Railfan Sites in Ohio

A self-guiding railfan tour

Rob Richardson is the Editor for Frograil's Ohio Railfan page.

To submit contributions, corrections and/or additions to the Ohio page, please e-mail Rob here (after removing spaces and substituting for "at") : interrobang "at" yahoo . com

Rob has provided some March and April, 2013, updates and additions, including some new sites (Oregon) around Toledo.

Bruce Bridges has provided an update on Winton Place in Cincinnati and a location in Hamilton.

Railfan, railfan--where do you see trains in Ohio?

Take a tour! There is a tour between Fort Wayne's New Haven NE Junction and Fostoria, Ohio. This is NS's ex-NKP Chicago - Fort Wayne - Belleview - Buffalo line, and is an 82 mile tour. Detailed fan locations along the tour are marked with a [NKP] logo.

Take a tour! A tour has been undertaken, which may one day cover CSX from East St Louis to Cleveland. The Avon (Indianapolis) through Anderson segment has been completed (56.1 miles), as have the Anderson - Sidney, Ohio (76 miles), Sidney - Marion (63.5 miles), and Marion - Greenwich segments. The total completed mileage is 242.6 miles through Indiana and Ohio. Detailed fan locations along the tour are marked with a [CCC&StL] logo.

Why not take a railfan tour? CSX's New Castle Sub has been completed from Newton Falls to Creston, about 61 miles, and you can take your time and do it in a few hours, or relax, watch some trains, and make an all day or even an all-weekend tour out of it. Locations in the Cities And Sites listing below which are locations on the tour are identified with a CSX-NCS logo in blue.

Rob Richardson has written a casual tour for those driving from Cleveland to Pittsburgh and back, using different routes. The tour is not super detailed, as the objective is to enable those traveling the route to stop off in several places, see some trains, and avoid driving monotony. Spots in Ohio along the way are marked with a C-P logo.

The start of the Portsmouth - Cincinnati NS Cincy District tour includes about one-third of the route detailed. This starts at Vera Junction in Portsmouth, and goes through Peebles, a distance of about 37 miles (including some Portsmouth mileage). Those sites in the Cities And Sites listing below which are included on the tour are marked with a [NS-CD] logo in black. This trackage is no longer active, and the tour is today only historic in nature, unfortunately.

Mapwork and More Info: If you're going to be looking for railfan locations, you'll need an industrial strength map resource. It is recommended you get a DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer, study it before your trip, and copy pertinent pages for your field work.

Rob Richardson has created the Ohio Railfan Locations map as a guide to Frograil locations.

For up-to-date information about Cleveland or to get any questions answered, you can subscribe to Rob Richardson's ClevelandRails group on Yahoo.

Trainwatching Sites

Alliance (October 18, 1998)

Coming from I-77 in the Canton area, take Exit 107B, US 62 east. Follow the US 62 by-pass around Alliance (about 16 miles east of Dayton) to the OH 225 interchange. Take OH 225 south until it merges with OH 183, and then take the latter south to downtown Alliance. Follow the signs to the Amtrak station. Quite simply stated, this is one of the best places for train watching and photographing. Here, all trains from Conway (Pittsburgh) and Mingo Jct. (near Steubenville, Ohio) meet to send themselves to the north (Cleveland), and to the west (Canton/Massillon). Also, of course, vice versa. No matter how you slice it, there are a lot of trains going through here.

But what makes this such a superior place to watch trains far exceeds the raw number of trains (probably 2-3 per hour on average), but the logistics of the site itself. Bring a lawn chair and set up in the grassy area by the Lincoln speech monument. Traffic on all four lines is easily shot from here. The attributes of this site are as follows:

1. Faces north. 2. Good traffic. 3. Lots of horn-blowing from trains approaching on all tracks -- no scanner needed. 4. Excellent photo access with no trespassing needed.

Mark Nilges and Mike Riley gave us the benefit of their wisdom here. Also, this information was supplemented by map data which Dink Heinzman was thoughtful enough to provide.

Ashtabula -- CSX Yard (August 2008)

From I-90 south of the city, take exit 228 and go north on OH 11/46, which is a limited access highway. Get off OH 11 at U.S. 20/West Prospect Road, and go west. At West Avenue, turn right, and go north. West will go over the ex-CR, exx-NYC Cleveland Line on an overpass. Just before the bridge, turn right onto 34th Street and park. Walk over the bridge and admire the views.

This entry was submitted by Rob Richardson, Frograil's Ohio Editor.

Ashtabula -- CSX East Yard Throat (August 2008)

Assuming you've been admiring the view from the West Avenue overpass, when you get back to your car, keep going on 34th Street to Ann Avenue and turn left. At the end of Ann, you'll be on 32nd Street. You can turn left and park right next to the tracks at the eastern throat of the yard, or you can turn right and see a large old stone station. It's now owned by CSX, but you can walk through the nearby fields and work the station into your shot. There are two double-track lines coming out of the yard to the east. The main line veers slightly north, and the other veers south. There's some nice shots available on the southern line, too.

This entry was submitted by Rob Richardson, Frograil's Ohio Editor.

Back to the top

Ashtabula -- Harbor Area (July 2, 2000)

Reached by OH 531 along Lake Erie, or OH 11 from I-90, the Ohio Turnpike, the Ashtabula harbor is one of the prettiest industrial and natural vistas in America. While the two may sound mutually exclusive, such is not the case here. From either the east or west hill overlooking the harbor, you are treated to a view which includes trains, unloading action, piles of bulk commodities waiting to be loaded on ships, the ships themselves, and all the hustle and bustle associated with such a place. Yet, the entire area (which is quite large), seems to be the epitome of neatness. The sparkling lake water provides quite a backdrop. This is a great place for a leisurely picnic lunch with the family. There is a small park on the west hill.

Ashtabula -- OD Junction (July 2, 2000)

At 29/30th Street West and West Avenue. This is the junction of the NS (ex-CR, exx-NYC) north-south line and the CSX (ex-CR, exx-NYC) east-west line. The crossing is OD junction. There is plenty of off-railroad area for photography. Be alert, as the east-west line has some really fast trains.

Two "railroady" things happen here. Coal for export or other Great Lakes ports comes up from Pittsburgh on NS (ex-CR, exx-NYC) and the mountains to its west and south, and the CSX main line of the ex-NYC zooms through on an east-west axis. These two operations are quite separate, in that they have little interchange, and they provide completely different railroading action. The coal trains are large and relatively slow, while the Chicago-Buffalo traffic tends to be mostly intermodal now, and very fast.

Bedford -- Bedford Reservation (April 2013)

From I-271, go north on OH 14, which is Broadway through Bedford. Besides lots of railroad action, Bedford's citizens enjoy the fact that the sprawling Bedford Reservation, part of the parks around Cleveland, is next door. A golf course, hiking trails, picnic area, and probably skiing in winter are all enjoyed within the huge Reservation. You can bring your family here on the pretext of having a picnic outing, all the while secretly knowing that you're going to see some trains -- lots of trains. The NS (ex-CR, exx-PRR) Pittsburgh-Alliance-Cleveland mainline runs through Bedford. Traffic is probably on the order of 2-4 trains per hour here.

At the bottom of the hill, turn left onto Taylor Rd. At the end of Taylor Rd., you have two choices. You can turn left into Viaduct Park or turn right and take your first left into the Willis Road Picnic Area.

Viaduct Park is the site of an old railroad bridge which had been abandoned for the better part of a century. The top of the old bridge has been paved as a trail, and you can walk out along it to within 50 feet of the NS mainline (which will be slightly above you). There is also a decent view of the tracks back to the north from the parking lot. There is a paved path down to Tinker's Creek and a very impressive waterfall, if you're into that kind of thing.

The driveway into the Willis Road Picnic Area passes under the NS tracks. There are picnic tables, a pavilion, a swingset, and a ballfield, all of which can be enjoyed without taking your eyes off the trains.

If you're in the mood for a hike, walk into the woods to the left, and turn left when you come to the top of the ravine. The path will lead you to the huge embankment that carries the tracks over Tinker's Creek ravine. The creek itself passes through the embankment in a stone culvert about 50 feet high and 150 yards long. (By the way, pictures of the culvert under construction are in Viaduct Park.) You can walk down to the creek and through the culvert if you don't mind getting your feet wet!

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Bedford -- Bedford Square (April, 2013)

From I-271, go north on OH 14, which is Broadway through Bedford. In the downtown area is Bedford Square, with Broadway forming the east side and the Cleveland Commercial Railroad (ex-Wheeling and Lake Erie, ex-N&W, exx-NKP?) tracks forming the west. Here, there is a restored station, and excellent photo angles for shots of WLE action. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot of such action, but the tracks are in rather poor condition, so you won't have to hurry if you're enjoying an adult beverage in a pub while waiting, or, more probably, if you're over at the NS Alliance line (see other Bedford entries on this page), and hear a locomotive horn.

Just to the southeast of this location, the WLE tracks cross Broadway from SE-NW. A block east of here and just to the south, the tracks cross over Washington. The overpass was labeled "N&W.," but the sign is now gone -- either CCR removed it or it was stolen. This would also be a good photo location.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Back to the top

Bedford -- Egbert Road (February 5, 2000)

Want to leave the hustle and bustle of the metropolis behind for a while and see some trains? Here's the spot for you. From I-271/I-480/OH 14 in southernmost Bedford, take the Broadway-Forbes exit, and go northwest on Broadway, OH 14. At the first light, take a shallow left onto Union Street. Cross Northfield Road, start going down the hill, and take the first left onto Egbert Road. Egbert immediately climbs to a bridge that crosses the NS Cleveland - Alliance line. Here, the NS double track ex-PRR mainline runs through Bedford Reservation, so the line runs through woods, with trees on both sides.

There are some good photo locations here. You can walk up onto the bridge, which is two lane, and not overly busy, and is also blessedly free of chain link fencing. As an alternative, you can explore Olde Egbert Road. Years ago, Egbert passed over the tracks on a rickety bridge most notable for its angles. The road approached it at a 10° angle, then there was a crease and the bridge itself was level, then there was another crease and you'd go down 10°. This is hard to write intelligently, but if you've ever been over one of those uncomfortable things, you know exactly what Rob is describing.

Eventually, Egbert Road was relocated, and a new bridge was built. Olde Egbert is a remnant of the old road. Streets with the same name run off to the left of Egbert on both sides of the bridge. You can take either one and drive to the end of the street, and walk out to where the old bridge used to be. If you like, you can then walk along the tracks slightly above track level to find the perspectives you want.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Bedford -- Northfield Road (February 5, 2000)

From I-271/I-480/OH 14, take the Broadway-Forbes exit. Go to Forbes and turn to the west. Just before you get to Northfield Road, OH 8, take the last left onto Division Street. Follow that road as far as you legally can, as it ends at a chain link gate into a factory. From here, I'll quote Rob:

"On both sides of the bridge, Northfield passes through an area of old, small, rather grungy businesses. [From the end of Division Street] ...You can park there and walk under the bridge to the tracks. This is the complete antithesis of railroads with majestic mountain scenery as a backdrop, but this will appeal to people...who are attracted to scenes of hardworking railroads getting their hands dirty."

Well stated. Stay off railroad property here. Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Bedford -- Rockside Road

Back in the 1970s, there was a long, narrow yard extending from the northern part of Bedford, through Maple Heights, and on into Garfield Heights. During the rationalization of the rail lines in the area, the yard was closed and mostly torn up. A few years ago, NS decided this would be a good spot for an intermodal yard. Rockside Road, a busy east-west thoroughfare in north Bedford, crosses the area on an overpass. The bridge goes over the double track NS (ex-CR, ex-PC, exxx-PRR) mainline, the single track Cleveland Commercial Railroad (ex-Wheeling and Lake Erie), and the east end of the IM yard.

There is chain-link fencing across the guardrails of the bridge, but photos can be had from either end. Perhaps a step stool would help. The road is busy, so be careful. Signals for CP 110 are in view just south (timetable east) of the overpass.

To get to Rockside Road, from eastbound I-480 in Garfield Heights, exit at Granger Road, and head east to Broadway and turn right (south) to Rockside, and then turn west (right) to the bridge. From I-480 westbound, get off at Broadway in Garfield Heights, and go south to Rockside Road and turn right (west) to the bridge. Parking will usually be available west of the tracks, on the north side of Rockside, in a lot owned by a self-serve car wash and a self-storage yard.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Bedford -- West Grace (April, 2013)

Bedford is a bedroom community southeast of Cleveland. It's railroad action, however, is anything but sleepy. The majorly heavy NS (ex-CR) Cleveland line from Alliance runs parallel to OH 14, Broadway, here, and there is also a Wheeling and Lake Erie line in town.

