The Sandusky District: North Columbus Trifecta

By Giles Kennedy

Chief Editor/Founder The Ohio Railroader Website

Chief Admin Ohio Valley Rails

Three places have won hearts of railfans new and old alike along the Sandusky District Line of the newly dubbed Great Lakes Division in Columbus, Ohio. Many people either have come to these places for years; or just discovered them.

Cooke Road. McCord Park/Worthington. Park Road/Flint.

The Ohio Railroader has repeatedly visited these sites. This account will gave new insight and possible hope for 2 of the 3 three sites in the future.

Cooke Road

This has been a haven for railfans for years.

However, due to the sale of the former poultry processor adjacent to the Columbus Subdivision line (CSX); it has seen its better days.

Many railfans have gathered there. Many mind the right of way. But some of the general public have left it a trash pile near the former business entrance.

It is still extremely safe to gather there from dawn to dusk. It is relatively safe even in twilight hours.

It is this writer’s opinion (opinion only) not to be there late night.

There are nearby options for dining and getting great food.

Weiland’s Market; just down the street from Cooke and Indianola, has been a Clintonville staple.

Simply exit off I-71 on the Cooke Road exit; go to towards the Cooke/Indianola intersection and proceed to the East Cooke Road extension at the light. There lies the Cooke Road parking lot.

McCord Park/Worthington

333 E Wilson Bridge Rd, Worthington, OH 43085

(Between Worthington/Galena Road and US Route 23, off Wilson Bridge Road)

This is the most exciting news for any railfan old and new. As part of the McCord Park Renovation Project; the Worthington Rotary Club and the Parks and Recreation Department are heading up the train observation area.

Photos in the gallery show the area being under construction as of September 2021. The link has information for those who want to continue progress.

Once finished….it will be the true gem of railfans young and old, new and seasoned in Central Ohio.

Park Road Crossing/Flint Station

225 Park Road

Columbus, Ohio 43236 

(Between Flint Road and Sancus Boulevard, near US 23 and I-270)

No one realized during the middle of a pandemic; a phoenix would rise.

The original owners of Flint Station store refocused their efforts into a bar and grill, a beer garden, and a featured notable barbeque food truck.

The parking lot near the Flint Station complex is still one of the safest places to gather for CSX/NS mainline action.

The Park Road Crossing is also in close proximity to Polaris, Crosswoods, Worthington and Westerville.

On site at the Flint Station complex; Jack Ruby’s Smokehouse provides BBQ eats. The Market at Flint Station is open select hours, but offers Central Ohio and regional made eats and treats.

Between the redeveloped McCord Park and Flint Station; folks will be able to enjoy railfanning for years.

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