Baby it was C-C-C-old in Akron on Saturday

The Q015 passes through the industrial area of South Akron in a view made from Miller Street. The track veering off the right was a lead track used by the Pennsylvania Railroad to serve the industries here. It is almost 11 a.m. and the temperature was 5 degrees.

The Q015 passes through the industrial area of South Akron in a view made from Miller Avenue. The track veering off the right was a lead track used by the Pennsylvania Railroad to serve the industries here. It is almost 11 a.m. and the temperature was 5 degrees.

Back in late December when Northeast Ohio was in the midst of a snow drought, I told Roger Durfee that I’d call him when winter returned. “Make my phone ring,” he replied.

Last Saturday morning I made the call. It had snowed during the week. It wasn’t a particularly deep snow cover, but winter had returned.

An arctic high pressure system had blanketed the region since Wednesday. As I prepared to head to Akron to meet up with Roger, the temperature fell to its low point of the day, minus 2. By the time I got to the Akron area, it had risen to zero.

We learned that CSX had a parade of five westbounds headed our way. We missed the first of those, an iron ore train, but were able to get into position to capture the next four.

Our vantage points primarily were in downtown Akron, but we also ventured out to Lambert on the Akron-Barberton border.

By noon the temperature had reached a “balmy” 7 degrees.

Yes, it was cold, particularly if you were facing the wind. I’m sure the wind chill was below zero.

Yet it wasn’t as bad as I feared it would be. I had dressed warmly and we spent a lot of time in Roger’s Jeep.

Just by the look of the images that I made, you can’t tell that the temperature was in the single digits.

The photos we made could easily have been taken on a day when the temperatures were in the 20s or even the 30s.

Yet whenever I look at these images, I’ll be reminded of how we went out into some the coldest air to hit Akron this winter and came back with something. There is something satisfying about that.

Article and photographs by Craig Sanders

The downtown Akron skyline looms in the background as the Q359 makes its way west through downtown Akron. The view is from the Thornton Street overpass.

The downtown Akron skyline looms in the background as the Q375 makes its way west through downtown Akron. The view is from the Thornton Street overpass.

Another view of the Q375 from the Thornton Street overpass. We would photograph this train again later at Lambert.

Another view of the Q359 from the Thornton Street overpass. We would photograph this train again later at Lambert.

We got down at ground level for the Q359. catching the train opposite of the Akron Metro bus transfer station off to the left and out of sight.

We got down at ground level for the Q375, catching the train opposite of the Akron Metro bus transfer station off to the left and out of sight.

There wasn't quite enough snow on the rails to make an impressive showing of flying snow, but that is not to say there wasn't some swirling snow. The tank cars of the Q359 kick up some misty snow as they pass through downtown Akron. The building in the background is the apartment built on the site of the former Erie Railroad freight station.

There wasn’t quite enough snow on the rails to make an impressive showing of flying snow, but that is not to say there wasn’t some swirling snow. The tank cars of the Q375 kick up some misty snow as they pass through downtown Akron. The building in the background above the tank cars is the housing complex built on the site of the former Erie Railroad freight station.

The Q375 sat at Lambert for a while to wait for the Q137 to go around it on Track 2. With the intermodal train out of the way, the manifest freight gets underway at Lambert. By now the temperature had risen to 7 degrees.

The Q359 sat at Lambert for a while to wait for the Q137 to go around it on Track 2. With the intermodal train out of the way, the manifest freight gets underway at Lambert. By now the temperature had risen to 7 degrees.

 

 

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