To see the NS action: From I-271, take the OH 14 exit, and head northwest into Bedford. After passing through downtown Bedford, pull into the Walgreen's parking lot at the first traffic light and park in back.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Bellevue -- TR-305

Tired of running around in town, dodging trains, trucks and autos? Here's a nice location for you which is close to town, but noticeably quieter. From the intersection of U.S. 20 and OH 269, go south on OH 269. You'll go over the tracks to Toledo, and then in about 2/3rds of a mile, you'll cross the Columbus - Sandusky main. About 200 yards south of the latter, there will be a small road to the right. The Club Amer-Ital is just beyond this road. The road is officially known as Township Road 305, or TR-305. Before getting into specifics, park behind the Club Amer-Ital and get trackside. Here's what happens in front of you.

To the northeast, the main line comes south from Sandusky and the Bellevue Yard. Just north of TR-305, the westbound Fort Wayne main has split from the Marion-bound main. After the N&W bought the Nickel Plate, a connection (the "New Connection") between the Fort Wayne line was made with the Marion main south of TR-305, in effect creating the third leg of a wye. This allowed trains from Columbus and the south to get over to Fort Wayne without having to spend time in the Bellevue terminal. Incidentally, the Amer-Ital parking lot has some shade, which is a major advantage in the summer.

Drive straight west on CR-305, and you'll cross the Marion main and find yourself in the middle of the wye. There is a dirt road going down to the New Connection, but you'll have to be careful not to trespass on railroad property. As long as you're on or next to CR-305, you're on public property. Continue straight ahead on CR-305, and cross the New Connection. There is a dirt/gravel area which gives an excellent view of the Fort Wayne line straight ahead. Crews sometimes change here, and you may hear the crew and dispatcher refer to the "slaughterhouse". The name is because of the Bellevue Dressed Meats Company, which is located nearby.

With many thanks to Jim and Dennis Mihalek, who've been visiting this location for going on to 2 decades now.

Back to the top

Bellevue -- East

NSC On the east end of town on OH 113, go north on OH 4, or coming south from Sandusky and OH 2, simply go south on OH 4 until you go over the yard. If you miss it, you are not a railfan. Ness's sprawling, monster yard is laid out to the west of the overpass. There is, of course, no trespassing on railroad property. You can get pretty good pix from the overpass, but you need a decent telephoto, and you have to be very careful, as there's a lot of traffic on OH 4.

What you'll see here is Bellevue-Cleveland traffic, but most of the action is thanks to the hump (just west of the overpass) and general yard switching and transfer movements.

Bellevue -- Mad River And Nickel Plate Museum (August 21, 1999)

While Tony generally didn't include museums in this railfan guide, he made an exception here, as this is also a decent railfan site, and you can check out the railroad goodies between trains. From U.S. 20 in town, take OH 269 (Southwest Street) south, and the museum is about 1/4 mile ahead.

Thanks to John Thompson, Jr. for this info.

Bellevue -- The Ball Field (November 6, 2001)

Review the railfan location for TR-305. From here, you can get to a rather obscure but enjoyable location. As the name implies, there's a ball field in a small park, and this is a great place to watch action on the Fostoria District (the Fort Wayne line). From the intersection of OH 269 and Township Road 305 south of Bellevue, go west on TR-305. In order, you'll cross the Columbus - Sandusky main and the New Connection to the Fort Wayne line. TR-305 will end at a 90° turn south (left) on TR-314. Go south until TR-314 also ends in a 90° turn -- this time to the right (west) on to Wooten Street. Guess what? Wooten will end at a right (north) on to TR-328. Whew! Takes as long to describe as it does to drive it.

There is, indeed, a ball field, and it's part of a small park. It's a good place to picnic and let the kids run off some steam. In the summer, there's even a porta-potty in the park. In the winter, one can only imagine that it is far, far, far too cold to use a porta-potty.

With many thanks to Jim and Dennis Mihalek, who've been visiting this location for going on to 2 decades now.

Bellevue -- West (October 11, 1998)

From the OH 4 bridge over the east end of the yard (see above), head south and you have two choices: First, take a right onto Edmonds Road, which takes you back to another portion of the yard for a different view, then go back south (a left turn is the only way you can go) on Prairie Road to OH 113.Or, you can take OH 4 to OH 113, in either case, go west on OH 113. As you drive west on OH 113, the tracks on the left are used by Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad (WE).

OH 113 takes you through town, and runs into U.S. 20. Go under the tracks, and look for a left turn onto Broad Street, then take another left onto East Center Street. This takes you over a grade crossing at the west end of the yard. Depending upon the sun, you can either stay north or south of the tracks. On the south side you can move up and down South Buckeye Street as you like, with plenty of safe street parking (and even shade in the summer!). The whole area is honeycombed with tracks, and if you go back out to Broad Street, then left onto Monroe, it will take you to the area where the W&LE comes in, and the NS tracks fan out in several directions. Traffic is nearly always heavy.

For afternoon shots in particular, here are two options:

Heading west on U.S. 20, go under the tracks, and take your first right (Lyme -- there is a Subway shop here, by the way), and then your next right on North. Take North until it ends, and then turn right to the tracks. Plenty of parking, and if you are careful, the line poles can be worked around. Stay away from the tracks.

From U.S. 20, going west towards downtown, take a left onto Orchard, and then right on Center. Follow Center across the tracks, and take the first drive/driveway to the right. This will lead you behind a small engine/yard tractor repair establishment to a large grassy area. Park here, and plan your shots with the locations of the poles in mind.

Mike Rose and Jim Six were thoughtful enough to provide this very detailed guide to the Bellevue Yard area.


This town is the site of a wye formed by the east-west remnants of the B&O Cumberland- Cincinnati mainline, which has been cut just west of the wye, and a B&O branch line coming down the river from Marietta. There is a nicely restored caboose (enclosed behind chain link fencing, unfortunately) and maybe a some covered hoppers on one of the few yard tracks, but that's about it. However, any movement over the Ohio River in this area goes via the Parkersburg-Belpre bridge, so you might want to check out the schedule at the CSX yard office in the High Yard in Parkersburg, WV. Because of the significant rail traffic generated by heavy industry between Marietta and Belpre, there is surprising activity here upon occasion. The small yard and wye are in the vicinity of Franklin Street.

Back to the top

Berea (April, 2013)

The lovely old sandstone depot is now a restaurant. The classic lines of the station are gone, to a large extent. The Pufferbelly Restaurant closed, replaced by the Berea Union Depot Taverne. Get a trackside window, get some excellent food, and watch the trains go by.

Now, it's true that there has been a rather long commercial building built on the south side of the interlocking, where the so-called "railfan parking lot" used to be, but Berea is still a superior place to see trains, lots of trains. With the advent of the NS/CSX/CR double merger, variety will has increased. CSX double tracked the ex-CR, exx-NYC, exxx-"Big Four" route with 136 pound, 10 ounce rail made in 1998, and obviously means business here.

Park on a side road off Depot Street, and walk to the grassy area just west of the tower and restaurant. Also, you can get plenty of good photos from the edge of the parking lots a little further west, at the end of the new commercial building. In neither location is it necessary (or smart) to venture out onto railroad property. A telephoto capability of about 65mm is all you need here.

From I-480, go south on the Berea Parkway, OH 237. When you get into Berea itself, cross the tracks until you see the depot and station restaurant on your right. This is Depot Street.

Mark Nilges contributed a lot of good info and thoughts concerning this location.


From the center of Akron, head east on I-76. At the Brittain Gilchrest Road exit-27, turn left to go north on Gilchrest. Cross North Canton Road, and then take a left onto Darrow Road, which will pass a warehouse housing a furniture store. Park somewhere along in this area, and walk around the corner of the warehouse and down the street. You'll end up at the east end of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway's Brittain Yard. You've got a pretty good view into the yard. One warning: The first track you come to, leading up to a stone yard, looks unused, but it isn't. Be alert.

Frograil's friend Rob Richardson provided this location to us.


From I-77 in the Canton area, take U.S. 30 west to OH 241 south. At the OH 241/OH 93 junction, take OH 93 south in to Brewster. Just before the large underpass, turn right (west) into the engine servicing area. If you thought the Wheeling and Lake Erie (WE) was a quaint little shortline, one look at this facility will dispel that notion for good. This is a monster shop building, ex-N&W, and you may be able to drive down, turn around and leave, all the while taking several pix. However, it is best to write ahead and get permission from the railroad. Permission is hard to come by.

If you go south of the underpass, take your first left (east), and go up into the parking lot for the large WE office building. You can park near the tracks and take pix, and you probably will not be bothered if you behave like an adult. There is some really interesting motive power on the WE, not to mention run-through stuff such as CP and WC, so you might want to check in with the office and get some idea of what's happening when. Then you can get away from this area, and find a nice spot to get pix of the action.

Brooklyn Heights -- Schaaf Road Overpass

From the intersection of I-480 and Brook Park Road in the Brooklyn Heights area, go north on Tuxedo Avenue. If you suddenly find yourself going due west, you're going in the wrong direction. Tuxedo does a strange shift in direction from east-west to virtually north-south one block south of I-480. The city hall is at the intersection of Tuxedo Avenue and Schaaf Road. Park in the city hall parking lot and walk west on Schaaf to the bridge over the CSX (ex-B&O) Short Line. The bridge has chain-link fences, but good views can still be had from the far end of the bridge.

You'll have a great view of the tracks northeast of the bridge, and an OK view southwest, but the tracks curve to the west and you can't see very far.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Canton -- Canton Junction

From CP Wandle (see below), find Madison and follow it south. The Wheeling track from CP Wandle will be on your left. Eventually, it curls to its right and crosses Madison. Just before it gets to Madison, another line joins it from the west. This switch is Canton Junction. Occasionally, Wheeling trains will get permission to Canton Junction but not beyond, giving you a good chance to photograph them, especially in the evening, since they'll be facing west.

The challenge here is parking. While there are no "No Parking" signs, the streets are wide and busy and it's obvious that a parked car would be a surprise. I was able to find one spot. There is a factory on your right before you get to the tracks. At one spot, there is an unused, locked gate. There's enough room for one car on the driveway by that gate without blocking it.

If you see a train come up from the south and take the east track, bearing to the right through the switch, you can continue south on Madison to 11th St., turn left, and chase it.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Canton -- CP Wandle

Canton features two railroads. The NS Fort Wayne Line passes through Canton south of town, but that line is only a shadow of its former self since the Conrail split. There are still a few trains on it. The Wheeling & Lake Erie has tracks wandering all over, and occasionally there are trains on them. I haven't come close to figuring out either the tracks or the trains yet. The two railroads cross at CP Wandle.

Take U.S. 30 west from I-77 and get off at OH 43. Take OH 43 north over the NS tracks and then turn right. CP Wandle will be easily visible. Park anywhere and wander.

There's not much traffic through here, but this is a great area for other railroad artifacts. The W&LE tracks come in from the north, snaking through some tall old buildings. Old two-head signals control Wheeling trains at the NS crossing, and large Pennsy signals on signal bridges control NS traffic.

I have found one train that seems to run regularly on the Wheeling track, a southbound that approaches CP Wandle shortly after 5:00 PM on weekdays. If you're lucky enough to catch it on a clear day, the light is very good for photographing it.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.


Since Tony visited this town back in 1984, he thought it was a very sad place. Previously a big-time B&O facility, the truncating of the mainline from Clarksburg-Cincinnati left Chillicothe as kind of a derelict, in some respects. Both NS and CSX go through here today, but they have little in the way of facilities.

From U.S. 23, head west on U.S. 50, which parallels what was the B&O. You will go over a large overpass, and then take your first left. Take the next left also, and head to the tracks and the immense old station which served the B&O and N&W. [By the way, the station has an antique shop on the first floor, with some very impressive looking items in it. Also, the proprietors run a repair shop for antiques, and seem to have every hand tool ever invented in their shop. A most interesting place.] The heavy, continuous-weld double track mainline west of the station is that of the NS Portsmouth-Columbus mainline.

