Welcome to the Akron Railroad Club Blog

March 2, 2009

The Akron Railroad Club business meeting of May 28, 2010. The club meets monthly except in December on the fourth Friday of the month. (Photograph by Richard Jacobs)

The Akron Railroad Club has more than 100 members who meet monthly in Akron, Ohio, to share their passion for railroad operations and history.  On our blog you will find information about our arrc-logo1meetings, activities, how to join us, and news about railroads and railroad oriented organizations.  On the feature pages you will find information about popular Ohio railfan hotspots within a couple of hours drive from Akron, stories about railfan outings, trip reports and special reports about railroad operations and railfan events. Most features are amply illustrated with photographs.  Take a look around and enjoy yourself. There is always something new to read so come back often. Better yet, come to one of our monthly meetings or join us at one of our many events. We look forward to meeting you.

Next Meeting: April 25. Program by Marty Surdyk

Next Activity: June 22. Longest Day Outing in Deshler.

Another Colorful Easter Egg Hunt

April 22, 2014

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This year’s Easter egg hunt started early on Thursday evening and finished on Sunday evening.

On Thursday I went to Bellevue in hopes of catching the NMRA locomotive.  After several trains had passed, the NS 3215 led a train toward Toledo.

I gave chase and caught it a few times, but the shot that I wanted and what was clearly the best was at the crossing of the Portage River in Oak Harbor.

Friday morning, I was working at Port Clinton and was on my way back when I caught an NS train off the Ohio Route 2 overpass at Danbury.

Near Huron, I saw another NS train with Canadian Pacific power that I photographed at Amherst.

Later in the day, I went to Wellington and caught the Leviathan making some trips. However, I missed the Union Pacific 2002 winter Olympic engine.

Saturday brought the Southern heritage unit leading a train at the drawbridge in downtown Cleveland and a return to Wellington to get some more photos of Leviathan and the Virginian Heritage unit on a CSX train.

Lastly, Sunday brought the New York Central heritage unit to Brady Lake after taking nearly all afternoon getting across the Cleveland area.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

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Riding the Tampa Streetcar System

April 22, 2014
TECO heritage streetcat 163 is at the shops on 13th Street in Ybor City.

TECO heritage streetcat 163 is at the shops on 13th Street in Ybor City.

Barbara and I visited Tampa on April 5-8 as part of our annual spring break. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in historic Ybor City, the center of Tampa’s former cigar making industry.

The Inn is located across 13th Street from the TECO (Tampa Electric Company) streetcar shops and offices.

We rode the TECO streetcar line from end to end (stops 2-11) on Sunday, April 6. Service was not provided to stop 1 in Ybor City due to the celebration in Centennial Park of the 2014 Italian Festival.

The TECO Line Streetcar System is a 2.7-mile single-track line operating seven days a week from mid-morning until late evening.

It connects historic Ybor City with the Channelside district and downtown Tampa. Streetcars run every 20 minutes. There are eleven stations on the line, with four in Ybor City. There are two passing sidings on the route.

The system is run by the Hillsborough Area Regional Transportation Authority owned by the City of Tampa and managed by Tampa Historic Streetcar, Inc.

There is also an “In-Town” trolley-replica bus system that connects Downtown, Channelside, and Harbour Island. It runs only early morning and evening five days a week to accommodate downtown business workers.

Tampa’s first electric streetcar lines were built in 1892 and were instrumental in the growth of the city. Tampa’s streetcar system rolled to a stop in August 1946. Today, electric streetcars are back in Tampa,

HART purchased nine 400 series replica streetcars from the Gomaco Trolley Company of Ida Grove, Iowa. The streetcars are based on a design created by HART resembling the double-truck Birney Safety streetcars used on Tampa’s streets between the 1920s and 1946. The numbers on the streetcars picked up where the original Tampa system left off. The final car in the original system was #427; the new cars begin with #428.

We enjoyed our visit with the TECO streetcar system. For more information on the TECO streetcars, visit their website at   http://www.tecolinestreetcar.org

Article and Photographs by Richard Jacobs

TECO streetcar 431 turns onto 8th Avenue after leaving stop 4 in Ybor City. (Photograph by Barbara Cormell)

TECO streetcar 431 turns onto 8th Avenue after leaving stop 4 in Ybor City. (Photograph by Barbara Cormell)

The TECO car 428 motorman changes the trolley for the return at stop 11 in downtown Tampa.  (Photograph by Barbara Cormell)

The TECO car 428 motorman changes the trolley for the return at stop 11 in downtown Tampa. (Photograph by Barbara Cormell)

TECO streetcars are at the shops on 13th Street in Ybor City. TECO open car is at the left.

TECO streetcars are at the shops on 13th Street in Ybor City. TECO open car is at the left.

TECO streetcar 430 and MofW equipment are at the shops on 13th Street in Ybor City.

TECO streetcar 430 and MofW equipment are at the shops on 13th Street in Ybor City.

TECO streetcar 423 heads for downtown Tampa on 13th Street  from stop 4 in Ybor City. The Hampton Inn is in the background on 7th Avenue.

