Archive for November, 2009

ARRC Members Present Conrail Memories

November 16, 2009
Conrail 4

Conrail is largely a memory now, but it provided many enjoyable moments during its 23-year history. A Conrail manifest freight is shown on the Fort Wayne Line east of Canton. (Photograph by Marty Surdyk)

Approximately 40 Akron Railroad Club members watched eight programs devoted to remember Conrail during the annual members’ night event on Saturday (November 14).

The presenters were Marty Surdyk, Roger Durfee, Craig Sanders, Richard Antibus, Richard Jacobs, Todd Dillon, Dave Mangold and the team of Richard Thompson and John Puda. The latter two members, both of whom were born well after Conrail was formed in 1976, presented the only digital program of the evening, showing Conrail locomotives and rolling stock in various places now owned by Norfolk Southern and CSX.

The other programs were slide shows that covered Conrail from its beginnings to its final day of opreation on May 31, 1999. Although most of the images shown were recorded in Ohio, most notably Berea, the programs also showed Conrail along the Northeast Corridor, Pennsylvania and northwest Indiana. A handful of images presented were taken in Illinois.

Two of the presenters, Durfee and Mangold, began their railroad careers with Conrail.

During an intermission, ARRC members honored member Clint Ensworth, who celebrated his 87th birthday on Saturday. The members serenaded Ensworth with a rendention of Happy Birthday and presented him with a card and a cake.

Those attending also put away 15 pizzas and munched on potato chips and other snacks while enjoying the programs.

Something New on R.J. Corman in Ohio?

November 11, 2009

There may be something new to see on R.J. Corman’s operations in eastern Ohio. On Tuesday (November 3, 2009), CSX train D750 left Willard Yard with R.J. Corman Railpower Genset No. 5400 in tow.

Reportedly, the unit was to be set off at Warwick for the Corman to pick up. Speculation is that it will be assigned to the Dover-New Philadelphia area. It is not known if it will work Corman trains to Warwick/Wooster.

No. 5400 is a 2,000 horsepower Model RP20BD that was built in 2007 on a GP38 platform.

Railpower was originally a Canadian company founded in 2000 that is best known for building the Green Goat. After falling into bankruptcy, it was acquired by Corman in July 2009.

Corman reported on its website that its testing shows that one RP20BD could replace two GP9s or one GP39 and achieve a fuel savings of 31 to 39 percent as well as reduce the number of locomotives needed for a run.

Although Corman owns Railpower, which is now known as R.J. Corman Railpower, it subcontracts the assembly of its Genset locomotives. According to the Corman website, R.J. Corman Railpower is primarily an engineering firm.

The Repository Reviews Canton Area Railroads

November 10, 2009

The Repository, a daily newspaper published in Canton, published a review on Sunday of Canton Area Railroads, which was written by Akron Railroad Club President Craig Sanders.

The review was titled “Book Takes Readers on on Train Trip Back in Canton Area’s Railroad History.” The review can be read on the newspaper’s website Click on the following link to read the review:

Canton Area Railroads was published by Arcadia Publishing and released earlier this year. It contains photographs taken by or provided by several ARRC members including John Beach, Richard Jacobs, Marty Surdyk, Paul Vernier, Richard Antibus, Peter Bowler, Michael Boss, Chris Lantz, James McMullen, Bob Redmond and Edward Ribinskas.

Grant Highlights His Speech About AC&Y

November 10, 2009
ACY Steamer

An Akron, Canton & Youngstown Class R 2-8-2 steam locomotive idles outside the roundhouse at Brittain Yard in East Akron in the late 1940s. Professor H. Roger Grant will discuss the development of the AC&Y in his presentation at the Akron Railroad Club banquet in December. (Photograph by Bob Redmond)

H. Roger Grant, a professor of history at Clemson University and author of several books on the history of railroads, will speak at the Akron Railroad Club banquet on December 5. Grant will address the formation and bulding of the Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railroad.

The AC&Y never served two of its namesake cities, extending only between Akron and Mogadore. It leased the Northern Ohio Railway in 1920, to give the AC&Y its final form, operating between Mogadore and Delphos. The AC&Y was acquired by the Norfolk & Western in 1964.

Grant sent the following summary of the development of the AC&Y, which is a preview of his talk during the ARRC banquet:

“One of the most successful railroads that appeared during the final years of railroad construction in the Midwest was the Akron-based Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railroad. The idea for this industrial-switching road, though, began much earlier and routing strategies varied. So, too, did a debate erupt over whether to employ steam or electricity.

“Yet dream became reality in 1911-1912. The construction process, however, was difficult and included major land acquisition and engineering challenges.

“The former underscores the problems that urban railroads, which appeared late in the building process, faced. The company quickly became a money maker and did much to develop the industrial corridor of East Akron. Certainly the AC&Y supports the argument that a profitable carrier could be built during the twilight era and one that had a meaningful developmental impact.”