Just Another Task on the Railroad

The ABC train from Ravenna has stopped at Main Street in Kent and the conductor is getting off with a red flag in hand.

The ABC train from Ravenna has stopped at Main Street in Kent and the conductor is getting off with a red flag in hand.

The flashers come on and the gates go down. Traffic on Main Street in downtown Kent comes to a halt. The Akron Barberton Cluster Railway job from Ravenna is returning to Brittain Yard in Akron.

It is quarter till 11 on a Monday morning, a holiday for some but just another work day for others.

The train of SW1500 No. 1502, two box cars and three covered hoppers grinds to a halt shortly after it enters the crossing.

The conductor comes through the door of the cab carrying a red flag. This doesn’t make sense at first glance. The gates are down and traffic is stopped. Why flag the crossing?

He walks over to the crossing signal on the west side of the tracks, which once carried Erie Railroad trains between Chicago and New York.

Soon, the engineer comes down to the ground to join him. They are trying to push the gate away from the tracks. Apparently it is out of alignment and in danger of sideswiping a passing train.

A passerby who has been waiting for the train to pass joins the crew members as they push and pull on the gate mechanism.

The engineer climbs back aboard the locomotive and pulls down far enough to clear the crossing.

The conductor walks back to the head end and the passerby and the train continue on their respective journeys.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

The conductor and engineer are trying to move the gate back into alignment as the passerby watches.

The conductor and engineer are trying to move the gate back into alignment as the passerby watches.

The passerby has decided he can be of help and joins the crew.

The passerby has decided he can be of help and joins the crew.

The engineer climbs back up into the cab.

The engineer climbs back up into the cab.

The train is pulling down to clear the crossing. Note that the wayward gate has now risen into the air. I am not sure if this was by design or was due to a malfunction.

The train is pulling down to clear the crossing. Note that the wayward gate has now risen into the air. I am not sure if this was by design or was due to a malfunction.

No. 1502 pauses as the conductor finishes his business and walked to the head end, which is not situated just west of the former Erie passenger station, which is now a restaurant.

No. 1502 pauses as the conductor finishes his business and walked to the head end, which is not situated just west of the former Erie passenger station, which is now a restaurant.

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2 Responses to “Just Another Task on the Railroad”

  1. todd dillon Says:

    Like the vertical composition 1st pic

  2. Chuck Ingram Says:

    Nice pics, I was the engineer that day, the gate was too close for comfort.

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