Archive for January, 2011

Amtrak Special Passes Through Cleveland

January 26, 2011

The Amtrak special moves through Olmsted Falls just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

Ross Rowland’s passenger cars for his proposed Greenbrier Express train made their way through Ohio Tuesday afternoon (January 25, 2011). The move, whose priority was as low as the bottom man on a totem pole, had been tentatively scheduled to pass through on Sunday.  But problems outside of Omaha delayed the train for several hours, thus creating a new plan of action once it got into Chicago.

The train, Amtrak 942, made its way through Olmsted Falls at approximately 12:56 p.m.  Delayed in our region due to some signal problems at MP197, the train was placed behind three eastbound van/stack trains before finally coming through.

The 15-car train led by Amtrak Genesis units 163 and 58 did get a little respect as two westbound van/stack trains were placed in the north siding and waited for the special to pass by before they could move on. The dispatcher also advised of a crew change at the Cleveland Amtrak station.

As expected something this unique to our area was met with the typical uncooperative Ohio winter sky, making photography a challenge.  The last car in the consist was occupied by the coordinator of move, reported to be a friend of Mr. Rowland.

It was great to see a daytime passenger train of this length and the 1950s style passenger cars were a sight to behold.

Article and photographs by Dan Davidson

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It Always Helps to Get Lucky

January 2, 2011

The Akron Barberton Cluster train passes the former Erie depot in Barberton.

I have wanted to do for a long time and the opportunity finally arrived to catch a train on the old Erie mainline from Barberton to Rittman, where the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway serves Morton Salt. What I really have wanted and finally got was a shot of a very rare train passing the cute little former Erie station in Barberton.

I might claim brilliant planning and knowledge enabled me to do this, but the truth is that I was wandering around the former B&O as far west as Sterling since I had not been in that area since the signal replacements. When I saw how boring Sterling has become, I decided to head home with no definite plan other than wanting to see Rittman and Barberton to see what they are like without color position lights and if any CPLs were left other than the intermediate signals in Akron.

I was hearing the ABC on the radio, but thought it was in Akron because the reception was very strong. When I got to Rittman I drove around to the ex-Erie Depot restaurant at the backside of Morton Salt and discovered why the radio signal was strong. The ABC was switching Morton.

I hung around until I heard the train get clearance east and realized the Barberton opportunity was upon me at last. I chanced an in-between stop in Wadsworth for a shot and then raced east to Barberton to find the station.

As luck would have it, I beat them there by a couple minutes and scouted for what shot I could make. I took a series of three to four shots trying to get both the station and train fully in the frame since it is such a rare opportunity.

When that was over I ran up to Barberton to see if I could catch the move crossing over from the Erie to the ABC home track but I was too late. I saw that the CPL in Barberton west of Tuscarawas is gone and not replaced at all but there is still a CPL in Barberton 200 yards west of the ABC headquarters and it might still make a decent shot for CSX, but I tabled that until another day. I am not sure if that CPL is in working order, I rather doubt it.

Article and Photographs by Peter Bowler

The ABC switcher works at Morton Salt in Rittman.