A remnant of the B&O exists to the east of the station, where CSX has a bulk terminal and a pretty active grain elevator (which has what appears to be a GE-something for motive power). This trackage seems to connect with the NS. The CSX (ex-C&O) has a north-south line further north and west of this area, but I wasn't able to get up there, and would be glad to have your input concerning that line. It comes in from the east and goes north past Chillicothe, before going west and then resuming northward to Columbus. According to a very old USDOT map, it doesn't look like the CSX (ex-C&O) actually gets into Chillicothe, per se.

Back to the top

Cincinnati -- B & O Warehouse

This area, located immediately west of downtown Cincinnati, and practically under the I-75/I-71 Ohio River Bridge, is a great place to catch the CSX action crossing the river. The C&O Ohio River Bridge passes along the north side of the warehouse building. Food may be acquired downtown, or across the river in Covington. The only downside to this location is the occasional seedy characters who tramp around the area. So, you might want to visit this location with some buddies, rather than go it solo, if possible. There is actually a police substation located in the warehouse, so this alleviates some of your possible concerns.

Safety: Good
Photogenic score: Excellent
Traffic: Good

Directions: Take I-75 to the Freeman Avenue Exit. At the exit, Gest Street intersects Freeman. Take Gest Street West about 1/4 mile to Dalton Street. Turn left onto Dalton, and go through 2 traffic lights (Gest Street and 8th Street), following a set of curves. Turn right at the next light in front of the county jail. The C&O bridge will be on your right. Keep going until you reach another traffic light, turn right, go under the bridge, over a set of tracks, then turn left into the B&O warehouse parking lot. The warehouse is at the corner of W. 2nd St. and Pete Rose Way.

Roger Rassche and Eric Landrum collaborated on these sites. Please note the excellent detail they've provided.

Cincinnati -- CSX Glendale

Described as a "charming little community" along the ex-B&O to Toledo and Indianapolis, Glendale is a quaint, middle class suburb located just north of Cincinnati. There is a restored passenger depot which houses a museum and gift shop. Food is located at Toad's Deli for light fare, and for a full meal (but a tad dressy), try the Iron Horse Inn. For a more relaxed atmosphere in a place you can watch trains from, try the seasonal Dockside Cafe, located across the tracks from the police station. They (the restaurant here, folks) have good sandwiches and a reasonable selection of beverages.

Safety: Good
Photogenic score: Excellent
Traffic: Good

Directions: Take I-75 north to the Sharon Road exit (exit 15) north of Cincinnati. This is the exit immediately south of the I-275/I-75 intersection. Go west on Sharon Road through one traffic light, which is about one mile. Turn left immediately before you cross the CSX (ex-B&O) tracks. Parking is on the right next to the police station. Photos are good from here all morning; be a little creative in the area for afternoon shots.

Roger Rassche and Eric Landrum collaborated on these sites. Please note the excellent detail they've provided.

Cincinnati -- SR Bridge (April 21, 2006)

Fr. Dale was kind enough to send the following description, repeated here verbatim:

"The next time you are in Cincinnati, look for the spectacular (former) SR bridge approach on Sixth Street. It's now the very busy approach to the NS bridge over the Ohio River. You view the spot from a footbridge. No foot traffic, so you can set up a tripod. No clutter. The sky is your background. The NS flies over four lanes of street. No hand railings from this side. A clear shot all morning. Parking is good. Finding the spot is bad. Drive west from downtown on Pete Rose Way (it becomes Sixth Street). The area is very industrial and old, but you can tell you are on the right track because CSX has an elevated mainline on a steel viaduct that you are under! When you reach the deadend, you are there. Or come into Cincinnati from the west on River Road following the river. When you see the SR bridge (it's the first one you see) and the exit, you are there!

Lots of autoracks, intermodal, and two Roadrailers in the afternoon."

Your friendly neighborhood Ohio editor adds the following:

When Fr. Dale says "Finding the spot is bad", I think he means it! I tried to verify his directions using Mapquest, and failed utterly. This seems to be a place where a DeLorme atlas is required.

Cincinnati -- Winton Place (April 2013)

This is far and away the most popular train watching spot in the entire Cincinnati area. More traffic passes through here than at any other location in the region. Every railroad in Cincinnati is represented. With three tracks, activity can be hectic.

"I'm saddened to report that the Winton Place location is no longer an option. Apparently, Kroger has decided to expand their building to the north. Last time I was there, the north parking lot (the traditional railfan location) was completely blocked off and filled with an assortment of heavy construction machinery and literally the biggest job-site trailer I've ever seen in my life." This is a report from Bruce Bridges, who visited the area in April. He also reports that the "grassy area" is no longer there. It's now a Gold Star Chili! Excellent food (the local Cincinnati-recipe chili, 5-ways, coney dogs, etc.), with a superb view of the action (especially from the northwest corner of the dining area) as you enjoy your meal! The prices are very reasonable too... highly recommended!!!

If nothing else, there is food available in the immediate area, at McDonalds, Frisch's, Rally's and Kroger. These are all within 3/4 of a mile of Winton Place.

Eric and Roger give Winton Place the following ratings:

Safety -- Excellent
Photo angles -- Good for Clifton Avenue, poor for Salway Park
Traffic -- Excellent

To get to Winton Place, take I-75 to the first exit north of I-74, which is Mitchell Avenue. Go west on Mitchell, under the tracks, and turn left on Spring Grove Avenue. Go south approximately 3/4 mile through 2 traffic lights, and Salway Park will be on your left. This is a poor photo location, but it is a place where the kids can get out and run their legs off. To get to the Clifton Avenue vantage point, follow the above directions, but turn left off Spring Grove Avenue at the first light onto Clifton Avenue. You will see the photo location on your right as soon as you go under the tracks. Again, parking is available at Kroger and Blockbuster.

Tony feels the Kroger parking lot is the best place in the area. The store is very, very nice, offering a deli, salad bar (there's even an olive bar!), and almost everything else you might want to eat. It's a great way to get away from the fast food joints. If, however, you crave a burger, MacDonald's is literally right behind the Kroger parking lot.

The tracks are rather elevated here. If you've got a pick-up, sit in the back. Better yet, fan in a van with a platform on top, and you'll get much better viewing and pix. Expect 1-4 trains per hour, and they can come in bunches. You'll see IORY, NS, and CSX.

There are one major and two minor downers to this location. There is absolutely no shade anywhere. Tony visited on a day when the heat index was north of 100°, and it was not at all enjoyable. The first minor concern deals with noise. This is a busy location, and the air handling system in the supermarket, the traffic on the many roads in the area, and the occasionally parked semi's all combine to raise the ambient noise to a considerable level. Trains going through are not working hard and may be quieter than the ambient noise. Therefore, it's a must to be alert and prepared. The other minor downer is the parked semi's Tony mentioned. They come into the Kroger parking lot and park down near the tracks. The drivers get out and get lunch at the deli in Kroger's or at MacDonald's. You can have the perfect view easily blocked. No problem -- just walk over to the grassy area.

Roger Rassche and Eric Landrum helped on this site. Please note the excellent detail they've provided.

Cleveland -- All (October 19, 1998)

Cleveland is a big, bustling city, and there are tracks and railroad activities seemingly everywhere. It is also very much a railroad town in transition, as CSX and NSC absorb Conrail. The sites listed here should continue to be good sites, but things will change. I'd suggest you become a member of the Cleveland Rails info group, and utilize the knowledge of the local fans, before you make a long trip.

Definitely, you must have a good quality road map. An investment of less than $5 will add immeasurably to your efficiency and enjoyment.

As in every other city, you should keep security in mind -- both yours and the railroads'. Whenever possible, fan with friends. Keep off railroad property, and to the extent practical, keep off anyone's property except public roadways, etc.

Mark Nilges points out that the Cleveland area rapid transit system offers an excellent way to see the city. If it's raining and you can't get your pix, hop on the transit system and ride around for a bit. Routes seem to converge on Tower City (ex-Terminal Tower), which has lots of neat shops, which your wives will love.

CR The east end of Collinwood Yard is close to the intersection of either Neff or Nottingham and St Clair. Get up to the south side of the tracks on either Neff or Nottingham Road. There is good action through here, and viewing is from a good dirt road.

CR Collinwood's west end is reached from either I-90 or OH 283, and traveling south on 152nd Street. After going over the tracks, take a hard right into the yard. While there is heavy security, of course, you may be able to get some shots from your car.

For up-to-date information about Cleveland or to get any questions answered, you can subscribe to Rob Richardson's ClevelandRails group on Yahoo.

Back to the top

Cleveland -- 110Th Street West (October 19, 1998)

From U.S. 6/U.S. 20 (Clifton Blvd), go south on 110th Street West to the railroad crossing. This is the NS (ex-N&W, exx-NKP). As you cross the tracks, there is an open area to the east which used to be an NKP yard. Park on the street, and walk to the grassy area east of 110th Street, and south of the tracks. NS (ex-CR) goes over the track about 1/4 mile east of this point, and RTA's light rail skirts the NS tracks at the same point. Some exploring might give you some interesting vantage points.

[FRIENDLY WEB AUTHOR'S NOTE: The identical nasty "Tow Away Zone" signs present west of the Rockport Yard are posted in the paved parking area off 110th. Why is anyone's guess, as it looks as if one or two cars per decade park here, but why take a chance -- park on the street.]

Mark Nilges provided the info for this site, and his input is most appreciated.

Cleveland -- Collinwood Yard East (July 17, 2000)

Get off I-90 at East 185th Street, and drive south on 185th to St. Clair. Make a right U-turn onto Nottingham. Turn left at the end of Nottingham (the only choice) onto Syracuse. You are now on a road that has some dingy little industries on the left, and the east end of the CSX Collinwood Yard (ex-CR, exx-NYC) on the right. There are little or no obstructions between you and the yard. Since Collinwood is oriented southwest to northeast, there might be better photo ops here in the morning than in the PM.

If you're there in the morning, try this: Go back to St. Clair and turn left. Turn right on East 200th and park on the street. Walk back to St. Clair and enjoy the trains coming in and out of Collinwood on the tracks running within 100 feet of the street. Also, you can walk to Station E, the new refueling station CSX is installing. Be careful walking between the street and the tracks. Railroad property is not marked as such, but common sense should rule. Rob has been careful, and he's not been hassled.

If you're in this area in the evening, go back to 185th, and go north under the tracks, and turn right, following the signs to I-90 eastbound. Don't get on the interstate. You'll be on a road with various small businesses, so pick one and park. None of the businesses have fences between their property and the tracks, but it's always a good idea to ask permission to park and shoot trains from private property.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Cleveland -- Cornell Road (December 2002)

From I-90, take exit 173b and go east on Chester Avenue. You'll go quite a ways virtually due east, until the street makes a decided swing to the southeast (in the Doan's Corners area). Just after making this swing, take a left to go northeast on Euclid Avenue. You'll shortly pass the University Hospitals of Cleveland complex, and then take a right onto Cornell Road. Go across the bridge over the tracks and turn left at the first street, which is Random Road. Find a place to park and walk back across the overpass and turn right at the first street. There's plenty of space to watch trains, there's nothing blocking the view, and it's as safe a neighborhood as you're going to find in Cleveland.

So, after all that effort, what will you see? A lot. Besides the Regional Transit Authority's heavy transit line, the CSX (ex-Conrail) Short Line and the NS (ex-NKP) Buffalo Line run side-by-side here. Bring some film.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Back to the top

CLEVELAND -- CP SHORT (October 18, 1998)

From the west: From the intersection of I-71 / I-480, take I-480 east to the Tiedeman Road, and go south on Tiedeman to Brookpark Road (OH 17). Travel west on Brookpark, then go north on West 130th Street. Go under I-480 and the tracks to Enterprise Avenue, just north of the tracks. At the end of Enterprise, the road will curve to the right and become Briar Road. Before this curve, there are some businesses on the left (west) with parking lots that have access to the tracks. CP (Controlled Point, or an electronic tower) Short is just west of these businesses. [NOTE: Based on my October 18th observations, a little creativity is in order here!]

From the east, it's a little easier, as there is a direct exit from I-480 to West 130th Street. Then go north to Enterprise, etc.

CP-Short is two east/west tracks crossed at grade by one north/south track. There is a connection in the southeast corner, and a wye connection in the northeast corner. In New York Central terms, the east/west tracks were the Beltline, and the north/south track was part of the multiple track Big Four route. The Beltline was a double track bypass of downtown Cleveland that started at a flyover off the mainline at the western end of Collinwood Yard, and ended back at the mainline at a duck under at the western end of Rockport Yard. The Big Four route came up from Berea and ended at a wye at the mainline downtown, just east of the Cuyahoga River drawbridge. This route historically carried passenger service, as well as some freight.

