Archive for August, 2011

Dennison Depot Gets Landmark Designation

August 16, 2011

The Dennison Railroad Depot Museum has been designated as a National Historic Landmark, culminating 11 years of work to gain the designation. The depot is Tuscarawas County’s first National Historic Landmark and Ohio’s 70th.

“It’s a huge honor,” Wendy Zucal, director of the museum, told the Dover-New Philadelphia Times-Reporter. “When we went to Washington and thanked them for making us the first one in the county, they said, ‘Not every county gets one.’ ”

Efforts to save the station, once served by the Pennsylvania Railroad and later Penn Central, began in 1984 when Dennison Mayor Greg DiDonato began working to save the last building associated with the community’s railroad history.

The building was in decay and slated for demolition. But instead of allowing it to be torn down, DiDonato shared his vision for the building and spearheaded a grassroots effort to save it.

Located about midway on the Pennsy’s New York-St. Louis route, Dennison claimed some of the most complete railroad shops and yards in the country at the turn of the 20th century. As a division headquarters, Dennison’s yards and shops employed more than 3,000 people and handled 22 passenger trains a day.

During World War II, the depot became known for its Salvation Army Canteen that earned the nickname “Dreamsville USA” from the soldiers it served. Only the North Platte, Nebraska, canteen and the New York Stage Door Canteen served more than Dennison’s canteen. Neither of those has survived. Dennison had the nation’s third largest World War II canteen and served 1.3 million soldiers, 13 percent of U.S. armed forces personnel.

The restored Dennison station re-opened in 1989. The depot was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 17, 2011, by the National Historic Landmarks Commission and the National Park Service.

Pennsy E units Visit Ohio, Again

August 8, 2011

The private car chrater "Pacific Express" rounds the curve at Hubbard, Ohio, and passes a former Conrail caboose on Sunday, August 7, 2011.

Bennett Levin’s E8A locomotives made their second appearance in Ohio of 2011 on Sunday (August 7). The locomotives, adorned in a Pennsylvania Railroad livery, passed through Ohio en route to the National Train Day celebration in Chicago in May before returning to their Philadelphia area home.

On Sunday, the Pennsy E units were pulling the Pacific Express, a private car charter train that originated in Hoboken, New Jersey, on Friday and ended its journey in Philadelphia on Monday. The train traveled over a primarily former Erie Railroad routing until getting to Youngstown where it assumed a mostly all former PRR trek except for a stretch of former New York Central track on the Norfolk Southern  Youngstown Line.

Several Akron Railroad Club members were trackside to photograph the special train including Roger Durfee, Alan Savage, Richard Thompson, Cody Zamostny, John Puda, Peter Bowler and Craig Sanders.

To read an article written by Sanders and to view a gallery of photographs, click on the link below.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

E8A Nos. 5711 and 5809 sparkle in the early afternoon sunlight at Lowellville, Ohio, on Norfolk Southern's Youngstown Line. This is former Pennsylvania Railroad trackage.