The land surrounding F Tower and the B&O/C&O diamond is private, and with so many trains moving through the interlocking, CSX does not tolerate trespassers.
Most train watchers congregate near the now-closed Amtrak station on Main Street, which sits on the south side of the B&O tracks. A parking lot is located across the tracks from the depot, sandwiched between the CSX and NS lines just east of the diamond where they cross.
Poplar Street, located at the east end of the station platforms, crosses both the CSX and NS mains, and offers a good spot to view activity on both CSX and NS.
Columbus Avenue crosses all three main lines in relatively close proximity on its Northwest-Southeast route through the city. The street passes just 10 feet from the C&O/NS diamond, and within view of the western throat of NS's Blair Yard. Further east, the road crosses the B&O main, yielding good views of the tower and the B&O/C&O diamond.
For a change of scene, take Highway 12 past the Mennel Milling Company plant southwest of the diamonds. The mill produces various types of flour for customers such as Pillsbury, Campbell Soup, and General Mills.
With so many locations to choose from, and with trains running in so many different directions, good photographs can be taken all day long.Fostoria amenities and attractions
If you go, chances are good you won't be alone. Railfans from near and far flock to Fostoria, so much so that the city's chamber of commerce is developing a campaign to attract train watchers, their families, and their tourist dollars to the area. (Once home to 13 different glass plants, Fostoria has several attractions that celebrate the city's heritage as a leader in glass production. The downtown area is designated a state historical preservation site.)
"In the mid-summer of 2000, a group of railfans and merchants got together to see what they could do to make the train-watching experience better," Dorene Nowatzke, former president of the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce told Trains.com. The chamber established a Train Tourism Focus Group, and soon after hired a director of marketing to move the effort forward.
If you're planning an extended trip to the area, you'll find hotels and restaurants along Route 23 east of the city. A Days Inn on Route 12 about two miles west of the diamonds provides distant views of the NS main line from guest rooms facing the highway and tracks.
Fostoria is also home to a tangle of highways. Interstate 75 is about 15 miles west of the city. Three Ohio routes, 12, 18, and 613 provide a direct connection to Fostoria. U.S. Highway 23, running between Toledo and Columbus also provides easy access to the city and follows the former C&O route.
For more information on accommodations and amenities, visit the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce web site at www.fostoriaohio.org/chamber
In the October 2001 issue, Trains Magazine visited Fostoria's busy F Tower, and showed you what it takes to thread 100 trains through this complex maze of track every day.