Van Wert, Ohio




Van Wert is located in Northwest Ohio about 25 miles west of Lima.  The RailAmerica Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern (CFER) crosses the remnants of a former NYC line, better known as the Cincinnati Northern Railroad.  The NYC line originally ran from Jackson, Michigan to Carlisle, Ohio (near Dayton).  In this photo we are looking westward on the CFER (ex-PRR) at the crossing diamond which is called Estry.  The switch veering off to the right is the lead to reach the Cincinnati Northern segment which is known as the "Van Wert Industrial Track."    North of this diamond is a small yard used by the daily local.

Historical Aspects




Hotbox Detectors

AudioWest Richey - It is just west of Richey Road, MP 292, a few miles west of the Estry diamond.
[WAV format, 41K, 7 sec.]



With the historic Van Wert County Courthouse in the background, eastbound NS 20A passes the Market St. crossing in downtown Van Wert on July 26, 2002.

On November 18, 1999 WIFW30 (later CSX C726) is backing up northbound to the diamond at Van Wert, having just switched out several businesses on the Van Wert Industrial Track.  This day's FW30 was a massive one and required 3 engines:  a B30-7 (5557), a GP40-2 and a road slug.


Now CSX 5557 backs up past the connecting switch at Estry and then pulls forward to get back onto the Fort Wayne Line.  November 18, 1999.


Conrail train, WIFW30, is creeping south on the Van Wert Industrial Track to switch the industrial park on the south side of Van Wert on October 18, 1997.  Watching this train slide between houses and underneath the big oak trees in Van Wert is one of the most interesting operations to watch in this area.

CSX 7044 at EstryCSX 7044 is backing up westbound, having just finished switching out the co-op elevator north of Estry.  The engines pause to let the conductor back on board.


NS 20T ran on the Fort Wayne Line between October 2000 and June 2002.  It used to run in the evenings and sometimes you could catch it in daylight hours.  On May 25, 2001 NS 20T makes its way across Estry and curves across the Town Creek bridge.  A rain shower had just moved through and note the water trickling off the cars just above the wheels.  The lead unit here is #9624 and has only been on the road for a few months.

AudioThis is a train horn enthusiasts favorite - all whistle blowing.  [MP3 Format, 78K, 40 sec.]


Westbound NS 21A crosses the Wall St. crossing in Van Wert, which is a few hundred feet east of Estry.  SD50 #5433 leads 3 other engines on this sunny July 26, 2001 around noon.  This train will run to Mike in Fort Wayne and then turn southwest on the Huntington District.

CSX 5942A couple of days after CSX assumed operations on the Fort Wayne Line west of Crestline, the east local gets its first CSX power.  Here WIFW30 is backing up across Estry westbound on June 9, 1999.


On December 3, 2000 CSX Q356 runs through Van Wert on a crispy clear Sunday morning.  CSX 8447 and lease unit GCFX 3098 pull the train over Estry.

AudioThe quiet rumblings of an SD40-2 break the morning silence in Van Wert.  In fact, it was so quiet I could still hear the whistle 10 minutes after he passed by. [MP3 Format, 76K, 39 sec.] 



© Original Content Copyright 1999-2007 David Safdy
© Design and Updates Copyright 2005-2007 Greg Lavoie