A little background on how Fostoria ended up being an Amtrak stop. At the inception of Amtrak, there was only one Chicago-East coast train that passed through Ohio - The Broadway Limited. The Broadway operated via the ex PRR through Fort Wayne, Lima, Crestline etc, leaving Toledo and Cleveland without any passenger train service. This was rectified with the start of the Lakeshore Limited in 1976.
When Conrail was making rumblings about downgrading the ex PRR west of Crestline in the late 1970's, the initial thought was to re-route the Broadway via Alliance up to Cleveland and on westward, and to move the Lakeshore via the ex NYC across Ontario (which did have a Detroit - Buffalo Amtrak run for a while in the 1970's). This of course did not come to pass with Amtrak forcing Conrail's hand to maintain the now single track ex PRR so the Broadway would stay on it's original route. The idea of moving the Lakeshore up to the Ontraio route died at this time as well with the uncertainty of the routes future after being sold by Conrail.
Around 1985/86 the Capitol Limited became a seperate Chicago - Washington train (it had previously operated combined with the Broadway from Pittsburgh eastward) running via the former PRR.
In the late 1980's, Conrail was once again making noises about the viability of the former PRR west of Crestline, and with the original agreement between Amtrak and the freight railroads set to expire, Amtrak realized that they could very well be footing the entire MofW bill for the former PRR west of Crestline. It was at this time the decision was made to vacate the former PRR. The Capitol Limited was re-routed to operate via Toledo & Cleveland (using the former PRR between Cleveland and Alliance). Amtrak got Conrail to install a new connection in Cleveland so the Capitol would not have to make a mainline backup move to get to Cleveland Station.
As for the Broadway, the decision was made to operate on the former B&O from Pittsburgh (later moved to Youngstown) to Chicago. This allowed Amtrak to serve Canton from Youngstown or Akron, Lima from a community on the B&O to be determined and Fort Wayne from Garrett IN.
For the replacement Lima stop, there were 3 communities that were seriously considered: Defiance, North Baltimore & Fostoria.
Defiance lost out for two reasons, the first was the insistence that the former B&O depot be used (Amtrak wanted to put an "Amshack" and platforms up on the east end of town near Defiance Yard). The former B&O depot would have required much money to renovate, and being a multi level facilty it had handicap access issues. The second issue was that Amtrak felt a Defiance stop would "steal" business from nearby Bryan.
North Baltimore had the advantage of direct access to I-75, but in the end, Fostoria tipped the scales in their favor by taking on the station refurbishment and maintenace themselves (Amtrak loves "free" things).
In 1995, the Broadway was discontinued in one of Amtrak's many downsizing efforts - only to return in 1997/98 as the "Three Rivers" to handle the growing mail/express business that Amtrak was going after at the time. The only location that lost out with the resumption of service was Garrett Indiana, which was placed in the unusual positon of being an Amtrak crew change point but not a passenger stop.
WNYRailfan wrote:Why was Fostoria a stop to begin with? How frequent did passengers board the train there?
I am not happy that some Amtrak service in Ohio will be discontinued. However, I just wondered why some places were included before.
In Western NY, where I grew up, a City named Batavia has a similar positioning to nearby cities as Fostoria has. Batavia is between Buffalo and Rochester. Just as Fostoria is between Cincinatti and Toledo. Passenger service in Batavia was discontinued in the 1960's. (Let me mention that the NYC Batavia station was rebuilt in 1957 when trackage was moved out of Main St. and closed in the 1960's). But Fostoria seems to have kept service for almost 40 years later. Why?