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The Drive to Toledo with Station Along The Way 6/06/2023

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I arose and after our Internet duties, went to IHOP for breakfast then started our station pursuits by my driving on Interstate 76 to US 224 to Lodi, Ohio.

Wheeling and Lake Erie Lodi station built in 1882. According to the original blueprints, the depot originally stood closer to Railroad and Harris Streets. A passing siding ran between the depot and Railroad Street. The depot had a waiting room for passengers, restrooms and a ticket office in the west end and an agent's office and mail room in the east end.

The depot was moved 13 feet closer to the main line and had a freight section added in 1909, when the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad rebuilt their main line closer to town. The addition of the freight section made the depot over 90 feet long. On January 31, 1977, the depot was nearly destroyed when an eastbound freight collided with a loaded propane truck at the Wean Street crossing sending the trailer barreling into the west end of the depot. The trailer destroyed the restrooms and waiting room. As the dust was settling, the propane was leaking and the depot stove was burning. An astute propane company employee closed the leaking valve and prevented a larger catastrophe. The Norfolk and Western still needed the use of the depot so they removed the damaged portion and enclosed the opening with a new wall.

The depot now belongs to the Lodi Railroad Museum, established in December 2005 and the Wheeling and Lake Erie donated the station to the museum in 2008.

Wheeling and Lake Erie caboose 0231 built by the railroad in 1949. With the lease of the Wheeling and Lake Erie by the Nickel Plate, the caboose was renumbered 731. After the merger with the Norfolk & Western, the caboose was painted their standard blue with white lettering and renumbered to 557731 at the Brewster shops. It was acquired by LRRM in August 2010.

Norfolk and Western caboose 518441 built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1949. The car spent most of its life running in the coal fields of Virginia and West Virginia before being retired in 1985 and eventually stored at Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 1987 it was sold to used equipment dealer D.L. Barnhardt and was eventually purchased by Jeff Sanson of Sanson Company in Cleveland in 2006.

Lodi Railroad Museum signage on the caboose.

Lodi Railroad Museum view. Before we left town, we easily found the freight station using the Railroad Station Historical Society's Ohio listing.

Baltimore and Ohio Lodi freight station, year built unknown. Elizabeth then talked with our friend David Cantlin in Oklahoma, who grew up in the Brewster area and is very familiar with the original Wheeling and Lake Erie. He suggested we stop at Greenwich, but first we needed to visit Sullivan.

Baltimore and Ohio Sullivan station built in 1892 and was first located on the original Akron & Chicago Junction line from Akron to Willard. The line once ran several hundred feet south of the present line in Sullivan. The station was moved north when the line was changed to avoid a significant grade between Sullivan and Lodi. It is the only known railroad station still in existence in Ashland County.

We then made our way to Greenwich and did not have long to wait for a train.

CSX ES44AH 754 West with CSX SD40-2 8243 and DPU CSX ET44AH 3472 in its consist. We continued our station hunting by driving to Plymouth.

Baltimore and Ohio Plymouth station built in 1889. An 1887 map shows this station but there is a small temporary station located next to it, indicating that it may have been under construction that year. The B&O planned to build another freight house/grain elevator to the north but it was never completed.

Our next stop was Willard.

Sandusky, Dayton and Cincinnati Railroad (later Indiana, Bloomington and Western Railway, then Big Four Railroad, then New York Central Railroad) Willard station built in 1862. This building is not the original depot but rather was built from the bricks when the original depot (Chicago Junction) was torn down. The original station dates from 1875 and was torn down in 1976. The new replica depot structure was finished in 1978 and opened as a community center in the early 1980's.

New York Central track speeder 1303.

Baltimore and Ohio caboose C1915 built by the railroad in 1925.

Baltimore and Ohio box car 277157 is really 425575 built by the railroad. I next drove us to Tiffin.

Ohio Historical plaque in front of the depot.

Sandusky, Dayton and Cincinnati Railroad (later Indiana, Bloomington and Western Railway, then Big Four Railroad, then New York Central Railroad) Tiffin station built in 1862 station sits along an old boardwalk area next to an old candy store.

The final destination of our station search today was Perrysburg.

The Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railway Perrysburg station which was moved from its original location at the corner of West 3rd Street and Louisiana Avenue in 1971. Now just the passenger end remains at the Carranor Hunt & Polo Club.

Elizabeth then drove us to the Residence Inn in Toledo and we checked in for our five-night stay for the Railroad Historical Society convention. Later we picked up our lanyards and convention guidebooks then walked over to Texas Roadhouse where perused the very interesting and comprehensive guidebooks before having an excellent meal. We called it a night early as we had a series of early morning starts during this convention.