Posts Tagged ‘excursion trains’

Excusions From Lima to Run on Sept. 28

September 21, 2014

The Allen County Museum is sponsoring a series of excursions on Sept. 28 between Lima and Jackson Center. The diesel-powered trains will depart at 10 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. from Lincoln Park in Lima and travel on a 42-mile roundtrip.

Tickets are $35 for adults and $20 for children under age 12. The consist of the train will include two locomotives and four coaches. The train will be able to accommodate 325 people.

Tickets may be purchased at the Allen County Museum or at trackside on the day of the excursion. For further information, go to:

http://www.allencountymuseum.org/ACM2/Ridin_the_Rails.html

Glenwillow-Kent Excursion Set for July 5

June 10, 2014

The Midwest Railway Preservation Society is sponsoring an excursion on Saturday, July 5 from Glenwillow to Kent and return over the Wheeling & Lake Erie.

Tickets are $50 for an open window coach, $60 for an air-conditioned coach and $70 for a seat in the Mount Baxter car.

The 40-mile roundtrip will depart Glenwillow at 9 a.m. and arrive at the former Erie passenger station in Kent at about noon.

Passengers will have a three-hour layover during which they time may attend the annual Kent Heritage Festival.

The return trip is expected to depart Kent at 3 p.m. and arrive back in Glenwillow at 6 p.m.

The trip will traverse the Tinkers Creek and upper Cuyahoga River watersheds.

The train will be pulled by Cleveland Commercial Railway locomotives operated by a CCR crew.

Tickets may be ordered by calling 216-781-3629 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets may also be ordered online at http://www.midwestrailway.org.

Crossing Tulip Trestle on the Indiana Rail Road

May 20, 2014
The excursion train is about ready for boarding.

The excursion train is about ready for boarding.

Last Friday I had the opportunity to ride a VIP train to the famed Tulip Trestle on the Indiana Rail Road. The bridge is 2,295 feet in length and 157 feet above the ground at its highest point, making it one of the largest such railroad structures in the United States.

INRD operated the train for Indiana University Press, which used the occasion to honor its authors, friends and the contributions of recent retirees from the Press.

The guest of honor was the founding series editor for the Railroads Past and Present series, George M. Smerk.

I was invited because IU Press has published two of my books and I’ve reviewed manuscripts and proposals for the Press.

Smerk is a retired professor at Indiana University who has been a tireless advocate of rail transportation. He continues to be a co-editor of the railroad book series and to write a column for Railfan and Railroad on mass transit topics.

H. Roger Grant, a history professor at Clemson University as well as a long-time Akron Railroad Club member, recently was named as co-editor of the railroad book series.

Grant, a former professor at the University of Akron, has published numerous railroad history books.

We boarded the four-car train in Bloomington at a crossing on the IU campus. All of the cars were of Santa Fe heritage and still look much the same as they did in their Santa Fe days.

Included in the consist was Santa Fe business car No. 56, which is now owned by Thomas G. Hoback and his wife. Hoback, the president and CEO of the INRD, was one of the railroad’s founders in 1986.

Also in the consist was ex-Santa Fe lounge car 1389 and coach 2820. Both had their original interiors although No. 2820 now has former Amtrak coach seats.

The train traveled 20 miles west to Tulip Trestle, located in Greene County near Solsberry. It was built in 1905-1906 by the Indianapolis Southern with funding from the Illinois Central Railroad. The IC took over the Indianapolis Southern in 1911.

The route, which linked Indianapolis and Effingham, Ill., was known as the “hi and dry” because of its many bridges and fills.

Hoback, a former coal marketing executive at the IC, was part of an investor group that purchased 110 miles of the line in 1986 from the Illinois Central Gulf.

The primary purpose of the line was to haul coal to a power plant in Indianapolis, but the route had and continues to have some merchandise freight.

The IU Press excursion ambled along at a leisurely pace as passengers feasted on cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

I positioned myself on the observation platform of AT&SF No. 56. The train had a locomotive at each end, which kept me from getting the view and images I had hoped to get from the rear of No. 56 as the train crossed Tulip Trestle. Nonetheless, the view still was spectacular and the hospitality was first rate.

Soon we were crossing the Tulip Trestle, a structure that I had seen once from the ground and it located in a remote location. It spans a broad valley that includes Richland Creek.

There has been at least one public excursion over the trestle during INRD ownership. That trip was pulled by Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive No. 587. Some have ridden across the trestle on the annual Santa Claus trains operated by INRD.

