Posts Tagged ‘Akron Railroad Club activities’

Its Pizza Party Time for the ARRC

March 28, 2018

The annual Akron Railroad Club member’s night event will be held this Saturday (March 31), which means we’re throwing a pizza party and inviting members to show us some of their railroad photographs.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. at the club meeting site at the New Horizons Christian Church in Akron.

Pizza will be delivered at about 6 p.m. and the slide shows will start at approximately 6:30 p.m.

It will be an open projector format with presenters signing up to show 36 to 50 images with any railroad-related content. In short, pick your own theme.

The club’s slide projector and digital projector will both be available. Digital presenters should bring their images on a USB device.

A slide stacker will be available for the convenience of those showing slides or you can bring them in your own carousel slide tray.

There will be a $6 cover charge to cover the costs of the pizza, snacks and beverages. The pizza this year will be ordered from two establishments, Marcos and Hungry Howie’s.

Members are encouraged to bring snacks and drinks to share.

There will not be a business meeting this month. Club matters will be addressed at the April ARRC meeting.


2018 ARRC Activities Set by Officers

January 25, 2018

Some details are yet to be worked out, but the activities schedule for the Akron Railroad Club for 2018 was worked during the annual officer’s meeting on Jan. 21.

Most activities will be familiar, including the Dave McKay Day outing in Berea, the longest day outing, the summer picnic, Vermilion Day and the end of year dinner.

But the club is also eyeing holding an outing at the Northern Ohio Railway Museum located near Seville.

NORM put into service last year a short section of track over which it can operate a former Shaker Rapids car.

We’re going to look into going to NORM to ride that car and photograph the museum’s collection. No date has been set for that outing, but we’d like to do it in the fall.

The first activity will be the traditional Dave McKay Day outing in Berea on April 7.

The officers decided that the club will travel to Fostoria this year on June 24 for the longest day outing at the Iron Triangle Rail Park.

The summer picnic will return to Warwick Park in Clinton, which is located adjacent to the New Castle Subdivision of CSX.

The day in Vermilion along the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern will be on Aug. 25.

If Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 returns to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in September, we’ll hold a picnic at the Valley Picnic Area in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to watch it and the CVSR’s National Park Scenic in action.

That picnic will be held on the first Sunday of the steam locomotive’s excursion schedule.

The member’s night and pizza party will be held on March 31, a Saturday night.

Although most monthly meeting program slots have been filled, the club still needs presenters for the June, July and August meetings.

Club members who wish to present a program should contact Vice President Todd Dillon.

The end of year dinner was set for Dec. 1 although the officers will decide later on the venue.

For the past five years it has been held at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant in Stow, but at the suggestion of an officer we are considering moving it to the New Era restaurant in Akron.

The New Era has a larger meeting room and a different menu than the pub grub oriented fare of Beef ‘O’ Brady’s.

However, the Hungarian cuisine at the New Era has received mixed reviews from those who have dined there.

The officers plan to solicit the views of the members at the January meeting and then decide where to hold the end of year dinner.

The club ended 2017 with a slight uptick in the treasury. Treasurer Paul Havasi reported that the ARRC ended 2016 with a balance of $4,851 in the kitty, but at the end of 2017 that had increased by $273 to $5,124.

During 2017, we took in $208 more in income than we spent in expenses. Dues income netted $1,248 while we also made $811 from train shows and a silent auction held in July.

The cost of producing the paper Bulletin again exceeded dues income. The newsletter cost $1,434 to produce last year.

After a discussion, the officers decided not to hold silent auction in 2018.

Paul also reported that last year the ARRC had 78 paid members and three life members who receive a complimentary membership.

Back When We Still Were Wearing Shorts

December 23, 2017

Remember last July? Remember the day of the Akron Railroad Club picnic? It was warm that day and most of us had shorts on with t-shirts or short sleeve shirts.

CSX cooperated and ran some trains. Nothing out of the ordinary came past that day. Unlike at the 2016 picnic, a report of a heritage unit on the Fort Wayne Line of Norfolk Southern didn’t send several of us scurrying to intercept it at Massillon or some other point.

As is typical of the CSX New Castle Subdivision, there were some long lulls between trains.

The action picked up some late in the day. Those of us still there even walked down the street and stood next to the easternmost building in “downtown” Warwick to catch the K182 as it rolled into the nice early evening light.

About 15 minutes earlier, the photo line had captured local D750 returning to its home base after working in Akron and Barberton.

