Archive for April, 2018

A Florida Industrial Operation

April 30, 2018

Conrad Yelvington is a stone industry with plants around central Florida much like Shelley Materials in Ohio.

ACL No. 100 was built for the Atlantic Coast Line in 1950. It is owned by a preservation group. Although I’m not clear which one, they restored it to its original paint. They have leased it for the past 20 years to Conrad Yelvington which currently uses it at its Gainesville, Florida, facility.

GP30 2105 which works at the Sanford, Florida, facility started life as Baltimore & Ohio No. 6933. It’s a long way from when it used to run through Akron.

Alco No. 2144 works at the Orlando, Florida, facility and I was unable to trace its heritage. CYXX No. 2112 is an EMD sw9 that switches the CSX interchange at Orlando. CYXX No. 292 is an Alco RS1 at Orlando

Photographs by Todd Dillon

ARRC Votes for Bulletin Changes

April 30, 2018

Changes are coming to the Bulletin, the paper newsletter of the Akron Railroad Club, but the date that those changes will begin has yet to be determined.

At the April meeting, the members present voted against discontinuing the club newsletter altogether and also voted against making it purely electronic. However, they voted to approve reducing the publication schedule to bi-monthly.

The discussion about changing the Bulletin was lengthy and no decisions were made on when the reduced publication schedule would be implemented. It might be next year or it might be later this year.

Also left hanging due to lack of time and information was the matter of whether to increase dues and/or charge members who continue to receive a paper newsletter an additional fee to cover the expenses of production and mailing.

The officers will investigate these matters and report back at a future meeting.

Sanders Gives Program in Marion

April 28, 2018

Akron Railroad Club President Craig Sanders recently presented his program on the writing of the song City of New Orleans to the Marion Union Station Association.

Sanders was the featured program presenter at the group’s April 21 meeting. the MUSA holds a slide night on the third Saturday of each month.

The program that Sanders presented was based on research he did about how the late Steve Goodman came to write one of his best-known songs, which was popularized by Arlo Guthrie and been recorded by more than 100 artists.

Michigan Steamer Being Cosmetically Restored

April 28, 2018

A 19th century steam locomotive in Port Huron, Michigan, has been moved in preparation for a cosmetic restoration

The D.B. Harrington, a 2-4-0 built in 1878 by Porter, Bell & Company, has been in storage since 1992.

The locomotive was built for the 3-foot gauge Port Huron & Northwestern Railway, which used it to haul freight to Sand Beach (now Harbor Beach), and Port Austin, Michigan.

After restoration, the Harrington will be displayed along the Port Huron waterfront.

The restoration of the engine is being done by Streamline Historic Services at St. Clair County Community College. The tender will be rebuilt by Gemini Industries in Dover, Ohio.

Funding for the restoration is coming from a $25,000 grant from Canadian National’s community impact program and another grant via the Community Foundation of St. Clair County.

Donations toward the restoration costs can be made at

Ford Action Not Expected to Affect Railroads

April 28, 2018

A decision by Ford Motor Company to end production of most sedans in North America is not expected to have a major affect on Class 1 railroads Trains magazine reported.

Ford plans to stop making  the Fusion, Fiesta, Taurus, and C-Max at assembly plants in the United States and Mexico, but will make other vehicles at those factories.

The automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, said the models being ended sold  315,400 vehicles last year of the 2.03 million vehicles it sold in North America.

Ford plans to focus more on its more profitable sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks, most notably those in the F series.

Trains said the Taurus is built at the Chicago Assembly Plant served by Norfolk Southern. Ford will begin building the 2020 Lincoln Aviator SUV at the plant.

The C-Max is built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, jointly served by NS and CSX Transportation. Ford also produces the Focus at the Michigan plant.

The Fusion, which is the best-selling model being discontinued, is built at an assembly and stamping plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, which is served by Kansas City Southern.

KCS also serves the Cuautitlan Stamping and Assembly Plant in Mexico, which churns out the Fiesta.

After phasing out these models, Ford will build just two cars, the Mustang and the Focus, which will debut as a new crossover dubbed the Focus Active.

STB Nominees Win Senate Committee OK

April 28, 2018

Two nominees for seats on the U.S. Surface Transportation Board were approved this week by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

The appointments of Patrick Fuchs and Michelle Schultz will now move to the full Senate for confirmation. If confirmed, each would serve a five year term on the STB.

Fuchs is a senior staff member working on surface transportation and maritime issues for the Senate Commerce Committee. He also has served as a policy analyst and Presidential Management Fellow at the Office of Management and Budget, where he managed railroad and maritime regulatory reviews.

Schultz is a deputy general counsel at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Before that, she was an associate with a Philadelphia law firm.

Colorful Florida Tourist Railroad

April 27, 2018

Fireman Scott Colagiacomo rests his arm as the train comes into Tavares, Florida, on street trackage.

On Wednesday and Saturday of my Florida vacation I stopped by the Orlando & Northwestern, a tourist operation based out of Tavares, Florida. They have some streamlined equipment some of which is painted in a pseudo Illinois Central scheme.

Motive power consists of a chop-nose geep, a former Louisville & Nashville GP30 and the repainted Clinchfield F7 No. 800. I was able to get photos of all three engines.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Ex-L&N GP30 No. 1030 at Mt Dora. Plans are to restore it to its original L&N paint scheme.

Orlando and Northwestern 1510 leaves Tavares.


CSX Manager Wins AAR Environmental Award

April 27, 2018

A CSX manager was named the winner of the the 2017 John H. Chafee Environmental Excellence Award presented by the Association of American Railroads.

The winner, Charles Bailey, is a CSX director of design and construction engineering.

AAR officials said Bailey developed a culture at CSX in which design and construction methodologies benefit the environment and the railroad.

In a news release, the AAR said Bailey’s collaborative approach with environmental teams has had a significant impact on the environmental performance of CSX.

By modifying the design on two siding projects, Bailey helped reduce the amount of excavated rock, soil and debris going to landfills by more than 24,000 cubic yards.

His efforts also have helped protect several endangered plant and animal species, including the Northern Long-Eared Bat in Indiana and the Gopher Tortoise in Florida.

The award is named in honor of the late Rhode Island senator, who was a strong advocate for sustainability and rail’s environmental benefits.

The Chafee award recognizes a railroad employee who has demonstrated the highest level of environmental stewardship in the previous year.

Remembering the PRR E8A Units

April 26, 2018

With the cancellation of the excursion from Philadelphia to Altoona, Pennsylvania, I would like to share some pictures that I did of the two Pennsylvania Railroad E8As during happier times out that way.

The cancelled trip was to have helped the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society celebrate its 50th anniversary during a convention in Altoona.

The train was to have run to Altoona on May 9 and return four days later.

It might have been the last mainline excursion of the Pennsy passenger locomotives because owner Bennett Levin has said he does not plan to give the engines a positive train control apparatus.

The images in this series were made at Altoona, Horseshoe Curve, Gallitzin and Cassandra.

Photographs by Jack Norris