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Fostoria Railfan Park

Ground Officially Broken on Sept. 23

The Fostoria Iron Triangle Railfan Park took a major leap forward despite the rain on Friday, Sept. 23, when the first dirt was shoveled to officially break ground for the park.

More than 10 years in the making, the Rail Park reality is a dream come true for rail fans. With its central location between South Poplar St. and Columbus Ave. the opening of the park will bring with it the revitalization of downtown Fostoria, Mayor John Davoli said.

Once completed, the park will provide rail fans with a covered viewing pavilion, lighting, Wi-Fi capability and heated restrooms. The parking lot will accommodate 32 cars and 5 buses or RVs. Fences will surround the perimeter for security and unobstructed viewing, and pedestrian paths will provide varying angles for viewing and photography.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will write up a contract and begin the bidding process to hire a contractor. Building should begin in the near future.

In December,  2008, when the decrepit old pork processing plant which stood at the Columbus Ave. crossing of NS and CSX was demolished as part of the $815,760 federal grant for the park which the city received in 2007. The former building was on the same site as the former junk yard next door which was cleared out two years ago. This cleared land is the site of Fostoria's long-awaited Iron Triangle Rail Park, the first phase of construction of which is expected to begin in September, 2011 (see above).

The City of Fostoria and the Fostoria Rail Preservation Society (FRPS) hope to have Phase One of the park ready for railfans' use in 2012.

The $815,760 Federal "transportation enhancement" funds grant will help create a park where train enthusiasts can watch the 100+ which pass through Fostoria on an average day.

This grant, to which the city must provide 20% of the project's cost (about $204,000), gives Fostoria a green light to plan for a viewing platform, restrooms, parking lots, and landscaping on the five-acre site on Columbus Ave. bounded by the CSX (ex-B&O and ex-C&O) and NS (ex-NKP) railroad lines which intersect in the city.

Fostoria previously received, and has partially spent, a $300,000 federal grant to clean up old industrial sites and to pay for clearing the former factory site.

FRPS is a not-for-profit organization which was formed to build the park in Fostoria's "Iron Triangle" -- the junction of two CSX lines (ex-B&O east-west and ex-C&O north-south) and the NS (former NKP) east-west line.

The park site -- for those of you who know Fostoria -- is the land which until 2008 was occupied by the "Boneyard" junkyard and former slaughterhouse on Columbus Street just northwest of CSX's busy F Tower where all of the action at the diamonds can be clearly seen and photographed.

In addition to the park site, the Society has been given the ex-New York Central passenger station, currently in the former Gray Printing Co. parking lot and needing some restoration work -- the building is in better shape than it looks, so restoration will be reasonably easy to do. The station eventually will be moved to the railfan park.

And the City of Fostoria is seeking to acquire the former New York Central tower at Jackson St. -- the location of the first CTC machine in the U.S. -- to preserve it as part of Fostoria's rail heritage.

If you're wondering about the Erie-sistable, the "grungy" fishing party boat which was a fixture at the Columbus St. diamond for 50 years, it is stored off-site. It is unknown at this time whether the Erie-sistable's owner will allow it to be incorporated it back into the park.

For additional details about the Fostoria Rail Preservation Society, please log onto Fostoria Iron Triangle. You also can contact them by regular mail at P.O. Box 421, Fostoria, OH 44830.

The Society offers eight levels of membership ranging from  $10.00 to $1,500.00, and these memberships may be tax deductible because FRPS is a "501(c)3" not-for-profit corporation. (Please check with your tax advisor about deductibility.)

Just print out this page and send it with your dues check payable to the Fostoria Rail Preservation Society to P.O. Box 421, Fostoria,. OH 44830. (As a 501(c)3 non-profit, your dues and contributions to the society may be tax deductible.)

Name:     _______________________________________________________

Address:  _______________________________________________________

City:         ________________________ State: ________ Zip Code: ________

Country:   _____________________

Phone:      _______________________

E-mail:      _______________________

Member Name(s): __________________      _________________________

                           ____________________      __________________________

                           ____________________      _________________________

___    "Pullman Porter". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $  10.00

___    "Maintenance of Way".  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $  20.00

___    "Clerk" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $  50.00

___    "Signalman". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$100.00-249.00

___    "Operator" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$250.00-499.00

___    "Brakeman". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500.00-999.00

___    "Engineer". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000.00-1,499.00

___    "Conductor" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,500.00 and up.

 

                                              TOTAL SUBMITTED . . . . . . . . . . . . .$_________


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