Archive for the ‘Akron Railroad Club News’ Category

Dillon Named as ARRC VP Emeritus

January 30, 2017

J. Gary Dillon was named vice president emeritus by the Akron Railroad Club at its Feb. 27 meeting.

ARRC logoDillon had indicated to the officers during a recent board meeting that he no longer wished to serve as the club’s vice president.

Since joining the ARRC on June 26, 1947, Dillon has held all officer positions except for Bulletin editor.

He was elected treasurer in November 1948 and has since served as president in 1958, 1959, 1967, 1968 and 1969. Dillon was elected vice president in 1975, a post he had held since then.

Dillon was named a lifetime ARRC member in July 2010. The Akron native is the last ARRC member left who joined the club in its early years.

The ARRC traces its history to the 1936 formation of a committee to sponsor railway excursions. That committee a year later became the Eastern Ohio Chapter of the National Railway Society.

The Eastern Ohio chapter surrendered its charter in December 1945.

Some members elected to form a new group known as the Northeastern Ohio Railfans, which organized on Feb. 9, 1946.

That group reorganized again a year later as the Akron Railroad Club, which came into existence on March 27, 1947.

The club is currently seeking a volunteer to agree to serve as its vice president.

ARRC Officers Set 2017 Slate of Activities

January 27, 2017
arrc-officers

The 2017 officers of the Akron Railroad club are (from left) Jim Mastromatteo, secretary; Craig Sanders (seated in front), president; Paul Havasi, treasurer; Marty Surdyk, editor; and J. Gary Dillon, vice president.

I didn’t think that the Akron Railroad Club officer’s meeting held last Sunday would last all that long.

ARRC logoSure, we had a long list of items to discuss, but most them involved merely finalizing the dates for activities that we’ve had before.

We decided on the following activities and dates: Member’s night and pizza party (Feb. 25), Dave McKay Day in Berea (April 1), longest day in Bellevue (June 25), summer picnic at Warwick Park in Clinton (July 30), outing in Vermilion (Aug. 26), and the end of year dinner (Dec. 2).

The member’s night was set for a Saturday in February because of schedule conflicts at the church. The social hall is not available on the fourth Friday night of February due to a church activity.

We could meet on Feb. 17, but the social hall isn’t available on that night, either, because it will have been set up for the annual spaghetti supper that the church is having the next day. We would have to meet in a Sunday School classroom.

But we could have the social hall in the evening on Saturday, Feb. 25 if we wanted it. The officers elected to take that offer.

Last summer the club did well financially in having a silent auction of books from the collection of the late William Surdyk.

At the time, someone suggested we have a similar event for members wishing to unload railroad-related artifacts and memorabilia.

We liked that idea and quickly settled on having it at our July meeting.

However, working out the details proved time-consuming as we discussed rules and issues surrounding an activity the club has never sponsored before.

Those ground rules and guidelines are still being worked out and will be shared with the membership at a later date. But the event has a name: Roundhouse Rubble Auction.

But in essence, you will need to give Marty Surdyk by the May meeting a list of items you wish to sell.

Sellers have the option of setting a minimum bid – known as a reserve price – on their item.

Unless specified otherwise, items placed for sale will become property of the Akron Railroad Club if not sold at the silent auction and be offered for sale at train shows at which the ARRC has a table.

However, sellers have the right to specify that they want to take back their item(s) that do not sell during the auction.

The officers also discussed having a steam-themed event in September.

If the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 back, we will replicate the picnic that we had in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on the last day that the 765 operated in September 2016. It was one of our best-attended events of the year.

But we also discussed two other potential club outings. We’ve learned that a working steam locomotive might enter tourist train service this year on a short line near Buffalo, New York.

If it operates as we suspect it will, out of Eden, New York, we will look into chartering a bus and traveling to see that locomotive as well as the nearby Arcade & Attica steam train.

The other possibility involves reviving the overnight outing with a destination of Cumberland, Maryland, to see Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 in operation.

We expect to wrap up 2017 with the fifth annual end of year dinner at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant in Stow. Mark Demaline has agreed to do the program.

Mark is the newest member of the ARRC and a retired railroad executive who worked for CSX and the Wheeling & Lake Erie.

