Grant Highlights His Speech About AC&Y

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.”


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