TECO streetcar 423 heads for downtown Tampa on 13th Street from stop 4 in Ybor City. The Hampton Inn is in the background on 7th Avenue.

 

 

Not all the streetcars are running for TECO. This party car is in the Spaghetti Warehouse in Ybor City.

Not all the streetcars are running for TECO. This party car is in the Spaghetti Warehouse in Ybor City.

Budweiser advertises on TECO car 428 at stop 11 in downtown Tampa.

Budweiser advertises on TECO car 428 at stop 11 in downtown Tampa.

TECO streetcar motorman gets the fare from boarding patrons.

TECO streetcar motorman gets the fare from boarding patrons.

Barbara waits to board TECO streetcar 428 at Ybor City stop 2.

Barbara waits to board TECO streetcar 428 at Ybor City stop 2.

TECO streetcar 428 crosses 7th Avenue on 13th Street in Ybor City. The lines to the TECO shops are at the right, the Hampton Inn is at the left.

TECO streetcar 428 crosses 7th Avenue on 13th Street in Ybor City. The lines to the TECO shops are at the right, the Hampton Inn is at the left.

The motorman returns to board TECO car 428 at 17th Street in Ybor City. The 2014 Italian Festival is at nearby Heritage Park.

The motorman returns to board TECO car 428 at 17th Street in Ybor City. The 2014 Italian Festival is at nearby Heritage Park.

A Friend’s Tribute to Dave McKay

April 21, 2014

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Dave McKay and I were friends and he would trek to New Jersey once a year and spend time in the area, staying with me for a few days.

We would railfan, hit different tourist lines together and have good times. I am glad that you and the group ([kron Railroad Club] have a day honoring Dave. He was a good guy.

He visited me for the last time a few months before he passed. I actually took him to Morning Sun Books with his slides for his very first book, which, unfortunately he never got to see. During that visit, one stop we made was a trip to the Valley Railroad in Essex, Conn. I took this shot of Dave in their ex-New Haven heavyweight parlor car Wallingford.

It was one of my favorite shots of him. I want to share the photo with you and I wish your group all the best. I enjoy visiting your website and reading the articles and stories.

Article and Photograph by Jack Norris

Wild West Night at April ARRC Meeting

April 21, 2014

It will be “The Wild, Wild West” night at the April Akron Railroad Club meeting. ARRC Bulletin editor Marty Surdyk will dip into the club’s Dave McKay photographs collection to present a program of images that Dave made during his many travels out west.

We will follow the Santa Fe across the Heartland to New Mexico then do the same with AT&SF steamer No. 3751, during its cross country trip in 1992.

Then we will head to Colorado & Utah for a look at the Rio Grande. After that, we will go to the far west and finish our journey at the Tehacapi Loop and Cajon Pass. There will be lots of great Kodachrome slides to view.

The Friday, April 25 ARRC meeting will begin at 8 p.m. with a half-hour business meeting followed by the program at approximately 8:45 p.m. The club meets at the New Horizons Christian Church, 290 Darrow Road, in Akron.

Some members gather at about 6 p.m. for dinner at Duffy’s Grill, 231 Darrow Road. Following the meeting, members meet at the Eat ‘n Park restaurant at Howe and Main streets in Cuyahoga Falls for a late dinner, dessert or an early breakfast.

Visitors are always welcome at Akron Railroad Club meetings.

Reading & Northern 425 to Pull Fall Trips

April 21, 2014

Tickets are on sale for a fall foliage excursions on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway behind Reading & Northern 4-6-2 No. 425.

The trips will run Oct. 11-12 and operate from Port Clinton to Jim Thorpe, Pa. Tickets are $69 per person. The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway is an affiliate of Reading & Northern and operates over former Central Railroad of New Jersey tracks.

The excursion railroad will begin its tenth season over Memorial Day Weekend, featuring a one-hour, 16-mile narrated excursions. The 425 was built by Baldwin for the Gulf, Mobile & Northern in 1928. It later became Gulf, Mobile & Ohio No. 580 and was retired in 1950.

It was sold to steam enthusiast Paulsen Spence. After he died in 1961, his family had all but four of his 30 steam locomotives scrappe

Purchased in 1962 by Malcolm Ottinger, the 425 operated on the Valley Forge Scenic Railroad of Kimberton, Pa.

In the 1970s, it was purchased by BrianWoodcock and others,and moved to the Wilmington & Western Railroad, where it never operated there.

In 1983, the 425 was sold to Andrew J. Muller Jr. to power tourist trains on the Blue Mountain & Reading Railroad.

Trackside with Leviathan on Saturday

April 20, 2014

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Akron Railroad Club members Edward Ribinskas and Jeff Troutman journeyed to Wellington on Saturday along with two other friends to photograph the Leviathan 63, which was pulling excursions on the former Lorain & West Virginia Railroad.

Levithan is a replica of a Central Pacific 4-4-0 that operated in the 19th century. Built by Kloke Locomotive Works, it tours the country and offers a glimpse of 19th century locomotive power.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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Friday With the Leviathan In Wellington

April 20, 2014
The passenger train returns to Wellington pushed by Leviathan 63.

