Posts Tagged ‘Akron Ohio’

Golden Oldies

September 27, 2019

Let’s take another spin in the wayback machine of Bob Farkas and go back several years around Akron and other Northeast Ohio locations.

In the top photograph CSX SD40 No. 8308 has just passed beneath the Home Avenue bridge in Akron wearing its gray ghost livery.

To the left is the now abandoned former Akron Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad that has since been removed at this location.

No. 8303 was built in 1969 for the Louisville & Nashville.

Next up below we have a mish mash of motive power on a Chessie System train headed eastward through Akron in June 1981.

The units are (in order) Western Maryland SD40 No. 7546, Chesapeake & Ohio GP40 No. 4096 and Baltimore & Ohio GP40 No. 4061.

Finally, we get Conrail SD45-2 No. 6665 at Mingo Junction in August 1977.

It’s the early Conrail era and the unit still wears its Erie Lackawanna livery. It had been built in November 1972 for the EL.

Photographs by Robert Farkas


A Collection of Erie Lackawanna Motive Power

August 19, 2019

EL 6621is riding the turntable in Marion, Ohio, in the late 1960s.

Relatively speaking, the Erie Lackawanna had a short if colorful life, lasting from October 1960 to April 1976.

The EL, which many wags dubbed the Erie Lack of Money also had some of the snazziest looking locomotives operating in Northeast Ohio.

Here is a collection of EL motive power from the camera of Robert Farkas.

About the image below that features a Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific locomotive leading a train in Kent, Bob wrote: “My friend Mike Ondecker was friends with many who worked for the EL in Kent, Ohio which arrangement allowed me to take photos in the yard when I was with him.

“Rock Island 201 leads an eastbound Erie Lackawanna freight through the EL yard in Kent in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

“At the time RI, B&M, and D&H power could sometimes be seen mostly on run-through trains.”

Photographs by Robert Farkas

EL 7062 is at Marion on July 28, 1972.

EL 2503 is part of a motive power consist in Akron on Oct. 1, 1972.

EL 1005 is in Akron in January 1973.

EL 3617 is westbound in Kent in the late 1960s.

EL 820 is eastbound in Kent in the late 1960s.

Down at the Akron EL Station

June 29, 2019

Erie Lackawanna 6311 is eastbound past the EL passenger station in Akron in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

By then passenger service on the former Erie Railroad had shrunk to the Lake Cities between Chicago and Hoboken, New Jersey.

The Lake Cities would continue to operate through early January 1970. It would be the last EL intercity passenger train although the carrier continued to operate a commuter train between Cleveland and Youngstown, and it had extensive commuter rail operations in the New York City region.

But the Lake Cities would be the last EL varnish to carry a dining car and sleeping cars.

The Akron EL station, which was built by the Erie in the late 1940s, no longer stands. It was razed and a bank branch is now on the site.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

B&O and EL in Akron in Color

June 9, 2019

Much of what can been seen in this image is gone. That includes both the buildings on the left and EL’s McCoy Street Yard.

The closest bridge has been rebuilt while the walk bridge farther down the tracks is gone. Today the former yard was is partly an open lot but mostly a bus terminal for Akron Metro.

In the top photo, five Erie Lackawanna Alco locomotives team up to pull a train in Akron on July 23, 1972.

In the bottom photo Baltimore & Ohio No. 3801 leads a westbound in Akron on Sept. 9, 1979. Note the Chessie system covered hoppers in the consist.

Photographs by Robert Farkas


Where the Capitol Limited Once Stopped

November 17, 2017

Photographs that are a mere five years old don’t necessarily qualify as being “oldies,” but this March 2012 image shows the end of something that had been associated with Akron for 62 years.

In early 2012, workers came through Akron to lower the tracks of the CSX New Castle Subdivision as part of a clearance project associated with development of the National Gateway.

This included removing the last section of umbrella shed on the platform to the west of the former station concourse.

It is not clear why a portion of the umbrella shed was left in place. Perhaps it was to serve as a monument to what this building had once been.

The last intercity passenger train to stop at this location was Baltimore & Ohio No. 5, the Capitol Limited, which pulled away at 2:37 a.m. on May 1, 1971.

The next day, Akron no longer had intercity rail passenger service for the first time in more than 100 years.

The December 2017 issue of the Akron Railroad Club eBulletin will have a feature about the final decade of B&O passenger service in Akron.

Sanders to be at Buckeye Book Fair on Saturday

November 1, 2017

Akron Railroad Club President Craig Sanders will be appearing at the 30th Buckeye Book Fair to be held this Saturday (Nov. 4) at Fisher Auditorium in Wooster, Ohio.

Sanders will be among the 100 authors who will be signing their books and speaking about their work. He will have copies of his most recent book, Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, as well as Akron Railroads (2016), Cleveland Mainline Railroads, Canton Area Railroads, and Akron Railroads (2007)

The event opens at 9:30 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. Admission is $2.