After crossing the trestle, the train halted, the head-end crew changed ends and it was back across again. On the second crossing of the trestle, I stood at an open Dutch door.

All too soon we were back in Bloomington. It had been an impressive trip that I was fortunate to have been invited to ride.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

George Smerk (center to the right of the man with the white striped shirt) enjoys the excursion to Tulip Trestle aboard Santa Fe lounge car 1389.

George Smerk (center to the right of the man with the white striped shirt) enjoys the excursion to Tulip Trestle aboard Santa Fe lounge car 1389.

Rolling along through the Southern Indiana countryside, which can be rugged in these parts.

Rolling along through the Southern Indiana countryside, which can be rugged in these parts.

Approaching Tulip Trestle from the east end. At the time of its construction, it was the third largest bridge of its type in the world.

Approaching Tulip Trestle from the east end. At the time of its construction, it was the third largest bridge of its type in the world.

The panoramic view. Tulip trestle cost $246,504 to build in the early 20th century. The laborers were paid 30 cents an hour. A number of them were killed during construction, but no definitive number has been identified.

The panoramic view. Tulip trestle cost $246,504 to build in the early 20th century. The laborers were paid 30 cents an hour. A number of them were killed during construction, but no definitive number has been identified.

Yes, it's a long ways down, 157 feet at one point. The view was taken from the observation platform of Santa Fe No. 56.

Yes, it’s a long ways down, 157 feet at one point. The view was taken from the observation platform of Santa Fe No. 56.

You can see through the ties in this image of the ditch lights of GP38 No. 3803 and Santa Fe No. 56.

You can see through the ties in this image of the ditch lights of GP38 No. 3803 and Santa Fe No. 56.

Crossing Richland Creek. Look carefully and you'll see a reflecting of the footing and tower on the side of Santa Fe 56, which gives the illusion of seeing a complete support tower.

Crossing Richland Creek. Look carefully and you’ll see a reflection of the footing and tower on the side of Santa Fe 56, which gives the illusion of seeing a complete support tower.

The west end of the trestle is in sight. The bridge does not have a walkway at track level, but that hasn't stopped some from walking out onto it.

The west end of the trestle is in sight. The bridge does not have a walkway at track level, but that hasn’t stopped some from walking out onto it.

Looking out onto the trestle from the west side from the observation platform of Santa Fe No. 56. Some sources say the bridge is 2,307 feet in length.

Looking out onto the trestle from the west side from the observation platform of Santa Fe No. 56. Some sources say the bridge is 2,307 feet in length.

A ground-level view at the west end on the fireman's side out toward the trestle.

A ground-level view at the west end on the fireman’s side out toward the trestle.

Late afternoon lighting casts shadows on the north side of the trestle. The structure has 38 upright steel structures, most of which are in pairs.

Late afternoon lighting casts shadows on the north side of the trestle. The structure has 38 upright steel structures, most of which are in pairs.

Aside from the installation of two 45-sections in 1916, Tulip Trestle is "as built" in 1906.

Aside from the installation of two 45-sections in 1916, Tulip Trestle is “as built” in 1906.

High-level eats on the trestle.

High-level eats on the trestle.

A passenger views the valley from the lounge car as the excursion train crosses back over Tulip Trestle en route back to Bloomington.

A passenger views the valley from the lounge car as the excursion train crosses back over Tulip Trestle en route back to Bloomington.

 

Out and About in Ohio and Pennsylvania

May 8, 2014
The NS Office Car Special rolls west through  the plant at Leetsdale, Pa., just east of Conway on April 21.

The NS Office Car Special rolls west through
the plant at Leetsdale, Pa., just east of Conway on April 21.

The Norfolk Southern executive trains recently passed through Northeast Ohio traveling to and from Louisville, Ky., for the annual Kentucky Derby. Of course, the region has seen various NS heritage units come through. Also, the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society sponsored a circle trip in late April operated on Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway tracks via Spencer, Medina, Akron, Mogadore, Canton and Brewster. Here is selection of what there has been to see trackside in the past few weeks.

Photographs by Richard Thompson

Another view of the OCS as it passes through Leetsdale.

Another view of the OCS as it passes through Leetsdale.

After a hasty recrew in Conway, train 955 is seen again in the rolling hills at Enon Valley, Pa.