The passenger train returns to Wellington pushed by Leviathan 63.

The Lake Shore Railway Association sponsored train rides from Wellington on the Lorain & West Virginia Railway behind Leviathan No. 63, a 4-4-0 locomotive built by Kloke Locomotive Works.

Leviathan 63 is a replica of the original locomotive built by the Schenectady Locomotive Works for the Central Pacific Railroad in 1868 for operation on the first transcontinental railroad. Leviathan made its first appearance at the 2009 Steam Festival in Owosso, Mich.

Leviathan was trucked into Wellington to pull train rides on the L&WV on Easter weekend, April 18-20. The trains traveled 6 miles north from the Wellington station. On the return trip the Leviathan pushed the train.

Bob Cutting and I arrived in Wellington after 5 p.m. on Friday. The train was returning from its third trip of the day.

It was a backup move, but I did manage a few photos. The train consisted of an open gondola, caboose and one coach.

There would be one more trip that day at 7 p.m. It was listed as a photographer’s special. Lineside photo views of the train were offered.

I took several photos of Leviathan near the depot and next to the L&WV E8 locomotive. My last photos were of the crew adding water to Leviathan’s tender. We then left for supper in Lodi.

Leviathan 63 is scheduled to pull the replica of President Lincoln’s funeral train in 2015. The train will make the trip from Washington, D.C., to Springfield, Ill.

Article and Photographs by Richard Jacobs

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Leviathan is blowing the whistle for the Route 18 highway crossing ahead.

Leviathan is blowing the whistle for the Route 18 highway crossing ahead.

Passengers are unloaded at the L&WV station.

Passengers are unloaded at the L&WV station.

The Leviathan's crew fills 63's tender with water for the next run.

The Leviathan’s crew fills 63′s tender with water for the next run.

Linden Depot Museum Open for the Season

April 20, 2014

The Linden (Ind.) Depot Museum has opened for the 2014 season. The museum is open from noon to 5 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October.

New this year is opening the building on the south side of the property. The main attraction in this new space is a new HO model railroad that depot volunteers have been working on throughout the winter.

One of the features of this model railroad is an animated circus display. The layout room features connections between trains and the circus. Trains played an important role in transporting circuses from town to town across the United States.

The museum has on display an original eight-seat Star-Back circus bench from the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. The display also features an original 16-foot sign from the Allen C. Hill Great American Circus.

A number of special events are planned for 2014. Saturday, June 28 will be Nickel Plate Day at the museum. Saturday, July 26 will be Circus Day, featuring a sword swallower and juggler, and Pat Kelly, the clown who is a son of Emmett Kelly.

On Sunday, Aug. 31, the Purdue Boilermaker Express will provide narrated rides through Linden.

Admission to the museum is $4 for adults and $1 for children ages 12 and under. Admission is good for both buildings. The museum is located on U.S. Route 231.

Linden is located between Crawfordsville and Lafayette and at one time was the junction of the Monon and Clover Leaf railroads. The former Clover Leaf, which eventually became part of the Nickel Plate Road, has been abandoned through Linden, but the ex-Monon is still operated by CSX. The route sees Amtrak’s tri-weekly Cardinal and quad weekly Hoosier State.

 

Leviathan Pulls Trips in Wellington

April 19, 2014

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Here are some follow-up shots of Leviathan No. 63 taken during the first day of excursions out of Wellington. Preparations for the day occurred at the Lake Shore Railway Association facility off Ohio Route 18 West.

The former Wheeling & Lake Erie/Nickel Plate Road 0-6-0 switcher No. 384 will be the recipiant of the funds generated this weekend as it will be cosmetically restored in the near

The other shots were taken as the Leviathan and its train approaches south of Peck-Wadsworth Road and as the train approaches the Black River trestle.

I mistakenly stated yesterday the engine was propane powered when, in fact, it uses old motor oil as fuel. (ooops).

Article and Photographs by Dan Davidson

Group Seeks to Move NKP Caboose to Vermilion

April 19, 2014

A preservation group is seeking donations to help restore a former Nickel Plate Road caboose that it wants to move to Vermilion, Ohio, for display.

NKP caboose 1155 is currently housed at the Meadowcroft Museum in Avella, Pa. The non-profit group Friends of Harbour Town wants to display the caboose next to the Nickel Plate station in Vermilion, which is also part of a restoration effort.

The caboose was built in 1909 by American Car & Foundry andit has been on display in various sites since being retired from active service in the 1963.

The group is seeking to raise $5,500 to cover the cost of moving the caboose by truck to Ohio.
Once moved to Vermilion, the preservation group plans to place a roof over the caboose with one or two sides closed to protect it from weather

Minor car body repairs need to be made and the caboose will be repainted into NKP colors. If additional funding can be found, the caboose will receive retro refits with such components as composite arch bar trucks, K-style air brakes, marker lights, older MCB couplers and end steps built to the original plan.

The group said it needs to raise the money by May 30 to avoid the caboose being destroyed.
Those wishing to make a donation can do so by clicking on the link below:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/save … /x/6966810


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