He is also an accomplished railroad photographer who presented a program to the ARRC a few years ago about railroads in Montana.

Mangold to Present at January ARRC Meeting

January 23, 2017

David Mangold will present a digital program at the January Akron Railroad Club meeting based on the theme The Past, Present and Future of Railroading.

ARRC logoThere will be images of railroad technology, Amtrak, Great Northern, the Milwaukee Road, modern day short lines, BNSF and Union Pacific.

The Jan. 27 meeting will begin at 8 p.m. with a half-hour business meeting followed by the program at approximately 8:45 p.m. The club meets at the New Horizons Christian Church, 290 Darrow Road, in Akron.

Following the meeting, some members gather at the Eat ‘n Park restaurant at Howe and Main streets in Cuyahoga Falls for a late dinner, dessert or an early breakfast.

Visitors are always welcome at Akron Railroad Club meetings.

In The January 2017 ARRC eBulletin

January 22, 2017

january-2017

Akron Junction doesn’t look the same as it once did. Last year CSX removed most of the rails there, thus severing the connection between its New Castle Subdivision and the former Cleveland-Akron-Canton Valley Line. You can read all about it and view photographs of Akron Junction today in the cover article for the January 2017 Akron Railroad Club eBulletin.

To obtain a copy or to subscribe to the eBulletin, send an email request to csanders429@aol.com. A subscription and single copies are free.

Wife of ex-ARRC Member Passes Away

January 15, 2017

The wife of former Akron Railroad Club member Howard Harding died on Jan. 11.

Patricia Ann [Patty] Harding (nee Miller), 79, succumbed following a long battle with post-polio syndrome.

A Memorial service will be held on a date to be announced at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron, with the Rev. Tim Temerson officiating.

Born on Feb. 5, 1937, she was the daughter of Mary (nee Cox) and Peter E. Richard of Akron,

She contracted polio at age 13 and underwent seven painful months of physical therapy that enabled wheelchair mobility.

Mrs. Harding spent 48 years as the secretary to the president of the L. A. Anderson Company, a small local manufacturers’ representative firm.

She was involved with various social and professional groups, including Young Adults of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, where she first met her husband-to-be, Howard Harding.

Memorials may be made to the Akron Post-Polio Support Group, by sending checks to  Brenda Ferguson, 71 Donze Ct., Tallmadge, OH 44278), or to the Unitarian-Universalist Church (3300 Morewood Road, Akron OH 44333).

30 Enjoy ARRC End of Year Dinner

December 5, 2016
arrc-dinner-1

Roger Durfee (right) adjusts the slide projector prior to his program as Marty Surdyk looks on during the Akron Railroad Club end of year dinner on Saturday.

Thirty Akron Railroad Club members and guests enjoyed dinner and a program about the evolution of Conrail motive power on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the club’s annual end of year dinner.

Held at Beef ‘O’Brady’s restaurant in Stow, the highlight of the event was a slide show presented by ARRC member Roger Durfee that summarized the locomotives used by Conrail during its existence between April 1, 1976, when it was formed from by consolidating many of the assets of multiple bankrupt railroads, to its being divided on June 1, 1999, by Norfolk Southern and CSX.

Roger had just begun his photography career when Conrail came along and he was able to photograph the railroad’s operations from the beginning to the end.

By the time Conrail was carved up in 1999, Roger had been a employee of the railroad since 1998, working out of the Altoona, Pennsylvania, terminal.

The program was not intended to be a comprehensive review of Conrail motive power or the railroad’s sprawling network.

Over its lifetime, Conrail had several dozen makes, models and types of locomotives, many of which it inherited from its predecessor railroads.

In his program, Roger gave viewers a sense of what how Conrail motive power evolved to become the fleet that it had when it ended, although Conrail still exists in the sense that some of its properties operate under the Conrail shared assets banner or NS and CSX.

Roger focused his program on some of the older models that were frequent sights in Northeast Ohio, which was the location where most of the images he presented were made.

Conrail based in Cleveland many of the F units it operated in its early years. Most, although not all, of them came from Penn Central and served Conrail in a utilitarian black livery with a “CR” stenciled on  the nose and flanks.

