It Always Helps to Get Lucky

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.

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One Response to “It Always Helps to Get Lucky”

  1. jake Says:

    Nice article, Peter. Even though the Erie Lackawanna is long gone, there are still vestiges of the former line through northeastern Ohio. The former Erie depot in Barberton was moved a while back from its original location to where it stands now. Bob Fisher of the Sterling Loop railfans sent me an email some time ago. I’ll try to find it.
    Thanks for the article,

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