Photo Gallery No. 3

Jim Wrinn gives his presentation at the Akron Railroad Club's 75th anniversary banquet on April 23, 2011, at the Martin Center of the University of Akron. Looking on is J. Gary Dillon.

The Akron Railroad Club turns 75 this year and the club  celebrated that event at a banquet held April 23 at the University of Akron. The guest speaker was Jim Wrinn, the editor-in chief of Trains magazine.

Aside from speaking on the theme of “steam locomotives that I have know and loved,” Wrinn also got the royal treatment from club members. He rode the headend of a Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train, pulled the throttle of Shelly Materials’ SD18M in Kent and went railfanning for the day in Cleveland.

In this gallery is a selection of photographs of Jim’s visit that were recorded by ARRC member Peter Bowler.

Saturday began with a visit to the Fitzwater shops of the CVSR. Then it was on board the first southbound run of the day where Jim rode in the cab of CVSR No. 800. Above, the train is shown arriving at Brecksville. Below, it is shown arriving in Peninsula. Jim spent most of his cab time standing. Only periodically, did he sit in the middle seat.

Accompanying Jim in the cab of No. 800 was ARRC President Craig Sanders. The two of them posed for a portrait at Peninsula.

After arriving at Akron Northside station (shown below), Jim and Craig thanked the crew for their hospitality and disembarded from No. 800. But not before a crew member had opened the door to the engine room and gave everyone a blast of incredibly hot air.

Meeting the CVSR train at Akron were ARRC members Paul Woodring, Richard Thompson and Cody Zamostny. Peter Bowler and Roger Durfee also arrived. They had been shadowing the train on it southbound trip.

After a brief tour of railroad sites in downtown Akron, it was on to the Pufferbelly restaurant in Kent for lunch in the former Erie Railroad depot. Meetiong the entourage there was ARRC member Bob Rohal.

After lunch, it was on to Shelly Materials. Below, Bob gives Jim a tutorial about the finer points of operating an SD18M locomotive.

It did not take Jim long to get the hang of operating “Flash.” He operated the unit on back and forth on the Shelly property and then into town. Judging by the smile on his face, he must have enjoyed the experience.

Apparently Bob didn’t have a red carpet to roll out for Jim’s visit. But he did have a black rubber mat. You can see it by looking at the ground leading to the steps (below). Jim brought “Flash” to a halt right by the mat.

After a quck trip to Bob’s home to see his train room, it was time to get ready for the banquet.  After breakfast Sunday morning, Jim, Craig and Peter boarded an RTA Green Line train for the half-hour trip to Tower City. It was Jim’s first experience riding RTA.

Marty Surdyk met the trio at Tower City and conducted a Cleveland Railroad tour. Among the stops was at the Jennings Avenue crossing where a distant headline signaled an approaching train. Jim was quite impressed to see three Conrail units leading the NS train that was working the steel mill complex.

Eventually, the group wound up out at Berea for some railfanning in rainy, gloomy weather. There they were joined by Richard Thompson. We showed Jim the memorial to former ARRC President Dave McKay. In the photo below, taken by Craig Sanders, are Jim and Peter. A CSX eastbound manifest freight passes in the background.

Eventually, the group drove over to Olmsted Falls and hung out at the former New York Central passenger station, now owned by a model railroad club. Norfolk Southern put a steady parade of trains through there the reaminder of the afternoon until it was time to take Jim to the airport to catch his flight back to Wisconsin.

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