However, Conrail found itself short of working power so it brought out of retirement for a time a number of former Erie Lackawanna F units wearing the EL’s  colorful livery.

Aside from Conrail in the Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown regions, Roger also took us to eastern Pennsylvania, including the Northeast Corridor to view Conrail locomotives that seldom if ever ventured westward.

The end of year dinner was the last ARRC activity o f 2016. An issue of eBulletin will be issued this week, but the paper Bulletin will not be published this month.

All Tickets Distributed for End of Year Dinner

November 28, 2016

We can’t call it a sellout because the tickets were free. But all of the 32 tickets available for the Akron Railroad Club’s end of year dinner have been distributed.

ARRC logoThe dinner will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3 at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant in Stow at 3732 Darrow Road.

Roger Durfee will present a slide program titled “One Man’s Journey With Big Blue.” Durfee will show with photographs and discuss how Conrail developed and evolved from its April 1, 1976, inception to its final years before being divided between Norfolk Southern and CSX on June 1, 1999.

Durfee, a conductor for NS, began his railroad career with Conrail.

The end of year dinner is limited to 32 attendees due to the small size of the meeting room in which it is held.

The event will begin with cocktails starting at approximately 5:30 p.m. We will order from the restaurant’s regular menu starting about 6 p.m. The program should get underway around 8 p.m.

The event is held on an individual settlement basis.

It will be the final ARRC activity for 2016. The club’s next event will be the January meeting.

Although the paper Bulletin is not published in December, the eBulletin will be distributed during the week of Dec. 4.

4 Tickets Left for ARRC End of Year Dinner

November 21, 2016

Just four tickets remain for the Dec. 3 Akron Railroad Club end of the year dinner.

ARRC logoTickets are free, but limited due to the small size of the meeting room that we reserved at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant in Stow.

To obtain a ticket, contact Marty Surdyk at  surdykm@aol.com

The program at the event will be a slide show presented by Roger Durfee titled “One Man’s Journey With Big Blue.” The program will look at Conrail from its beginning in April 1976 through its final days in May 1999.

A cocktail hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. and we’ll be ordering at about 6 p.m. Event attendees will order from the restaurant’s regular menu on an individual settlement basis.

Ed Ribinskas Retires as ARRC Treasurer

November 19, 2016
ed-retirement

Akron Railroad Club President Craig Sanders (left) presents Edward Ribinskas (center) a framed enlargement of a photograph that Ed made of Nickel Plate Road 767 at Jaite in September 2016. Looking on is ARRC Bulletin Editor Marty Surdyk. (Photograph by Roger Durfee)

After 23 years in the position Edward Ribinskas has retired as the treasurer of the Akron Railroad Club.

Ed, who began his run as treasurer in 1994, gave his final report at the Nov. 18 ARRC meeting.

A Painesville resident, Ed joined the ARRC on April 25, 1986. He will continue to be an ARRC member and is scheduled to present a program next April.

In a show of appreciation for Ed’s service to the ARRC, President Craig Sanders presented him with a framed photograph of Nickel Plate Road No. 767 that Ed made last September at Jaite.

Ed has had a life-long passion for steam locomotives and traveled throughout North America to watch them in action as well as ride behind them.

Paul Havasi will replace Ed as treasurer in 2017. The other incumbent officers were re-elected to their positions for 2017 during the Nov. 18 meeting. They include Sanders as president; J. Gary Dillon, vice president; Jim Mastromatteo, secretary; and Marty Surdyk, Bulletin editor.

This Month in the ARRC eBulletin

November 19, 2016

november-2016

In November 1990, Amtrak operated a publicity special through Indiana and Ohio to promote the upcoming reroutes of its Broadway Limited and Capitol Limited.

The new route of the Chicago-New York Broadway Limited included a stop in Akron so the publicity special stopped at Quaker Square where a large and enthusiastic crowd turned out to greet the train.

The November 2016 Akron Railroad Club eBulletin takes a look back at that cold and dreary day when Amtrak came to Akron.

To receive a copy of this issue of the eBulletin or to subscribe, send an email message to csanders429@aol.com. A subscription or back issue is free.