Prototype Tours

National Museum of the Great Lakes

The theme for this year’s convention is Rail Marine so this year's signature tour will be the National Museum of the Great Lakes. This coincides with Toledo’s historical role as a major port on the great lakes. The museum has several displays related to the rail industry and the museum will be doing a special presentation just for our convention.

Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza (formerly Central Union Terminal and Central Union Plaza)

The Black Swamp Junction crew is proud to announce that we have added an additional venue! Black Swamp Junction has added the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza (former Toledo Central Union Terminal) with an additional 8,000 square feet of layout and exhibit space! The station is the last major train station built by the New York Central Railroad. The station was built in 1950 and received a major renovation several years ago converting the passenger concourse into banquet and meeting space. Plans are to host Free-mo and a G Scale layout in this area. The terminal offers a great location to railfan the Norfolk Southern mainline through Toledo.

Considered one of the last of the New York Central Railroad's (NYC) great stations, the Central Union Terminal opened the week of September 17, 1950. It was the $5 million crown jewel of the railroad's post-war investment in Toledo, a project that also built eight other buildings and, with the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O), replaced a coal-loading facility in East Toledo with a larger $18.5 million one in Maumee Bay.

Over the next two decades, the Central Union Terminal was used by four major railroads: the NYC, B&O, Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O), and the Wabash Railroad.

The first floor housed baggage services, while the second floor housed a YMCA for train crews. The passenger terminal and concourse were on the third floor, while the NYC Toledo division and dispatching offices were on the fourth.

Major named trains that served the terminal included:

Chesapeake and Ohio:

  • Sportsman (Detroit - Phoebus)

Baltimore & Ohio:

  • Ambassador (Detroit - Baltimore)
  • Cincinnatian (Detroit - Cincinnati)
  • Night Express (Detroit - Cincinnati)

New York Central:

  • Cleveland Mercury (Detroit - Cleveland)
  • Iroquois (Chicago - Boston and New York City)
  • New England States (Chicago - Boston)

Wabash:

  • connector trains to Fort Wayne, to connect with St. Louis Special and Wabash Cannon Ball

Self-guided/Railfanning in the Black Swamp Area.

Toledo has a long and strong history of railroading, being served by 20+ railroads during the 20th century. NS and CSX are the heavy hitters in the area, but we also have several short lines and even some tourist railways in the area. Maps will be avialble for those who wish to explore the area.

Short Lines These small railroads operate in and around the Black Swamp Division

  • Ann Arbor Railroad
  • Adrian & Blissfield Railroad
  • Indiana & Ohio Railway
  • Northern Ohio & Western Railway
  • Michigan Southern Railroad (Napoleon, Defiance & Western Railroad)