Posts Tagged ‘Akron Canton & Youngstown Railroad’

Along the AC&Y in Akron

March 8, 2021

We’re checking out Brittain Yard on the Akron, Canton & Youngstown in Akron on Dec. 17, 1967. By now the AC&Y is part of the Norfolk & Western although some AC&Y motive power continues to in revenue service without having been repainted.

Shown is a Fairbanks-Morse H16-44. Built in December 1951, No. 202 was traded in to EMD in 1969. It was one of 18 H16-44 road switchers on the AC&Y roster. They were sometimes called “big horses.”

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Looking Around on the AC&Y in Akron

July 28, 2020

There is much to see in this image of the Norfolk & Western yard on the former Akron, Canton & Youngstown in Akron.

There is an AC&Y flat car and AC&Y crane next to the repair in place track, which holds a boxcar that needs obvious repair.

Mostly visible is a Northern Pacific boxcar on a nearby track.

The photograph was made in late 1966/January 1967.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Best I Could Do with a Dark Slide

June 10, 2020

My original slide came from one of my first two or three rolls of slide film. It was severely underexposed (dark), and over the years the slide turned purple.

This is the best “save” I could get. It looks more like a painting than a slide.

Norfolk & Western 206 (Fairbanks Morse H15-44) in full Akron, Canton & Youngstown paint is in the N&W diesel facility in Akron in late 1966.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Restore the AC&Y!

August 24, 2017

The former Akron, Canton  & Youngstown track between New London and Greenwich was removed several years ago in favor of the Wheeling & Lake Erie using trackage rights over the parallel CSX Greenwich Subdivision.

West of New London the ex-AC&Y right of way is still in place, although largely overgrown with weeds.

During a recent railfan outing to New London, I noticed that a piece of panel track had been placed on the former AC&Y right of way near the CSX crossing at the northwest corner of the New London above ground reservoir.

Could it be part of a plan to put the AC&Y back in? That’s not likely. It was probably left there by a CSX maintenance of way gang.

When N&W Still Had an AC&Y Look

November 2, 2016



Here is another glimpse of the past in black and white as captured by Akron Railroad Club member Robert Farkas.

In the top image, even though the Akron, Canton & Youngstown was taken over by the Norfolk & Western i 1964, AC&Y diesels were still in service.

It is 1967 or 1968 and AC&Y 506 and 500 could still be found at the Akron engine facility. Both are rare FM H20-44 models with AC&Y 506 in blue and AC&Y 500 in yellow and black.

In the bottom image, Bob is standing on the bridge over Penn Central’s Collingwood Yard in Cleveland, which could provide a great view of the shops and yard.

PC 1788 in fresh paint and New York Central 1840 are at the head of a westbound train in this 1968 or 1969 view. Stored next to the shops are three lines of Alcos and EMD units.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Taking the Farkas Challenge: Akron’s Railroad of the 21st Century is the Wheeling & Lake Erie

July 27, 2016

Farkas Mastromatteo

The story of the Wheeling & Lake Erie has two distinct chapters.

The original W&LE was founded in the 19th century and lasted through 1949. The modern W&LE arose in May 1990 and remains a viable railroad in Northeast Ohio today.

The original Wheeling never served Akron per se. It skirted the edge of the Akron metropolitan area, passing through Mogadore and Kent.

But the modern W&LE has a major presence in Akron because when it came to life by taking over from Norfolk Southern the tracks and facilities of the former Akron, Canton & Youngstown.

Arguably, the W&LE is Akron’s major railroad today. CSX may run more trains, but the W&LE has more freight customers.

This image of a W&LE westbound train on the former AC&Y north of downtown is vintage modern Wheeling and is my nomination for the Farkas challenge on behalf of Jim Mastromatteo.

The two locomotives do not match, which is a common theme you find in any photo collection of W&LE operations.

Let’s play nice and say that over the years the Wheeling has had an “eclectic” collection of locomotives.

The trailing unit of this train still has its Southern Railway markings, albeit with the W&LE name. The lead unit is reflective of the Spartan nature of some Wheeling locomotives although the railroad would later settle on an attractive black livery with orange speed lettering and stripes.

This train is in the vicinity of the former AC&Y passenger station on the north edge of downtown Akron. At one time, there were numerous warehouses and other freight customers here.

They are all gone now and W&LE trains merely pass through. A block to the north was the Baltimore & Ohio Valley Line between Cleveland and Akron.

This railroad corridor may was not as busy or developed as the railroad territory on the south edge of downtown, but its history is just as significant.

Article by Craig Sanders, Photograph by Jim Mastramateo

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

The AC&Y Lingered After the N&W Takeover

January 16, 2015

img490-Edit-EditE533EAkron, Canton & Youngstown No. 202 (FM H-16-44) sits at Norfolk & Western’s ex-AC&Y engine facility in Akron on Dec. 17, 1967. Around it are other AC&Y locomotives in either the same yellow or the blue paint scheme.

Photograph by Robert Farkas



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

An Unusual Visitor to the AC&Y Remembered

November 18, 2013


One day in the late 1960s or early 1970s, Mike Ondecker phoned and told me to get to the Akron, Canton & Youngstown tracks immediately. There was a Great Northern FA that for some reason was being sent to the GE plant in Erie by the AC&Y (We never knew why.). Here it sits at Akron’s AC&Y yard after having drawbar problems.

Photograph by Robert Farkas