Thirty Akron Railroad Club members and guests munched on pizza and viewed a wide range of railroad photographs during the club’s annual member’s night held Saturday night (Feb. 25).
Eleven attendees presented digital images, slides and video that had a decidedly eastern United States and Northeast Ohio focus.
We put away in short order the eight pizzas delivered by Marcos that arrived shortly before 6 p.m. There were also chips, cookies and several types of soda pop.
Ed Ribinskas led off the member’s night presentations with a self-described hodgepodge of digital images and photographs that had been digitized.
His program showed futuristic trains at Walt Disney World, replica steam locomotive Leviathan, some other assorted steam locomotive power, Norfolk Southern heritage locomotives in Northeast Ohio, Nickel Plate Road No. 765 in Ohio, and some late-running editions of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited.
Todd Dillon took us along on his recent Florida vacation where he spent most of his time trackside rather than at the beach.
Todd’s program included views of the new SunRail commuter service in Orlando, some Florida East Coast action and Amtrak’s Silver Meteor and Auto Train.
He rounded out his program by showing some of the last runs of the Orange Blossom Cannonball of the Tavares, Eustis & Gulf Railroad.
Club President Craig Sanders had the only images of the night that were made west of the Mississippi River.
Craig’s program focused on railroads and grain elevators. He showed grain elevators in the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba that he made while riding The Canadian of VIA Rail Canada in May 2014.
But the focus of the program was grain elevators in east central Illinois, most notably along the former Illinois Central. This featured trains of Canadian National – which now owns the ex-IC mainline – Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific and Amtrak.
Dennis Taksar attended a wedding in Tennessee not long ago and showed us various rail operations that he photographed on his trip there and back,
This included Norfolk Southern operations, the tourist railroad at Dollywood, the kitsch of Pigeon Forge, and vintage locomotives and cars at a repository of old equipment near Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Tom Fritsch made a trip to West Virginia to do some tourist railroad fanning, which included riding and photographing the Durbin & Greenbrier, and the Cass Scenic Railroad.
Alex Bruchac had some of the oldest images shown during the evening during his 10-minute video made from movies of two railfan transit excursions in Cleveland.
The movies were made during 1968 and 1970 excursions of vintage streetcars traveling today’s Red, Green and Blue lines of Cleveland RTA.
David Mangold took us to the Illinois Railway Museum for a look at its collection and views of interurban cars, steam trains and a visiting Union Pacific passenger special.
Marty Surdyk led off the slide presenters with images he made on New Year’s Day this year during a railfan outing to downtown Cleveland that he wrote about in the January Bulletin.
We saw NS trains on the Chicago Line and cars of the RTA Waterfront Line.
He fleshed out the program by showing images made last fall on the CSX New Castle Subdivision between Lodi and Sullivan and the Wheeling & Lake Erie west of Spencer on the former Akron, Canton & Youngstown line to Carey.
In part II of a program that he presented to the ARRC last year, Paul Woodring showed us the rest of the Best of the Rest.
These were slides that didn’t make the cut for the original program. The theme for Paul’s member’s night program was things that don’t exist anymore. Nothing was newer than 20 years old.
This included the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad (which is now owned by CSX), Baltimore & Ohio Rail Diesel Cars that were used in Washington, D.C., commuter service, the West Virginia Northern, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company “yellowbird” locomotives, Detroit Edison coal trains, E units painted in the colors of the Pennsylvania Railroad of the Blue Mountain & Reading, long-since retired South Shore equipment, and Amtrak odds and ends.
The latter included E units, E60 electric locomotives used on the Northeast Corridor in the 1970s, the experimental Swedish-built X2000, which tested in the 1990s, and a switcher built in 1939 that was once the passenger carrier’s oldest locomotive.
Paul also dropped in photographs of a Southern Railway steam excursion program trip and railfans who have since died.
Jim Mastromatteo is an aficionado of the Wheeling & Lake Erie and his program featured a gallery of Wheeling locomotives from primarily the 1990s.
Wrapping up the evening was Richard Antibus, who took us back in time in Akron to an era when Conrail was primarily responsible for the maintenance of the line it shared with CSX between AY and Warwick.
Akron was a far outpost for Conrail and it skimped on the track repairs. That led to slow trains and numerous derailments, the latter of which was the focus of Rich’s program.