After a hasty recrew in Conway, train 955 is seen again in the rolling hills at Enon Valley, Pa.

The ORHS "Loop Trip" rolls east through the West Market Street  crossing in Akron on April 26.

The ORHS “Loop Trip” rolls east through the West Market Street
crossing in Akron on April 26.

W&LE 108 was the rear unit when the train stopped near Luigi's in Akron for the three-hour  layover.

W&LE 108 was the rear unit when the train stopped near Luigi’s in Akron for the three-hour
layover.

After wying the train at Mogadore, ORHS 471 now rides the rear in a view seen just south of Mogadore near Wingfoot Lake.

After wying the train at Mogadore, ORHS 471 now rides the rear in a view seen just south of Mogadore near Wingfoot Lake.

W&LE 108 leads the train south (west) through Canton Junction near  Wandle in downtown Canton.

W&LE 108 leads the train south (west) through Canton Junction near
Wandle in downtown Canton.

The train is at speed through the village of Navarre.

The train is at speed through the village of Navarre.

My final shot of the train was between Brewster and Smithfield  at a rural crossing in the farmlands.

My final shot of the train was between Brewster and Smithfield
at a rural crossing in the farmlands.

The Southern heritage unit leads van train I05 over the ex-Nickel Plate viaduct  in downtown Cleveland on May 1.

The Southern heritage unit leads van train I05 over the ex-Nickel Plate viaduct
in downtown Cleveland on May 1.

The I05 is seen again splitting the signals at CD251 in Gypsum, Ohio.

The I05 is seen again splitting the signals at CD251 in Gypsum, Ohio.

 

Chasing that Glenwillow to Kent Train

July 11, 2013
LTEX 2519 lead the southbound trip, seen here pulling past the crowd at Glenwillow station.

LTEX 2519 lead the southbound trip, seen here pulling past the crowd at Glenwillow station.

Here are some of my photos from the Falls Junction (Glenwillow) to Kent trip, which was sponsored by the Midwest Railway Preservation Society. I did the entire chase southbound and rode northbound. The weather was generally crappy, but that did allow some afternoon photos without the harsh summer afternoon high sun. This was also a rare offline move for the Cleveland Commercial Railroad power over Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway tracks.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

Waiting to depart Falls Junction.

Waiting to depart Falls Junction.

Passing under the NS Cleveland Line in Streetsboro. A Heritage unit above would have been sweet.

Passing under the NS Cleveland Line in Streetsboro. A Heritage unit above would have been sweet.

A couple miles after the above photo, still in Streetsboro. Went for something besides the normal crossing wedgie here.

A couple miles after the above photo, still in Streetsboro. Went for something besides the normal crossing wedgie here.

Passing the Kent depot.

Passing the Kent depot.

Backing down the connection between the W&LE and the former Erie main in Kent.

Backing down the connection between the W&LE and the former Erie main in Kent.

Waiting to depart at the Erie depot in Kent. Freshly lettered CCRL 2372 will lead the northbound run.

Waiting to depart at the Erie depot in Kent. Freshly lettered CCRL 2372 will lead the northbound run.

Some of the Kent Heritage Festival crowd in downtown.

Some of the Kent Heritage Festival crowd in downtown.

Rearranging the consist in Kent.

Rearranging the consist in Kent.

People enjoy the nice park down by the old dam as the CCRL power rolls by above.

People enjoy the nice park down by the old dam as the CCRL power rolls by above.

Same shot as above, but this time showing the dam.

Same shot as above, but this time showing the dam.

Probably my favorite photo of the day, a CSX eastbound meets the CCRL train as an attentive audience looks on.

Probably my favorite photo of the day, a CSX eastbound meets the CCRL train as an attentive audience looks on.

The sun peeked out once the train stopped at Falls Junction.

The sun peeked out once the train stopped at Falls Junction.

Richard Jacobs and Barbara Cormell on the northbound run. Good to see you two!

Richard Jacobs and Barbara Cormell on the northbound run. Good to see you two!

 

 

 

Pleasing Train Ride to Kent on the W&LE

July 10, 2013
The MRPS train waits at Glenwillow until passenger unloading is completed.

The MRPS train waits at Glenwillow until passenger unloading is completed.

The Midwest Railway Preservation Society sponsored a round trip train ride on the Wheeling & Lake Erie’s Cleveland Subdivision on Saturday, July 6. The train left the Falls Junction Depot in Glenwillow and travelled to the former Erie Depot on Franklin Street in Kent, which was celebrating its annual Kent Heritage Festival. There was much to do and see close by the depot.

