Archive for February, 2022

EL Monday: No Passengers on This Train

February 27, 2022

Erie Lackawanna U25C No. 2526 and E8A No. 827 pull an eastbound intermodal train in Akron in April 1973. The train is passing the former Erie passenger station. The 827 probably arrived here with the Lake Cities many times until that train was discontinued in early 1970.

Photograph  by Robert Farkas

Last Day of Scheduled Street Running

February 27, 2022

Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022, was the final day that scheduled South Shore Line commuter trains would be running down 11th Street in Michigan City, Indiana. The following day buses were to replace trains between the Carroll Avenue station in Michigan City and the Dune Park station. This arrangement will continue into the fall of 2022. In the meantime, workers will be laying double track and reconfiguring 11th Street. When the project is completed the street running will be gone.

Shown is an eastbound on Sunday afternoon. South Shore freight trains and South Shore Line ferry moves will continue to use these rails but only at night.

Steam Saturday: N&W 611 in Cleveland

February 26, 2022

Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 pulls a westbound excursion through the Flats in Cleveland in early August 1985. The train is on former Nickel Plate Road tracks on a bridge spanning the Cuyahoga River Valley. The 611 pulled two round trips between Erie, Pennsylvania, and Bellevue on Aug. 3 and 4 that year.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

EBT Buying 4 New ‘Vintage’ Passenger Cars

February 26, 2022

Pennsylvania narrow gauge tourist railroad East Broad Top has ordered four new passenger cars, Trains magazine reported on its website.

The cars are being built by Hamilton Manufacturing Company of Sedro-Woolley, Washington.

Three of the cars are coaches while the fourth will comply with standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. All of the cars will feature a vintage appearance.

EBT has three passenger cars built in the late nineteenth century and all of them are out of service for rebuilding.

Currently EBT is using converted boxcars and flatcars with seats to carry passengers. It also has a caboose that accommodate riders.

Parlor car Orbisonia, is operational but only used during special events.

Familiar Akron Scene

February 25, 2022

In a familiar Akron railroad scene, CSX GP40-2 No. 6066 leads an eastbound in downtown Akron in June 1987. The lead unit was built for the Chesapeake & Ohio in November 1972. Keeping a watchful eye nearby are the tall spires of St. Bernard Catholic Church.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Ex-W&LE ROW in Solon to Become Trail

February 25, 2022

A drawing commissioned by Cleveland Metroparks shows the proposed Solon trail bridge over the Chagrin River.

Brushing aside NIMBY opposition the Solon City Council this week unanimously approved a project to convert a former Wheeling & Lake Erie right of way into a $4.25 million recreational trail.

The council approved an agreement with Cleveland Metroparks to develop the 2.1 trail on the right of way that once was a W&LE branch from Falls Junction in Glenwillow to Chagrin Falls.

The city purchased the portion of the right of way that runs through Solon in 1992 with the intent of converting it to recreational use.

Last week several Solon residents whose homes abut or are near the proposed trail attended a public hearing to demand the city not build the trail.

They cited a number of concerns, including safety and privacy. Some said they didn’t want trail users looking into their backyards while others expressed fears for the safety of their children.

Among the fears expressed during the hearing was that the trail would be used by drug dealers, voyeurs, burglars and pedophiles.

Solon Police Chief Solon’s police chief Richard Tonelli countered that there was no evidence that hiking and biking trails lead to an increase in crime in adjacent neighborhoods.

Metropark officials reiterated that point and also said studies have found that recreational trails do not lower the value of adjoining homes as some trail opponents had claimed could happen.

Cleveland Metroparks will design, build and manage the trail. Park officials said it will extend from the northeast corner of Solon to Bentleyville to connect with an existing trail on the same railroad right of way that already extends into Chagrin Falls.

Plans are for a bridge to be constructed over the Chagrin River in Bentleyville. Metroparks also will develop a 1,500-foot section of trail there to connect with the trail into Chagrin Falls.

Once completed, the trail will be four miles from Solon to Chagrin Falls.