It remains to be determined if the ARRC will return to Warwick in 2018 for its annual picnic or go elsewhere. The officers will hash that out in January.

In the meantime, here are a few memories of this year’s picnic.

The K182 had a hopper car still wearing the Family Lines markings.

After a long day, the D750 returns to its home base in Warwick.

The rear of the U700 lumbering eastbound.

Westbound train Q375 makes an appearance.

The westbound Q299 had a road slug in its motive power consist.

Here comes the Q299 making some smoke as it accelerates.

The Q235 rolls around the curve and into Warwick. It was one of two auto rack trains that came through town during the late morning hours.

ARRC Members Go South at End of Year Dinner

December 4, 2017

Mark Demaline (left) and Marty Surdyk adjust the projector before Mark began his program at the Akron Railroad Club’s annual end of year dinner held last Saturday.

On with the show, we’re ready.

Twenty-five Akron Railroad Club members and guests took a trip down South at the annual end of year dinner held Saturday in Stow at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant.

ARRC member Mark Demaline gave a slide show titled Southern Served the South that showcased Southern Railway operations from Virginia to Florida, and Atlanta to New Orleans.

Mark’s hour-long program had something for everyone, including passenger trains, steam-powered excursion trains and workaday freight trains that ranged from hot shots to locals.

Most of the images were made in the 1970s and early 1980s when Mark worked in management positions for the Chessie System in Richmond, Virginia, and Jacksonville, Florida.

He would spend weekends traveling the territory in search of photographs. On occasion he was able to make images traveling to or from work.

Among the stars of Mark’s program was the Southern Crescent, which the Southern operated through Jan. 31, 1979, between Washington and New Orleans. The Southern did not join Amtrak when it began operations on May 1, 1971.

Amtrak took over the Crescent on Feb. 1, 1979. Amtrak had operated the Southern Crescent between Washington and New York, just as Penn Central and the Pennsylvania Railroad had done before the coming of Amtrak.

The Southern was a pioneer in mainline steam excursions and Mark caught a few of those in his program. But most of the presentation was an overview of Southern freight operations.

The end of year dinner is the final activity of 2017 for the ARRC.

Program on Southern Railway in the South Will Highlight ARRC End of Year Dinner Program on December 2

October 25, 2017

Southern train No. 159, photographed at Faber, Virginia, in November 1984.

Southern Served the South is the title of a slide program that Akron Railroad Club member Mark Demaline will present at the ARRC’s end of year dinner on Dec. 2.

The event will be held at the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant at 3732 Darrow Road in Stow.

The program will feature Southern Railway freight, passenger and steam excursion action between the late 1970s and late 1980s from the Washington D.C., area, through Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and Northern Florida.

The end of year dinner is limited to 32 attendees due to the small size of the meeting room in which it is held.

Tickets to the event are free and may be obtained by contacting Marty Surdyk at

The tickets will also be available for distribution at the Nov. 17 ARRC meeting.

The end of year dinner will begin with a cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. and we’ll be ordering from the menu at about 6 p.m.

Payment for drinks and meals is individual settlement.

Bowler to Give Wide-Ranging Program

October 23, 2017

Peter Bowler will present a digital program at the October Akron Railroad Club meeting on Friday (Oct. 27) that will take us far and wide.

The show will be done in segments with the first those titled “Southern Swing” and covering a trip to Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia chasing steam, plus a visit to the North Carolina Transportation Museum at Spencer.

There will be a couple video clips of Norfolk & Western steam locomotive 611 inserted for fun and sound.

The second show will be a series of the best of Peter’s China trip steam videos that he ran out of time to show at the December 2015 end of year dinner.

The meeting will begin with a short business session at 8 p.m. followed by the program at approximately 8:30 p.m. The club meets at the New Horizons Christian Church, 290 Darrow Road, in Akron.

Following the meeting, some members gather at the Eat ‘n Park restaurant at Howe and Main streets in Cuyahoga Falls for a late dinner, dessert or an early breakfast.

Visitors are always welcome at Akron Railroad Club meetings.

Wonderful Day for a Picnic and Steam

September 18, 2017

The photo line is out as Nickel Plate Road No. 765 passes the Valley Picnic Area en route back to Akron with the first excursion of the day.

It was a perfect day for a picnic. Under sunny skies with temperatures in the upper 70s, 17 Akron Railroad Club members and guests descended on the Valley Picnic Area in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to watch Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 pass by four times as it carried excursionists out of Akron on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The Berkshire locomotive built in Lima, Ohio, performed flawlessly and cameras were out to record its passage.

