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The Railroad Station Historical Society Convention 6/07-10/2023

by Chris Guenzler

The two travellers, who were now conventioneers, awoke and following our Internet duties, took the elevator downstairs and partook in the hotel's breakfast then returned to the room before boarding the bus and chose the second seats on the right. Twenty-one other members boarded and at 7:30 AM, the bus departed the hotel and we off for the first of four days of stations and other items of railway interest.

We brought the convention binder with us and consulted it throughout the trip, with Mark Camp, our host and organizer of this convention, offering pertinent information on various historical items as they related to the stations, or the railway tracks that we passed over or under on our journey between each station.

Our first stop was in Bowling Green, although the city's stations are no longer in existence.

Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton, later New York Central station, built in 1894 which used to be the station in Weston. In 1970, it was moved to the grounds of the Woods County Fairgrounds in Bowling Green.

Pennsylvania Railroad N-8 caboose, number unknown. Everyone reboarded the bus and were taken next to Carey.

Columbus, Hocking Valley and Toledo, later Chesapeake and Ohio, Carey station built in 1908. It now houses the Town of Carey municipal offices.

This is Cabin C, a brick structure on the Columbus, Hocking Valley and Toledo Railway (later Chesapeake and Ohio) at the crossing of the Pittsburgh, Akron and Western (now Akron, Canton and Youngstown).

CSX 92 East with CSX AC44CW 354 in it consist, was well-timed as it was switching while we were here. Everyone was then taken to Bucyrus.

The Great American Crossroads mural created by Eric Grohe as seen from the bus as we arrived.

Norfolk Southern caboose 555441, nee Norfolk and Western 518541 built by International Car Company in 1969. It was later donated to the Bucyrus Station Association and has been restored to its original Norfolk and Western appearance.

Toledo and Ohio Bucyrus station built in 1892. The last passenger service was in the mid 1950's after which the depot sat vacant for many years before being used by small businesses. Interest in preserving the depot began in 2003 but it was not dedicated until 2018. It is operated by the Bucyrus Preservation Society.

The Bucyrus Preservation Society sign in front.

This structure could be the Bucyrus section house but it was not known for certain. We reboarded the bus and then the crossing gates went down in front.

>Norfolk Southern 4328 East came through town, after which we were taken to Galion.

The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway (Big Four) Galion station built in 1900 which replaced a smaller frame structure. The second floor served as Division Headquarters. Around 1914, 32 trains stopped here but dwindling passenger service and upkeep expenses eventually led to its closing in 1969. After a number of attempts and reuse, the City of Galion acquired the building in 2000. Restoration was slow but it was gradually returned to its grandeur by the Galion Depot Inc. and the Friends of the Big Four Depot.

This was our lunch stop of the day and we ate a catered boxed lunch provided by Bistro 217, in the pavilion across from the station which opened in 2017.

The former Railway Express Agency part of the station.

The Ohio Historical Marker of the station.

The initials of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway inlaid in the station. The station was opened and we explored both floors, the upper one was in the throes of restoration.

The interior of the Galion station.

United States tank on display adjacent to the station. From here the bus took us to Mt. Gilead.

Mt. Gilead Short Line Railroad station built in 1924. Bypassed in 1851 by the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati (a predecessor of the Big Four), the town of Mt. Gilead constructed a 2.1 mile stretch of track between downtown and Gilead Junction, later Edison. The Mt. Gilead Short Line Railroad, finished in 1879, was leased to the Big Four. The station now serves as city offices.

The next stop on the bus tour was Marion.

