Todd's Railfan Guide to

In General
USGS Topo Maps
Area Railroad History



The Toledo guide has been divided into four sections:
    Introduction and General Information
     Toledo north
     Toledo south
     Toledo northeast
- East side of the Maumee and north of Walbridge
     Walbridge  East of Toledo

In General

The Toledo area has had a rich history of railroading, with many of the big names passing through.  Names like the Pennsylvania Railroad, the New York Central, the Chesapeake and Ohio, The Baltimore and Ohio, the Nickel Plate Road, the Wabash, the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton, and the Ann Arbor.

Currently, Toledo is served by CSX, Norfolk Southern, the Ann Arbor, and the Canadian National.  The Wheeling and Lake Erie also has trackage rights into town, I believe over the NS.

Train frequencies came from a map put out by Toledo, as seen below.  If information on my maps is wrong, blame them.

BTW, FYI, Toledo used to be part of Michigan until 1835, more about it on that Wiki thing.....

I would like to thank Ryan Ramsey for help with the yard information.... there's a lot of them around!

Any additional info / photos / help would be appreciated to make this guide better  :-)

Pix are  from www.bing.com/maps, aka, the old maps.live.com.

Aerial pictures were "snagged" by Techsmith's  Snagit, a great product!


The above map in it's entirety is available here as a PDF

USGS Topo Maps

These maps come from the Univ of TX website: for great historical USGS topo maps, pre 1945, check out the University of Texas page here
These are from 1899, the Toledo and Maumee Bay quadrangles.

A Little Railroad History

Like many of it's "bigger" brothers such as Chicago, Kansas City, and St Louis, Toledo has a rich railroad history.  Many railroads came through or terminated here... many!

Railroads that Toledo has seen include (current RR's in green):
     the Pennsylvania RR and the New York Central RR (till 1968) > the Penn Central (1968-1976) > Conrail (1976-1999) > CSX & NS
     the Baltimore & Ohio RR and the Chesapeake & Ohio RR (till 1972) > Chessie System (till 1987) > CSX
     the Wabash RR and the Nickel Plate RR (till 1964) > the Norfolk and Western Rwy (till 1990) > NS
     the Toledo & Western RR (bought by the Wabash)
     the Toledo, St Louis & Western RR (is this the same as above?)
     the Wheeling & Lake Erie RR
     the Ohio Electric Rwy, later the Cincinnati & Lake Erie RR
     the Ann Arbor RR
     the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton RR
     the Ohio & Michigan Belt Line RR
     the Toledo & Ohio Central Rwy
     the Dayton & Michigan (predecessor of the B&O in these here parts)
     the Lake Shore & Michigan
     the Hocking Valley Rwy
     the Pere Marquette Rwy
     the Grand Trunk Western Rwy
     the Detroit & Toledo Short Line RR
     the Toledo, Canada Southern & Detroit Rwy, aka the Canada Southern (later absorbed by the Michigan Central)
     the Michigan Central RR
     the Detroit, Monroe & Toledo RR
     the Toledo & Ann Arbor RR
     the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton RR (later named the CH&D, and then bought out by the B&O)
     Toledo Traction
     Canadian National
     the Norfolk Southern

Most of the above railroads came from the book Toledo Railroads by Kirk F Hise and Edward J Pulhuj, which I found a review of on Google Books.  If anyone wants to help out with the lineage, it would be greatly appreciated.

One of the more famous yards of the area is the Walbridge Yard, east of Toledo.  This yard was originally a C&O yard.  It is now a CSX yard.

the Toledo Terminal

The Toledo Terminal RR was a switching railroad that circled the city of Toledo, and was doubled track almost all the way around except for an area near the upper Maumee bridge.  The railroad was incorporated on December 4th, 1907.  At one time, the TTR was owned by all of the major railroads coming into town, in the beginning, it was like this:
The Pere Marquette Railway Company; The Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railway Company; The Michigan Central Railroad Company; The New York Central Railroad Company; the Pennsylvania Company; the Grand Trunk Western Railway Company; the Toledo, St. Louis and Western Railroad Company; The Toledo and Ohio Central Railway Company; and the Hocking Valley Railway Company, herein referred to as the controlling companies, jointly through ownership of its entire outstanding capital stock.

The railroad was sold off to the Chesapeake and Ohio Rwy in 1947.

On March 17th, 1982, a train derailed on the upper Maumee bridge, and as a result of the damage, they decided not to repair the bridge and abandoned it, created much controversy.  After the accident, the TTR abandoned the track from Gould (where it crossed the Wabash) to Bates (where it crossed the B&O).  This forced users of the TTR to using the Backside, increasing traffic, and plugging up the numerous grade crossings.  The bridge is about 1450 feet long, and one source said it was built by the TTR in 1902, but if they didn't come into existence until 1907, maybe not.

