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Railroad Station Historical Society Convention Part 2 6/09-10/2023

by Chris Guenzler

Day 3 6/09/2023 Elizabeth and I arose and following Internet duties, went downstairs and enjoyed a good breakfast before waiting for the bus to arrive. Taking our usual seats, we departed at 7:0 AM and we were all off on the third day of the convention, this time heading east.

Crossing Toledo Bay. The bus took us all to the town of Elmore.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Elmore station built in 1872. It was one of two raiways to stop in Elmore, the other being the Toledo, Port Clinton and Lakeside Railway. The LS&MS used a combination depot as a freight station. Passenber service ended in the 1950's and the depot was eventually closed. The Elmore Historical Society has restored the passenger station and it now houses a local history museum. The freight station and interurban depot no longer exist. Although most records give a year of 1872 for this station's construction, New York Central Railroad valuation records from 1926 give a builder's date of 1869.

Mark Camp had arranged for the depot museum to be open so we could all tour it and here are views of the model railroad layout in part of the building.

Everyone reboarded the bus for our next stop in Oak Harbor.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern station in Oak Harbor built in 1872. It is the only station left of the three that used to be here; the others were owned by the Toledo, Port Clinton and Lakeside and Wheeling and Lake Erie. It is currently used for railroad storage.

Crossing Sandusky Bay on the way to Sandusky.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern station built in 1872. It was converted into a freight station when the railroad commissioned the architectural firm Shepley Rutan and Coolidge to design the sandstone depot, which opened in 1892. The last passenger train was in 1971 and the depot closed in 1978, remaining abandoned for the next twenty years when the City of Sandusky began renovations in 1998. Today, Amtrak's Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited use the station and it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

A New York Central freight house. The bus then took us to Vermilion where we stopped at a Subway to get lunch and take it with us, eating it at picnic tables in a park area opposite the tracks. There was plenty to see afterwards.

Nickel Plate Road Vermilion station built in 1882 and has been moved 500 feet north of the Norfolk Southern mainline. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and there is a serious effort by a core of individuals who are restoring the depot. The Vermilion group would like to establish this as an interpretive museum and even re-lay some track in front of the depot for display, even though the operating Norfolk Southern main runs only 150 feet away.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Vermilion station built in 1870, now St. Mary's Church Meeting Hall.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Vermilion freight station built in 1905.

Lake Shore Electric Railway Vermilion station and substation built in 1902. This line ran from Toledo to Norwalk and Cleveland from 1901 to 1938.

Lake Shore Electric Railway plaque.

There were several murals on the sides of buildings as we walked around and this one had an interurban railway theme.

As I returned to the tracks by the picnic area, Norfolk Southern 1003 West passed through.

These show the track layout and other items of railway interest in Vermilion, and are on the railfan viewing platform beside the tracks.

The first stop of the afternoon was in Amherst.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Amherst station built in 1902 and it is the only L&SMS structure reminaing in town on the new elevated line. The Nordstrom Foundation was instrumental in restoring this station in recent years and it is now surrounded by a park and has meetings rooms.

The tour next visited Oberlin.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Oberlin station built in 1889 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Passenger service was discontinued in 1949 and while the freight station was moved to Welalington, the passenger depot was restored on site in the 1970's and serves as a community centre.

CSX Canadian Pacific AC4400CWM 8028 East with merger partner Kansas City Southern SD70ACe 4123 in the consist.

From here the bus drove all of us to Wellington.

A re-creation of a Big Four Passenger shelter.

A grain elevator looking east down the Big Four tracks.

Big Four Wellington freight station which is used as storage. Sometime between 1904 and 1911, this station was moved across the tracks to the northwest side of the tracks from its original location on the southeast side. There was a cheese wharehouse attached to the freight station when it was in its original location.

From here the bus drove us to the Lorain and West Virginia Railway a scenic railway located in Lorain County originally built to serve the heavy industries in Lorain. We offer seasonal train rides with historical 1950's era equipment from our train depot in Wellington. Organized in 1979, the non-profit Lake Shore Railway Association was formed to try and save the Lorain & West Virginia Railway from abandonment. Since that time we have purchased approximately 20 of the original 25 miles of that railroad. Operations began in 1993, and we have currently rehabbed the southern six miles of track, with hopes of continuing northward.

After Mark Camp met with the caretaker of the station, approval was given for us to de-bus and explore the area.

Lorain and West Virginia E8A 101, ex. Wisconsin and Southern 801, exx. Metra 522, nee Chicago and North Western 5021B built by Electro-Motive Division in 1950. It was acquired by the railroad in 1997 then was repainted and upgraded for high speed operation in 2002.

