Marion Union Station Revisited

An Overview of One of Ohio’s Best Railfan Spots

By Giles Kennedy

Chief Editor the Ohio Railroader Website

Founder, Ohio Valley Rails Facebook Page


I was born in Knox County, but several years lived with my father in Marion, Ohio.

So, I am one of the few who has known Marion as a rail fan spot for years.


The thing is; Marion Union Station, is a year round railfan spot as well as a spot for all who have never been around railroads.

Marion Union Station Association

532 W Center St
Marion, Ohio 43302
(740) 383-3768
Information on visiting per their Facebook page
“Marion Union Station (MUS) is open Tuesday and Thursday from 10am-2pm, and by appointment or by chance. (Due to the volunteer nature of our operation, please call ahead to make sure we will be open.) There is no admission charge, but donations are gratefully accepted.”
“AC Tower is open by appointment and by chance. The HO scale Marion Model Railroad Club is open Sundays from 2-5pm, Thursday from 7-10pm, and by chance. The station grounds are open 365 days a year.”
“The entire station complex, except for AC Tower and the caboose, are fully handicapped accessible. Plenty of free parking is available on site. A picnic table is trackside for your dining or trainwatching pleasure.”
“If hunger strikes during your visit, The Shovel Restaurant & Lounge shares the parking lot with MUS, and a Subway/Moto Mart convenience store is two blocks away. Additionally, countless other dining options are available to the east of downtown, along US-95.”
On top of visiting with your family or a group of railfans; there are several events hosted at Marion Union Station every year.
As we have in the past few years; The Ohio Railroader host a Super Bowl Sunday event. Usually on the day of the big game….simply have access to the main hall as well as the Marion Model Railroad Club to visit when open.
Every third Saturday night, The Marion Railfan Society hosts a slide show/digital photo presentation in the station’s main waiting area/ticket office. Other times, they do meet as well; in the smaller waiting area next to the Norfolk Southern Sandusky District lines. Please visit their Facebook page for details.
In Late April, Denis Blake and organizers of the Central Ohio Railroad Prototype Modelers Meet will gather. Although this focuses on modeling and various examples of weathering, painting and assorted different builders; it does gather a great bunch of folks who railfan.
Saturday July 15th; the station plays host to the Conrail Historical Society’s Rail B-Q.
From their event description via FB page…

“Summer brings The Conrail Historical Society to the railroad mecca of Marion, OH for our annual summer Rail-B-Q event!

Come out on Saturday, July 15th for fun, fellowship, and railfanning at the diamonds at Marion Union Station. While enjoying the event, you can watch trains run on the former Norfolk and Western, Chesapeake and Ohio, New York Central, and Erie Lakawanna lines that all cross at the station! The event kicks off at 10:00 AM and runs until 6:00 PM.

Again this year, the CRHS will provide grilled food, drinks and snacks. It’s a free event, but donations help to offset the cost of food, and allow us to continue to hold these events! Your donations help to keep this event free and open to all! ”
A little bit of Cincinnati returns to the Palace Theatre August 12th. Sponsored by both the Cincinnati Railroad Club and the MUSA; Summerail host one of the largest photo slide shows in the Midwest. It will also have a train show. Of course, folks will gather at Marion Union Station;before and after the event.
Marion Union Station will host the following Saturday, August 18th; Everett’s  13th Annual Train Show and Swap Meet. This is an extremely family friendly event. In years past, bounce houses and various various vendors who cater to rail loving families were in attendance.
So whether you go to an event, or on your own; Marion is a perfect for seasoned railfans as well as those who just want to watch trains.

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