tracks parallel and route 18 crosses the tracks a couple of times. On the way to Deshler you will pass through New Baltimore a small town with a fairly good railfan spot in itself. There is a grain elevator in town with some switching tracks as well. CSX will be building an intermodal yard just west of town. Construction is set to begin in 2008.
 
Continue on Rt 18 to Deshler, in Deshler go partly trough town and near the gas station turn left towards the tracks there is a small grocery store, we always stop and get meat, cheese and bread for sandwiches. The Railfan Park is located south of the tracks, it has a covered area with tables to relax and eat in the shade. The park is situated beside the CSX Willard sub and Toledo sub X-ing. There is a small yard south on the Toledo Sub. The Toledo Sub is the ex B&O line from Toledo's Stanley Yard to Cincinnati Ohio (a large hub for railroads).
 
About 100 trains pass through Deshler, most of the B&O Main to Chicago. Deshler is the border The Garrett Sub begins at Deshler and continues west towards Defiance OH, the Willard Sub begins at Deshler and continues East to Fostoria and then to CSX's large Yard at Willard OH. Note: Camping is allowed at the Park for a small donation. Location Rating 9.5

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