The train was operated by the Cleveland Commercial Railroad with able assistance from MRPS car hosts and a trainmaster. Four coaches were leased from the Orrville Railroad Historical Society. An ORHS mechanical crew was on board to keep things running smoothly. Two MRPS former Nickel Plate Road cars were in the consist, including the Mount Baxter first class car.

Barbara and I bought tickets as part of our July 4th mini vacation. We stayed near Glenwillow at the Solon Hampton Inn, arriving at the former Connotton Valley Railway depot, built in 1883, about 9 a.m. The train soon passed by but did not stop. The crews were switching the consist east of the depot and then backed the train in for passenger loading about 9:45 a.m. Fortunately, the ominous looking clouds did not dump any moisture on the passengers waiting in the open.

Coach passengers boarded onto one of the ex-NKP cars and walked through the train to find their seats. The train left shortly after 10 a.m. and a scenic journey to Kent commenced. As the train entered Kent, we passed a second former Connotten Valley Railway depot at West Main Street. It is now used commercially.

We passed over the CSX New Castle Subdivision mainline on a high bridge and then started backing down the connection to the former Erie mainline, now used by the W&LE. We continued backing over Summit Street, passing behind the B&O depot, and continued to our stop at the former Erie Kent Depot.

The depot, built in 1875, sits along Franklin Street on a bluff overlooking the Cuyahoga River and CSX tracks. The depot is an impressive two-story brick and stone structure. It saw the passage of many Erie trains throughout its years.

The Erie was merged with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad in October 1960. The last EL passenger train stopping in Kent, the Lake Cities, made its last trips on Jan. 5-6, 1970. The depot was saved from demolition by the efforts of the Kent Historical Society and now houses the Pufferbelly Restaurant.

After passengers unloaded, the train moved away in order to put the locomotives on the lead for the westbound trip back. Barbara and I had lunch in the Pufferbelly and then walked about, taking in some of the Kent Heritage Festival.

There was a bandstand with live music in the plaza across from Main Street. I found a 1929 Ford Model A pickup truck finished as a Railway Express vehicle near the corner of the depot. Cars of many styles and makes lined two city blocks.

The MRPS train returned to the depot about 2 p.m. with the Cleveland Commercial Railroad No. 2372 on the lead. LTEX No. 2519 in Santa Fe heritage freight colors of blue and yellow was the second unit. CCR No. 2372 was in UP yellow and gray colors.

The train left at 3:30, proceeding west along the former Erie track. I managed some photos through the coach window of railroad equipment, including two locomotives and a bay window caboose as we passed the former Erie car shops site. I was also able to catch through the window a photo of our locomotives pushing the train up the connection to the W&LE.

After deboarding in Glenwillow, I walked into the Falls Junction yard tracks for some sunlit photos of the train. Fellow Akron Railroad Club member Roger Durfee and I were sharing the view.

My last photos were of the train heading west toward the end of the yard. It would spot the ORHS coaches on the siding for later pickup by the W&LE for the return to Orrville.

It was a fine train ride and a nice visit to Kent. Several ARRC members were on board and it was a great way to spend a July 4th weekend Saturday.

Article and Photographs by Richard Jacobs

MRPS attendant Dave Mangold converses with Kurt and Kay Korfhage of the ORHS about passenger procedures.

MRPS attendant Dave Mangold converses with Kurt and Diane Korfhage of the ORHS about passenger procedures.

The MRPS excursion train pulls back into the Kent former Erie Station at 1:55 pm on July 6. Four ORHS coaches are behind the two engines. CSX tracks are in the foreground.

The MRPS excursion train pulls back into the Kent former Erie Station at 1:55 pm on July 6. Four ORHS coaches are behind the two engines. CSX tracks are in the foreground.

A 1929 Ford Model A is finished as a Railway Express pickup truck. The cars were part of Kent's Heritage Festival.

A 1929 Ford Model A is finished as a Railway Express pickup truck. The cars were part of Kent’s Heritage Festival.

The MRPS power waits for passengers at Kent's former Erie Station. LTEX No. 2519 in Santa Fe's blue and yellow freight scheme is behind Cleveland Commercial Railroad's No. 2372 in UP colors.

The MRPS power waits for passengers at Kent’s former Erie Station. LTEX No. 2519 in Santa Fe’s blue and yellow freight scheme is behind Cleveland Commercial Railroad’s No. 2372 in UP colors.

