President’s Day Morning Sojourn

A westbound manifest freight passes through Kent with the stoned arch bridge carrying Main Street over the Cuyahoga River and the CSX New Castle Subdivision in the background.

A westbound manifest freight passes through Kent with the stoned arch bridge carrying Main Street over the Cuyahoga River and the CSX New Castle Subdivision in the background.

The President’s Day holiday gave me a rare Monday off and I headed toward Kent with the objective of photographing the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway job that goes to Ravenna and back out of Akron’s Brittain Yard. The ABC does not operate on the former Erie Railroad line to Kent and Ravenna on weekends.

Before leaving home, I received an email report that the Nickel Plate Road heritage locomotive of Norfolk Southern was a trailing unit on a 64N that had stopped at Motor Yard in Macedonia to pick up a buffer car for the rear of the train at around 7:45 a.m.

I’ve photographed the NKP unit before, but always accompanied by the NKP 765 steam locomotive.

I didn’t get away from the house until close to 8:30 so it was a long shot to catch that train. But maybe if it got delayed and I could photograph it at Brady Lake.

I saw the north end of Motor Yard from Interstate 480 but there was no sign of the 64N. I would later learn that I had missed the 64N by, maybe, 10 to 15 minutes.

My inspection of the rails of the ABC at the Ravenna Road crossing led me to conclude that the job to Ravenna had already passed here because there were fresh flange marks in the snow.

I snapped some photos of the ex-Erie bridge over the NS Cleveland Line and then got a westbound RoadRailer train. With the recent discussion that NS may phase out its RoadRailer trains I have been making photographing them a priority.

I couldn’t be certain that the ABC job was in Ravenna, so I went into Kent where I figured I had a better chance of catching it if it only worked in Kent before returning to Brittain Yard.

CSX seems to be busier through Kent in the mornings than the afternoons and I was able to catch a pair of westbounds.

I spotted the ABC job at about 10:45. In an earlier post I described how it stopped for the crew to “repair’ a crossing gate at Main Street.

I caught two more CSX trains, one in each direction, before heading home. I should have stayed out longer, particularly since it was mostly sunny. But it had still been a nice morning and was pleased with what I was able to find.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

A peaceful, serene setting at Brady Lake where the former Erie Railroad tracks cross over the NS Cleveland Line. The footprints in the snow belong to ARRC member Todd D Dillon who was here Sunday to photograph NS trains.

A peaceful, serene setting at Brady Lake where the former Erie Railroad tracks cross over the NS Cleveland Line. The footprints in the snow belong to ARRC member Todd D Dillon who was here Sunday to photograph NS trains.

A RoadRailer at Brady Lake is headed toward Cleveland.

A RoadRailer at Brady Lake is headed toward Cleveland.

A westbound CSX coke train passes the Star of the West grain elevator in Kent.

A westbound CSX coke train passes the Star of the West grain elevator in Kent.

A westbound manifest freight is about to duck under Main Street. Note the reflection of the fence on the bridge in the window on the fireman's side of the cab.

A westbound manifest freight is about to duck under Main Street. Note the reflection of the fence on the bridge in the window on the fireman’s side of the cab.

An arch in the Main Street bridge frames an eastbound train of coal hoppers.

An arch in the Main Street bridge frames an eastbound train of coal hoppers.

The ABC job pauses next to the ex-Erie passenger station in Kent.

The ABC job pauses next to the ex-Erie passenger station in Kent.

On the move to Akron the ABC job passes one of the few remaining poles from the Erie days.

On the move to Akron the ABC job passes one of the few remaining poles from the Erie days.

Just about back onto the single track, the ABC job crosses Summit Street.

Just about back onto the single track, the ABC job crosses Summit Street.

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