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NRHS 2006 Convention "The American" Dennison to Gould Tunnel and return 7/18/2006

by Chris Guenzler

After a good night's rest at the Knights Inn, Chris Parker and I walked to the breakfast room for a good morning continental breakfast.

Today's excursion will be from Dennison east to the Gould Tunnel and return, with a possible surprise on the return trip. We walked over to the Holiday Inn, the NRHS 2006 Convention Headquarters, to board the second bus to Dennison with us getting the last two seats in the back of the bus. They dropped us off at the Dennison Depot and we waited for the train to be spotted so we could board.

Passengers were waiting for the gate to be opened when the train was spotted.

There were plenty of people here today to ride this trip. As I waited, Joe Harper, the official convention videographer, stopped by to see me.

The train where I had left it yesterday.

The train then started to back down to the switch to get on the mainline.

Next the train pulled forward towards the Dennison Depot.

The train passed the station and was ready to be loaded.

The Dennison Station Board listing all our Ohio Central Trips during the Convention.

At 8:07 AM, we boarded with me selecting seats for Chris and I in the Pennsylvania Railroad RPCX 101, an air-conditioned coach. I walked back to the concession car where I ran into Jim from Louisville. Our train left at 8:30 AM and just east of the station I spotted Joe Harper for the first of many times on this trip. He does get around!

The train passed under one of the remaining Pennsylvania Railroad signal bridges. This line was called the "Panhandle Line" because it went through the panhandle of West Virginia on its way to Pittsburgh. It was double-tracked but over the years, one of the tracks was removed.

Rolling Ohio scenery.

Our train curving left with the Ohio Central 7220 running long hood forward on the eastbound part of our trip.

Another view of the beautiful green Ohio countryside.

Curving to the right and smoking it up like a good Alco does.

Rolling east through the forest.

Curving right as the hills size increase.

At Bowerston, the tracks of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad, on which the final excursion of the convention would run, came in from the northwest.

Conotton, Ohio.

Curving towards Scio, Ohio.

Another ex Pennsy Signal Bridge remains.

Another curve as we near Jewett.

We ran under another former Pennsy signal bridge remains and a little further on, yet another former Pennsy signal bridge.

Along the route, the train chasers were out in force taking photographs.

As we passed through Jewett, the Wheeling & Lake Erie line took off to the north, paralleling us for about a mile until we cross over it.

Jewett, Ohio.

As we passed over the Wheeling & Lake Erie line, heading south to Pittsburgh Junction, we spotted some of the train chasers photographing us from below.

The train ran by the siding at Cadiz Jct.

Ohio Central 4025, an SD40T-2, was here on a trash train heading for Apex.

At Panhandle, we passed the line to Apex where a limestone mine has been turned into trash dump for garbage from New Jersey.

The train ran by a small covered bridge near Fernwood.

Structures near Fernwood, Ohio.

Before the Gould Tunnel, there was a spur on which sat Ohio Central 271, a former Amtrak F40PH. Once the train had passed the spur, we stopped and the 7220 was uncoupled. Then the 271 came out onto the mainline and pulled the train backwards until it cleared the switch. Once clear of the switch, the 7220 backed onto the spur. Then the 271 pushed us forward.

Beyond the switch and the 7220, now being short hood forward, coupled onto the west end of our train to lead us back.

Our train then backed towards the Gould Tunnel.

A view of our power now on the west end of the train.

The train backed up to near the Gould Tunnel and stopped to unload us for some Photo Runbys.

Our train backing into the Gould Tunnel.

Photo Runby 1 with our passenger train.

The Photo Freight was inside the tunnel and our conductor tried to radio him with no luck. He then used a flare to get the crew's attention to start forward for the Freight Train Photo Runby.

Photo Runby 2 with the Photo Freight. The Photo Freight consisted of Ohio Central RS18 1800, Pennsylvania Railroad Box Car 51121, Montour Hopper 815, UTLX Tank Car 208, C&O Box Car 13049, OHCR Covered Hoppers 103 and 106, MW Flat Car 920 and Ohio Central Caboose 1880.

The Photo Freight was then posed for pictures.

After posing for pictures, the Photo Freight then went back into the tunnel to clear the tracks so our passenger train could pick us all up. The train then started back towards Dennison. The air conditioning in my coach was a relief on this very hot and humid day.

A couple of railfans waited here for us on our return trip.

Crossing a little creek.

Heading back west, we passed under the US 22 highway bridge and through some lowlands.

I always like lowlands like this as I find them very interesting and you never know what you might see in them.

Our train takes a slight curve.

The train ran by cows in their stable.

Taking another curve.

Passing MP 59.

Later while passing through a deep cut, our train passed under a bridge loaded with train chasers.

We returned to Panhandle and once we cleared the switch, our train came to a stop.

The now-empty trash train came off the Apex Line with Ohio Central SD40T-2 4025 and SD40-2 4024.

Ohio Central SD-40T-2 4025.

Ohio Central SD-40-2 4024.

The Trash Train then passed the rear of our train.

Once the trash train had cleared the switch to head east, we backed slowly past the switch.

At Milepost 60, there was an old Pennsylvania Railroad mileage marker still standing.

Our train then pulled forward heading up the Apex Line.

Our train started up the grade and at the junction of the line that goes south, it stopped and unloaded us for another set of Photo Runbys.

Photo Runby 3 was with our passenger train on this new connection that the Ohio Central built in late 2005.

Photo Runby 4 was with the Photo Freight. Once this runby was over, the Photo Freight then backed down and headed home to Morgan Run. Our train reversed to pick us up before we continued on the Apex Line getting some very rare mileage.

Heading north through the forest.

Taking a curve on the Apex Line.

Railfans even found us here.

We passed a field with hay stacks and yes, there was a railfan standing on the last one getting his unique picture.

Our train went 5.1 miles up this line before we stopped then backed down to the mainline.

Before Panhandle, we crossed over the line to Hopedale.

Our train continued backing down to the mainline at Panhandle.

Rolling onto the mainline. Once the switch was thrown, we headed west back to Dennison.

I saw the small covered bridge in Jewett. I relaxed in the coach the rest of the way back to Dennison, arriving early at 4:47 PM, ending an excellent first 2006 NRHS Convention trip on the Ohio Central Railroad.

While we waited for the buses back to New Philadelphia, I toured the Dennison Depot Museum. We returned back to the Holiday Inn and ate at the Texas Roadhouse there. After an excellent dinner, we walked back to the Knights Inn for the night. Tomorrow, the Cuyahoga Valley and Minerva Steam Railroad Museum.