• Backside of Toledo Terminal Doomed

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in the American Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. For questions specific to a railroad company, please seek the appropriate forum.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in the American Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. For questions specific to a railroad company, please seek the appropriate forum.

Moderator: railohio

  by Northwest727
I've been noticing since about September of 2009, crews have been tearing out track of the Toledo Terminal between West Central, and West Sylvania. I did a search online, and found this (the abandonment filing, dated January, 2010), the sad ending of the backside of the Toledo Terminal.
  by MSchwiebert
Not surprising, the city of Toledo & the University of Toledo has wanted those tracks out for years. The backside's usefulness ended when the upper river bridge was damaged in a derailment back in the early 1980's and never rebuilt. Add to it that with the Conrail split, the NS (the last user of the backside) got a better route to Maumee (no longer needing to use the backside to access the former NKP and WAB trackage via Gould tower) it really no longer serves a purpose.
  by Northwest727
I have a question on that: why is CSX formally abandoning the track? Why not "railbank" it instead for future use? Or does CSX really feel that that track will never again be used and/or to prevent competition (a la Contrail style)?
  by MSchwiebert
The trackage in question is NS owned, CSX sold the backside from a point near Jackman Road to Gould tower to the NS 15 years or so ago. CSX retained ownership from that point over to Hallett tower to serve local industries (also used by Ann Arbor to access a portion of the former DT&I now known as the Temperance Yard Corporation)

Here's a link that shows this in better detail.

http://www.dot.state.oh.us/maps/2007200 ... -Bk-Lg.jpg

As for why NS didn't railbank the trackage, my guess is that all the existing industries were able to retain service without it and without the upper river bridge (heavily damaged in a derailment in the early 1980's - that's the bridge next to the Ohio Turnpike bridge over the Maumee) it stopped being a through route anyways. The city of Toledo has been after that right of way for years for other purposes (bike path) as well.
  by Northwest727
I thought the track was still owned by CSX, NS simply had trackage rights over it? Wouldn't that explain why CSX filed the abandonment papers, and not NS?

Edit: according to PUCO, the trackage is owned by CSX: http://www.puc.state.oh.us/pucogis/STATEMAP/RAIL_E.PDF
  by MSchwiebert
I figured that the NS had physically purchased it - guess not. Here's the STB decision for the Temperance to Vulcan portion. http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readin ... enDocument
Note that the decision mentions working with TMACOG (Toledo Metro Area Council of Governments) for using the line as a trail/railbanking.

Also here's a decision that resulted in small portions of the line between Vulcan and Gould (which NS did purchase) being reactivated for service.
http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readin ... enDocument
  by Northwest727
I just wanted to add, that the long-abandoned tracks that existed between Gould and the Upper Maumee Bridge are also being torn out as well. The old signal at Glanzman has been removed. I am not sure who is doing the track removal, since it was formally abandoned by CSX years ago (although the track has been effectively abandoned since 1982, when the derailment ended the use of the bridge).

Any idea what is to become of the ROW on this segment, and why it took so long for the tracks to be removed?
  by Northwest727
UPDATE: I took a "stroll" along the backside today (first time my schedule would allow), and all tracks are gone. The ballast is still there. With the exception of the Monroe St. crossing, crossings and signals have yet to be removed. The bridge over I-475 is still there, though it days are numbered as ODOT prepares to widen I-475 and remove the bridge this fall.

Meanwhile, the long-abandoned stretch south of the ex-Wabash crossing (Gould) to the upper Maumee bridge have been torn out, including the ballast, and my favorite artifact, a stone "W" whistle-sign near the former crossing with Copland Ave.
  by RailMike
Were the tracks between the Kenwood Blvd. grade crossing and Vulcan taken out as well? Back in the mid-70s, when the tracks were quite active, I went to the now-relocated elementary school at the corner of Kenwood and Douglas. I occasionally got in mild trouble with the teachers for paying too much attention to passing trains. If a train passed by during recess, we would wave to the guy in the cab and/or the caboose and he'd usually wave back. Pity it's gone now.