Columbus, Delaware and Marion Railway freight station. The building was originally built in 1928 to serve as the local depot for the Columbus, Delaware and Marion Railway Company, which operated an interurban passenger and freight electric train service from 1903 to 1933. The company also provided local streetcar trolley service in Marion and Delaware. The CD&M railway was built on the idea of connecting the manufacturing capital of Marion with agricultural Delaware County, as well as the state capital of Ohio, which paid dividends for the development of downtown Marion's commercial core and industrial recruitment. However, once a bustling depot for both freight and passengers, with the invention and expansion of the automobile, passenger trains and trolleys lost popularity and the station closed less than 10 years after starting operations. The building later served as utility company offices, a haunted house, and sat vacant for many years before being converted to Bucci's Restaurant in the late 1990's.

Marion Union Station built in 1902. All three railroads pass within 50 feet of this "Union" Station. The old waiting room is currently open Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 2:00. The tracks to the north are now Conrail, they were originally Erie/Erie-Lackawanna and New York Central. The tracks to the east are now Norfolk Southern, formerly Norfolk and Western and originally Pennsylvania Railroad in 1964. The tracks to the west are CSX, former Chesapeake and Ohio/Chessie.

All three railroads currently have two tracks at the station. It is quite a spot for railfans, with nearly 100 trains passing every 24 hours (CSX 30, NS 27, CR 25 plus locals). During its active years, the station was operated and maintained by the Columbus, Hocking Valley and Toledo (Chesapeake and Ohio).

Norfolk Southern freight station.

Erie Railroad caboose C306 built by International Car in 1953 on display.

CSX local 2727 East rumbled through Marion.

Marion's former Erie and Pennsylvania Railroad freight houses, originally built by the Marion Steam Shovel Company.

Marion Steam Shovel Historical Marker.

One of the Steam Shovels.

Marion Wastewater Plant 24" gauge TLC 3T, nee Mosser Construction, built by Plymouth in 1953. I returned to the tower landing after talking to a railfan and learning a Norfolk Southern heritage unit was coming our way north.

Norfolk Southern CW40-9 9879 West with Norfolk and Southern SD70ACe 1065 in Savannah and Atlanta heritage paint scheme, went west from here. I was out of position for the next train.

Norfolk Southern 2701 East with Norfolk Southern 1204 and BNSF 6624 in its consist.

The end of two Norfolk Southern trains. Some of our group browsed the timetable and book collection in the station, while others listened to a short presentation about the station's history.

CSX AC60CW 671 and ES44AC 932 came though Marion then once everyone was back aboard the bus, we departed for Kenton.

Ohio Historical Marker about the Mad River Railroad.

New York Central Kenton station, which was served by the Cincinnati, Sandusky and Dayton Railroad, later Big Four Railroad, built in in 1892. It now houses the local Nationwide Insurance Company office.

The next stop on today's tour was Dunkirk.

Pennsylvania Railroad tower which marks the crossing of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Toledo and Ohio Central. Its purpose now is just for storage.

The last location for the day was Toledo Union Station.

Toledo Union Station built in 1950. At the time it was built, it served 110 passenger trains per day. A few years ago, Conrail sold the station to the Lucas County Port Authority for $20,000. The station was renovated using a combination of local, state and federal money. It was re-dedicated in September 1996 and the name was changed to Central Union Plaza. The original lobby has been preserved, but the Amtrak station has been re-located downstairs at track level. The remainder of the building is office space, most of which is occupied by the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments and Lucas County Educational Services. The remainder of the space is vacant. Amtrak also operates an express facility at the location.

The bus then returned us to the Residence Inn and Elizabeth and I went to Jersey Mike's for dinner before returning to the room for the night.

Railroad Station Historical Society Convention Day 2 6/8/2023

It was another early start and after our normal routines, we went downstairs for breakfast then returned to the room before boarding the bus and taking our usual second row seats. At 7:30 AM, we departed for the first station of the day.

This station, built in 1885, was on the line which attempted to connect the east and west coasts by narrow gauage. In 1887, the Toledo, St. Louis and Kansas City was converted to standard gauge. The line eventually become known as the Cloverleaf and stretched from Toledo to East St. Louis. In later years, this combination depot was shortered. Last commerical traveller to stop here was in 1941. The Nickel Plate ended passenger service on the Cloverleaf in 1959. The depot once served as the Waterville ticket office for the Bluebird Special tourist line.

