Fostoria sees as many as 120 trains in 24 hours on three lines. CSX’s former B&O Willard Subdivision crosses both its former Cheaspeake & Ohio mainline between Toledo and Columbus, Ohio, and Norfolk Southern’s former Nickel Plate Road main line between Bellevue, Ohio, and Ft. Wayne, Ind. The former C&O is known as the Pemberville Subdivision north of Fostoria and the Columbus Sub south of the city.
The last train to pass the tower under the operator’s control was R348-29 just a little before 9 a.m. Eastern daylight time, operating around the southeast connecting track between Indianapolis and Willard, Ohio.
The first train to pass the closed tower was eastbound NS intermodal 20R.
About an hour after the transfer of control, eastbound NS train No. 218 called the tower to get through town. “I don’t have control anymore,” said the operator, who was now just an observer. “It’s been given to [Indianapolis].”
CSX will continue to man the tower through Tuesday in case any problems arise.
A number of local railfans were on hand to record the event, including former F Tower operator Dale A. DeVene Jr. “I’m sad to see it go,” he says. “It’s sad to lose the history.”
DeVene, who left the railroad in December 1983, says he has fond memories of working in the tower. “It was a great place to work, it really was,” he adds.
For more on trainwatching in Fostoria, go to www.TrainsMag.com.