Today, Conrail's Short Line consists of the Beltline from Collinwood to CP Short, which then uses the connection in the southeast corner to continue south on double track to Berea via the ex-Big Four route. Apparently, CSX's plan is to double track the connection, as this will be their primary route through Cleveland. [NOTE: On October 18, 1998, in the rain and about 38 degrees, a big crew was working furiously here. This is part of the double track initiative from Willard to Berea to (?) Collinwood.]

The wye in the northeast corner is used by trains from Rockport Yard that go up the Big Four (now the Clark Industrial Track), and over the NS Beltline at Knob and down into the Flats.

Traffic levels at CP Short are dependent on the total traffic situation in the Cleveland Terminal area at any specific time. This is the shortest Pittsburgh -- Chicago route, but traffic congestion on the Short Line can result in some traffic being re-routed.

Mark Nilges was nice enough to share this data with us. Mark is a Cleveland expert, and lives, naturally, as does your friendly web author, in North Carolina!

Back to the top


This is in far north Cleveland, right by the lake. All trains coming out of Collinwood heading west must cross this two-track lift bridge. On the east side is the "Flats", which is a touristy "night-life" area, with nightclubs, restaurants and what have you. The area is north of U.S. 20/U.S. 6 (Superior Avenue) on Old River Road, which ends and swings to the northeast as Front Street. There is a series of public parking lots north of Front Street, and the tracks parallel these parking lots. In the northwest corner of the lots, close to the lift bridge, good pix are possible in the morning and early afternoon light, especially if you stand on a convenient cinder block for a little extra height. Yuck, but I could find no place to park which wasn't metered or a pay lot (we don't have things like that in Frog Pond!).

Jim Six and Mark Nilges contributed their insights to this location.

Back to the top


This is in far north Cleveland, right by the lake. All trains coming out of Collinwood heading west must cross this two-track lift bridge. At the corner of Elm Avenue and River Road, go over the lift bridge towards Ontario Stone. At the end of the lift bridge, take the road to your left. The tracks are on your right. Straight ahead is a very large Cargill bulk facility, and the road into it is private. Next to Ontario Stone's west end is a fence with a nice little place to pull off and park. At the northern edge of the fence is a Conrail "No Trespassing" sign. Without trespassing, you have good photo access and sighting for east-bounds.

West-bounds are very tough to see or hear, as this is an industrial area with every dump truck in Northern Ohio zooming around, not to mention that every airplane ever produced is going right over your head here. Be alert, and do not venture out to the tracks. A medium (60mm) telephoto lens will get you good pix. You'll see an average of at least 2 trains per hour here, and on busy days, more.

Thanks to Mark Nilges and Jim Six, who contributed to this info.

Back to the top

CLEVELAND -- MILL CREEK FALLS (December 4, 2002)

A new site has been created that is excellent for watching traffic on the NS Cleveland Line. Mill Creek Falls is a small park that has been acquired by Cleveland Metroparks. Its primary purpose is to let visitors see Mill Creek Falls, the highest in Cuyahoga county. The fact that it is next to the NS Cleveland Line is an added bonus for us fans.

It is nestled in the intersection of Broadway, Miles, Turney, Warner and East 93rd Street, and, as Rob says, it "...may well be the most complicated intersection in Cleveland." Here is one set of directions, although you may wish to insert your own, and remember that this little park will probably not be shown on any maps, including MapQuest: Turney Road runs through the western sides of both Maple Heights and Bedford Heights. It runs relentlessly northwest until it ends at Warner Road, just inside the Cleveland city limits. At the end of Turney, the entrance to the Mill creek Falls parking lot will be across the street from you, slightly to the right. Alternatively, you could drive northwest on Broadway through Garfield Heights. Shortly after passing CP-114, a parking lot for the park will be on your left. Park there and follow the bike trail northwest to the falls.

This sounds like a nice place to combine a family outing with a railfan outing.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Back to the top


On the southwest side of Cleveland is another Conrail yard, which is known as Rockport Yard. In September of 1994 it was handling 500-600 cars of interchange per day, and it's probably busier now. This is a level yard, and there are several switch jobs working here. 4-12 engines. From either I-480 or I-71, get on OH 17, which is Brookpark Road. Go north on 150th Street to immediately before the tracks; you'll see the yard tower and engines to your left. This is pretty much the eastern end of the yard. If there are engines parked in front of the yard office waiting to be photographed, then leave your car, walk to the edge of the building, take your pix and leave. Don't wander around, and DO NOT leave the parking lot. I would suggest you take your pix and depart rather quickly.

Back to the top

CLEVELAND -- WENDY PARK (July 16, 2008)

The city of Cleveland has opened up a new park that will appeal to railfans. Wendy Park is on the west bank of the Cuyahoga River, between the drawbridge and the lake. This includes the grounds of the old Coast Guard station. You can now walk all the way out to the end of the pier! Or you can sit under the shade of a tree and watch the trains on the drawbridge, and the ships on the river, and even, if the wind is right, the planes flying into and out of Hopkins Airport. And if there isn't any action along those lines, at least there won't be any noise to disturb the fish. Judging by the number of fishermen there, you'll be able to pick up a free dinner if you want to.

The entrance to Wendy Park is inside Edgewater Park. From the entrance to Edgewater (off the West Shoreway), keep turning right (there are signs). You'll be driving between the Westerly Sewage Treatment Plant and the NS tracks. Once you enter Wendy Park, keep driving straight. The pavement will end, but you'll keep driving onto a gravel road. You'll park at the end of it.

Oh, yes. Almost forgot. Once you enter Wendy Park, you might want to park and walk back along the road for a bit. NS has a decent-sized yard on the south side of the tracks next to the road you're driving on, but ivy-covered fences block the view. But there's a smaller yard on the north side of the road, and the connecting track runs under the road. The bridge that carries the road over the track has just been replaced, and there's nothing blocking your view of the north yard from the bridge. Since you'll be looking west into that yard, the best light for this spot will be in the early morning.

Rob Richardson, Frograil's editor for Ohio, furnished this info.


For the west end of the Rockport Yard area, we now turn to Mark Nilges for his input: There is a large parking lot for the rapid transit line on the north side of Brookpark Road (OH 17), just east of the ex-Conrail mainline (which comes up from Berea, between the Ford Motor Company plant and the Berea Freeway (OH 237)). If you drive to the far back west corner of the lot, there is an access road into Rockport Yard that leads under the interstates. You can watch trains work the west end of Rockport as well as see mainline traffic. Mark has watched trains there before and not been bothered, but he is wise enough not to venture into the yard itself -- don't be greedy, fans, be wise.

[NOTE from your friendly web author. Do NOT drive your car out of the RAT parking lot towards the tracks. Park and walk up the railroad's drive, and before going under I-480, walk to your left. You are now probably 50' from the track, and shouldn't draw attention to yourself here. Best in late fall, winter and early spring. There are nice, big, really friendly "Tow-Away Zone" signs all over this area, and @$70.00 a pop, it's just not worth the money or the hassle (which is certainly far worse than the money). And remember, a tow-away-predator-tow-truck-operator doesn't care whether your car is vacant or occupied -- it gets towed!!]

Catching north/east bound trains will be a problem here, and the shadows can be a problem, obviously, but for a quickie railfan fix, this is an OK spot.

Mark Nilges was nice enough to share this data with us. Mark is a Cleveland expert, and lives, naturally, like your friendly web author, in North Carolina!

Back to the top


Clyde is a pleasant town with an old-fashioned feeling located a few miles west of Bellevue along US Rt. 20. A single-track line coming west and a little north out of Bellevue Yard runs through town, on the south side of Rt. 20. You can take OH 510 south, or any side street in the area to get to the track. It gets maybe ten trains a day, or a little more. The photo opportunities around here make the wait worth while. If you are extremely lucky, you may catch a local job switching the grain elevator at the end of the spur that crosses Rt. 20 and runs next to the cemetery. It is perfectly possible (and a lot of fun) to chase that job on foot. (added March 2013 by Rob Richardson)

COLUMBUS -- BUCKEYE YARD (April 20, 2000)

The main NS (ex-CR) facility in Columbus, the yard is really hard to fan, for a variety of reasons. When the Webmaster was there back in 1991, it was a pretty unfriendly place for fans, much like most big city yards. Today, the surrounding area has hardly improved, and Norfolk Southern takes security very, very seriously. Rather than trying to get into the yard (and meeting some real, live railroad special agents who will be most unhappy with you), Cameron recommends you use the following overpasses for railfanning:

Roberts Road. Take I-70 west to I-270. Take I-270 north about one mile to the Roberts Road exit. Turn left at the end of the ramp. The overpass is in about one mile. This overpass looks over the intermodal yard, which today is operated by CSX.

Trabue Road. From the east, take I-70 west to Wilson Road exit. Turn right at the end of the ramp. Drive about a mile and a half to Trabue Road (second stoplight). Turn left, and the overpass is about two and one half mile ahead. It overlooks the hump and yard tower facilities.

Fisher Road. From the east, take I-70 west to the Wilson Road exit. Turn left at the end of the ramp. Drive about a mile and a half to Fisher Road (second stop light). Turn right. The overpass is about two and a half miles ahead. It overlooks the arrival and departure tracks for the yard.

Back to the top

COLUMBUS -- PARSONS YARD (April 20, 2000)

From I-71, take the OH 104/Frank Road exit. At the end of the exit ramp, turn right. Drive approximately two miles to the Groveport Road exit. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left. At the first stop light, turn left on Parsons Avenue. Drive south on Parsons until you drive under the freeway and railroad overpass. At the next stoplight, turn left in the parking lot for the Parsons Yard.

This is the classification yard for CSX in Columbus. You'll see a variety of CSX power from new AC's to GP30 road slugs. Buckeye Steel mill operates adjacent to the yard, and regional railroad Indiana & Ohio interchanges with CSX at Parsons. If you visit the yard, do not leave the gravel parking lot area. Also, during shift change time, leave the lot, because it is very busy with MoW equipment. This area is not recommended after dark.

Cameron T. Lashley has provided this data to us. He is the Webmaster for the most excellent Columbus Railroad Gallery, which is a comprehensive photo source for the area, and is highly recommended.

Back to the top

COLUMBUS -- SCIOTO TOWER (November 23, 2005)

According to Dick Jacobs, the tower itself was razed in the Fall of 2005. About 60% of all mainline traffic in Columbus is routed through this interlocking plant.

The area is not easily accessible, and requires a knowledge of downtown Columbus. A good map is important. From downtown, take West Broad Street west past COSI, About two blocks past COSI, there are two railroad overpasses. Immediately after the first overpass, turn left onto an unmarked alley. Drive back along the alley about two hundred yards until you reach the tower. Be cautious along the alley, as it tends to be muddy and is not paved. Use a truck, not a Geo. Also, MoW crews use this road to access the tower and adjacent areas, so you may not be able to get your vehicle all the way back to the tower. If so, park on the right side of the alley next to the retaining wall.

During daylight hours, you can see about 60-70 trains. [NOTE WELL: There are three major concerns here. 1. The area is absolutely not safe after dark. 2. There are trains moving on a lot of different tracks -- sometimes simultaneously. They can sneak up on you. Get well away from any tracks. 3. Finally, you must get yourself positioned whereby you are not trespassing. I recommend you visit this location with a local fan, rather than try to explore it on your own.]

Cameron T. Lashley has provided this data to us. He is the Webmaster for the most excellent Columbus Railroad Gallery, which is a comprehensive photo source for the area, and is highly recommended.

Back to the top


Thru this point, CSX operates a single track main, and NS has a two track main. About 30 or more trains per day go through.

To get there, take I-71 to the Weber Road exit (about one mile north of the State Fairgrounds). At the end of the exit ramp, go west. The crossing grade is about 100 yards west of the interstate. There is an open parking are south of Weber Road. You'll often find fellow railfans here, and the area is reasonably safe.

Cameron T. Lashley has provided this data to us. He is the Webmaster for the most excellent Columbus Railroad Gallery, which is a comprehensive photo source for the area, and is highly recommended. Additionally, Mike Stokes has updated this entry, effective January 2005.

