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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Dayton railfanning


Date: 03/04/01 06:36
Dayton railfanning
Author: jack

Spending next weekend in Dayton,any suggestions as to rail activity in the area?What lines go thru there?Any help appreciated.



Date: 03/04/01 06:55
RE: Dayton railfanning
Author: toledopatch

Assuming you're referring to Dayton, OH:

The two surviving main lines through town are the Norfolk Southern (ex-CR, exx-NYC) line between Columbus and Cincinnati and the CSX (ex-B&O) line between Toledo and Cincinnati. They come together to pass through downtown along the elevated former Dayton Union Terminal right-of-way, but do not intersect except for a hand-thrown crossover. CSX's Needmore Yard is on the north side of town (take Needmore Road exit from I-75 and go east) while NS's Moraine Yard is on the south side (can be seen from I-75).

Others on the list may provide more accurate estimates, but I'd surmise that the NS line has about 20 trains a day, while the CSX line has between 35 and 45 per day. The NS line's traffic includes about six daily Indiana & Ohio trains. I&O has no local operations in Dayton but does have a small yard and engine terminal in nearby Springfield, Ohio.

Among the better railfanning spots in the city are the NS line's bridge over the Great Miami River, which is between Moraine Yard and downtown Dayton. There is public fishing access at the south end of the bridge. Bring a wide-angle lens, though, to shoot close enough that you minimize the impact of power lines near the structure. The downside is you don't see any of the CSX trains there. The arch-truss D.U.T. bridge right on the southern edge of downtown is also photogenic but not as conveniently accessed. The D.U.T. alignment through downtown doesn't have much public access, but one good late-afternoon photo vantage point is from a downtown parking garage that overlooks the tracks.



Date: 03/04/01 07:06
RE: Dayton railfanning
Author: run8

Make sure you take a ride on Dayton's extensive subway system. Here is a link with maps and a description of the operation:

http://www.mvra.org/



Date: 03/04/01 07:47
RE: Dayton railfanning
Author: RS11

Subway system in Dayton, Ohio????? *LOL* There's no such beast. Good spoof though. run8 wrote:
>
> Make sure you take a ride on Dayton's extensive subway system.
> Here is a link with maps and a description of the operation:
>
> http://www.mvra.org/



Date: 03/04/01 07:58
Toledopatch
Author: jack

Thanks for the detailed info.I am assuming Dayton Union Terminal is no longer used?Is there Amtrak service thru Dayton?



Date: 03/04/01 08:59
RE: Toledopatch
Author: BobE

jack wrote:
>
> Thanks for the detailed info.I am assuming Dayton Union
> Terminal is no longer used?


Correct.


Is there Amtrak service thru Dayton?

Nope.


I would add that I think Mr. Patch's estimate on NS Cincinnati Line traffic is a bit high---I would say 15 trains/24 hours, or maybe 7 in daylight is more normal. There's a fair amount of night trains, at least 50 miles south at the Sharonville Yard near my house. Still, one local fan periodically compiles OS lists for an area emailing list, and it rarely tops 15 trains.

For that reason, a brief visit should focus more on the CSX side of things, where traffic is busy and consistent.

Here's another thought: If you have a little bit of time, head for Miamisburg, Ohio. It's south of Dayton by 6-8 miles down I-75. Exit at the Miamisburg exit and head west until the main road more or less deadends in downtown, about four miles off the I. Turn left and follow that road (Cincinnati-Dayton Road) until you are clear out of town, have crossed under a large truss bridge and a power plant comes into view. Turn right and head towards the power plant. Poke around a bit, and you will find a couple of rural grade crossings where the CSX and NS (Conrail) are side by side about 10 yards apart. You won't get bothered there, either, which you will if you hang around the confluence of the two lines in downtown Dayton.

BobE



Date: 03/04/01 09:06
BobE, thanks.
Author: LenKratz

That's great info about Miamisburg. Will check out that spot next time I get back that way. I need to add more CSX and NS to my stock. Meanwhile, it's on to Winterail.

Len Kratz, Prescott Valley, AZ.



Date: 03/04/01 11:01
RE: Toledopatch
Author: eashock

There is no Amtrak service through Dayton anymore, sadly. In fact, if I remember correctly, there hasn't been any passenger service in Dayton since maybe 1971 (perhaps even earlier than that).

Continual rumor is that passenger service will be back, and that it will be in the form of either an intra-state commuter line connecting Cincinnati, Dayton, Colombus, and Cleveland. I have the March 2001 issue of "Ties & Tracks" in front of me (put out by the Dayton Railway Historical Society), and they state that the FRA has approved two more high speed rail corridors in Ohio, including what looks like the NS Cincinnati Line. They also state that "the Ohio Rail Development Commission is trying to get the 3-C [Cincinnati, Colombus, Cleveland?] corridor included in Amtrak's plans for a St. Louis to Boston corridor." Thing here is that the ORDC has been trying to do this for about as long as I can remember. If passenger service DOES return to Dayton, I would doubt that they would rebuild Union Station.

Dayton Union Station itself has been gone for years. If you poke around downtown, it's just off of 5th St. Nothing left but an empty shell where they demolished underneath the viaduct.

That NS bridge with the fishing spot is just a hop skip and a jump away from the NS Moraine yard and GM Moraine Assembly plant. There's almost always something going on here, as the Moraine Yard is consantly switching autoracks and other cars in and out of the plant.

IMHO, the best spot in Dayton is the Convention center parking garage, right in downtown. It's public property, has a great spot to view from, and you catch both CSX and NS action.

Hope this helps!

-Eric Shock
P.S. The next post is a picture, taken in Dayton, and is out of my own personal collection.



Date: 03/04/01 11:12
RE: Toledopatch
Author: eashock

I do not know who took this photo. Found on alt.pictures.binaries.rail a year or two ago.




Date: 03/04/01 12:38
RE: Toledopatch
Author: toledopatch

Just by way of information: Eric's picture is from the west end of the arched-truss bridge that the two railroads share. All CSX trains operate on the north track while all NS trains operate on the south track.

I think Amtrak service lasted until the Carter Administration purge in the late 1970s. The National Limited served Dayton.



Date: 03/04/01 18:14
RE: Dayton railfanning
Author: exoperator

You might want to check out the Miami Valley Railfans meeting which is Saturday 3/11 at 7PM at the West Carrollton, Ohio, Civic Center.
The program will probably be slides by the members.



Date: 03/04/01 18:43
RE: Dayton railfanning
Author: exoperator

Correction. The MVR meeting is 3/10, not 3/11.



Date: 03/04/01 19:13
RE: Amtrak in Dayton
Author: CSXT99

Indeed the National Limited, No.s 30/31 served Columbus, Dayton and Richmond. If memory serves me, the last run was 10/01/79. CR wanted to downgrade the ex-PRR west of Dayton, like they did with the Ft.Wayne line west of Crestline. DUT was torn down in the fall of 1988. Only the platforms remain on track level. The track center widens considerably. CSX has the north track (formerly CR track 2) and NS has the south.



Date: 03/05/01 13:19
RE: Amtrak in Dayton
Author: toledopatch

CR downgraded the ex-PRR west of Dayton to a much greater extent than it did the ex-PRR west of Crestline -- the ex-PRR is gone west of Dayton! Any passenger train serving Dayton today would virtually have to go to Cincinnati to go west....



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