Lorain and West Virginia station built in 1853 which is from Oberlin and was the original Toledo, Norwalk and Cleveland Railroad building. That railway began operations in northern Ohio and a series of mergers in 1869 resulted in the TN&C becoming part of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern. Oral tradition has it that the contractor found a 1853 penny placed in one of the rafters of this building when it was disassembled for moving, which leads us to believe that at least part of the building was constructed at that time.

The depot was threatened with demolition in the 1990's and rescued later that decade by a combined effort of the Lake Shore Railway Association and the Nordstrom Fooundation. It was disassembled and rebuilt at Wellington piece-by-piece.

Lorain and West Virginia coach 2932, nee Long Island Railroad coach 2932 built by Pullman-Standard in 1956.

Lorain and West Virginia coach 2938, nee Long Island Railroad coach 2932 built by Pullman-Standard in 1956.

Lorain and West Virginia coach 2919, nee Long Island Railroad coach 2932 built by Pullman-Standard in 1955.

Cheasepeake and Ohio caboose 90293 built by American Car and Foundry in 1949.

Unknown railroad maintenence-of-way car.

Lake Shore Electric Railway steel coach 167 built by Jewett Car Company in 1915 and appeared at the Centennial celebration for the Steel Plant in Lorain as the icon for the original Johnson Steel Company, producers of Jaybird streetcars.

Once everyone was back aboard the bus, our driver took us to New London.

Big Four (later New York Central) New London office/freight station built in 1862. This town was the crossroads of the Pittsburgh, Akron and Western and the Big Four.

A freight train was heard on the approach and we and walked to the grade crossing.

CSX 3062 West with CSX 231 came blasting through New London.

Pennsylvania Railroad box car 32123 built by railroad in 1960. From here the bus took us all to Recreation Park.

The Pittsburgh, Akron & Western Railroad (later Akron, Canton and Youngstown) station from Greenwich, built in 1982, which is nearly identical to the original one which was destroyed by fire in 1921. After closure in 1967, the depot was moved in 1972 and is now the park office.

These two plaques are on the station. The bus then took us all to Monroeville.

Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland/Baltimore and Ohio Monroeville station built in 1863. This community is where the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern crosses the Wheeling and Lake Erie and Baltimore and Ohio Sandusky Branch. The W&LE/B&O maintained a joint depot at their diamond with a tower aross the diamond.

Lake Shore Electric Monroeville substation.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, later New York Central, passenger station built in 1868 and is now used by the Lake Shore Trail Association.

New York Central Land Line post. From here the bus took everyone to Bellevue and the Mad River and NKP Railroad Museum, which was a bicentennial project of the city. We were let free for an hour's visit.

Wheeling and Lake Erie gate tower.

Wheeling and Lake Erie Curtice station built in 1882 and moved from Curtice, Ohio in Ottawa County. It closed in 1972 and was moved to Bellevue in 1976. Bellevue was, and is, a major railroad centre with the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, Nickel Plate, Pennsylvania Railroad and Wheeling and Lake Erie running through. The Lake Shore Electric also served the community.

The Curtice depot plaque.

As we were exploring the grounds, Norfolk Southern SD70M-2 2706 with Norfolk Southern SD70M-2 2700 in the consist, passed outside.

Former Pennsylvania Railroad Bellevue Tower stands guard at the junction.

Pennsylvania Railroad 45 ton side arm pusher locomotive 2 built by Atlas Car in 1920 and used on the coal docks in Sandusky.

Mad River and Nickel Plate Railroad Freight House display board.

Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland later New York Central freight house built in 1862.

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 757, built by Lima Locomotive Works in 1944, back home in Bellevue.

New Jersey Indiana & Illinois NW2 2 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1948 as Indiana Northern 100 and later Wabash 100. From here I walked to the area across the street.

Milwaukee Road H12-44 740, nee Milwaukee Road 2322 built by Fairbanks Morse in 1954.

Nickel Plate Road GP30 900 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1962.

Nickel Plate Road RSD-12 329 built by American Locomotive Company in 1957.

Cleveland Electric Illuminating 0-6-0F 7 built by H.K. Porter in 1943.

Wabash F7A 671, nee Wabash 1162 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1951.

Another freight train was heard and Norfolk Southern SD40-2 3219 was making its way south out of Bellevue this afternoon.

Norfolk and Western SD9 2349, ex. Norfolk and Western 52, nee Nickel Plate Road 349 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1957.

