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/

It Took 4 Tries to Get This Image

September 22, 2021

The third time is supposed to be the charm or so the sayings goes. In the case of the above image it was the fourth time that proved to be charming.

Three times I sought to photograph a westbound CSX train passing the Union City, Ohio, water tower on the Indianapolis Line. Three times I got cloud skunked.

The resulting images were not terrible yet the lighting was subdued. My luck finally turned late last Saturday afternoon when sunny skies prevailed as CSX train Q631 rumbled into town.

The lighting was mostly right down the nose but slightly favored the north side of the tracks. That gravel path to the left is Railroad Street and it doesn’t see much traffic.

One Day at the Cleveland Steel Mills

September 22, 2021

At the time this photo was made, there was a public road that ran in front of this scene. Republic Steel 345, River Terminal 92, and Republic Steel 200 are in Cleveland on Oct. 10, 1983.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

2 Ohio Projects Receive Infrastructure Grants

September 22, 2021

Two Ohio projects will receive special consideration from the U.S. Department of Transportation Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program.

The projects are eligible to apply for credit assistance for up to 49 percent of costs.

The projects are City of Cincinnati, Western Hills Viaduct Replacement Project; and Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Route 7 grade crossing improvement.

Also designated was the Indiana Department of Transportation for the U.S. Route 36 Modern Rockville Road Project.

In a news release, USDOT said the Ohio and Indiana projects were among 44 projects that made it to the final round for funding under the 2021 INFRA competitive grant program, but were not awarded due to a combination of overwhelming demand for INFRA grants and limited funds.

Instead they will be designated as INFRA Extra projects and eligible to receive a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act credit.

USDOT received eligible INFRA applications from 42 states and Guam seeking a collective $6.8 billion in grant funds. That was nearly seven times more than the $1 billion available.

Shay Locomotive Moving to Michigan

September 22, 2021

A Shay steam locomotive will be moved to Harbor Springs, Michigan, where it will be displayed in the hometown of inventor Ephiram Shay.

The locomotive is W.T. Carter & Brother Lumber 2-truck Shay No. 2. It has been on display for more than 50 years at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Moving the 36-ton locomotive is expected to get underway on Oct. 6.

Shay was living in Harbor Springs in the 1870s when he created design for the Shay locomotive. Lima Locomotive Works sold more than 2,700 Shay-type locomotives.

No. 2 was built in 1907 and spent its service life in East Texas. It was donated to SFAU in 1970.

The Harbor Springs Area Historical Society plans to restore No. 2 and place it in a display building.

Pittsburgh Transit Agency Gets FTA Grant

September 22, 2021

The Port Authority of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh will receive a $216.9 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration through its American Rescue Plan program.

The grant is part of more than $30 billion for public transportation in the American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law last March. No local share is required for this funding.

A Conrail RoadRailer Memory

September 21, 2021

It’s a cloudless afternoon that is perfect for railroad photography. Conrail B36-7 No. 5010 leads a RoadRailer train out of Massillon on July 20, 1996.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

NOACA Lands Federal Grant

September 21, 2021

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency has received a $295,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Regional Infrastructure Accelerators program.

The funding will be used for project planning, studies and analysis, and preliminary engineering and design work.

In news release, USDOT said the work in Northeast Ohio will include for an intermodal facility, airport access improvement, an improved road to a health care facility and a pedestrian connection.

No other details were provided. The grant was one of five announced by USDOT.

The news release said the program seeks to accelerate project delivery through a variety of ways, including project planning, studies and analysis, and preliminary engineering and design work.

INRD Begins Intermodal Terminal Expansion

September 21, 2021

The Indiana Rail Road said it has started the first phase of a project to expand its intermodal services.

The short line railroad based in Indianapolis recently acquired 12 acres of land to expand its intermodal yard in Indianapolis.

This will allow for additional container parking capacity and flexibility and include an onsite chassis depot.

In a news release, INRD said the initial phase involves ground preparation, installation of concrete inbound-outbound traffic lanes with an innovative kiosk gate system for expedited handling.

Future work will include high security fencing, the establishment of rear access service roads, installation of low energy consumption lighting, and construction of two new loading pad tracks.

INRD said the intermodal expansion project is expected to be completed in 2023.

The intermodal terminal opened in 2013 and handled 1,450 containers in its first year.

This year, the terminal is projected to move more than 40,000 containers and recently began a new grain export operation with International Feed.

CPKC to Retain CP Beaver, Shield

September 21, 2021

Canadian Pacific CEO Keith Creel said last week that the CP Beaver will figure prominently in the identity of Canadian Pacific Kansas City, but would not reveal details of what the locomotive livery will be.

Creel said during an interview with Trains magazine that he has some ideas about how to protect the identities of CP and its merger partner Kansas City Southern.

“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves or send the wrong signal to the STB (Surface Transportation Board),” he said. “That being said, the answer would be I’ve got some ideas. We’re going to try to protect both companies’ proud histories. That matters.”

Upon becoming CP’s CEO in 2013, Creel brought back the iconic CP beaver and shield.

“Obviously the beaver is near and dear to our hearts,” Creel said. “The beaver will be part of that when it’s finalized; there’s no doubt in my mind.

“So it won’t be a huge retooling of our logo. It will be an enhancement that will honor the KCS team and I think we’ll make them proud to be a part of it. When it comes to locomotives, we haven’t gotten that far yet. That’s something when the time’s appropriate we’ll take a look at.”

Creel also said during the interview that once the merger is completed CPKC will put its 4-6-4 steam locomotive No. 2816 on a business train that will conduct a nearly 3,800-mile tour from Calgary to Mexico City.

Known as the Empress, the H1B Hudson was built in 1930 by Montreal Locomotive Works. Restored in 2001, it last operated in main line service in 2013.

As for the CPKC name, Creel said he chose that name as a way to honor the employees of both railroads.

“To me it’s about honoring our employees and honoring our histories,” he said adding that he understand some have been critical of the name.

In looking ahead to how CPKC will operate, Creel said traffic moving from KCS to Detroit and points in eastern Canada will continue to operate via Chicago.

Once that traffic arrives in Chicago it will move east on trackage rights on Norfolk Southern to Detroit via the NS Chicago Line to Butler, Indiana, and then to Detroit over the former Wabash mainline.

Creel said he envisions traffic growing to the point that a new tunnel will need to be built between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, to handle double-stacked container trains.

CP owns the current Detroit River tunnel between those points but it cannot handle double-stacks.

Therefore the double-stacked traffic now moves and will continue to move for now via haulage rights on CSX between Chicago and Buffalo, New York, via Cleveland.

EL Monday: Westbound in Akron

September 20, 2021

A brace of Erie Lackawanna locomotives lead a westbound train through Akron in April 1973. On the point is U25B No. 2518. Other units in the motive power consist are the 2552, 7092, and 7123. The train is approaching Voris Street and ducking beneath Thornton Street.

Photograph by Robert Farkas