Groudbreaking for the Fostoria Rail Park

Rail is a big part of our Fostoria heritage.

For many, Rail fanning (watching the trains roll by) is a way to re-live a part of history.

A diamond in the rough: Fostoria is one of the greatest places to watch trains as a steady stream of 90 to 120 trains traverses the city on any given day.

Train enthusiasts will park on either side of Columbus Avenue waiting for CSX and Norfolk-Southern engines to roar through the community.

With a steady rhythm of rail cars, listening to their scanners and viewing the action never seems to grow old.

Sometimes, it’s a social gathering, friends with lawn chairs and cookouts. Other times, railfanning is a solitary activity.

Besides admiring the speed, the sounds and seeing the different cargo loads, rail fans of all ages watch trains to “perfect” their model layouts, designing them to scale according to a particular era or company.

We are extremely excited.

How wonderful for Fostoria to have received the grant award from the Ohio Department of Transportation; the funding supported a Brownfield Redevelopment Project and provided a functional land use opportunity – transforming an abandoned and underutilized site into one that will be of value and productiveness.

A tribute to our rail heritage, this sites viewing platform will accommodate thousands of tourists who come to our community annually to watch and photograph the passing trains.

The City Recognizes the process has been lengthy and challenging.

Paperwork, contracting, EPA permitting, demolition and clean up… the list goes on.

I would personally like to thank the following / those who were instrumental in planning and providing assistance to bring this project to life:

  • Hancock Regional Planning Commission
  • Ohio Department of Transportation
  • The rail roads – CSX and Norfolk Southern and the Ohio Rail Commission
  • Burgess & Niple, the engineering firm from Columbus Ohio who worked with the City on the design aspect of the project from the beginning.
  • The demolition contractors hired by the City of Fostoria to raze the abandoned pork processing building and clean up the debris.
  • Fostoria Rail Preservation Society members for being strong advocates of the project. FRPS supplied ODOT with survey results measuring the draw for railfanning in the community; they also served as ambassadors answering questions about the project and promoting the benefits that were sure to follow.
  • And a special thanks to our rail fans for making Fostoria a destination in your train viewing experience.

Thank you all!

Joan Reinhard, Executive Director – FEDC