New York Central snowplough X665 built by Russell in 1943.

Illinois Central 56-seat coach 2640, built by Pullman Standard in 1947, which later became an Autoliner car then Amtrak 5688.

Northstar Steel Cargill Michigan Division S-5 864 built by American Locomotive Company in 1954.

Bellevue Tower, which was originally maintained by the Pennsylvania Railroad and staffed by both PRR and Wheeling and Lake Erie. It was used to control movements in and out of the west end of Nickel Plate's Bellevue Yard. It controlled the W&LE crossing, the Pennsylvania Railroad crossing and also the New York Central Norwalk Branch crossing. While the New York Central line was removed in 1976 prior to Conrail's formation, the Wheeling and Lake Erie diamonds were removed in the 1980's in favor of the Brewster Connection.

We were given a tour of the museum by one of their members, who is also a member of the Railroad Station Historical Society. Unfortunately, he did not have they key to the gift shop. After everyone had their fill of this wonderful museum, we reboarded the bus for the return trip to Toledo, but stopped on the way.

Lake Shore Electric Railway Mussers substation. We returned to the hotel then joined the society's business meeting where among other things, we learned next year's convention would probably be in Gainesville, Georgia. Elizabeth was thanked for her work on proofreading the society's quarterly Bulletin. The two of us then went to Bob Evans for dinner then returned to the room for the rest of the evening.

Day 4 6/10/2023 Elizabeth and I arose and after our morning preparations, went down for another good hotel breakfast. I stayed downstairs while Elizabeth went back to the room. We had a new bus driver this morning and I saw him at the far end of the hotel so walked over to let him know how to get around the hotel. Everyone boarded and I chose our now standard seats and Elizabeth soon joined me. The bus departed at 7:45 AM since breakfast was not served until 7:00 AM today; it had been 6:30 AM during the week. We headed out on the last day of this convention and the first destination was Pemberville.

Toledo and Ohio Central station built in 1881, consisting of a waiting room, agent's room and freight room. Dale, Karen and David Fahle purchased the depot in April 1985, restored it and opened it to the public in 1987. The Toledo and Ohio Central line began from the coal docks near Cherry Street in Toledo then extended south through Moline, Luckey, Pembertville, Wayne, Fostroia, Carey, Berwick and Thurston. In 1911, the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis took control of the T&OC and began a passenger service between Berwick and Toledo/Detroit. At this time, the first automatic crossing signals were installed.

Mark Camp had contacted Dale Fahle and he and his wife, who live next door, welcomed us all and we explored the interior, which was a mixture of railway and area memorabelia.

Ohio Central Lines -- Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad and Kanawha and Michigan -- sign on the side of the depot. There was another station within walking distance but as my knees were aching, I, along with another fellow conventioneer, rode to it in Mr. Fahle's golf cart.

Toledo, Fostoria and Finldlay Railway concrete block depot built in 1877. It closed in 1968, dismantled and rebuilt as a house. Mr. Fahle made a couple of trips to this station with his golf cart while the others had a nice morning walk.

Back at the Toledo and Ohio Central station was this Fairmont track speeder of unknown origin.

A railroad warning sign.

Toledo 13 milepost.

Group pictures were taken; this by Mrs. Fahle. After thanking them for opening the station museum for us, we reboarded the bus which took to Fremont where there were three structures to see and since they were all in close proximity, everyone walked to each.

Lake Erie and Western Railroad, later Norfolk and Western, Fremont freight house.

Norfolk Southern SD40-2 3455, ex. CitiRail 3171, exx. Union Pacific 3949, nee Missouri Pacific 6049 built by Electro-Motive Division built in 1979.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern station from Danbury, which served the Lakeside and Marblehead Railroad and called Marblehead Junction. This line was approximately seven miles long which was constructed in the 1880's to transport limestone from the quarries of Marblehead to the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway (later New York Central System) mainline at Danbury. The railroad provided passenger service until 1930. In the 1950's, trucks began to take over the job of hauling limestone, signalling the death of the already financially-strained railroad. In 1964, the railroad ceased operations as a common carrier and subsequently came under ownership of the Standard Slag Company. From 1974 to 1977, the line had fell into disuse until an order came to haul by rail in 1978. It turned out that this would be the last order carried by the railroad. The final load of limestone was carried in 1980, the line abandoned and the remaining locomotive stored.

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern station built in 1871. A previous, smaller depot sat on this site prior to 1871. Although built by the LS&MS, this station also served the Lake Erie and Western, according to the 1914 Sanborn Fire Insurance map. The LE&W had a spur that pulled up to the west side of the building. It has now become Depot Pizza & Bar.

