Posts Tagged ‘abandoned railroad lines’

EL Monday: Where I Once Rode the Lake Cities

May 15, 2023

I am looking east at the corner of Erie Street and Sterling Avenue in Rittman in March 1987. By this time the two track mainline of the Erie Lackawanna had been torn up in many places. How strange to think that just over 20 years before this, I had ridden a round trip on the Erie Lackawanna’s The Lake Cities from Akron to Marion through this very spot. Today the track has been removed to a point east of South Main Street in Rittman.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Vestiges of Massillon Railroad History

February 28, 2023

Conrail SD40-2 No. 6467 leads an eastbound in Massillon on May 25, 1996. To the left of the train are the remains of the right-of-way of the then recently torn out former Wheeling & Lake Erie line to Dalton which curved to the left here and crossed what is now the RJ Corman.

The W&LE line, which was operated by the Nickel Plate Road, Norfolk & Western, and Norfolk Southern, was the original path of the Wheeling before the bypass route was built via Orrville.

The Corman line was once a Baltimore & Ohio secondary mainline that ran from Warwick Tower in Clinton to Bridgeport, Ohio.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Penn Central Lives On Here

April 17, 2022

You are looking northward on U.S. 31 just west of Bunker Hill, Indiana. This bridge was built during the Penn Central era and featured that railroad’s herald impressed into the concrete. Few railroad bridges today still feature the heralds of the railroads that use them but at one time it was a common practice. Typically the herald was a piece of metal or was painted onto the bridge.

This bridge carried the former Pennsylvania Railroad route that extended from Columbus, Ohio, to Logansport, Indiana. Most of that line was abandoned by Conrail so not only does this bridge pay tribute to a fallen flag railroad it also no longer has railroad tracks.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

All That Was Left of the CA&C in Warwick

October 27, 2021

It is November 1988 in Warwick where all that is left of the ex-Pennsylvania Railroad line to Orrville and Columbus is this short stub passing in front of Warwick Tower. Originally, this route was known as the Cleveland, Akron & Columbus. Soon this track and the crossings would be gone as well as one of the two lines being crossed. The line that would be left would become an R.J. Corman line.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Two for Tuesday: Then and Now at Warwick

June 29, 2021

Here are two photos from nearly the same location in Clinton (Warwick). This is the now-removed east leg of the wye that was in Warwick. As I recall the east leg was ripped out in the early 1990s.

In the top image, it’s 1968 or 1969, and a trio of Pennsylvania Railroad locomotives are heading toward Massillon.

In the bottom image, it’s May 20, 2021, and very little is left to suggest a railroad once ran through here.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Where Bobcats Used to Board in Athens

March 23, 2021

With Ohio University winning a thriller over the University of Virginia in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday night, I had to look through photos from our trip to Athens in July 2018 to visit our niece Hannah, who was attending the OU medical program.

She has since graduated and our nephew Justin is now studying at OU.

Here is the Baltimore & Ohio station in private use adjacent to the campus.

The last Amtrak train to stop here was the Cincinnati-Washington Shenandoah, which was discontinued in 1981.

Eventually CSX abandoned the route and the tracks are gone but evidence can still be found highlighted by the station.

As for the OU men’s basketball team, the Bobcats lost on Monday night to Creighton University, thus ending their magical season.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Things You Don’t See Anymore

July 24, 2020

The photographer said this image is one of his favorites. It is easy to see why.

Aside from it being a very good photograph there is much to see here that you can’t see anymore.

Norfolk & Western GP7 No. 2410 is sitting with its train in Massillon on Sept. 6, 1980.

This former Nickel Plate Road unit is on tracks that were once the original Wheeling & Erie line to Toledo via Dalton.

Until the Orrville cutoff opened in 1909, this was the W&LE’s mainline from Brewster to Toledo.

The track to Dalton has since been ripped out and N&W long ago became part of Norfolk Southern.

Note the Northern Pacific boxcar back in the consist.