From here the bus took us to the Ohio Electric Railroad bridge.

Ohio Electric Railroad twelve-span reinforced concrete arch bridge at Roche de Bouef across the Maumee River built by the National Bridge Company in 1908. It is 1,220 feet long and was abandoned in 1937 by the Cincinnati and Lake Erie Railway. During World War II, it served a few years as a highway bridge. In detiorating condition and with no legitimate buyers, it is scheduled for demolition.

Ohio Historical Marker Roche de Bouef.

Ohio Historical Marker Ohio Eectric Railroad bridge.

The Detroit Toledo and Ironton bridge as we headed to Liberty Center.

Wabash Railroad Liberty Center station built in 1891 whose original location was 100 feet east and 100 feet north and was remodelled in 1904. The last passenger train stopped here in 1959 and the Norfolk and Western continued to use the building until 1984. After Norfolk Southern required removal of the station, it was relocated in 1985 and was restored by The Liberty Center Historical Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of history in the Liberty Center school district.

Ohio Historical Marker Liberty Center.

Ohio Historical Marker Wabash Depot.

Wabash Railroad bike trail as seen from the bus on the way to Delta.

New York Central, formerly Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, Delta station built in 1903. A store served as the depot until this depot opened in 1906.

From here we proceeded to Wauseon and our next stations.


Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Wauseon freight station which have been heavily modified with steel siding added. Wauseon was a station on the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton, Wabash and the Toledo and Indiana Railway, as well as Lake Shore and Michigan Southern.

Toledo and Indiana Wauseon station built in 1904. The Toledo & Indiana Railway, Inc. was incorporated in 1901 to construct an electric interurban line west from Toledo to Stryker and was extended in 1905 to Bryan. The line ran parallel to the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway (later the New York Central) on the north side of that alignment. It was envisioned as being a link to Indianapolis, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois. These expansions and connections were not completed. A branch of the Garrett, Auburn and Northern Electric Railroad from Waterloo, Indiana to Bryan was never constructed. The line offered more frequent service at lower fares than the adjacent steam road. It had 31 stations on its 57-mile line between Toledo and Bryan. At its peak, Toledo was served by eleven interurban companies.

In 1905, the Toledo and Indiana constructed a power plant near the Tiffin River in Stryker and rails were extended to Bryan. Later that year, the railroad completed a car maintenance and storage facility east of its power plant and erected a combination passenger/freight depot on East Lynn Street in Stryker. This power plant helped electrify northwest Ohio, bringing much of the area into the "modern age". As highways and secondary roads improved and automobiles and trucks became more common, interurban railways struggled financially. In July 1939, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved the T&I's request to abandon its interurban rail line. The passenger station for the line through Wauseon became the Dyer & McDermott store downtown.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway Wauseon station built in 1896 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The last passenger service was in the late 1950's and a portion of the depot was then used by the Railway Express Agency. The city eventually bought it and used it for storage. The Fulton County Historical Society restored it and opened it as a museum in 1975.


Baltimore and Ohio caboose C479 built by the railroad in 1930, painted as Lake Shore and Michigan Southern 10759 on display here in Wauseon. It was retirex in 1972 and was used as an office at Seagate Quarry in 1975 before being purchased by the Fulton County Historical Society the same year.

Plaques on the station.

The interior of the Wauseon station.

Norfolk Southern 7523 East went through town during our visit.

We were nicely surprised to have a second train, Norfolk Southern 4357 West. On the way to Stryker, the bus slowed down as we approached Sauder Village.

Wabash Railroad station moved from Elmira, Ohio to Sauder Village in Archbold. It was built in 1901 and after closing in 1965, it was first moved back from the track and used by the local elecator. It was acquired by the village in 1971 and has been moved within the village a couple of times. The caboose is Baltimore and Ohio caboose C137.

