Welcome to Akron Railroads

March 2, 2009

Welcome to Akron Railroads, formerly known as the Akron Railroad Club Blog, a site once connected with the Akron Railroad Club. The ARRC meets every month but December in Akron, Ohio, at the New Horizons Christian Church.

This site is not formally connected with the ARRC but instead serves as an archive of past postings about ARRC meetings and activities as well as railfanning adventures and photographs posted by some members.

Also included in the site are historical overviews of the railroads of Akron and Northeast Ohio as well as some news and information about current railroad operations in that region.

For more up to date information about the ARRC, visit the club’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AkronRailroadClub/

When RDCs Still Ran in Akron

December 3, 2021

During 2007 the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad operated its four-car Rail Diesel Car fleet between Canton and Akron. The trains typically were three-car sets as shown in these two images.

In the top photograph, a train from Canton is passing beneath the CSX New Castle Subdivision at Akron Junction and passing the CSX yard office near Arlington Street. The train will be at Northside station in a couple of minutes.

In the bottom image, an RDC train bound for Canton passes through the Goodyear complex in Akron. It is about to pass under a bridge that once carried tracks of the Akron & Barberton Belt.

In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

December 3, 2021

The wayback machine has taken us not only way back in time but way up to the upper peninsula of Michigan. We’re admiring SOO Line 2229-B in Gladstone, Michigan, on June 12, 1974. The F7A was built in August 1953 and retired in October 1980.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Squires to Retire in 2022 as NS CEO

December 3, 2021

Alan Shaw (left) will replace James Squires as NS CEO in 2022.

Norfolk Southern CEO James A. Squires plans to retire on May 1, 2022.

He will be succeeded by Alan Shaw, who is currently an NS executive vice president and the chief marketing officer.

Shaw will assume the position of NS president immediately as part of the transition plan. In a news release, NS said its top managers will report to Shaw.

In addition to his CEO duties, Squires serves as president and chairman of the board of directors.

NS also said Ed Elkins, vice president of industrial products, has been promoted to the positions of executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Shaw has worked at NS for 27 years in marketing, operations and finance. He was been chief marketing officer since May 2015.

Squires was appointed CEO by NS in 2021 to replace the retiring Charles “Wick” Moorman.

He was named chairman of the NS board in October 2015.

Previously Squires served at NS as executive vice president administration, executive vice president finance and chief financial officer, senior vice president finance, senior vice president law, and vice president law.

U.S. Rail Freight Down 4.5% in November

December 3, 2021

U.S. rail freight for November was down 4.5 percent the Association of American Railroads said this week.

Railroads during the month handled 917,787 carloads, rising 2 percent or 17,996 carloads when compared with November 2020.

They also handled 1,028,039 containers and trailers, a decline of 9.6 percent or 108,705 units compared to last year.

Total carload and intermodal originations for the month were 1,945,826, a decline of 90,709 carloads and intermodal units over the same month last year.

John T. Gray, AAR’s senior vice president, said coal enjoyed robust growth due largely to the price of natural gas used to generate electricity having doubled this year.

Gray noted that coal carloads through November have been up 11 percent.

“Chemicals, grain and commodities related to steel making have also all showed solid carload growth this year,” he said in a statement.

AAR said 15 of the 20 freight categories that it tracks have posted gains through the end of November.

Between January and November, U.S. Class I railroads have handled 10,874,439 carloads, up 7 percent or 710,728 carloads compared with the same period in 2020.

Intermodal traffic on a year-to-date basis has been 12,917,662 intermodal units, up 6.4 percent or 775,257 containers and trailers.

The combined traffic has been 23,792,101 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 6.7 percent.

During November AAR said gains were posted by coal, up 20,731 carloads or 8.6 percent; chemicals, up 5,563 carloads or 4.4 percent; and crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 5,067 carloads or 7.4 percent.

Losing ground were motor vehicles and parts, down 8,186 carloads or 14.1 percent; grain, down 7,901 carloads or 7.4 percent; and all other carloads, down 3,355 carloads or 14.6 percent.

All comparisons are with November 2020 figures.

NTSB Calls for Transit Railcar Wheel Inspections

December 3, 2021

The National Transportation Safety Board is calling on public transit agencies to inspect the wheels of their rail transit cars to ensure that they meet gauge specifications.

The advisory was sent in the wake of a derailment of a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority train in October that resulted in a passenger being taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries.

The federal safety agency said inspections have found wheels on some WMATA rail cars had moved outward from their mounted position on the axle.

“The safety alert identifies the issue of wheel set movement on transit rail cars and commuter railroads as a serious problem that has the potential to create a catastrophic event,” said Robert Hall, director of the NTSB Office of Railroad, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Investigations.

NTSB officials said in a news release that an out-of-specification wheel set is not easily identifiable with a routine visual inspection. Consequently, the condition could exist on wheel and axle assemblies of other transit or commuter rail cars.

Baldwin ‘Shark’ Sighting Reported in Michigan

December 3, 2021

A Baldwin RF-16 locomotive was moved out of its storage shed this week in Michigan, Railfan and Railroad magazine reported.

Social media reports indicated that former Delaware & Hudson No. 1216 was moved around a yard of the Escanaba & Lake Superior.

The magazine said it is unclear why the locomotive was moved.

The 1216 is one of two “Sharks” that have been stored in Michigan since the early 1980s. Also in storage is ex-D&H No. 1205.

The two units are the only survivors of the 160 locomotives of this type built by Baldwin.

Some of those “Shark’s” worked on the Monongahela Railroad in southwest Pennsylvania before being retired.

The article can be found at  https://railfan.com/elusive-baldwin-shark-emerges-after-four-decades-in-storage/

Late in the NYC Era in Painesville

December 2, 2021

John Woodard took me railfanning near Painesville in early 1967. Here is an image from that outing. A man on the ground is talking to the engineer of New York Central F7A No. 1685. The A-B-A set of Nos. 1685, 3462 and sits in the sun for a while before moving on.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

My Very Few Highlights Around Thanksgiving

December 2, 2021

For most of my years while I was working, I very rarely had the opportunity to railfan on or around the Thanksgiving holiday.

If I wasn’t working, then I had family related activities. I did find a couple days I was able to sneak away for a few moments.

One of those was Thanksgiving of 1983. I was able to use vacation time for a family trip to Libertyville, Illinois for a holiday outing with my sister Janet.

The day after Thanksgiving I went to the ex-Milwaukee Road tracks near Rondout, Illinois , hoping to see and photograph Amtrak No. 8, the Empire Builder.

This was long before cell phones and the Internet. I was hoping No. 8 would be close to advertised. I do remember a bit of prayer was evident.

The Empire Builder did show up pretty close to schedule.

Two days after Thanksgiving 2017, I photographed the Central of New Jersey heritage unit, No. 1071, coming out the siding at Unionville, Ohio, on Norfolk Southern train 316.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Made in Ohio, Not Out West

December 1, 2021

Although this may look as if it were taken out west, this is an eastbound Wheeling & Lake Erie train headed for Rook Yard in Pennsylvania. On the point is SD40T-2 No. 5413. Note the very small “WE” above the number on the cab’s side. The train was photographed east of Harmon on Sept. 21, 2010.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

NS in Massillon on the Fort Wayne Line

December 1, 2021

Norfolk Southern AC44C6M No. 4084 with train 170 is eastbound in Massillon on the morning of July 5, 2021. the 4084 is a rebuilt C40-9 built by GE for NS in March 1995. Train 170 originates at DeButts Yard in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and runs to Conway Yard near Pittsburgh via Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton.

Photograph by Robert Farkas