The track to the left is Conrail’s Fort Wayne Line. Also visible is the Tuscarawas River and the fabled curved bridge over the river built decades earlier by the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

The Northern Arrow Doesn’t Run Here Anymore

September 23, 2019

I’m standing on the former right of way of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, which was part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system.

The view is looking north toward Lynn, Indiana. That is U.S. 27 to the right.

The paint has long since worn off this rather substantial PRR milepost and after inspecting it I can see why the workers who pulled up the rails years ago left it in place.

At one time, these tracks hosted the Northern Arrow, a seasonal service that ran to Mackinaw City, Michigan, and served the resort territory on the west side of the state.

It carried through cars for Chicago, St. Louis and Cincinnati. In its final years of operation, the Northern Arrow did not operate daily.

It began its last northbound trek on Sept. 1, 1961, and its final southbound journey on Sept. 4.

The Northern Arrow was the last passenger train on this segment of the GR&I.

The GR&I route between Richmond and Fort Wayne also at times hosted the Chicago-Florida Southland. It was moved off this route in 1950.

Sanders Speaks to NYC Convention

May 7, 2018

Akron Railroad Club President Craig Sanders gave a presentation on the New York Central’s St. Louis line on Sunday to the annual New York Central System Historical Society, which met over the weekend in Independence.

Sanders spoke about the history of the line, particularly in his hometown of Mattoon, Illinois.

He illustrated his presentation with historic images and presented some here and now scenes to show how the railroad right of way has changed.

The St. Louis line of the New York Central was built in the mid 1850s between Terre Haute, Indiana, and Alton, Illinois.

It later became part of the Big Four, which was leased by the New York Central in 1930.

Conrail abandoned the line between Paris and Pana, Illinois, in March 1982. The tracks through Mattoon were removed in May 1983.

Since then, virtually all traces of the former NYC in Mattoon, including the passenger station, shops, Railway Express Building and the bridge over the Illinois Central mainline, have been razed.

A portion of the yard and shops is now a softball fields complex known as the Roundhouse Complex because it is located where the 21-stall roundhouse used to be.

Ex-Monon Segment May Become Trail

January 10, 2018

The south end of the former Monon Railroad in Southern Indiana might become a trail.

Indiana Trail Funds has asked the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to order CSX to do nothing more to a 62-mile segment of the ex-Monon other than remove the rails, ties and signal systems.

CSX last month filed a letter of exemption with the STB to abandon the ex-Monon between milepost 251.7 (about midway between Bedford and Mitchell) and milepost 314 (Vernia) near New Albany.

In response to the Indiana Trail petition, CSX said it was willing to negotiate with the group for possible interim trail use/rail banking.

In a report to the STB, CSX said no trains have moved over the line for more than two years and its only activity has been car storage.

CSX said it was unlikely any rail-oriented businesses would locate on the line, which it said it does not need for operational purposes.

The line in question is the Hoosier Subdivision, which has been abandoned north of Bedford.

It is not clear why CSX is not seeking to abandon any track within Bedford. The only other railroad to serve Bedford, a branch of the former Milwaukee Road that extended to Terre Haute, Indiana, has been abandoned and converted into a trail.

If the abandonment of the Hoosier Subdivision is approved, Bedford would be cut off from the nation’s rail system.

The STB had in May 2010 gave CSX approval to cease providing rail service on the Hoosier Sub. It had been used under trackage rights granted to the Indiana Rail Road to reach Louisville, Kentucky, but that company has since ceased exercising those rights.

CSX would continue to own 3.7 miles of the ex-Monon in New Albany that connects to Norfolk Southern and the former Kentucky & Indiana Terminal.

In its report to the STB, CSX said its records show there are 21 railroad-owned structures on the line more that are more than 50 years old and may be eligible for listing on the National Register. All of them are bridges.

Records show the main track was rebuilt in the 1980s. At one time the Monon extended between Louisville and Chicago with branches to Michigan City, Indiana, and Indianapolis that diverged at the town of Monon.

CSX continues to use the ex-Monon between Cloverdale and Munster, Indiana. Amtrak’s Cardinal and Hoosier State use the line between Crawfordsville and Munster.