Posts Tagged ‘Akron Barberton Cluster Railway’

ABC 1501 in Akron

July 1, 2021

Akron Barberton Cluster Railway EMD SW 1500 works in Akron on June 5, 2021. The unit was built for the Indianapolis Union and later was on the Conrail motive power roster before it wound up in Northeast Ohio.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

1-2-3 on the ABC in Akron

June 16, 2021

This trio of images was in Akron on May 20, 2021. Akron Barberton Cluster SW1500 No. 1502 was backing up in all three photos. Photos one and two were from the first time I saw the switcher and photo three was from the second time. ABC 1502 is backing up a second time.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

ABC on CSX in Akron

May 21, 2021

Akron Barberton Cluster GP40 No. 4005 is eastbound on CSX in Akron on May 12, 2021. The unit was acquired in July 2019 and rebuilt at the Wheeling & Lake Erie shops in Brewster. It was released for revenue service in January 2020.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Some Color on the ABC in Kent

February 3, 2021

Although Akron Barberton Cluster motive power typically has handled the ABC job that serves Kent and Ravenna, locomotives from parent Wheeling & Lake Erie often has pitched in to help when needed.

Such was the case on Nov. 4, 2005, when GP35 No. 2662 worked the job. Apparently the crew had not cars to take back to Akron on this day.

No. 2662, one of two locomotives to received this striking red and gold livery, is passing the former Erie Railroad passenger station in Kent.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

Vestige of the Rock on the ABC

September 24, 2020

On Wednesday I caught the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway local returning from Ravenna. it had GP40 No. 4005, which was formerly Rock Island 4700. It is shown passing the former Erie Railroad passenger depot, now a restaurant named Treno, in Kent.

Photograph by Todd Dillon

Menards Gets Grant to Rebuild Ravenna Rail Spur

July 17, 2020

Plans to develop a distribution and manufacturing center in Ravenna for Menards got a boost this week when the Ohio Rail Development Commission approved a $175,000 to the home improvement retailer to be used to rebuild a rail spur to the site.

Menards plans to spend $51.7 million to build a truss plant, bagging plant, transload operation, and a crossdock distribution facility in Ravenna.

It will be served by Wheeling & Lake Erie subsidiary Akron Barberton Cluster Railway operating over track once used by the Erie Railroad.

Officials have said the facility will create 90 new jobs.

Menards has said the facility will serve stores in Northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

The track to be rebuilt extends for a little more than a mile.

Earlier this month the Ravenna Planning Commission approved the plans for the facility, which will be located on 62 acres off Ohio Route 88.

The company will build trusses at the site and ship them by rail. The rail line will also be used to bring lumber to the facility.

Menards representatives have said the facility is needed because it is adding or has plans to open new stores in Northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

The Ravenna facility is expected to supply 30 to 35 stores although initially it will serve just 15 to 18 stores.

Construction of the Menards facility is expected to begin in 2021 and take a about year to complete.

In the meantime, the Ravenna City County has taken the first steps toward approval of a variance for a riparian (wetland).

The council is expected to approve the variance at its August meeting.

The variance includes a “notice of intent” permit to disturb more than one acre from the state, and a “nationwide permit” dealing with the wetland.

Menards also is seeking permits from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

All By Their Lonesome

July 3, 2020

There is something about this scene that bring to mind the word “lonesome.”

Maybe that’s because we see a lone Wheeling & Lake Erie GP35-3 pulling a lone tank car.

At least I thought it was a lone tank car until I enlarged the photo and determined that there are actually two tank cars.

But the compression from the lens makes the train look quite shot.

The train is westbound on the CSX New Castle Subdivision tracks in Akron on March 27, 2012.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Menards Center Would Increase ABC Traffic

May 11, 2020

Traffic on the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway line through Kent and Ravenna would increase if the city of Ravenna is able to lure a Menards distribution center.

The center is being planned for a site along Ohio Route 88 on 62 acres of land.

A recent news story in the Record-Courier indicated that to land the Menards facility Ravenna officials acquired five parcels of land along the highway including one with a building now used by Astra Products to make vertical blinds.

Menards would use the Astra Products site to manufacture trusses and concrete blocks.

The distribution center is expected to eventually serve 35 stores in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Ravenna economic development director Dennis West said Menards needs to transport its products by rail and will use a former Erie Railroad line operated  by the ABC.

The ABC, which is a subsidiary of the Wheeling & Lake Erie, will build a spur into the Menard’s facility.

ABC currently serves the Chestnut Commerce Center in Ravenna.

The $51 million Menard’s distribution center in Ravenna was first proposed four years ago.

The Ravenna City Council has approved a 15-year, 100 percent tax abatement for Menards.

The tax abatement also has been approved by the Ravenna Board of Education and is awaiting approval by state and county officials.

West said if all goes according to plan construction will begin next year and the center will open in 2022.

It is expected to employ 90 with an estimated payroll of $3.498 million a year.

Although Menards would not be paying taxes, Ravenna Councilman Rob Kairis said the income tax from that payroll will mean about $90,000 per year in income tax revenue for the city.

The center will initially support 10 retail centers.

Then and Now with W&LE 4602

December 4, 2019

After finishing its work in the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway yard in Akron, Wheeling & Lake Erie GP9R No. 4602 and its train is heading back to Barberton using the ABC’s own track instead of the more commonly used CSX trackage rights.

The top two images were made on Nov. 27. No. 4602 is the only locomotive of this model on the W&LE motive power roster.

It is equipped with remote control switching capability for yard work.

As can be seen in the bottom image, which was made on March 28, 2011, in Orrville, the 4602 once worked for the Grand Trunk Western and for a time still wore its GTW livery, albeit with the name of is former owner blotted out.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

At Work with an ABC Crew

December 1, 2019

Here are four from Nov. 26 in Akron on the Akron Barberton Cluster Railway. Wheeling & Lake Erie GP9R No. 4602 is the motive power for an ABC train working the ABC yard and a paper company.

In the top photo, the 4602 is pulling a string of cars in the ABC yard.

That is followed by a roster shot and the job backing into the paper company.

The bottom image shows the train outside the paper company.

Photographs by Robert Farkas