Sometime in the 1982-1983 timeframe, the TTR put welded rail in on the Backside.  From 1982 up until the early 1990's, the N&W/NS ran its long grain trains around the Backside because of the upper Maumee bridge problem.  After the NS abandoned the ex Wabash route out of Maumee, it reduced the usefulness of the Backside, reducing traffic to mostly local service for the few remaining users of rail.  CSX is the current owner of the upper Maumee bridge, as evidenced by the CSX "no trespassing" signs posted.

In March or 2010, NS filed to abandon the "Backside" of the TTR, as a result, the only portion still in service is between Gould and Vulcan.  The Backside is the portion on the west side of the Maumee.

CSX uses what remains of the TTR for their line from Detroit to Columbus.

Some additional info is at:

The map on the right is from 1930.

the DT&I

The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton came through these parts until 1983.  The DT&I came into being in 1905 as a merger between the Ohio Southern Rwy and the Detroit and Lima Northern Rwy.  It wasn't long before it hit hard times and went into bankruptcy in 1908.  The RR remained solvent until Henry Ford bought the railroad in 1920.  He became PO'ed with the regulation of the ICC, and sold the railroad to the Pennsylvania RR in 1929.  The DT&I replaced its steamers with diesels in 1955.  If you look on the south side of Detroit, you can still see remnants of a short lived electrification tried by Ford - concrete arches over the tracks.  The Ann Arbor came under control of the DT&I twice, once in 1905 for about two years, and then again in 1963.  The Penn Central sold off the DT&I in 1970 to private investors after the PC declared bankruptcy.  The Grand Trunk bought the DT&I in 1980, and painted its engines in the same blue and red format, but kept the DT&I logo on the diesels.  The GTW completely assimilated the railroad in 1983 and abandoned the track south of Washington Court House OH.  Much of the remaining track was sold to Railtex in 1997, which operates it as the Indiana and Ohio Rwy

the Ann Arbor

The Ann Arbor RR was around in one form or another from 1895 until 1976.  The railroad started on September 29th, 1895 as a successor to the Toledo, Ann Arbor and North Michigan Rwy.  It was acquired by the DT&I in 1905.  When the DT&I went bankrupt in 1908, it divested itself of the Ann Arbor.  For a long time, the AA was under control of the Wabash, but I'm not sure exactly when they took control of the AA, and what the AA did until they came under control of the Wabash.  The Wabash gave up it's control of the AA when it got sucked up by the N&W in 1963. 

It was back to the DT&I again in 63, which itself was now part of the Pennsy.  After the Penn Central declared bankruptcy in 1970, it sold off the AA and the GT&I to private investors. 

At it's height, the Ann Arbor operated 292 miles stretching from Toledo OH to Elberta/Frankfort MI, where it had carfloat operations to the far shore of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin.

The AA went bankrupt in 1973, and finally ceased operations on April 1, 1976 when Conrail temporarily took over it's operations.  Conrail only wanted to operate the southern end of the AA, and sold off most of the Michigan part to MDOT (Michigan DOT), which operated it as the Michigan Interstate Rwy starting on October 1, 1977.  The state eventually privatized the railroad, and sold it off in a number of small sections as short lines.

The railroad which currently operates as the Ann Arbor is one of those short line roads which started operation on October 7th, 1988, and runs from Ottawa Yard to Ann Arbor MI.

They have five engines.  Numbers 7771, 7791, 7802 are GP-38's that came from Conrail.  Numbers 2368 and 2373 are GP-39-2's that came from the UP.

Headquarters for the Ann Arbor were at 1) Toledo OH (the early years), St Louis MO (1925-1963), and Dearborn MI (1963-1976).

Sections of the original Ann Arbor that have been abandoned are: 1) Yuma to Elberta and Frankfort (approximately 45 miles), 2) about 10 miles in Shiawassee County, Michigan (in three discontinuous sections), and 3) the trackage around the now-demolished Cherry Street Station in Toledo.


More stuff at:


I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.  My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find of the subject in one convenient place.  There are plenty of other good websites to help me in this effort, and they are listed in the links section on my indexa page, or as needed on individual pages.  Please do not write to me about something that may be incorrect, and then hound the heck out of me if I do not respond to you in the manner you would like.  I operate on the "Golden Rule Principle", and if you are not familiar with it, please acquaint yourself with how to treat people by reading Mathew 7:12 (among others, the principle exists in almost every religion).  If you contact me (like some do, hi Paul) and try to make it a "non-fun" thing and start with the name calling, your name will go into my spambox list! :-)

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names.  Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations.  I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area.  Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature.  While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!  

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


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