At least one ARRC member, Vice President Emeritus J. Gary Dillon, was aboard the train, riding in car 165 on the afternoon trip with his niece Lisa.

As always, Chef Martè fired up the grill and served up hamburgers and hot dogs.

It was the second time the ARRC has held a September picnic in the CVNP in conjunction with a visit by the 765.

Last year we also held a picnic at the same location when the 765 was operating as the 767. Attendance at that picnic was 27 and may have been boosted by the novelty factor of NKP 765 operating with a different number.

We observed that there didn’t seem to be quite as many photographers out chasing the 765 as there had been last year or in some previous years.

To be sure, there were still a lot of people in the park with cameras. But the posse chasing 765 along Riverview Road as the steam train passed by wasn’t as long as in previous years and we didn’t recognize anyone we knew.

However, the steam trains appeared to be well patronized and as in past years the premium seats in the open window and dome cars were sold out.

Between runs of the steam train we also observed the passage of the regular CVSR train, the National Park Scenic, three times.

It had FPA-4 No. 6771 on the north end and Alco C424 No. 4241 on the south end. Most of the CVSR’s feature cars were on the steam train so the Scenic had an abbreviated consist that included a caboose.

For the record the steam train had RS18u No. 1822 on its north end.

If you missed the 765 this past weekend, it will be pulling another slate of trips on Sept. 23 out of Rockside Road station and on Sept. 24 out of Akron.

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society is paying tribute to the late Jerry Joe Jacobson, a lifetime ARRC member, by placing his name beneath the cab widows on both sides of the 765 above the number.

Jacobson, who died on Sept. 13, was the developer of the Age of Steam Roundhouse as well as a friend of the steam locomotive preservation community.

The chef has another round of burgers on the grill while hungry members go through the serving table.

When two old railroaders get together they are going to talk a little shop. Paul Woodring (left) and Bob Rohal try to solve the problems of the industry while agreeing it’s not what it used to be.

The engineer of NKP 765 gives us some whistle as the train passes the ARRC picnic. The locomotive paid tribute to Jerry Jacobson on the cab.

A few ARRC members can be seen at right photographing the northbound excursion in mid afternoon.

The sunlight was still barely over the tree line as the last excursion of the day headed for Akron along Riverview Road.

10 ARRC Members Make Trek to Vermilion, Amherst

August 28, 2017

Don Woods places the first burgers on the grill at the Amherst depot Saturday afternoon as Marty Surdyk watches. (Photograph by Todd Dillon)

Ten Akron Railroad Club members participated in the outing on Saturday to Vermilion and Amherst.

The day began in Vermilion at the South Street boat launch where various birds, boats and even some Norfolk Southern trains occupied our attention.

We had plenty of opportunities to photograph NS trains crossing the Vermilion River on the Chicago Line.

Although the day was sunny throughout, the wind off Lake Erie had a chill to it that was particularly noticeable when you were in the shade.

During our time at the boat launch, NS sent one eastbound through town on the former Nickel Plate Road mainline, a manifest freight on what is now called the Cleveland District.

Around mid afternoon, our host Todd Vander Sluis took a couple ARRC members in his Dodge Ram pickup truck to inspect the new connection being built from the Chicago Line to the Cleveland  District west of Vermilion near the Vermilion Country Club.

The connection will enable eastbound trains on the Chicago Line to eastward on the Cleveland District.

Progress on the project has been slow and the site looked much as it did a year ago.

The path of the connection has been graded and some panel track has been placed along it, but otherwise work seems to have stalled.

The ARRC NS heritage units curse continued. Our hopes had been raised by an online report that the Leigh Valley H unit was leading train 18A eastbound and its progression would have put it through Vermilion in early to mid afternoon.

But it turned out the 18A was headed for Bellevue. Another H unit, the Central of New Jersey, was also reported heading east on the Chicago Line in Indiana, but it was bound for Detroit.

Wouldn’t you know it that if we had been in Vermilion the next day we would have seen the Wabash H unit leading the 21G in mid to late afternoon.

Just one train had foreign power leading. An eastbound grain train was led by a pair of BNSF units.

We did spot two Kansas City Southern “Belles” trailing in the motive power consist of an eastbound manifest freight.

As the afternoon wore on, ARRC members began migrating to the restored former New York Central freight station in Amherst where Chef Martè was manning the grill for the annual summer picnic of the Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts.