Back to the top

CONNEAUT -- P & C DOCK COMPANY (March 6, 2000)

Take exit 241 from I-90, and head north into town on OH 7. When OH 7 it meets U.S. 20, turn right and go east for three blocks. Turn left (north) north onto Broad Street. Go about as far north as you can, and a few blocks before driving into Lake Erie, take a right (east) on Erie Avenue. This will take you to the Pittsburgh & Conneaut Dock Company office building. You will note their parking lot is fenced in. You will be able to deduce that you are not welcome on their property. Therefore, get out your telephoto, stay off company property, and you'll probably get some OK shots of some most interesting old locomotives.

With grateful thanks to Carl Timko, whose information has made this posting possible.

Back to the top

CONNEAUT -- NS YARD EAST (May 29, 2000)

Take exit 241 from I-90, and head north into town on OH 7. Cross U.S. 20, and stay straight northbound on Mill Street. Before you cross the NS tracks, which are the first you'll encounter, turn left (west) on Jefferson Street, and go two blocks to Chestnut Street. The yard office is here, and there is also an industrial parking lot, but get permission to park there first. To the northwest is the NS (ex-NKP) yard. Remember fans, the Norfolk Southern Corporation has a zero tolerance approach to trespassers. Unless you want to visit the municipality's overnight accommodations, do not venture onto railroad property. [Webmaster's Note: There is some confusion here as to whether the yard office is north or south of the tracks. Carl says it's north of the tracks, and the municipal street riding is about to become a thing of the past, so this area is in flux. Be alert, and keep me posted.]

With grateful thanks to Carl Timko, whose information has made this posting possible.

Back to the top

CONNEAUT -- NYC DEPOT AREA (March 6, 2000)

Conneaut is located about 13 miles east of Ashtabula. Three railroad things happen here. First, the CSX (ex-CR, exx-PC, exxx-NYC) mainline barrels through; second, the Bessemer and Lake Erie comes up from the coalfields to it's dock facility on Lake Erie, and third, Norfolk Southern (ex-NKP) runs through here parallel to CSX.

In town, on Depot Street (natch!) is a good site to watch trains. There is an old New York Central depot. In the spring and summer months, the depot is home to the Conneaut Historical Railroad Museum, and is often open. On display are NKP 2-8-4 #755, a B&LE hopper, and B&LE wooden caboose #1001. Inside are items of interest to railfans and historians. They also have a model railroad and a small gift shop. The main attraction to most fans, however, is the CSX mainline right in front of the building.

To get to the depot, take exit 241 from I-90, and head north into town on OH 7. When you cross the NS tracks, Depot Street is between NS and CSX, and just before you cross the latter, you'll want to turn right to get to the building.

With grateful thanks to Carl Timko, whose information has made this posting possible.

Back to the top


Business has been booming on the Ohio Central, and they have left their cramped quarters near the old NKP station, for a brand new, impressive facility to the east of town. In Coshocton, go east on Chestnut Street, and make no turns. This will become County 16. At the foot of a hill, at a very sharp curve to the right (this is maybe 3 miles or so from town), there is an unremarked dirt road to your left. Take this road to the tracks and park. Here is the deadline and storage area for the railroad. If the farm gates next to County 16 are locked, ask at the farmhouse for permission to walk down the road to the tracks for pix. It's only about a quarter mile from County 16 to the tracks.

Continuing east on County 16, and about one-half mile or so from the farm road, you will see a sign on your left (north) for the Ohio Central Railroad. Take the entrance road to the engine facility, and walk around the shop on the north to the west end of the building, where the office is located. Check in here before taking any pictures.

[NOTE: These directions can be reversed by coming west on County 16 from the town of West Lafayette.]

The rolling stock here is scrumptious, with everything from Alco to EMD to GOKW (short for God Only Knows What), and most certainly including steam engines which are used, and not on static display. The railroad has an active, energetic steam-hauled passenger/tourist program. This is a neat place, and get your permission ahead of time and enjoy it.

Back to the top

COSHOCTON -- TOWN AREA (October 17, 1998)

The impressive Ohio Central (ex-CR, exx-PC, exxx-PRR) station downtown is at the corner of 5th and Walnut. The station is still manned by OHCR personnel, and to visit the engine facility, you may be able to get permission here. Better yet, I'd suggest calling or writing ahead for permission. From the PRR station, go one block west past the freight station, and turn left. After several blocks, you'll come the small, wooden, ex-NS, exx-N&W, exxx-NKP station. There may be some interesting old equipment here.

Back to the top


From OH 8 in the middle of Cuyahoga, take the Broad Boulevard/Talmadge Road exit, and head one block west and over the tracks. Take the first right onto Newberry Street, and then your second right onto Sill Avenue. Park on Sill before you get to the tracks. Walk ahead to Main Street, and find a photo location that you like. Main is one-way southbound. This is an excellent morning location for southbounds (railroad westbound).

Frograil tips it's hat to Rob Richardson for this information. Rob has been a valuable contributor to Frograil for several years.

Back to the top

DAYTON(April, 2001)

SOURCE: This information is courtesy of Rick Eppley, by way of John Combs. Thanks to both of you.

CR. In northeast Dayton, is a yard which can be viewed from Monument, First, and Springfield streets. This yard is used to interchange with CSX.

In the southern Dayton suburb of Moraine, CR has a yard which services several General Motors production facilities. You can also see GTW and NS trains here.

North of the Moraine yard, the tracks cross the Great Miami River. The bridge is a good photo location, and there is parking available.

CSX. The CSX facility is in the northern part of the city. At the northern end of the yard, there is a Cargill facility and also, a General Motors plant. Both of these can be viewed from the Needmore Road bridge. The yard office is at the south end of the yard, and can be viewed from the Wagoner Ford Road bridge.


From U.S. 35 on the south side of Dayton, take the Keowee Street exit and head north. At 3rd Street, take a left, go under the tracks, and take your first right, which is Webster Street. Park at the market, buy a few things (there is a deli available in the market around lunch time, seven days a week), and get permission to hang around to take railroad pix.

Railroad-wise, this is a very strategic location, as the Baltimore & Ohio, Erie, New York Central, and Pennsylvania Railroad all came together on the overpass you just went under, and went through downtown on Dayton Union tracks. Today, you get everything CSXT and Norfolk Southern sends through town. It's quite a show, with 3-4 trains going through every hour.

Frograil thanks Mike Lewis for this submission

Back to the top

DAYTON -- WEST RIVER ROAD (June 12, 2001)

From I-75 south of downtown, take exit 50A and go north on Dryden Road, over the Great Miami River, to a left on Nicholas Road. Cross the CSX tracks and immediately take another left onto Danner Avenue. You'll be sandwiched by a golf course to the west and the tracks to the east. Unfortunately, there is fairly heavy trash truck traffic on Danner (landfill near-by, apparently), so it's not a recommended railfan location. Danner will end at a T with Guthrie Road, and you want to take a left and, just before going under the tracks, there's a small pull off area to the left. For afternoon locations, this might do well for you. If you go under the tracks, turn right onto West River Road, and there are a couple of places to pull off for parking. Walk to the tracks. Pretty much morning locations. You are fairly secluded here with the river on one side of you and the tracks on the other.

This is the CSX main line between Deshler/Chicago/Toledo/Detroit and Cincinnati, and traffic is heavy. Expect 1-3 trains per hour, so stay alert.

This information is by way of Dave Tavener, who enjoys the location during his lunch hour. I should be so lucky!

Back to the top

Elyria (July 2000)

A place most folks have never heard of, Elyria has close to 60,000 residents, and sees up to 40-50 trains a day on the NS (ex-CR, exx-PC, exxx-NYC). Sounds like a place to visit! Reach trackside via taking exit 8 of the Ohio Turnpike west of Cleveland. The town is also accessible via U.S. 90. From either the Turnpike or U.S. 90, go south on OH 57 until you come to a 4-way stop intersection near a dairy. Go west (right) and you can't miss the railroad tracks. At the tracks, there is lots of off-RR property for good pix most times of the day.

There are lodging spots and beaucoup restaurants to the north of the railfan location. After daylight hours, some undesirables have been noted, so make this a day trip, and bring some friends with you.

This info courtesy of John Thompson, a most knowledgeable fellow re the area.

Glenwillow (April 2013)

This is the site of the smallest yard I've ever seen, a single main track, a siding, and a siding off of the siding barely big enough for three cars. This is the site of the connection between the Cleveland Commercial Railroad and the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad. From this yard, the CCR serves a few customers in Solon and a large scrap yard on E. 93rd St. in Cleveland, bringing cars back to the yard for the W&LE to pick up and take to Mogadore, near Akron. The CCR's schedule is not known; probaby it just runs as needed. You may find some of the CCR's power on the tiny siding, and if so, it might include a GP-35u still in the old blue and yellow Santa Fe paint.

If you are lucky enough to find a CCR train running between Glenwillow and Cleveland, the train will be easily chaseable, as the speed limit on that line is 10 mph, and there are lots of excellent photo possibilities. From Glenwillow north, the line passes a large landfill and then runs along the bank of Tinker's Creek in Bedford Reservation. In Bedford, it passes Bedford Cemetery, crosses Broadway, runs through downtown Bedford, and parallels the NS Cleveland Line through Maple Hts., Garfield Hts., and into Cleveland.

I can't say anything about W&LE trains between Glenwillow and Mogadore, since I've never seen one. Maybe they run at night.

Many years ago, when the W&LE still owned the line, the local serving the Solon customers was called at 6:00 AM. I do not know if that is still true.

To get to Glenwillow Yard, get off I-271/I-480 (they're the same road at this point) at the Broadway/Forbes exit and take Broadway southeast. Turn left on Pettibone. A few years ago, Glenwillow tried to create a little upscale shopping district, and there's a parking lot for it right next to the yard. There's one or two good restaurants there. Or you can turn left on Austin Powder Drive before you get to downtown Glenwillow (now there's an oxymoron!) to get to the other end of the yard. Oh, yes. There's a nice little old station on Pettibone across from the yard.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

GRAFTON(March 9, 2000)

This small town southwest of Cleveland has 3,100 souls and two rail lines. One, the CSX line from Medina to Sandusky, is pretty much marginal. The other is seeing exploding traffic increases. The latter is the former Berea - Wellington - Greenwich Conrail route, and has seen traffic increase immensely since the NS/CSX/Conrail break-up/merger. Because all tracks go through town at grade level, railfanning/photo ops couldn't be easier.

From I-80/I-480 southwest of Cleveland, go west on I-480 to south on OH 57. As you come into Grafton, you'll go over the CSX ex-B&O line from Medina. Then, the road will jog to the east, and you'll go over the CSX main line. Park and find a good place for photos. Plenty of food, etc., not far from the tracks.

Let's give thanks to Mike Snodgrass for this nice addition to the Railfan Guide.

GREENWICH(October 21, 1998)

What has been a pretty busy, but relatively straightforward and interesting junction of CR, CSX and some Wheeling and Lake Erie thrown in for spice, is going to become much busier, and much, much more complicated. CSX is double tracking the ex-CR line from Cleveland (via Berea), and taking the lion's share of that traffic into the existing CSX double track mainline to Willard. A full two track connection between ex-CR Cleveland and CSX Willard is being constructed.

CSX is also building a single track connection from its existing Pittsburgh-Willard mainline to the ex-CR Cleveland line.

Altogether, there will be lots of trains moving on several different routes. It will be much more difficult to railfan here in the months to come, but oh, so very interesting! Sad to say, you'll probably need a scanner here.

To get to this location, go north from U.S. 224 on Kniffen Street, which will take you right to the junction. Stay alert. By the way, TRAINS had a nice "Hot spots" article with a map in the November 1997 issue. If you don't subscribe to TRAINS, I think you're missing a darned good publication.

Back to the top

Hamilton -- Butler Street (April 2013)

At Butler Street, the tracks are aligned north-south through town, with wide-open paved lots on both sides for excellent viewing and photography at all hours of the day. This location is one block north of the OH-129 underpass in downtown. From I-75, take OH-129 (Butler County Veterans Highway) west all the way into downtown Hamilton, go under the tracks, turn right at the light (US-127), and make a right on Butler Street...and from there it's up to you where to set up. There is unlimited access from both sides of the tracks, with only a couple of pole lines that can be easily worked around. You are very likely to encounter one or more other fans here...this is a great social spot. There's a McDonald's one block away with food and restrooms. This is my new favorite Cincinnati spot... even though there's a little less traffic than at Winton Place, the photo angles are much better and the trains move nice and slow through here, with plenty of horn action for the numerous grade crossings. A defect detector a mile or two to the north (MP 27.7, I believe) provides advance notice of southbound moves on CSX.

