2011 Picnic at Warwick Park

Chef Marte dishes a burger to Bob Farkas.

The burgers and hot dogs were hot and so was the weather during the annual Akron Railroad Club summer picnic at Warwick Park in Clinton on Sunday, July 24. CSX action on the New Castle Subdivision that skirts the edge of the park was not so hot for most of the day.

Still, the 30 ARRC members and friends who came out would have seen 17 trains pass by had any of them been present during the 13-and-a-half hours that the event lasted.

Rick Houck was first on the scene at 6:30 a.m. Most members did not begin arriving until close to the noon hour. Chef Marte fired up the grill at about 12:20 p.m. and served gourmet hamburgers and hot dogs through the day.

Rick also came to the rescue when it was apparent that we had plenty of chips and side dishes, but few deserts. He drove to a Giant Eagle store and returned with three apple pies and a package of chocolate chunk cookies from the bakery.

With temperatures in the upper 80s, it was quite warm. The high humidity didn’t help matters either. At times a breeze helped cool things off and the attendees spent most of the day in the shade of the park’s pavilion. In late afternoon, we began passing around the insect repellant to ward off gnats and other pests.

The CSX action was heaviest in early morning and around mid-afternoon. Ten of the 17 trains recorded were westbounds. The eastbounds were bunched at the beginning and end of the day. There was a six-hour gap between eastbounds at one point.

Nothing out of the ordinary passed by. The only “foreign” unit was an HLCX rent-a-wreck that had a sick-sounding horn. The traffic did feature some variety, though. Neither the Ohio Central nor R.J. Corman made an appearance. Neither railroad has scheduled trains to Warwick on Sundays in recent years. An OC train used to be a regular in the early to mid-afternoon hours, but since the Genesee and Wyoming took over the OC, the Sunday operation has been abolished and the weekend schedule moved to a night operation.

The train traffic fell far short of the record 21, but was well above the record low of nine.

We will be back to Warwick Park again, but for the 2012 picnic the officers are considering moving the picnic to the Glens Park in Bedford that is adjacent to the Norfolk Southern mainline between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Situated next to Tim Lally Field, this location features a pavilion and ample parking. There is a higher density of train action on the Cleveland Line than there is on the CSX New Castle Sub.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Chef Marte (a.k.a. Marty Surdyk) throws more burgers onto the grill.

Mrs. Eli Rantanes and Tom Ward hit the condiments table as Todd Dillion opens the barbecue sauce bottle.

Dave Shepherd (left) and Tim Krogg catup on things between courses.

Old friend share stories over burgers and dogs. Clockwise from upper left are Bob Farkas, Eli Rantanes, (unidentified), Todd Dillon and Denny Romain.

Rick Houck (right) will have to wait awhile for either a burger or hot dog as Chef Marte keeps on eye on the grill.

Mrs. Eli Rantanes is caught off caught off guard by the camera man. Also shown are (clockwise from left) J. Gary Dillion, Todd Dillon, Denny Roman, Bob Farkas and Eli Rantanes.

Richard Culin (red hat) pauses between bites. He said he wanted to come to the picnic to get some pickel relish, which is not served at the home where he lives. Looking on are (left to right) J. Gary Dillon, Todd Dillon and Denny Romain.

“I can’t believe I ate that much!” Taking a break are (from left) Roger Durfee, Marty Surdyk and Rick Houck. In back is Tim Krogg.

It wouldn’t be an ARRC picnic without Rich Antibus listing all of the CSX trains we “should” be seeing. Clowing around with Rich is Marty Surdyk (standing).

Listening to someone tell some rail tails are (left to right) J. Gary Dillon, Galen Hoover and Jim Mastromatteo.

Bob MacCallum casts a wary eye toward the camera as Dave Shepherd (left) and Tom Ward share some stories.

Richard Jacobs (center) applies bug spray while Marty Surdyk roots around in a box for something and Rick Antibus looks on.

Richard Jacobs talks railroads as Rich Antibus listens behind him.

Trains Seen at Clinton (Warwick Park) on July 24, 2011

6:57 a.m.         CSX 7699       WB      auto racks

7:26                 CSX 405         EB       intermodal (Q138)

7:36                 CSX 7321       EB       auto racks/mixed (Q226)

9:05                 CSX 7500       WB      manifest (Q375)

9:10                 CSX 8558       EB       auto racks/manifest (Q641)

10:01               CSX 7497       WB      auto racks (Q253)

10:46               CSX 5339       WB      ethanol

11:10               CSX 82           WB      intermodal (Q135)

1:18 p.m.         CSX 7903       WB      auto racks (Q299)

2:05                 CSX 7578       WB      intermodal (Q137)

2:45                 HLCX 7197    WB      coke (K381)

3:01                 CSX 234         WB      coal hoppers

3:15                 CSX 127         EB       intermodal (Q136)

4:25                 CSX 538         WB      coal hoppers (E450)

4:37                 CSX 8054       EB       stone hoppers

6:37                 CSX 2270       EB       manifest (D750)

7:45                 CSX 5408       EB       manifest (Q394)

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