Deshler, Ohio, Oct. 9-12, 2008
(click on each image to see a larger version -- approx 1024X768)

Day 1, Thursday, October 9:

It seems the Toledo Subdivision and the wye tracks connecting to it are much busier than on past visits.  Here we have a manifest train coming from the West and heading South.


And here we see one coming from the East around the wye past the CPLs.


Of course there's always tons of action heading East/West straight across the diamonds.


Day 2, Friday, October 10:

The reservoirs Southeast of the diamonds were originally built to provide water for steam locomotives.  Now they apparently are stocked with fish, and provide "character" to shots like this one of a manifest freight coming South around the Southeast wye.




Just off the bus, these kids think nothing of the freight roaring toward them.  Some communities would be up in arms about school kids crossing the tracks!


Street running in Deshler?  Almost -- this Southbound from the Toledo sub takes the Northwest wye past the station on its way West.


A very clean or freshly painted slug set heads East to North Baltimore with a single car.  I really like that CSX has given these GP30s new life.


Is that a railfan?  I would hope not!  The compressed view caused by extreme telephoto of the shot makes him seem much closer to the train than he actually is.  Nevertheless, standing in front of a coke train moving at track speed isn't encouraged.


Southbounds on the Toledo Subdivision remind me of how flat this country is.  This scene looks very much like many others I've seen in Oklahoma or Kansas.

Coming across the diamond, however, I'm reminded that this is Northwest Ohio and the trains are long and frequent as evidenced by the lunar at the top of the CPL.  I really LOVE those signals!


Howard brought his tripod on this trip and quickly adopted a routine stance on his knees for his shots.  Unfortunately, he always picked a rather close location that put him in many of my photos!


4:20pm -- The light's not good on the nose of this Eastbound UP coal train, and again Howard decided to post himself right in my shot!

Returning an hour later without its lone load, the GP30 slug and its mate present a clean image in the bright October sun.


According to the locals, it wasn't vandals, but a wind storm that destroyed the Toledo Subdivision sign.  Really, I'm just looking for any excuse to aim my camera at the CPLs before they become history!


5:33pm -- Powder River coal is a regular commodity on this line, usually pulled by either UP or BNSF power like this returning Westbound

The sinking sun forced a broadside of this lone SD40-2 pulling a train of auto racks.  BN had quite a fleet of these units and I think it still looks good in cascade green.

Howard!  Get out of my SHOT!!!


Some would shy away from the warm sun and harsh shadows like on this Southbound, but I think it adds character to the shot.  And so do the CPLs!


Is there a train in that shot?  Two??  I was just shooting the CPLs again!


Back from dinner (at the Subway, the only place in town) I couldn't resist a static shot of the CPL, and the red light of the disappearing sun on the cross bucks and water tower.


This 30-second exposure was my only real try at night photography this trip, but after I took the previous shot I noticed the near-full Moon rising.  The train was a North/Eastbound going around the Southeast wye.


Day 3, Saturday, October 11:

On the morning drive out to Deshler we passed the rear of a train stopped in north Baltimore for a re-crew.  Not far behind were two more Eastbounds waiting like this one just East of Hoytville, Ohio


As we pulled into Hoytville we heard another train call the signals and force our stop at the crossing in town for this shot.


The first train I caught in Deshler was this auto rack train coming around by the reservoir.  The other railfans (including Howard) posed as I tried the "reservoir reflection" shot again.


10:18am -- A Westbound with all UP power chased a gate-crashing pickup on its way to a meet under the West Deshler signals.

Yep!  I'm shooting those CPLs again!  Of course it helps to have a train oblige like this one coming around the wye for the classic Deshler shot.


This hawk distracted me a bit from my next try for a "reservoir reflection" shot.  What kind is it?  Looks a bit like an osprey but I didn't think they would be this far inland.


Another slug set (GP35/GP40 this time) Southbound off the toledo Sub., heading West.


The wyes are in use a lot this morning offering many opportunities work with sky and water in my shots.


High clouds usually mean a weather change, but they also add definition to a shot.


While waiting for a Southbound to come across the diamond, this Powder River coal train with BNSF power caught me unprepared.  I took what I was given though.


1:27pm -- Then this train with CN power caught me by surprise.  Again, I took what I could get.

Finally the Southbound pulled across the diamond with a train of crushed stone.






A couple of "locals" decide to fix some eats for the small crowd at the park.

Howard!  Get OUT OF MY SHOT!!!!!

5:27pm -- A badly-lit Northbound provided us with a unit everyone just had to shoot.  Now how's that for "foreign" power!

For a change of scenery we decided to drive down to Leipsic where the East/West NS main crosses the CSX Toledo Subdivision.  We left just ahead of this Southbound and stopped to shoot him under the cantilever at the Southern-most of the Deshler signals


We were disappointed at Leipsic, picking a time when nothing was running on the NS.  We did catch this CSX Northbound in the waning light before heading back North ourselves.

Leipsic, Ohio

Last shot of the evening -- this empty BNSF coal train coming off the Toledo Sub and returning West.


Day 4, Sunday, October 12:

Another bright, sunny morning with mostly clear skies and just enough clouds to provide contrast.


9:27am -- I perched on top of my Jeep's spare tire anticipating a shot of a Northbound by the CPLs just beyond the reservoir. My shot was foiled though by this auto rack train coming around the wye on the near track.
I tried my best, getting yet another shot of the cantilever and CPLs...

...and a well-timed (lucky) between the car shot!

Another Deshler "street-running" shot, this time a lone unit pulling empty hoppers.




It seems I just can't be at the right place at the right time!  I guess that's because there is so much traffic that we become complacent and don't position ourselves for every train.  That's how this Eastbound with CN power caught me waiting at the wrong place.


Another freshly painted (or just washed) slug set comes around the wye to pose over the reservoir for me.


A foray down to Leipsic yielded this fast-moving Eastbound empty coal drag at a rural crossing East of town.


After waiting at the diamond for an expected Eastbound NS train, we heard a horn that sounded as though it were to our Northwest.  Over at the I&O diamond we saw this Southbound waiting.  Of course catching him meant missing an NS train running long hood forward.


Take away the trees and you could tell me this is Kansas!


5:54pm -- Back at the diamond in Leipsic, we anticipated moves from every direction.  The first was this Eastbound on NS,

...followed by a Southbound taconite train -- 5:58pm

This was the move we really wanted to see here -- a Westbound on NS into the late afternoon sun.


6:51pm -- While waiting on a slow-moving Southbound we heard horns behind us and turned around to catch this light power returning North.

Finally, the Southbound came across the diamond, but before he cleared we were greeted by another Northbound under the cantilever -- 7:04pm

7:09pm -- The last train of the evening (and for our Ohio visit) was this Eastbound auto rack with Conrail power.  ISO800 yielded these results.  OK, I guess. until next time...

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Proud to be an American!
Mack Muir