The bus then took all of us to Green Springs and we were amused to find a green depot.

The Big Four Green Springs station built in 1880 and is used for storage. We next proceeded to Fostoria where again, there were three structures of interest, but required driving between each. Fostoria is another major rail centre, being served by five railways and two interurban lines.

Baltimore and Ohio Fostoria station built in 1907 which was a former Amtrak stop on the Three Rivers until September 10, 1995. That train had been a replacement for the discontinued Broadway Limited. The train originally ran between New York and Pittsburgh, extending a New York–Harrisburg Keystone Service train. Using train numbers 46/47, it exchanged mail cars with the Chicago– Washington, D.C. Capitol Limited in Pittsburgh, while through passengers disembarked and changed trains.

The crossing of CSX and Norfolk Southern in Fostoria.

CSX BNSF 6734 West with Union Pacific C45ACCTE 5255 in the consist.

Baltimore and Ohio Fostoria station which was moved in 1930's and was a station at the junction just north of this location. On the Hocking Valley Railway, this station was referred to as B&O Junction. After the freight agency was eliminated, the depot served as storage for a local grain company until 1970. The Fostoria Rail Preservation Society has turned the depot into a museum.

Across the street was the local history museum which had several pieces of railroad memorabelia and a model train layout upstairs.

Fostoria was also our lunch stop and a pre-set lunch was waiting for us at Flippin' Jimmys.

After lunch, I and the rest of the others explored the interior of the B&O station which was most impressive. There were a few DVDs for sale and I purchased two, including one on Fostoria. Next we were taken to Iron Triangle Park.

Baltimore and Ohio caboose C3008, later Chessie System 903008, built by International Car in 1968.

The tower that protects the CSX crossing.

A view of Iron Triangle Park. With no trains and other places to visit this afternoon, we re-boarded the bus which took us all North Baltimore.

Baltimore and Ohio North Baltimore station built in 1880 and is still in railroad use. It once had a second floor octagonal tower.

A nearby mural. Upon our return to the bus, we were able to see part of CSX's North Baltimore Yard and of course, a westbound train was leaving the yard and stopped us at the grade crossing.

The unidentified CSX train at the grade crossing on the way to our next stop at Deshler.

Deshler Tower which, until 1988, protected the crossing of the Baltimore and Ohio and Detroit, Toledo and Ironton railroads.

Baltimore and Ohio signals protects the southbound Detroit, Toledo and Ironton trains. The passenger station was demolished in August 2022 after being closed in the 1990's.

The tour continued to Malinta.

Views out of the bus on the way.

Toledo, St. Louis and Western Malinta station built in 1885. The former Detroit and Lima Northern crossed tthe Toledo, St. Louis and Kansas City at Malinta. This frame standard design Cloverleaf depot served as a junction depot; an interlocking tower was diagonally across the diamond. The depot was moved to Grand Rapids in 1980 to be used as a ticket office for the Bluebird Special of the Toledo Lake Erie and Western Railroad. When difficulties arose and the depot was threatened with demolition, the depot was returned to Malinta.

It has been restored by the Malinta Historucal Society. Jeff Smith met our group and relayed some history before we toured the interior and took several photographs.

Detroit, Toledo and Ironton caboose 125, nee Ann Arbor Railroad 2833 built by the Wabash Railroad in 1952.

Norfolk and Western speeder 65117 in front of the hand car shed.

Malinta station views.

The sign in front of the museum.

A Wabash railroad property pole. The bus then took all of us to Maumee.

Ohio Electric Maumee station, part of which is now an ice cream stand. Some of our members took advantage of that, but Elizabeth and I did not this time.

Toledo, St. Louis and Western (later Wabash) Maumee station built in 1880. After closure, it found early use by a local lumberyard then the Maumee Valley Historical Society moved it to their grounds at the Wolcott House Museum in 1971 and restored it.

A railroad display is also here.

Cheasapeake and Ohio caboose 170 built by Hocking Valley in 1925 painted as Nickel Plate 1470.

Nickel Plate Railroad box car 7140, which is probably not its original number. From here the bus took us to Mark Camp's Boyd's Retro Candy Store which his wife owns.

The Retro Candy Store where I puchased a bagful of cinnamon discs. We then returned to the hotel and with that, the convention was over. It had been a very enjoyable and educational four days and covered a lot of ground.

Elizabeth and I walked over to Texas Roadhouse and I had a top sirloin, then we returned to the room and called it a night much later.