The RRE had invited the ARRC to attend its picnic and partake of some burgers and hot dogs.

Alas, NS pretty much died during the picnic. By the time things picked up again, it was nearly 9 p.m. and just about everyone had gone home, was about to head home, or was on his way home.

ARRC Vermilion Outing Set for Saturday

August 23, 2017

An eastbound Norfolk Southern train crosses the bridge over the Vermilion River near the boat launchy during a previous Akron Railroad Club outing there.

The Akron Railroad Club will return to Vermilion on Saturday for another day along the Norfolk Southern Chicago Line. But this outing will feature something different.

In late afternoon we’ll travel to nearby Amherst for a picnic at the restored former New York Central depot.

Vermilion features two NS lines, the busiest of which is the ex-NYC route. Also passing through is the former Nickel Plate Road line that is now the NS Cleveland District.

The Cleveland District through Vermilion isn’t much at present as far as railroad traffic, but that is expected to change once NS completes installation of a new connection from the eastbound Chicago Line to the Cleveland District a couple of miles west of Vermilion.

Intermodal trains 205, 206, 22K and 23K are expected to be regular users of the connection.

But all of that is in the future. The Chicago Line hosts 40 to 50 trains with a traffic mix of intermodal, mixed freights, tanker trains, coal trains and even Amtrak.

We will begin our day at the boat launch located on West River Road between the two railroad bridges over the Vermilion River.

Being summer there should be ample boat traffic on the river to watch between trains.

Photographs of an eastbound on the bridge is the prized shot for this location.

Shooting a westbound these days is tough. You will need your wide-angle lens.

But don’t let that deter you from enjoying some time at the boat launch. It is an enjoyable experience.

After lunch, when the light shifts to a more westerly direction, we will move to the railfan pavilion in town.

This spot sets up well for westbounds with the city’s water tank as your backdrop.

Eastbounds can be shot with the Vermilion station that sits just to the east of the pavilion. This is also a wide-angle shot due to some pine trees along the tracks.

Still, it is a nice place to hang out and watch trains. The crossings in town are quiet zones, so there is no horn blowing.

Train crews know that the crossing protection is working if the “X” at the top of the poles at each crossing is flashing.

In late afternoon ARRC members are invited to head to the depot in Amherst, about 10 miles east of Vermilion, for dinner.

The Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts is having its annual picnic there that evening and Chef Martè, a.k.a. as Marty Surdyk, would love to grill up some burgers and dogs for you.

ARRC President Craig Sanders, who is also an RRE member, will present a program titled When the IC had a G featuring images taken on the Illinois Central Gulf in the 1970s and early 1980s.

A highlight of the program will be a cab ride aboard an ICG intermodal train from Champaign to Centralia, Illinois.

As with most ARRC activities, the event begins when the first person arrives and ends when the last one leaves. Spent a few hours or the entire day, just plan to spend Saturday, Aug. 26, in Vermilion and Amherst.

To get to the boat launch go into Vermilion on Ohio Route 60. As you enter town and after crossing the single-tracked former NKP tracks, Route 60 will make a right turn at a flashing light.

About a block to the east, Route 60 will turn left but continue straight ahead on South Street to the stop sign at West River Road.

The entrance to the boat launch is a little left of straight across from that intersection. Park at the far end of the lot near the picnic table. You will have both railroad bridges over the Vermilion River in sight.

The Railfan pavilion, known as Vermilion Mainline Rail, is on Route 60 where it crosses the NS Chicago Line at the north end of Victory Park.

From the boat launch, go back west on South Street to Route 60 north at Main Street and make a right. The pavilion is on the right just before crossing the tracks.

ARRC Picnic Will be July 30 at Warwick Park

July 26, 2017

The Akron Railroad Club will again visit Warwick Park in Clinton for its annual picnic, which this year is Sunday July 30.

The club will provide hamburgers and hot dogs and the popular condiments. Members are asked to bring their own beverages, snacks, beans, and desserts.

Just remember, we will be outdoors without any refrigeration, so plan your dishes accordingly.

Manning the grill as always will be Master Grill Chef Martè.

In addition to the food and fellowship, we will be right next to the CSX New Castle Subdivision.

They may cooperate and run some trains. Our record for rail traffic at a picnic in Warwick is 21 moves. Our lowest total is nine.

The picnic will be held rain or shine. We do have cover, although in a heavy downpour with a lot of wind, there may not be enough cover.

Come for an hour, come for the day; just make sure you come to Warwick Park for the ARRC picnic.