Coming from the north or south, follow US-127 into downtown and follow the above directions.

Thaks to Bruce Bridges for providing this information. He reports that the last time he was there, he was only able to spend three hours at the location, but in that time, he saw 10 trains and several others were on the scanner that he didn't get a chance to see before he had to leave.

HAMILTON (December 2, 1999)

Mike Moore's Hamilton railfan guide will give you lots of info and pix, but can be supplemented to our advantage by the information below. Roger Rassche and Eric Landrum have provided this information to us.

A problem in Hamilton is that many of the publicly accessible areas have safety problems for the railfan. While there are several photo ops NEAR Hamilton, the actual stretch of joint CSX/NS track runs through a very run down, industrial, "no-trespassing"-type of area, for the most part. The tracks parallel U.S. 127 north of town, but there is virtually no parking, and the scrubby underbrush between the road and railroad make photographic efforts frustrating.

There is a private crossing about a mile north of downtown that goes to the sewage plant, and gives a wide open view of the east side, but some fans have been asked to leave by workers. There are also nice views of the Great Miami River bridge on the CSX Indianapolis branch just west of downtown from the riverbanks, but this line only sees 4-6 trains a day, so scanner work is essential.

The B&O station where the CSX Indianapolis branch meets the mainline is about 4 blocks south of the south NS/CSX junction, and now can be considered "Fair" for safety, which is up from what would have been a "Poor" safety rating a few years ago.

Back to the top

HOLLAND(October 25, 2001)

From I-475/U.S. 23 on the western edge of the Toledo area, take exit 8 and go west on the Airport Highway. Go past Perrysburg-Holland Road to Holloway Road and take a right to go north into Holland. At the tracks, there is a one mile long gravel parking lot, which is a favorite for fans.

Adapted from a Richard Heise entry in the Greater Capital District Railfan Association pages, which are here. Used with permission.

HUDSON -- FOOTBRIDGE (August 2004)

This is in the southeast corner of the Cleveland metro area, and is brought to us by a long-time Frograil contributor and friend, Rob Richardson.

In the center of Hudson, at the intersection of OH 303 and OH 91, go south on OH 91 and take your first left, which is Ravenna Street -- there is probably no road sign -- and go southeast for a couple of miles. The speed limit will increase to 40mph, but just before that sign, turn left onto a side street and park. Walk back across Ravenna and up the bike path. In about a quarter mile, you'll be standing on a wooden bridge over the NS tracks. There are three tracks here, the double-track main line and a long siding. To your left, there's a track curving to the right from the siding into the trees.

Back to the top

Hudson -- Hines Hill Road (April 2013)

This is in the southeast corner of the Cleveland metro area, and is brought to us by a long-time Frograil contributor and friend, Rob Richardson.

Hudson is an upscale address, and folks pay extra to say they're from Hudson. However, much to the displeasure, I'm sure, of some of the locals, the NS (ex-CR, exx-PC, exxx-PRR, exxxx-GOK) main line from Pittsburgh - Alliance - Cleveland happens to sail right through the western edge of the "village". This is heavy duty railroading, not a dinky cute tourist road.

From I-80, take the exit for OH 8, but don't get on OH 8. Wrap around several ramps from the Turnpike to eventually end up going north on Dean Memorial Highway. Cross the Turnpike, then go 0.3 mile to E. Hines Hill Road. Turn right and go 2 miles to the crossing. Cross the tracks, and there is a small dirt pull-off for parking. This is a spot for those who like to combine railfanning with nature. The tracks run straight as far as you can see in both directions, but there are beautiful woods, birds singing, and tons of "Dames's Rocket" wild flowers blooming in late spring.

HUDSON -- PROSPECT ROAD (November 2004)

This is in the southeast corner of the Cleveland metro area, and is brought to us by a long-time Frograil contributor and friend, Rob Richardson.

From I-80 south of Cleveland, go north on OH 8 just a short ways to a right onto Hines Hill Road. Cross the tracks and then take a right onto Prospect Road. When you come out of the woods, you'll see a small dirt turnoff. Park there and enjoy the view of westbound trains up to two miles away.

You can continue on Prospect to OH 91/Darrow Road, and a right turn will take you into Hudson Village.

Back to the top


This is in the southeast corner of the Cleveland metro area, and is brought to us by a long-time Frograil contributor and friend, Rob Richardson.

Hudson is an upscale address, and folks pay extra to say they're from Hudson. However, much to the displeasure of, I'm sure, some of the locals, the NS (ex-CR, exx-PC, exxx-PRR, exxxx-GOK) main line from Pittsburgh - Alliance - Cleveland happens to sail right through the western edge of the "village". This is heavy duty railroading, not a dinky cute tourist road.

From OH 8, go east on Streetsboro Street/OH 303 towards the trendy village. The first underpass will be that of the west leg of the wye, and the second that of the Cleveland - Alliance main line. Between the two underpasses, you can walk up to an office-type structure, but that is definitely not recommended, as it appears to be all railroad property. However, after the second underpass, there is a road up to an area that used to house a station. Good views can be had up here, and there are no "no trespassing" signs, but that does not explicitly determine that you are not on railroad property. Check with NS before venturing trackside anywhere in the area of the village of Hudson.

You spouse will be just delighted to know that after the second underpass, you'll shortly get to OH 91. You can take a right and go under the tracks again, and a little further along, you'll come to a "quaint little town center with interesting shops" (to quote Rob). Drop her off and go back to the tracks.

Back to the top

HURON (October 20, 1998)

From the east, enter Huron on U.S. 6. Before you cross the Huron River, you will come to River Road on your left. On your right is a very large grain elevator complex. Take the right down to the grain elevators. There are two engines here, an Alco and an ex-CN EMD unit. You can usually get pix from the gate area, and there is generally no reason to venture beyond the gate.

There is a very large bulk handling industrial complex to the north east of this area, and while it is off limits, it appears to be a large railroad customer. Any business to this location, as well as the grain elevators is staged at the ex-NKP yard south of U.S. 6.

Cross U.S. 6 and go south on River Road. Cross the NS (ex-CR, exx-PC, exxx-NYC) tracks to get to the ex-NKP yard. Switching operations are still performed here, and traffic volume is anyone's guess, but is probably not very frequent.

There is access to the ex-CR tracks from several locations in the Huron area, and you're invited to explore a little. NS's ex-CR runs a boatload of trains through here.

This info courtesy of Mark Nilges, who really know his northern Ohio railfanning!

IRONTON (October 22, 1998)

This supplements Eric McFadden's site, which is listed above. At the foot of Park Avenue at the Ohio River is the beautiful depot, with NS's double track mainline immediately behind it. There is plenty of area here for off-railroad property shots in both morning and afternoon lighting conditions. Be alert, because some of these trains tend to scoot on through. Bring a lawn chair and a cooler.

Back to the top

LAKEWOOD (October 10, 1998)

Lakewood is the quintessential "on-the-lake Cleveland suburb." We would probably now call it a bedroom community. Be that as it may, it's a lovely town, with big trees, wide streets, and very prosperous-looking homes abounding. It also has a rather bizarre railroad which goes right through this bedroom community, and does so probably every 2 hours, or even more frequently. There are 26 grade crossings in Lakewood (count 'em), and all of them offer photo ops of the NS (ex-N&W, exx-NKP). Pick and choose. With the advent of the Conrail takeover imminent, who knows what will happen to traffic patterns here, but one thing is for sure -- Norfolk Southern will keep this as an important Buffalo-Chicago route. Your friendly web author suspects we'll see more unit trains and drags through here, and virtually no "hot stuff". Understandable.

Back to the top

Macedonia -- CP-102 (April, 2013)

CP-102, known under Conrail as CP-TWIN, is the location at which the Crown Industrial branch line diverges from the Alliance - Cleveland double track main. There was a Chrysler plant and yard on the branch, in Twinsburg, as well as a stone plant near the yard. From I-271 heading south, get off at OH 8, and follow the exit ramp all the way around to get onto OH 8 heading south. Take your first left onto Highland Road, and head east towards the tracks. Just after crossing the tracks, turn right into a dirt road. It is not clear whether this road is railroad property, but since it isn't clear, it's recommended that you stay near Highland, and not drive down to the actual junction at CP-102. You're east of the tracks here, and can legitimately cross them via walking on Highland, but be careful, because both the street and railroad are noisy and busy.

Actually, Highland Road rather straddles the interlocking, as there is a siding north of the road, and the Crown Industrial track leaves the siding south of the road. Because of the rock industry, there is some traffic on the branch. Rock runs are made as needed by the customer.

If you have older children, you can drop them off at Fun 'n Stuff, a short distance west of the tracks on Highland. Leave them enough money for an hour or two, and then go in back of the parking lot and watch trains. The eastbound (compass south) signals are visible.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Back to the top

Macedonia -- Freeway Drive (November 25, 2001, updated April 2006)

Macedonia, a town southeast of Cleveland, is the site of Norfolk Southern's Ford Yard and Motor Yard. These ex-Conrail, exx-PRR/NYC, facilities exist to support the Ford stamping plant in Walton Hills and the Chrysler plant in Macedonia. There are some maintenance facilities in Motor Yard. Ford Yard is small, while Motor Yard is quite a bit larger. The railroad line through the 2 yards is the very busy, double track Alliance - Cleveland main.

Take exit 18 from I-271, and go east on OH 82 towards the railroad bridge. Before going under the tracks, turn left onto Freeway Drive. The road parallels I-271, and hosts various light industries. Just before it passes under I-271, there is an excellent turn-off area from which you can watch trains on the main tracks, and switching activity at the east (compass south) end of Motor Yard. A snowblower is often parked in this area.

Update: North Freeway Drive used to be the epitome of the observation that roads that need fixed don't get fixed because they don't get used. A developer bought up a lot of land there, and North Freeway Drive is now drivable. Follow Freeway Drive as it bends around, and turn right on Ledge Rd. Take the first left. The road will bend some more, and run alongside Motor Yard. I usually drive a couple hundred yards after the bend so I'll be nicely visible, pull over, and park. You can get pictures looking slightly up into the yard, or you can walk back to the embankment of the I-271 bridge and climb it for a better angle.

Rob Richardson has been kind enough to furnish this info.

Back to the top

Macedonia -- OH 82 Area (April, 2013)

Take exit 18 from I-271, and go east on OH 82 towards the tracks. The road will pass Freeway Drive and then go under the tracks. There are two photo locations in the area close to where OH 82 goes under the railroad (which is the double track, very busy Alliance - Cleveland main). On the south side of OH 82 is a small city park with a gazebo, picnic tables, and a nice lawn -- which runs up to the tracks. Being on the west, this is primarily an afternoon location, but it's a great place to let the kids run off some energy while you watch the big show.

On the north side of OH 82 is a dog grooming business with a parking lot that abuts the tracks. You can't get as close here as you can in the park described above, but there are still possibilities. Ancient, unused spur tracks can still be seen, along with a ramp that was used for unloading boxcars. You might let the folks in the dog grooming business know you're there on the ramp, and keep children well away from the ramp. Note that this is a somewhat busy area, being close to busy OH 82, and trains can come upon you in a hurry, so stay away from the tracks and stay alert.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Back to the top

Maple Heights (April 2013)

A local rail yard in was pulled up by either Conrail or Penn Central back in the '70s. It was not needed. Well, today, Norfolk Southern (ex-CR) needs the capacity badly, but not for boxcar traffic. NS rebuilt the yard as a major intermodal terminal, one that complements other such new terminals in the Harrisburg and Atlanta areas. Like those latter two new terminals, blocks of cars are switched, and loading/unloading operations go on constantly. Luckily, Libby Road goes over the eastern end of the loading area. Besides the interesting yard activities, the Pittsburgh-Cleveland main line is also whizzing through under Libby Road. The Libby Road bridge has been rebuilt, and the new one has fences. It might still be an interesting place for watching loading and unloading of intermodal cars, but photographic possibilities have been greatly reduced. It might be possible to find interesting shots by walking behind Mapletown shopping center and looking for angles underneath the bridge.

From the Broadway exit of I-480, turn left (southeast) onto Broadway. Pass the yard entrance and park in either the McDonald's or Burger King lot, or in the Mapletown shopping center, which will be across Libby on your right. Walk over the bridge.

