Archive for May, 2022

Zoom Lens Two for Tuesday From Clinton

May 31, 2022

My zoom lens came in handy when photographing this CSX westbound container train in Clinton on April 23. In the top image CSX 3386 leads the train into town. The bottom image is the same train only in a closer view.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: In Memory of ‘Aunt Mae’

May 30, 2022

This is in memory of May (Marie) Wilson who was John Woodworth’s aunt and my second mother. She and her husband made me a part of their family when my parents moved to Florida in 1979.

Every Thanksgiving, I was invited for dinner. She would call me her adopted son.

She went home to be with the Lord last week, and her funeral was held on May 26.

Both she and this slide are precious to me. As I said, this is in memory of May.

Every once in a while I’ll post a photo from my small set of 2 and 1/4 inch by 2 and 1/4 inch slides I took before I switched to 35mm slides in 1972.

Erie Lackawanna 7111 is eastbound just west of the Manchester Road bridge in Akron in late 1968/early 1969.

Yes, this is one of those “Please don’t do this on your own.” slides. Most likely, I had Mike Ondecker watching my back, so I would not be surprised by a Baltimore & Ohio train.

I also railfanned with both of Mae’s sons, Charlie Wilson, whom some of you know, and Al Wilson.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Return of the Reading Rambles

May 30, 2022

 My goal this past weekend was to introduce my former brother-in-law (but still good friend) Karl West, his son (my nephew) Owen, and Jeff Troutman to an old friend of mine from way back

Reading  4-8-4 No. 2102 on May 28 made its first passenger excursion since October 1991.

To sum it up, everybody loved it. It ran, sounded and looked spectacular.

The departure from Reading Outer Station was right on time at 9 a.m. A quick passenger stop was made at Port Clinton,

We started with cloudy conditions and we ran in some rain en route. The T-1 was unaffected and from what I could see performed flawlessly. The stack talk was loud and constant. We arrived at Jim Thorpe at 11:45 a.m. 

We had plenty of time for lunch in town. Afterwards we returned to the station to see the return of the 1 p.m. Lehigh Gorge Scenic Train.

After the 3 p.m. Lehigh Gorge train departed, the 2102 performed a solo photo runby. Once complete it backed to pick up the train for our 3:45 p.m. departure.

The sun broke through on the return trip.  We arrived back in Reading on time, just before 7 p.m.

The last time I rode behind 2102 was May 22, 1977. That was its doubleheader with former Grand Trunk Western 2-8-2 No. 4070 on a trip from Pittsburgh to Altoona and return featuring Horseshoe Curve. It was a 45-year wait for me to ride behind the 2102 again. It was worth it.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Caboose on the CVSR

May 29, 2022

Private owner caboose FLNX 79896 operated for a short while on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. It is shown in Akron on March 12, 2016. That is Akron’s Y-bridge above, also known as the All-American Bridge

Photograph by Robert Farkas 

Steam Saturday: 2010 NKP 765 Memories

May 27, 2022

Here are three photographs dealing with the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s Steam in the Valley in 2010.

In the top image Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 is eastbound on a ferry move over the Wheeling & Lake Erie near Norwalk on Sept. 9. 

In the middle is the result of a different kind of chase of southbound NKP 765 in the Cuyahoga Valley near Boston Mills on Sept. 25. 

In the bottom image, FLNX FL9 No. 484 is on the north end of the southbound CVSR train in Akron on Sept. 25. The train is on the bridge over the remains of the Ohio & Erie canal. 

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

Derailment Oil Spills Leads to River Closure

May 27, 2022

The U.S. Coast Guard has ordered closed to boating a portion of the Allegheny River near Pittsburgh after investigators found an oil spill from a Norfolk Southern derailment in the water.

The derailment occurred Thursday afternoon in Harmar Township on the Conemaugh Line.

It was caused by the train hitting a dump truck carrying stone for a sewage plant at a grade crossing.

Seventeen cars derailed with nine of them landing in Deer Creek, a tributary of the Allegheny. The derailment site is 100 yards from the Allegheny.

Also derailed were two of the train’s four locomotives. The train had 109 loaded cars and 116 empties.

A NS spokesman told reporters that investigators on Friday morning found leakage from a tank car. Two leaks discovered earlier that involved petroleum distillate were contained.

Workers were using floating booms in Deer Creek to prevent the spread of the leaking fluid.

The Coast Guard said the river will remain closed until the derailed cars are removed from the water.

Two NS crew members were treated at a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening. An NS spokesman said the crew members have since been released from the hospital. The truck driver also was injured in the collision.

Workers are making repairs to the railroad’s bridge over Deer Creek, which was damaged during the derailment.

EBT Uses Drone to Inspect Tunnels

May 27, 2022

East Broad Top Railroad officials this week used used a drone to inspect and document the condition of two tunnels.

Trains magazine reported on its website that the drone flew into Ray’s Hill and Sideling Hill tunnels, both located on the southern end of the railroad.

The drones were used because previous collapses in both tunnels led officials to conclude that exploring them in person was too risky.

Instead the drone was used to digitally map and video-record the condition of each tunnel.

This included documenting earthen collapses, rockfalls, shifted strata and sources of underground water seepage.

The 830-foot-long Sideling Hill Tunnel contains a curve whereas the 1,100-foot-long Ray’s Hill Tunnel is on straight track.

More information, including photographs, of the work can be found at

CRISI Grants Awarded to Railroads in Pa., Ky.

May 27, 2022

Federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure Safety and Improvement grants have been announced for projects in Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

R.J. Corman received two of the grants. They include $14.7 million to rebuild 8.6 miles of track in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The grant also covers rebuilding or replacing 14 bridges between Boyertown and Pottstown.

Some funds from the grant will be used for construction of two rail-served transload yards and to  improve drainage issues that lead to large quantities of water on nearby roadways.

Corman also was approved for a $7.3 million grant for various projects on its Central Kentucky lines.

One project will create a new freight rail-to-truck transload facility near Frankfort. Another project will improve the main yard and transload facility in Lexington.

Repairs will include rehabilitating grade crossings and track, a new office building, switching replacements and expanding transload storage pads, as well as paving truck and traffic areas.

The Gettysburg Northern Railway will receive $1.84 million to rebuild 24 miles of track in Adams and Cumberland counties.

The project will improve safety standards, construct a new runaround track, upgrade more than 15 crossings and repair seven failing culverts.

Way Back to the A&BB Days

May 26, 2022

Akron & Barberton Belt GP7 No. 4201 works in what is believed to be Barberton in August 1981. Notice the A&BB emblem on the cab. This unit was leased from Precision-National and at one time worked for the Chesapeake & Ohio. It was built in October 1950.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Cleveland RTA Promotes Agency Executive

May 26, 2022

Janet Burney is being promoted to deputy general manager and legal affairs/general counsel by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

Burney has more than 40 years of experience in private- and public-sector law. The appointment is effective July 31.

Before coming to RTA in 2012, Burney served as a judge in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas-Juvenile Division. She also once served as chief assistant director of law for the city of Cleveland.