Marion, Ohio is known mostly for being the hometown of the 29th President of the United States, Warren G Harding. But Marion is also a big railroad town, with both North-South and East-West mainline freight tracks going through town.
To most people this would be terrible, with the constantly rumbling of freight trains rolling through town. But there are a number of people who are known as Railfans, who love this sort of thing.
The former Marion Union Depot is now the home to a group of Railfans, as well as Model Railroad enthusiasts. They have a nice collection of railroad artifacts, including a couple of interlocking units (used to make sure no more ‘Casey Jones’ incidents occur).
We were lucky enough to meet a couple of enthusiastic volunteers who showed us around the Depot, as well as took us up in the tower.
For something that was totally unplanned it was cool, in a geeky 1910 technology way. Which is still very cool.
The depot draws hundreds of railfans each year, mostly because the depot sits inthe middle of three mainlines, and is squared off by two double sets of diamonds, basically tracks crossing at a 90 degree angle. While we were there a train went by, no surprise there!