Rob Richardson furnished this info

Marion (April 2013)

Since I have never been to Marion, I posted a plea on my ClevelandRails for help, and list member Peter Maurath responded with the following, which he has granted permission to be included on FrogRail. I edited it a bit with information provided by Jerry Jordak.

Got a few hours? :-)

Been there a number of times, great railfan spot. The Marion station is nestled between two north/south lines, and next to an east/west line. From what I know the east/west line was original two lines: Big Four & Erie (shared lines between there and Galion, CSX operates the Big Four today as its Mt. Victory subdivision, and the Erie is abandoned except for original shared section and portions that feed the tank car plant operating out of a portion of the Erie yard at Marion). As for the north-south lines, the eastern most line is originally PRR Sandusky line sold to N&W to give them access to the NKP in the 60's, now NS. The western north/south line is originally Hocking Valley's line to Toledo, later C&O, now CSX. While its been a couple years since my last visit, when there last it was still a busy spot to train watch with most of the traffic on the NS Ex Pennsy Sandusky line, and the occasional CSX train. The ex Big Four/Erie seems more hit and miss from my experiences. Overall it's a great spot with a neat old station (highly recommend a tour of it and the model RR club in the baggage end, when it's open), old Erie caboose, restored AC tower (also occasionally opened for tours), and other misc. RR artifacts.

Another ClevelandRails member, Jerry Jordak, recommends the nearby Shovel Restaurant, and notes that the Marion Railfan Society holds slide shows at the depot on the third Saturday of each month.

Rob Richardson furnished this info


The city of Oregon, OH, is on the south side of the Maumee River, across from Toledo. It features no less than three oil refineries, with tons of railroad activity to support them.

Oregon: Front Street

(NOTE: This is actually in the city of Toledo.) Get off I-280 at Front Street, which will be the last exit before crossing the Maumee River if you are northbound, or the first exit after crossing it if you are southbound. Turn east. You will drive along ports on the south side of the Maumee River. After you pass the ports, watch on your left for a beautifully painted blue and white SD40-2 belonging to the Toledo Junction Railroad. A bridge will carry Front Street across the throat of a yard to your right. Take the first right after the bridge, and then quickly right again onto Randolph. You can park along Randolph and walk to the yard entrance, or back up onto the bridge. Rob thinks the yard is mainly used for car storage; when he visited, there were lots of tank cars in one section and some covered hoppers (and two kids playing on top of them) in another section, but no power.

Oregon: Millard Ave.

From Randolph Street, continue northeast on Front Street to Millard Ave. Turn right on Millard. You will cross the southeast throat of a large, active yard with very good photo angles. Millard is a busy four-line road with wide shoulders at that point. Rob is not sure where you can park, and while it's a public road, it may not be a good idea to stand on that bridge for too long. Millard ends on Otter Creek Rd. If you turn right on Otter Creek, the first road you come to will be Old Millard, on your right. It runs up to the yard. Rob did not visit it, but you might want to drive up there and see if there's anything worth seeing before you get to railroad property. If you drive the other way on Otter Creek, you will be between the tracks and the refineries. Rob drove quickly up there, but didn't see anything worth stopping for.

Oregon: Otter Creek and Corduroy Roads

If you drive south on Otter Creek Rd. past Old Millard, you will cross York St. and then get to the northwest end of a yard. If you continue on Otter Creek Road, it will end at Corduroy Road, and you can turn left and get to the other end of that yard.

Rob Richardson provided the Oregon info in March, 2013.


From OH 2 (an expressway) and Richmond Street, go south on Richmond to Prospect Street 3/10th mile and turn left to head east. After 1/2 mile, turn left onto State Street. In less than 200 feet, turn right on Station Street. This is not marked very well on the ground, and MapQuest shows it as Railroad Street. You can't miss it, as it takes you down to what were the New York Central tracks across northern Ohio.

Back to the top


From OH 2 (an expressway) and Richmond Street, go south on Richmond to end of the city park. Richmond Street changes its name here and becomes Liberty Street. Just keep going straight to Walnut Street (Note: The OH 2 freeway to Walnut Street is about a mile), and turn left on East Walnut. Go 9/10th of a mile, and a bridge should be in view. Walnut parallels the tracks, and you can make a right turn at any cross street, and the tracks are approximately 2000' south.

Back to the top

PICKERINGTON (December, 1999)

Located in the extreme southeast corner of the Columbus metropolitan area, Pickerington is on the Charleston, WV -- Columbus, OH secondary mainline. From I-70 east of Columbus, take exit 112 and OH 256 south (east). Within 5 miles or so, you'll come into this small town. Take North East Street north towards the tracks, and use your railfan nose to get to the station. The tracks here are NW-SE, so you should be able to get pix pretty much all day, depending on the train directions.

RAVENNA -- LAKE STREET (October 4, 2001)

From the center of Ravenna, at OH 59 and Prospect Street, go about 9 blocks west on OH 59 to North Diamond Street and go south (left). After 7 blocks or so, you'll go under the NS (ex-CR, exx-PC, exxx-PRR) main line between Alliance and Cleveland. You'll very shortly cross the CSX (ex-B&O) main line between Pittsburgh and Willard. This is the Diamond Street location, but continue south until your first left, which is Lake Street. Take this left and drive east towards the NS main line. Go over the tracks and park in the gravel parking lot. This is an excellent NS photo location. The railroad is broadly northwest/southeast in bias here, so pick your sun angles carefully.

Back to the top

Ravenna -- NS(CR)/CSX Crossing (October 18, 1998)

From OH 59 (Main Street), go south on Diamond to where it goes under the NS (ex-CR). Just before the underpass, Hazen Avenue is on your left. Take Hazen to Page, turn right onto Page, and park at the dead end. Now this railfan location is not for wimps -- it's for true hard core fans. I believe it to be completely legal, i.e., off railroad property, as long as you follow these instructions.

Immediately in front of you, you will see a deep cut (which may have been the Erie tracks), with an obvious path going down to it, and one just as obvious going up the far side.. Take this path to the top of the other side (wear your boots today, folks). You are now at the crossing of the NS (ex-CR, exx-PC, exxx-PRR) Pittsburgh-Cleveland mainline, and the CSX (ex-B&O) Pittsburgh-Willard mainline. The problem is that they don't cross at grade: NS goes over CSX. Here's how you railfan this location:

First, stay away from the NS tracks. Not only are they clearly posted "No Trespassing", but they are downright dangerous. There are lots of trains through here, and they are fast. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PHOTOGRAPH CSX TRAINS COMING FROM THE WEST FROM THE NS TRACKS.

Second, you can stay near the top of the path up the cut and get good NS (CR) pix without walking out to or near the tracks.

Third, there is a rough gravel road going down to the CSX tracks, with a reasonably well cleared (so, bring your lopping shears, and help CSX keep its expenses down) area by the tracks. This area is not posted, and as long as you're not stupid and wandering all over the tracks, you'll probably be all right here.

The sun will be a problem in some conditions, so do the best you can. This is probably an afternoon site overall -- I can think of no reasonable, legal way to fan this area in the morning if you're taking pix. If you've got a suggestion for the south side of this crossing, let me know.

Back to the top

Sandusky -- NS (EX-CR) / NS (EX-NKP) Crossing (October 20, 1998)

The NS (ex-N&W, exx-NKP) crosses Vermilion Road on its way north to the coal and ore docks. Go north on Huron Street here. Huron leads to the crossing of the NS (ex-CR) mainline and the NS (ex-NKP) line going to the dock area. There is plenty of room here for parking and good photo angles, and you don't need to get close to the tracks. While the ex-CR main has the great majority of the traffic here, the docks are still quite active, and you'll probably see a transfer run or two.

You can continue north on Huron from here, and work your way over to the coal docks, largely by following the tracks. However, there is a guard house at the entrance, and a human being occupied it this date, so there really seems to be little point in going up there.

Once again, Mark Nilges provided much of this information.

Back to the top

SANDUSKY -- NS (EX-CR) YARD (October 20, 1998)

From either OH 2 or U.S. 6, go north on OH 4 towards downtown Sandusky. You will come to an overpass, which is the NS (ex-CR, exx-PC, exxx-NYC) mainline. Before crossing under the tracks, take a left, and then go towards the tracks.. This is the south side of the yard, and offers good AM photo locations. You can get good pix without going out to any tracks. Some trains zoom through here, while others stop for whatever reason. Apparently, a single unit is based out of the yard office here.

On the west end of the yard, go under the tracks and take your first right, following it around to the depot, which is now being restored. You'll have lots of good light and space for PM shots here.

Thanks to Mark Nilges for this information.

Back to the top

SANDUSKY -- NS (EX-NKP) YARD (October 20, 1998)

At the corner of U.S. 6 and OH 101, go west (south) on OH 101. The yard throat is about 2 blocks from U.S. 6. This yard is mostly used to supply and stage the Sandusky coal docks. The future is unclear here, as NS (ex-CR) has a substantial coal dock at Ashtabula. However, on this date, there were a heck of a lot of cars in this yard, and two engines were working away. You can get either AM or PM shots from just off OH 101.

TOLEDO -- NASBY (October 28, 2001)

On the western edge of Toledo is a crossing of the NS (ex-CR, exx-PC, exxx-NYC, exxxx-Lake Shore and Michigan Southern) Chicago main line and the NS/CSX (ex-Toledo Terminal) beltline. Traffic is very heavy. To get there, go west on OH 2 from the junction of U.S. 24 (Detroit Avenue) and OH 2 (Airport Highway). Just before crossing the TT tracks, go north on Barclay Drive to South Avenue, and take a left to go west. In one block, you'll come to the TT tracks, and the junction is just to your north. Note that MapQuest still shows "NYC Railroad", etc, so you'll want to get an up-to-date map of Toledo before visiting. It's a rather complicated railroad area. Steam Powered Video's Great Lakes East atlas has an excellent, full page map of the rails in the Toledo Terminal.

Some words of caution: This is a critical junction, and security is important to the railroads and to you. Be very mindful of railroad property, and your own personal safety. This is big-time northern Ohio Chicago Line railroading, and it can be dangerous.

Adapted from a Richard Heise entry in the Greater Capital District Railfan Association pages, which are here. Wayne Kuhl assisted Richard with this data. Used with permission.

Back to the top

TOLEDO -- VICKERS (October 30, 2001)

Vickers is on the east side of Toledo, and is the site of a very important junction. East - west NS Chicago Line (ex-CR) traffic enters the Toledo Terminal at Vickers, and north - south CSX/CP traffic from Walbridge and the south goes up to the Toledo waterfront industries and docks, and Detroit, via the junction. As you can imagine, this is a very busy area, and it's dangerous. Find a good location, off railroad property, and settle down and enjoy the passing scenery. You won't be able to catch every train on every track, but you'll be safe, non-stressed, and will be rewarded with good action. Avoid the diamond area, because security is understandably very important to the railroads. This is big-time northern Ohio railroading, and you want to practice safe railfanning. The junction itself is officially known as CP-285. CP stands for Controlled Point.

To get to Vickers from the vicinity of the intersection of I-280 and U.S. 223/OH 51 in the southeast area of Toledo, go west on Wales Road. When you cross the NS, which runs on a dead southeast - northwest bias, you'll cross Drouillard Road, and just west of Drouillard, you'll come to the CSX/CP. The junction is just to your north. A good, up-to-date map of the metro area would be a major plus, because MapQuest is still showing the "PRR Railroad", etc. Steam Powered Video's Great Lakes East atlas has an excellent, full page map of the rail lines in Toledo.

Adapted from a Richard Heise entry in the Greater Capital District Railfan Association pages, which are here. Wayne Kuhl assisted Richard with this data. Used with permission.

Back to the top


From CP-102 (formerly CP-TWIN) in Macedonia, the Crown Industrial branch comes east into Twinsburg, the site of a now-closed Chrysler plant. There is also an aggregates firm in Twinsburg that sees rail traffic. Perhaps the best place to view the action is from the Chamberlin Road overpass. From I-271 in Macedonia, take exit 18 and head east on OH 82. As Aurora Road, OH 82 will go under the Alliance - Cleveland NS main, through Longwood Park, and come to Chamberlin Road. Take a right to go south on Chamberlin. The road will rise up and go over the yard throat -- if you pass the Chrysler plant on your right, you've gone too far.