During the council meeting, the council member who represents the area of the city where the trail will be built said he didn’t see a safety issue and believed the vast majority of Solon residents favored the trail.

“I don’t think pedophiles and drug dealers, and rapists are coming to the trails after they’re built,” said Jeremy Zelwin.

 “We can get this stuff done,’’ said Solon Mayor Edward Kraus. “A few naysayers can’t block progress. The not-in-my-backyard mentality has kept so many communities from achieving what they need to achieve for their residents, their businesses, their future.’’

Kraus said residents are probably safer with a trail than an abandoned rail line.”

City and parks officials said they would address privacy matters along the trail by putting up fences along the route.

The Solon trail is seen as a component in the Cuyahoga County Greenways network, which when completed will have 815 miles of trails connecting 59 communities. The network will reach into downtown Cleveland and to Lake Erie.

Supporters of the trails network have described it as an effort to introduce alternative transportation to suburban communities designed with automobiles as the primary mode of transportation.

South Shore MC Depot Development Unveiled

February 25, 2022

An architect’s drawing shows the concept of the planned South Shore station in Michigan City

Details of an $80 million development in Michigan City, Indiana, that will serve as a South Shore Line station were announced this week.

The development will be created by an Indianapolis firm, Flaherty & Collins, and include a 12-story building with 208 luxury apartments, commercial space and a parking garage.

The complex will be built on the site of the South Shore’s now razed 11th Street station.

An architect’s rendering shows the new South Shore station will have a terra cotta façade that graced the original depot.

An earlier drawing of the proposed development had shown a smaller facility. What is planned now will have 10,000 feet of commercial space.

The project is expected to get underway in summer 2023. The South Shore station is projected to open by May 2024 and the apartments to be completed by spring 2025.

The South Shore and its parent agency, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, are currently undertaking a project to double-track the South Shore between Michigan City and Gary, Indiana.

As part of that project, the original 11th Street station was demolished last month. It had been built in 1927.

Next week buses will replace trains between the Carroll Avenue station in Michigan City and the Dune Park station in Porter while workers reconfigure 11th Street to eliminate street running.

Photo and Artifact Show Set in Akron Saturday

February 24, 2022

A railroad photograph and artifacts show will be held in Akron on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Club Quantum, 627 S. Arlington St.

The event is being hosted by Steve McMullen and David Mangold. Attendees are invited to bring digital images and/or video to show. They also are invited to bring railroad artifacts and heritage items to put on display.

Setup for the event will begin at 6 p.m. A potluck dinner is being held with participants encouraged to bring food to share. Non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.

Railfest to Return in March

February 24, 2022

The Lakeland Community College train show known as Railfest will return on March 19 and 20.

Sponsored by Western Reserve Division Five of the Mid Central Region of the National Model Railroad Association, the show will feature model railroad layouts and vendor tables in six rooms.

Admission is $8 per person with a two-day pass available for $13. A family pass can be purchased for $13 for a couple, and $15 for two adults and all children under age 16.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. There is free parking at the college.

Vendors and attendees will be required to wear facial masks in accordance with the college’s COVID-19 policy, although that is subject to change by the dates of the show.

The show was cancelled in 2021 and 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Capitol Limited Detours via Bayard

February 24, 2022

A Norfolk Southern freight derailment early today sent Amtrak’s Capitol Limited detouring in both directions via Bayard between Alliance and Pittsburgh.

The derailment of Train 170 occurred in the Summit Cut, also know as Highland Cut, in Big Beaver, Pennsylvania, northwest of Pittsburgh on the Fort Wayne Line.

Online reports indicated No. 30 picked up a pilot crew off of NS Train 54K but No. 29 had to wait for pilots to arrive. No. 30 reportedly picked up pilots at Elyria where the 54K tied its train down in a siding.

Amtrak’s website reported No. 30 left Cleveland 40 minutes late but was nearly three hour late into Pittsburgh.

No. 29 departed Pittsburgh 37 minutes late but arrived in Cleveland just over five hours behind scheduled. It was 5 hours, 18 minutes late at Alliance.

Some NS trains were reported to be detouring via the Youngstown Line because of the derailment.