CA&C Program Set for End of Year Dinner

Dennis Fravel of Westerville, Ohio, will present a program at the Akron Railroad Club’s end of year dinner that will discuss the history of the former Cleveland, Akron & Columbus Railway.

The dinner will be held on Dec. 1 at the New Era restaurant in Akron at 10 Massillon Road.

The event will begin with drinks at 5 p.m. and ordering of dinner at 5:30 p.m. As at past end of year dinners, attendees will order from the menu on an individual settlement basis.

The CA&C began life as the Akron Branch of the Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad.

State Senator Simon Perkins Jr. of Akron had led a delegation to Columbus to lobby the Ohio legislature to amend the C&P’s charter in February 1851 to direct the railroad to build a branch to Akron from Hudson where it was to connect with the C&P mainline.

The charter amendment also mandated that the rail line continue to a connection with the Ohio & Pennsylvania Railroad at either Wooster or Massillon.

The Akron Branch followed the former Pennsylvania & Ohio Canal to Old Forge, a point located northeast of the city. From there the branch moved in a southerly direction toward Summit Street and Akron’s southern boundary.

The Akron Branch opened amid much fanfare on July 4, 1852.

It would later be extended to the O&P connection at Orrville and opened to Columbus in September 1873.

As was typical of railroad companies in the 19th century, the Akron Branch had a series of name changes as the various companies operating it either sold the line or went into receivership due to financial difficulties.

The route emerged from receivership on Dec. 31, 1885, as the Cleveland, Akron & Columbus Railway.

The CA&C moniker would stick long after it ceased to formally be used. The Pennsylvania Railroad gained control of the CA&C’s capital stock in 1899 and for much of its history the route was part of the PRR network.

The merger of the PRR and New York Central in February 1968 diminished the importance of the ex-CA&C as Penn Central rerouted through freight to a former NYC line between Cleveland and Columbus via Galion.

On July 4, 1969, flooding from a severe storm severed the CA&C north of Holmesville and the line was never re-established as a through route.

The track between Clinton (Warwick) and Orrville was abandoned by Conrail in 1986.

The track between Hudson and Akron was abandoned in the early 1990s, but Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority has railbanked most of it, ostensibly for a rail commuter service that has yet to materialize.

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