All Aboard for a Day in Northern Ohio

The Akron Railroad Club is trying a new event in 2010. On Sunday, September 26, 2010, we will have a Day in Northern Ohio (DINO) set up to record railroad operations in our backyard. The idea is borrowed from a similar annual day in America event sponsored by a railfan magazine.

For DINO, we invite ARRC members to go out and photograph trains at their favorite northern Ohio railfan locations. The results of our efforts will be the feature of the 2011 member’s night program.

The other sidebar to this event is that we would like you to keep a log of the trains that you see during the day. We will add up these numbers to get an idea of exactly how many trains visit the area on this typical Sunday.

You don’t have to travel around to participate in the event. You can just park at your favorite railfanning spot and railfan for the day.

What boundaries do we set for northern Ohio? We don’t mean literally the northern half of the state from the Pennsylvania border to the Indiana and Michigan borders.

The western boundary is the Vermilion River, which Norfolk Southern crosses in Vermilion on the Chicago-Buffalo routes of the former New York Central and Nickel Plate Road.

Another western boundary is Greenwich, a CSX hot spot featuring the crossing of the CSX New Castle Subdivision (former Baltimore & Ohio Chicago-Pittsburgh mainline) and the Greenwich Sub (former Cleveland-St. Louis route of the Big Four).

Within this western territory lies Wellington, the crossroads of the CSX Greenwich Sub and the Wheeling & Lake Erie’s Hartland Sub between Bellevue and Spencer. Nearby Spencer features the crossing of two W&LE routes, the Bellevue-Brewster line and the former Akron, Canton & Youngstown line between Akron and New London.

Berea, of course, is a major northern Ohio hotspot and there are always train watchers there. This is a good mid-point location to check the progress of trains traveling through the area.

To the east, good spots to hang out include Willoughby, Perry, Ashtabula or Conneaut. These places feature action on the Cleveland-Buffalo routes of CSX and NS. Ashtabula is the northern terminus of the NS Youngstown Line while Conneaut is the northern end of the Bessemer & Lake Erie.

To the southeast in Ravenna, the NS Cleveland Line to Pittsburgh passes over the CSX New Castle Sub. Farther west, Bedford in the Cleveland southeast suburbs features some interesting photo spots as well as heavy action on the NS Cleveland line. Although it is doubtful that it will be operating on Sunday, Bedford also hosts the Cleveland Commercial Railroad.

The Akron-Warwick area is important to this event. This is the mid-point of the CSX New Castle Sub. Akron is an important hub of the W&LE, not to mention the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The Ohio Central and R.J. Corman interchange with CSX at Clinton (Warwick), although in the past year and a half neither railroad has routinely operated on Sundays. Maybe we will get luck this year.

This Sunday will feature a pair of trips on the CVSR pulled by NKP steam locomotive No. 765 that will run out of Akron between the regular CVSR scenic excursions. We will include these CVSR operations in our count.

Train counts and symbols, and other information can be sent by e-mail or regular mail to Bulletin editor Marty Surdyk ( or to ARRC President Craig Sanders (, who is webmaster of the ARRC blog.

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