MRPS attendant Dave Mangold chats with Akron Railroad Club member Roger Durfee on the return trip.

MRPS attendant Dave Mangold chats with Akron Railroad Club member Roger Durfee on the return trip.

A window view of railroad equipment at the site of the Erie Railroad car shop south of Summit Street.

A window view of railroad equipment at the site of the Erie Railroad car shop south of Summit Street.

The locomotives are pushing the train around the connection to the Wheeling's Cleveland line.

The locomotives are pushing the train around the connection to the Wheeling’s Cleveland line.

The MRPS train leaves westbound at Solon Junction at 6 pm. The ORHS cars will be set out for W&LE pickup for the return to Orrville.

The MRPS train leaves westbound at Solon Junction at 6 pm. The ORHS cars will be set out for W&LE pickup for the return to Orrville.

The MRPS excursion train is at the Kent former Erie Station for passenger loading later on July 6. Four ORHS coaches are behind the two engines with two MRPS cars at the rear.

The MRPS excursion train is at the Kent former Erie Station for passenger loading later on July 6. Four ORHS coaches are behind the two engines with two MRPS cars at the rear.

Clover Leaf Memories

September 8, 2012

Former C&O Alco S-4 No. 5109 is trackside of the TLE&W Clover Leaf depot in Waterville, Ohio, Sept. 3, 2012. (Photograph by Richard Jacobs)

Akron Railroad Club member Richard Jacobs went searching for a bit of the past over the Labor Day weekend when he visited the Toledo, Lake Erie & Western Museum in Waterville, Ohio. He was hoping to ride on one of the museum’s excursion trains, but arrived to find the 2012 excursion season had been cancelled.

Instead Jake spent some time exploring the history of the Clover Leaf, the nickname of the Toledo, St. Louis & Western Railroad. The Clover Leaf was absorbed by the Nickel Plate Road in 1922.

To read Jake’s article and view a gallery of photograhs, click on the link below.

http://akronrrclub.wordpress.com/trip-reports/10948-2/

More than 1,000 Ride Hartville Trains

October 23, 2010

Passengers board the 3:15 pm McKinley Day train on October 16, 2010 with Orrville Railroad Heritage Society crew members assisting. (Photographs by Richard Jacobs)

Five roundtrip train excursions from the historic Hartville Train Station to Mogadore were operated on October 16, 2010, by the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway. The hour-long leisurely trek by rail was a part of Hartville’s McKinley Day celebration.

The trains journeyed along the golf course of Congress Lake and the waters of Wingfoot Lake. Two hundred seats per run were sold. The train was scheduled for four runs every two hours starting at 9:15 a.m.

A fifth run at 5:15 p.m. was added, due to the overwhelming response for tickets. More than 1,000 rode the train during the day.

President William McKinley impersonator Jerry Sandifer was aboard the train. McKinley was no stranger to Hartville and the train service from Canton to Congress Lake. He was a founding member of the Congress Lake Club, then known as a hunting club. McKinley was a Canton prosecutor, governor and the 25th president of the United States.

The five trains ran from Hartville MP Q47.4 to Mogadore about 8 miles north on the Wheeling’s Cleveland subdivision and returned to Hartville.

At MP Q40.1, the line meets the Akron subdivision of the Wheeling, which is the former Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railway. Both lines became part of the current W&LE in May 1990 when spun off from Norfolk Southern, the owner and operator at that time.

The line is former original W&LE/Cleveland, Canton & Southern/Connotton Valley. The line was originally 3-foot narrow gauge. It was widened to standard gauge in one day on Sunday, November 18, 1888, with the simultaneous effort of 1,150 men along the 115 miles of mainline track.

Motive power for the trains was the Wheeling GP-35 Nos. 106 and 102. Coaches and train crew were provided by the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society. The ORHS train crew assisted the loading and unloading of passengers, as well as providing assistance and trip highlights along the way.

Article and Photographs by Richard Jacobs

The 3:15 p.m. McKinley Day train leaves Hartville with W&LE GP-35 No. 102 trailing the consist.

Memories of the Chessie System! C&O wood caboose No. 90946 resides next to the Hartville Historic Train Station.

The 1880 historic Hartville Train Station, former W&LE, now the Maple Street Gallery.

President McKinley boards the train in Hartville for the trip to Mogadore.


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