About Us – Our Story

The Cooke Road Train Crew was formed in 2003 by a few local rail-fans and friends that thought a great idea would be to create a rail-fan and model railroading web site to share our photos and thoughts with other railfans and modelers around the world. Enabling us to talk about what railroads we like to model and what kind of freight action can be seen right here in Columbus Ohio. We also host photos and videos of railroad activity some of us have captured in other areas of the country during our many rail-fan trips.

The name “Cooke Road Train Crew” was derived from the name of a street (Cooke Road) that dead ends right into 3 Railroad lines in Central Columbus. The first line is a single track CSX line. Formally the New York Centrals, latter Conrail’s Columbus line. This line runs from Cleveland to Cincinnati via a connection with the Big 4 line at Galion, Ohio. Traffic on this line through Columbus has been choked in recent years since the split of Conrail. CSX considers this a secondary line and will run trains as needed . Now this line sees an average of a few loaded and empty coal trains per week. A few Grain Trains per week and a short daily local that services the Budweiser Plant in Northern Columbus.

The Second and third lines are Ex Pennsylvania Railroad – Norfolk & Western and now Norfolk Southern’s Sandusky District. The Pennsylvania Railroad sold this line from Columbus to Sandusky to the N&W in 1964 to complete a connection with the Original N&W line into Columbus from the Port of Norfolk and Roanoke Virginia. On peak days this double track main line sees as many as 35 freight trains in a 24 hour period. Trains run geographically North/South or railroad West/East respectively. Trains To and from Chicago, Port of Norfolk, Cincinnati, Portsmouth, OH and Pittsburgh, PA can be seen running on this main line via connections with other routes. The Sandusky District also connects 2 of Norfolk Southern’s larger classification yards. Belleview Yard in Belleview, Ohio and Buckeye yard in west Columbus. During good weather and summer nights you can find a flurry of activity up at Cooke Road. It’s a nice location to sit up there and relax, take photographs, talk with other rail-fans and catch a freight train or 5.

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