Posts Tagged ‘Akron Barberton Belt’

Bygone Days, Bygone Motive Power

October 21, 2019

There is something about seeing something you can’t see anymore. It brings back fond memories of days that maybe weren’t quite as wonderful as you remember them to have been, but yet still conjure pleasant feelings.

Railroad enthusiasts often feel that way about motive power from an earlier generation. So here is a trio of bygone units from a bygone era.

In the top image, Norfolk & Western Fairbanks-Morse H12-44 No. 2139 is in Gambrinus Yard in Canton on April 21, 1974.

No. 2139 was one of several FM switchers assigned to Gambrinus at the time.

In the middle image, Monongahela GP7 No. 1502 is in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, on March 15, 1980.

In the bottom image, Akron & Barberton Belt GP7 No. 434 is shown in Barberton in 1981.

It was one of a pair of units the A&BB leased from Precision National.

Photographs by Robert Farkas


Pleasant Surprise

October 17, 2019

Akron & Barberton Belt GP7 No. 4201 is in Barberton, Ohio, in October 1980. It was a surprise to see A&BB’s new emblem on this leased Precision National locomotive. The 4201 was just one of two A&BB locomotives to have the emblem.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

3 From the 1960s

November 14, 2017

Here are three local photos that show long-gone pieces of Northeast Ohio history from December 1966 and January 1967.

In the top images are boxcars on the now-removed Pennsylvania Railroad line to Orrville crossing the southbound Baltimore & Ohio tracks at Warwick.

Looking down the string of boxcars, the main road is there, but the railroad crossing cross bucks and the side road aren’t. Also, there is a bridge under Ohio Route 21 in this photo. How quickly the past is removed.

In the middle is Akron, Canton & Youngstown X991 big hook in Akron.

The bottom image shows Erie No. 21576 at the north end of the A&BB yard that served Columbia Chemical and PPG.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Don’t Forget The Home Railroads

April 26, 2016


I recently realized I have been railfanning for slightly over 50 years.

For Christmas 1965 I received a Minoltina (Made by Minolta) 35 mm rangefinder to be used for a college photography class.

For about a year I shot only black and white. I took my first roll of 35 mm slide film late in 1966 with most of the slides being poor to acceptable. Still, a few came out well.

Here is Akron & Barberton Belt No. 27 (a Baldwin S12 purchased in 1951) heading toward the A&BB yard in Barberton in most-likely December 1966.

For those who know the area now, this is a completely different scene. The A&BB is now the ABC, A&BB 27 was scrapped over 40 years ago, the freight cars that can be identified are all fallen flags, the tracks have been removed, and there is no road crossing in this area now.

The cars would now be classics and Kodachrome is a fond memory.

What amazes me now is how few shots I took of the A&BB and AC&Y. These were the home railroads loaded with older rare power, but I can’t complain.

I had to learn what so many rail fans have had to learn that “far away places are fun, but don’t forget the home roads.”

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

Book Covers AC&Y History in Photographs

June 1, 2015

The Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railroad has been gone for five decades and in most of the country it is just another obscure fallen flag if it is remembered at all.

But not so in Northeast Ohio where the AC&Y remains well known even though three railroad companies have operated the property since the Norfolk & Western acquired the AC&Y in 1964.

img448The operations of the AC&Y have been covered in various books and other sources over the years, but now the railroad has its own book.

Released earlier this year by Morning Sun, Akron, Canton & Youngstown and Akron & Barberton Belt in Color does double duty in covering the history of two railroads that were headquartered in Akron.

Today, what is left of both railroads is owned by the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway, with the A&BB operating under the name Akron Barberton Cluster Railway.

Most of the 128 pages of this book are devoted to the AC&Y and follow the standard Morning Sun “slide show in a book” format.

The majority of the content focuses on equipment, but those looking for an overview of the history of both railroads as well as their operations will come away satisfied.

A few black and white photos made their way into the pages, which is not surprising considering that much of the history of the AC&Y was made before color photography became widespread.

Contributing photographers include current and former Akron Railroad Club members John Beach, Peter Bowler, Roger Durfee, Dave McKay and Chris Lantz. Robert Farkas provided information to the author.

Robert E. Lucas wrote the book in conjunction with the AC&Y Historical Society. ARRC member H. Roger Grant wrote the foreword.

Unlike other roads that the Norfolk & Western acquired in the 1960s, the AC&Y continued to operate with a high degree of autonomy that included keeping the AC&Y name.

It wasn’t until 1982 that the AC&Y Corporation was dissolved and the N&W began operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary the road that never made it to either Canton or Youngstown.

Nonetheless, N&W equipment became common on the ex-AC&Y and the AC&Y identity gradually faded away.

This is a comprehensive look at the company’s history, including the era when the western end of the line was known by such names as Pittsburgh, Akron & Western, Lake Erie & Western, and the Northern Ohio Railway.

Some of the trackage in Akron was built as part of the original AC&Y and the book does a nice job of covering the histories of the predecessor railroad companies.

The book describes with words and photographs the operations of the line from Delphos to Akron before describing in detail the locomotive and freight car fleets. There are sections devoted to such topics as stations, infrastructure and passenger train operations.

The book has brief sections describing how the AC&Y as well as the A&BB have fared in the W&LE era.

Most of the photographs are of the roster shot variety with some action images spread throughout the book. Rosters of equipment are provided along with a few maps.

This book will make a welcome addition to the collection of anyone with an interest in the history of Northeast Ohio railroads.

Review by Craig Sanders

Remember Akron Barberton Belt’s New Look?

January 9, 2015

ABB82101barberton101982Back in the early 1980s the Akron Barberton Belt was starting to paint equipment in a new look, supposedly inspired by the MK scheme. On Oct. 19, 1982, its one and only caboose showed off the new image at Barberton.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Some of My Earliest Railroad Photographs

July 28, 2014




For Christmas 1966 my parents got me a 35mm Minoltina rangefinder camera and that was the beginning of my railroad photography career. Here are three local shots from my first two rolls of film.

Without Lightroom and Photoshop Elements, these images would be unviewable. Now they are acceptable because they contain area history not to be repeated.

The top image is a side-lit-from-the-back A&BB No. 28 and another Baldwin switcher sitting on the A&BB engine house tracks in Barberton in December 1966.

The middle image is a grubby-day shot of the cab end of AC&Y No. 503. This is a rare Fairbanks Morse H-20-44 end cab road switcher.

The bottom image shows the AC&Y engine facility in Akron on the same grubby day in December 1966. Shown is AC&Y No. 202 (a Fairbanks Morse H-16-44 roadswitcher) sitting outside the engine house. Other FMs were in both the yellow and black paint scheme, and the blue paint scheme are visible. While I only took a few railroad slides, I thought these might give a taste of Akron’s past.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

Remember the ABB?

July 19, 2013


It is December 1966 in Barberton, Ohio, and Akron Barberton Belt No. 28 is hard at work. This was from perhaps my first roll of slide film and the new 35mm Minoltina rangefinder camera that I had received for Christmas. While not as sharp as a modern DSLR, it still captured a part of Akron’s history that many don’t remember.

Photograph by Robert Farkas