Almost Setting a Dubious Record

Chef Martè, a.k.a. Marty Surdyk, places the first burger on the grill at the Akron Railroad Club’s 2018 picnic.

It was nearly a record-setting day for the Akron Railroad Club’s annual July picnic on Sunday and that was a good thing and a bad thing.

It was a good thing because the 10 trains we saw kept us from tying a dubious record of least trains seen during an ARRC picnic at Warwick Park in Clinton.

It was a bad thing because it was just one over the record for the lowest train count.

The record for least number of trains seen at Warwick Park during a picnic is nine, posted several years ago on what Bulletin editor Marty Surdyk described as “just one of those days.”

It also was a hot and humid day, Surdyk recalled.

The train count began at 8:45 a.m. when ARRC President Craig Sanders arrived and ended about 8:40 p.m. when he and Surdyk departed for home.

The first train, a westbound auto rack, was logged at 9:08 a.m. and the last one, an eastbound stack train, passing through at 7:52 p.m.

Between those were numerous long lulls, one of which lasted two hours and 22 minutes.

Auto rack traffic dominated the action with five of the 10 trains being predominantly auto racks and one of the two manifest freights that passed through having a cut of auto racks in its consist.

There were two purely intermodal trains, the Q137 and the Q016, but trains Q276, Q292 and Q216 all had blocks of stacked containers.

The pure auto rack trains were the Q299 and Q277. We also spotted manifest freights Q348 and Q369, both of which passed through within 22 minutes of each other.

The detector at Easton to the west counted 690 axles on the Q348. The crew of that train told the IO dispatcher that it would be dropping off its first 49 cars of stone at Ohio Junction and taking the rest of the train to New Castle, Pennsylvania.

Breaking the monotony of stacks and racks was the K182 coke train.

All of the trains featured CSX motive power with the lone except being a Norfolk Southern unit trailing on the Q137.

There have been reports of Southern Belles of Kansas City Southern making regular appearances on New Castle Subdivision trains, most often on the Q292. But there were no Belles for us today.

The local based at Warwick didn’t operate and neither did R.J. Corman. It was from a railroad perspective a rather quiet Sunday.

As for the picnic itself, approximately 30 ARRC members and guests munched on hamburgers and hot dogs along with chips, cookies, pie, brownies, deviled eggs, baked beans and some raw vegetables.

There were a lot of stories told and past good times shared beneath the pavilion of the park.

As always Chef Martè manned the grill and arranged for the burgers, buns, condiments and drinks. Most members had departed by 4 p.m. as things wound down.

The weather was partly sunny, but pleasant. Rain was reported in the Akron area and we saw some dark clouds, but it remained dry in Clinton.

Alethea Rantanes checks out the snacks and desserts during the ARRC picnic on Sunday.

From left to right Bob Farkas, Denny Romain and Bill Kubas sit and wait for the burgers and hot dogs to be grilled during the ARRC picnic, held at Warwick Park.

Tom Ward fills his plate at the buffet tables as Rick Houk (back to camera) dresses his burger.

Todd Dillon (seated) and Paul Woodring review images on Todd’s smart phone during the ARRC picnic.

The engineer of the Q016 gives us a wave as his train passes Warwick Park during the 2018 ARRC picnic. It would be the last train of the day that any ARRC member saw on the day in Clinton.

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