Four author presentations have been planned for the auditorium. Between 11 a.m. and noon, Jeffrey Ebbeler will conduct a draw-along.

Between noon and 1 p.m., author Mary Kay Carson will discuss her book Mission to Pluto. James Willis will talk about Central Ohio Legends & Lore between 1 and 2 p.m., while Ian Adams will discuss his book Ohio in Photographs between 2 and 3 p.m.

More information is available from

Getting Lucky on a W&LE Chase

May 24, 2017

On May 7, Rich Antibus and I heard on the scanner that the Wheeling & Lake Erie train 561 crew had engine No. 200, the Ohio Bicentennial unit.

The crew indicated to the dispatcher that they had seven loads and engine No. 101, the Pittsburgh & West Virginia tribute unit, on the other end of the train.

Both engines are GP35-3s. Armed with this new information, the dispatcher gave the 101 a track warrant on the Cleveland Subdivision from Mogadore to milepost 52 at Middlebranch.

The 561 was headed down to the Essroc Cement Facility in Middlebranch to switch them out.

Rich and I first caught up with the 561 at Skelton Road in Mogadore, which is a very tight shot.

The chase was easy from here as the train is limited to 10 mph on the Cleveland Sub.

We got it again at Waterloo Road., which is old U.S. Route 224, in Suffield. A large friendly yellow dog named Brutus always comes out to see us when we photograph here.

Our next spot was Wingfoot Lake with the Goodyear Blimp in the background. The blimp was unable to fly today due to the high winds.

Next we drove behind a storage facility north of Hartville, then it was on to the Hartville Fire Station, which is located south of town.

We did an across-the-field shot in Middlebranch before the 561 reached its destination.

This move of the 561 was a bit unusual in that the 261 road train from Brewster usually switches the plant on its way to Akron. The 561 crew only comes down here on days that the 261 doesn’t run.

While the 561 crew switched the plant, we contemplated our shots for the return trip. The 101 would lead going back to Akron.

Both of us agreed we were quite lucky to find the 561 going south this day. We’d never seen anything like this before.

Having swapped out the seven loads for seven empties, the 561 was now ready to head back to Akron.

We shot it on the siding into the plant, dodging clouds to do so. From here it was back to the Hartville Fire Station, then again to the storage units north of town.

We were going to go back to Waterloo Road but thought the light might be better at Mogadore Road, so we opted to downtown Mogadore.

We barely beat the train to our favorite spot at Die-Gem Way at the east end Brittain Yard.

By now both of us were low on film. Rich did expose a few pixels today, but he still shoots some film.

This would be the only train we would see on this day, but the effort was worth it. A move that was new to us and the chance to see the W&LE serving a customer was a good day. We hope for many more to come.

Article by Jim Mastromatteo

When Pennsy Had a Yard in Akron

April 7, 2017

Perhaps you will have the same feeling of disbelief as I had when I looked at these two Mike Ondecker images.

Where was this heavily industrialized area? I didn’t know, but the sign on one of the factories matched a company in Cleveland, so I labeled this as Cleveland.

Much to my surprise, several railfans said this was Akron!

It was only upon close observation that I realized this was taken from a Firestone building.

On the left where a stone company now is located was once the Pennsylvania Railroad yard in Akron.

The building on the left is part of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Erie No. 517 is most likely bringing a cut of cars back to the Erie Lackawanna McCoy Street Yard.

This Akron of the early 1960s is totally unlike today’s railroad/industrial scene, but thanks to Mike these memories come alive again.

Article by Robert Farkas, Photographs by Mike Ondecker


Then and Now at Voris Street in Akron

December 13, 2016


At times this year we’ve reported here on the changing face of Voris Street in Akron. For decades it has been a favorite hang out for railroad photographers.

At one time you could see trains of three railroads, the Erie (later Erie Lackawanna), Pennsylvania (later Penn Central and then Conrail) and Baltimore & Ohio (later Chessie and now CSX).

Voris Street is still a nice place to watch trains, but it doesn’t look the same as it once did.

A construction project has wiped out the buildings that stood on the north-northwest side of the tracks. Workers are building a new ramp that will connect Interstates 76 and 77 with Broadway and Main streets.

Both of these images were made from the original exit ramp from the interstate. The top image was made in early November this year whereas the bottom image was made in July 2011.

That is only a difference of five years, but much can change quickly.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Railroading as It Once Was: Crossing Over at South Street in Akron in Early Conrail Days

December 8, 2016


Taken 40 years ago in late November 1976, Conrail train TV 77 heads west through Akron. The lead truck on the 3601 has just entered the South Street TBS crossovers that were used to route trains off the former Erie Lackawanna and onto the former Penn Central for a run to Orrville and a connection with the Fort Wayne Line. The low afternoon sun glints off the nose of the EL SD, perhaps fitting as the sun would set for good on these former Erie rails in a few short years.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee