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/

Heading For the ABC Interchange

September 29, 2022

Wheeling & Lake Erie GP35-3 No. 112 is heading west on CSX in Akron toward Barberton to interchange cars on Feb. 28, 2012.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Division Change Point

September 29, 2022

Until the latter years of Conrail, the west edge of the Berea interlocking plant was the boundary of three divisions. The Dearborn Division had the Chicago Line west of CP 194 while the Indianapolis Line west of Berea was in the Indianapolis Division. The interlocking plant itself and everything east of it was in the Pittsburgh Division.

Shown in the top image is the division sign on the Chicago Line reminding crews that they have crossed into the Dearborn Division. As seen in the bottom image, the other side of that sign read “Pittsburgh Div.”

The Dearborn Division would later take over all of Conrail’s tracks in Cleveland and the Pittsburgh Division didn’t begin until near Ravenna. However, until the end of Conrail operations here in 1999, the Indianapolis Division continued to end at the west edge of the Berea interlocking plant.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

Riverbank Stabilization Work to Starts in CVNP

September 29, 2022

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad FPA-4 No. 14 is shown in Peninsula on Aug. 24, 1996. (Photograph by Robert Farkas)

An Akron company has been awarded a contract to do work to stabilize the railroad right of way used by the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Park.

The National Park Service said the work is being funded by a $14 million grant through the Great American Outdoors Act,.

Work will include stabilizing the bank of the Cuyahoga River close to the former Baltimore & Ohio railroad tracks and the adjacent Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

Work on those eight areas will get underway and continue through early 2025.

Earlier this year heavy rain created riverbank erosion north of Boston Mill that led to the suspension of CVSR service south of there.

Trains continue to operate from Rockside Road to a point north of the erosion section.

The closure of the south end of the CVSR extended from early March into July.

Third Rail Union Ratifies New Contract

September 29, 2022

Members of a third railroad labor union have ratified a tentative labor contract.

The National Carriers’ Conference Committee, which represents railroad management, said on Wednesday that the union was the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Ratification voting remains in progress at nine other unions. Based on statements issued by those unions that process is expected to last through mid November.

The IBEW represents nearly 6,000 rail workers and had announced on Sept. 1 that it had reached a tentative agreement with the NCCC.

What You Used to be Able to Do

September 28, 2022

For many years railfans have no longer been permitted to photograph in the area between the CSX tracks/RJ Corman tracks and the front of Warwick Tower in Clinton.

This post is thus is dedicated to a once great location to photograph trains.

It is the afternoon of March 6, 2005. A CSX westbound train headed by BNSF 5838 is slowly coming around the curve waiting for the westbound signal seen in another image in the sequence.

Also seen are the train and the tower, a different view of the train and the tower, and a closer view of the train.

Finally, we have a roster shot of the BNSF locomotive at the signal and an image of the train leaving. Note that the CSX locomotive has “Rice Yard Hump Unit” lettering on it.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

IAM Reaches Another Tentative Contract

September 28, 2022

A railroad union whose members rejected an earlier tentative new labor contract has reached a second agreement.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Division 19 said the latest pact is stronger than the contract rejected by its members. The union represents railroad mechanics.

The second agreement was reached through negotiations with the National Carriers Conference Committee, which represents railroad management, after talks began Sept. 26.

The union said the latest agreement provides a cap on healthcare costs of no more than $398.97 through 2025 until a new agreement is reached.

It also included new language providing single room occupancy for railroads to provide roadway mechanics with their own sleeping rooms while traveling on company business.

The carriers also agreed to negotiate with the union over travel expenses and per diem within 60 days of the ratification of the contract.

Also in the contract is an agreement by the carriers to conduct a joint study with the union of overtime, forced overtime policies and overtime meal options.

In a statement, the union said the latest contract agreement includes provisions from the earlier rejected contract as to wages, including a 24 percent compounded general wage increase; a $5,000 service recognition bonus; full retroactive pay, within 60 days of contract ratification, amounting up to $11,950, based on average pay hours (overtime and straight time); an additional paid day off for all members including a paid day off for all newly hired employees hired before Sept. 30 of each year; enhanced hearing benefits, and added coverage for diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder

The union and NCCC agreed not to conduct any work stoppages through Dec. 9 to give union members time to vote on ratification of the contract

The IAM agreement means that all 12 railroad labor unions have either ratified or are in ratification process regarding tentative contract agreements with the NCCC.

SEPTA Offering Cleanliness Survey

September 28, 2022

Riders of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority buses and trains now have a means to report cleanliness issues.

The Philadelphia-based transit agency said these issues can be reported by scanning a QR Code on a smartphone.

That will lead to a cleanliness survey in which users will be asked to rate the cleanliness of their bus, train or trolley.

The QR codes will be posted on a limited number of transit vehicles near exit doors. Taking the survey will take about two minutes, SEPTA officials said.

SEPTA said the information provided on the surveys will be sent to its maintenance department, which will know how long the vehicle has been in service at the time of survey completion. There is also a comments section at the end of the survey for the rider to offer additional information.

CSX to Run Santa Train After All

September 28, 2022

CSX has decided to run its Clinchfield Santa Train after all.

It will operate on Nov. 19 from Shelby Yard in Pikeville, Kentucky, to Kingsport, Tennessee.

The Class 1 railroad had earlier cited personnel shortages and supply chain issues for its decision not to host the Santa Train this year.

It will be the 80th running of the Clinchfield Santa Train. The train is being co-sponsored by Food City, the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, Appalachian Power and Souls4Souls.

The Santa Train first ran in 1943 and was operated by CSX predecessor Clinchfield Railroad. It did not operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harrisburg Area Two for Tuesday

September 27, 2022

Here are two from Pennsylvania made a decade apart. In the top image, the remains of Penn Central EP-5 No. 4976 are in Harrisburg on Aug. 22, 1978. The unit was built for the New Haven by General Electric in April 1955.

In the bottom image, a bevy of Conrail locomotives are leading a freight west on the Rockville Bridge over the Susquehanna River in Marysville on June 27, 1988. Note that one of the units is a Norfolk & Western locomotive in, perhaps, a bit  of foreshadowing of what would happen to Conrail a little over a decade later.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Cleveland RTA Launches ‘Last Mile’ Pilot Project

September 27, 2022

Cleveland RTA is working with SHARE Mobility and employers in Solon and Bedford Heights to provide a “last mile” service.

RTA officials say the project seeks to address coverage gaps in public transit service.

SHARE Mobility said it “contracts with fleet providers to provide transportation for workers leaving a bus stop or other transit connection at the appropriate time to get them to jobs in the area.”

This involves ride sharing and allows riders to schedule trips in advance.

The service, which is targeted at hourly workers without access to transportation or seeking to save on month transportation costs, transports workers between their workplace and an RTA bus stop.

The route frequency will be based upon employer work schedules.