Timing was perfect as the village's train passed the depot as we passed by then continued on to Stryker.

Ohio Historical Marker Styrker's Railroad Heritage.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway Styrker station built in 1896. After closing, the depot became a police station and is now a community centre and museum. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places and replaced an earlier frame depot at the same location that burned in 1900.

Stryker Historical Board Home of William J. Knight, A Captor of the Conferderate Locomotive "The General". We then went to Bryan which was also the lunch stop of the day.

New York Central freight house. Bryan was served by the Cincinnati Northern, Lake Shore and Michigan Southern and Toledo and Indiana Railways.

Conrail bay window caboose 21307 built by Fruit Growers Express Company in 1978.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Bryan station built by 1867 which was originally on the north side of the tracks but was moved across the tracks to the south side in 1887. It was closed in 1959.

Everyone had lunch in this depot which houses the Third Rail Saloon. Elizabeth and I enjoyed a pulled pork sandwich and lemonade; I chose potato chips while Elizabeth had the baked beans.

The sign on this building. From here the bus took us to Fayette.

We made a brief stop at an unknown depot.

The brick Toledo and Western Railway depot replaced an earlier frame building. Construction of the line began in 1901 and eventually the tracks ran from West Toledo to Pioneer and to Adrian, Michigan. The line reached Fayette in 1902. Tracks ran down the middle of the way with a wye around Fayette depot. it is now home to the Gorham Fayette Fire and Rescue. Fayette was also as far as the Chicago and Canada Southern Railroad reached.

We then crossed the state line into Michigan.

Toledo and Western Railroad Morenci passenger and freight station built in 1901. Construction of the Toledo and Western began in 1900 west from Toledo. The line was completed to Sylvania in 1901 and then northwest to Adrian as far as the Wabash railroad tracks the same year. An underpass was finished in 1903, permitting access to the Adrian City lines and downtown. The main line of the road was built west from Allen Junction and reaching Fayette, Ohio in 1902. It terminated at Pioneer, Ohio in 1903. Ths line veered into Michigan to reach the city of Morenci.

The company handled both passenger and freight traffic, the latter which continued even after interurban service was eliminated. Two freight trains were operated daily as early as 1902. The Wabash, Detroit and Toledo and Ironton and Toledo Terminal all interchanged with this line. Railway Postal Service also used this line to reach these small towns. This company went bankrupt several times. In 1906 the line was sold to the Everett-Moore syndicate. Along with several other lines, ownership of the road passed to the Cities Service group, under Henry L. Doherty in 1913. The T&W again went bankrupt in 1921 and was sold to the Willys-Overland Motor Company and the Wabash Railway in 1924.

There is a small ice cream store operating out of this station and almost everyone enjoyed some type of ice cream. I enjoyed a mint chocolate chip cone and Elizabeth had a butterscotch sundae. After that, the bus took us to Lyons.

Toledo and Western Railroad Lyons station built in 1901. Our next stop on today's tour was Metamora.

Toledo and Western Railroad Metamora freight station which has been converted to a residence but retains visual proof of its railway heritage. Next the bus took us to Blissfield.

Toledo and Western Railroad Blissfield station which is the only brick depot on this line.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Blissfield station built in 1875 and is the depot from Deerfield, Michigan. The bus then took us to the final stop of the day.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Sylvania station built in 1858. Related twice, in 1970 and 1977, this atypical LS&MS depot ended up as part of the Sylvania Heritage Village. Passenger service was continued in 1956.

Inside an adjacent building is the only surviving Toledo and Western 63 ton electric locomotive built by Baldwin in 1915 and acquired by the Heritage Slyvania in 2015. It operated until 1956. It was donated to this group in 1996 and moved to the village in 1997. The building was not open so we could only peer through the windows.

That concluded the second day of the convention and the bus then returned everyone to the hotel. Since neither of us were hungry, we did not have dinner and later, called it a night.

Click here for part 2