• Northern Ohio - Best Spots?

  • 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 AndyB
Here is a chance to recommend your "best spots".
There are four of us from New Jersey headed to your great state for a few days of railfaning, this coming weekend Thursday thru Monday.
We are looking at Youngstown, Akron, Cleveland, Toledo, Fostoria, and anything else you may recommend.
We plan on staying in the area north of RT US-30

OK, Have at it!

AndyB from NJ Board

  by railohio
Where you should go depends entirely on what you want to see. Are you more interested in seeing the most trains possible or do you want some opportunities for photography, too? Do you prefer CSX, Norfolk Southern, or maybe shortlines or regionals? Do you prefer quiet places to keep to yourself or do you want to see a railfan circus? Do you want a hotel every night or are you up for some camping? There are a myriad of places in northern Ohio, we just need to know what you're looking for.

  by AndyB

Thanks for the reply, hotels already booked Akron and Fostoria area.
Looking mainly for train watching spots aka action, but also, historic interest like Cleveland Union Terminal.


  by ToledoTerminalRy
Around Toledo the NS Cleveland - Chicago Main(x-NYC Water Level Route) Line really livens up around 6 and gets bussier as the night goes on. My personal favorite is Vickers Crossing, its near the intersection of Wales and Drouillard Rds in Northwood OH here CSX's Detroit to Columbus Double main crosses NS's Cleveland - Chicago Double Main.


  by railohio
Around Akron I'd hit up Alliance at the Amtrak station and Berea up by Cleveland. Both are about forty-five minutes from Akron. There really isn't much left in the city for the casual railfan unless railroad archaeology is your thing.

Over around Fostoria, aside from the city itself, there's Deshler, Marion, and Greenwich. Deshler and Marion will both get you plenty of mainline action and Greenwich will have a few trains a day from the Wheeling & Lake Erie added to the mix.

If you're going to be up on the NS Chicago line in the western part of the state do so in the morning. There is a sort of a mini-parade of eastbounds that will net you some great shots. As previous posters have mentioned it'll get busy again around 6:00p but this time of year it's nearly dark an hour after that.

If you want a little more information on what to look for and spots to go to send me a private message and I can fill in all the details.

  by railohio
I just saw when you were making the trip. I'll be in Berea this Friday evening if you want to get together. I'll send a private message with details.

  by AndyB

Railfan trip to Fostoria, Ohio

What a great trip. Quick summary follows:

Thursday, 10/05 we left New Jersey around 6:00 am

1st. stop Harrisburg Amtrak Station then

Enola Yard, Rockville Bridge, Marysville

We then followed the old PRR mainline west, stopping at a number of places. Multipal trains at each location

We stayed over night at the Station Inn, Cresson. The Inn is located right on old PRR right of way. Well across the street.

A large porch with rocking chairs made the evening train watching enjoyable.

Friday, headed west again, stopping at Johnstown and two other spots before hitting I-76 and a run into Ohio bypassing Pittsburgh. In Ohio stops made Youngstown, Akron, Lodi, Greenwich, Willard, Attica, Tiffin and finally Fostoria.

Fostoria! What a railfan town. Three double track main lines cross eachother all within five blocks, all at grade.

When we checked into the Motel, the clerk asked if we were there for the trains and then presented each of us with a folder on Fostoria having maps with local railfan sites and a Ohio state “Railfan” map with rail routes throughout the state. After dinner we headed to the Amtrak station where we stayed until 11:00pm. Saturday was spent all around Fostoria, moving from location to location depending on the sun and traffic. Rail traffic was more like a traffic jam at times. I lost count of the number of trains but it had to be well over 50.

I do not think that there was not a minute that did not have at least one train in view.

Sunday, on the road again Upper Sandusky, Marion, Galion, Wooster, Canton, Alliance, all Ohio.

Then a run to Cumberland, Maryland and overnight stay.

Monday was spent on raifanning Cumberland, Sand Patch grade up to Summit.

What a let down. Two trains in Five Hours.

3:00pm and on the road back to New Jersey.

Covered a little over 1,300 miles in five days.

At every location in Ohio we met other raifans. Every one we met treated us like a family member. A lot of local information was offered. It really helped. We got a few names, but not everyone. If anyone here met the four guys from Jersey. Thanks we enjoyed your state.


  by ToledoTerminalRy
Glad you had fun in Fostoria. I didnt know the hotels there handed out a "Railfan package", thats nice. Hope you make a return trip to the area.


  by AndyB
It was a surprise to us. I have done a lot of railfanning and the first time I received anything like this and without asking.
We got:
a 56 page slick cover Fostoria visitor's guide from the Chamber of Commerce
Visitor's Guide pamphlet from the Fostoria Visitors Bureau
CSX Operation Lifesaver pamphlet
Welcome letter and three local area railfan maps from Fostoria Rail Preservation Society
Information on "Rail Park" that is being planned
A Railfan Survey form, which we all sent back, about our stay.
Ohio State Rail Map from the Ohio Rail Development Commission which came in handy on Sunday.
  by shiny4roy
Originally there were 5 railroads that serviced the city. They were meant to service glass companies that were located in the city. The city of Fostoria is raising funds to build a railroad park inside the "Iron Triangle" for railroading fans to view trains.
  by charlie6017
Hey.........bumping an old thread. I'm thinking about taking a day trip and heading west (for me). Ashtabula is a place I would like to see as well as Conneaut. Questions though. Is 32nd Street near the crossings an okay place to pull over and watch in Ashtabula? I don't want to get in any trouble. And if that's not a good place, any suggestions?

As for Conneaut, what about train watching places there?

Thanks a bunch in advance!

  by 23kexpress
If you're looking for CSX action that place is fine. Its a public crossing, no one will bother you there. If you want to see NS trains then go to Gary Ave., or Jefferson Ave. You can see both the B line and the Youngstown Line. As for Conneaut, Mill St. or Chestnut St. The NS parking lot at Chestnut St. is for NS employees only. I don't know who owns the land on the opposite side of the yard office. You can catch both yard switching and through traffic.