Now, what's to become of that bridge over Bancroft St. I suspect it'll go soon, since the tight embankment blocks visibility at the adjacent intersection. Also, you might notice that there are two bridge decks, since that section, along with most of the backside, was double-track until the mid-1960s. For decades it's been tagged with "Knight Country".

At, or just south of the T-intersection of Douglas and Pelham, there was a spur that led to what's now the University Hills apartments. I have a faint memory of the switch (but no spur) still being present in the mid-70s. I think the spur was removed well before Douglas was extended that far south, so I doubt there was ever a grade crossing there.

There are still tracks embedded in the pavement of the (old) Westwood Rd. about a half-mile south of Bancroft. I think this was spur to a former Owens-Illinois plant.
  by Northwest727
RailMike wrote:Were the tracks between the Kenwood Blvd. grade crossing and Vulcan taken out as well?
Unfortunately, yes. The Kenwood grade crossing is just beyond the curve in the attached photos. I've been trying to get these photos (among many more) on abandonedrails.com, but I'm not sure what is going on with Greg over there, since I haven't heard rom him in now six months.
  by ToledoTerminalRy
Drove down Douglas today to Dorr. All crossings, tracks and ties have been removed all the way down to within 5 or so feet of Vulcan. The actual diamond is still intact. All crossings have had the track removed and paved over with blacktop, also the sidewalks are replaced and curbs filled on the edge. :( Only reminance is ballast.
  by dti406
They will have fun removing that bridge over I475, I worked for ODOT when that bridge was built, and Railroad bridges are built like tanks to handle the weight of engines, cars etc. Much more substantial than a bridge for cars and trucks. They will also have to be careful, as there is an 84" sewer pipe right under the berm that funnels all the storm sewers in the area over to the Ottawa River down by Jermaine Park.

I also worked for the electrical contractor that built the power lines that parallel the trackage, not much interaction between the railroad and us, as Toledo Edison was responsible for all the right-of-way.

  by nycrick
As part of the expansion of Airline Yard's intermodal facility NS plans to reinstall the connector track at Vulcan. When this is done they will abandon the Old Road from Vulcan through the Parkside neighborhood to Airline Jct. Grain trains bound for Ottawa Lake will leave Airline at Nasby go north to Vulcan to access the Old Road. So a small part of the TTRR will continue to live!
  by RailMike
@dti406, I've wondered a few things about the power lines that parallel the Toledo Terminal trackage. It appears that the same contractor built the towers around the whole TT loop! I am not an engineer, but the subtleties in the truss structures are all the same. (There are exceptions: a few towers with that narrow, lattice pole-like structure near Sylvania Ave. -- used for most of the power lines that parallel the Old Road between Vulcan and Central/Reynolds substations, and the HUGE towers used to span the upper Maumee River. Also, right at the I-475 overpass, a non-lattice pole was recently added for a new tap.)

Another commonality is the unique pattern of the insulators: as a 10-year-old I called it "triangle-straight-triangle", where the top and bottom phases have a V-string and the middle, wider out phase has a simple vertical string. Many pictures of the TT with power lines in the background show this pattern, though whenever there's the slightest change in direction, all three phases have a pair of dead-end insulators with jumpers.

In about 1975, I was in elementary school one day and noticed major construction on the power lines that paralleled the TT tracks (we were right across Douglas at Kenwood at the time). They had replaced the "crowning" structures on the power lines with the structure still found today. Was that what you worked on? The A-shaped base sections were untouched. Before the topping structures were replaced (this is not from memory, but from looking at old photographs from the Toledo Library website), the structures were smaller, and all three phases were simple straight strings. There was also only one lightning ground wire at the top, held up by a pointy tip; these can be found along the former Toledo, Angola, and Western tracks west of Holland-Sylvania, but single-circuit on one side only, and they now dead-end at Silica.