News & Reviews News Wire CSX closes out the tower era in Fostoria NEWSWIRE

CSX closes out the tower era in Fostoria NEWSWIRE

By Brian Schmidt | March 30, 2015

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CSX Transportation train R348, left, was the last train to pass under the control of F Tower in Fostoria, Ohio. R348 departed once train S264, right, cleared the plant.
Brian Schmidt
Toledo, Ohio-bound train Q253 passes CSX Transportation’s F Tower in Fostoria, Ohio, just before the tower closed for good on Monday morning.
Brian Schmidt
FOSTORIA, Ohio – CSX Transportation has closed out the tower era in railfan-favorite Fostoria on Monday morning by transferring F Tower’s responsibilities to the railroad’s Indianapolis dispatching office. The Indianapolis desk controls Fostoria and the railroad’s busy former Baltimore & Ohio main line between Greenwich and Deshler, both in Ohio.

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

7 thoughts on “CSX closes out the tower era in Fostoria NEWSWIRE

  1. The controls for the signal system are in the first floor of the tower so it will not be razed/moved/sold any time in the near future.

  2. Sad end of an era. So Indianapolis dispatches the interlocking and the former B&O from Greenwich to Deshler. What dispatchers office dispatches the line west of Deshler?
    Mike Lustig

  3. Any chance the Tower might be incorporated into the Rail Park? It's an example of railroad infrastructure that is fast disappearing.

  4. I worked for CSX from July, 1997 to May 2012, most of the time as an engineer, and usually out of Willard to Garrett or Chicago, but occasionally from Willard to Toledo, Walbridge to Chicago or Cleveland, and for several months Northwest Ohio (North Baltimore) to Chicago. On all but NWO, I passed F Tower.

    When I hired out, there were five towers open between Willard and Bedford Park or 59th Street yards in the Chicago area. Now only Dolton survives, and it will probably be gone if CSX and NS can agree on the track arrangements between Dolton and Riverdale.

    Even though I ran my last train, Q01030 in May of 2012, I have fond memories of getting talked through town in the 1990's, or being held at East Fostoria, or Columbus Avenue going westbound or eastbound at Godsend or Adams Street, by the operator because of cross traffic in later years.

    It is indeed sad that no one will again hear the operator telling a crew to, "Bring 'em down easy."

    Since the building is brick, and would have to be moved over the northwest quadrant of the wye, it is questionable whether it can be moved to the Railpark. However, the former B&O passenger station was moved in Bremen, so hope springs eternal.

    By the way, if you look closely, you will be able to see the tower was originally "FS", but the "S" was later chiseled off.

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