As in the case with all overpass railfanning and photography, park well away from the bridge and walk up to the overpass. Keep in mind that the road is a busy 4-lane thoroughfare, so stay alert and safe.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Back to the top

U.S. 23 -- WAVERLY TO PORTSMOUTH (October 21, 1998)

From immediately south of Waverly to the town of Lucasville, about 15 miles, the NS Portsmouth- Columbus mainline is (mostly) on the east side of U.S. 23. For most of the way, the track is elevated slightly above the highway, and there are very few trees between the highway and the railroad. You can get some excellent late morning and afternoon (til sundown) shots all along here.

Somewhere around Lucasville, the road and railroad trade sides, and the NS will be to the west of the highway all the way into Portsmouth. Photo ops aren't as good from Lucasville south, but there are some, so pick and choose. The closer you get to Portsmouth, the closer to the Scioto River both highway and railroad get. The area just south of Lucasville is best here for AM photos.

Back to the top

U.S. 52 -- PORTSMOUTH TO IRONTON (October 22, 1998)

Leaving Portsmouth, you go by large industries which completely hide the railroad. However, these end shortly, and you then have the double track mainline on your right all the way to a little north of Ironton, perhaps 15-17 miles. This is certainly best for AM shots, but there are places where afternoon shots can easily be taken. In some places, poles are a problem, so scout around ahead of time. Not far from Ironton, maybe 10 miles south of Portsmouth, there is a small road paralleling both the tracks and the highway and it runs between them. This is a great place to set up and wait for some goodies. Along this location, the area is "deep" enough for PM shots.

Back to the top

VERMILION -- DOWNTOWN (October 20, 1998)

Mark Nilges, an active member of the Conrail-Talk info exchange group, put me on to this site, and it's quite a place. Besides lots of railroad action which is easy to fan, the town itself is right on the lake, and is beautiful, with lots of shopping, good food, and things for non-railfans to do and enjoy. The public library will knock your socks off, as you catch up on your e-mails.

Essentially, both NS (ex-CR, exx-PC, exxx-NYC) and NS (ex-N&W, exx-NKP) run parallel here, both coming from Cleveland. However, from just west of downtown, NS/NKP heads south to Bellevue. A new connector is being built in the Vermilion area, but I don't have info on it yet. Hopefully, it will be in a location conducive to railfan activities.

For now, in the downtown area, from U.S. 6, go south on OH 60 for a block or so, and cross the ex-CR mainline. Park to your left in the public lot, and walk up to the nice wooden station for a few pix. There is good train-watching here, as there are ample off-railroad shots available for both PM and AM shots. Adjacent to the parking area is a small town park, so your spouse and kids can do something besides sit in the car and mope.

All along the ex-CR and ex-NKP lines in the downtown area are photo locations, so do a little exploring on your own -- don't be in a hurry here, as there are lots of possibilities, and lots of trains go through to allow you to exploit those possibilities.

Back to the top

VERMILION -- EAST SIDE (October 20, 1998)

Coming into Vermilion from the east on U.S. 6, you will cross over the NS (ex-N&W, exx-NKP) mainline. Keep going west on U.S. 6, and you will see Vermilion Road to your left (it's fairly easy to miss, so slow down). Turn left onto Vermilion Road and you will come to the NS (ex-CR, exx-PC, exxx-NYC) tracks at grade. Walk along the tracks for a short distance to the east, and you will see the point where ex-CR crosses over ex-NKP.

Go back to U.S. 6 and make a left towards town. Right after passing over the Vermilion River, make a left on the first street, and go under the ex-CR tracks. There is a marina parking lot on the left with a good view of trains passing over the Vermilion River bridge.

Thanks again to Mark Nilges for this excellent information.

Back to the top


In the infrastructure work done by Norfolk Southern prior to the break-up of Conrail, this connection was a key piece in northern Ohio. Just west of Vermillion, the ex-CR, exx-NYC, Chicago line and the NS, ex-NKP line are parallel and quite close to each other. Both lines are just south of U.S. 6. A connection was put in as follows:

The junction at the north, the ex-CR line, was put in to the south of Daylon Court, a subdivision-type street. There is no access to the tracks without getting permission from a home-owner. The south end junction with the ex-NKP is just to the east of Coen Road, and is wide open.

This connection serves three major purposes: 1. It can take NKP freights that had to crawl through the western suburbs of Cleveland, and get them through town via the much faster ex-CR tracks. 2. Slow freights can be taken off the ex-CR and routed west via Bellevue. Therefore, it should be easier to get time-sensitive trains over the ex-CR. 3. Either line can serve as a safety valve/relief outlet for the other.

Mark Nilges has provided us with an excellently detailed railfan location, and his input from 1999 was updated by Ronald L. Schenk in late 2000.


The town of Walbridge features two parallel rail yards, both owned by CSX and both easily visible from public roads. From I-80, take I-280 north for about 4 miles, to the Walbridge Rd. exit. Turn left, and just stay on Walbridge Rd. The first yard you come to will be on your left. It features an engine maintenance facility, so you're likely to see lots of locomotives. Once you get your fill of them, keep going in the same direction on Walbridge, and you'll get to a flat switching yard, also on your left. This yard features a picturesque old elevated yardmaster's tower. The yard is quite active. Be careful: switching moves frequently cross Walbridge Rd., and signs warn that remote-controlled equipment is in use. Both of these locations have you looking south into the yards, so a bright overcast might be the best light for photographing from Walbridge Rd.

There seems to some confusion about the name of the street. Google Maps shows it as Walbridge Rd. when it crosses I-280. As you drive west and enter a residential area, it becomes E. Union St. Then, just before the first yard, it's back to being Walbridge Rd. After the first yard, it's West Union for a short way, and then it returns to being Walbridge Rd.

Those are the only locations Rob visited, but Google Maps shows several other possibilities for these yards. Railroad St. runs northwest from Walbridge, paralleling a single-track line that runs east of the first yard. You may get a better angle from the end of that street. There is a line that runs north and then west out of the first yard, crossing a line running straight north out of the second yard, with transfer tracks between the two lines. If you turn north onto E. Broadway before getting to the second yard, you will get to the eastern point of that interchange. If you turn south on S. Main Street from Walbridge before getting to the first yard, it will become Droulliard Rd., and it will eventually run next to the east side of that yard. If you turn south on Luckey Rd. just after the first yard, you may be able to see the west side of the yard. Eventually, the road will turn straight south and leave the side of the yard, but it will get you to Latcha Rd. You can turn in either direction and get to the south end of both yards.

The tangle of lines running north from these two lines looks really weird on Google Maps. If you have time in this area, print out a map, poke around, and see what you can see.

Added March, 2013, by Rob Richardson.

WAUSEON (July 2003)

If you're overwhelmed by the bustle of either Fostoria or Toledo, here's a nice alternative, and it won't be so hebephrenic that it will be unenjoyable. From I-80 take exit 34 south, and then via OH 108 into Wauseon. Once in town, take a right at the school to head west. After that turn, follow the signs to the station. The station has been re-built, and there is a caboose here, too. Also, most welcome, is picnic table in the shade.

The sight lines are very good in both directions, @ at least 5 miles in each direction on a clear day. Expect a train on NS's Chicago-Cleveland main line every 15 - 20 minutes.

Frograil wishes to thank dcbmk (until we can translate that for you) for this contribution.

Back to the top

WAVERLY(October 21, 1998)

This town, south of Chillicothe on U.S. 23, is rather unremarkable, railfan-wise, but offers something for those looking for that "perfect railroad picture". The NS main does not run through the town, per se, nor is there any interchange in the town. However, on the far eastern edge (try Market Street, which may be OH 220 east of U.S. 23, but I'm not sure), the NS describes (as we used to say in plane geometry) an arc of gorgeous proportions, complete with a much needed flange greaser in the middle of the arc.

If you will go past the tracks to the east, in the early morning (but not when the farmer has a crop in the field!), you'll have the opportunity to take THE GRAND SWEEPING CURVE PICTURE, from Waverly, Ohio. Should be fun and a challenge.

Back to the top

WELLINGTON (October 19, 1999)

Wellington is in north central Ohio, and is reached by taking I-90 west from Cleveland. Get off I-90 at exit 8A, and go north and get on OH 2, which is an expressway. Three miles or so after getting on OH 2, go south on OH 58 for some 18 miles. You'll be rewarded by CSX's (ex-CR) double track Cleveland - Columbus main line, and also Wheeling and Lake Erie's Bellevue - Brewster line. They cross, at grade, in the southwest quadrant of Wellington, near the entrance to the county fairgrounds. There are good photo spots from an above ground reservoir next to the NS tracks, and there is parking on side streets near the tracks. Fast food places are north of town, and you're advised to stop at the pizza place located next to the farm and home store just past the intersection of OH 58 and OH 18.

To get to the fairgrounds, go south on OH 58, past OH 18, and watch for signs. You can also continue on OH 58 south through town, until you see Jones Road, which is just beyond the city limits. Turn right onto Jones, and it will take you to the reservoir. The NS tracks run right along the reservoir on its north side. You will also be able to see the NS/WLE diamond from this place.

Thanx to John Thompson, Jr. of Elyria for this info. Hopefully, John will give us even more goodies in the months to come!

Back to the top

WICKLIFFE (9409xx)

CR & NSC This is a northeastern suburb of Cleveland, and is one of those places where both sets of mainlines come very close together. A good place is on Warden Road, 1/4 mile north of US 20 (Euclid). There is good parking on the east side in an industrial parking lot. Be ready for lots of fast trains.

Back to the top

WILLARD -- EAST END (October 21, 1998)

From Motson Street & Third, and all along Motson in AM, the photo locations are plentiful. It looks as if there's OK viewing north of the tracks in the afternoon, but I don't know the name of the streets. It's a pretty small town, so check it out, and let me know your favorite spots.

Back to the top

WILLARD -- WEST END (October 21, 1998)

Far out of town (hey, this is one big, long yard!), get to the junction of Section Line Road 30 and Townline Road 12. This is the throat at the west end of the yard. There is small, but ample parking here. The tracks are so built up, I'd suggest putting an old horse blanket on the top of your car/van/ truck, and taking pix from up there. You'll see lots and lots of trains, and when the sun swings to the west, just cross the tracks and relocate. We are talking 100% rural here -- the heartland of America and American railroading.

Back to the top

WILLOUGHBY (July 21, 2000)

A gem between Cleveland and Buffalo, Willoughby is easy to reach, and even easier to railfan. From I-90, get off at Vine Street, and go east on Vine. From Vine, turn left (north) on Erie Street, and then left again onto Depot Street just before the tracks. There is ample off-railroad property for shots of both railroads, but because there are probably 3-5 per hour through here, you may be penalized by not simply finding a good NS and CSX location (each), and settling down. Running back and forth sometimes just increases frustration levels. Get out the lawn chair, cooler, and relax.

Traffic on CSX is probably twice that of NS, and the latter tends to run in spurts. If you're a photographer (not a roster shot type like most of us), you'll want to explore the area where the CSX bridge crosses the Chagrin River. To do that, walk north across the tracks and follow the first street to the right. The road crosses the Chagrin River, giving you a great view of the old concrete arch bridge that carries CSX across the river. The tracks run from the southwest to the northeast, so you'll have to choose your light selectively.

Rob Richardson furnished this info.

Back to the top

Cities And Sites

Back to the top


(1) With thanks to Eric McFadden. Visit his Ohio railfan site.

(2) Mike Riley has given us the benefit of his wisdom here. Also, his information has been supplemented by map data which Dink Heinzman was thoughtful enough to provide.

(3) From up there in Northeastern Ohio, Ken Stroebel was thoughtful enough to provide these goodies for us.

(4) These precise and detailed sites are courtesy of Mark Nilges.

(5) This information courtesy of Mike Rose.

(6) Jim Six, an expert in things northern Ohio, has graciously contributed to this info.

(7) Terry Stuart, who among other things runs a railroad oriented B&B near Pittsburgh's Conway Yard, has contributed these tidbits.

(8) A Pennsylvanian, John Schodowski, provides this goodie for us. Thanks, John.

(9) Lots of thanks go out to Carl Timko, whose input made these entries possible.

(10) Thanx to John Thompson, Jr. of Elyria for this info. Hopefully, John will give us even more goodies in the months to come!

(12) Roger Rassche and Eric Landrum collaborated on these sites. Please note the excellent detail they've provided.

(13) Cameron T. Lashley has provided this data to us. He is the Webmaster for the most excellent Columbus Railroad Gallery, which is a comprehensive photo source for the area, and is highly recommended.

(14) Rob Richardson has been kind enough to furnish this info.

Back to the top