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NRHS 2006 Convention Trip 3: The Cincinnati Limited Dennison to Newark and return 7/20/2006

by Chris Guenzler

After another restful night at the Knights Inn and the now usual continental breakfast, this time we did not walk to the Holiday Inn to board the bus to Dennison. Instead, Chris Parker and I drove to Dennison which put me near the first in line to board the train. Today's trip would be a diesel trip west to Morgan Run, then we would pick up Ohio Central 4-6-2 1293, a former Canadian Pacific engine that came to this railroad from Steamtown. The steamer would takes us west to Newark, turn around and take us back to Morgan Run where our diesels would return us to Dennison.

While waiting to board today's train, the exact same train from the trip on July 18th was parked at the station with Ohio Central 7220 and 271 for power.

It is not every day in life you can take a picture of an Alco C420 leading a passenger train!

Once the train was spotted, I boarded and took a pair of seats, saving one for Chris, in my usual car, Pennsylvania Railroad RPCX 101. I walked forward to get a Coca-Cola and a few minutes later Chris found me and put his stuff with mine. Our train departed Dennison on what started out to be another hot and humid morning on time at 8:30 AM and I started my new mileage as we rolled west.

Our train ran by the Dennison Depot and out of town heading to Newark, Ohio.

A mile out of Dennison we crossed the former B&O line to Cleveland that R.J. Corman owns but does not currently use.

Our diesels take a slight curve on their way to Morgan Run.

We ran through the all too familiar Ohio countryside. I have truly enjoyed all of the green I have seen on this trip so far. We made our way to Morgan Run where we would pick up three things, a steam engine, tool car 5012 and passengers who had taken the shop tour this morning. The diesels were cut off and put into a siding, then Ohio Central 4-6-2 1293 took over control of our train.

The Ohio Central 1293 took the curve as we left the Morgan Run Yard. Our train passed through Coshocton passing both the old Pennsylvania Railroad Depot and Freight House which we will see on the return trip. Also in this town are the headquarters for the Ohio Central Railroad.

Just west of town, we passed some more stored railroad equipment. We traveled by a large grain elevator and by the Clow Water System Company plant which makes ductile iron pipes. Next our train passed the AEP large coal fired generating station at Conesville. This plant gets unit coal trains from on-line mines on the Ohio Central. On the old Wheeling & Lake Erie tracks that runs to the south of us are miles of stored freight cars. On the highway to the north of us we all enjoyed watching the train chasers drive and the Ohio Highway Patrol officer following the pack. It was then announced that we would do a Photo Runby at Trinway. This is where the Ohio Central line takes off south towards Zanesville and on this line is one of the mines from which Conesville receives coal. The steamer pulled into Trinway and we all detrained for the Photo Runby.

I walked to the head end of the train for my first ever picture of the Ohio Central 1293.

While the passengers were still unloading, I took a picture of our whole train. I met the official convention videographer, Joe Harper, and exchanged information with him. I then walked back and started a photo line that everyone respected and used.

The Ohio Central 1293 then reversed the train for the Photo Runby.

This Photo Runby 1 was fantastic. After we all reboarded the train, we received our lunches, car by car, half a car at a time, which worked a little better than the first trip.

Later the train went by the Longaberger corporate headquarters in Hanover which is home to the world's largest basket. After seeing that, our train steamed into Newark. In Newark, passengers could get off the train while it was being turned for the trip back to Dennison. Knowing that if I was the first person off, and walked quickly, I could get a picture of the front of our train, get back on before the last person got off, then I could ride as we turned the train.

My plan worked and I made it back on just before they were going to move the train. I love it when a plan comes together.

To turn the train, we had to pull forward to access the track to our south.

At the westward point, the switch was thrown and we started heading down the other track.

We were able to see the track that we would return on to complete the turning of our train.

Before the crossing, we turned south but would cross it on our move north.

Our next move took us across the line we came in on.

We curved to the south entering the former B&O line that went from here north to Sandusky on the shores of Lake Erie and south to Marietta.

A friend from Dennison on Monday was in the yard to greet me.

We pulled south to the north end of the yard and after the switch was thrown, we started north with Ohio Central 1293 pulling the train again.

We pulled across the crossing and then down far enough to clear the switch where we would start to back around the other leg of the junction that would take us back to the Panhandle Line.

Once we had backed and cleared the switch, we stopped while the Ohio Central 1293 took water and was serviced. It was now time for our on-the-ground passengers to return to the train.

While we waited, a light engine move consisting of Ohio Central 7133, 4602 and 2913 went east.

The Ohio Central 1293, now serviced and watered, then pushed us back onto the mainline and we were ready to leave Newark. The weather was turning nasty with dark clouds moving in and gusty winds. I was on Stormwatch! Could we stay ahead of this storm that was coming?

Right before we left Newark, Ohio Central GP35 2912 brought a local over the same tracks we had just been on.

The Newark Court House.

The train left Newark at 2:02 PM with the Ohio Central 1293 working hard. They announced that we would do a Photo Runby at Trinway, weather permitting. I relaxed in my seat for awhile before I rode in a vestibule the rest of the way to Trinway.

We detrained and I made the photo line just as a bolt of lightning hit the earth north of us. Not knowing how long we would be here, I took a picture of Ohio Central 1293 as the day grew darker. The rain started with half the passengers on the ground. A second bolt of lightning overhead caused the crew to cancel this photo runby.

Knowing that it would take a few minutes to get everyone on the train, I ran down for a picture just as the sky broke loose with a downpour. The temperature dropped as I returned to the train through the first open door I could find. I enjoyed a Coca-Cola as the rain fell.

This is what it looked like about the time we would have been doing the Photo Runby. It poured and the NRHS Convention staff and the Ohio Central Railroad crew made a good call. Here at the junction we had to wait for a coal train to go south. While we waited, lightning hit a transformer on a pole and exploded. You do not see that everyday, now do you?

The coal train came with one unit on the head end and two units on the rear end.

The stacks of the Conesville Power Plant could be seen through the rain.

We continued on, running by the former Pennsy Freight House and Depot in Coshocton.

The Ohio Central 1293 steamed the final lap through the yard back to Morgan Run.

At the Morgan Run Shops, the Ohio Central 1293 cut off and diesels picked us up for the return to Dennison.

We saw the Morgan Run Shops.

There is a line of steam engines behind the shop buildings.

It was now time to say goodbye to Ohio Central 1293 and the Morgan Run Shops until Saturday morning.

I photographed a Ohio Central GP10 and caboose on the line to Sugar Creek which would be Saturday's excursion. I returned to my seat and enjoyed the last miles back to the Dennison Depot.

The passengers detrained after an excellent steam train trip on the Ohio Central Railroad. Chris and I went straight to the car and back to New Philadelphia stopping at Applebees for dinner. I had a steak and salmon combination dinner which was excellent. We returned to the Knights Inn for a very deserved rest. Tomorrow, a driving tour of Ohio with the main stop being the NKP Museum in Bellevue.